1. Chena Hot Springs — Alaska, United States
- Nearest City: Fairbanks
- What Makes Chena Hot Springs Special: Most people travel to Alaska in summer, missing out on the quiet peace that the thick blankets of snow and darkness offer tourists.
- Price: Daily Hot Springs Passes are available for $20 per adult.
- Where You Should Stay: Chena Hot Springs has a well-reviewed resort hotel.
What better way to spend a winter vacation than visiting North America’s prime winter destination? A trip to Alaska is incomplete without a visit to Chena Hot Springs, Alaska’s premier thermal spring resort.
View the aurora borealis like you’ve never seen them in temperatures that will make you eager to stay in the warmth of the thermal spring. Other must-do activities include going dog sledding, checking out local American-style eats, and playing in the snow!
2. Yangpanchen Hot Springs — Tibet
- Nearest City: Lhasa
- What Makes Yangpanchen Hot Springs Special: Tibet is a beautiful winter destination with cultural food and clothing fit for the season. Also, the altitude of Yangpanchen Hot Springs makes for a unique vacation with stellar views.
- Price: 200 yuan per person
- Where You Should Stay: Visitors to Yangpanchen should stay in the larger city of Lhasa after they visit the hot spring.
Tibet is an autonomous region within China known for its tall mountains and rich culture surrounding cold weather. Like Alaska, most tourists visit Tibet in the summer for warmer weather. However, experiencing this winter culture in the cold season is a way to experience Tibet like the locals do.
Yangpanchen Hot Springs is the perfect destination for travelers to visit in Tibet. The hot springs are divided into several swimming areas, and the water is pristine and bright blue. In the winter, snow-capped mountains, including Mount Everest, set the perfect backdrop for cold weather relaxation.
While in Tibet, you simply must snap a photo of the tallest mountain in the world and try out traditional Tibetan food such as butter tea and yak meat.
3. Termas Geometricas — Chile
- Nearest City: Conaripe and Pucon
- What Makes Termas Geometricas Special: Many popular hot springs are located in northern, colder locations, but Termas Geometricas offers you warm weather along with naturally hot thermal springs.
- Price: 42,000 Chilean pesos per adult
- Where You Should Stay: Visitors should stay in a nearby city for the best experience at Termas Geometricas.
Nestled in the forest of Villarrica Sur National Park, Termas Geometricas is a unique thermal bath located near the city of Pucon. A trip to Termas Geometricas offers a stunning view of the forest and a total getaway from traditional winter weather. The hot springs were designed with a unique geometric shape by a Chilean designer.
Visitors should also consider spending an extra couple of days in Santiago, Chile, to enjoy Chile’s largest city. It’s likely your flights will land here, and Santiago is well worth the visit. Major attractions include the Bicentario Park, the Sky Costanera, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago de Chile.
4. Pamukkale — Turkey
- Nearest City: Pamukkale
- What Makes Pamukkale Special: The nearby Greco-Roman ruins and unique white rocky landscape make Pamukkale a must-visit thermal spring.
- Price: 200 Turkish Lira per person
- Where You Should Stay: There are multiple thermal hotels around Pamukkale to choose from!
One of the prize destinations in Turkey, a trip to Pamukkale offers a view of the white sedimentary rock surrounding the brilliant blue thermal springs.
Near Pamukkale hot springs, you can also find the ancient city of Hierapolis, the ruins of a Greco-Roman city. You must explore these once-in-a-lifetime ruins while visiting the hot spring!
A trip to Turkey would be incomplete without trying Turkish food such as baklava, kumpir, and meze. Consider also visiting the nearby city of Denizli or the capital city of Istanbul while going to Pamukkale for world-class shopping.
5. Takaragawa Onsen — Japan
- Nearest City: Minakami
- What Makes Takaragawa Onsen Special: The Takaragawa Onsen pairs the benefits of visiting a thermal spring with traditional Japanese spa experiences for a unique take on hot springs.
- Price: 1,150 yen per person
- Where You Should Stay: You can stay at the Takaragawa Onsen overnight!
