The Most Luxurious Destinations To Soak In Hot Springs With The Best Views, According To Reviews

Hot springs are created by a complex geological process. The heat emanating from the depth of the Earth warms up rock, and when water touches that rock, it gets toasty. That water sometimes rises to the surface to create a hot spring. That said, you don't need to understand the mechanics of these natural phenomena to appreciate how delightful it is to soak in a hot spring. There are hot springs all around the world, some laced with minerals that purportedly offer therapeutic benefits. 


For anyone suffering from aching limbs and tired muscles, lounging in a hot spring can have a rejuvenating effect, bringing them back to life. The enjoyment of a leisurely soak is plain to see, but what can amplify it even more is when it is accompanied by a stunning view. We've checked out locations around the globe for hot springs that have fabulous vistas and looked at reviews and blogs to put together this shortlist.

Astoria Hot Springs, Wyoming, USA

Close to the town of Jackson, these hot pools have a maximum capacity of 70, so tickets for entry are required. Visitors will find a variety of pools here, from those that are fully fed by hot springs to the chlorine-treated Cold Plunge Pool and Children's Pool, both of which have a closed-end filtration system. The heated pools course with minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Some of the health bonuses of a soak here are purported to include boosted oxygen in the bloodstream and improved skin quality. 


The complex features six pools that use the hot spring's water; two are ADA compliant. For some real heat, visitors might want to go to the River Soaking Pools, where the water hovers slightly around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, to enjoy sweeping views of the Snake River, trees, and peaks. A commenter on Yelp noted, "This place is surreal. The hot springs are nestled between the mountains and it's far away from traffic noise. A great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature."

Bagni San Filippo, Italy

While much has been written about the terraced hot springs in the Saturnia — Vogue even called it a bucket-list destination — it's not the only option in Tuscany, a province that's the best destination in Italy for wine lovers. For some, including the author of the blog La Dolce Fit Vita, Bagni San Filippo is an equally worthy destination for soakers, and one, perhaps, that's less well-known. "Although regularly shunned from the spotlight by Saturnia, I guarantee that Bagni di San Filippo hot springs have absolutely nothing to envy from their notorious neighbors."


These hot springs are tucked away among woodland, and for budget travelers, they come with the benefit of being free to visit. The area for soaking isn't large, but the views of woods and the clumps of minerals make it a wonderful escape. One of the focal points is a huge mound of calcium, playfully known as "Balena Bianca" or "White Whale," for its contours and form, which resemble the mouth of that marine mammal. The water temperature varies between the pools here, but some are really hot, so visitors can even come for a soak in the winter.

Banff Upper Hot Springs, Canada

The writer of the travel blog Liisa Wanders says this destination is "in an area of gorgeous views, it has especially stunning views. Which, if you ask me, makes the hot springs in Banff one of the most must-do experiences in all of Canada." There's certainly plenty to admire at these springs, with the snow-capped Canadian Rockies rising at every turn when looking out from the pools. The destination is anchored by a building that has landmark status, prized not just for its architecture but also its historical significance. Banff Upper Hot Springs has been open for use since 1886. 


The pool is also notable for other reasons. It's fed by mineral springs throughout the year, though during drier periods, this is supplemented by heated local water. Minerals in the spring water include sodium, sulfate, and magnesium. Located more than 5,000 feet above sea level, the springs are the highest ones in the country and the hottest in Banff National Park, so travelers can get some bragging rights with a soak there.

Banjar Hot Springs, Indonesia

Anyone who has spent time in Bali might recall the lush, gorgeous, green interior of this Indonesian tourist hot spot. From the towering palms to the vibrant green rice paddies and expansive forests, the countryside of Bali is quite a wonderful sight. These springs in Bali showcase those verdant environs. The blog Travelers & Dreamers declares, "It's a beautiful hot spring set in a lush jungle garden and is not that frequently visited by tourists because of its northern location." It is set on the north of the island, not far from the coast, and is more than two hours by car from the airport. 


But its remoteness might be one of its greatest assets, ensuring it isn't overrun by the masses that blight areas like Kuta in South Bali, and therefore isn't Bali's iconic destination that's a tourist trap. The place comprises three pools, tiered in a manner that recalls the stepped terrain of rice paddies around the island. Some of the pools feature sculptures around the edges that draw from Hindu lore — the island is predominantly Hindu. Sitting in the pools, visitors will be able to look over trees, plants, and bright bougainvillea blooms.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

This is one of the most famous hot springs in the world, a realm of Tiffany blue water and steam on a cold winter's day. Travelers might have seen photos of these hot springs, and it's a destination you shouldn't miss in Iceland. A visitor wrote on Tripadvisor, "What a place. As others have noted, this really is special, and a very slick operation." It's a huge undertaking, with the pools obviously as the main attraction. Tourists can come for a day visit, soak in the waters, and perhaps have a spa treatment. The site also has a hotel, allowing visitors to stay overnight and enjoy the facilities for an extended time. It's a sleek structure, lining the pools like an extended pair of arms. 


