Terme di Saturnia

The Terme di Saturnia Spa Complex is the playground of the world’s rich and famous. Celebrities have been coming here for years, and it’s possibly the principal reason why Saturnia is the most famous city in the Maremma.

Luckily us mere mortals can also spend a day at the spa, for a price, of course.

Aside from a few exercise pools, all of these are filled with the warm spring water that flows beneath the spa complex.

As gross as it sounds, this water contains thermal plankton. You can’t see these little microscopic critters, but, together with sulfur, which is also present in abundance, they’re said to work miracles on minor skin diseases, acne, stomach disorders, circulatory system inflammations and respiratory problems.

For an additional price, those looking for the ultimate pampering experience can treat themselves to a day in the complex’s sauna, jacuzzi and hydro-fitness swimming pool, or leave themselves in the capable hands of the spa’s masseurs and beauty therapists.

The spa complex also boasts a very fancy restaurant, golf course and sports facility, and doubles as a hotel for those who just can’t get enough pampering.

I have been to this spa many times, and I do recommend it. But I have to admit, I don’t always go here when I want to enjoy Saturnia’s hot springs.

It’s a once in a lifetime experience and the price is pretty reasonable, considering the luxury inside. I would definitely go there if you have a perchance for spas. It’s one of the best in the world.

Which spa is which?

There is a lot of confusion online about the Saturnia hot springs. In fact, TripAdvisor has about 15 different entries. 

There are only two places where you can enjoy the Saturnia hot springs:

The hot water flows from its underground source, which sits below the Terme di Saturnia spa complex. You can swim here, but you have to pay. There are a number of pools and waterfalls here. 

The water leaves the spa complex and flows down stream, through a few fields and other rivers until it reaches a natural waterfall. This is the Cascate del Mulino. The water has carved natural pools here. You can also swim here. It’s the most scenic site and the one you see most commonly online. It is free.  

The water flows into a field from here and disappears.

a few snap shots of the Terme di Saturnia to inspire:

everything you need to know before you visit:

how hot is it?: the water gushes from the source at 37°C (98.6°F), but it has dropped a few degrees by the time it reaches the lower pools. 

cost:  Monday to Friday: adults: €26, children (if they are shorter than 1 metre): €13

Weekends and holidays: adults: €31, children (if they are shorter than 1 metre): €13

Afternoon discounted tickets: €21

extras: Sun bed: €7

Umbrella: €4

Towel rental: €5

Slippers: €1

swimming at the source: the Terme di Saturnia spa actually sits on the source of the hot springs – i.e where the hot water gushes out from. 

They have built a giant pool around it, which is normally only open to hotel guests. 

You can swim there for an extra €5, but you’re only allowed in the pools and not on any of the sundecks.  

beauty spa: there is a beauty spa on site where you can get massages, use the jacuzzi and have other beauty treatments. Check the spa website for prices and to book ahead. 

opening hours: from November 11 to March 31: 9.30am-5pm, with discounted afternoon tickets available from 1pm.

From April 1 to October 31: 9.30am-7pm, with discounted afternoon tickets available from 2pm.

booking: you don’t need to book ahead at the spa unless you are in a large group. There is always room even during high season. 

kids: there are shallow kids pools.

night swimming: on rare occasions, the spa complex is open at night, usually in summer and usually around Ferragosto, August 15. Check the website for more information.  

best times to visit: you’re going to have an amazing time regardless of when you visit, but if you want to avoid the crowds, come on a weekday in autumn, winter and early spring. It can get cold in winter, but the water more than makes up for it.  

best times to visit in summer: you’re in the Maremma in peak tourist season, so what can you do to get a little swimming space? Come early in the morning as it’s opening to secure the best spots. 

parking: there is free parking on site. 

how to get into the Terme di Saturnia spa:

As you get closer to Saturnia, you will see a massive closed gate guarding a sprawling golf course. That is the Terme di Saturnia hotel and golf course, which is not what you’re looking for. Keep driving down the main road and follow the road as it curves right and past the Cascate del Mulino hot springs. 

You’ll see a petrol station, restaurant and an agriturismo on your left. Keep driving. A little way past that is a small sign pointing you down a tiny side road. That is the entrance to the spa. 

