We travelled a bit out of our way to get to the hot springs in Arnedillo and we weren’t disappointed when we got there. This was another bucket list detour that combined the swimming in a river with the bathing in outdoor hot springs category.
Arnedillo is a village in La Rioja, Spain. It’s quite far up a valley by the Cidacos River and was quite tricky to get to in our motorhome, particularly the last bit of the journey through the village. Google maps tried to send us down this ridiculously narrow and steep road and then up a route that was nothing more than a dry river bed. Nope.
However, we found the motorhome area, missed the guy who had been round in the early morning to collect the monies and headed straight down to the river.
In Arnedillo there is a posh spa resort (Balneario de Arnedillo) up on one of the hills overlooking the river, which no doubt would be very expensive but Arnedillo also has a free public area (Pozas) where the hot spring emerges right next to the river. The local council had made a really nice park area where they had built pools for everyone to enjoy the hot spring water.
You can see where the water emerges in a hot spring from deep under the earth (just out of shot on the far left) but the area is covered over to protect people from getting scolded by the very hot water. The water is reported to range between 35C (95F) and 52C (125F) while most of the time it is 50C (122F). It sure was very hot and took some getting used to before you could lower yourself in.
There are three small pools to laze about in and we spent much of our time in the third one which was slightly larger and slightly cooler. The water was hottest in the first pool as it emerged from underground and flowed through the pools, gradually cooling a little as it went. WOW, it was hot. You definitely didn’t have to dive-bomb in. You just slowly relaxed down in and then sat about enjoying the super hot bathwater.
The shallow river runs right next door to the three pools and there were a number of people cooling off in there. We couldn’t understand that bit because the water was a bit too cold to be enjoyable, even in the sunshine.
But on the other side of the river, there was another area where the hot springs came out right beneath the river bed and created shallow warm pools. Rocks had been piled up over there to make a much more natural area but it was full of hippies drinking and smoking weed, who stayed there all the time we were there. At least they got to have their monthly bath.
This was on Deby’s bucket list and it was great we got to do it. Looking back it would have been nice to go back down there at night as well because there were no gates, it was all open, and it would have been fun to check out the night landscape while relaxing in those amazing hot spring pools. Maybe we should return for that…
The Autocaravans area was up quite a steep slope so on the way back from Las Pozas it was a long hilly hike back to the van. The coordinates for the Autocaravan area are 42.214113 and -2.240124. You can find the exact spot on our maps page.