The seawater here is geothermally heated, and it's rich in minerals, leading the Blue Lagoon to open its own line of skincare products. Visitors can enjoy some of that mineral richness by rubbing silica-rich mud on their bodies or feeling the salt in the water revitalize their skin. The views are relaxing, from pools of blue in all directions to hills and scrubby plains beyond the water.

Edipsos, Greece

Seasoned travelers to the Greek isles will be familiar with the beautiful seas and islands spread across the Aegean — places like Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes. But the island of Euboea might not ring a bell. A huge isle northeast of Athens, it's where the springs that flow out toward the sea are found. Writing on Tripadvisor, a traveler extolled the heated natural waters: "Great experience especially when visiting off-season. Not too many people, and excellent contrast between warm/hot spring & pools, waters and sea." Edipsos is named for the town in the Northern Evia part of the island. 


There are spa facilities there, both in organized buildings and wild in nature, and famous past visitors have included Maria Callas and Winston Churchill. For anyone seeking a hot spring experience that is gratis, head to the beach. This is where to find small heated pools by the water, as well as large rocks where spring water flows on top and falls over the edge like a hot shower. You can soak while standing and looking out onto the gently lapping sea.

Grutas Tolantongo, Mexico

The heated pools terraced on the side of a mountain look like an aquatic fantasy land. The blog ADV Travelbug was clearly impressed, writing, "There is no denying that Grutas Tolantongo is a place of divine natural beauty." The water in the pools hovers between 96 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and flows between various bodies of water, allowing visitors to experience whichever ones they want. Sitting in the pools, travelers can warm up, soak, and peer out over steep mountain slopes covered in forests, as well as the valley below. 


But the pools aren't the only place to enjoy a soak. A snaking river drops down in a series of steps — its water a cool baby blue hue. Powerful jets of water shoot down from the roofs of caves, helping guests to soak while staying out of the sun. Additionally, narrow tunnels have water flowing through them, with steam vapors good for any respiratory ailments. The attraction, which pulls in plenty of tourists, rests about four hours by car north of Mexico City.

Hottarakashi Onsen, Japan

The blog A Different Side of Japan makes a persuasive case for visiting this hot spring. "Situated over 700 meters above sea level, Hottarakashi Onsen offers commanding views of the entire Kofu valley basin below (which, by the way, has been authorized as one of Japan's best three night views). What's more, you can dreamily gaze out at the ever-majestic Mt. Fuji while soaking away all your worries." The last bit might just be, for many, the clincher. 


The chance to soak in heated water while looking at one of the most iconic peaks in the world is quite the treat. There are a couple of pools here, and bathing is allowed from one hour before sunrise until past sunset. One of the bathing pools sits a little more east than the other, so for fans of sunrises, this is the one to choose. Access to the springs is a little tricky, and necessitates taking a taxi at some point.

Kikuletwa Hot Springs, Tanzania

While the springs aren't superheated, the color of the water is quite hypnotic. It shimmers a clear blue-green, and combined with the surrounding forest, the sight can almost look like a mirage. A repeat guest of the springs wrote on Tripadvisor, "This is a second visit. The water is cool, not hot or cold—very refreshing. The afternoons have far more people than the morning so keep that in mind. The rope swing is a blast." Visitors can get here in two hours or less from Arusha city or from Kilimanjaro International Airport. 


For tourists who plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, a trip to the springs should certainly be an option for an excursion. Travelers go to Kikuletwa to relax, splash around in the crystal-clear water, or feel carefree on the rope swing above the pool. Some even snorkel, hoping to find turtles that call this part of the world home. The spring is also where small fish feed off visitors' dead skin — you might feel a little tickling feeling around your toes!

Pamukkale Hot Springs, Turkey

For travelers that prize the aesthetic quality of a destination, the pools at Pamukkale should be an ideal choice. This set of small bodies of water are incredibly picturesque. A commenter on Reddit opined, "This is by far the coolest place I've been in Turkey. I suggest it to everyone." The travertine pools are blindingly white when hit by full sunlight, and they contrast quite strikingly with the sky blue water. 


The terraces of pools descend in a series of steps, and since they are elevated on the side of a hill, they look out over mountains in the distance and expansive plains beneath them. Heated water from springs flows out into the pools, and en route, the water deposits calcium on the travertine. The effect is that the landscape is almost lunar in its whitewashed form, and visitors could be forgiven for feeling like they have traveled to another planet. The springs sit in the west of Turkey, roughly halfway between Antalya and Izmir.

