Spring Break: Five of the Most Relaxing Hot Springs and Spas

Pimsleur Approach • February 25, 2013 • Travel tipsComments (0)

There’s nothing more relaxing than a long hot bath, right? But bathing at home is boring! Here are five of the most sumptuous, steamy and sensual springs and spas that we’d love to take a dip in.

Spring Break: Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Although the Icelandic landscape is replete with natural wonders, Blue Lagoon is not one of them; it actually taps its water supply from the adjacent Svartsengi geothermal power plant. Even so, this iconic swathe of bright blue, steaming water is one of the country’s biggest attractions, understandable considering its embracing 40°C waters, which some believe has the power to heal psoriasis. Apparently for a brief period in 2007, the Blue Lagoon turned green, no doubt giving its marketing team a minor heart attack.

Spring Break: Banff, Canada
Banff, Canada

Banff Upper Hot Springs, Canada

It’s not the just the water that counts, it’s the surroundings too.  Canada’s Banff Upper Hot Springs has no qualms in this department; the springs here look out over a heart-melting panorama of alpine forest and the ice-capped, skyline-dominating Mount Rundle, which stretches for 12 kilometers. The waters themselves aren’t bad either; packed with sulfate, calcium, carbonate, magnesium and sodium, and surged upward for over 2,000 meters by a huge crack in the rock, called the Sulfur Mountain Thrust Fault. Impressive.

Spring Break: Thermae Bath Spa, England
Thermae Bath Spa – Image via Wikipedia

Thermae Bath Spa, England

One of England’s most pristine and historic cities, visitors can tour the extant ancient Roman bathing pools in Bath, although alas, you’re not permitted to take a dip here anymore. Luckily, the adjacent Thermae Bath Spa offers a modern equivalent for those who want to relax Roman centurion-stylee. This extra-luxurious complex (reflected in its entrance fees) features aroma steam rooms as well as Thermae’s pièce de résistance, its rooftop pool, from which you can soak up the city’s dreaming spires as the sun sets. For those for whom bathing isn’t quite enough, Bath’s 200-year-old pump room allows punters to sup on the waters.

Spring Break: Jhihben Hot Spring
Jhihben Hot Spring – Image via Wikipedia

Jhihben, Taiwan

A country peppered with natural spas, perhaps the best of all Taiwan’s districts is Jhihben. Arrive here early in the morning to watch the many pockets of steam rise from the jungle-cloaked hillsides of the National Forest Recreation Area. Having put yourself through the paces by hiking through some of said forest (and maybe spotting a wild boar or two), it’s time to take your pick from the numerous hotels and complexes which line the main road. For luxury try the Hotel Royal Chi Pen, and for value, one of the family-run outfits toward the bottom of the hill.

Spring Break: Pamukkale
Pamukkale – Image via Wikipedia

Pamukkale, Turkey

Is it snow? Is it sugar? Nope, it’s calcium – lots and lots of calcium. For first impressions, Pamukkale is hard to beat; this alien landscape of crisp white shelves of mineral deposit (that’s travertines if you’re being clever), pocketed with sheets of pure azure water never fails to emit gasps of wonderment from arriving tourists. In all there are 17 hot water springs here (although reaching temps of up to 100°C, some are off-limits) and its thought people have been bathing their weary limbs in them for thousands of years. You can’t help but feel honored to be continuing this tradition.

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