Ancient meets modern at Bath's Thermae Spa, the only spot in Britain where you can soak in naturally warm mineral water. The Celts and Romans frequented the spot 2,000 years ago, and today, historic spa buildings blend with the contemporary design of newer structures. Take in the views of the city at the open-air rooftop pool day or night.
This town, nestled in a wooded valley surrounded by undulating hills and crisscrossed with rivers and springs, has been a wellness destination since the 14th century (and coined the modern-day usage of “spa.”) Visit the newly-renovated Les Thermes De Spa, with 8,600 square feet of sleek swimming pools, where water comes directly from the iron-rich Clementine spring and temperatures hover at around 90 degrees.
It may be the world’s most iconic Instagram opp: Picture yourself floating effortlessly in the Dead Sea, ringed by Israel and Jordan on either side. This famed body of water is 33 percent salt (the reason why you’re so buoyant in it) and has eight times the amount of magnesium, calcium, and potassium compared to regular sea water. Researchers have found that patients with psoriasis who bathed for an hour a day in the Dead Sea improved by 88 percent. The water is also said to relieve allergy and arthritis symptoms.
The ancient Romans came, saw, and conquered, leaving behind grand public and private spas all over the city. Today, Budapest has been dubbed the "city of spas." Visit the massive pools, rich in fluoride and metabolic acid, and opt to swim laps, simply soak, or both. It’s said that the city’s well water can treat ulcer and gallbladder issues and calcium deficiency.
Located just north of Kobe, this hot spring has been attracting wellness-seekers since 631 and is the oldest spa destination in Japan. Scientists have studied the health benefits of nine substances found in the springs, including sulfur, carbon dioxide, hydrogen carbonate, chloride, sulfate and iron. (One of the springs has a pleasantly sweet, soda-esque flavor.) Their verdict? The heat boosts circulation, and take a dip or a drink to ease skin conditions such as eczema, plus relief for muscle and joint pain.
Located in central Turkey, the limestone-rich springs have carved cream-colored travertines into the hillside. Rich with calcium oxide and hydrogen sulfide, the blue waters are home to millions of tiny fish that nibble at dead skin. If you can handle the tickling sensation of fish eating hardened skin, you’ll emerge extremely exfoliated. Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed here