Travelling can do wonders for the mind, body and soul. No doubt, it is the relaxation aspect of going to a new place and seeking its beauty, charms and the adventures within that can recharge and revitalise you.
What better way to absorb the serenity these new places exude than to soak right into their natural wonders! From healing hot springs to mineral-dense mud baths, some travel destinations wish to cure you of old ailments and give you youthful glowing skin. So buckle up as we bring you 10 places to visit that has all-natural healing perks! Good health and radiant skin – we’re ready for you 😁
1. Get muddy in the Milky Way of Palau
The sparkling Micronesian island of Palau hides a magical lagoon as enchanting as its name. Located among the Rock Islands, south of the main island and capital city of Koror, the Milky Way is a stunning aquamarine lagoon surrounded by small rock islands.
Credit: @lincalincalinca on Instagram
The Milky Way is a natural mud bath in the most brilliant blue waters of Palau. The seabed is covered not by sand but white limestone mud, giving the water a creamy and milky sheen in an almost cloudy mystique😮
Credit: DINKtravelers on Facebook
Locals claim that bathing in the white limestone mud found on the waters floor will rejuvenate the skin, leaving it soft and supple. The clay-like mud can also be used as a body scrub and exfoliate the skin.
Credit: @yuansoyuanso on Instagram
So slap some mud on, leave it to dry in the summer sun and then plunge into the almost luminous turquoise water for a rinse!
2. Heal under the Northern Lights in Iceland
Known as “the land of fire and ice”, Iceland is growing as a popular destination for hot springs.
It’s said that bathing in Iceland’s geothermal waters could increase the production of collagen and tightens the elastin within the skin, leaving it looking firm and youthful. Additionally, these hot springs also contain minerals like calcium, lithium, magnesium, sulfur and even radium – all of which are great for relieving skin and medical issues (treating respiratory problems by clearing excess mucus from the lungs) as well as providing a therapeutic full body treatment.
Credit: jbdodane on Flickr
This beautiful milky blue hot spring is secluded in the wild landscape of the Askja volcanic caldera. Yes, a hot spring in a volcano crater!
Credit: Alastair Campbell on Flickr
The most well-known hot spring here is the Blue Lagoon while the most popular, under-developed highland pools are in Landmannalaugar and Hveravellir.
Credit: Domen Jakus on Flickr
3. Soak your stress away in Japan’s beautifying onsens
For generations, Japanese families have practice the ritual of bathing in mineral-rich onsens (“hot spring” in Japanese) for a spectrum of reasons from stress-relieving to beautification. These geothermal waters are believed to contain minerals such as anti-inflammatory sulfur, nourishing calcium, anti-aging magnesium and other negative ions that that work to relieve the symptoms of fatigue and even arthritis.
Credit: Chanisa Swangpol on Facebook
From healing acne to moisturizing the skin, relaxing muscle aches to relieving joint pains, the effects of soaking in these mineral-dense onsens – where the temperatures range from 50 to 80 degrees Celsius – are aplenty.
Japan is home to many types of onsens, each with their own combination of different minerals that provide different health benefits. Generally, these onsens are supposed to have a relaxing effect on your body and mind. Some of the popular onsens are located in the towns of Hakone and Noboribetsuo.
Credit: @pikapikajean on Instagram
To be surrounded by nature while bathing in a mineral-rich hot spring pool is a gift not many countries can offer and yet, one Japan provides with affable hospitality 😍😍
4. Dive right into the muds of Hell’s Gate, New Zealand
Steaming cliffs, volcanoes spewing mud, oddly-coloured pools – these spooky formations may be why this geothermal attraction is aptly named Hell’s Gate! The site is actually on sacred grounds treasured by the indigenous Maori tribe as a place of healing and revitalisation. It is said that past Maori warriors would bathe at Hell’s Gate to treat their wounds from war battles.
Credit: @richard.minten on Instagram
Hell’s Gate is New Zealand’s most active geothermal attraction, featuring outdoor mud pools, hot springs, as well as the largest hot-water waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. It is thus no understatement that Hell’s Gate is a geothermal paradise with so many natural healing perks within this contained space!
Credit: Round the World Experts on Facebook
While the sulfuric hot spring waters is known for improving skin elasticity and blood circulation, the natural thermal mud can be used to gently exfoliate the skin and relief burns. Both the mineral-rich water and mud are also in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
5. Be merry in the festive mud flats of Boryeong, South Korea
If you’re looking to refresh your skin condition while having a little bit of fun, Boryeong mud flats and this beach town’s annual summer mud festival could just be for you! Held sometime in the hot summer month of July, it is the most popular time to head out to this west coast.
