The Top 8 Organic Spas
When planning a trip to Europe, it’s crumbling castles, marble-floored museums and sparkling nightlife that spring to mind rather than indulgent massages and steam-filled saunas. But if you’ve been working hard all year, a heart-in-the-mouth skydive or hours of art-gallery queuing may not be the blissed out break you had in mind. In fact, even if adventure does call, there’s really no need for the two kinds of holiday to be mutually exclusive.
For a delightfully zen getaway free of chemicals and other nasties, Europe has a long list of luxury spa resorts specialising in organic treatments and products. You can even check out Expedia’s clever map of the top organic spa escapes on the continent to find out which one best suits your taste. Whether it’s the blooming orchards of Southern Italy or the buzzing Hungarian capital Budapest that takes your fancy, here’s a list of the most soothing spa locations Europe has to offer.
Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France
A wine-lover’s dream becomes real at Les Sources de Caudalie in France’s pretty Bordeaux. Described as the world’s first and only ‘vinotherapy’ spa, exhale your tensions away with a variety of treatments all incorporating grapes and wine. To enjoy the benefits of the grape pip to reverse the damaging effects of age and sunlight on skin, opt for a fruity Wine Wrap, a Barrel Bath, or even a Crushed Cabernet Scrub. Set among gorgeous French vineyards blooming with life, the resort offers four-star hotel accommodation and a delicious seven-course feast to enjoy after a day of pampering and treats.
Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey
Nestled on a Turkish hillside between two idyllic beaches, the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers maximum relaxation along with its high-class restaurant and magnificent sea views. The three-floored spa will get you some headspace, as you’ll drift away in its turquoise pool or traditional Turkish bath. Take a virtual journey along the mediterranean with scrubs and soaks comprising typical products such as honey, olives and naturally derived aromatherapy oils. To further explore your surroundings, you might venture to the nearby Castle of the Knights for a dose of history, or even check out the Museum of Underwater Archaeology to see relics of Turkey’s past rescued from the aquamarine depths.
Six Senses Spa, Crete, Greece
The flourishing natural resources of Greece’s Aegean coast are put to glorious use at the Six Senses Spa in Crete. Organic delights such as walnuts, cinnamon and coriander are locally sourced from surrounding farms and orchards, meaning your treatments will be full to bursting with fresh natural ingredients to max-out your skin’s potential. Once the resort’s nourishing treatments have put the wind back in your sails, get your snorkel on at Spinalonga Bay and admire the ruins of the sunken city of Olius in the tranquil waters. Don’t forget that a huge part of self-love is how you choose to nourish yourself on the inside; in Crete you’ve no excuse but to sample the finest and freshest ingredients the mediterranean diet has to offer.
La Plantacion del Sur, Tenerife, Spain
To rejuvenate your body and boost your mood, the Nammu Spa at Tenerife’s Plantacion del Sur offers thermal treatments, massages, and fruit-enriched facials to cleanse and nourish tired skin. Choose from three thermal circuits, including one in a volcanic cave, where the treatments using nutrient-rich water will leave every muscle in your body purring with content. The hotel is 500 metres from the Bahia del Duque beach, where white sands stretch before you and transparent waters lap at the shore. If a week-long pampering session feels like too much sitting still, one of the region’s top golf clubs is right nearby.
The Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy
With four swimming pools and a beautifully designed wellness centre, the Borgo Egnazia in Puglia mixes rustic Italian charm with stylish modern touches and welcomes you to kick back with an impressive range of high-quality organic treatments. The Puglia region is well-known for the purity and freshness of its local produce, and the Vair Spa at the Borgo Egnazia takes advantage of local almonds to enrich dry skin and lemons to lift the spirit.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England
Famed the world over for its ancient Roman baths, this city is proud to offer you one of the country’s most exquisite spas. Opt for a hot-stone massage to soothe tired limbs, pick a full-body exfoliation to ditch dreary skin cells or a gentle session of Watsu, performed in the natural thermal waters of the historic Hot Bath. A therapist will carry you in the mineral-rich waters, stretching your muscles and performing a series of movements to help you let go. With a divine variety of treatments to pick from, this sleek and stylish spot boasts a heavenly rooftop pool affording incomparable views across Bath’s pretty honey-coloured architecture.
L’AND Vineyards, Lisbon, Portugal
To give your pampering weekend a touch of magic, choose the stunning L’AND resort set in Lisbon’s lush green vineyards, where you can choose accommodation with a retractable roof allowing you a night beneath the stars. If you’re planning your holiday around wine, you’d be hard pressed to find a more delicious combination than a refreshing plunge into this hotel’s heated swimming pool followed by a flavourful glass of locally produced wine. The organic products used in the L’AND Vineyard’s spa treatments include antioxidant-rich plants such as ivy leaf, coffee beans and horse chestnut.
Four Seasons Spa, Budapest, Hungary
Whoever said a bustling city break and sigh-of-relief spa treats couldn’t go hand in hand obviously hadn’t been to the International City Spa of Budapest. Sitting snugly in Hungary’s Carpthian Basin, the country’s capital rests on top of an extra-slim layer of the Earth’s surface, leaving mineral-heavy water to reach nearer the top. This means Budapest is blessed with more sources of thermal water than anywhere else in the world. Between packed city tours, architecture gazing and glittering nights on the town, indulge and unwind at the city’s Four Seasons Spa which uses exclusively organic ingredients to pamper your skin chemical free. Worth trying for yourself is the resort’s ylang-ylang and gold sugar scrub which will help brighten skin for a youthful glow.