Cantabria's traditional thermal spas
This northern region of Spain is a prime location for health tourism thanks to the mineral medicinal properties of its waters. As well as swimming at beautiful beaches, discovering coastal villages and emblematic locations like Santillana del Mar, crossing impressive green landscapes like the Pasiegos Valleys and eating meals to write home about, if you visit this region, you can enjoy its spa resorts, as elegant and classic as they are innovative. Listed below are seven ideas so you can choose your favourite place to relax, de-stress and enjoy some self-care:
Balneario de Puente Viesgo spa
Puente Viesgo (37 km from Santander)This is one of the most famous spas in Spain, and you'll find it in the middle of the Pas river valley. The Gran Hotel Balneario de Puente Viesgo spa hotel is known for its waters rich in chlorine, sodium, bicarbonate and calcium, and for its services including thermal baths, hydro tubs, seaweed treatments, Dead Sea-water baths and hydromassages.This spa resort also includes a thermal leisure centre known as the Templo del Agua or Water Temple, covering some 2000 m2 and featuring a flotation pool. What is there to do nearby?You don't have to venture far from this spa to visit prehistoric caves, such as those found in Castillo or in Monedas, which have been declared World Heritage Sites. You can also join guided walking and hiking routes suitable for all levels.
Balneario de Alceda spa
Alceda (50 km from Santander) If you cross the Toranzo valley you'll find this 19th century spa, a symbol of history and well-being. Its visitors seek to benefit from the properties of its sulphurous spring, considered to be the most abundant in Europe. These waters are recommended for dermatological, respiratory and relaxation treatments, not to mention aesthetic, rheumatological and allergy treatments.Everything from a relaxing massage, thermal and hydromassage baths, parafango mud treatments and lymphatic drainage are waiting for you here. What is there to do nearby?The area around this spa hotel features the pretty Alceda park, an authentic botanical garden covering seven hectares, known for its conifers. Lovers of hiking and picture-perfect landscapes can also explore the paths surrounding the spa, such as the beautiful Pas Greenway, which cuts through meadowland, deciduous forests and riverside woodland.
Balneario de Liérganes spa
Liérganes (25 km from Santander)You'll find this spa in the Pasiegos Valleys. Its proximity to the city of Santander and the amazing natural enclave in which it is situated have turned this early 20th century spa into a destination favoured by kings and heads of state to enjoy its thermal benefits. This is due to its two springs, known for their curative properties against rheumatism, respiratory problems, skin problems and even stress. The circuits it offers feature saunas and steam rooms, tropical showers, jacuzzis, footbaths and a relaxation zone with aromatic oil treatments. There is also a seawater pool and a chromotherapy programme.What is there to do nearby?Its installations are surrounded by a park full of hundred-year-old trees. Make the most of your time in Liérganes and allow yourself to be blown away by its streets as you admire its old town and its famous Puente Mayor bridge. Close by, as you walk along the banks of the river Miera, you'll find the Fish Man statue, the subject of many legends.
Balneario de La Hermida spa
Peñarrubia (90 km from Santander)It's always good to escape the hustle and bustle. Doing so with the Picos de Europa National Park as a backdrop, however, can't fail to be exciting. This spa is next to a gorge of the same name, almost on the border with Asturias. Although it recently reopened in 2006, its thermal waters reaching over 60ºC have been visited since 1881. These waters are ideal for those with dermatological conditions, respiratory problems or locomotor disorders. A place to find the well-being you've been seeking.What is there to do nearby?If hiking through the many routes nestled amongst the Picos de Europa National Park isn't enough for you, you'll find Peñarrubia very close to the spa. This small village is straight out of mediaeval times and features the spectacular Santa Catalina viewpoint. The original Mythological Footpath filled with magical creatures on Mount Hozarco also begins nearby.
Balneario de Las Caldas spa
Las Caldas de Besaya (37 km from Santander)A site where you can not only immerse yourself in its waters, but also in its history. The Las Caldas de Besaya spa is the oldest operational spa in the region, and is synonymous not only with tradition, but also with quality.Seven springs supply this spa resort on the banks of the river Besaya. The Romans themselves used its waters and Queen Isabel II also experienced its charm, seeking to benefit from its waters rich in chlorine, bicarbonate, sodium and nitrogen, and whose bathtub is still preserved there today. These waters are beneficial for those with respiratory illnesses or skin conditions. What is there to do nearby?You can find the Nuestra Señora de Las Caldas shrine very close to the spa. This Baroque architectural ensemble is the subject of many legends, in which the river Besaya always plays a starring role.If you would prefer to get some exercise outside, there are routes both for walking (such as to Riocorvo, Viérnoles or Viesca Park) and for cycling (Los Corrales de Buelna – Suances).
Castilla Termal Balneario de Solares spa
Solares (18 km from Santander)With over eight centuries of history taking place within its walls, this complex was restored in 2006, becoming modern and elegant while retaining its Romantic style.Nestled in the middle of the region of Trasmiera, its waters rich in bicarbonate, chlorine, calcium and sodium are famous for their properties for diuretic, metabolic, digestive and nervous system treatments. Moreover, its Roman pool and children's spa make this the ideal destination to enjoy as a family.What is there to do nearby?In this location, water is the key feature. As well as at the spa, you can enjoy the sea that bathes the bay and the Fuencaliente spring, the source of the famous Solares waters. Hiking, cultural heritage... you'll be spoilt for choice.
Balneario de Corconte spa
Corconte (40 km from Santander)By the reservoir of the river Ebro, in the region of Campoo, you'll find this spa hotel with over 100 years of history. The waters at Corconte are beneficial for rheumatism, kidney treatments and even respiratory or dermatological conditions. It's the perfect place to recover following an operation. Its spa offers wraps, thermotherapy, massages and thermal baths.What is there to do nearby?This spa resort is located right on the border between the regions of Cantabria and Castile and Leon, so you can enjoy the nature and unique landscapes offered by the national park of Picos de Europa, Cantabria, and the Castilian plains on the other side. Just 30 kilometres away, you can discover the Cabárceno Wildlife Park and the 100+ endangered species that live there. You could also explore one of the routes to the source of the river Ebro.
As well as staying and spoiling yourself at these spa resorts, don't forget that in Cantabria, you'll find dozens of other places to enjoy, such as the city of Santander, tourist destinations like San Vicente de la Barquera, Comillas and Santillana del Mar, or the Soplao caves, among others.