Spirit-Renewing Destinations

There are many paths to finding yourself. We asked several spiritual travel writers for their picks for destinations with the most spirit-renewing focus. Here's what they had to say.

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The view from the open-air rooftop pool at Britain's Thermae Spa overlooks the city of Bath and the Abbey. 960 1280

Andy Short/Thermae Bath Spa  

Bath's Thermae Spa is the only spot in Britain where you can soak in the mineral waters, which that the Celts and Romans enjoyed more than 2,000 years ago. 960 1280

Matt Cardy/Thermae Bath Spa  

Visitors have been taking the waters at Chena Hot Springs, deep in Alaska's interior, since 1905 when visiting prospectors discovered the water's healing nature. 960 1280

Denise Ferree/Chena Hot Springs  

Winter is the busiest time of year at Chena's Hot Springs when the 105-degree water offers a reprieve from the cold. Soakers may even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights over head. 960 1280

Denise Ferree/Chena Hot Springs  

Steam rises from the Glacier Hot Pools, a tranquil getaway tucked into a lush rainforest on New Zealand's west coast. 960 1280

Glacier Hot Pools  

Local legends describe how the Glacier Hot Pools are fed from local glaciers that were formed by the frozen tears of Hinehukatere mourning the loss of her lover, Wawe. 960 1280

Glacier Hot Pools  

Soaking in the baths is a way of life in Budapest, sometimes called Spa Ccity, thanks to the healing waters found at spots like the Gellert Thermal Baths. 960 1280

Photo by Joe Mabel through Flickr Creative Commons  

At Dr. Wilkinson's Spa in California, guests relax in a warm mud bath with plenty of healing properties thanks to pure volcanic ash and Canadian peat 960 1280

Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort  

Dr. Wilkinson's Spa is a Napa Valley institution, helping locals and visitors relax in bubbling mud baths in Calistoga, CaliforniaCA, since 1952. 960 1280

Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort  

Each year, nearly 3 million visitors take in the waters at the Kusatsu Onsen, a 2-hour drive from Tokyo. 960 1280

Kusatsu Onsen Tourism Association  

A trip to the onsen is a part of Japanese culture, and locals head to the natural hot springs water at Kusatsu Onsen for relaxing and relief from muscle pain, hypertension and other ailments. 960 1280

Kusatsu Onsen Tourism Association  

Spa treatments at the Polynesian Spa overlooking New Zealand's Lake Rotorua include a mud wrap using the thermal mud that's believed to have healing properties. 960 1280

Polynesian Spa  

There's no shortage of healing water at the Polynesian Spa, with 2 natural hot mineral springs and 26 soaking pools filled with soothing alkaline water. 960 1280

Polynesian Spa  

Africa's highest peak is Mount Kilimanjaro where hikers may encounter elephants moving across the African savanna. 960 1280

  

The trek through Nepal's Annapurna Circuit promises 21 days of crossing jungles, rivers and mountains. 960 1280

Explore Glacier National Park with a hike through the Logan Pass. 960 1280

  

Australia's Larapinta Trail, a 130-mile trek through the Northern Territory, is almost entirely through the desert. 960 1280

Photo by andydolman through Flickr Creative Commons  

Head to the hills in Cape Town, South Africa, for a scenic hike through the trails at Table Mountain. 960 1280

  

If you're looking for history and incredible vistas, head to Peru's Inca Trail for a 27-mile hike to Machu Picchu. 960 1280

  

The Val di Fassa in Italy is in the heart of the European Alps with gassy paths and endless mountain views. 960 1280

  

The John Muir Trail is a 211-mile stretch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains stretching from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. 960 1280

The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is a luxe eco-safari resort in the wilds of British Columbia, Canada, accessible by boat or plane from Tofino. 960 1280

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort  

Guests can soak in a wood-fired cedar hot tub overlooking the mountainous wild at Clayoquot Healing Grounds compound, which promises Zen in the wilderness with soaking tubs and spa treatments. 960 1280

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort  

People come from around the world to soak in Iceland's Blue Lagoon with mineral-rich, geothermal water known for its healing properties. 960 1280

Reuters  

Bathers may soak in the warm Blue Lagoon waters even during the cold winter months when the geothermal water and cool air meet to create a haze of vapor steam that rises from the water. 960 1280

