How To Do a Day Trip to Montanejos Hot Springs in Spain
Most travelers to Spain visit the major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, but they don’t take the time to see the quaint small towns in the countryside. If you’re visiting Valencia, a great way to see a different part of the region is a day trip to Montanejos Hot Springs.
I lived in Spain for a year and have been back to visit many times. I visited Montanejos when I spent a month in Valencia recently.
Keep reading to find out how to do a Montanejos day trip from Valencia.
History of Montanejos
Montanejos has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. The Romans were the first to recognize the healing properties of the thermal waters, establishing bathhouses and villas in the area. These hot springs, known as Fuente de los Baños, have been renowned for their therapeutic benefits since ancient times.
The waters are rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron, which are believed to promote overall well-being. The sign at the baths says it’s good for skin conditions and digestive and kidney functions.
King Abu-Zayed (Rey Abu-Ceit) constructed Arab baths in Montanejos in the 13th century. Supposedly the purpose of the baths was to keep the women of his harem looking young and beautiful!
Note that these “hot springs” are more warm than hot. The water is around 25°C / 77°F year round. It’s pleasant, but don’t expect hot tub temperatures!
How to get to Monanejos from Valencia
The best way to get to Montanejos from Valencia is by private car. It’s a 90 km drive on the highway and local roads that takes about an hour and 15 minutes. If you don’t have a private car, it’s worth looking into a tour like this one.
Montanejos – Valencia Bus
It’s technically possible to take a long-distance bus to Montanejos, but it really isn’t worth your time. Autocars Herca has buses that go from Valencia to the town of Segorbe, where you would then need to take another bus to Montanejos. There are only 2-3 buses a day for this leg to Montanejos, so unless you stay overnight, the timing doesn’t work out. Instead, plan on renting a car or joining a group tour.
Things to see on the way to Montanejos
I did a small, private day tour with three friends to Montanejos in November. It was great to have a tour guide with us to show us all the places to see along the way.
Our first stop was in the small town of Navajas. The town of Navajas is home to the world-famous Don Simón juice and wine brand. It was a popular place for summer homes because of the cooler mountain climate and the quality of the water. There are beautiful old houses here if you wander the streets.
Salto de la Novia (Bridal Veil Waterfall)
Right outside of Navajas is Bridal Veil Waterfall. Legend has it that the townspeople had a wedding tradition where the bride and groom would need to join over the river further upstream. Unfortunately, in one instance the bride fell into the water and the groom tried to save her but both of them were swept away by the current.
Regardless of this tragedy, the waterfall is impressive and worth a stop. In the off-season, it’s free to enter and you can park along the road. During the summer you’ll need to walk from a farther distance near the interpretive center and the entrance fee is 2 €.
Most group tours from Valencia will stop briefly at Bridal Veil Waterfall.
Entry to Montanejos Hot Springs
Admission is only charged during the busy seasons of Holy Week and the summer and during the hours of 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Outside of these times there is normally no one at the ticket window, so entry is free!
For these busy time periods, you can buy tickets online for 3 € per person. Purchasing tickets at the ticket window costs 3.50 € for adults or 2.50 € for ages 4-10 and over 65. Children under four are free.
In the summer it can get very crowded and there is a limit of 2,000 people per day. Tours will buy tickets in advance so you are assured of being able to enter.
Bring your own towel, swimsuit, and sunscreen. Lockers and changing rooms are available on-site.
Around the main entrance to the river dogs, food, and camping accessories like coolers and tents are not allowed. There are other areas down the river where you can picnic and walk dogs.
The main attraction is the thermal river, which meanders through the landscape and creates a large pool. The area near the shore is shallow enough for small children but in the deeper parts, the water is over 10 ft deep, so being able to swim well is a must.
The water is very clear with a beautiful shade of blue. This is a good place to bring underwater cameras or snorkeling masks, as we did see a few small fish.
If you’re like me, you probably get hungry while swimming. There is a small concession stand right next to the bathrooms that sells coffee, snacks, and ice cream.
Remember to respect the environment. Montanejos is a pristine natural haven, and it’s crucial to leave it as you found it for future visitors.
Plan your visit during weekdays or during the off-season. Montanejos can get quite popular during weekends and peak tourist season. To enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed experience, consider visiting on weekdays or during less crowded times.
Things to Do Around Montanejos
After swimming enjoy small-town Spain and savor some tapas in one of the restaurants or cafes. Paella is the quintessential dish of the Valencia region, usually made with chicken or rabbit. Don’t forget to try the local delicacy, “olla de Montanejos,” a hearty stew that perfectly complements the region’s rustic charm.
There are two other sights that you need to see around Montanejos. The first is El Chorro or The Jet. It’s a huge (and I mean huge!) stream of water shooting straight out of the side of a cliff. It’s a bit difficult to get to from the road, but there is a partially paved path you can walk down to the river and see it above you.
The other sight is the massive reservoir, the Embalse de Arenós. This giant lake is aqua blue and is the prettiest reservoir I’ve ever seen. There are options to kayak on the lake.
If you have time, hike or drive up the hill a bit to get an even better view.
If you want a bit more adventure than just swimming, there are options for whitewater rafting right in Montanejos.
Another adventurous option is rock climbing. The area is known for lots of climbing options, and this climbing experience is aimed at beginners.
Another great option for a day trip from Valencia is the town of Xàtiva and its hilltop castle. It is south of Valencia, not near Montanejos, but it’s easy to visit by train.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Montanejos Hot Springs address?
The address is Paseo Fuente de los baños, Carrera de Tales, 80, 12448 Montanejos, Castellón, Spain
What’s the Montanejos hot springs location?
The entrance is just to the north of the town of Montanejos, about 75 minutes from Valencia. You can easily walk from the town to the springs.
It is labeled Paseo Fuente de los Baños on Google Maps. There is a health spa called Balneario de Montanejos, but this is not the location.
Can you visit the Montanejos hot springs in winter?
Yes! The springs are open year-round. In the winter there are fewerf2 visitors and admission is free. However, since the water is warm but not the temperature of a hot tub, you’ll want to avoid swimming in winter unless you have a wet suit.
No matter how you travel to Montanejos and what you do, you’ll be in for an enjoyable day in the countryside. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel!