Wellness vacations are increasing in popularity because a trip focused on mind and body wellness is an actual vacation. Long days of sightseeing and visiting relatives are great. Still, vacations centered around cramming in as much activity as possible don’t leave you refreshed and might have you returning feeling like you haven’t been on one.
Wellness retreats give your mind and body a break from everyday pressures and focus on experiences such as yoga, massage therapy, and meditation. Whether wellness is the primary focus of your trip or you’re devoting a portion of your vacation to rejuvenation, here are five European resorts that will put you on the path to true relaxation.
1. Ocant Douro, Douro, Portugal
Portugal’s Douro Valley is known for wine making and gorgeous scenery. Built into hillside terraces, Octant Douro treats visitors to views of the Douro River through floor-to-ceiling windows. The building’s architectural characteristics are designed to foster a connection with the land.
The Octant Douro Spa offers programs with personalized approaches to healing, including yoga, meditation, massages, and more. Augment spa treatments with a bit of nature therapy: Walk on the Paiva Walkways or book a private boat trip to explore more of the river. Octant Douro has no formal check-in and check-out times and serves all-day breakfast. The indoor and outdoor pools are open 24 hours a day. The idea is to promote truly unrestricted relaxation and allow guests to loosen their relationship with timetables and schedules.
2. Adler Spa And Resort Thermae, Bagno Vigoni, Tuscany
Tuscany is famous as a wine region and the Adler Spa and Resort Thermae blends wine and wellness perfectly. This luxury five-star property is built on a natural thermal spring in the Tuscan countryside and offers many wellness options, such as a thermal pool with a waterfall of warm water coming from underground, fitness and cooking classes, and onsite medical personnel who can provide weight-loss counseling and non-invasive aesthetic medicine treatments. The fitness center has panoramic views of the Tuscan vineyards, which can probably get anyone enthusiastic about a workout!
A hidden travertine cave houses a steam room and spa treatment rooms; there’s even an underground salt grotto using Dead Sea salts for spa treatments. One of the most unique spa offerings is the Divine Wine Therapy treatment. This treatment room has a private Jacuzzi tub where guests can soak in a wine-salt concoction made of Sicilian salt, grape powder, and oil. The resort has a busy schedule of hikes, bike rides, vineyard tours, and more, so you can be as active and social as you choose.
3. Six Senses Hotel, Ibiza, Spain
Although Ibiza is usually associated with the party crowd, the recently opened Six Senses Hotel on the island’s far north side offers a different experience. This 116-room, 20-acre property offers a wellness program that focuses on the benefits of slowing down and increasing longevity. Wellness options include full-body pampering treatments, infrared saunas, steam rooms, DNA testing, and cryotherapy treatments.
The signature Ibizan aesthetic of wooden terraces and white linens provides a restful and restorative atmosphere. Guests can also enjoy an organic daily breakfast sourced from the resort’s farm. Other resort activities include a beautiful blue pool, water sports options, and tours to nearby islands.
4. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, located 60 miles and an easy train ride from Zurich, is a 143-square-foot luxury property built on a thermal spring discovered in 1242. The water is known for keeping the mind, body, and soul healthy. Wellness activities include saunas, thermal baths, a garden pool with mountain views, a fitness center with wellness classes, personal training, hiking trails, and more.
The resort includes three elegant hotels, spa tower suites with dreamy views, and private spa areas with freestanding whirlpools and steam baths. Other amenities include two golf courses and seven onsite restaurants, including two Michelin-starred and one Green Michelin-starred option.
5. Kaya Palazzo, Turkey And Cyprus
If indulging in an authentic Turkish hammam experience sounds like the ideal way to relax, check out one of the Kaya Palazzo properties in Turkey and Cyprus. The Turkish hammam tradition dates back to the Ottoman period. Modern-day hammam offers the chance to experience one of the world’s most unique spa treatments, such as Turkish mitt exfoliation followed by foam and traditional massages using locally inspired oils.
Kaya Palazzo properties are located in Kartalkaya, Belek, and Bodrum, all in Turkey and on the island of Cyprus. Each location offers different natural landscapes to facilitate outdoor exercise, meditation, and relaxation, from mountain views to beaches.
Focus On Wellness And Renewal
Whether your entire trip to Europe is about wellness or you want to tack a slower-paced mind-body rejuvenation onto a more active vacation, these options for luxury wellness resorts in Europe offer the chance to explore different countries with a focus on renewal and self-care. Hiking or fast-paced city tours are great ways to see Europe, but scheduling a stay at a European wellness resort after the busier part of your trip is the best of both worlds — seeing all the things and then relaxing.