Best Spa Resorts
Find your next getaway
- A spa resort is a luxurious retreat that offers various relaxation and wellness treatments, such as massages, facials, and hydrotherapy, within a serene and rejuvenating environment, often situated amidst picturesque landscapes. The main focus of a spa resort is to provide guests with an immersive experience to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- When vacationing at a spa resort, it's best to wear comfortable, casual clothing like loose-fitting pants or shorts and a breathable top, paired with easy-to-remove footwear such as flip-flops or sandals. Don't forget your swimsuit for any water-based treatments or relaxation by the pool!
- Wellness resorts and spa destinations allow you to indulge in rejuvenating treatments, such as massages, facials, and body wraps, while enjoying luxurious amenities and tranquil surroundings to relax, unwind, and recharge your mind, body, and soul.
- Besides spa treatments, you can expect amenities such as luxurious accommodations, fine dining options, fitness centers, and various recreational activities like golf, tennis, or swimming pools for a well-rounded and relaxing experience.
- The best destinations worldwide for spa resorts include the picturesque island of Bali in Indonesia, the serene Swiss Alps, the breathtaking Amalfi Coast in Italy, and the tranquil hot springs of Costa Rica, all offering luxurious and rejuvenating experiences to travellers.
Discover the most popular destinations for the world's spa resorts
- AitutakiThis small island encased in a triangular barrier reef boasts incredible lagoons. Relax with a intimate picnic on the alabaster beach of one of Aitutaki’s minor islands, uninhabited and lined with swaying palm trees. Despite its heartbreaking beauty, Aitutaki isn’t (yet) flooded with tourists, due to its relatively difficult-to-reach location. For off-the-beaten-sandbar holiday-making, Aitutaki is a prime destination, especially for those seeking unbridled romantic ambiance.
- Palawan IslandPalawan is a slice of heaven, a sliver of an island that teems with exotic wildlife, quaint fishing villages, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wave hello to endangered animals at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary or explore the Japanese shipwrecks of Coron Island, regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world. A guided boat tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River will take your breath away.
- BaliBali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class.
- SicilyThe Mediterranean's biggest island is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Messina. A mountainous spot, Sicily's coast and its small islands sit at the foot of volcanoes, including Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano. The Greeks, Romans, Normans and Catalans all left their mark on the island in the form of Byzantine palaces, Gothic castles and Baroque flourishes in capital Palermo. Most larger towns offer interesting museums, but Etna and the Hellenic temples in Agrigento offer particularly unique sights.
- AnguillaWhat makes Anguilla's beaches the best in the world? White, powdery sand that stretches for miles, pristine waters and the laid-back, welcoming attitude of the Anguillan people. Swim and sunbathe all day—and all year round—at romantic public beaches like the aptly-named Rendezvous Bay, then dance to calypso music at Anguilla's annual summer festival.
- Koh TaoDrifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Ko Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. White sand beaches sheltered by steep hills – some only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles – and 300 days of sun per year invite long afternoons of lounging.
- BoracayBoracay Island has reopened with new rules and regulations in place to protect the island from overdevelopment. Not all businesses were allowed to reopen. Please check with the Philippine Department of Tourism for details: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/
- LanzaroteIf your kids are sick of the same old beach holiday you take every year, consider taking them to Lanzarote. There are great beaches, to be sure, but this UNESCO World Biosphere reserve has unique attractions and activities. We're talking camel rides on volcanoes (at Timanfaya National Park), or eating at a restaurant in a volcanic cave (at Jameos del Agua). Even the most jaded teens will be impressed.
- KauaiRelaxing and pristine Kauai (the Garden Island) is the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands. Waterfalls, scenic drives and more than 60 beaches dot the landscape. Some beaches have great snorkeling, others offer child-friendly tidal pools and some are perfect for all kinds of water sports. Dry-land activities include hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coastline, taking a day trip to Waimea Canyon and experiencing life on a sugar plantation at Grove Farm Homestead Museum.
