Want to Focus On Your Wellness? Head to These Cities
Wellness travel has taken the world by storm, as people place a higher emphasis on their physical and emotional health. Many travelers would rather spend their vacation time nurturing their body and soul rather than drinking copious amounts of alcohol and eating unhealthy food.
If this sounds like you, make sure that your next vacation is to a city that focuses on wellness. You’ll come back from vacation feeling refreshed, healthy and ready to tackle the work week.
These are the world’s best cities for wellness travel.
Best for: Spa treatments
Where to stay: Selman Marrakech offers personalized detox and nutrition treatments along with general spa facilities.
How Marrakech Fosters Inner Peace
Marrakesh is known around the world for its loud, maze-like Jemaa el-Fnaa market. And while the market itself isn’t necessarily a peaceful place, the city also has numerous private and public hammams.
Bathing in a hammam is a whole experience that will take at least an hour when done right. After you’re finished, your skin will be completely exfoliated, and you will feel cleaner than you ever have in your life. Marrakech has numerous spas and a wellness culture that includes healthy spices, argan oil and exfoliating black soap. These are the reasons why Morocco was named the top spa destination in Africa in 2020.
14. Desert Hot Springs
Best for: Hot springs, exercise
Where to stay: Azure Palm Hot Springs Resort Oasis boasts the largest mineral pool in Southern California as well as the area’s only Himalayan salt room. There is also an open-air spa and a yoga studio.
How Desert Hot Springs Fosters Inner Peace
Palm Springs is crowded and touristy, so head to nearby Desert Hot Springs instead. Named after the natural springs in the area, you’ll be able to nourish your skin with mineral water while increasing blood flow. People with chronic pain swear by this treatment, particularly for conditions where joints and muscles suffer from swelling.
The area may be a desert, but it’s near Mt. San Jacinto state park, so you can choose to trek the mountains or the desert to get your fix of nature therapy.
13. Kata Beach
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Best for: Yoga, exercise, spa
Where to stay: Santosa Detox and Wellness Center specializes in health programs that use yoga, Muay Thai and plant-based food to heal your body.
How Kata Village Fosters Inner Peace
Phuket island is Thailand’s preferred wellness destination. We recommend you stay away from the busy, noisy Phuket town and stay near Kata Beach, an area that is quieter and that offers many opportunities for finding inner peace.
Spend the day relaxing at the beach, then indulge in a Thai massage. You’ll have every bone cracked and every muscle stretched until you feel like you’re 15 again. There are numerous vegan and vegetarian restaurants, fish spas and yoga studios.
12. Karlovy Vary
Best for: Hot springs, exercise
Where to stay: Hotel Imperial has hosted numerous Czech presidents and European royalty. The wellness packages focus on detoxing but also on boosting your immune system with vitamin C, oxygen therapy and a probiotic diet.
How Karlovy Vary Fosters Inner Peace
One of Central Europe’s most famous spa towns, Karlovy Vary has been helping people heal physically and mentally for centuries. The numerous natural hot springs in the area continue to bring people to this colorfully picturesque town.
But this isn't just a town where you get to bathe in mineral water. Here, you also buy a special spa cup with which you’ll be able to drink mineral water as well. The water comes out of drinking fountains, and the locals say it's great for your health.
Best for: Traditional skin treatments, spa, yoga
Where to stay: Azulik Tulum posits the harmonious marriage of luxury and wellness with daily yoga classes, spa treatments and organic food.
How Tulum Fosters Inner Peace
Tulum may have changed from a quiet town in the Yucatan jungle to a party town, but there are still places where you can find space for wellness. There are numerous yoga retreats held in resorts within the jungle as well as spas that offer traditional treatments like temazcal sweat lodges, herbal baths and energy cleanses.
You can also go swimming in one of the area’s sacred cenotes. These sinkholes are said to have ancient energies, so many people think they have restorative qualities. Just be respectful when you go.
10. Napa Valley
Best for: Spa treatments, quiet surroundings
Where to stay: Archer Hotel Napa offers hot-stone and deep-tissue massages that will literally melt your worries away. The rooftop is also a perfect spot to relax as you catch beautiful sunsets.
How Napa Valley Fosters Inner Peace
You don’t have to drink wine to enjoy Napa. If you want to nourish yourself, go for the area’s numerous spas, which offer treatments like mud and mineral baths. You can even go to a vineyard to take in the gorgeous views while enjoying non-alcoholic drinks.
Napa also has numerous trails that will help you disconnect from your everyday worries and reconnect with nature. Plant-based restaurants and food options abound, so you won’t be stuck eating salad and pasta the whole time.
Best for: Thermal baths
Where to stay: Hotel Cailler is linked directly to the famous Gruyere baths, which has saunas, a hammam, thermal pools, polysensorial massages and meditation facilities.
How Charmey Fosters Inner Peace
For centuries, Switzerland is where the European elites traveled to when health issues assailed them. We may be able to travel longer distances now, but the health benefits of Swiss spa towns have not diminished.
Charmey is one of the best spa towns to visit. Famous for its thermal baths, the picture-perfect village is nestled within the Gruyere Mountains. Besides soaking until your skin is good as new, you’ll be able to wake up to postcard views of cows grazing in soft hills that lead to crystal-clear lakes. If that doesn’t rejuvenate your soul, we don’t know what will.