Reuters  

Guests at the snazzy Burj Al Arab may soak in an ornate tub with impressive city vies of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf. 960 1280

Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Group  

Cunard cruise line brings swanky hot tubs to sea with state-of-the-art aqua-therapy pools aboard the Queen Mary 2. 960 1280

Cunard Line  

Multiple hot tubs are available for a relaxing soak at the Canyon Ranch spa facilities aboard the Queen Mary 2. 960 1280

Cunard Line  

The VUE Bar atop the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai has a cool hot tub amidst a busy nightlife scene. Bathers enjoy cocktails and a killer city view from the bar's bubbling hot tub. 960 1280

Hyatt Hotels  

The soaking tub at the Hotel Rio Sagardo in Peru has expansive windows that look out over Cusco's Sacred Valley, the heart of the former Incan Empire. 960 1280

Hotel Rio Sagrado/Pedro Rivas  

Onsen are public baths fed from hot springs found throughout Japan where locals and tourists take a wellness break in remote spots and even along the waterfront in Tokyo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Photos

Africa's highest peak is Mount Kilimanjaro where hikers may encounter elephants moving across the African savanna. 960 1280

  

The trek through Nepal's Annapurna Circuit promises 21 days of crossing jungles, rivers and mountains. 960 1280

Explore Glacier National Park with a hike through the Logan Pass. 960 1280

  

Australia's Larapinta Trail, a 130-mile trek through the Northern Territory, is almost entirely through the desert. 960 1280

Photo by andydolman through Flickr Creative Commons  

Head to the hills in Cape Town, South Africa, for a scenic hike through the trails at Table Mountain. 960 1280

  

If you're looking for history and incredible vistas, head to Peru's Inca Trail for a 27-mile hike to Machu Picchu. 960 1280

  

The Val di Fassa in Italy is in the heart of the European Alps with gassy paths and endless mountain views. 960 1280

  

The John Muir Trail is a 211-mile stretch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains stretching from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. 960 1280

The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is a luxe eco-safari resort in the wilds of British Columbia, Canada, accessible by boat or plane from Tofino. 960 1280

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort  

Guests can soak in a wood-fired cedar hot tub overlooking the mountainous wild at Clayoquot Healing Grounds compound, which promises Zen in the wilderness with soaking tubs and spa treatments. 960 1280

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort  

People come from around the world to soak in Iceland's Blue Lagoon with mineral-rich, geothermal water known for its healing properties. 960 1280

Reuters  

Bathers may soak in the warm Blue Lagoon waters even during the cold winter months when the geothermal water and cool air meet to create a haze of vapor steam that rises from the water. 960 1280

Reuters  

Guests at the snazzy Burj Al Arab may soak in an ornate tub with impressive city vies of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf. 960 1280

Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Group  

Cunard cruise line brings swanky hot tubs to sea with state-of-the-art aqua-therapy pools aboard the Queen Mary 2. 960 1280

Cunard Line  

Multiple hot tubs are available for a relaxing soak at the Canyon Ranch spa facilities aboard the Queen Mary 2. 960 1280

Cunard Line  

The VUE Bar atop the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai has a cool hot tub amidst a busy nightlife scene. Bathers enjoy cocktails and a killer city view from the bar's bubbling hot tub. 960 1280

Hyatt Hotels  

The soaking tub at the Hotel Rio Sagardo in Peru has expansive windows that look out over Cusco's Sacred Valley, the heart of the former Incan Empire. 960 1280

Hotel Rio Sagrado/Pedro Rivas  

Onsen are public baths fed from hot springs found throughout Japan where locals and tourists take a wellness break in remote spots and even along the waterfront in Tokyo. 960 1280

Reuters  

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

"After I saw Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain take a dip (separately, of course) in the otherworldly Blue Lagoon, Iceland quickly moved to the top of my bucket list. Seeing the steamy Blue Lagoon firsthand literally took my breath away. I ended up spending an entire day soaking in the geothermal seawater and emerged feeling like a new person -- and looking like a new one, too. The mineral-rich water is a natural fountain of youth." -- Kathleen, Producer 960 1280

