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hot springs

The World’s Best Hot Spring Bathing Destinations

Marissa Ellis

Marissa Ellis

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A woman drinking sake and relaxing in hot springs.

With spas and self-care spaces already a popular leisure activity, nature’s mineral and thermal springs spa is a phenomenon among travelers and relaxers alike. Not only can the warm waters soothe your well-being, but they also make stunning photos!

Many believe these hot springs can reduce stress, improve hypertension and provide relief for the skin. Regardless of the health benefits, they are incredible destinations to visit and allow you to bathe in style without wasting a drop of water. 

We’ve used publicly available data from several sources to reveal which locations worldwide are the best for visiting hot springs. Analyzed categories include average user review score, the convenience of their location for long-distance travelers, and their Instagram hashtags’ popularity.

The World’s Best Hot Spring Destinations

The findings show that the Kheer Ganga Springs in India are the most attractive hot spring destination with a total score of 8.77 out of 10. Located in the Parvati Valley, these stunning springs are the most Instagrammable in the world and are reviewed highly by visitors. 

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is second in the list, scoring 7.69. The iconic blue color of its water is caused by the silica in the lagoon reflecting sunlight. Iceland boasts two hot springs destinations in the top ten, as does Chile and Hungary.

Meanwhile Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Malaysia, takes third place (6.58), being the highest-reviewed destination and conveniently located near a major airport.

The World’s Best Reviewed Hot Springs

As mentioned, Banjaran Hotsprings in Ipoh, Malaysia boasts the highest reviews with an average score of 4.9/5. The resort has 44 garden, water and lake villas for visitors wanting to stay near the springs. 

Second is Castle Hot Springs, USA with an average user review of 4.85. Two other destinations in the States are highly reviewed – Dunton Hot Springs (4.80) and Grand Prismatic Spring (4.70). Rounding up the top 5 is Deception Island, Antarctica (4.75) in fourth, named for its deceptive appearance as a ring around a flooded caldera that looks like an island.

The World’s Most Instagrammable Hot Springs

With 216,000 hashtags, Kheer Ganga is vastly popular online, with many visitors relaxing at the springs after trekking in the valley. Blue Lagoon is the second most instagrammable (124,000), followed by Grand Prismatic Spring (80,200), Széchenyi Baths, Hungary (65,700) and Terme di Saturnia, Italy (50,500). 

The World’s Most Conveniently Located Hot Springs

Myvátn Nature Baths in Iceland are the most conveniently located, only 4km from a major airport. This destination is a smaller, more convenient Blue Lagoon with similar blue waters. Rogner Bad Blumau, Austria is 7km from an airport at second in the list. Dogo Onsen, Japan (8km), Palia Kameni, Greece and Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Malaysia (both 9km) complete the top five.

Methodology

Several data sources were used in this study, including publicly viewable review scores from Google and TripAdvisor. Hashtag numbers were taken from Instagram, while Google data was again used to find each destination’s distance from their nearest major airport.

Once we had the data for each factor, we standardized their individual results using the following min-max normalization formula:

Result = (x-min(x))/(max(x)-min(x))

This provided every location with a score between 0 and 10 for each data point. These numbers were then collated to give us the final ranking scores.

If you’d like to view the full data spreadsheet, you can find it here.

Have you visited any hot springs that were particularly relaxing or beautiful? Let us know in the comments below!

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