Best for: Exercise, spa treatments
Where to stay: Grand Wailea has the largest health center in Hawaii and offers numerous massages and treatments, including a half-day Hawaiian healing experience.
How Maui Fosters Inner Peace
Wake up early to do sunrise yoga by the beach, then spend the day surfing, swimming or hiking. Your body will be sore but full of energy. Feast on local fruits and fresh fish to feel even healthier.
At night, or on days when you want to take a break, you can pamper yourself in one of the island’s numerous spas, where you can get massages, facials and body detox masks.
Location: Costa Rica
Best for: Yoga, meditation
Where to stay: Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort caters specifically to those looking to do yoga retreats. You can expect a juice bar, a saltwater pool, meditation areas and daily yoga classes.
How Nosara Fosters Inner Peace
People flock to Nosara to try to unlock the secrets of its residents, many of whom live to be 100. The blue zone has attracted wellness enthusiasts, who also take advantage of its proximity to wild beaches and great surf.
Nosara has become a well-known yoga center, with numerous retreats being held here. There are also several eco-villages and meditation centers. Combine this with the local “Pura Vida” philosophy, and you get wellness heaven.
Best for: Meditation, spiritual retreats
Where to stay: The Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary has on-site traditional medicine doctors as well as spa attendants, so you can treat your body inside and out.
How Paro Fosters Inner Peace
The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan is often ignored by travelers. But those interested in spirituality should consider this Himalaya nation, which is famous for measuring the happiness of its citizens rather than its GDP.
Paro is especially worth a visit because of its many sacred sites and monasteries. Visitors can hike up to these mountain monasteries and join for daily meditations. Spa treatments focusing on health rather than simple relaxation are also widely practiced.
Best for: Exercise, quiet surroundings
Where to stay: Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa offers spa treatments and thermal springs. The open-air pools tout views of the fjord that is located right next to the resort.
How Patagonia Fosters Inner Peace
Unlike other places on this list, Patagonia doesn’t have to do anything to be a wellness destination. As one of the absolute best places to visit in the world, this land at the end of the world is wild, rugged and remote. Here, peace is kind of inevitable, as you have few of the distractions of the modern world.
But if you want something more guided, there are numerous yoga and meditation retreats within the wilderness of this region.
Best for: Spiritual retreats, meditation
Where to stay: Castle Hot Springs has experts that will help you plan the perfect wellness retreat. Food comes from the on-site farm, and there are meditation classes and several massage packets at the spa.
How Sedona Fosters Inner Peace
Sedona is known for its “vortexes" — the thought being that there are places around the city that have special energies and healing properties. This is why Sedona has become an enclave for the alternative original and neo-hippies.
For travelers, the city holds many attractions, including meditation retreats and alternative medicine treatments. If you’re not into this, there are still yoga retreats, hiking opportunities and spas that take advantage of the natural hot springs.
Best for: Hot springs, mindfulness
Where to stay: Mount View Hakone is a traditional ryokan accommodation hidden within the mountains. Besides the usual hot springs, you can also take a dip in warm milk water.
How Hakone Fosters Inner Peace
Japan as a whole is an underrated wellness and mindfulness destination. Perhaps this is because too many tourists focus on the frantic cities of Tokyo and Osaka. But venture a bit outside of the cities, and you’ll find a culture that still highly values quietness, health and living in the moment. Only an hour away from Tokyo, Hakone is famous for its onsens (hot springs), some of which have been open to the public for over a thousand years.
If you’re on a budget, then Japan is one of the only places you probably don’t need to consider going on a retreat. There is so much peace and wellness deep-rooted in Japanese culture that finding it is inevitable. Staying in a traditional ryokan, exploring and meditating in a zen Buddhist temple, and visiting an onsen are just usual parts of Japanese culture that are already filled with intention, mindfulness and calm. You don’t need to go out of your way to find it.
Best for: Ayurveda, yoga
Where to stay: Shreyas Yoga Retreat has Ayurvedic rejuvenation, silent retreats, Hatha and Ashtanga yoga classes. It also caps guests numbers to 25, so you are guaranteed solitude and quiet.
How Bengaluru Fosters Inner Peace
India as a whole is one of the epicenters of wellness travel, given the country’s numerous practices pertaining to mindfulness and wellness. Bengaluru is one of its most popular wellness destinations. Ayurveda has a stronghold here, and there are, not at all surprisingly, numerous yoga centers.
Meditation, mindfulness and the pursuit of detachment are also practices that you will see both locals and tourists pursue.
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Best for: Yoga, spa treatments
Where to stay: Fivelements Puri Ahimsa touts itself as a healing center and pursues sustainable wellness practices. Yoga retreats, clay pottery classes with a mindfulness twist, meditation and even aikido are offered.
How Ubud Fosters Inner Peace
Bali is known for attracting an alternative, wellness-minded, spiritually curious crowd. Nowhere on the island are these interests as concentrated as in Ubud.
You’ll find an international community that is very into yoga as well as luxurious but affordable Indonesian spas where you can get Balinese treatments. Temples abound throughout the island, so you will also be able to connect to your spirituality in different ways.