Spa town

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Woman relaxing in a spa in Hungary, 1939 Colorful, mirror Fortepan 716.jpg
Woman relaxing in a spa in Hungary, 1939
The statue of "The crutchbreaker" in the spa town Piestany (Slovakia) - a symbol of balneotherapy Bad Postyen.jpg
The statue of "The crutchbreaker" in the spa town Piešťany (Slovakia) – a symbol of balneotherapy
Print of Spa, Belgium, 1895 Flickr - ...trialsanderrors - Spa, Belgium, ca. 1895.jpg
Print of Spa, Belgium, 1895
Ikaalisten Kylpyla, a spa center in Ikaalinen, Pirkanmaa, Finland Ikaalisten kylpyla 2.jpg
Ikaalisten Kylpylä, a spa center in Ikaalinen, Pirkanmaa, Finland

A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word spa is derived from the name of Spa, a town in Belgium.


Thomas Guidott set up a medical practice in the English town of Bath in 1668. He became interested in the curative properties of the hot mineral waters there and in 1676 wrote A Discourse of Bathe, and the Hot Waters There. Also Some Enquiries Into the Nature of the ₩ater. This brought the purported health-giving properties of the waters to the attention of the aristocracy, who started to partake in them soon after. [1]

The term spa is used for towns or resorts offering hydrotherapy, which can include cold water or mineral water treatments and geothermal baths. [2]



Most of the mineral springs in Australia are in the Central Highlands of Victoria, although there are a few springs in South Australia, Moree, New South Wales and Queensland. Most are within 30 km of Daylesford, Victoria: the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs call themselves 'Spa Country' and the 'Spa Centre of Australia'. [3]


Bosnia and Herzegovina

See: List of spa towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Banja Vrućica, Teslić


See: List of spa towns in Brazil

Brazil has a growing number of spa towns. The traditional ones are: Águas de Lindoia, Serra Negra, Águas de São Pedro, Caxambu, Poços de Caldas, Caldas Novas, Araxá, and São Lourenço.


The Roman walls of Hisarya. Many spa towns in Bulgaria have existed since the Roman Empire. Diocletianopolys-Hisarya South Gate.JPG
The Roman walls of Hisarya. Many spa towns in Bulgaria have existed since the Roman Empire.

See: List of spa towns in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is known for its more than 500 mineral springs, including the hottest spring in the Balkans at Sapareva Banya - 103 °C. Other famous spa towns include Sandanski, Hisarya, Bankya, Devin, Kyustendil, Varshets, Velingrad.

In Bulgarian, the word for a spa is баня (transliterated banya).


See: List of spa towns in Canada

Harrison Hot Springs is one of the oldest among 18 in British Columbia; there are also two in Alberta and one in Ontario.


See: List of spa towns in Croatia

In Croatia, the word Toplice implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Croatia are Daruvar, Šibenik and Sisak.

Czech Republic

The spa town of Marianske Lazne Marienbad-Brunnen.jpg
The spa town of Mariánské Lázně

See: Spa towns in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Language, the word Lázně implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Czech Republic are Teplice and the West Bohemian Spa Triangle of Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně.


See: List of spa towns in France

In France, the words bains, thermes, and eaux in city names often imply a spa town. There are more than 50 spa towns in France, including Vichy, Aix-les-Bains, Bagnoles-de-l'Orne, Dax, and Enghien-les-Bains.


Borjomi is one such example in south Georgia.


Binz on Rugia Island, Germany Binz (2011-05-21) 05.JPG
Binz on Rugia Island, Germany

See: List of spa towns in Germany

In Germany, the word Bad implies a spa town. Among the many famous spa towns in Germany are Bad Aachen, Baden-Baden, Bad Brückenau, Bad Ems, Bad Homburg, Bad Honnef, Bad Kissingen, Bad Kreuznach, Bad Mergentheim, Bad Muskau, Bad Oeynhausen, Bad Pyrmont, Bad Reichenhall, Bad Saarow, Bad Schandau, Bad Schönborn, Bad Segeberg, Bad Soden, Bad Tölz, Bad Wildbad, Bad Wimpfen, Bad Wildstein, Berchtesgaden, Binz, Freudenstadt, Heiligendamm, Heringsdorf, Kampen, Königstein, Radebeul, Schwangau, St. Blasien, Titisee, Tegernsee, Travemünde and Zingst. Wiesbaden is the largest spa town in Germany.


See: List of spa towns in Greece

The most popular spa towns in Greece are Aidipsos, Agkistro, Serres, Loutraki, Kamena Vourla, Kimolos, Loutra Kyllinis, Sidirokastro, Serres, Lakkos Milos, Loutrochori, Aridaia, Pella (Pozar)


See: List of spa towns in Hungary

In Hungary, the word fürdő or the more archaic füred ("bath"), fürdőváros ("spa town") or fürdőhely ("bathing place") implies a spa town. Hungary is rich in thermal waters with health benefits, and many spa towns are popular tourist destinations. Budapest has several spas, including Turkish style spas dating back to the 16th century. Eger also has a Turkish spa. Other famous spas include the ones at Hévíz, Harkány, Bük, Hajdúszoboszló, Gyula, Bogács, Bükkszék, Zalakaros, the Cave Bath at Miskolctapolca and the Zsóry-fürdő at Mezőkövesd.



Salsomaggiore Terme, in Northern Italy. Terme berzieri.jpg
Salsomaggiore Terme, in Northern Italy.

See: List of spa towns in Italy

In Italy, spa towns, called città termale (from Latin thermae), are very numerous all over the country because of the intense geological activity of the territory. These places were known and used since the Roman age.