Credit: @kimchipacker on Instagram
Boryeong’s mud contains minerals like germanium and bentonite aids with blood circulation, skin detoxification and purification, anti-ageing properties to keep the skin feeling taut and smooth and can remove the appearance of blackheads and blemishes. Also, due to its water solubility, mud allows the skin to absorb nutrients that is contained from it or other products applied along with it!
Credit: Jordi Sanchez Teruel on Flickr
You’d definitely have a mud-slinging good time here😜
6. Dip in the Therma Spring of Kos, Greece
Healing waters are aplenty on this list but the Therma Spring on the Greek island of Kos is truly unique in its formation! It is characterised as a sea-pool where the spring is separated from the sea with only boulders! There is a distinct difference in temperatures of the hot Therma spring (40-47 degree Celsius) and the connecting cold seawater – so find the perfect spot near the boulders where the two waters meet😌
Credit: adamansel52 on Flickr
The hot spring contains minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and chlorine which makes for an ideal treatment for rheumatism, arthritis and even gynaecological related issues.
Credit: Wendy Harris on Facebook
Soak in the sun, sand and sea on Therma Beach after the relaxing dip in the Therma Spring and enjoy the stunning Greek views of the ocean😎
7. Bath in the sands of Siwa Oasis, Egypt
The searing summer usually sees people running for shade but in Egypt, it is off to the sand dunes in Siwa Oasis where many brave the heat for a bath in the scalding sand!
Credit: Mick Spillane on Facebook
Sand bathing involves getting buried by thick blankets of scorching hot up to the necks. It is said that burying yourself in the desert sand has the same effect as going for a sauna session where the heat helps the body to detox by purging unwanted toxins. Moreover, the locals believe the sand in Siwa, near Dakrour Mountain, has healing properties that can ease joint pain, cure rheumatism and help with fertility issues.
Credit: Dilruba Kohistani on Facebook
While sand bathing is a novelty experience, it is not recommended for everyone because the desert heat is not something many can tolerate, let alone withstand. So do your research and know your tolerance level before deciding to give this a try!
8. The perfect healing destination of Safaga, Egypt
Sometimes all the natural elements conspire to create an environment that is perfect for the rejuvenation of health. Safaga is especially sought after for curing psoriasis because it offers the ideal climate for a type of therapy known as climatotherapy, defined as treatment of disease by means of residence in a suitable climate.
Credit: Richard August on Flickr
A blend of the ideal altitude, atmospheric pressure, sand composition, temperature and ultraviolet rays have positive effects on various health conditions, making a quantifiable difference in your health☺️
Credit: @brrrg_93 on Instagram
Take a dip in the waters of Safaga which is often referred to as the “healing zone”. It’s said to help with blood circulation and detoxification of the body!
9. Splash in the waterfalls of Saturnia, Italy
The pride and joy of Saturnia’s thermal baths are their two outdoor waterfalls of Cascate del Mulino and Cascate del Gorello. These waterfalls are actually made of several natural pools of warm thermal water stretching from Mount Amiata to the hills of Albenga and reaching Roselle and Talamone.
Credit: Amazing Things Around Us on Facebook
While the sulfur odour really permeates the entire place – think of smelly rotten eggs😷 – this element is a building block for collagen which what makes our skin soft and smooth. The warm sulfurous waters of Saturnia has a steady temperature of 38 degrees Celsius. It is so fast moving (at about 500 litres a second!) that the pool is refreshed every four hours😮
Credit: davideoneclick on Flickr
Sit under the waterfall and get a refreshing massage as the water pounds down your back, relieving the fatigue from your muscles!
10. Venture into the city hot springs in Taipei, Taiwan
You don’t have to escape to the wilderness for a revitalising hot spring experience in Taiwan. Just a mere half-an-hour subway ride from central Taipei transports you to the famous natural hot spring recreation area of Beitou! This is the perfect starting point to explore Taiwan’s hot spring culture.
Credit: @scottlandg6 on Instagram
Sulfur is the main mineral in Beitou’s spring waters, and bathing in them can heal a variety of physical pain like muscle soreness, chronic dermatitis and arthritis. Be warned though, the stinky sulfurous water in both may be unbearingly pungent but it is what draws throngs of local Taiwanese in the cold winter months for a nice perk-me-up🤗
Credit: Slilin on Flickr
Beitou is home to public hot spring pools and hot spring resorts. Its main public bath house is called Millennium Hot Springs and features four outdoors hot spring pools, each with a different temperature with the hottest pool sitting on the very top.
Credit: David Leo Veksler on Flickr
However, if you’re shy to rub shoulders with the locals, you can opt for one of the many private hot spring baths in the hotels of the area.
And there you have it! These natural wonders are found among picturesque landscapes and even within the convenience of cities. So, if you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation experience, what are you waiting for? Travel forth and heal, fellow travellers☺️