16 Incredible Beauty Destinations from Around the World to Add to Your Bucket List
From New Zealand to Japan and California, the world clearly has more than one fountain of youth—and capitals of great skin.
Blue Lagoon in Iceland
It’s not hard to believe that this stunning turquoise pool has been considered a world wonder by National Geographic. Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is a man-made open air spa comprised of mineral-rich water and silica-rich geothermal mud. Located just 30 minutes from Reykjavik, it’s a great place to spend a few hours applying its white mud on your face, which is said to give you radiant skin.
Poca da Dona Beija in Furnas, Portugal
Would you be interested in soaking in natural springs heated by a volcano? If this sounds like an adventure to you, look no further than the Poca de Dona Beija in the Azores Archipelago, which gets up to 102 degrees. It’s widely known as the Paradise Pools, Well Water, and Youth Pools, thanks to its therapeutic skin-care benefits. (Need further inspiration? These travel quotes are sure to feed your wanderlust.)
The Dead Sea on the Israeli Coast
Just floating in the waters of the Dead Sea is known to relieve everything from skin problems to muscle aches and joint pain. On top of being the saltiest body of water in the world, the Dead Sea has mineral-rich mud that can help exfoliate, restore your skin’s pH balance, minimize pores, and control conditions like eczema and psoriasis—basically your entire skincare regime in one muddy handful.
Pamukkale in Denizli Province, Turkey
Pamukkale fittingly translates to “cotton castle” in Turkish, which is exactly what comes to mind when looking at this natural phenomenon. A stunning tiered, pool complex, Pamukkale has been used for centuries to alleviate various physical ailments. Its surreal beauty and healing powers attract over two million visitors annually, and it’s been named a Unesco World Heritage site. But before jetting off, make sure to learn these travel secrets booking companies don’t want you to know.
Spring Baths in the Japanese Alps
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Japanese culture has included soaking in traditional onsen bathhouses for thousands of years. The ritual is centered around the country’s natural hot springs, so the best region for enjoying them is hands-down in the Japanese Alps, where there are active volcanoes. The towns of Kusatsu and Hakone, in particular, boast luxurious onsen houses with several large baths and wellness resorts. Remember, bathing naked with others is considered completely normal and to be expected in Japan. If you’ve worrying about bathing naked with a stranger, allow this massage therapist to explain why you look better than you think.
Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort in Siena, Italy
If you’re looking to indulge in utter luxury, there’s no skin-care destination as extravagant as the Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort in Siena. Picture yourself soaking in the infinity pool’s thermal waters surrounded by some of Italy’s finest vineyards and olive groves. Built in the 17th century by the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici, this exclusive resort has maintained its reputation for providing world-class healing treatments. When you get there, make sure to make the most of your trip by attempting this life-changing travel habit.
Volcanic Hot Springs in Araucania, Chile
Chile hugs the edge of a tectonic plate, so it’s no wonder that volcanoes and geothermal hot spots abound throughout the country. One area that stands out as a skincare destination is southern Santiago in the Araucania Region. More than 170 volcanoes make this an ideal place to bathe in slate-covered waterbeds and mineral-water pools. To make matters even better, getting there involves a scenic route through lush forests and around pristine lakes. Find out the most extreme adventures in the world.
Thermal Baths in Budapest, Hungary
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There’s a reason Budapest is unofficially known as the “City of Spas”—and, believe it or not, many of Budapest’s 16th and 17th-century Turkish baths are still widely used today. There are 18 different pools and another ten saunas equally rife with history and all open for the experience. The neo-baroque Széchenyi Baths are particularly popular, thanks to their high magnesium, calcium, and hydrogen carbonate contents. These make the water great for your pores, as well as arthritis, blood circulation, and nervous system disorders.
Hot Springs in Beitou, Taiwan
Taiwan’s landscape is littered with hot springs formed by (mostly) dormant volcanoes. Many of these springs have been converted into bathhouses and spas, as seen in the town of Beitou, which is home to a stunning thermal valley. In the Yangmingshan area, you can even soak in the hot springs beneath the blooming cherry blossoms during spring. (How well do you know your travel lingo? It’s best to master it before you get on the plane.)
Volcanic Springs in the Northern Plains of Costa Rica
The continually erupting Arenal Volcano keeps the magma springs in Costa Rica’s Northern Plains nice and toasty. The Arenal Volcano National Park has become a geothermal playground of lagoons, mud pots, hot springs, and natural saunas. Check out the incredible Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort for world-class mineral pools and ponds.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs in Napa Valley, California
You don’t even have to leave the country to tick one of these bucket-list skincare destinations off your list. The Calistoga Spa Hot Springs in Napa Valley, California is one of America’s best kept travel secrets. It has all the nutrient-rich mud you could dream of, which dates back to Mt. Konocti’s eruption that coating the region eight million years ago. That same mud remains popular today; spas mix the ash with local hot spring water.
The Wadden Sea along the German Coast
A wetland may not sound like an ideal place to get a natural spa treatment, but the Wadden Sea proves an exception to this rule. Located along the Danish, Dutch, and German coasts, the low tide in this part of the North Sea has mineralized mud all along the horizon. This muck is an excellent place to soak, walk, and use the rich soil as a cosmetic treatment. A word of advice? Book your trip to Germany by taking advantage of off-season travel deals.
Thermal pools in Vulcano Island, Sicily
The thermal pools on Vulcano Island, Sicily are terribly sulfuric, but if you can withstand their stench, your body will undoubtedly thank you. The pool’s hot springs have impressed its visitors since ancient Romans discovered it, believing it to be the chimney of the fire god, Vulcan. Though your bathing suit with reek for days, your bones, skin, and respiratory system will be seriously refreshed.
Wai Ora Spa Resort in Rotorua, New Zealand
The Rotorua region of New Zealand is known for its bubbling mud pools, spewing geysers, and natural hot springs. To make the most of these regional highlights, pay a visit to the Wai Ora Spa Resort. The internationally acclaimed hotel brings all of the local, geothermal mud therapies and healing techniques into one stunning spa.
Milky Way Lagoon in The Republic of Palau
Palau is comprised of a string of tiny islands with lush forests and aquamarine waters. However, it’s what lies beneath Palau’s stunning surface that will work wonders on your skin. The white limestone mud in the Milky Way Lagoon can be generously applied all over your body. Locals swear that you’ll emerge from the water looking a decade younger. It’s worth a shot!—and so are these other dermatologist-approved tricks.
Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme in Wiesbaden, Germany
This art nouveau complex was built on the site of a former Roman sauna between 1910 and 1913. At over one hundred years old, the Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme maintains its traditional sauna, a Russian steam bath, a Finnish steam bath, and of course plenty of massage treatments.