Set in a small village, along the Cidacos River in Rioja region is one of the most incredible natural wellbeing experiences in Spain. The Arnedillo hot springs are worthy of a stop on any Spanish road trip route. But Arnedillo La Rioja is also a destination in its own right.
In this guide you’ll find everything you need to visit the Arnedillo hot springs or Las Pozas de Arnedillo as they are known locally in Spanish. There’s helpful information about what to bring, where to park and where to stay. Plus other things to do in and around Arnedillo, Spain.
Arnedillo Hot Springs in Spain
The Arnedillo Termas are naturally heated by geothermal heat from the Earth’s interior. The water emerges from the surface at 52°C/126°F, then flows through a set of three pools. Each slightly cooler than the last with temperatures ranging from 35-40°C (95-104°F).
Arnedillo hot springs date back to Roman times and are widely regarded as having medicinal properties. There are lots of different minerals such as sodium, calcium, silicon, iron and magnesium in the water that are beneficial to health, especially the skin.
Furthermore if you fancy a bit of hot and cold water therapy you can alternate by taking a dip in the shallows of the Cidacos River. The technique improves circulation because the sudden change in temperature activates the bloodstream.
Where Are The Arnedillo Termas?
Tucked in between the Hez and Peñalmonte mountain ranges, hugging a small section of the Cidacos River is where you’ll find the unassuming village of Arnedillo. It has a population of less than 500 residents and is part of the Biosphere Reserve of La Rioja.
Arnedillo La Rioja is around 60 km from Logroño, the capital of La Rioja province. You can be at the Arnedillo Pozas in well under an hour by car. The drive in through the winding roads of the mountainous landscape covered in vineyards is simply gorgeous.
Once in the Arnedillo, from main street, Avenida del Cidacos, follow Calle Joaquin Velasco. Turn left after the outdoor swimming pools, Piscinas Municipales de Arnedillo. Then through the carpark and you’ll see a small viewpoint with some steps leading down to Arnedillo Pozas.
Arnedillo Pozas Entrance Fee
Las Pozas de Arnedillo are a designated public space and so because of this there is no fee to actually enter them. Yep, the Arnedillo hot springs are completely free to visit.
Las Pozas de Arnedillo Opening Times
The Arnedillo hot springs are open everyday, 365 days a year. But they are closed between the hours of midnight and 6am.
Arnedillo La Rioja Parking
There are a number of free car parks in Arnedillo. However the one closest to the Arnedillo Termas has a charge. It’s a pay on exit system but is very reasonable at 42 cents per hour. If you are in a motorhome you will need to use this as all other car park have 2m height barriers.
Alternatively you can park in the designated camping area with facilities where you can also stay overnight – more on that later. In recent years, the area has become increasingly popular with campervans so understandably parking options are restricted to limit numbers.
Arnedillo Hot Springs Facilities
The area immediately around the Arnedillo hot springs has a few basic amenities. There’s picnic tables, benches, outdoor showers and drinking water. There are no toilets. Just a short walk into town you’ll find a couple of bar restaurants though.
There are also some public outdoor swimming pools, Piscinas Municipales de Arnedillo, next door. There’s a bar, toilets, a children’s play area and sun loungers to relax on. However it is only seasonal and therefore not open all year round over the colder months.
Best Time To Visit Arnedillo Spain
Las Pozas de Arnedillo gets very crowded over the summer months and the weather is also very hot. Therefore in peak season the best time to visit these hot springs in Spain is either early morning or late evening. That way there’s less people and temperatures aren’t so high.
The best time to visit Arnedillo is however over winter. There’s way less people there. But more than that, there’s not much that comes close to the euphoric feeling of immersing your cold body into hot water with stunning scenery all around you.
There are a few festival dates that are best avoided. The 5th of August when ‘Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves’ is celebrated is a huge holiday. There is also a festival on the 23rd October to celebrate co-patrons San Servando and San Germán.
On the last Sunday of January there is a pilgrimage to the hermitage of San Tirso. The last Sunday in November there is a tradition known as the Smoke Procession. It is celebrated in memory of how local healers tried to end the deadly 1888 Black Pox by burning Grojo and Rosemary to purify the air.
Unless of course any of those festivals are also why you are going to Arnedillo La Rioja too!
Aguas Termales de Arnedillo Safety
Unless you are used to visiting hot springs in Spain it’s also a good idea not to go alone. Because the heat dilates your blood vessels, it lowers your blood pressure which can result in fainting, especially if you have been bathing in there for a while.
You should also stay well hydrated as the mineral content and hot water opens up your pores and makes you sweat. And if you are visiting the Arnedillo hot springs after dark you will need to be sensible as there is no lightning so it gets very dark down there.
If you’d prefer something less rustic than the natural ‘aguas termales de Arnedillo’, there is the Arnedillo Spa or Balneario de Arnedillo in Spanish. In addition to bathing in the private hot springs, there’s also lots of accompanying therapeutic treatments on offer.
There’s hydrotherapy programmes, a spa mud treatment and a whole range of massages available. Arnedillo spa is also a hotel so you can of course stay overnight there too. There’s an on site restaurant and the rooms boast fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.
Where To Stay in Arnedillo
Lombera Apartamentos | These modern Arnedillo apartments for 2-6 people come with a fully equipped kitchen, coffee machine, washing machine and private parking. But the cherry on top is the river views and rooftop terrace. Pets are also allowed which is a bonus too.
La Fuente de Arnedillo | This country house has a range of cosy and comfortable rooms and apartments for 2-5 people. Reviews consistently rate this place exceptional and mention how friendly and helpful the hosts are. Pets are allowed and there’s also parking available.
Hotel Marrodan | The double, twin, triple and quadruple rooms at this popular Arnedillo hotel all come with gorgeous mountain views. There’s free, secure parking and a continental buffet breakfast is included. Children are very welcome, but pets are not allowed.
If you are visiting Arnedillo Rioja in a motorhome or campervan, there’s a dedicated parking area with facilities within the town. There’s 40 spaces, each with the option of electricity, a children’s play area, toilets and a full service area. You’ll see the signposts as you come in.
There’s drinking water, a drive over grey waste grate, black waste disposal and a general rubbish bin. The Arnedillo camping car area is paid for upon exit by card and charged at 42 cents per hour. Electricity is paid for separately at the units and requires a €1 coin for 2 hours.
Other Things To Do In Arnedillo
Dating back to the 12th century, not much of Arnedillo Castle is left. There’s only a tower and part of one wall still intact. It was once the summer residence of the Bishops of Calahorra and then later used as a prison for rebel members of the clergy. Admission is free.
Vulture Observation Point
La Rioja Baja Valley Biosphere Reserve is home to several colonies of Griffon vultures and it’s possible to watch them clearly soaring overhead from a viewpoint in Arnedillo. Less than a 20 minutes walk north from the centre of town you’ll find Mirador del Buitre.
The Rock Chapels
Another interesting thing to do for history buffs is to visit the three Arnedillo chapels. Uniquely carved into the mountainside of Arnedillo, each houses the tomb of a patron saint. There’s Ermita de San Miguel, Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Peñalva and Ermita de San Tirso.
Just outside Arnedillo is another of La Riojas fascinating natural phenomena. The Dinosaur Trail of Enciso takes you around three different sets of dinosaur footprints. They date back millions of years to The Cretaceous Period. The route is 7km and takes around 2 hour.
Cidacos Green Trail
Arnedillo lays at one end of the 21 mile Cidacos Green Trail. Set out in the two stages, the hiking route runs from Calahorra along an old railway line and takes you through some of the most epic landscapes in Spain. And those hot springs are a perfect end to such a long hike.
Cuevas del Ajedrezado
Literally translated as the Chequered or Chess Caves, you’ll find this Arnedillo tourist attraction a few km out of town in the Santa Eulalia Somera area. And they do in fact appear chequered due to square holes carved in the walls to house funerary urns.
Arnedillo Termas FAQ’s
Are kids allowed in Arnedillo hot springs?
Yes kids are allowed in the Arnedillo Pozas but this should always be supervised and only for short periods of time to prevent overheating. Do bear in mind that hot springs in general are not advisable for young babies as they cannot regulate their own body temperature.
What should I bring to Arnedillo hot springs?
Items to take to Arnedillo Termas should include swimwear, towel or bathrobe, flip flops or slip ons, drinking water bottle, reef friendly sunscreen and sun hat (in summer). Please note eating and drinking (other than water) is not permitted while using these hot springs in Spain.
How long can you spend in Arnedillo hot springs?
The general advice is to limit bathing time in hot springs in Spain to 20 minutes. This is sufficient time for your body to reap the benefits. But should prevent it from becoming overheating or dehydrated. You can of course re-enter after a break or a dip in cooler water.
The most important thing is to stay cognizant of the amount of time that you have been in the water. Spain’s thermal baths are very relaxing, especially with the surrounding landscape here and so it can be very easy to lose track of time and potentially become unwell.
Are there other hot springs in Spain?
There are other natural hot springs in Spain too. There’s the Santuario de La Fontcalda hot springs in Tarragona and the Las Charcas Mud Baths in Murcia.
Then there’s also the hot spring spa resorts of the Balneario de Zújar Granada, Castilla Termal Olmedo in Valladolid and Termas de Outariz in Ourense, Galicia.
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Yorkshire born & bred, Sarah is a professional blogger who loves to travel. Pushing her boundaries with new adventures is her jam, so you likely won’t find her in one place for too long. Also a serious Marmite addict.