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Archena spa, Murcia

Historic spas, hot springs and hydrotherapy centres in Spain for forgetting all about stress

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NASRID INSPIRATION

You can hear the sound of water everywhere and feel it massaging your body. As the bubbles embrace you, almost instinctively you breathe deeply, close your eyes and exhale. This is the calm you were looking for, the moment you deserve, and it feels like a dream. You open your eyes... and the dream goes on: you’re in an Arab bath, floating in therapeutic spring water. You might be in Granada and the Graena Spa, one of the oldest spas in Andalusia, in the town of Cortes Graena at the foot of Sierra Nevada National Park.Nearby is another hydrotherapy centre of long tradition, Lanjarón Spa, which has been enjoyed over the years by such illustrious figures as Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell, and Federico García Lorca.The setting of these spas also has much to offer. From the rural charm of the Alpujarra region in general, to the must-see city of Granada and the Alhambra. We recommend taking the chance to see the sunset from the San Nicolás viewpoint (“the most beautiful in the world,” according to Bill Clinton, a former President of the United States).

Lanjarón spa

WATERS MADE FAMOUS BY THE ROMAN EMPIRE

It’s true. Two of Spain’s spas were already in use during the reigns of the Emperors Trajan and Adrian. Where are they? In Extremadura, very close to the city of Mérida, whose unique Roman archaeological complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Roman baths of the Alange spa. Over the centuries, the mineral water of Alange was used to treat Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. Today, some 2000 years later (although they did not become really fashionable until the 19th century) we find calm and relaxation in these same springs. They really must be good to keep people coming back for two millennia...In northern Spain, and the region of Galicia, we find the Lugo spa. On a stay in the city you’ll discover the walls of the original Roman baths, and other remains of the ancient Lucus Augusti. Probably the most outstanding is the city wall of Lugo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby, also in Galicia, the province of Ourense is known for its hot springs, and there is a wide range of interesting spas, such as Caldas de Partovia, Carballino, Arnoia, Laias, and Lobios.

Lugo spa - Concello de Turismo de Lugo

FIND YOURSELF IN NATURE

Waking up your senses, spending some time on yourself, and listening to your own body. These are some of the health benefits of visiting a spa, leaving aside the therapeutic properties of the water. Some spa centres enhance these effects even more thanks to their locations in beautiful natural settings, taking you even further from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Most of the spas in Spain are in places like these, where you can feel a connection to nature. These are a few of the most historic.In the Region of Murcia, you can enjoy a frequent winner of the Wellness Experience Award. This is Archena Spa, on the banks of the river Segura, in the Ricote Valley. If you go from spring to autumn, a sweet surprise awaits… Your sense of smell will be born anew with the fragrance of its jasmine gardens.

Archena spa, Region of Murcia

The region of Aragon has many spas which are particularly well integrated in their natural settings. For example, in Alhama de Aragón there is the Termas Pallarés spa, which has a natural lake of therapeutic mineral water which is always at 28ºC all year round, despite being in the open air. Panticosa spa is an oasis of medicinal springs in the Aragonese Pyrenees. Meanwhile, in Jaraba (Zaragoza), the Balneario de la Virgen spa is set in a stunning gorge, and the Sicilia spa has a thermal bath inside a cave. This spectacular area is perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. We recommend a visit to the nearby Monasterio de Piedra park, full of waterfalls.

Panticosa spa, Aragón

In northern Spain, the region of Cantabria is known for its natural beauty, and the Puente Viesgo spa is a good example. It’s on the banks of the river Pas, among woodland and meadows. Nearby, the caves of Monte Castillo make up a UNESCO World Heritage site, in recognition of their cave paintings.One of the best spas in Catalonia is Caldes de Boí. Its stunning location is in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, in the Catalan Pyrenees. From here you can visit the Romanesque churches of Vall de Boí, a World Heritage site. A fun fact - this spa holds the world record for the greatest variety of medicinal waters.

Chiropractic massage in Caldes-Vichy spa, Caldes de Malavella, Balnearios de Cataluña

Tips and recommendations

Practical advice

These are just a few of Spain’s most appealing and long-established spas. They all offer therapeutic waters, health treatments and accommodation. But there are many more spas and hydrotherapy centres, which you can find on the website of Spain’s National Spa Association. www.balnearios.org

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