- Bintan IslandA popular destination for golfers looking for better rates and more accessible courses, Bintan is also a nice way to escape the bustle of Singapore. A ferry ride takes between one and two hours, depending on where you’re headed. From there you can relax on one of the beaches or head inland for hiking and ATV rides or take a ride at the elephant park. There are a couple of towns on Bintan, but the island’s natural beauty is what draws visitors.
Madeira is a Portuguese island in the Atlantic, west of the Mediterranean. Madeira has many visitors each year, and has some great landscapes, gardens, flowers, and sublime tropical climate.
Madeira has a number of beaches scattered around its coastline. Among the more notable of these is Calheta which is one of the top resorts in Madeira. This beach has golden sands, crystal clear waters, and a marina. The beach is also good for a variety of water sports such as canoeing and windsurfing. Alternatively, at Lido there is a large and small outdoor seawater swimming pool, which also has direct sea access. Ponta Gorda also has similar outdoor seawater pools. For golf fans Madeira Island also has a few golf courses. At Funchal there is the Palheiro Golf Course, while the Santo da Serra overlooks the bay of Machico.
- CuraçaoThirty-eight small, gorgeous beaches frame the turquoise waters around Curacao, and each one offers a distinct experience, from secluded to surrounded by cliffs. Scuba divers and snorkelers will find this a world-class destination, as will windsurfers and boaters of all kinds.
- RoatanIs there a better way to cap off a day of pristine reef diving and heart-pumping adventure sports than by sipping a sunset cocktail? Didn’t think so! From ziplining to deep sea fishing to exploring the military-protected archipelago of Cayos Cochinos, the Honduran island of Roatan is a playground for lovers of water sports and ecotourism. Landlubbers will flip for the Carambola Botanical Gardens, a tour of the Stone Castle Cameo Factory or exploring the beaches on horseback.
- St Martin / St MaartenGet the experience of visiting two island colonies in the same 37 square miles. Saint Maarten/Saint Martin's spicy marriage of Caribbean, French and Dutch cultures matches its physical diversity: the island is both urban and untamed, with rain forest-like landscapes, white beaches, and amazing caves and wildlife.
- Great ExumaIn friendly Great Exuma, you'll want to be up early so you don't miss a moment outdoors. From fishing and sailing to snorkeling and windsurfing, there's almost too much to do. Design your own adventure and plunge in—particularly around Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, where the scuba diving is world-class.
- Vancouver IslandRefer to Vancouver Island as Victoria Island and risk a chorus of eye-rolls from the otherwise-friendly locals. Yes, Victoria is the main city on the island, but there are many distinct flavours to its logging and fishing settlements. Food and wine enthusiasts flock to the Comox Valley farm region, while the more outdoorsy types get their fix along the remote, forested beaches of North Vancouver Island. Visit the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Clayoquot Sound and you’ll return full of cocktail-party factoids.
- LuzonThe biggest island in the Philippines, Luzon is also one of the most diverse—it’s where mountain peaks and volcanoes meet miles of coastline, and indigenous culture melds with Spanish colonial history. You can relax at the beach in Pagudpud, hike with locals up the Batad Rice Terraces, ride in a horse-drawn carriage in Vigan, and snack on street food and dance the night away in Manila. You’ll need a few days and a bus pass, but you’ll be glad you stayed.
- CaliforniaCalifornia is a fertile, peaceful place where you’ll find a near-equal balance of vineyards and deserts, beaches and mountains, hippies and traditionalists. Catch an epic wave in Big Sur or swirl a glass in Napa Valley. Be dazzled by the Joshua Tree night sky or just star-gaze in Hollywood. Swish down the slopes of a Tahoe ski resort, or cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge with the top down and the music blasting. Above all, don’t forget to soak up some Golden State sunshine.
- HawaiiFrom volcanic landscapes to hidden waterfalls… active adventures to an energetic nightlife… a holiday on the Hawaiian Islands offers infinite experiences in one destination. Each of the six major islands – Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii – has its own distinct personality, but no matter which ones you choose, you’ll discover endless opportunities for adventure, dining, culture and relaxation.
