Thinking of Visiting Caldea? Here Is What You Can Expect
Caldea Andorra was one of our first stops when we visited the alpine city of Andorra la Vella in the heart of the Pyrenees Mountains. And we didn’t have a hard time finding it. Not only is it one of Europe’s largest natural thermal spas but it also happens to be the tallest building in all of Andorra.
We spent a half day here at the spa and had a wonderful time. In this article, we will tell you about the evolution of Caldea Spa Andorra, outline the many different sections so you can plan your visit and let you know what to expect in each spot.
Caldea Spa Andorra Is Not Just A Spa – It’s An Architectural Masterpiece!
Caldea is a remarkable structure. From the outside, the sprawling spa is highlighted by an 80 metre (260 feet) tall spire pointing to the heavens. The entire glass and steel structure with its sharp angles and innumerable sides hints at an abstract cathedral. And that is by design.
Jean-Michel Ruols, the French architect who designed the original building in 1994 then later added to it in 2013, was inspired by the Romanesque Meritxell basilica in the hills of Andorra.
The distinctive architecture of Caldea Spa was carefully designed to blend harmoniously into the Pyrenees mountains through its unique shape, angular geometry and connection to the natural landscape.
The inside of Caldea is no less striking. Its interior shapes and angles were all carefully designed to reflect geometric formations found throughout nature. The enormous glass walls flood natural light into the central atrium and the pools. This is what gives Caldea a very organic, harmonious feel.
Why was Caldea Spa Andorra Built Here? Because Of The Water!
Andorra has some of the warmest thermal waters in the Pyrenees Mountains. Caldea Spa taps into the thermal waters of the nearby Escaldes-Engordany springs which are 70ºC (158ºF) at the source.
The therapeutic effects of the thermal water come from its high mineral content, including sodium and sulphur. This is said to help soften skin, soothe aches and pains, relieve stress and improve circulation.
Caldea chose to use the natural therapeutic benefits of its thermal waters in a fun way by creating a variety of themed pools and baths throughout the complex. This is what makes Caldea Spa different from most other thermal spas.
Caldea Is Actually Four Separate Themed Spas
Caldea spa has an adults only area, the Inúu Spa (ages 16 and up) and a family area, the Thermolûdic spa (ages 5 and up). But it also has the Origins Spa for everyone over 5 and the Likids Spa for children 3 to 8.
Tickets are for three-hour segments in Thermolúdic Spa and four-hour segments in Inúu Spa and prices vary depending on whether you are visiting in the morning, afternoon or evening.
Inûu Spa is the most expensive but gives you access to Thermolúdic and Origins as well. If you buy a ticket to Thermolúdic you also get access to Origins. Check out your purchase options here.
Tickets for Likids are for the child only – parents are not permitted in this spa, which is monitored by specially trained staff. This is like a spa daycare and parents can go and relax while their little ones get to enjoy special kid-sized spa and water activities.
When you buy your ticket at the reception desk, you are given an electronic wrist band which controls which areas you have access to. The wrist band is used to enter your change room.
Change rooms and spa access are separate for Inúu and Thermolûdic. The wrist band is also used to determine how much time you have left in the spa.
Interesting Facts About Caldea
This is the Caldea’s largest spa area. It is set up for families and groups of friends and has a more playful atmosphere than the Inúu spa. There are several themed spaces in Thermolúdic including the Great Inland Lagoon, the Outdoor Lagoon with mountain views, and the more recently built Panoramic Thermal Lagoon.
Thermolûdic also has several other specialty spas, baths, saunas and terraces to fill your time at Caldea.
Here are the highlights of the Thermolûdic Spa:
Great Inland Lagoon
Upon entering the Great Inland Lagoon from the change room, it felt like we were inside a giant spaceship. The steel and glass walls taper from the wide base at the bottom to a peaked top, several stories above.
The main floor is dominated by the large lagoon that contains several bowl-shaped pools that are accessible via curving staircases. There are boardwalks above the main level that meander around the different baths and pools on the upper levels.
It is quite a stunning visual and we did spend a minute or two just taking it all in before we ventured into the warm waters of the lagoon.
