Israeli is known for many diverse things from hi-tech to falafel, but one thing many people are not aware of is that the country is home to numerous hot springs which are well worth a visit at least once during your gap year.
A hot spring is a spring that is produced by geothermal heated water rising from the Earth’s crust and, providing it isn’t too hot, bathing in them is an incredibly relaxing experience.
Perhaps the most famous of Israel’s hot springs is Hamat Gader. Not only is the site home to a fantastic spring but it is also of historical significance. During the Roman era it was a much used recreational site for soldiers that were on holiday. To this day it is one of the most popular hot springs in Israel and it is also home to a number of restaurants and manmade pools.
In the south of the country is Hamei Yoav, near the city of Ashkelon. The springs there were discovered by accident. Originally there was excavation work taking place for crude oil and while they didn’t find any oil they did find an amazing hot spring. There are now a number of springs which you can bathe in as well as a spa if you feel like treating yourself to something special.
Right in the centre of Israel, not far from Herzliya are the Hamei Ga’ash hot springs and spa. The springs are next to the Ga’ash Kibbutz and the local community has turned the natural spring into a luxurious spa. While there you can find all kinds of pools, such as mineral pools, salt water pools and a specialty pool with water jets that massage your muscles and relax your body in a way that has to be experienced.
If you find yourself heading to Tiberius you can stop by the city’s hot springs (known in Hebrew has Hamei Tiveria). Not only do they offer hot springs but if there is a special occasion coming up and you have a free weekend you could book it for an event, enjoy the restaurant, the mineral pools and spa treatments. Of course you could just stop by for a visit before moving on the Kinneret and exploring the wider city and area.
At some point you are sure to visit Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea and while there you can also stop by the Ein Gedi hot springs. They are the perfect place to relax in the desert and you will struggle to find a location that offers more peace and quiet.
Hot springs are not something that many people take the time to enjoy even though they can be found across the world. While on your gap year try and take the time to do so and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. It is certainly a natural phenomenon that you should checkout at least once in your life and Israel offers the perfect places to do so.