Described by former visitors as something “out of a fairytale,” the Takaragawa Onsen is the perfect place to relax this winter. Located in eastern Japan, the thermal springs feature many separate pools to dip in and relax. In the winter, the Tagaragawa Onsen is a true winter wonderland.
Blanketed in snow, you can stay warm in the thermal springs and enjoy time indoors at your accommodations. The closest town, Minakami, is mostly a resort town but also features a ski resort and mountain cable car to visit Mount Tanigawa.
Those visiting should also consider adding extra days to explore Tokyo, the closest major city to Minakami. While in Japan, you should also try out the local cuisine. Must-try dishes include Japanese sushi and authentic Japanese ramen.
6. Terme di Saturnia — Italy
- Nearest City: Pisa
- What Makes Terme di Saturnia Special: Terme di Saturnia is a hot spring right in the center of Tuscany, allowing you to combine your winter thermal springs vacation with classic Italian experiences.
- Price: 26 Euros per person
- Where You Should Stay: There are multiple hotels surrounding the Terme di Saturnia hot springs to choose from.
Terme di Saturnia is a group of thermal springs near the town of Saturnia, which is closest to the major Italian city of Pisa. The thermal springs feature gorgeous rolling waterfalling pools near castles and picturesque wineries.
Winter is a great time to visit Italy, as the Mediterranean is known for its terribly hot summers that keep many people indoors during the daytime.
The closest city of Pisa is also a wonderful Italian city to visit, including well-known tourist destinations such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Cattedrale di Pisa. Visitors to Italy must try classic Italian fare such as homemade pasta, gelato, and limoncello.
7. La Fortuna — Costa Rica
- Nearest City: La Fortuna
- What Makes La Fortuna Special: Pair your relaxation with some serious fun time by enjoying the nightlife in the area after a day of rest in the hot spring.
- Price: $18 per adult per day
- Where You Should Stay: There are many hot springs resorts surrounding the thermal springs in La Fortuna.
While the hot springs at La Fortuna in Costa Rica are certainly relaxing, La Fortuna is also known as a fun destination. One of the hot springs even has a swim-up bar, and the hot springs light up at night to really set the mood.
The water that feeds the hot spring comes directly from a nearby volcano, the Arenal Volcano. While staying in La Fortuna, you should see the Fortuna Waterfall and hike the Bogarin Trail for a chance to see a sloth in the wild!
If you are flying into San Jose, consider taking a day to explore Costa Rica’s largest city and view the many museums and cultural landmarks it has to offer. Traditional food you must try while in Costa Rica includes sopa negra, pozole, and empanadas.
8. The Blue Lagoon — Iceland
- Nearest City: Grindavik
- What Makes The Blue Lagoon Special: It’s believed that The Blue Lagoon has superior skin benefits to other hot springs, and it is Iceland’s most-visited location.
- Price: $85 per person
- Where You Should Stay: There are several places to stay near The Blue Lagoon. Two of the options for lodging include luxury hotels.
We couldn’t write an article about the top hot springs to visit without mentioning the best of the best. The Blue Lagoon is arguably the world’s most famous thermal spring. Located on the island country of Iceland, The Blue Lagoon is a massive ice-blue thermal spring.
The Blue Lagoon is located in a lava field, and its waters are heated geothermally by underground lava flows. Also included at the hot springs are a spa, gourmet cuisines, and nearby luxury accommodations and villas.
As Iceland is fairly small, you can visit The Blue Lagoon while also touring its major city, Reykjavik, which is only 45 minutes away. While in Iceland, in the winter, you must stay up late to view the aurora borealis, see a waterfall, and view a glacier.
We hope our list has helped you narrow down your list of hot springs to visit this winter. Wherever you choose to visit, we wish you a trip full of relaxation, cultural experiences, and, most importantly, great accommodations.
To visit any of these destinations and more for your thermal springs vacation, you can search for deals on accommodations with ZenHotels. You can ensure that you book quality accommodations for your next vacation.