Water therapies for relaxation and wellbeing
Using water for therapeutic purposes has been practised since antiquity. Heated thermal springs have been widely renowned throughout history for their apparent medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Several such springs can be found in Cantabria, with spas often built around them.
Cantabria's state-of-the-art spas practice therapies using the mineral rich waters of the region;s hot springs. Information on 6 of Cantabria's best 4 star thermal spring spas are outlined below. Other spas, such as the 5 star Hotel Real in Santander practice thalassotherapy, the medicinal use of seawater, and sea products such as seaweed and sea mud, which is said to offer a range of benefits for the skin and general wellbeing.
Located in some astoundingly beautiful surroundings of river valleys and gorges, many of the thermal spring spas are close to the prehistoric caves filled with cave art for which Cantabria is known. The Hotel Real overlooks the stunning Bay of Santander and its magnificent El Sardinero beaches. Whether you prefer the fresh air of the countryside or the sea air of the coast, there is a spa in Cantabria that will be just what you need for a calming experience or refreshing a pick-me-up.
So, why not take time out during your holiday for some rejuvenating and relaxing treatments at one of Cantabria's excellent world-class spas?
Where to stay and how to get there?
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Located in a beautiful 19th century building in the Toranzo Valley, on the banks of the River Pas, is the Balneario Alceda. Surrounded by spectacular scenery in an area renowned for its prehistoric caves, the spa has access to the most plentiful springs of sulphurous water in Spain. The waters are recommended for dermatological, respiratory and relaxation treatments, as well as cosmetic, rheumatological and allergy treatments given under medical supervision. Treatments on offer include thermal and hydrotherapy baths, a natural shower, atomisation, nasal inhalations, a jacuzzi, and a sauna. Some treatments use paraffin and sea mud. Relaxing and therapeutic massages and lymphatic drainage are also available. A stroll around the spa's vast park completes a wonderfully relaxing experience.
Near the town of Reinosa, and close to the province of Burgos, the Gran Hotel Balneario de Corconte is great for those looking for some active tourism during their spa break, such as horseriding, trekking, boat trips and skiing. Housed inside a Renaissance-style highland mansion, the spa waters are chlorinated-sodium-sulphated and recommended for a variety of complaints including rheumatism, arthiritis, muscle spasms, skin problems, and nervous conditions such as stress and anxiety. The spa offers many cosmetic treatments for face and body, as well as toning and slimming treatments. Drinking the waters here is said to be beneficial to those with kidney problems, urinary tract infections and digestive disorders.
In the heart of La Hermida gorge, at Peñarrubia, is the Hotel Spa de la Hermida. Reopened in 2006, in a building dating from the 1800s, the spa has a surface area of 2,000sqm which is divided into 3 areas. The wet area has 11 hydrotherapy baths, an aerobath, chromotherapy and seaweed and sea mud wraps. In the thermal spa area you'll find a fitness and leisure circuit , a thermodynamic pool, a jacuzzi, 5 shower set, cold bath, Roman bath, dry sauna, Hermida bath and a natural thermal grotto amongst other treatments. The dry area has medical surgeries, physiotherapy, a gym, massage rooms, and offers colonic hydrotherapy.
Housed inside an historic building just 15 minutes from Santander, the Gran Hotel Balneario de Liérganes was built at the turn of the century and its clientele has included royalty. Surrounded by a park of 100 year old trees, the spa has 2 springs whose waters have proven thermal benefits. The waters are used in treatments for rheumatism, skin and respiratory problems, and stress. There are also therapies for allergies, asthma, psoriasis, acne and anti-stress and anti-smoking treatments. The spa offers around 30 thermal techniques including various thermal baths; a circular Scottish shower; and sea mud, seaweed and paraffin mud body wraps. A variety of massages are also available such as refloxology, lymphatic drainage, anti-cellulite, foaming and underwater massages.
Puente Viesgo Spa
In the Pas river basin, near Santander, this spa lies at the heart of an area famous for prehistoric caves. The beautiful landscape and prehistoric heritage create a splendidly relaxing environment. The waters here are classified as chlorinated, sodiumated, bicarbonated and calcic and are recommended for treating ailments of the circulatory, respiratory and locomotive systems. The spa treats many cardiovascular complaints including high blood pressure and heart conditions as well as neurotic problems such as hyperemotivity and insomnia. A multitude of thermal treatments are available including bubble, seaweed, Dead Sea salt and hydrotherapy baths, pressure jets, a thermal sauna and atomisation. The Temple of Water is a modern installation built over 2,000m with a circuit of pools, waterfalls, jacuzzis, upstream rivers and a floating pool - all designed to promote relaxation and wellbeing.
Refurbished and reopened in 2006 as a modern thermal complex, the Solares spa has some wonderful Romanesque influenced architecture, like the original Romanesque building in which some of the old areas have been reconstructed. The waters at Solares are bicarbonated, chlorinated, calcic and sodiumated and are recommended for digestive, metabolic, diuretic and nervous system treatments. Thermal bath techniques, hydrotherapy, mud and other beauty treatments, pressotherapy, and massages are all available here. There is a large thermal pool, almost 900sqm, for rehabilitation and fitness training and an area designed like a Roman bathhouse, called the Aquarium, which offers a series of different rooms. There is also a children's spa.
Hotel Real Spa
Located at El Sardinero in Santander, the Hotel Real spa is a 5 star establishment with unbeatable views of the bay and the El Sardinero beaches. Offering innovative seaweed treatments, the Hotel Real is a leading thalassotherapy centre. Treatments use seaweed and sea mud whilst other services include pressure showers, jet showers, Vichy showers and tri-functional baths. There is also a sauna, a Turkish bath, an aromatherapy room, a seawater swimming pool, treatment and massage cabins, and a gym. Beauty treatments are available whilst there are also specific treatments such as anti-stress, relaxation, fitness, slimming, tired legs, back and postnatal treatments.