- Nova ScotiaFrom Yarmouth to Sydney, Nova Scotia is full of scenic landscapes, rich history, and interesting local culture. Sights and fun experiences abound in Nova Scotia, and there is a little bit of something for everyone. Soak up the beauty and serenity to be found in the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, or head to Cape Breton Highlands National Park for the stunning landscape and wildlife. Explore the history of the area at Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, or hike the Skyline Trail.
- TasmaniaOff Australia’s South Coast you’ll find the rugged and beautiful island of Tasmania — a unique destination where you can see Tasmanian devils, walk in the wilderness, take in stunning eco-cruises, taste artisanal cheeses and even explore a controversial art museum. The best way to see it? Take the back roads, but allow plenty of time: A short drive in any direction can lead to wineries, distilleries, marine farms, convict settlements, pristine beaches, fields of lavender and national parks…
- QueenslandSome of Queensland’s most remarkable sights require you to leave terra firma. Off its coast sits the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef. Snorkel and scuba among 1500 resident fish species, or sail through the Whitsundays’ white-sand atolls. Back on dry land, you’ll find tropical escapes in the Daintree Rainforest to the north, rugged outback to the west and alfresco dining on the Gold Coast in the south. South East Queensland boasts mountain views, vineyards and ‘river city’ Brisbane.
- New Jersey
Whether you are looking for sun-drenched beaches or outdoor activities in beautiful countryside, New Jersey has plenty to offer. Those who love the great outdoors should head for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which runs along the Delaware River for forty miles. Here you can go rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking or fishing, or simply admire the stunning waterfalls. There is a huge range of hiking trails to choose from as well as historic sites to visit. In winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing near Blue Mountain Lakes, and birdwatchers might be lucky enough to catch sight of bald eagles. If you are looking for a change, visit one of New Jersey's eleven lighthouses that are open to public, such as the one in Cape May. For art and history enthusiasts, New Jersey State Museum in Trenton has historic artefacts and American fine art from the nineteenth century to the present day as well as a Planetarium.
- OhioIf you are looking for an active place to stay with world-class attractions, Ohio’s major cities can satisfy any vacation desire. Each offers its own distinct flavor of fun, from professional sports – Bengals (Cincinnati), Cavaliers (Cleveland) and Indians (Cleveland again) – to museums, outdoor activities and more. One of the most famous is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. If football is your thing, don’t miss the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. For the science-minded, visit the meat eaters at the Carnivore Conservation Center in the Wilds near Cambridge, dedicated to the breeding and scientific study of endangered mid-sized carnivores. Kids will also love Planet Snoopy in Sandusky or the Columbus Zoo’s Zoombezi Bay Waterpark and Jack’s Landing rides.
- IdahoA mixture of forested mountains, alpine peaks, wildflower meadows, deep river canyons, and high plains deserts, Idaho is a paradise for golf, skiing, fly fishing, and river rafting. Boise, the capital, is the state's largest city and airline hub. North of Boise are golf, lake, and ski resorts from McCall in the south to Sandpoint and Coeur D'Alene in the north. East of Boise are the ski slopes of Ketchum and Sun Valley. East of Sun Valley are Craters of the Moon National Monument, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and the small town of Island Park just across the border from Yellowstone National Park. Boise's Basque Museum and Cultural Center reflects having the largest Basque population in the U.S. Reflecting Idaho's diverse heritage, near the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise's Julia Davis Park is the Idaho Black History Museum's chronicle of the slave York who served the Lewis & Clark Expedition. After a family visit to the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey and an outdoor performance at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the next stop after Boise is likely to be Payette Lake in McCall or Sun Valley and Ketchum. About 100 miles north of Boise, past Cascade Lake, McCall takes you to the shores of Payette Lake. Go golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, waterskiing, sailing, boating, or whitewater river rafting. Ski or snowshoe Brundage Mountain or Tamarack Resorts, as well as Ponderosa State Park in winter. Ice skate year-round at Manchester Ice & Event Centre. About 450 miles north of Boise, there are resort lakes near skiing and golf at Coeur d'Alene, Hayden Lake, and Sandpoint. Golf, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, rafting, and hunting are popular in Sun Valley and Ketchum. Sockeye salmon may no longer do much spawning in Redfish Lake, but the boating and mountain scenery in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area make the short trip north to Stanley worthwhile. When the snows come the whole family will head for the slopes of Soldier Mountain, Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, or the Sun Valley Resort. A tiny forested town of about 250 people, Island Park has a large reservoir with fishing and boating, as well as Henry's Fork of the Snake River for fly fishing. It's only 15 miles from Yellowstone as well.
