With more than 70 hot springs, Granada is the perfect place to escape from the hectic city life.
In this article, you’ll get the best tips on which places to put at the top of your to-do list.
The healing and soothing properties of natural thermal baths were recognised and used as early as the Arab, Roman and even Neolithic eras.
The hot springs and their therapeutic effect are still today reason enough for many holidaymakers to have Granada on their screen on their travel plans.
The beneficial effect of the hot springs
The warm temperatures of the water and mud, coupled with the high concentration of minerals such as hydrocarbonates, chlorides, chlorines, sulphur and nitrogen, have a beneficial effect not only physically but also emotionally.
Bathing in these springs leads to vasodilatation, which stimulates blood flow and therefore allows more oxygen to pass through the body. This leads to an increased emission of pollutants and toxins and has a particularly positive effect against gout and arthritis.
The combination of warmth, moisture and minerals is also a particularly beneficial remedy for neurodermatitis.
A bath in these miracle waters also helps with digestive problems and improves the general well-being of the body.
The relaxing effect of these sources provides an increased output of endorphins, which has a beneficial effect on our emotional well-being as well as our immune system. – A win-win situation for body and mind.
The best time of year to enjoy these beneficial springs is in spring and autumn, although the contrast between the cold temperatures in winter and the warm waters of the springs offers a spectacular spectacle, with a thick layer of haze covering the springs.
Termas de Santa Fe
Surrounded by the olive tree fields of the Dehesa de Santa Fe, about 20 km before Granada there is the Therme de Santa Fe (also known as Aguas Calientes). These waters, warm up to 40°C, are very rich in calcium, magnesium and sulphur. People with eczema, acne and inflammation of the musculature will appreciate the effect of these sources.
In the middle of the Thermas de Santa Fe there is a 15 meter wide mud basin, which in turn flows into several pools. This leads to a spectacle of waterfalls and clouds of mist that spread over the pools of these springs.
Poza Termal de Zújar
This natural pool becomes visible when the level of the Negratin reservoir drops. This creates an impressive, 30 metre long, turquoise and sulphur-rich pool whose water comes from Mount Jabalcón.
Even the Roman scholar Pliny praised the healing effect of these waters.
The natural spa of Zújar is located about 100 km from Granada and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 (except November, December and January). Admission is free of charge. A restaurant and a swimming pool are nearby for refreshment and to satisfy your hunger (€2.00 entrance fee).
Baños de Urquízar (Dúrcal)
The Baños de Urquízar are located in the valley of Lecrín, 3 km from the town of Dúrcal. They are divided into Baño Grande (or Bacamía) and Baño Chico. Since the 15th century, at a time when the Arabs made their linen and esparto fabrics in the basins of these springs, this landscape has remained untouched to this day.
The Urquízar springs can already be seen from the main road. Follow the signs for “Aguas medicinales” (Medical Water) at San Blas, at the end of the Durcal settlement. A fortified road leads you through charming villages, spectacular views and along stony mountain slopes, from the cracks of which you can already see the springs bubbling – this road leads you directly to the bathing places.
You will see the 20m² pool of the Baño Grande first, then the smaller pool of the Baño Chico (both can be reached by car). The water temperature is a pleasant 24°C and guarantees a relaxing experience.
Fuencaliente de Huéscar
The carbonated water from this spring, which springs from the Sierra de Montilla and La Encantada mountains at 180 litres per second, maintains a constant temperature of 19°C. The water is heated to a high temperature of 19°C. The water is heated to a high temperature. The pools are located in a reservoir 3 km from Huéscar, which over time has become a popular recreation area.
The Fuencaliente de Huéscar offers not only a relaxing pool area, but also large grass sunbathing areas. The infrastructure of sanitary facilities and even tennis courts, where you and your family can swing the racket, are also part of the repertoire. Please note that during the summer months there can be an enormous stream of visitors, partly due to the free entrance.
Fuencaliente de Orce
Located 2 km from the town of Orce, this spa is free of charge all year round. The 21°C warm, pleasant water contains a high concentration of alkaline minerals. Especially noteworthy is the complex ecosystem that characterises this natural spa – here you can even experience various fish species such as mullet live.
In the immediate vicinity there is a recreation area with extensive grasslands and pastures. Private parking lots, barbecue areas, snack stands and a sports area consisting of a mini basketball court and tennis courts are also part of the sporting balance.
Alhama de Granada
Between Malaga and Granada is this city known since prehistory. Its wealth of cultural treasures makes it one of the most popular addresses in Spain. This city has always been so closely associated with hot springs throughout its history that its name translates to “Al Hammam” – “The [Arabic] Bath” or “The Natural Hot Spring”.
The water flows here with a temperature of 42°C into the three natural hot springs of the Spa of Alhama de Granada, into the Baño Viejo (the most important of the city) as well as into the Baño Viejo Nuevo and the natural spring of Huerta Rodero. These three natural springs are also used to fill the spa’s three pools, which can be enjoyed free of charge all year round. Please note that the water temperature decreases as the distance to the spring increases.
The Baño Viejo is located inside an Arabic hammam built during the Nasrid dynasty. The Baño Nuevo is inside the Baño de la Reina (Queen’s Bath), named after Queen Isabella I of Castile.
This impressive hammam is located inside the urban spa (Balneario de Alhama). An earthquake in 1884 caused the hot water of the spring to bubble from the inside of the rock to the surface – and this to this day.
Only half an hour’s drive away, along the flora of the Sierras de Tejada, Almijara and Alhama Nature Parks, are the two impressive Neolithic settlements of Cueva del Agua and Cueva de la Mujer. Click here for more information about this spa.