For centuries people have looked to baths for health benefits and relaxation. Natural hot springs and ocean pools deliver stunning views and an unforgettable experience.
We’ve put together 5 incredible natural pools from around the world that are worth visiting once in a lifetime.
1. Mermaid Pools, New Zealand
Matapouri Bay is a small coastal village about 2-and-a-half hours north of Auckland on the east coast. Bordered by mangrove forests, Matapouri Beach acts as the gateway to the Mermaid Pools. From the north end of the beach, follow the steep path through palm jungle. It is well worth the effort when you reach this paradise of picturesque scenery and clear waters perfect for diving and swimming. Be careful while swimming, though: these waters are deep!
2. Pamukkale, Turkey
Located in the Denizli Province in south-western Turkey, Pamukkale resembles a frozen waterfall made from large slopes. Then on closer examination, you will see they are big terraces and pools made of sedimentary rock accumulated from the hot springs water more than 100m below.
Swimming in these hot springs will relax your whole body. The pools can be visited all year round, but winter time is best because the 17 hot water springs are HOT – they have temperatures from 35 degrees Celsius and up.
3. Saturnia, Italy
Stretching from Mount Amiata to the hills of Albenga and Fiora is Saturnia, which is famous for its thermal springs. These waterfalls are made up of warm, sulphurous water, which goes into the natural pools at a rate of 800 liters per second. Their history makes these springs significant as, according to legend, the springs were born in the exact place where Jupiter’s thunderbolt fell in a battle against Saturn.
4. Poças do Gomes, Portugal
Madeira archipelago consists of different volcanic islands, where there are a great number of natural pools created when lava flow met the Atlantic Ocean millions of years ago. Madeira Island itself was formed from a hot spot in the Earth’s crust of the African Tectonic Plate. Being volcanic by nature, having been formed by nature and later managed by man, these pools are an incredible sight.
Head to Pocas do Gomes to swim in the blue waters and enjoy a spectacular view of the Atlantic ocean.
5. Ma’In, Jordan
Hammamat Ma’in is situated between the city of Madaba and the Dead Sea, and it is known mostly for its hot mineral springs and waterfalls. The main attraction of Ma’in is the large spring-fed waterfall, so beautiful that it makes visitors stand and admire. The natural springs range in temperatures from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius, and have been mainly used for therapeutic purposes for hundred of years.