Saturnia Hot Springs: a backpacker guide

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Welcome to Saturnia Hot Springs, one of the best places you can visit in Southern Tuscany.

Saturnia is well known in Italy for its thermal baths and the various Spa and Wellness centres you can find in this area, however, in “Cascate del Mulino” you can get the same treatments of the luxury spa for FREE!

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about this amazing place!

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SKIP AHEAD:


How to get to Saturnia Hot Springs

First of all, you should know that the actual name of the place you are looking for is “Cascate del Mulino”.

Saturnia is the town nearby it, and it has several hot springs, spas and wellness centres.

BY CAR:

The best option to get to this place is to drive there by car. Saturnia Hot Springs is located in Tuscany’s countryside and having your own car can definitely save you some time.

Visiting the Saturnia Hot Springs is a perfect day trip from Grosseto, Rome, Florence, Pisa, and many other places.

TIP: Consider renting a car for the day – or even for a few days – to get the most out of Southern Tuscany. There are many other little villages you’ll want to visit around after the Hot Springs so having your own car is definitely the way to go.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

Saturnia Hot Springs is also reachable by bus. Like many places in southern Tuscany, public transport is available but it is not very convenient to use, especially for remote places like Saturnia. However, it is not impossible!

For example, these are the busses you need to take to get there from Grosseto.

  1. Grosseto – Albinia: 33m by bus, every 3 hours (41P; 39O; 40O; 1FP | 3 – 5€) or by train.
  2. Albinia – Manciano: 39m by bus, 5 times a day (41P; 11P; PT5 | 3 – 5€)
  3. Manciano – Saturnia: 24m by bus, every 4 hours (1 – 3€)

Check the following map for the exact route!

Where to stay

Luxury: Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort. A five-star resort which features an 18-hole golf course and is 5 km from the medieval village of Saturnia. Built out of Travertine marble, its elegant thermal spa features Roman baths and natural swimming pools. (From 310€/night)

Mid-budget: Agriturismo Le Cascatelle. Located only 500 metres away, this place is the best option for those who want to visit the Mill Waterfalls. It offers rustic-style rooms and apartments with wood-beamed ceilings and hand-painted furniture. (From 87€/night)

Budget: Casale Fontani. The Fontani farmhouse is located in a unique position immersed in the uncontaminated nature of the Tuscan Maremma, it is an ideal base for hiking in the Albegna valley, but also to visit the many archaeological and cultural sites nearby, such as Sovana, Pitigliano and Sorana. It’s about 30 minutes by car from the Mill Falls. (14€/night)

Entrance fee

There is NO entrance fee.

Yes, Saturnia Hot Springs remain completely free.
However, we have heard some rumours about an upcoming entrance ticket fee starting from April 2020.

Parking

Parking is free but limited, so keep in mind that it could be challenging to find a parking spot during high-season if you come late during the day. Being there early in the morning is always a good idea.

Just keep in mind that the parking is for cars and bikes only. Campervans are not allowed (maximum height: 2.20m).

For those travelling in a van or that are just interested in camping in the area, you can find a camping site available located just about 800m from the hot springs. Click here for the location: Camping

It is not allowed to camp at the hot springs.

Best Time to visit Saturnia Hot Springs

The best time of the year to visit Saturnia Hot Springs is during Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November). The pools are not so crowded during these seasons and the air temperature is not too warm, which is best to enjoy the relaxing hot water of Saturnia.

Summer is probably the worst time to visit it. This place isn’t a secret anymore and it will be packed with tourists.

We visited it in February and we can say winter is also a great time of the year to be there. The water is warm all year round so, if you can deal with a little thermal shock while entering and exiting the water, you will be fine. The only downside of visiting the hot springs in winter is that bad weather is behind the corner and you never know what you can get.

This is what the Hot Springs looked like in November 2019 after a thunderstorm:

Best time of the day to go

The best time of the day to visit the Hot Springs in Saturnia is probably early in the morning. Not only you will have the place for yourself, but you will be also welcomed by the incredible amount of steam that is generated by the thermal differential, especially in winter.

TIP: Mid-day is also a great time to visit it, because whenever the sun is high in the sky the water becomes turquoise, and it’s so, so beautiful. At the same time, you may have to deal with lots of people.

We have been there from 7 AM to 10.30 AM and we enjoyed both scenarios.

NOTE: There were quite a lot of tourists at 10 AM also in low season.

A huge amount of steam, on an early and cold winter morning.

More about Saturnia Hot Springs

The thermal waters of Saturnia hot springs have been flowing for millennia from a natural crater, at a constant temperature of 37.5°C, all year round.

The water comes from the foothills of Mount Amiata, some 30 kilometres away. It’s believed it takes around 40 YEARS to get here. In facts, the water descends to a depth of 700 meters during its journey, which is the only way it could reach its temperature.

The pools are about a half meter deep, which make this place perfect and safe for families with kids as well.

Next to the building, which used to be a mill, there is a waterfall. This is why this place is called “Cascate del Mulino” in Italian, which translates to Mill Waterfalls.

Facilities

Do not expect to find much else besides the hot springs. There are no lockers, no changing rooms, no showers at the Mill Falls.

Most people leave their belongings on the ground near the pools. You can do the same, just keep a close eye on them.

There is also a bar next to it which we believe is open in high season (not in a weekday of February tho) and offers these services. The bar is convenient thanks to its position, but it appears to be a little overpriced.

What to pack

All you need is a swimsuit, a towel and eventually flip flops. If you are going in summertime, you want to pack also sunscreen as the sun can be quite strong.

Consider to bring also your own drinks and snacks to save some money; the on-site bar is not the best representation of the yummy Tuscan cuisine.

Photography tips

As we mentioned before, there are 2 times of the day which are just perfect for photography: sunrise and mid-day.

The water gets an incredible colour when the sun is high in the sky, and the whole place is just magical and empty at sunrise.

All the photos you see in this article are taken by drone. Flying didn’t seem to be prohibited, but it might be a problem in high season.

There is also a viewpoint in front of the Mill Falls, location here.

What to do in the area

If you want to include something else after visiting Saturnia Hot Springs, we’d highly recommend to check out this itinerary.

The next stop should definitely be “Borghi del Tufo”, 3 medieval villages (Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana) located about 1 hour far from the Hot Springs.

Not far from there you will also find Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio, which are definitely must-visit places in this area.

Don’t forget about Val d’Orcia, one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Here you should visit Monticchiello, Pienza, Torrenieri, and all of the other little villages and spots you can find on the infographic below.

Specific articles about these places are coming soon.

Spa & Wellness Centres

For those looking for a more secluded and relaxing experience, we must mention that there are many Spas and Wellness Centres in Saturnia.

There are obviously many different spas and packages, but a basic entrance to the pools will be around 23-27€ (Source: https://www.termedisaturnia.it/en).

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