- TexasTexas is one of the largest states in America. As such, there is some variety of potential holiday destinations in Texas. Among the most notable holiday destinations in Texas is that of South Padre Island. South Padre Island is located at the tropical tip of Texas, by the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches of South Padre Island are some of the best and widest in Texas. Here you can also find some of the state's most innovative water-parks such as Schlitterbahn BeachWater Park. Or alternatively, take a break away cruise for fishing, eco tours, and snorkelling around South Padre Island. Texas also has some highly rated golf courses such as Cliffs at Possum Kingdom at Grayford, and La Cantera - Resort Course in San Anotonio, which is a fun and scenic golf course that is regarded as one of the best golf resorts in the United States.
- BavariaKnown for its beer, sausages, Oktoberfest and lederhosen, Bavaria is Germany’s largest federal state and one of its most popular tourist destinations. It's also one of the most independent-minded regions. Home to cities like Munich (the capital) and Nuremberg, Bavaria is also cherished for its hilly countryside, where such gorgeous sites as Hohenschwangau Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle (the model for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland) and Linderhof and HerrenChiemsee Palaces can be found.
- Bocas del Toro ProvinceAn archipelago off the northwest coast of Panama, Bocas del Toro is an eco-tourism favorite with English-speaking and other tourists traveling to this Central American country. Seven islands (including Isla Colón, Isla Carenero and Isla Bastimentos) comprise the land area, with Bocas Town its regional capital and the “big city” for those looking to shop, dine well, and explore nightlife. Adventure lovers will find plenty to keep them occupied, as scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, surfing and hiking are first-rate. And if you’re more of a tour-goer, never fear—Bocas del Toro offers a host of them, ranging from sailing to Nivida Bat Cave tours.
- TaupoThis adrenaline-pumping city offers an abundance of skydiving, jetboating and bungee jumping. Discover the marvels of Orakei Korako thermal park, featuring caves, hot springs and boiling mud pools. Gaze across Lake Taupo to see the spectacular volcanic mountains of Tongariro National Park, and make sure to visit Huka Falls, one of the great watery wonders of New Zealand.
- Nusa DuaNusa Dua is a hotbed of luxurious accommodations, golf resorts, fine dining and R&R. Surfing and diving are popular activities for more active visitors to this beach destination. Trek up the many steps to Mother Temple Besakih and combine sight-seeing with muscle toning. An array of spas, galleries and boutiques await those who prefer less exertion. Local Barong performances can be admired at Batubulan.
- San DiegoSan Diego embodies laid-back California culture, complete with a Boardwalk, surfing communities, and outstanding Mexican food. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, then gobble down a fresh fish taco at a La Jolla seafood joint. The naval aircrafts at the USS Midway Museum will have you standing at attention. A free Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is the perfect way to unwind after a Saturday night bar-hop in the thumping Gaslamp Quarter.
- CollingwoodCollingwood is more than just a neighbour of Blue Mountain Ski resort. This town on Nottawasaga Bay has its own delights to discover, from historic homes to parks and trails, a marine heritage museum, and its own annual Elvis Festival.
- AcapulcoDon't skip your siesta in Acapulco, because you'll need the sleep: you'll be busy dancing from midnight until the sun comes up. Countless nightclubs keep the evenings hopping, while Acapulco Bay and its beaches give the beautiful people a place to perfect their tans by day. Gourmet restaurants and exceptional water sports make your stay unforgettable.
