5 hot springs and spas you have to visit in Portugal

Relax in some of the most beautiful "termas" in Portugal
Relax in some of the most beautiful "termas" in Portugal
2 November 2020, Marilia Poiares

More than ever, we all need to relax and escape our day-to-day routine and the concerns that flood our daily lives in 2020. We have the perfect solution: a visit to one of Portugal's best hot springs or spas. For a really long time, hot springs, or “termas”, were viewed as a destination for senior citizens and as a place where they would go to treat certain diseases or pains, benefitting from the healing properties of these mineral waters. However, nowadays, hot springs have been revamped and are now seen as real spas, offering a complete wellness experience for all ages.

Preparing an escape to spend a relaxing weekend at a spa sounds better than ever and we want to help you choose your perfect destination. Go into "Zen mode" and enjoy one of these 5 amazing "termas" to relax in Portugal this autumn.

Don't forget that due to the current health crisis, in these establishments only "low risk users" are admitted. This means that if you have been in contact with someone affected by COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms, then you will not be able to access the spa facilities. If you are free of risk, you can attend these facilities as long as you obey the safety and disinfection measures, such as maintaining the correct safety distance and wearing a mask. Note that masks can be removed during some treatments but you should only do so if the establishment expressly indicates that you may do so.

Termas de Vidago

One of the treatment rooms at the Vidago Spa / Flickr
One of the treatment rooms at the Vidago Spa / Flickr

The Vidago Palace Resort is a luxury five-star hotel with a Belle Époque style, that includes a fabulous thermal spa. Surrounded by incredible green forests and a minimalist atmosphere, a visit to these facilities is a relaxing and unforgettable experience. 

The Spa was design by the famous architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and has two swimming pools, saunas, Turkish baths, ice fountains, sensorial showers, a gym, and more than 20 rooms dedicated to beauty, wellness and therapeutic treatments.

The spa in this luxury resort is known for helping people with digestive disorders, allergies/asthma and migraines and have received many awards such as “Best Luxury Destination Spa” at the World of Luxury Spa Awards and has been considered one of the best hotel spas in the world by Condé Nast Johannsen’s Luxury Spas in 2015 and 2016. Note that you can also access the spa without being a guest at the hotel and stay in local accommodation such as the properties available for sort term rental on Rentalia.

Termas do Luso

The fantastic Grande Hotel do Luso / Flickr
The fantastic Grande Hotel do Luso / Flickr

In the heart of the Buçaco mountains you can find the Luso hot springs. This modern, refined and minimalistic spa is perfect for people who want to take care of themselves inside and out.

The spa is included in the Grande Hotel do Luso complex, combining the historic hotel with a more modern space that includes the hot spring spa and a rehabilitation medical centre, the Malo Clinic Spa Luso.

Here you will find everything you need to improve your health and well-being, specially in areas regarding metabolic disorders, urinary tract problems, muscle system or chronic respiratory diseases. You can also just relax and enjoy yourself with one of the many beauty treatments offered by the spa. Luso's natural environment is perfect for those who want to find a balance between body, mind and soul.

One again, all of the spa facilities at the Grande Hotel do Luso can also be accessed even if you're not staying in the hotel, with short-term rentals being a great option for those on a budget.

Termas do Gêres

The entrace to the "Termas dos Gêres" complex / Flickr
The entrace to the "Termas dos Gêres" complex / Flickr

The whole area of the Peneda-Gêres Natural Park in Northern Portugal is known for being an incredibly quiet and relaxing destination, so a visit to a hot spring spa right in the middle of it has to be one of the most amazing experiences you will have in your life. 

The Gêres Thermal Spa is used to prevent illnesses and to promote the use of mineral waters as a form of treatment, as they help with cellular regeneration and in cases of obesity, gout and diabetes. At the same time, the spa also offers more “traditional” spa treatments, with beauty treatments, massages, and options designed for couples.

Can you imagine yourself surrounded by sparkling lakes, impressive mountains, the best services and equipment? Treat yourself and seize the opportunity to enjoy a few days of rest in a country house in the Peneda-Gêres National Park.

Termas de Unhais da Serra

One of the spectacular pools you can find at the Spa complex / Flickr
One of the spectacular pools you can find at the Spa complex / Flickr

In the middle of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, you will find the Mountain Spa Aquadome, integrated in the H2otel Congress & Medical Spa in Unhais da Serra. This is a health and wellness destination, with many therapeutic and beauty treatments centred on physical and spiritual rehabilitation.

This spa is sure to provide an incredible experience and is the first Portuguese mountain spa, as well as one of the biggest in Europe. The facility is divided into AquaTermas, which focus on respiratory diseases; AquaFisio with an impressive osteopathic and physiotherapy centre; AquaCorpus, that combines oriental and western advanced cosmetic techniques; and AquaLudic, with themed pools.

Termas das Caldas de Monchique

The Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort viewed from above / Flickr
The Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort viewed from above / Flickr

The South of Portugal also has its own spa destination: the Villa Termal das Caldas de Monchique Spa Resort is a wellness destination located in the Algarve and according the restort itself, it is "the only Thermal Spa in the Algarve and the South of Portugal!.

The waters of these hot springs are rich in bicarbonates, sodium and fluorine that help in the treatment of muscular pain and diseases, as well as respiratory illnesses. Visit this beautiful spa to improve your well-being, to relax or to treat yourself to some cosmetic treatments.

If you want to extend your stay and enjoy a few more days in the Spa, then you can stay in the hotel which is the same complex or, if you prefer to take advantage of a few more days to explore the area, you can opt for a stay in a holiday house full of charm.

All of these establishments follow the security and disinfection rules established by law in order to face the COVID-19 pandemic, so you can enjoy a few well deserved days of maximum relaxation: don't forget your swimsuit and of course your mask!

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