Israel is well-known for being the holy land. However, one of its most notable attractions is its natural hot springs. In case you’re unfamiliar, a hot spring occurs when groundwater heated by the Earth’s crust emerges from the ground. Such geothermal hot springs can be found in many places worldwide.
While certain springs have safe bathing temperatures, others are extremely hot and can cause harm or even death if immersed in them. Fortunately, the hot springs mentioned here are not dangerous! But if you have a medical condition, it’s important to ensure that you’re permitted to visit before planning your trip. Below is a selection of the finest locations in Israel where you can enjoy these naturally warm and therapeutic springs.
1. Hamei Tveria – Tiberias Hot Springs
Next to Lake House Kinneret Hotel on the Sea of Galilee, you will find Tiberias Hot Springs: a country club that combines modern amenities with a location known for its healing properties in the Talmud. The water in this area contains high levels of sulphuric and hydrochloric acids, as well as calcium salts. Interestingly, Tiberias Hot Springs has long been believed to provide relief for conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, and various skin and gynaecological disorders. This is among the main reasons why Tiberias is number one on my Hot Springs Israel list!
Guests staying at the Lake House Kinneret Hotel can enjoy complimentary access to a freshwater swimming pool and thermal-mineral baths. Additionally, the Thai Spa at Lake House offers a range of health and beauty treatments. While you’re in the area, be sure not to miss the historic source of the mineral water used at the Country Club.
At Hamat Tiberias National Park, you can observe scalding mineral water flowing through shallow channels into an outdoor pool. The park also features ancient medicinal baths and the magnificent Severus synagogue, which dates back to the time when the Sanhedrin had their headquarters in Tiberias. The floor of this synagogue, the oldest mosaic of its kind in the country, showcases intricate depictions of menorahs and a zodiac calendar.
For more information and to make reservations, please call +972-4-672-8500.
2. Hamat Gader
Located on the grounds of the ancient Greek city Gadara, Hamat Gader is now home to Israel’s biggest and oldest spa complex. During ancient times, the well-known Roman 10th Legion constructed its second-largest bathhouse in the entire empire. Today, remnants from the second century can be found within a vast 40-acre park.
The mineral water at Hamat Gader, which maintains a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius, is said to enhance cell regeneration and provide relief for issues such as digestion problems, urinary conditions, and joint ailments, among others. In the heart of Hamat Gader, outdoor pools are filled with mineral water and feature waterfalls and special chairs with massaging jets, known as ‘Jacuzzi chairs’.
Additionally, the Splash Park on the premises includes a thrilling 10-metre water slide that plunges visitors into an exhilarating pool of fresh water. Water cannons and a grand waterfall also offer water massages. Furthermore, the boutique hotel at this destination offers suites with jacuzzi tubs for private relaxation in mineral water. Guests can also enjoy a variety of spa treatments, access to a gym, and multiple dining options. For that reason, this is another great contender in my Hot Springs Israel selection! Visit Hamat Gader’s website today for more information about prices and bookings.
3. Dolphin Reef Relaxation Pools
As the name suggests, Dolphin Reef in Eilat is a place where you can encounter a group of beautiful bottlenose dolphins. Visitors have the opportunity to book snorkelling or diving sessions with these intelligent marine creatures or simply observe them from a private beach. At Dolphin Reef, there is also a wooden terrace where you can relax in the serene ‘Stalbet’ pools by appointment.
Once you enter the large, multi-level sukkah, you will be greeted with a delightful experience for your senses. Small white lights twinkle above comfortable cushions and couches, creating a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. From here, you can enjoy the view of the Red Sea and find a cosy escape. On the lower level of the spa, you will find three pools dedicated to relaxation. These pools are heated just right, making them even more inviting when the weather is cooler.
Dolphin Reef offers different options for unwinding: you can choose to relax in the shallow freshwater, exfoliate your skin with salt in the zero-gravity pool, or experience complete flotation in the high-intensity salt pool, akin to how dolphins swim in seawater. These pools create a womb-like environment, complete with underwater music and flotation “noodles.”
Access to the pools is limited to individuals aged 18 and above. Admission includes entry to the Stalbet Bar and Restaurant before or after your pool session. During winter, towel or robe service is included. To add a touch of romance or pampering, it’s best to book a nighttime slot in advance. Workshops and courses in dolphin-assisted therapy are also offered. Certainly, Dolphin Reef is another great inclusion in my Hot Springs Israel selection! For more information about prices and bookings, please call 972-8-630-0111.
4. Ga’ash Baths and Spa (Merhazaot Ga’ash)
In the 1980s, people searching for oil in Ga’ash were surprised to discover mineral springs instead. This day spa, managed by the kibbutz, is named after the biblical mountain next to Joshua’s grave and is located approximately 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv.
The spa offers a few thermo-mineral pools that are supplied by five hot springs. These pools have different temperatures and layouts, each with unique features. Some have gentle jets for relaxation, while others provide an invigorating bubbling experience. Moreover, these pools overlook beautiful lawns and offer a serene atmosphere. There is also an outdoor lap pool with a refreshing waterfall massage, as well as a separate pool for children.
When you visit this spacious complex, your admission includes access to high-pressure sulfur showers, wet and dry saunas, and various indoor and outdoor areas where you can relax or enjoy refreshments. The spa menu offers a range of optional treatments, including massages, shiatsu, reflexology and hot stone therapy. You can also rent lockers, robes, and towels. If you prefer, you can choose ticketing options that combine admission with a massage and a kosher meat meal accompanied by a variety of salads. It is no wonder that this spa is on my Hot Springs Israel selection! Visit Ga’ash Baths and Spa’s website for more information about prices and bookings.
5. Ein Gedi Hotel
The Dead Sea, known for its extreme characteristics, holds the title of being the lowest point on Earth. Moreover, it boasts the highest oxygen levels, reaching 23 per cent. With a salinity level of about 30% (which is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean) and bromine evaporating from its waters, the Dead Sea has long been a popular destination for deep relaxation.
Situated near the Dead Sea’s shores on the premises of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, the once simple guesthouses have transformed into a hotel that offers peaceful accommodations for rest. The Synergy Spa at the hotel provides various amenities, including a freshwater pool, a heated Dead Sea pool, a spacious hammam (Turkish sauna), and 12 treatment rooms. Guests can also enjoy complimentary drinks, refreshments, and a dedicated relaxation area.
Additionally, the hotel grounds feature live musical performances on an open veranda that overlooks a lush garden. Visitors can also participate in guided tours of the kibbutz’s botanical garden and engage in various activities. Yonit Shamir conducts creative workshops, and guests can inquire about upcoming workshops at the reception. Clearly, this is another top entry in my Hot Springs Insrael selection!
Rejuvenate in Israel at one of these Hot Springs
As you can see, Israel offers a remarkable selection of hot springs that provide both rejuvenation and therapeutic benefits. From the healing properties of Tiberias Hot Springs to the ancient Roman bathhouse at Hamat Gader, these destinations offer a range of amenities, including mineral pools, spa treatments, and beautiful surroundings. Dolphin Reef in Eilat allows you to unwind in serene relaxation pools while observing bottlenose dolphins, while Ga’ash Baths and Spa near Tel Aviv offers a tranquil escape with its thermo-mineral pools. Finally, the Ein Gedi Hotel provides a peaceful retreat near the Dead Sea, complete with a freshwater pool and a dedicated spa.
So what are you waiting for? Embark on a journey of rejuvenation and explore the wonders of Israel’s hot springs today!