- KathmanduNepal's capital is situated in a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples and shrines, golden pagodas and fascinating villages. Hotels, bars and restaurants cater to all budgets. Shops offer handicrafts, carpets and Nepali paper prints. Bus services, taxis and bicycles open up the city. Trek to see the Monkey Temple, the valley's oldest and most sacred shrine. Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square's monuments and temples, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel District.
- NashvilleWith live music to be heard all across town, 24/7, 365 days a year, Music City lives up to its name. From honky-tonk bands jamming at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge to songwriters in the round at the Bluebird Cafe and country music legends rocking the Grand Ole Opry, you never know who you might see. The creative spirit from Nashville's music landscape flows into the area's myriad art galleries, up-and-coming fashion scene, historic landmarks and chef-driven restaurants.
- RishikeshThe holy city of Rishikesh, in the base of the Himalayas, holds deep cultural and spiritual significance for local Hindus. Sacred rivers and mountains set the scene for yoga and reflective hikes, and rafting here is an absolute must. The Beatles got in touch with their Eastern spiritual side here, writing several songs during a 1968 stint at a local ashram.
- TaipeiYou can eat very well—and very cheaply—in Taipei. The restaurants may not look posh, but the quality of the food is superlative. And there’s a huge variety of restaurants—in addition to local Taiwanese specialties, you’ll find regional cuisines from all over China, as well as great Indian, Japanese and even Italian options. Just make sure to leave some room for snacks—street-vendor food here is addictive.
- AtamiA coastal resort complete with hot springs, Atami has been a favorite vacation spot for Tokyoites dating back to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Though the city's main draws are its beach boardwalk and spas, visitors can take in some history staying in early 20th-century private villas converted to inns and catching the afternoon Geisha dance performance at Geigi Kenban.
- MumbaiMumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, is famous for its chaotic streets. For bargains and people-watching, outdoor bazaars top the list of attractions. Popular waterfront destinations are Marine Drive, where visitors go to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea, and the carnival-like Juhu Beach. More sightseeing options are the Gandhi Museum, in the leader's former home, and the cave temples of Elephanta Island. For tranquillity, Mumbai has many religious sites, lakes and parks.
- BiarritzA stylish beach town on France’s southwestern coast, Biarritz was once the holiday spot for nobility and is now Europe’s surfing capital. It’s experienced a tourist renaissance—summers are busy. Biarritz lacks the Riviera’s glitz, but you’ll see affluent holiday-makers in designer gear and surfers in flip-flops, and hear French, Spanish and Basque. The Grande Plage is the centre of the action. Behind it, visit the restored, Art Deco casino and wander the streets down to the old port to the west.
- EilatResorts and reefs are the draw on Israel’s skinny Red Sea coastline, and Eilat tempts visitors with sun that lasts all year round. Sandy beaches, warm waters, and nightlife complete the package, along with desert scenery that’s just beyond the crowded coast.
- PondicherryBlossoming bougainvilleas, crumbling cathedrals on leafy boulevards and 18th-century colonial buildings colour the former French colony of Pondy, which sits on the Bay of Bengal. But it's also unmistakably Indian, with colourful festivals throughout the year, several mosques and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Quiet beaches stretch north and south from town, good for swimming and sunrise strolls. Pondy is a popular weekend getaway destination from Chennai and is easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle.
- Coeur d'AleneWhile it may sound like a French village, Coeur d'Alene (pronounced core-da-lane) is decidedly all-American. Located in northern Idaho, this lakefront resort offers five-star amenities in a beautifully rugged setting. Visitors enjoy everything from pristine golf courses and professional quality tennis courts to hiking on pine-forest trails and cycling through nature reserves. The sparkling Coeur d'Alene Lake is the centre of most of the action: sunbathe on the beach, water-ski, kayak or tour the area by seaplane. At night, dine in fine restaurants and see top-rated shows. With upmarket attractions in an unspoiled setting, Coeur d'Alene offers visitors the best of both worlds.
