Eight Hot Springs in the Arab World that You Should Relax At
By Evan Ploeckelman / Arab America Contributing Writer
After a long trip through the Arab World, you might want to take some time to relax. One of the best ways to do that is at a hot spring, and the Arab World has plenty of those. Here are eight of the best hot springs in the Arab World that you should relax at soon.
UAE: Khatt Hot Springs
Continuously inhabited for 5,000 years — during the Stone Age — the Khatt Hot Springs have been host to a variety of different people groups, from the Sasanians to the Al Qasimi. Nowadays, the springs have been developed by French company Golden Tulip. You can come and visit one of three springs, which are 40 degrees celsius and around 90 feet deep at their maximum point. You can also relax in smaller, more private pools. The springs are located in the Ras Al Khaimah emirate, 27 kilometers south of the city of Ras Al Khaimah and 115 kilometers northeast of Dubai.
Jordan: Ma’in Hot Springs
Listed by Vogue magazine as one of the most beautiful hot springs in the world, the Ma’in Hot Springs are truly a sight to behold. There are 63 different springs with varying temperatures, with the maximum temperature at 63 degrees celsius, but similar chemical composition, all surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. These springs are well known for medical tourism, where visitors come to aleve issues such as skin disease and muscular pains. The springs are located in Jordan, 64 miles south of Amman.
Morocco: Sidi Harazem
Sidi Harazem is a particularly important spring in Moroccan history. While the springs have been used for millennia, the facilities were designed in a modernist style between 1960 and 1975 by famous Moroccan architect Jean-Francois Zevaco, who was a leader of the modernist architectural movement in Morocco and across Africa. The facilities were restored in 2017 by architect Aziza Chaouni. Soaking in the springs, surrounded by Arab architectural history, is extremely stunning. The springs are located in Morocco, 12 kilometers west of Fes.
The Korbous hot springs are unique for being located right on the Mediterranean Sea. Used in ancient times by the Phoenicians, Carthagenians, and Romans, they were forgotten after the Arab conquest but were built up in the 1800s by Ahmed Ier Bay, who built the first pavilion at the site. These springs can reach up to 50 degrees celsius, and are one of the few springs in the region that do not have large luxury spas and hotels nearby, providing a less touristy experience. The springs are located in Tunisia, 55 kilometers east of Tunis.
Egypt: Siwa Oasis
Siwa Oasis features both hot and cold springs, including the famous Cleopatra springs. The springs in this region have been used since ancient times by the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and, for the most amount of time, the Bedouins, who have their own Siwan culture and city in the oasis. The springs themselves are surrounded by the city and archeological sites of Siwa, such as the Oracle of Amun. The oasis is in the desert of western Egypt, 741 kilometers west of Cairo.
Oman: Nakhal Hot Springs
The Nakhal Hot Springs, otherwise known as Ain al Thawarah, are not nearly as hot as the other springs in this list. However, this allows animals like fish to live in the hot springs, allowing the soaker to experience the wildlife of the Omani countryside. Unlike other springs, the springs are not built up, and the springs are used frequently by locals. The springs are located near the Nakhal Fort, a large fort built in the 17th century. The springs are located in Oman, about 89 kilometers from the capital city, Muscat.
Palestine: Ein Gedi Hot Springs
Ein Gedi is most famous for its smell. Most springs primarily contain chemicals such as calcium carbonate, but the springs at Ein Gedi contain sulfur, making them smell similar to rotten eggs. However, many people still believe in the healing powers of the spring, and come to the Ein Gedi Spa for treatments involving the water, which includes mud baths. You can also easily visit the nearby Dead Sea. The springs are located right by the southern border of the West Bank region of Palestine on the shore of the Dead Sea.
Saudi Arabia: Al Ain Al Harrah
If you want to see a hot spring that no one else has, this is the one. This spring is very wild, with no development of the actual spring. The water in this spring is actually similar in chemical composition to hot springs in countries like the US and Japan, and the temperature is around 54 degrees celsius. However, there have been calls to develop the spring in recent years, so if you want to see it in its natural state, you may want to visit soon. The spring is located in southern Saudi Arabia, near the city of Jazan and the border with Yemen.
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