A hidden hot spring that resembles the Garden of Eden lies 30 minutes from the main city of Granada (Spain). Yes, like back when men and women walked around naked and didn’t understand the concept of apparel.
No, it’s not your typical attraction and you can’t buy an entry ticket in advanced or even a bus ride that’ll conveniently drop you off there; these are not the Arab Baths (though they are another amazing “water-bath like attraction” of Granada). This place is secret, hush-hush, and of course only known by word of mouth. Luckily you have my mouth.
It’s a natural creation stinking of sulfuric, rotten eggs that belongs to Mother Earth; it’s easy to use, swim in, drink in, snort in, party in, fuck in, and all of the above. Not your normally “authorized” hot spring, that’s for sure. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
Getting There From Granada
There are buses leaving Granada every two to three hours that’ll take you to the small village-like town called “Santa Fé,” and then it’s up to you and your friends from there.
2 stations to catch a bus from Granada to the town of Santa Fé are as follows:
1. Outside of Granada’s main bus station on Avenida de Andaluces or
2. Calle Rector Marin Ocete (which is literally down the block from Avenida de Andaluces)
** Make sure you take the bus with the names Ureña e Hijos on the outside of it, but just in case, ask, ask, ask, as information is always subject to change **
Also, make sure you ask the driver where the closet stop to the “Aguas Termales” is, he/she will tell you.
Smarter travelers get there by car, but even so, there is no exact route, street name, or “way” to get there from the town of Santa Fé. Everyone just follows the same general direction, which is over yonder behind the last bushes to left of the horizon, as far as the eye can see.
Hint: If you don’t have a car or know a Spaniard who does, it’s best to start this trip while the sun’s still out. You can also try to hitch a ride there, totally up to you. What I do assure is that you can definitely get a ride back to Granada by some nice soul at the hot springs, or possibly, some gypsies in a white van selling a bunch of copper. I attest you that they’re safe, don’t worry, just always be in a big group; and if you want to really be prepared, you can bring a tent and spend the night at your own risk.
Speaking of Prepared
I was not at all for this adventure. We were so unprepared and so discouraged we would never find the place, that none of us bothered bringing a bathing suit. We truly went out on a limb.
So this is my attempt to help you and tell you to be prepared…
Along the way you’ll find yourself in a deserted town, unlike Granada. It may seem like The Hills Have Eyes, but this is okay, you are on the right tract. Get off the bus and simply ask the first person you see for, “Las Aguas Termales,” they’ll most likely point toward a general direction, follow it, trust your instinct and go.
*There really a million ways to get there, especially walking*
You’ll pass a roundabout, possibly, then pass an old squatted broken-down, cemented looking building covered in graffiti (still on cement street at this point), but eventually you’ll hit dirt ground; continue walking. Again, I can’t stress it anymore than I already have, but along the way ask every car that drives by for “Las Aguas Termales,” which in Spanish means “hot springs,” or more literally, “thermal waters.”
A majority will tell you to keep walking “that way,” or to keep going until you see trailers parked in the middle of an olive field where the view is breathtaking; on foot your breath might be gone at this point, so try not to get lost in the beauty. If it’s still winter you might catch the Sierra Nevada with snow still on it’s peaks; either way, continue walking past the trailers to the left, behind the hill.
If you stumble across trailer, van folk, they’re most likely still lagging behind from “Dragon Festival,” which is a free electronic and dance music festival that is held every spring break on the fields of Santa Fé for a span of two weeks. This too is only know by word of mouth, but some sites posting listings.
Check out: goabase.net, which posts news and information about upcoming trance/electronic music festivals around the globe, for every country, no matter where you are.
When we got to the trailers, we met Germans and stopped to chit chatted with them for a bit. In the midst of good, interesting conversational trailer talk, a name kept coming up — “Beneficio,” a word also frequently blabbed about back in Granada. We were told it was a secret, squatted village where the “rainbow” children live, that was about it. They voiced their own opinions about the place, but told us to go there if we get the chance and make opinions of our, and so we did, but that’s different story…
The Hot Springs
The first pool of sulfur is the less warm, and also, smallest. The second is the largest, but not as warm as the third, which yes, is the hottest and more secluded (many people get so excited that they t disregard the size of the area and never actually attempt to walk past the first two pool, hence it’s seclusion).
You can come and go as you please, stay the night, stay forever, live the life, no one bothers; so please, make friends, push around, dig, and make judgements of your own, but let it be warned that most bathers are absolutely naked. Don’t be alarmed as many of them are certainly young. They don’t care, and just remember that this is Europe for you, and not only Europe, but a secluded, secret, bathing spot, in Europe. That being said, do what you like, no one is watching and no one will tell you otherwise, so if you feel like taking a bite out of that apple, go right ahead.