Pamukkale, Turkiye. Courtesy // Arnaud Civray

Things heat up in international waters

By Claudia Laroye

Cold outside? All the mor reason to luxuriate in a soothing reservoir of warm mineral-laced waters! Take the plunge into these five remarkable hot springs in Canada and around the world.

Banff Upper Hot Springs, Alberta

Canada’s most historic hot springs offer mineral-rich geothermal waters along with splendid views of Bow Valley and Mount Rundle. The bathhouse is a federal heritage building with interpretive signage highlighting the history of the springs. AMA members save 15 percent on admission.

Liard River Hot Springs, B.C.

The second-largest natural hot springs in Canada is just off the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia. This hot pool, which ranges in temperature from 42 °C to 52 °C, is surrounded by a frosty white boreal forest. A boardwalk leads to the pool, passing through a warm water swamp that supports diverse plants and local wildlife.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The bright milky blue of Iceland’s renowned Blue Lagoon contrasts with the stark black volcanic landscape in Grindavik, about 45 minutes from Reykjavik. Steam rises from the 37-40 °C blend of heated saltwater and freshwater—a mineral-rich by-product of the nearby geothermal power plant.

Pamukkale, Turkiye

Known for its brilliant white travertine marble pools brimming with striking blue thermal waters, Pamukkale (Turkish for “cotton castle”) is one of the country’s most popular destinations. The barefoot-only terraced pools are a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Cleopatra’s Pool, a.k.a. the Antique Pool, you’ll find Doric columns that tumbled into the water as a result of an earthquake in the 7th century. Allegedly, this is where Cleopatra liked to take a relaxing dip.

Aqua Dome Spa, Austria

Alpine wellness prevails at the Aqua Dome Spa, about an hour’s drive from Innsbruck. The site features 12 thermal baths and seven saunas with a full relaxation menu underneath a crystal-faceted glass dome. And, outdoors, spectacular views of the Otztal Alps. There’s also a kid-friendly area with a cascade waterfall and water slides.