A steamy wonderland in the Andean highlands, Termas de Papallacta hot springs in Ecuador can be visited on a day trip from Quito. A dreamy resort and spa with plenty of outdoor thermal pools, hikes and mountain views, it’s a great introduction to Ecuador, and is one of the best things to do near Quito. […]
Welcome to the world of spa and wellness
The spa can change your life - a spa certainly changed mine. After my first spa vacation, at a state-run spa in Germany, I was such a fan of spa travel I went home, wrote about the spa I'd been to and sold the articles some top newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Post and the Toronto Star – a fluke or fate, who knows?
At any rate my life as a travel and spa writer was born. Who knew there was such an interest in wellness?
Spa luxury at the Park Kenmare in Ireland
The spa is a good for your health
Since then I’ve written about the spa industry, spa travel and top wellness destinations around the globe. And what I've learned is that there is no healthier way to vacation. Is it any wonder spa and wellness travel is one of the fastest growing niches in the tourism industry?
My only question is, what took it so long?
Nordic Spa Natur’Eau in Quebec
Open your mind to spa travel
So drop those spa prejudices (you know you have them - at least my husband did until I brainwashed educated him), because a trip to the spa can mean far more than a mani and a rose-scented facial (though you wouldn't catch me turning one down).
Today, the spa is as much about lifestyle as it is about beauty and there are spas and spa destinations that cater to every taste.
Historic Bath Spa
What can you do at the spa?
The options for spa treatments and spa programs are so varied it's mind blowing. In additional to the good old Swedish massage, at the spa you can:
- Hone your sports performance
- Soothe your back pain
- Improve your sleep habits
- Challenge yourself with equine therapy
- Learn how to do Nordic walking.
- Let us not forget the power of a really good pedicure
Sahra Spa at Cosmo Las Vegas Hotel
Why go to the spa?
Ah, Spa, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
- Because you offer stress relief, especially a spa that has expansive facilities such as saunas, whirlpools and relaxation rooms. The minute I walk into one I start to relax.
- Because when my skin looks haggard you make it look better - nothing beats a good collagen facial. Nothing. Not even champagne.
- Because you ease my back pain and shoulder tension: A good masseuse is gold, baby. Gold.
- Because when no one cares, you do. Seriously. The spa is a terrific substitute for love and attention.
- Because you like to celebrate: Going to the spa for a special occasion is a no brainer. I'd rather go to the spas in Vegas on a bachelorette party than play the slots wearing fishnets and a captain's hat any day.
- Because you heal: Curative spas are all the rage these days, a throw back to the time when taking the 'cure' in Europe was a high society past time. My personal favourites are thermal water (hot springs) spas, though I'm not adverse to a good seawater spa cure either.
- Because luxury travel is always better when it includes a spa.
- Because spa travel is the very best type of travel of all.
Different types of spas
Trying to define a spa these days is like trying to define culture, or health, or life itself. The spa can be so many different things. There are Nordic spas with outdoor pools, beauty spas, medi spas, wellness and holistic spas, fitness spas, detox spas, destination spas, day spas and even DIY spas out in nature, where you slap some mud onto your legs and rub.
Something for everyone to be sure.
DIY wellness in Saturnia, Italy
Spa travel is a wide open world
With so many spa options available, the question isn’t whether to go to the spa, it’s where to go to the spa.
There are luxury spa destinations, affordable spa holidays and everything in between. And that’s why WanderingCarol has such a large wellness and spa section: it’s designed to be the ultimate resource for spa travel, luxury spas, spa destinations, spa trends and how-to information, just for you.
How to use this spa guide
To get the most out of the spa information on this travel blog, scroll down, you'll find plenty of spa articles here. Have fun and happy spa travel planning - don't you feel better already?
A Baden-Baden spa experience is like no other. Germany’s most elegant spa town is bursting with hot springs, lined with swanky shops and historic hotels. Here’s how to visit, where to spa and how to soak in the famous Baden-Baden baths of Friedrichsbad and Caracalla. The spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany If you want to […]
Spa towns in the Czech Republic have history, style and water in abundance. Even if you’re not here to spa, destinations such as Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne are some of the best places to visit in the Czech Republic outside of Prague. Here’s everything you need to know about planning a visit. Spa towns […]
With its Belle Époque architecture, curative thermal springs, plentiful hotels and celebrity past, Montecatini Terme is Italy’s best-known spa town. Its location between Florence and Pisa makes it a good base to explore northern Tuscany, and whether you’re here on a day trip or doing a full spa cure, it’s a unique – and cleansing – experience. […]
Natural hot springs, also called thermal springs, have been used for healing and wellness for centuries. The Romans built temples and towns around them, the Georgians loved thermal bathing and so do spa fans today. Here are some reasons why hot spring spas are good for you, and why you should put one on your travel itinerary. […]
The healing thermal water that simmers under Budapest rises up into stunning art deco buildings, centuries-old sanctuaries and wonderful soaking pools. While visiting Budapest baths can be confusing, you should still go. Why? Because soaking in warm Hungarian thermal water is one of the most fun ways to connect with the local culture. It’s also healing […]
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in Ontario, a trip to Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain, just two hours north of Toronto, makes a serene stop. Is it romantic? That depends on who you ask. For all the essential information on how to visit and what to do there, read on. A Blue Mountain getaway […]
Spa La Source – La Source Bains Nordiques – just outside Rawdon, Quebec, is a tranquil nordic spa in the heart of nature. If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip from Montreal where you can soak, sit and soothe your muscles, this one-hour drive into the beautiful Lanaudiere region of Quebec will give your mind – and […]
Tuscany is famous for its natural hot springs and steaming thermal spa resorts, but how do you know where to go? Search no more. Here is how to choose a spa in Tuscany, and a rundown on some of the best Tuscan spas, natural pools and hot springs resorts. Choosing a spa in Tuscany Renting […]
With its elegant Neoclassical architecture and graceful colonnades, the Czech spa town of Marianske Lazne, or Marienbad, is one of the most appealing spa towns in Europe. If you’re going to spend one day in Marianske Lazne, here are the top things to do. A historical Czech spa town Ever since my first visit to Marianske Lazne, when I discovered the […]