Does the winter weather have you chilled to the bone? Warm up this season with a visit to one of these natural hot spring towns around the world.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Spring-fed pools abound in this Colorado mountain town, and your best bet to soak up the warm waters is to head to Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, a recreational facility with a heavy emphasis on aquatic relaxation. Eight pools are fed directly by the area’s natural springs, and you can continue your wellness retreat with massages and exercise classes held onsite.
Desert Hot Springs, California
This desert town in Southern California sits on top of both hot and cold natural water aquifers, and a spa town culture has literally sprung up around it. Dozens of mineral water spas have tapped into these waters, offering pools of varying hot and cold temperatures where you can soak up the water’s healing mineral properties from an outdoor pool or an in-room whirlpool bath.
Xin Beitou, Taiwan
Beat the winter blues in Taiwan with a trip to the hot springs town of Xin Beitou, where you can take your pick of luxurious mineral water resorts or the hot springs found in nature, most notably in Yangmingshan National Park and Beitou Hot Springs Park (also home to the Beitou Hot Springs Museum). Don’t miss Geothermal Valley, where you can see massive clouds of steam rise up through the air as it escapes the natural hot springs.
Hot springs (or onsen in Japanese) are popular throughout Japan, but your best bet to take a soak in these naturally warm waters will be in Kinosaki. This traditional onsen town is filled with public bathhouses, hot springs resorts and natural waterways, all offering a chance to dip your toes into the region’s toasty waters.
There’s more to Tuscany than good food and wine – in Saturnia, you can also warm up while you dip into the region’s natural hot springs. According to local legend, the spring came to be after the Roman god Saturn struck the earth with a lightning bolt, causing the hot waters to flow freely through the ground. Head to Cascate del Mulino to soak in the falls amid the wooded Tuscan countryside.
Looking for more of these hot spots? Check out our top 10 thermal springs around the world!
(Main image: Alexander Synaptic used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)