Show Us Those Amazing Hot Springs and Natural Baths

In various corners of the world, bodies of water can bubble like a witch’s cauldron, while also providing a therapeutic dip. They can be spectacular geological wonders, and throughout history have played a major role in the healing practices of various cultures. So chill out and relax with the world of hot springs and natural baths.


(Image: Doruk Yemenici/Public Domain)

In the Përmet District of Albania, a stone bridge that harkens back to the Middle Ages stretches over a sulfur river, whose warming waters are redirected to the Benja Thermal Baths. On cool days, it’s not uncommon to find locals venturing up to the pools for a soak. Across the globe in Bodfish, California another natural spring is also home to some interesting artwork. The Remington Hot Springs is one of the last remaining free, public hot springs in Kern River Valley. Inside the pools, visitors have etched messages for visitors such as “Children of the Earth” and “Eternal Love.” In the Abanotubani neighborhood of Tbilisi, Georgia, several bathhouses play host to a few ancient sulfur pools. Legend has it that the 5th-century King Vakhtang was so impressed by the hot waters while out hunting, that he had the city constructed around its warming waters. From ancient sinkholes to geothermal pools tucked away in caves, these are just a few of the wondrous hot springs and natural baths around the world. Now, we’d love to add more!

In the thread below, tell us about some of the most amazing hot springs and natural baths you have ever seen. Where was it located, were you able to visit, and what was the experience like? Is there any interesting history behind the location? Be sure to include any pictures you might have as well, and drop in your Instagram handle. Your response and photo may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura.

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The Spa Park hot spring in Taupo, New Zealand.

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Not a place for pictures to be taken, but 20 years ago I visited a hot spring outside of Steamboat Springs and learned two things. 1) Drinking a Nalgene bottle full of rum and Coke has a unique effect in ~100° water and 2) some people will be quite amorous near complete strangers when it’s dark and the environment is enchanting. Put that in the “unexpected things over your shoulder” pile.

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Granite Falls Hot Springs, about 40 miles south of Jackson, WY offers a rather remote hot spring experience. Thermally heated by the same forces pushing up Old Faithful and creating your favorite Yellowstone spaces, this hot spring is actually safe to enter (and doesn’t have the crowds!). I last visited in July 2012 while I was in a geology field course barely 10 miles away—a group of us would come down most weekends to relax in the informal hot tubs lining Granite Creek, keeping our water and beers cold in the glacial runoff while our bodies were relaxing in ~100° (it gets up to 112 in the winter) springs. You can pay to enter the facilities nearby, or go to one of the “parking lots” dotting the river for a free and private Teton moment.

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In the mountains north of Kyoto, there is a wonderful trail connecting the villages of Kibune and Kurama. The trail crosses Mount Kurama, passing Shinto shrines, large and small, mountain streams and gorgeous views. After your two hour hike, you arrive in Kurama and a short walk takes you to the Kurama Onsen. As you soak in the geothermal waters of the outdoor bath, you take in peaceful mountainous surroundings and experience Japan at its finest. Sublime… net)|300x225 (Photo credit: Jalan.net)

Cascate del Mulino in Tuscany
Natural sulphuric springs known for their therapeutic properties, gushing about 800 liters per second, in majestic surroundings!

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Badab Sourt Springs in Iran

Two amazing natural springs in Utah:
Meadow Hot Spring

Homestead Crater

Roman Baths in Bath, England

Thermal Spas in Eger, Hungary

Cenote Ik Kil in Mexico

and Grutas de Tolantongo in Mexico

Pamukkale in Turkey

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone

Coron Hot Springs in the Philippines

Blue Lagoon in Reykjanes, Iceland

Hot Springs in Greenland

Széchenyi Baths in Budapest, Hungary

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Natural Hot Springs at Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park in Japan
Inhabited by Japanese Macaques (Snow Monkeys), the park is located in their natural habitat, the forests of the Jigokudani valley in Yamanouchi. The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs to warm up in the waters of the onsen (hotsprings).

Did I mention that they are technologically savvy too?

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These are all fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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