Hot water springs and winter go together the world over, and as a result remains a favourite destination for time spent in tranquil surroundings.
The Western Cape alone boasts at least five natural hot water spring facilities open to the public, all located in small villages usually deriving income from agriculture. In many cases the discovery of such springs have lead to property development taking place around rural areas where natural hot water springs were once discovered, that have grown into revenue producing towns. In other cases farmers have kept these rejuvenating facilities located on their land for the exclusive use of family and friends.
In offering residents and visitors wonderful escapes from modern day stresses, some of the towns where these resorts are located have also gained from residential investments since bypassing travelers and visitors cannot always resist the temptations of a small town lifestyle.
The rejuvenation qualities of natural hot water springs have long been a remedy for tired bodies and weary souls. History has it that many of these were discovered inadvertently, mostly as a result of its rural and mountainous locations. Scientists claim that warm and especially hot natural spring water contain a high mineral content, from simple calcium to lithium, as well as radium. And because of this acclaimed medical value many of these springs have become popular tourist destinations, while some in other countries offer rehabilitation facilities for longer stays.
For the residents of these small towns who are fortunate enough to live within close quarters of such therapeutic facilities, there are the benefits of tourism that has created a market for property to rent, many which are short rentals during high season school holiday periods of July and August. Locals say the discovery of the value of these bubbling springs with its rich mineral compositions not only attracts first time visitors, but provides a regular stream of repeat visitors and eventually real estate investors.
For those in search of a winter holiday, or even property for sale the Cape’s hot water springs are mostly located within reasonable distances near the towns of Worcester, Montagu, Calitzdorp, Citrusdal and Warmwaterberg near Barrydale. The closest from Cape Town is the Caledon Spa, located in the Overberg region about 100 km along the N2, and is part of the Caledon Hotel Casino and Spa Resort. This resort features a traditional Victorian bath house with 12 metre cascading ‘Khoisan Pools’ running at an average temperature of 44 degrees.
The Avalon Springs are located in the heart of Route 62, also known as the gateway to the Karoo, in the historic town of Montagu and not far from Swellendam and Ashton.
Another but smaller facility also located on Route 62, is the Warmwaterberg Spa nestled among the mountains between the towns of Barrydale and Ladysmith. And when travelling along the N1 just after the du Toit’s Kloof tunnel is the Goudini Spa in the picturesque mountain area of Worcester and the Theewaterskloofdam.
Moving further inland two hours out of the city along the N7 towards the Ceres Mountains, is The Baths Natural Hot water Springs Resort established as far back as 1739 and located in scenic Olifants River Valley near the quaint village of Citrusdal.