Heather Rai, flickr  

Spa at the St. Julien Hotel

Spa at the St. Julien Hotel

"As a man, I was skeptical at first … a spa, really? But after an evening of drinks, the only thing better than sleeping off an epic headache was to head down to the spa at the St. Julien Hotel. Take a dip in the spa’s indoor pool, then hop over to the hot tub -- fit for a king! Afterward, grab a cup of their extremely refreshing cucumber water (seriously, it was good). Top-notch facilities with a very friendly staff (not to mention good-looking), St. Julien’s spa is fit for any occasion."  -- Ben, Producer 960 1280

St. Julien Hotel & Spa   

Mii Amo Spa (Sedona, AZ)

Mii Amo Spa (Sedona, AZ)

"There’s nothing more relaxing to me than experiencing the beauty of Mother Nature, from the comfort of a spa. This past year, I put the red rocks of Sedona, AZ, on my getaway list. One of my favorite stops was the Mii amo Spa at Enchantment Resort, where you can indulge in one of the many innovative spa treatments offered daily. Take a cue from Cleopatra herself and try the spa’s milk-and-honey bath inspired by her beauty regimen!" -- Vanessa, Photo Editor 960 1280

Mii Amo Spa at Enchantment Resort  

Las Olas Surf Safari (Puerto Rico)

Las Olas Surf Safari (Puerto Rico)

"Calling all adventurous ladies! Get away from it all in one of Las Olas's open-air villas, complete with ocean view terraces, plunge pools and enough hibiscus and bougainvillea to make you feel like you've escaped to a secluded treehouse. Enjoy a yoga session, a sea mud facial or a sea salt body scrub before heading out for your twice-daily surf lesson. When you get back from hitting the waves, learn some vital life skills with on-site margarita and guacamole-making lessons." -- Amanda, Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Bishop, California

Bishop, California

“Go on a bouldering adventure in one of America’s best climbing spots. You may not think a physically demanding adventure is the best way to recharge, but not only do you escape the hectic urban chaos, you can take a few moments to relax and appreciate this stretch of California’s natural beauty, such as the view of the Buttermilks with its massive glacial boulders sitting on the foothills of the Sierras. Bishop offers a lifetime worth of climbing, so even if you can only go for a short time, be sure to grab a guidebook and escape to this bouldering mecca.” -- Arthur, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Arthur Hsu  

Big Timber, Montana

Big Timber, Montana

“One of the best places to recharge is under the wide open skies of sunny Montana. June is the best time of year to visit this expanse of central Montana. Head to a working ranch like the Rocking M Bunkhouse, located near the Absaroka Mountains. Saddle up for an authentic western experience: Ride a horse, see nearby Yellowstone (and Old Faithful), and swing by a rodeo for more fast-paced action. At the end of a long day, enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal and do some stargazing from the private bunkhouse's wide porch. You might even meet a cowboy.” -- Lisa, Producer 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Red Fox Inn (Middleburg, VA)

Red Fox Inn (Middleburg, VA)

“Sometimes all it takes to recharge is a weekend getaway. Middleburg, VA, may be just an hour from Washington, DC, but it feels like a world away. When I’m feeling a little suffocated by city life, I make my escape to this quaint, historic town's acres of well-tended pastures surrounded tidy post-and-beam fences. Stay at the downtown Red Fox Inn, browse the antique shops, stock up on horse- and hunt-inspired gifts, and spend an afternoon just sipping coffee at the Market Salamander.” -- Allee, Producer 960 1280

andrechinn, flickr   

East Canyon Hotel & Spa

East Canyon Hotel & Spa

“Escape to California’s Coachella Valley and rejuvenate at the gay-friendly East Canyon Hotel and Spa in Palm Springs. This resort has a fully-staffed spa onsite, with a variety of massages, facials and treatments available to guests, including a heated-stone massage, an aloe vera full-body detoxifying wrap and a papaya enzyme peel. Also recommended, especially for the adventurous traveler, is a hike in the nearby San Jacinto Mountains.” -- Kwin, Managing Producer 960 1280

Matthew Bietz, flickr  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

"A few years ago my best friend and I planned a last-minute trip to Costa Rica. A highlight was recharging at this spa, which harnesses the energy of the area’s active Arenal Volcano. In private open-air bungalows, we received volcanic mud wraps and rinsed off in a thermal-mineral-spring Jacuzzi. Word to the wise: The spa is a top honeymoon destination, so only couples should book appointments together -- or you might see a lot more of your friend than you intended." -- Sara, Producer 960 1280

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort  

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