There’s something about relaxing in warm water, closing your eyes and feeling the warmth hugging your body. There’s something about stepping into an artificial waterfall, enjoying the water pressure on your sore muscles. There’s something about getting a massage to relieve the stress of everyday living. There’s something about saunas and hot baths and fragrances and steam. There’s something about spas. And then, there are whole towns blessed with hot springs, dedicated to your relaxation. So, let’s take a look at some of the best spa towns in the world.
- Spa, Belgium: This town gave the whole spa-thing its name, so we were bound to put it first on our list (though the list is not hierarchical). It’s called the City of Water for a reason and it has been offering people relaxation for centuries. It’s bigger than most of the other towns on this list, but tourists mostly go there for the natural water springs. And if you live in the surrounding countries, it’s just so easy to visit.
- Kaga, Japan: While the basis is the same, a spa town in Japan is a wholly different experience. There is a certain ceremonial character, perhaps even a spiritual element there. The Japanese have been enjoying the wellness offered from hot springs for over a millennium and they are happy to share it with the rest of the world. If you’re even in Japan, consider Kaga as one of your stops there.
- Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic: Most people would know it as Marienbad, made famous thanks to the 1960s European film, Last Year at Marienbad, but the town itself can offer magical and relaxing moments. The movie itself was not shot there, but don’t worry: the town is amazingly beautiful and luxurious and everything you’d expect from a western European style of spa town.
- Copahue, Argentina: Natural hot springs owe their temperature to the warmth of the Earth itself. Copahue is not only a town blessed with hot springs, but also a volcano. It’s a unique setting, deep in the wildlands of Patagonia, a bit farther away from the main attractions of Buenos Aires, but certainly worth your trouble. Not only will you enjoy the hot springs, but you’re going to do it while marveling at the vistas.
- Montecatini Terme, Italy: Located in Tuscany, which is a top destination all on its own, Montecatini Terme has a world-famous spa complex. You will be surrounded by art and beautiful architecture, you will relax in an atmosphere of luxury and history, and it’s only a stone’s throw away from Florence. Make sure to combine massages with wine tastings, for the ultimate decadent luxury.