For centuries people have sought out baths for their health benefits and relaxation ability, and for centuries people have been flocking to natural hot springs. Many of these present themselves in different styles, often complementing the captivating natural scenery that surrounds them. These thermal pools not only provide relaxation, but deliver amazing views and an unforgettable experience. So here are 5 incredible natural pools from around the world that are definitely worth the trip!
Mermaid Pools, New Zealand
Located on the Tutukaka Coast of New Zealand is Matapouri Bay, a small coastal village approximately two and a half hours north of Auckland on the east coast. Surrounded by mangrove forests is Matapouri Beach, and beyond that, the Mermaid Pools. Reaching these natural pools is not an easy feat however. To reach them, visitors must reach the north end of Matapouri Beach, and then take the steep path among palm jungle. The Mermaid Pools can also only be accessed at low tide. Once reached however, the Mermaid Pools provide a spectacular sight and the beautiful waters are perfect for diving into, as the pools can be quite deep.
When you first enter Pamukkale in the Denizli Province in south-western Turkey, the first thing you will notice are the large slopes that resemble a frozen waterfall. On closer inspection however, these are large terraces and pools that rise over 100 metres. These terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs. These hot springs are perfect for a soothing bath. They can be visited all year round, but the experience is far better in the winter time, when the 17 hot water springs have temperatures from 35 degrees Celsius and hotter. The beauty and experience of these natural springs are not to be missed.
Stretching from Mount Amiata to the hills of Albenga and Fiora is Saturnia, famous for its thermal springs. The town itself caters for tourists with its wellness and spa centers, but outside are two spectacular waterfalls, the most famous natural springs in Tuscany. The waterfalls are made up of warm, sulphurous water, which gushes into the natural pools at a rate of 800 litres per second. What makes these springs so significant however, is their history. According to legend, the springs were born in the exact point where Jupiter’s thunderbolt fell in a battle against Saturn. This combination of history and nature makes Saturnia the perfect holiday destination.
Poças do Gomes, Portugal
On the group of volcanic islands known as Madeira archipelago are several natural pools that were created when lava flow met the Atlantic Ocean millions of years ago. The island of Madeira itself was formed from a hotspot in the Earth’s crust of the African Tectonic Plate. These natural volcanic rock pools are an amazing sight, having been formed by nature and managed by man. Visitors to the island can swim in the crystal clear waters while enjoying a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Situated between the city of Madaba and the Dead Sea lies Hammamat Ma’in, a number of hot mineral springs and waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy the scenic route and winding road which crosses some amazing territory surrounding the Dead Sea. The main attraction of Ma’in is the large spring-fed waterfall, though there are also a number of smaller ones within private resort areas. The natural springs range in temperatures from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius, and have been enjoyed for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years.