Outdoor Lagoon with Mountain Views
You get to the Outdoor Lagoon by floating on the currents of the winding river that starts in the Great Inland Lagoon.
Once outside, there are unobstructed views of the Pyrenees Mountains that surround Andorra la Vella. You also get some pretty decent views of the city since Caldea is built partway up a hill that overlooks the capital.
And your experience in the Outdoor Lagoon will be different depending on what season you visit and whether you come during the day or at night.
We visited the Caldea on the first day of Spring with an outside temperature of 15ºC (59ºF) which was quite a bit cooler than the 32ºC (90ºF) temperature of the water. It was quite nice in the outside spa and we lingered for a while just gazing at the mountains and enjoying the relaxing warmth of the thermal pool.
Panoramic Thermal Lagoon
The Panoramic Thermal Lagoon is the most recent addition to Caldea Spa and was opened on July 4, 2020. Like the Outdoor Lagoon, there are fabulous views of the mountains above and the cityscape below.
What is really special about this lagoon is that it was built to hover over the Gran Valira River that runs beside the main building of Caldea and through the centre of town. The cantilevered lagoon has a glass bottom which allows you to see the river flowing underneath as you swim in the tranquil, thermal waters.
Because you have an unobstructed view to the river below and the sky above, it really gives you the sensation that you are flying.
There are two levels to the Panoramic Lagoon. The upper level features a bubbling jacuzzi to massage away your aches and pains. You can also relieve your stress on the lower level by making use of the hydro massage jets located around the pool. This level also has a cascading waterfall.
This was our favourite lagoon in the Thermolûdic spa and we spent a considerable amount of time here just enjoying the views!
For a bit of a different experience, try out the Indo-Roman Baths. These baths are accessed from the Great Inland Lagoon and are inspired by the bath caves of Elephanta Island near Mumbai. It truly is like walking inside a labyrinth of caves. The Indo-Roman style is evident in the ornately curved columns lining the walls of the cave.
There are two main baths here that offer contrasting temperatures to invigorate your body. The hot bath is 36ºC (97ºF) and the cold bath is 14ºC (57ºF). Going from one to the other is quite intimidating but supposed to be really good for circulation in the legs.
As the name suggests, these baths are inspired by the hot springs and glacial pools of Iceland. Like the Indo-Roman baths, here you will find a combination of hot and cold baths. However, there is an additional bath that makes this one a bit more daring. An ice bath!
I have to say, it took me several minutes to convince myself to try this area out. And when I did get to the ice bath, I didn’t linger for very long.
You will be able to enjoy an aqua-massage in various areas of the Thermolûdic spa. There are a number of stalls located just off the Grand Inland Lagoon near the Icelandic baths. These large cylindrical columns offer pulsating jets of thermal water that can be directed to different parts of the body.
There are also several thermal waterfalls that you can stand or sit in around the lagoon that also provide soothing aqua-massage.
You will also find bubble beds located in the Grand Inland Lagoon as well as in the Outdoor Lagoon area. We actually preferred the outdoor beds because we could experience the pulsating effects of the aqua-massage while leisurely reclining on the bubble bed and taking in the fabulous Andorran vistas.
The Hammam is an ancient Turkish bathing method that goes back thousands of years. It is usually a warm room experience and is meant to relax and improve breathing. The Hammam at Caldea has a temperature of 55ºC (131ºF). While that feels quite warm, there is a cold fountain in the middle of the room that can be used to cool off.
The cream coloured walls bordered with blue and green mosaic under a deep blue domed ceiling produce an Arabian vibe inside the Hammam that enhances the relaxing mood.
If you didn’t find the Hammam warm enough, try out the Sauna. This cedar lined room with tiered wooden benches is a great place to expel all those bad toxins in the body. The temperature in the sauna reaches 85ºC (185ºF) and while it is a dry-heat sauna, believe me – you won’t be!
The Outdoor Terraces
After you have spent a couple of hours trying out all of the different pools, spas and baths in the Thermolûdic spa, there isn’t a better way to end your visit at Caldea than just taking in the great scenery around you on one of the outdoor terraces.
You will get some of the best views of the city and the Pyrenees from Caldea’s terraces.
