Situated in a beautiful canyon in the province of Tarragona, Spain, Santuario de La Fontcalda, shortened to La Fontcalda, is an isolated riverside oasis. Featuring a small natural spring and a church with a history dating back to the fourteenth century, this spot is sure to help you unwind while you take in the lush green landscape.
La Fontcalda Hot Springs
While its name roughly translates to “hot spring,” the water emerging at La Fontcalda is not very hot. The spring’s thermal mineral water emerges from a crack in the tall canyon wall at a temperature of approximately 24° C (75° F). Despite this spring not being remarkably hot, the beauty of the canyon is well worth the visit.
Formed from the coursing waters of the Canaletes River, this deep canyon paradise provides stunning views of various natural pools and ponds that now dominate the region.
This area, and specifically the water that flows through it, is well known for its healing qualities. To this day, people who believe in the rich therapeutic properties of the water organize a yearly pilgrimage on the first Sunday of May.
The Community Square
Besides the beautiful canyon and hot spring, La Fontcalda also features a small community square with a church and restaurant. Due to the community only being open from late June until the end of August, the area is very crowded during the summer.
The community boasts a small café and restaurant that serves traditional Catalonian food. Moreover, during peak season, there are a few small rooms and apartments available to rent in the square.
For those looking for a more private experience, La Fontcalda is nearly abandoned during the spring and fall due to the community not being open. This provides those who are searching for a secluded respite from civilization with the perfect place to go.
Access to La Fontcalda can be difficult due to it being situated in a canyon in the high hills of Catalonia. There are two ways to access this hot spring: by car or by foot/bike.
For those who enjoy scenic mountain views, La Fontcalda can be reached by driving on an eight-kilometer road that winds through the narrow canyon and open mountainsides. While this road may be awe-inspiring, it can be dangerous. At certain points, the road is so tight that only one car can pass at a time.
Luckily, for those wishing to take a leisurely stroll, visitors can use the greenway that was constructed from an old railroad line. This allows guests to bypass the potentially dangerous road in favor of a walk or bike ride through nature.
Note: Due to the surrounding canyon walls, there is no cell service in the area.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing mountainous soak, or wish to take in some of Spain’s rich history, a quick stop by the Santuario de La Fontcalda is sure to help you unwind during your vacation!
Address: 43595 Prat de Comte, Tarragona, Spain
Season: Year-Round | Popular from Late June – End of August
Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM