About Us

The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), is a membership organization representing historic thermal spa towns and regions across Europe.

Since 2010 it has been certified by the Council of Europe to manage the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, as part of the Cultural Routes programme.

The EHTTA was founded in 2009 in Brussels (Belgium) by six Founder Members - Acqui Terme (Italy), Bath (UK), Ourense (Spain), Salsomaggiore Terme (Italy), Spa (Belgium), and Vichy (France). Many of these towns were involved in the 3-year long co-operation project called “Thermae Europae” (Culture 2000 Programme) which aimed to valorise and preserve thermal cultural heritage in Europe, and were keen to continue working together by establishing a permanent network.

As a result, EHTTA was established as a non-profit association based on the need to encourage, protect and enhance thermal, artistic and cultural heritage throughout Europe.

In 2010 it was certified as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, one of 48 across Europe (in spring 2023).

EHTTA in 2023: a healthy non-profit association with 50 members in 18 European countries and two International Partners

We celebrate towns and territories which all have a rich historical and cultural heritage and use their thermal mineral waters for health and well-being.


EHTTA has different categories of membership:

Active members

Municipalities that fall into the strict definition of spa towns. They must comply with EHTTA’s criteria.

associate members

Associations or regions providing their commitment to support the aims of EHTTA and the Cultural Route. 

international partners

Reserved for thermal towns outside of Europe which can document the historical relation with European thermal heritage.

Member towns
Associate members
Certification of our Cultural Route
International partners


Member towns have to meet the following criteria:

Be within a country which is a member of the Council of Europe.

Have a history of use as a thermal spa town dating back to the 19th Century or before.

Have an active water source used for bathing or drinking as part of a thermal centre.

Have a tradition of cultural events and the infrastructure related: theatres, concert halls, casinos, bandstands...

Have thermal architectural heritage dating back at least to the 19th century, with balneotherapy-related buildings classified as historic monuments.

Offer high quality accomodation with specific facilities dedicated to thermal activity.

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