- New DelhiLaid out by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Indian capital is a striking modern metropolis. A gracious contrast to Old Delhi's winding streets, the grand avenues and stately buildings of New Delhi are rich with history and culture, from Gandhi's Delhi home (and the site of his assassination) to the tomb of Humayun, a complex of Mughal buildings reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Chaotic traffic is best left to the locals. Negotiate a good price for taxis or travel on the new Delhi Metro.
- RussellThe seaside town of Russell is one of the most popular destinations in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. The area teems with a mash-up of indigenous and European history, evident in its architecture and historic sites. Sail around the bay on a chartered yacht or iconic tall ship or explore the multiple personalities of The Gables 1847, which has served as a bakery, bordello and shelter for AWOL sailors on the lam.
- New ZealandForever remembered for its "The Lord of the Rings" legacy, New Zealand’s landscapes are deserving of their big screen fame—think lush rolling hills, volcano-sculpted moonscapes, UNESCO-listed glaciers, and white-sand beaches. Cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown follow suit, with photo-worthy scenery and a laid-back vibe.
- AustraliaAustralia is as varied as it is enormous-- it is home to thriving cities, vast wilderness, and earnest, friendly people. Sydney is for sophisticates, with its famous opera house and annual Sculpture By the Sea outdoor art exhibits. Port Douglas makes a great base for snorkeling or diving the Great Barrier Reef, and quaint lighthouses keep vigil along the beaches of Byron Bay. Melbourne is a hub of rousing cricket activity, and the limestone pillars of the Pinnacles Desert are a natural wonder.
- VietnamThe jungles and monsoon forests of Vietnam are diverse ecosystems that are alive with unique wildlife. Trekking is a popular activity here, particularly the mountains of Sapa and the primeval landscape of Cuc Phuong National Park. For a more urban escape, take a guided food tour of Ho Chi Minh City, making sure to squeeze in visits to the historic Hoi Truong Thong Nhat palace and the intricately adorned Emperor Jade Pagoda.
- JapanIn the Land of the Rising Sun, ancient temples sit alongside neon wonderlands and shinto shrines offer pockets of peace amid metropolises. Add tea ceremonies, snow monkeys, sushi, kimonos, and karaoke to the mix, and you’ve got one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
- FijiIf it wasn’t soothing enough already, Fiji offers an enticing array of distinctive relaxation options. Traditional Fijian Bobo massage, a healing blend of massage and local nut oils, Duavata island-style four-handed massage and Thalgo therapy mud and algae wraps top enticing local treatment options.
- MalaysiaMalaysia is a beautifully complex vacation destination, a land where ancient rainforests give way to multicultural city life. Capital city Kuala Lumpur is visually defined by the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, while in charming Melaka the vibe is more quaint and historical. Many of the country’s national parks offer opportunities for fantastic whitewater rafting, and the exclusive Sipadan dive site (off the east coast of Borneo) is among the best in the world.
- Sri LankaKnown by a flotilla of aliases, the Resplendent Isle is one of gorgeous beaches, tea plantations and ancient cities. Scuba dive, visit an elephant orphanage and a lagoon of singing fish, explore dense jungle, shrines and temples. Situated just 20 miles off India, the island formerly known as Ceylon is home to 20 million people and eight World Heritage sites. The country's long, brutal civil war ended in May, 2009, bringing peace, stability and a revival of tourism.
- ItalyFrom the silvery crests of the Alps to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Italy’s beauty is unparalleled. A visit could mean marveling at the Colosseum after a tender plate of pasta, or drifting lazily down a canal, your belly full of local Sangiovese. Explore Tuscan vineyards and olive groves or drool over boutiques in fashionable Milan. Look for mermaids from the cliffs of Sorrento or nibble on Parma’s famous cheese and prosciutto. Anywhere you choose, the country will captivate you.
- TaiwanYou could spend months exploring Taiwan’s Buddhist temples, villages, cities, and mountains and still barely scratch the surface of all the island has to offer. Here Confucius meets C-pop in a cultural mash-up of a place where traditional festivals are as important as hip-hop and cell phones. Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung each burst with opportunities to explore, learn, shop, and dine. Don’t miss breathtaking natural features like Sun Moon Lake, the hot springs of Tainan, and Taroko Gorge.