New Zealand


See: List of spa towns in Poland

Most spa towns in Poland are located in the Lesser Poland and Lower Silesian Voivodeships. Some of them have an affix "Zdrój" in their name (written with hyphen or separately), meaning "water spring", to denote their spa status, but this is not a general rule (e.g. Ciechocinek and Inowrocław are spa towns, but do not use the affix).


A waterfall in Caldas de Monchique, Algarve (south region of Portugal). Waterfall, Caldas De Monchique, Portugal.jpg
A waterfall in Caldas de Monchique, Algarve (south region of Portugal).

Portugal is well known by famous spa towns throughout of the country.

Due to its high quality, as well as the landscape where are located, the most important ones are:


See: List of spa towns in Romania

In Romania, the word Băile implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Romania are Băile Herculane, Băile Felix, Mangalia, Covasna, Călimănești & Borsec.


See: List of spa towns in Serbia

Serbia is known for its many spa cities. Some of the best known springs are the Vrnjačka Banja, Bukovička Banja, Vrujci, Sokobanja and Niška Banja. The hottest spring in Serbia is at Vranjska Banja (96°C) [4]

In Serbia, the word Banja implies a spa town.


Entrance to the spa in Turcianske Teplice (Slovakia). Turcinske Teplice, Blue Spa building.jpg
Entrance to the spa in Turčianske Teplice (Slovakia).

See: Spa towns in Slovakia

Slovakia is well known by its spa towns. The most famous is the city of Piešťany in Trnava Region. Other notable spa towns in Slovakia include:


Spa towns in Slovenia include Rogaška Slatina, Radenci, Čatež ob Savi, Dobrna, Dolenjske Toplice, Šmarješke Toplice and Moravske Toplice. They offer accommodation in hotels, apartments, bungalows, and camp sites. The Slovenian words terme or toplice imply a spa town.


Spa towns in Spain include:




Wulai Hot Spring Street in Wulai, New Taipei, Taiwan. Wu Lai Wen Quan Jie Wulai Hot Spring Street - panoramio.jpg
Wulai Hot Spring Street in Wulai, New Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwan is home to a number of towns and cities with tourism infrastructure centered on hot springs. These include:


United Kingdom

Some but not all UK spa towns contain "Spa", "Wells", or "Bath" in their names, e.g., Matlock Bath. Some towns are designated Spa Heritage Towns. Two out of three of the English towns granted the title "Royal", Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Tunbridge Wells, are spa towns.

United States


Terms used in various countries:

See also

Related Research Articles

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Évian-les-Bains Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

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Mariánské Lázně Town in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Mariánské Lázně is a spa town in Cheb District in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 13,000 inhabitants. The town, surrounded by green mountains, is a mosaic of parks and noble houses. Most of its buildings come from the town's Golden Era in the second half of the 19th century, when many celebrities and top European rulers came to enjoy the curative carbon dioxide springs.

Trenčianske Teplice Town in Slovakia

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A spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan. Day spas are also quite popular and offer various personal care treatments.

Poços de Caldas Place in Southeast, Brazil

Poços de Caldas is a municipality in the south of Minas Gerais state, Brazil, in the microregion of the same name. Its estimated population in 2020 was 168,641 inhabitants. The city has hot springs.

Băile Tușnad Town in Harghita, Romania

Băile Tușnad is a town in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania.

Aranđelovac Town and municipality in Šumadija and Western Serbia, Serbia

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Františkovy Lázně Town in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Františkovy Lázně is a spa town in Cheb District in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 5,500 inhabitants. Together with neighbouring Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně, it is part of the renowned West Bohemian Spa Triangle. The town centre is well preserved and historically significant and since 1992 is protected by law as urban monument reservation. It was nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage roster.

Banja Koviljača Town in Serbia

Banja Koviljača is a popular tourist spot and spa town located in the city of Loznica, Serbia. Situated on the west border of Serbia by the Drina River and 137 kilometres (85 mi) from Belgrade, it is the oldest spa town in Serbia. As of 2011 census, it has 5,151 inhabitants.

Tsqaltubo Town in Imereti, Georgia

Tskaltubo is a spa resort in west-central Georgia. It is located at around 42°20′23″N42°35′57″E. It is the main town of the Tsqaltubo Municipality of the Imereti province. It is known for its radon-carbonate mineral springs, whose natural temperature of 33–35 °C (91–95 °F) enables the water to be used without preliminary heating.

Mineral spa

Mineral spas are spa resorts developed around naturally occurring mineral springs. Like seaside resorts, they are mainly used recreationally although they also figured prominently in prescientific medicine.

Rimske Toplice Place in Styria, Slovenia

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Termas de Chillán is a town located 82 km east of the Chilean city of Chillán. It has a ski center and three hotels.

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Ovčar Banja Village in Moravica District, Serbia

Ovčar Banja is a village and a spa located in the city of Čačak, Serbia. Located near the Ovčar-Kablar Gorge in the valley of the West Morava, it is known as the "Serbian Mount Athos" because of the numerous monasteries situated in this area. As of 2011 census, it has a population of 122 inhabitants.

Schumer Springs, Missouri unincorporated community in Missouri, United States

Schumer Springs is an unincorporated community in southern Cinque Hommes Township in Perry County, Missouri, United States.


  1. Burns, D. Thorburn (1981). "Thomas Guidott (1638–1705): Physician and Chymist, contributor to the analysis of mineral waters". Analytical Proceedings. 18 (1): 2–6. doi:10.1039/AP9811800002.
  2. "Healing Waters; Investigative Files (Skeptical Briefs June 2005)". Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  3. Victorian Mineral Water Committee Tourism information
  4. "Reservoir Capital Corp.: 20MW Potential Estimated for the Vranjska Banja Geothermal Project" . Retrieved 3 February 2012.