If heading to the crowded ski slopes, a Caribbean island or a cruise with (seemingly) everyone else is not your cup of tea, or you have “been there, done that”, why not use your break for true rejuvenation? Rather than rubbing elbows this year to get in a line or a spot at the pool, you could be relaxing and healing mind, body and spirit after a hectic fall and holiday period at one of the top spa destinations in Europe.
Europe’s top spa destinations are easy to get to and distinct enough so that you truly get away from it all on your luxury spa vacation. Sure, there are the well-known places, but this is about quiet time for you, right?
So let’s explore some places which will give you peace of mind, both in the experience, and in knowing your wallet won’t take too much of a hit.
Spa Destinations in Europe: Pure Wellness and Healing
Before we explore the top spa destinations, let’s get first some education about European spas.
Serious Healing Centers
Spas in Europe are serious healing centers.
Thermal baths offer massages, healing thermal mud wraps, sauna programs and hamam (oriental bath) and personalized body and facial treatments. Their methods are honed from years (we are talking HUNDREDS of years) of experience. The water may contain calcium, magnesium, and sodium and benefits the skin. The regenerating mud is used for removing toxins and as anti-cellulite treatments.
Luminaries and the wealthy all have “taken the waters” for cures; because of its geothermal history, Europe hundreds of thermal centers.
There are a few different kinds of wellness center; the daily and the term stay.
The former allows you to have a break in a traveling itinerary and the other allows you to center the vacation around the wellness treatments you want, and can allow time for touring as well, if that is what you want.
Medical spas are places where you can reverse the damages done by the sun, stress, lack of sleep. They offer corrective methods in the latest modern practices, and in certain places are MUCH less expensive than having it done in the U.S. or the major cities in Europe. Celebrities, the wealthy and everyday Europeans already know and flock to these locations. These vacations are great ways to truly come home a better you!
The best part of going to either the thermal or med spa in the winter: by going in an “off-season”you are bound to save lots of money through special pricing and value-added amenities. Just make sure you work with a great Travel Advisor who would be able to add in even more on the basis of her relationship in the industry-and pick the right VETTED place for you..
With all that in mind, here are some top picks for spa destinations in Europe that save you money as well:
Top Four European Spa Destinations You Want To Explore
Luxurious Spas in Italy
What better way to enjoy La Dolce Vita than a luxurious spa-based vacation that can combine great wine, food and culture as well? My picks of regions to visit are Lake Garda, Umbria, Tuscany and Puglia.
Explore France and Relax
Exploring small villages and experiencing local French life is a reason on itself to get out of the major touristic areas. And combine that with wellness? We say “Mais oui”! My regional picks: Provence, Dordogne, The Midi-Pyrenees
The Balkans’ Medical and Thermal Spas
I love this whole region for what it offers. Certainly, the countries are destinations to go individually in balmy weather for the great outdoors, the sun and sea. But they are also worth a winter sojourn for their medical and thermal spas, combined with great food and wine.
There are topnotch hospitals and private health centers that cater specifically to cosmetic treatments, and luxury accommodations where you can rest and recuperate. Often a small group travels together to combine treatment, and lace the recovery time with enjoyable moments together. Great Girl Time!
This region also has thermal spas where individuals, couples, friends and families can go for rejuvenating stays catered to them.
With outdoor winter sports available, fantastic historic cities and quaint villages, good fresh food and sophisticated wines, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia hold lots of charm while saving you money.
Sauna Experience in the Winter Wonderland of Northern Europe
A winter wonderland of delights, the Baltic countries hold appeal to many.
Riga in Latvia, And Tallin in Estonia, look more beautiful than ever in snow, like an illustration from a fairy tale. And after exploring there, head to a spa on the Baltic Sea.
Additionally, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are true winter destinations where the sauna experience is at its most authentic.
The geothermal Iceland is a great winter destination as well with a winter low season. The bonus to many of the northernmost countries: the opportunity to see the Northern Lights as well.
As you plan a winter escape, keep in mind the PEACE of mind can be found far from where the hordes head. If you are truly seeking a restful and restorative vacation, these just might be some places for you.
For more tips and travel and savings, check out the list below.
Need a visa? Visa Application Tips To Avoid Delays
When completing your visa application form, make sure you submit a typed application with only capital letters. While some consulates may accept applications with upper and lower case letters, many will reject applications that do not follow their instructions. The Consulate of China in Los Angeles for instance rejects applications containing lower case letters or handwritten forms. Avoid having to redo and resubmit your visa application by remembering to follow the directions exactly, or use by using a recommended professional service to prepare the documents for you.
Holiday Travel Tips For U.S. Nationals With the holiday season approaching, U.S. nationals with international travel plans should ensure they have all necessary documents such as a valid passport to enter their destination and possess a valid visa, if applicable. When re-entering the United States remember to declare goods acquired abroad. The U.S. government recommends that you register your trip with the U.S. Embassy in the country you plan to visit. Registration notifies the U.S. Embassy in each country of your travel plans and enrolls you in the State Department travel advisory and warnings program. Learn more and register.
Avoid The Holiday Rush, Renew Your Passport Soon
Ten years ago the U.S. State Department and Homeland Security started the Western Hemisphere Initiative for passports. Hundreds of thousands of Americans secured a passport to travel abroad and those passports are starting to expire. Additionally, the U.S. Passport Offices is about to begin its busy holiday season. Don’t get caught with an expiring passport. Renew today in as little as one business day.
Driving Abroad? Get An International Driving Permit Before Your Go
Planning to rent a car or drive a private vehicle abroad? Get an International Driving Permit. Police may impose fines if you drive without one and rental companies are recommending and even requiring an International Driving Permit. It’s recognized in over 150 countries and serves as additional source of identification. It’s a quick and easy process. Complete your International Driving Permit
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!
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Great article! I especially love the spas in the Baltics during wintertime. The healing waters are wonderful, as is the history! Thank you!
Thanks for your kind words, Kristen! Spas in the Balkans, such as Serbia, are getting good vibes now, too. Love thinking about winter spas in the Baltics!!