Vall de Boí is a gorgeous valley in Catalonia (Spain) filled with beautiful views, waterfalls and plenty of fantastic places to eat Catalan food. Most people visit this area to see the stunning UNESCO Catalan Romanesque Churches, or the spectacular Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. However if you keep going to the end of the Vall de Boí, you’ll find an area full of hot springs at Caldes de Boí. One of Marc’s mother’s cousins works at the hotel here, so we popped in to meet her. We then stayed for a fantastic lunch, then Marc and I explored the spa area and hiked up to a waterfall.
The hotels at Caldes de Boí are the closest places to stay to Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. So, if you plan to go hiking, this would be a fantastic place to stay. In the summer you could soak in the hot springs after a long day hiking.
Caldes de Boí Location
I have added the Caldes de Boí hot spring to my map of the Romanesque churches so you can see the location further down the valley. Caldes de Boí is like a mini hamlet, made up of two hotels, Hotel Manantial, Hotel Caldas as well as the pools, fountains and hot springs.
The location of the Caldas de Boí Health Spa resort is gorgeous. There are mountains in all directions as well as pretty ponds and streams flowing around the grounds.
Hotel Caldas is a 3 star hotel within the hot spring resort. It has really good reviews on Booking.com, so I am sure it’d be a fantastic place to stay.
Hotel Manantial is the larger of the two hotels. It has more facilities including direct access to the thermal centre. There are a whole range of health and beauty treatments including therapeutic mud, a thermal circuit and special baths. There are even a couple of outdoor pools if you visit in the summertime.
Hotel Manantial Lunch
We didn’t actually stay the night at Caldes de Boí, but we did pop in to Hotel Manantial for lunch. This turned out to be a great decision as everything we ate was delicious.
When you travel in Catalonia, it seems most places offer set meals as standard. You can order a la carte if you prefer, but the set meals always seem to be good value, so we went for that. Our meal started with an amuse bouche of fried anchovies.
My favourite dish was salad, served with lightly seared tuna and romaneque sauce. I then tried bacalao (Catalan salted cod) with ratatouille, while Marc had lamb chops.
We finished our meal with beautifully presented deserts, cheesecake and crème brûlée.
Exploring Caldes de Boí
After lunch we were uncomfortably full, so we decided to explore the Caldas de Boí Health Spa resort. Our parents headed off for a nap, so Marc and I were free to search for a waterfall I’d spotted on a map, the Cascada de la Sallent. There are quite a few paths, so we picked one and followed it.
We visited some of the hot spring fountains and then continued to follow cairns up the mountainside.
Halfway up, we found a small waterfall. There were pipes leading from here diverting springwater towards the hotels.
After this, the path gets much more challenging. We followed well placed cairns up the rock face towards the Cascada de la Sallent waterfall. We found plenty of succulents decorating the rocks.
This is the view over towards Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. The light was starting to fade, but it was beautiful.
Cascada de la Sallent
We made it up to the waterfall. It wasn’t the most impressive waterfall we visited in this region but it was still a fun objective to climb up to. Unfortunately we actually had to climb up twice! Marc dropped his glasses on our first climb, so we came back to search for them.
Caldes de Boí – Hot springs
Once we’d returned from the waterfall we explored some more trails searching for natural hot springs. It’s very cool the way the minerals build up around the springs. This spring was quite hot, but not enough to scald you if you feel the water.
The other streams and fountains down by the hotels were a variety of different temperatures, but few of them were as hot as the springs we found higher up the mountain.
So many fountains
Once you start searching, there are 37 fountains around the Caldas de Boí Health Spa resort. The temperatures range from 4°C to 56°C. Most of the waters we felt were luke warm or cold, but there were a couple of hotter ones.
There were several pools within the Caldas de Boí resort as well. They were not in use in late September, but I imagine it is a pleasant place to relax and swim in the summertime.
We didn’t actually stay at either of the hotels in Caldas de Boí, but it was still fun to explore. The Hotel Manantial did seem a little dated (it felt a bit like a retirement home.) But it seemed comfortable, with truly tasty food. If you manage to visit and try out the spa facilities, please let me know if they are as relaxing as they look!
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