Head down the tiny side road, ignoring the parked cars that line the road and turn right into the massive car park! It’s free. 

 

showers, toilets and change rooms: there are separate women’s and men’s changing rooms after you pass the entrance. They have bathrooms, showers and hairdryers, as well as lockers for you to lock up all your valuables. These lockers are free. 

safety: there are lifeguards stationed all over the spa complex, but they aren’t the most reliable, tending to prefer to chat up pretty ladies and admire themselves in their aviators, so always keep an eye on your children. 

Pregnant women and young children are not advised to swim in the Saturnia hot springs, so always ask your GP before you take a dip. There is also some safety information at the entrance, which you should read. 

For everyone else, it’s recommended you take a break from the water every 20 minutes. Dehydration is a real risk when bathing in such hot water, so make sure you drink plenty of water! 

bring flip flops: always a good idea when you’re walking on wet surfaces, to and from the pools and the changing rooms. You can also buy them at the spa for €1. 

don’t forget: sunscreen and a towel. You have to pay extra to use the sundecks and umbrellas, but you can sit on the ample grass with a towel for free. 

a note about jewellery: if your jewellery isn’t pure gold or silver (or even if it is), take it off before you get in the water. Otherwise it will turn green/black. Trust me, it’s happened to me too many times.

Probably not a good idea to wear your best bathers either. The water can damage the fabric. 

eat and drink: the spa has a small bar with snacks, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream. It’s expensive and pretty rubbish. Technically there is no rule against bringing in your own food from home if you be discreet. 

There’s also a fancy bar and Michelin-starred restaurant on site if you want to splurge. 

Unfortunately you can’t go in and out of the spa, so you can’t pop over to Saturnia for lunch and then return in the afternoon. 

the smell: Saturnia’s hot springs flow with sulphuric water. Sulphur = egg smell. So be prepared. It doesn’t smell as bad as it used to. Your bathers and skin will stink a little afterwards, but a hot shower should get rid of the smell. 

other gross stuff: the water is a bit slimy, but there are no red worms like those you’ll see at the Cascate del Mulino. The walls of the pools might have a little grey slime on them though. 

health benefits: the slime you see around the edges is actually a grey mud mix that is very good for your skin. The gloop is also used to make very expensive beauty products, which you can buy at reception. 

The water itself is said to cure respiratory diseases, skin problems and circulatory issues.   

more information: www.termedisaturnia.it/en

don’t want to pay? 

If you, like me and most of Manciano’s locals, want to enjoy Saturnia’s hot springs for free in a veritable natural paradise, then you can’t go past the Cascate del Mulino.

They’re within walking distance of the spa back along the SP10, the main road. 

Still want more?

Check out our mini online guide with everything you need to know about the Saturnia hot springs

find out more

how to get to the Terme di Saturnia hot springs:

by car:

The Terme di Saturnia spa complex is located just outside of Saturnia.

To reach the complex, follow the Strada Provinciale Follonata/SP10.

As you get closer to Saturnia, you will see a massive closed gate guarding a sprawling golf course. That is the Terme di Saturnia hotel and golf course, which is not what you’re looking for. Keep driving down the main road and follow the road as it curves right and past the Cascate del Mulino hot springs. 

You’ll see a petrol station, restaurant and an agriturismo on your left. Keep driving. A little way past that is a small sign pointing you down a tiny side road. That is the entrance to the spa. 

Head down the tiny side road, ignoring the parked cars that line the road and turn right into the massive car park! It’s free. 

by public transport:

The closest train station to the spa complex is Albinia, followed by Orbetello. You can also get here by bus from Grosseto train station. 

From Grosseto train station, the 8/G will take you directly to Saturnia.

From Albinia and Orbetello, you will need to catch the 41/P to Manciano and catch another bus to Saturnia. 

From Manciano, the 17/P, E01 and E02 will all take you to Saturnia. 

The stop you need to get off at is called SATURNIA TERME and then walk down the main road until you get to the spa. 

To plan your trip, check out the Tiemme website.

Beware that public transport is infrequent, so always plan your journey well in advance and travel in the morning before 9am. Timetables will change on Saturdays. 

No buses run on public holidays or Sundays. 

map:

Terme di Saturnia
Via della Follonata, 58014 Saturnia, Manciano GR

what people are saying on TripAdvisor: