Caldes de Boí – Hot Springs, Food & Waterfalls
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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34 thoughts on “Caldes de Boí – Hot Springs, Food & Waterfalls”
WOW! Josy! Such beautiful pictures! And all that food looks amazing until I read that it was all basically fish haha!
I guess I did choose the fishy options! Don’t worry there were great meaty options too (much less for vegetarians)
Looks like a great place to unwind! I love the relaxing peaceful aura here.
I really wanted to return and use the spa facilities, but all the hikes we did finished too late in the evening, so we didn’t make it back to actually relax. Oops.
These photos are beautiful. We had booked cruises from Spain but always changed them. Spain just wasn’t on our bucket list. Finally we did! Our 4 days in Barcelona were not nearly enough to see this wonderful country. Now we went to return!
Oooh I hope you get to.
The countryside in Spain was truly gorgeous. You know in both of the national parks we visited they had accessible trails that were good for seeing the fantastic scenery in a wheelchair too. 🙂
Looks like an amazing adventure! Thanks for taking us along!
You’re very welcome. Thank you for reading.
Another stellar post.
However, while I was reading it, I thought that you found a hidden gem or, rather, gems. These little hotels tucked away are precious and I do not get the feel of touristy places, but rather, as I said, hidden gems. I think I need you to guide me through Caledonia!
I think it might only be hidden from English speakers – in the summer time this area is very busy with Spanish and French Speakers.
Having said that it was incredibly quiet in September/ early October.
Caldes De Boi looks like it was bestowed with natural beauty. Such much to see, as a landscape photographer I would love to spend my time here.
Oooh if you like photography you will LOVE this area, especially Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park – the mountains and hundreds of lakes are perfect for landscape photography.
Hot springs and bacalao…comfort memories of my childhood in the Philippines with its Spanish heritage!
I had no idea you have bacalao in the Philippines too! I have had it a few times, but this was the most succulent perfect version ever. Om nom nom…
I’ve never heard of this place until, it looks beautiful!
Thanks Laura, It’s a teeny spot, but not too far from Barcelona. If you ever visit Spain, this part of Catalonia is full of gorgeous not-too-busy spots like this. 🙂
It’s kind of a bummer that most of the hot springs aren’t natural anymore. While it’s still beautiful I wish more places would keep hot springs they way they were.
I think I know what you mean, but as long as the water is natural, this doesn’t bother me too much. Nearly everywhere I have bathed (in Japan, Iceland, UK and Canada) people build up baths to soak in the water of natural hot springs. In Caldes de Boí they divert the waters to allow people to bathe in them.
Occasionally you get totally natural spots (hot pools, or hot rivers) but those are really rare. People diverting hot spring water or pumping it up, or building bathing facilities at the spring is pretty normal.
Having said that, although it is fake, I do like hot spring resorts that make the setting *seem* natural. Japan is best at that…
Hotel Caldas makes me think of Bavaria! Great post, I’m adding this to my never ending list of destinations to go to!
I guess that makes sense, it is located right in the middle of very green looking mountains! 🙂
This looks amazing for the food alone! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Spain. I’m well due to return!
Spain can be amaaaazing for food can’t it? I am dreaming of those perfect tomatoes since we left.
This looks like a wonderful destination! The waterfalls and springs are gorgeous. I am a big nature lover and hiker, so this would be the perfect destination for me. The hotels look lovely as well.
Oooh in that case you would really love it Melissa. The hikes near here in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park were spectacular!!
Catalonia has been on my list for years! These springs look so cool and food seems to be delicious… so many reasons to go!
Oooh you will love the food when you get there Kaisa! Not just in Caldes de Boi. Everywhere we ate in Catalonia was fantastic. I even loved the simple cheese sarnies for hiking because the bread/cheese is so tasty!
Ahh this looks like the perfect getaway! It reminds me a bit of the Slovene Alps too!
Squeeeee, I really want to hike in the Slovene Alps too! Do they have hot springs as well?
How beautiful! I had never even heard of Caldes de Boi before! I feel like the Pyrenees are so underrated and I’m grateful for you sharing this gorgeous gem!
We found so many amazing places in Catalonia that do not seem to be very famous for English Speakers. I guess that Catalan/Spanish speakers kept the hidden gems for themselves. 😉
I so love bacalao. Thank you for sharing lots on this post. I’ll add this in my bucket list once I go back to Barcelona.
Yaaay! Me too, bacalao can be soooo good. 😀
Hello, great blog!
We’re planning a trip to the Spanish Pyrenees in the spring and we were wondering about vegetarian options in restaurants. Is it possible to eat out in villages and towns like Taull, Caldes de Boi, Broto, Torla, Ainsa, Garrotxa,…. for vegetarians, or is it better to go for self catering?
Thanks in advance
Bernadette and Joeri
Hi Bernadette and Joeri,
Yay, I hope you will have an amazing trip! There were pretty good vegetarian options in most places (but not always loooads of vegetarian options.) The calçots (kind of green onions) /asparagus /mushrooms /cheeses and fabulous tomato dishes are all really good.
There were not many vegan options in the smaller towns/villages, but they did seem to have veggy dishes.
If you’re interested, I put a Catalan food guide together too https://www.awalkandalark.com/catalan-food-guide/ although it does include quite a few fish/meat dishes.
We found the supermarkets and small shops had fantastic produce. So cooking for yourself is a great option too.