The Baths Natural Hot Springs: Top 5 Things To Know
1. A great experience in every season
If you are looking for an all year round escape into nature, look no further than The Baths. Situated 180 km from Cape Town on the N7, and about 20km from Citrusdal, the small town that is the gateway to the rugged Cederberg Mountains, The Baths offer a real break from city life.
2. Take a dip in the hot, healing waters
This resort is centered around an artesian well and was established way back in 1769. Before then the original inhabitants of the area, the San made use of the healing qualities of these natural waters for hundreds of years. Evidence of their activities in the area can be found in the San rock paintings in the area.
The water runs off the Koue Bokkeveld Mountains, sinks down to about 7 kilometers below the earth’s surface before the pressure forces it back up where it bubbles out in the Kloof at a temperature of 43 C. The spring yields about 105 000 liters of water every hour. The main outlet is enclosed and under lock and key, but you can walk up to it and on a cold day, see the steam condensing in the chilly air around it.
The resort has two outdoor pools, one hot and one cold. If you prefer your experience to be more natural, follow the rocky path through the trees to the warm rock pools and relax for a healing soak under the canopy of indigenous trees where the only distraction is the soothing sound of water flowing down the rock face, and the occasional call of a bird.
The Baths also offer a Spa building, which contains 5 jacuzzi’s – the perfect place to relax after a days hiking and exploring.
Day passes are subject to availability and need to be booked one day in advance. R100 per person & R50 per child under 12.
3. A stylish new look
The whole resort has recently undergone a massive upgrade. The attention to detail is excellent and the friendly staff is all part of The Baths experience, just one of the many reasons why they have so many repeat visitors and guests who are practically part of the family.
4. The accommodation at the Baths is varied offering something for all tastes and budgets
The 25 campsites for caravans or tents are laid out alongside the road and shaded by the mountainside and wild olive and other indigenous trees. All sites have electricity and braai facilities. Four luxury-styled ablution blocks service the campsites.
The Victorian-styled stone building is a beauty, built in 1903 and recently restored to its original grandeur, the rough warm stone contrasts perfectly with the delicate wrought iron designs around the balcony. This building has 6 self-catering apartments each with their own braai facilities.
The Dwarsgebou is a stylish, gabled, Cape Dutch double story building housing 6 duplex self-catering units. Each unit can accommodate 4 to 6 people, making it ideal for families or groups of friends.
The Olsen Building is also made of stone and has 7 self-catering apartments, each with its own private Jacuzzi and braai area.
The 8 Kloof Chalets are free-standing cottages, 7 of which have their own private Jacuzzis
The 8 Valley View Chalets have magnificent views over the Olifants River Valley and beyond to the Koue Bokkeveld Mountains. Private Jacuzzis and braai areas make these perfect for a romantic getaway.
5. A natural playground
When you are not relaxing in your private Jacuzzi or floating in a warm rock pool there is plenty to keep your entertained at The Baths.
The Baths celebrate the fact that this is the place to visit to unplug from the world, but if you cannot stay away from updating your Instagram, they do have cell phone reception including Wi-Fi. Some chalets also have DSTV.
Music is not permitted, and neither are pets, so your tranquil natural digital detox is guaranteed. Visitors are capped at 220 people in the resort at any given time.
Although most kids will happily stay in the water until they are as wrinkled as prunes, there is a dedicated children’s play area that includes a trampoline, and for the whole family, there are tennis courts, a pool table, and table tennis.
If you do not feel like cooking, McGregor’s Restaurant is fully licensed and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The shop stocks the basics required for self-catering.
Get right into nature with a one or two-hour hiking trail or bring your bike and test your skills on the MTB route. Explore the forests, wildflowers, mountains, and trees in the fresh air, introduce your kids to the wonders of the wild, and freshen up in your jacuzzi when you return.
What can beat a plunge into an icy pool in the peak of summer, lazy days and long braais under the shade of the trees and evening walks in the cool of the evening to watch a magnificent sunset?
Winter is time for warming bracing walks into the mountains and admiring the views, you might even see snow on the distant mountains. A warm jacuzzi before you wrap up warmly and enjoy a hearty meal in front of a log fire or curl up under a blanket with a good book.
Treat yourself to a retreat into nature, it’s good for your soul.
The Baths are located on the West Coast Way Wild Route
Written by Di Brown. Photographs by Christine & Warren Bernard
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Scenic Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.