After a long, drawn-out winter spent hunched over our computers working, most of us are in need of a serious detox—something that will give us that vacation glow. But considering the current state of the world, a typical all-inclusive may not cut it. Instead, why not travel somewhere that offers natural healing and rejuvenating qualities?
No, they’re not the Fountain of Youth, but these six spots come close. From a mineral-packed lake in Israel to sand baths in Japan, a trip to one of these locations will have you feeling brand new.
Yakushima Island, Japan
A two-hour ferry ride from the mainland, the mountainous island of Yakushima features an ancient, mossy rainforest and deep ravines. Bathe in nature while admiring the island’s many holy shrines. And make sure to visit the island’s 4,000-year-old, giant cedar tree, Jōmon Sugi. These ancient trees are said to offer healing properties.
Taos, New Mexico
Located in northern New Mexico, Taos sits among the desert cliffs with access to natural hot springs. If you’re looking to replenish your wellness, Ojo Caliente, one of America’s oldest health resorts, is a must try. Ojo Caliente is, supposedly, the only spot in the world that offers four hot springs, each with their own type of mineral water. Jump into the resort’s arsenic pool to soothe arthritis and ulcers, the iron pool to strengthen your immune system, the lithium pool to combat digestion and depression issues, and finally the soda pool to clear your mind.
Spotted Lake, British Columbia
British Columbia is known for its mountains and towering pines, but just west of Osoyoos, the landscape breaks into a desert environment, with Spotted Lake smack in the middle. Known as Kliluk to the Okanagan First Nations peoples who live there, the lake is considered a sacred place. The water is rich in calcium, sodium sulphates, and magnesium sulphate, among other minerals. In the summer, much of the lake water evaporates, leaving concentrations of these minerals that form the spots on the surface of the lake. Due to its sacred nature, visitors aren’t allowed to swim in the lake, but it certainly provides a calming atmosphere.
The Dead Sea, Israel
Thanks to the Dead Sea’s salt content, the landlocked lake makes your body extremely buoyant so that you can nearly float on the surface. But the water also purportedly helps alleviate skin conditions and ease arthritis and osteoporosis pain. Plus the Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level, meaning UV rays are filtered through an evaporation layer that lowers your chance of getting sunburnt while still absorbing Vitamin D.
Saratoga Springs, New York
Three hours north of New York City, Saratoga Springs is home to 21 public mineral springs that each offer a different flavor and health benefit. The springs are caused by a geological fault that allows water trapped in layers of shale to come to the surface. Reportedly, drinking from the springs can help clear up skin, improve digestion, and strengthen blood. If you want to soak in some of the mineral water, the Roosevelt Mineral Baths and Spa offers a naturally carbonated water treatment.
Remember when you used to bury your little brother in the sand at the beach? Well, that’s exactly what the people of Ibusuki, Japan do to relax. Located on Kagoshima Bay, the sands along Ibusuki’s coastline are heated by volcanic hot springs. By relaxing in a hole on the beach, you can enjoy sand warmed to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, researchers at Kagoshima University have found that inhaling the steam that rises from the sand baths reduces inflammation and increases blood circulation.