Taking a warm, relaxing bath is a luxury that many of us enjoy in our own homes. We light candles to set the mood, use bath bombs or bath salts to get the water just right and leave ourselves feeling nourished and revitalised. We might also add bathroom plants, light dimmers, incense, or even luxurious bathroom furniture to create the perfect bathing environment. However, as appealing as that sounds, there is another way of bathing that you might be missing out on.
Hot springs are natural bodies of water that are pushed up through the earth by volcanic and geothermal energy. This warms the water and infuses it with all sorts of minerals that work wonders for your skin. Hot springs have been popular for thousands of years for their restorative properties and relaxing atmosphere.
Often found in beautiful locations with brilliant geological features, hot springs are enjoying a renewed popularity with spas and resorts popping up all over the world to provide tranquillity and refreshment to their lucky visitors. However, before booking our next getaway, we wanted to find out which of these bathing locations is the most attractive, so we can reach our zen in a hot spring holiday.
We looked at natural hot springs around the world which supply spas, bathhouses and outdoor bathing spots with restorative mineral-rich water heated by the earth itself.
Having measured each location against several factors, from the number of rainy days to how many times it's been posted on Instagram, we’ve found out which beautiful bathing spots are the most picturesque.
We first created a list of some of the more popular hot springs which are routinely recommended online in articles and blogs. We then wanted to measure these hot springs against several factors so that we could create an overall score to reflect their beauty.
For each spring, we gave a normalised score out of ten based on the following factors before taking an overall average score across each factor.
First of all, we found out how many rainy days each hot spring sees per year using data from climate-data.org. Those with a lower number of rainy days would be ranked higher than those with more rainy days.
Next, we wanted to find out how picturesque each location was. The first metric we gathered for this was the number of mentions each site had on Instagram. To find this data, we found the most commonly used hashtag for each location on the platform and recorded the number of posts that use it.
We also wanted to see how well each site fared on Tripadvisor. We took two metrics from this site, the overall Tripadvisor score out of five, and the proportion of reviews that used the word “beautiful”. To calculate the latter metric, we found the number of reviews that used the term “beautiful” and divided it by the total number of reviews.
For our final metric, we wanted to find out which site is the most popular. For this, we turned to search data. After formatting each site’s name into likely search terms, we used Google Keyword Planner to find out the search volume which each search term had received over the last year.