Tekapo Springs, New Zealand

This island nation has so much to see, and we can show you how to spend 10 days in New Zealand to enjoy its many incredible landscapes. Visitors to these pools, located almost in the center of the South Island, will be treated to memorable vistas. The heated waters look out over the mountain ridges of the Two Thumb and the clear blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Bathers will also see swathes of pine trees and skies populated with puffy clouds. In the winter, the forest and mountains are often covered with a coating of snow. 


These are views deemed perfect for those looking to take a break and decompress. A soaker wrote on Tripadvisor, "Spent an afternoon in the hot springs, absolutely fantastic way to relax." The pools are thousands of feet above sea level, and the water in them is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, fed by springs in the area. The pools are all named for nearby lakes — Tekapo, Pukaki, and Ohau — and are fitted with seating so visitors can really unwind in them. Local plants and birds are all around, adding a sense of place to the experience.

Termas del Ventisquero, Chile

For lovers of dramatic scenery, these springs in the southern half of Chile promise the exact thing. They are located in Patagonia, a region that is home to once-in-a-lifetime vacation destinations you don't want to miss out on, like Torres del Paine National Park. This particular place is set within Queulat National Park and looks over the Canal de Puyuhuapi fjord, where the topography is green and the coastline is indented. A recent guest wrote on Tripadvisor, "Three enclosed pools have varying degrees of hot water. The view of the fiord was perfect backdrop while soaking in the hot springs." 


There is a beatific simplicity about a visit here, with pools set among wooden decks, opening onto still waters and soaring ridges. Getting to the pools is equally pleasing — paths and boardwalks wind through the forest and past plump bushes with blooms. Beyond the pools, visitors can also take the water on a kayak and explore the jagged coast, perhaps even spot a Patagonian dolphin.

Uunartoq, Greenland

There are hot springs around the vast nation of Greenland, but the truth is that the term "hot" is relative. In reality, there is only one hot spring in the country where the water is the right temperature for a comfortable soak, and that is on Uunartoq. The other springs around the country are far too hot to even be considered safe. An island that has no residents, Uunartoq sits in the southern part of Greenland. The heated pool is ringed by large sturdy stones and has water that is more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Three springs wind their way underground and feed the pool, which is beautifully clear water and is shallow enough that it is suitable for young children. On a cool day, the setting might feel almost mythical, with mountains rising and falling on the fjords that sit across the sea and icebergs casually drifting on the water. As the blog Out & Out puts it, "You get stunning 360 views and a bay full of icebergs."

Valley View Hot Springs, Colorado, USA

As the name suggests, visitors can see a valley and mountains from the heated pools located a three-hour drive from Colorado Springs. In a review titled "Literally Heaven on Earth," a commenter on Tripadvisor described the springs in glowing terms. "I can not recommend this place enough. If able, make the hike to the top pond, strip down and enjoy a nude soak in one of the Earth's most amazing places. You won't regret it." There are a variety of places to get wet there. 


The Soaking Pond has water that's in the 93 degrees Fahrenheit 98 degrees Fahrenheit range, while the Swimming Pool, also fed by springs, is a little cooler, great for a comfortable lounge year-round. The three connected ponds at the top of the complex — they are collectively known as The Top Ponds — have the most potent water temperatures. During a hot, dry summer, the water can nudge past 100 degrees Fahrenheit for months on end! Expect views of mountain ridges, flowering blooms, and healthy alpine bushes wherever you soak.

White Sulphur Spring, Alaska, USA

This destination is a little more rustic than the others listed above, but it's worthy of being on the list for its amazing scenery. Visitors can book an unfussy, simple cabin in the wilds of Alaska for the easiest access to the springs. Once they are in the heated water, they can watch waves rumbling over the rocks from this natural spring. It's a striking setting in the Tongass National Forest on the western part of Chichagof Island, a fine example of a stunning Alaska island for wilderness lovers


The forest is filled with spruce and hemlock trees, and the views take in the Pacific Ocean. You might also see brown bears wandering along the coastline. There is an outdoor heated natural spring pool and a heated indoor pool set in a cedar-wood bathhouse. The blog Hot Springs Discovery establishes that the springs are a great place for anyone yearning to get away. "Whether you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, White Sulphur Hot Springs Cabin is sure to provide an unforgettable experience."


Finding hot springs that meld a great place for a soak with views to make the heart melt isn't as straightforward as you might think. The choices are almost endless. We scoured travel blogs, including one that specializes in hot springs, for information on destinations worth considering. We also pored over reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp, ensuring that we only featured hot springs that scored favorably. Additionally, we ensured only to include hot springs that were open to the public, not those that were part of a private resort and so limited to its guests. Finally, it was important to provide a good geographical spread, another way to ignite the wanderlust in soakers old and new.