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Top 7 Destinations For Healing Waters


Natural Mineral Hot Springs Thermal Spa/Bath

Spas were used for millennia for their purported healing or healthful benefits to those wealthy enough or close enough to partake of their waters. This was called a Ouray-Hot-Springs-Pool-HotSpringsmineral cure and gave let to such phrases as taking a cure and taking the waters. There has always been a mixture of recreational and medicinal connotations involved, from rest and relaxation, stress relief, and convalescence to more specific notions such as humorism. These phrases are still sometimes used today as a euphemism for one trying to kick a drug dependency.

The belief in water’s ability to heal goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who knew the value of a warm bath to soothe aches and pains. As the population ages, we, too, are increasingly seeking healing waters, according to spa and travel industry experts.

The Romans are credited with creating the world’s first spas — elaborate bathhouses built near mineral springs. The word spa, in fact, is believed to be an acronym of the Latin phrase salus per aqua — health through water.

These sites became fashionable resorts where monarchs and artists of the day would congregate — some for the social scene and others hoping to relieve ailments from infertility to rheumatism to gout.

Proponents of the “water cure” believed that it replenished our bodies as we absorbed needed minerals through our pores. But as modern medicine became more advanced, interest in water cures waned. Until now.

1. Toskana Therme – Bad Sulza, Germany

Toskana Therme Bad Sulza Germany

In Toskana Therme, is it because of the body-temperature thermal waters? Or the unusual and creative events we stage in the Therme? Or Liquid Sound®, the incomparable experience of bathing in sound, colour and light that was first developed here in Bad Sulza?

We invite you to discover the secret behind the special fascination of the Toskana Therme for yourselves. We are sure that you too will find a place in your heart for this most extraordinary bathing experience…

Toskana Therme is blessed with natural, warm salt water that springs from an ancient underground ocean, allowing guests to float as if in the Dead Sea. The place has become famous for its creative devotion to the glory of H2O. Thermal water is pumped into seven pools housed in a futuristic dome that offers bathing in light and music. The concept is called Liquid Sound.

Address: Wunderwaldstraße 2a, 99518 Bad Sulza, Germany

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2. Beppu, Ōita in Japan

Beppu Ōita Japan

Beppu is one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. The city is blessed by as many as eight different springs, named Beppu Onsen, Kannawa Onsen, Myoban Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen, Hamawaki Onsen, Kamegawa Onsen, Horita Onsen and Shibaseki Onsen, each featuring public baths and ryokan with bathing facilities. Together they produce more hot spring water than any other onsen resort in the country.

What sets Beppu Ōita apart from other onsen resorts is not only its abundance of thermal waters, but also the wide range of bath types that can be enjoyed there. Aside from conventional hot water baths, Beppu offers sand baths where bathers are buried in naturally heated sand, steam baths that are heated by the steam of a hot spring, and mud baths which are basically muddy hot water baths.

Address: Beppu is a city located in Ōita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan, at the west end of Beppu Bay

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3. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, New Mexico

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs New Mexico

A sacred oasis 50 miles north of Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente (hot eye) is perfect for day trips or overnight stays in rustic Southwestern elegance. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs offers yoga classs or indigenous spa treatments (e.g. a blue corn-prickly pear scrub). Revered by Pueblo Indians for over 3,000 years, the springs are heated by subterranean volcanic aquifers and fill 11 pools with 80- to 109-degree waters with different combinations of minerals (one has more arsenic in it, which is believed to relieve arthritis).

Deemed sacred by indigenous Native Americans of Northern New Mexico, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs has been a gathering place and a source of healing for hundreds, even thousands of years. Come retreat to our secluded refuge. Relax with a massage and our signature Milagro Wrap. Rejuvenate in our legendary waters.

A big plus: no chlorine. The water is sterilized with ozone and ultraviolent light and pools are refilled three times a week. A tip: Weekends can get crowded with day drippers, so if you prefer privacy, go during the week or reserve one of three private pools near a glowing kiva fireplace.

Address: 50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549, United States

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4. Omni Homestead Hot Spring Resort, Virginia

Omni Homestead Hot Spring Resort Virginia

Whether visiting in the winter or summer, The Omni Homestead Resort offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep all guests happy. Over 45 acres of activities await you, including two mineral hot springs. In the winter, take to the slopes for skiing, snowboarding and tubing, or ice skating at Allegheny Springs. Summer guests can enjoy world-class golf, tennis on our beautiful clay courts, or horseback riding. No matter your pleasure, The Omni Homestead Resort offers something for the whole family.

Nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, The Omni Homestead is about four hours from Washington, D.C. and has catered to politicians and Southern gentry for decades. Rather than bragging rights to sleeping in the same inn, you can say you soaked in the same octagon mineral pool where Thomas Jefferson bathed to relieve his rheumatism. Built in 1761, it is touted as the “oldest spa structure in the U.S.” The temperature of the waters is a consistent 98 degrees, even in winter, which allows for an outdoor soaking experience during the holidays, surrounded by snow, mountains and an ice skating rink.

Adrdress: 1766 Homestead Dr, Hot Springs, VA 24445, United States

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5. Saturnia Thermal Baths, Italy


Saturnia is a spa town in Tuscany in north-central Italy that has been inhabited since ancient times. It is a frazione of the comune of Manciano, in the province of Grosseto. Famous for the homonym spa, its population is of 280.

What turns Saturnia into an attractive destination are its famous thermal springs. Saturnia’s thermal baths are made of several springs stretching from Mount Amiata to the hills of Albenga and Fiora and reaching Roselle and Talamone.

The warm sulphurous water pours into the pool fast enough (at 132 gallons a second) that the pool is refreshed every four hours. The spa has been favored by discerning travelers over cutting-edge beauty clinics of Switzerland, such as La Prairie. Chalk it up to the sulfur, a building block for collagen, which leaves the skin soft and smooth. It doesn’t hurt that the town is an hour north of Rome and within driving distance of many Tuscan hill towns. If you’re not into spas, a day trip to the nearby waterfalls with limestone terraced pools is just as enchanting and free.

In addition to the luxurious, exclusive wellness and spa centers in Saturnia, there are two outdoor waterfalls, the Cascate del Mulino and Cascate del Gorello. The Cascate del Mulino (in the photograph above) are probably the most famous natural springs in Tuscany. The waterfalls are made of several natural pools of warm thermal water, as well as a relaxing waterfall. They are open to the public and free throughout the entire year. The only negative part is parking. During high-season, it can be really hard to find a spot where to park and it is easy to get a parking ticket. So pay attention to where you park… and then relax!

Saturnia and its thermal springs are certainly another gem of in the treasure that the Maremma offers, an area where wild nature and history melts perfectly, making Tuscany the perfect destination for your holidays in Italy!

Address: Terme di Saturnia park Tuscany Italy

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6. Baden-Baden, Germany

Caracalla-Baden-Baden Germany

Baden-Baden is a spa town in southwestern Germany’s Black Forest, near the border with France. Its thermal baths led to fame as a fashionable 19th-century resort. Alongside the Oos River, park-lined Lichtentaler Allee is the town’s central promenade. The Kurhaus complex (1824) contains the elegant, Versailles-inspired Spielbank (casino). Its Trinkhalle has a loggia decorated with frescoes and a mineral-water fountain.

Situated in the foothills of the idyllic Black Forest, it is one of Europe’s classic spa towns, where Roman emperors once came to ease their aches. The Caracalla Spa is modern — with glass walls — and the mineral waters come in both hot and cold (alternating temperatures are believed to stimulate circulation and build the immune system). The second floor is for those who prefer to go au natural, a common practice for Germans. The other famous bathhouse, Friedrichsbad, is older, but no less beautiful with vaulted ceilings, marble columns and painted tiles. Keep in mind: This is an all-nude facility. The upside is that is it reportedly less crowded than Caracalla.

Address: Baden-Baden, Germany

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7. Brittany Spa, France

Thermes Marins saint malo Brittany France

France is the birthplace of thalassotherapy, and it is still practiced in its purest form at many locations, especially in the coastal towns of Brittany. Today, many resorts call themselves thalasso retreats, even if they just have a Jacuzzi filled with saltwater, so it’s good to do some research if you want the full thalasso experience. One of the most highly-rated, The Thalasso Center, was built by three-time Tour de France winner Louison Bobet after thalassotherapy helped him recover from several surgeries following a car accident. Everything about the property embraces the ocean.

The Thermes Marins de Saint Malo: 5000m² space for this Sea water Spa with 80 rooms for individual hydrotherapy and physiotherapy treatments, 16 cabins for the Spa, 6 seawater pools including a swimming pool and an Aquatonic® pool. A know-how recognized in the world and more than 50 years of experience in well-being.

Address: Brittany, France

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