SAREIN, Iran (AP) — Spring-fed mineral baths on the slopes of Iran's Sabalan mountain draw patients seeking traditional hydrotherapy and tourists seeking a relaxing getaway.
The steamy waters emanating from the depths of the earth are rich in sulfur, calcium, lithium and other minerals, and are believed to offer relief to patients suffering from joint pain and some skin diseases. The hot springs, in the northwestern town of Sarein, also offer an affordable getaway for Iranians from all walks of life.
The region welcomes more than 8 million tourists annually, who flock to its many swimming pools, hotels and restaurants, according to local media reports. Others bathe in outdoor natural springs on grassy hillsides as animals graze in the background.
Here's a gallery of images from Associated Press photographer Ebrahim Noroozi of the hot springs at Sarein.
Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo .