Planning a destination bachelorette weekend? If you're feeling like the Strip's clubs are a little “been there, done that,” perhaps it’s time to reroute from Las Vegas to a more relaxing locale. When it comes to recharging, there’s nothing quite like a spa vacation. And while there are amazing retreats all over the world, Europe takes it to the next level with entire towns dedicated to pampering pursuits. From Heviz to Vichy, these are the best places to visit in Europe for a spa vacation. These curative enclaves combine incredible natural resources, top-notch spas, rejuvenating treatments, upscale resorts, and unspoiled landscapes—everything you need for a totally blissful escape.
With 118 natural springs—more than any other capital in the world—the City of Baths earns its nickname in spades. While the moniker was bestowed upon Budapest in 1934, the tradition of taking the waters dates back thousands of years. And although the original Roman establishments have since closed, you won’t have a problem finding a proper thermal oasis to soak away stress and sore muscles. Choose from 16th-century Turkish baths, Art Nouveau pools, or modern facilities.
Set on the Reykjanes peninsula, Grindavík abounds with breathtaking natural beauty, but its most popular attraction is actually manmade. The Blue Lagoon—an open-air spa, surrounded by volcanic lava fields—is pure Instagram bait. The pool is filled with nine million liters of warm, geothermal seawater that’s rich in nourishing silica and algae. Of course, no trip would be complete without a white mud face mask and an aquatic massage.
Montecatini Terme, Italy
Italy has many wellness destinations, but Montecatini Terme is considered king, err, queen. Its crown jewel is a spectacular spa complex, fed by springs originating from a hydro-mineral basin deep below the earth’s surface. It offers an array of remedies, ranging from therapeutic drinking cures and ozonated baths to rub-downs and inhalation rituals. Of course, H20 isn’t the only thing to sip. What would a trip to Tuscany be without a few glasses of Chianti? Red wine has antioxidants, after all.
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
Founded by Charles IV in the 14th century, Karlovy Vary is the definition of a holistic haven. This former royal retreat—which has also welcomed countless heads-of-states, noblemen, and writers—retains its status as a grand getaway. It’s home to 79 mineral springs, the largest spa complex in Europe as well as numerous other health-focused facilities. Plus, pristine parks and hiking trails provide plenty of opportunities to stay active outdoors.
Three hours south of Paris in the Auvergne region lies Vichy. This historic French spa town is renowned for its mineral-laden springs, bubbling with an abundance of benefits. No wonder it was favored by aristocracy during the Belle Epoque and continues to lure an upscale crowd centuries later. Thermes des Dômes takes a personalized approach with programs targeted towards improving circulation, stimulating detoxification, promoting recovery, and alleviating digestive issues.
Heviz is widely regarded as the most famous and serene spa destination in Hungary. That’s because it’s situated on the shores of the world’s largest biologically active thermal lake. The water is rich in carbonic acid, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, and hydrogen carbonate! Year-round swimming isn’t the only way to take reap the legendary rewards. Don’t miss the hydro-massages, medicinal mud packs, and balneotherapy treatments at Hotel Spa Hévíz.