The Ourense thermal baths: Hot Springs in Spain

This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit our Disclosure page for details.

The thermal Baths in Ourense was an…interesting experience. Of all the things to do in Galicia with kids, our day at the Ourense thermal baths may be one of the most memorable. Not for the reasons you might suspect, however.

Things to do in Galicia with kids Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths thermal bridge view

The Ourense Thermal Baths

When we lived in Japan, one of our family’s favorite things to do was to go to a hot spring for a soak. Our last time in an onsen (hot spring in Japanese) was in Kyoto, and far too long ago. So when we were looking for things to do in Galicia with kids and found the thermal baths, we knew that we had to check it out.

Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain. Things to do in Galicia PIN

Sure enough, dozens of pools dot the shore of the Minho River that runs through Ourense. Some tubs are free and simple, while others have nicer facilities and charge for entry. We chose the free and simple. If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Galicia, then a day at the Ourense thermal baths will do the trick, bu twe have two pieces of advice:

  • If you’re driving, check your map well, and
  • Make sure you have the right swimwear…see below

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths thermal bridge view

How to get there

The pools we went to are called Outariz y Burga de Canedo, and are located near Termas De Outariz. Getting there was tricky for us. The tubs and bathers are easy enough to see from the road, but the Google Map sent us in the wrong direction, probably because we asked Google to direct us to the actual spot rather than to the parking.

It took us several trial and error — a comedy or errors, it turned out — and we finally found the way with the help from gas station cashier. The place where we parked was on the other side of the river from the tubs. You park and then walk across a bridge. Look here for the place. There’s a parking lot across from an old building that looked like a factory or warehouse.

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain fence

From here, you’ll see a walking path to a bridge that crosses the river.

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths thermal bridge

Once across the bridge, there are plenty of places to have a soak. There’s a map at the bottom of the stairs.

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths tub map

We spent all of our time at the one indicated on the map (está aquí), but as you can see, there are many other thermal baths to choose from in Ourense, including Termas De Outariz and others. These are just a series along one area of the river.

Unlike Japanese hot springs, you enter the Ourense baths in swimwear, and the pools are not separated by gender. Some tubs aren’t hot at all, while others are pretty warm indeed, so be careful when stepping in.

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths hot tub

Wear the Right Swimwear!

I should also mention the Ourense thermal bath dress code, as this came as a surprise to us: Keiko and our girl were actually kicked out of the pools because they weren’t wearing bikinis.

Seriously.

Here you can see their swimsuits. Our girl also often wears a rash guard to avoid sunburn.

Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain thermal baths swimsuit

Apparently, modest bathing suits like these don’t qualify as swimwear in Ouresne…or at least at this particular Ourense hot spring spot. Less than a minute after the girls got in a tub, one of the volunteer staff at the area came by and blew her whistle. Literally. She literally blew a whistle. They had to get out because apparently they weren’t wearing swimsuits.

Keiko tried to explain, but the woman on staff wasn’t convinced. She pointed to Keiko’s bathing suit and gently said “No!” Then she pointed to a woman in a bikini and said “Si!

Rather than argue, the girls just got out. The next day, they bought bikinis, and we went back and had no problems. My guess is that it was not just bikinis, but any swimwear that looks like shorts.

Swimsuits that look like swimsuits

Originally, we thought that maybe this volunteer security staff at the pool was just abusing her position. We thought that perhaps this was all about her, and that she was just being pushy because it was the only power she had in the world.

We were wrong.

The following day, we returned, Keiko and the girl wearing their bikinis. The same woman was there, and she smiled and apologized for the confrontation the day before, and complimented Keiko on her new swimsuit (*thumbs up!*).

Ten minutes later, a few French families arrived. When their kids went to the pools, all the boys were wearing rash guards. This same volunteer went and confronted their parents, and an argument ensued — an argument that soon involved several old ladies from the pools, who apparently were in agreement with the guard.

So the moral of the story is this: want to relax? Go and have a soak in the Ourense thermal baths. I bet it’s even better in winter. But if you really want to relax, make sure you’re dressed like the locals.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO OURENSE?

What was your experience? Would you go after the way we described it? We actually had a good time there, but this took us by surprise. This limited my time in the pools because it was sunny and I usually cover up with a rash guard. Not here. The river is also a nice place for a cold swim, as well.

Ourense: Hot Springs in Spain. Things to do in Galicia PIN

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php