Spa tourism on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route
The Way of Saint James is much more than a sacred pilgrims’ route. It is a place where cultures come together, a point of exchange, and was in its day the main unifying artery in Europe. More and more pilgrims from a range of different origins are coming to complete the route. It has also been awarded the World Heritage designation by the Unesco.
Hot springs along the Way of Saint James
Pool at the Puente Viesgo spa resort
Cestona spa resort - exterior
The Camino de Santiago is the pilgrimage route that brings travellers from all over the world to Spain, and it can be a comforting experience in every sense. Cathedrals, churches and monasteries will "tone up" your spirit, but here we also suggest a different way of doing the route: visiting its spa resorts and thermal centres. Treat yourself to a health and beauty treatment, following this itinerary which has the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Spa treatments are the best therapy for stress and the tensions of daily life. Long ago, the Romans knew about the curative properties of Spain's thermal springs. Many of these are in the north of the country, at places along the route covered by pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Discover these thermal spa resorts, which offer all kinds of facilities and the most sophisticated therapeutic methods.
Spa resorts on the "Camino francés"
Many of Spain's most important spa centres can be found concentrated around what is known as the "Camino francés" (French route) - the most traditional itinerary of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, whether setting out from Roncesvalles (Region of Navarre) or from Jaca (Region of Aragón). From the Pyrenees to the south of the Region of La Rioja, the spa resorts at Vilas de Turbón, Panticosa, Benasque, Fitero and Arnedillo guarantee a wide range of spa and massage treatments and techniques. Healthy walks in the valleys and spectacular mountain routes will make you forget all about the daily routine.
Further along the Camino de Santiago we come to the peaceful countryside of Burgos. Here you can "take the waters" in the villages of Valdelateja and Virtus. The village of Caldas de Luna, in the province of León, is also famous for the properties of its waters.
Another option is to head for Santiago de Compostela on the "Camino del norte" (north route), which runs through the area known as Green Spain. From the Basque Country to Lugo, where it joins the "Camino francés", you can treat yourself to the thermal baths in Cestona (Guipúzcoa province), at the famous spa resorts of Cantabria (Puente Viesgo, Liérganes, Las Caldas de Besaya and Alceda, amongst others) or at Las Caldas (Region of Asturias).
The best awaits you at the end of the Camino...
…because Galicia is a real paradise for spa tourism. This is both on account of the large number of spa resorts and for the quality of the waters. Here you will find all kinds of spa resorts: from the most traditional ones, ideal for curing aches and pains, to the most modern, equipped with the latest applied technologies for health, relaxation and beauty treatments. The resorts at La Toja Island, Caldas de Reis and Mondariz are some of the most famous. You will also find the best thalassotherapy centres, offering therapies using marine waters, algae and mud. As you can see, there is a wide array of options. Treat yourself to a spa treatment on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route: the experience will be real blessing.