The Most Affordable Hot Springs: Europe
There are few better ways to relax than taking a dip in one of our indulgent hot tubs, but our spas are not the only way to rest and rejuvenate. Wellness retreats are on the rise at the moment, growing more than twice as fast as general tourism. In fact, in 2017 alone, 830 million wellness trips were made, with Europe remaining the destination of choice due to an affordable range of flights and accommodation options.
But not all the thermal spas in Europe offer quite the same level of value. With that in mind, we’ve ranked the most affordable spa regions based on the price of treatments, meals and accommodation, so you can book your wellness retreat for less.
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
The most affordable location on our list is the spa town of Karlovy Vary. Situated in the heart of a forested valley, with its unique architecture and columned walkways, it’s perhaps not surprising that this small town has been used as a location in numerous blockbuster films including James Bond.
But the real stars here are the 12 natural hot springs, the strongest of which, called Fizzy, reaches a temperature of 72oC. These hot springs form the basis of a diverse range of treatments that represent extremely good value, with an average cost for a massage of less than £40. A night in a three-star hotel and an inexpensive meal come in at an average of just £36.38 and £3.83 respectively, making this a very affordable spa break.
Budapest in Hungary is home to one of the most famous thermal spas in Europe and boasts more thermal and medicinal baths than any other capital city in Europe. One of the capita’s top attractions is the neo-baroque Szechenyi Baths complex in Budapest’s City Park.
Despite being one of the most extremely well-known spa cities, many of the treatments available are very reasonably priced, coming in at around £50 for an hour massage. However, the real value can be found in the accommodation and food, with a three-star hotel and meal costing an average of just £39.41 and £4.87.
If you’re looking for ancient Arabic opulence combined with one of the best hot springs in Europe, then Granada should be at the top of your list. The richly decorated Hammam Al Ándalus spa offers a truly opulent thermal bathing experience. The city will also be home to Spain’s first beer spa when the Beer Spa Granada opens later this year. It will offer guests the chance to plunge into beer baths and enjoy facials, massages and other treatments that all use beer as their major ingredient.
The Mimma Massage in the Hammam Al Ándalus is one of the city’s most popular treatments and costs around £90.00. However, treatments in other spas are more affordable and come in at an average price of £63.49. The availability of low-cost meals and accommodation also make Granada a popular choice.
Lisbon is one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations in its own right, but it is now also benefiting from a rise in wellness tourism. This is thanks to a number of spas that offer everything from domestic treatments and massages to scrubs infused with horse chestnut, coffee and pink clay. The city is also home to the Float In Spa, which has one of the most advanced floating systems in the world for serenity relaxation.
Price for spa treatments in the city are relatively high, as they usually range between £50-£80. On average, an hour-long massage costs £61.72, but the affordability of meals and accommodation helps Lisbon secure the fourth spot on our list.
Tenerife has a reputation as a party destination, but there’s much more to this stunning Spanish island than that. With breathtaking scenery, rich culture and unique architecture, there’s plenty to soothe the body and mind, including a number of natural hot springs created by lava flows from the sea..
The Nammu Spa is one of the most popular on the island and uses produce from the spa’s tropical gardens to create its unique fruit-infused treatments. However, there are also many more treatments and massages available on the island at an average of just over £55 an hour. Accommodation and meals also represent good value, particularly away from the peak summer months.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Caldea Spa Resort in Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra, is the largest spa in Europe. Finished in 1994, the spectacular 80-metre high spa is the tallest building on the whole of the island and has a capacity of 2,646 people. Although it might sound more like a shopping centre than a spa, Caldea’s offering is far more relaxing. The spa uses mineral-rich natural waters that gush from the earth at 70oC in its waterfalls, Jacuzzis and hydromassage jets to offer instant relaxation and wellness.
However, treatment prices at Caldea are quite expensive, with massages costing an average of just over £73.03 for an hour. Fortunately, meals and accommodation on the island are considerably less.
There’s much more to the island of Mallorca than it’s many family-friendly holiday resorts. Palma, in particular, is one of the best spa cities in Europe, offering a treasure trove of retreats and a wide range of treatments. Whether it’s a quick dip in a bubbling bath or a full day of pampering, there’s sure to be something for you.
Treatments are available for between £55-£70 while accommodation and meals in Palma cost an average of £63.25 and £9.40 respectively.
Prague, Czech Republic
The stunning city of Prague is renowned for being keenly priced, but travellers searching for affordable spa retreats might get a surprise when they see the price of a massage. While they may be costly, Prague does boast some of the more innovative treatments. A beer spa is particularly popular, with guests invited to submerge their bodies in the vitamin B and antioxidant-rich nectar. In the Carlo IV Wellness & Spa, guests can also enjoy oxygen (hyperbaric) therapy and inhale oxygen-rich air.
A 60-minute massage in many of the spas in the city can cost over £100. However, very affordable meals and accommodation can help to keep the costs down.
The region of Puglia in Southern Italy is undergoing something of a popularity explosion as people wake up to the charms of its picture-postcard coastline, trulli houses and Greek and Roman temples. It’s also becoming one of the leading hot springs in Europe, with everything from Roman spas, that are still in use today, to contemporary spas that feature traditional Puglian architecture and even an imitation citadel.
Although the treatments are not particularly cheap, with an average price of £78.96 for a massage, Puglia’s position as an up-and-coming tourist destination means accommodation and food are still affordable. But get there quick before the prices rise.
15 thermal springs make the rural town of Wiesbaden, on the Rhine River, one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Europe and contribute to Germany’s position as the world’s second most popular wellness destination. The town is extremely picturesque, with hilly streets, squares, boulevards and magnificent 18th and 19th-century homes.
The spas come in all shapes and sizes, with everything from restorative pools and Russian steam baths, as well as a relaxing range of massages and treatments. A typical treatment costs around £50, while a three-star hotel and inexpensive meal come in at an average of £83.17 and £9.83 respectively.
We return to Italy for our eleventh most affordable hot spring destination in Europe, but this time we’re in the famous wine region of Tuscany. Amid the idyllic Tuscan landscape, you’ll find Terme di Saturnia, which is one of Italy’s leading spa resorts. Its thermal baths are filled by bubbling waters that seep through the earth’s crust and are maintained at a hot tub worthy 37.5oC. As well as relaxing in the spa’s baths and pools, it also offers rejuvenating thermal mud treatments as well as Mediterranean and anti-stress massages.
As you might expect from such an established touristic region, prices are not particularly cheap. Massages cost an average of £77.16, while accommodation and a meal will set you back an average of £64.89 and £13.68 respectively.
While some cities might claim to have been home to spas for hundreds of years, few can compete with the English city of Bath. Evidence suggests there has been human activity around Bath’s hot springs from 8,000 BC, making it easily the oldest thermal spa in Europe. Thermae Bath Spa is the city’s natural thermal spa. It offers a range of organic treatments using ingredients such as rose and geranium.
The thermal spas in Bath might be old but they’re certainly not cheap. Treatments will cost you upwards of £100 an hour, while accommodation and a meal are an average of £72.25 and £12.50 respectively.
Enjoy your very own spa at home
These might be some of the most affordable spa cities in Europe, but it’s still only a treat you can experience every so often. At HotSpring World, our leading range spas feature hydrotherapy and massage jets you can enjoy every day of the week. Take a look at our customer reviews or get in touch to find out more.