Overall our experience at the Thermolûdic spa was quite positive. While it is a family-oriented spa and tends to be quite active, it was still a good experience. We were there at the beginning of Spring and on a Monday so it wasn’t overly crowded or noisy. That may be different in the high seasons (winter and summer).
This is the adults-only (16+) area of Caldea Spa and where we spent most of our time. It is more expensive (64 Euros) than Thermalûdic (32 Euros), but you have four hours instead of three hours and you still get access to Thermalûdic.
Your ticket price to Inúu includes everything you need to enjoy your stay. We were provided with bathrobes, plush towels, slippers and a locker.
Innúu sits a level above the main Caldea lagoon. In contrast to the family-oriented Thermalûdic, Inúu is really designed to be a relaxing and tranquil experience.
It has its own lagoon area which is much quieter than the main Thermalûdic lagoon. There is also an outdoor space, a revival space, a relaxation space, a treatment space and a gym.
Here are the highlights of the Inúu spa:
Thermal Water Space
This is the indoor lagoon area of Inúu. There are three multilevel pools making the whole lagoon area feel like a waterfall. The lagoon walls are stainless steel which reflects the pink and blue light emanating from the “sails” suspended above the lagoon.
The warm thermal water is 32ºC (90ºF) and very relaxing. The edge of the lagoon is rimmed with water seats that bubble up therapeutic water. There are also large swan-necked stainless steel massage jets scattered around the lagoon to soothe different parts of your body.
Stepping out of the pools and walking around the lagoon you will find fuchsia seating pods if you want to take a break. There are also bubble beds facing the endless wall of glass windows where you can gaze out to the Pyrenees.
Outdoor Thermal Space
Inúu has its own private outdoor lagoon that can be accessed directly from the pools of the indoor lagoon through an opening in the wall.
It has many of the same features as the indoor lagoon with bubble beds, swan neck massaging showers and a central waterfall.
The space also includes a bubbling jacuzzi hot tub which is set to 35ºC (95ºF). This is the highest bath in Caldea so you get really great views from here.
The outdoor space at Inúu has truly unobstructed views of the mountains and the cityscape. It is tranquil, relaxing and inspiring to be sitting in these soothing waters watching wisps of cloud slide across the peaks of the Pyrenees. Of the four hours we spent at Caldea, this was the most relaxing space for us.
The Revival Space in Inúu is really meant to rejuvenate and relax your entire body. It is made up of a series of interconnecting areas that provide different therapeutic experiences.
There is a hammam (not as big as the one in the Thermalûdic spa, but much more private) to help purify your pores.
A group of chromatic showers with varying degrees of pressure provide gentle to firm massage across your body.
One of the places that we enjoyed the most in this area was the hot marble wall and benches. After spending so much time in the water, it was really nice to feel the warmth permeating through our legs and back as we relaxed in this space.
There is also a saline wall sauna that uses 100% natural rock salt. This is supposed to be really good for respiratory health and improves skin health as well.
This area is just a place to get away from everything for a little peace and quiet. There are several warm hammock beds that you can lie on. You can also enjoy a snack here while listening to some soft, soothing music.
If you aren’t quite relaxed enough after all the time you spend in the rest of Caldea, you can opt for additional services in the Treatment Space.
There are four themed areas and each area has four treatment cabins. Caldea has teamed up with the French cosmetics brand Sothy’s for all of its offerings. You can get a variety of treatments lasting from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and ranging in price from €56 to €96 depending on the treatment and duration.
If you didn’t come to Caldea to relax, but instead came to work off some calories, then you won’t be disappointed. Inúu has a fully equipped 1,200 square metre modern gym to exercise every part of your body.
Trained technicians are available to help you with the equipment or provide you with a specific workout.
We really enjoyed our time at Inúu. While we didn’t get to the gym or take advantage of any of the treatments, we visited all of the other areas.
Origins is available to anyone who has purchased a ticket for the Inúu or Thermalûdic spa. It is a series of baths and saunas with different themes and features.
Here are the highlights of Origin Spa:
This was the first time we have experienced a grapefruit bath. To be honest, we didn’t even know it was a “thing”.
