Spa holidays are extremely popular nowadays, but the Spanish ¨Spas¨ already date back in time for more than 2000 years! The healing properties of thermal water are known for centuries and have since been used to treat medical problems. In our part of the world there is a renewed interest for this form of wellness and it is certainly no longer seen as for elderly only! Spain has a wealth of thermal springs and their corresponding authentic beautiful spas that are called ¨Balnearios¨.
The Spa Hotel & Resort Balneario de Archena is such an example. We have seen quit some balnearios in Spain, but many of them are out-dated and not up to the modern standards people are expecting these days. But Balneario de Archena is different, it is not a luxury resort, but it is a beautiful resort where, when we first came here, were surprised by the beauty of the place and the historical ambience you can still see and feel all-over the place!
Balneario de Archena is a thermal complex covering more than 200,000 m2 located in the Murcia province, Spain. It is situated in Valle del Ricote, a privileged natural enclave found next to Río Segura (Segura River) in beautiful and lush natural surroundings.
During our stay we stayed at the 4* Hotel Termas, which was constructed at the end of the XIX century. It partially maintains its original Mozarabic style, which is its main characteristic trait. It is the principal hotel in the resort, due to its elegance and tradition. The building was refurbished recently, although still keeps part of the decoration from last century in Mozarabic style. We stayed in a room located in the mentioned Mozarabic area, where you will find an impressive mosaic cupola and where our room had some lovely Mozarabic details.
We came to try and test everything that Balneario de Archena has on offer, so we started with some treatments in the Thermal gallery, the part of the Spa where Balneario de Archena is famous for. The Thermal Gallery is the oldest part of the resort. It dates from more than 100 years ago and this is where the thermal water spring originates. It flows from the spring at a temperature of 52.5 ºC after having remained underground within the earth for 15,000 years! The properties of the water make for an excellent natural remedy for physical conditions as well as for recuperating the general well-being of the body. This part makes Balneario de Archena something really special, which can not be compared with any other place!
It is a beautiful area with lots of character and history. In this area you find the treatment rooms where the staff performs the traditional thermal water treatments like mud applications and this is also where you will find the old thermal baths. Do not expect fancy and beautifully decorated treatment rooms, no this is where the highly experienced Spanish therapists do the thing they are good at, without any distraction or time-wasting rituals: Wrap you in hot mud and leave you to relax behind a curtain. So different than we are used to, but very charming!
Also in this area we got the opportunity to try the Termarchena, which is a one of a kind experience: loved it! In an underground cave they have created a ¨room¨ where the water seeps through the walls at a temperature of 52,5°C. The heat of the water combined with a humidity of more than 90% creates a natural steam bath. After staying here for 15 minutes you enter the next room, where you will find a small water circuit, with cold showers and a small hot thermal water pool. A therapist will here massage you for 10 minutes with crushed ice, where after you enter the hot water pool again, this hot-cold contrast experience was fabulous! The combination of the setting of this sauna, the natural steam and the medicinal properties of the water contribute to a unique sauna experience!
Then we went to the Termalium Spa, which is a very large wellness and spa centre. The water employed in Espacio Termalium is thermal water from the mineral-medicinal water spring, with an average constant temperature of 34-36 ºC. The Termalium Spa is made up of 11,000 m2 of thermal water area comprising of large inside and outside thermal pools with different types of cervical and lumbar water spurts, water currents, waterfalls, Jacuzzis, water beds, children’s pool, a wide beach area, saunas at different temperatures and humidity levels, massage rooms, warm hammocks, floatation pool (salt water), outdoor massage area, natural essences pool, igloo, walking corridors, thermal-contrast circuit and other facilities, which together are able to produce multiple sensations by alternating between warm and cool temperatures.
This was the kind of Spa we know from Northern Europe, but not with the nice and warm thermal water. We were here in winter, which made it extra nice we thought. Walking through the cold gardens in your bathrobe and then bath yourself in the hot thermal water outdoor pool, what a bliss!
Unfortunately, our stay was just a short one. We could have stayed here much longer, but will definitely return here. They offer some excellent facilities and treatments in a beautiful and historic ambience.
Balneario de Archena with all its charm, history and its great facilities offers a real Spanish wellness experience, but also because English is unfortunately not widely spoke (yet). But you will always find somebody who speaks a few words and can help you and also with hands and feet you will manage, and hey isn´t that also part of the typical Spanish experience 🙂
Thermal spas are back in fashion! The lifestyle of people in the 21st century is stressful, they have a huge workload, and the pace of modern life are making more and more people look for peace and return to nature. A Spanish balneario is just perfect for that. In almost every corner of Spain you will find balnearios: ¨Sanctuaries of the healing water”, but the majority is as long not as nice as balneario de Archena!
For more information about Balneario de Archena and the programs we offer, please see this link.