The Best Hot springs in Portugal: A Guide to thermal retreats

The Best Hot Springs in Portugal

Discover the allure of hot springs in Portugal, a hidden gem for wellness enthusiasts. Placed across the country, these natural spas offer therapeutic waters. Rich in minerals, they are renowned for their health benefits.

Whether seeking relaxation or healing, visitors find comfort in these serene retreats.

Explore the scenic beauty and tranquil ambiance of Portugal’s thermal baths. Join us on a journey to uncover these healing waters.

The Origin of Hot springs in Portugal

The fascination with thermal baths in Portugal dates back over two millennia, marking a significant chapter in the country’s rich tapestry of history.

The Romans, renowned for their engineering prowess and love of luxury, were the pioneers in harnessing these natural wonders. By the 1st century BC, they had begun to establish sophisticated thermal bath complexes across Portugal.

These baths were not only centers of healing and relaxation but also of social gathering, reflecting the Romans’ advanced understanding of water’s therapeutic properties.

Portugal’s thermal baths flourished under Roman rule, with sites like Chaves and São Pedro do Sul gaining fame that reached far beyond the region’s borders. These locations still draw visitors today.

The Therapeutic Power of Thermal Waters

The hot springs in Portugal are not just notorious for their historical significance, but also for their remarkable properties.

The mineral-rich waters, naturally heated deep within the earth, emerge at the surface with temperatures that can significantly soothe and heal. These waters are rich in essential minerals such as sulfur, lithium, and magnesium, which are known for their healing effects on the body.

They are known for aiding in treating skin conditions, respiratory issues, and musculoskeletal pain, among other health concerns.

The warmth of the water helps to relax muscles and improve circulation, while the minerals play a crucial role in promoting healing and well-being.

Best Hot springs in Portugal: A Guide to thermal retreats

From the lush, green mountains of the North to the sun kissed Alentejo plains, these thermal retreats promise a rejuvenating experience.

This guide to the best hot springs in Portugal will lead you through ancient baths steeped in history, modern spas with luxurious amenities, and hidden gems known only to locals.

Whether you’re in search of therapeutic treatments, a peaceful day, or a cultural journey into Portugal’s rich spa tradition, these thermal retreats offer something for every visitor.

Join us as we explore the inviting warm waters and discover the perfect thermal retreat for your next getaway.

1 – São Pedro do Sul Thermal Baths

Hot Springs in São Pedro do Sul
Hot Springs in São Pedro do Sul

São Pedro do Sul Thermal Baths hold a special place in Portugal’s history, not only for being the most ancient hot springs in Portugal, but also for their royal patronage.

Located in the Viseu district, these baths were where King Afonso I, the first king of Portugal, sought healing after breaking his leg during the siege of Badajoz. The therapeutic waters, known since Roman times, offered him the much-needed relief and recovery.

Today, these baths blend ancient traditions with modern spa facilities. They remain a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. São Pedro do Sul is a must-visit for exploring Portugal’s cultural and natural heritage.

2 – Vidago Educational Spa

Hot Springs in Vidago
Hot Springs in Vidago

The Vidago Educational Spa, located in Vidago, combines therapeutic experiences with educational opportunities.

Famous for its naturally carbonated mineral waters, it attracts those seeking wellness. This spa is set in a historic environment, offering insights into the tradition of hot springs in Portugal.

Visitors can enjoy spa treatments and learn about the history and benefits of hydrotherapy. Ideal for relaxation and educational enrichment, the Vidago Spa is a testament to the healing traditions of Portuguese thermal baths.

3 – Caldas da Rainha Hot Springs

Hot Springs in Caldas da Rainha
Hot Springs in Caldas da Rainha

Nestled in the heart of Caldas da Rainha, these hot springs in Portugal boast a rich history dating back to the 15th century.

Legend has it that Queen Leonor discovered the therapeutic properties of these waters in 1485 when she witnessed a group of sick people bathing in them. Moved by their plight, she founded a hospital to offer treatments, laying the foundation for what would become a renowned thermal spa town.

Today, Caldas da Rainha Hot Springs continue to attract those seeking relief from rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. These thermal baths, rich in history and wellness, are a prime destination for exploring Portugal’s therapeutic landscapes.

4 – Chaves Thermal Baths

Hot Springs in Chaves
Hot Springs in Chaves

Chaves Thermal Baths boast a rich history and medicinal properties, located in northern Portugal.

These hot springs in Portugal have been used since Roman times, highlighted by the nearby ancient Roman bridge.

With waters emerging at 76°C, they are among Europe’s hottest, offering therapeutic benefits for musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain. The mineral-rich water is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

5 – Unhais da Serra Hot Springs

Thermal Springs in Unhais da Serra
Hot Springs in Unhais da Serra

The Unhais da Serra hot springs, nestled at the foot of the Serra da Estrela mountains in central Portugal, provide a serene retreat for wellness and relaxation.

The mineral-rich waters emerge naturally from the earth, offering healing benefits that have been sought after for centuries. Visitors can enjoy a variety of treatments, including hydrotherapy, massages, and inhalations, all designed to harness the natural healing power of the waters.

Set in a picturesque landscape, these hot springs in Portugal offer not just health benefits but also a tranquil environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.

6 – Gerês Thermal Baths

Hot Springs in Gerês
Hot Springs in Gerês

The Gerês thermal baths, situated in the calm Peneda-Gerês National Park in northern Portugal, stand as a testament to the enduring allure of natural thermal waters.

These hot springs in Portugal have been a destination for health and relaxation since Roman times, drawing visitors with their mineral-rich waters known for their therapeutic properties.

Visitors to Gerês can also explore the surrounding national park, which offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and exploring ancient Roman roads.


The hot springs in Portugal are not just natural attractions, they serve as gateways to rejuvenation, historical exploration, and the beauty of the Portuguese landscape.

These thermal waters, with a history that dates back to Roman times, now offer state-of-the-art facilities that marry therapeutic treatments with luxury.

Whether your goal is relaxation, health improvement, or experiencing Portugal’s rich cultural past, the hot springs in Portugal offer a distinct and unforgettable experience.

Planning your next getaway? Consider the healing, warm waters of Portugal’s hot springs!

And of course, if you need help with booking your perfect and Taylor-made tour of Portugal, contact us!

We’ll be happy to help you explore these therapeutic waters!