This bath is located in a beautiful Japanese Garden. Dozens of whole grapefruits are floating on top of the warm thermal waters. The idea is that the floating grapefruits rub gently against your skin to exfoliate it and make it soft.
The Aztek Bath is next to the Grapefruit Bath. It looks like a narrow, winding stone canal surrounded by a tropical garden. The bottom of the bath has smooth, round stones which help to massage your feet and legs.
This is a large bath surrounded by a bamboo forest. On one side of the bath is a chromatic waterfall that changes colour. As the colours change, so does the temperature of the water giving you a massage that helps to improve circulation and relieve soreness.
The Hammam in Origins is different than the one in Thermalûdic as it is a wet hammam in a small, steamy room which helps to remove toxins from your body. There is also a fountain with ice and cold water in case you want to cool off.
Origins has a number of dry saunas in its space that are gender specific. The saunas are a great way to relax sore and tired muscles and get rid of excess toxins.
If you need to rest between baths, you can head to the Origins Terrace which overlooks the Thermalûdic pool.
There are plenty of tables and chairs to take the weight off your feet. There is also cold spa water available in this area along with hand towels if you need them.
Outdoor Hot Tubs
Origins has two outdoor hot tubs surrounded by an ornamental rock garden. You can sit in the hot tubs and enjoy 360-degree views of the mountains and town.
Walking down a set of steps from the hot tubs you will find the Origins Outdoor solarium. This is another great spot to finish your visit to Caldea.
There are loungers spread around the solarium, and like the other outdoor spaces at Caldea, you will get great views of the surrounding landscape.
Likids is the exclusive spa for the little ones at Caldea. The spa is limited to kids 3 to 8 years old. And parents, you’re not invited! You do get to deliver your kids to the Likids entrance from the Thermalûdic change room.
From there you will entrust them into the capable hands of the Caldea monitors who will ensure that they have a great time while you are relaxing in other areas of the spa.
Likids is a mini spa for kids. It has a lot of the same kinds of spaces that are available in the rest of Caldea.
Here are the highlights of the Likids Spa:
This kidney shaped shallow lagoon has a depth of only 40 cm (16 inches) so is perfect for the little tykes to splash around.
It has a waterbed area where bubbles provide a gentle massage and an area for water cannons that discharge light bursts of water.
The Soft Beach is another shallow pool area. It has multi-coloured dunes of various sizes made from a soft material that the kids can sit on.
The Sauna Lounge consists of wooden walls and benches (just like the grown-up version) but has a maximum temperature of 24ºC (75ºF) so no worries about overheating here. The monitors engage the children in story telling or watching videos and playing relaxing games.
This is an interactive space where the children get an opportunity to engage in kid-designed spa treatments. These include manicures, foot massages, yogurt face masks and other game-related activities to ensure that they all have a great time.
Likids Jacuzzi is the perfect spot for little ones to get a gentle massage in this circular bubbling hot tub that is six square metres (65 square feet) and features thermal water jets.
This kid-sized gym is set up to provide guided activities in a safe and fun space. Activities like yoga and other psychomotor exercises are led by the trained instructors to provide help with motor skills and strength development.
We weren’t visiting with children but Likids seems like the perfect place to give your kids a break with an opportunity to enjoy the same kind of activities that you will indulge in at Caldea.
Dining at Caldea
Caldea offers two dining locations onsite which make it very convenient for having a meal. They do offer special pricing when you purchase your ticket to the spa so be sure to check for those options.
The first restaurant is Siam Shiki offering Thai and Japanese dishes.
The second option is Blu Restaurant and it offers a Mediterranean menu.
The Final Word…Caldea Andorra
Caldea Spa in Andorra offers a wide variety of activities in an amazing structure set against a spectacular backdrop – the Pyrenees Mountains. It is very different from the other spas we have visited in Iceland yet still offers the healing benefits of its geothermal waters.
Caldea is a place that you can go back to several times and try something different each time. It has been designed to take advantage of every season and can be enjoyed from morning through to late evening.
If Andorra is on your bucket list, make sure to make Caldea Spa a must-do activity for your visit.