- ThailandThailand is a country of many contrasting facets, with glorious beaches as well as forests, jungles and mountains. Whether you want to swim, sunbathe or explore the wildlife, a family holiday in Thailand will never be dull.If you're looking for seaside relaxation, visit the beaches and bay of Hat Karon in Phuket with sand dunes and palm trees. The island of Ko Tao has coral reefs and is the place to go if you want to learn to dive, but you can also go mountain biking or just sunbathe on the beach. The Royal Barge National Museum in Bangkok houses several barges built for Thailand's kings; the beautifully detailed carving is quite breathtaking. Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park in Chiang Mai has a wealth of flowering plants and ferns as well as three hundred species of birds. If you're in the mood for a quiet spot, try the town of Sangkhlaburi; from there you can set off on an elephant trek or jungle tour. For mountains and forests, visit the north-western province of Mai Hong Son.
- GreeceGreece is one of those rare places where ancient history is still very much a part of modern life. Visitors are as much drawn to the country’s epic intellectual history as its beauty and charm. Make time for the iconic features of the Acropolis of Athens, which include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Mythology buffs will appreciate Crete, Olympia, Samos, and Naxos for their mythological significance. For a peaceful beach holiday, the island of Santorini is perfect.
- PhilippinesWith more than 7,000 islands consisting of rice paddies, volcanos, mega-metropolises, world-class surf spots, and endemic wildlife, the Philippines is one of the most dazzling and diverse countries in all of Asia. Not to mention, it’s home to some of the world’s best beaches, too.
- CroatiaCroatia has had a turbulent history but is establishing itself as an exciting destination great for all the family. Among other things, you may not be aware that the small Central European country pioneered fountain pens and invented the necktie. Aside from the pub trivia side of things, however, Croatia is a fantastic country steeped in history, and benefiting from the hot summers and mild winters of a Mediterranean climate.
- SeychellesSailing, diving, fishing and relaxing are the main activities for visitors to the 115 islands of this Indian Ocean archipelago. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are the most popular islands. Mahé boasts 65 silver beaches, plus an array of restaurants, cafés, bars and casinos in the tiny capital, Victoria. The Seychelles are home to UNESCO-designated sites, coral atoll Aldabra and Vallée de Mai, called the Garden of Eden. Creole is the main language, but English and French are widely spoken.
- SwitzerlandFrom the storybook villages and dizzying peaks of the Swiss Alps to the lakeside resorts of Geneva and Lucerne, landlocked Switzerland serves up some of Europe’s most enchanting scenery (along with some of its most delicious cheeses and chocolates, too).
- ChinaThe grand story of China features a great wall, a forbidden city, and a few thousand Terracotta warriors. Settings include the sci-fi skyline of Shanghai, the jutting peaks of Zhangjiajie, and the tropical beaches of Hainan, but the tale of this ancient kingdom began long ago.
- Costa RicaThose looking for stunning but ecologically conscious holidays need look no further. The misty rain and cloud forest teems with toucans. Encounters with rare wildlife, from quetzals to leatherback turtles, await. Activities such as surfing and whitewater rafting are available on gorgeous beaches and splendid rivers. Arenal Volcano puts on mighty shows almost daily, and nearby hot springs soothe stresses away. San Jose, the capital and largest city, is vibrant and packed with Victorian mansions.
- AustriaAs home to majestic mountains, opulent palaces, and high culture, Austria's attractions are classically sumptuous and enduring. But beyond the waltzes, the strudels, the alpine summits, and Habsburg architecture, its modern cities are proof of just how easily Austria combines the contemporary with the historic.
Popular Continents and Regions
- EuropeFrom the mighty fjords in the north to the ancient Greek ruins in the south, all the way to the volcanic Azores in the west and the monumental architecture in the east, Europe's unique blend of history, landscapes, and cultures must be seen to be believed.