Luxury travel covers a broad stretch of the tourism sector, but there’s one thing that is always included: spas. Visiting a spa is one the highlights of any luxury trip. These experiences involve self-pampering that many people usually forego at home, but enjoy while on vacation. A spa experience can be just what you need to relax!

But while the concept sounds the same, the experiences vary wildly. Spas can have hot and cold pools to relax in. There are usually saunas and steam rooms of varying temperatures, sometimes aromatherapies. And there are usually services available. The most basic of these can be massages, often deep-tissue sports massage or the more relaxing Swedish massage. Aromatherapy, hot stone and other exotic massages have become increasingly popular spa services. Some spas have truly unusual options like volcanic ash mud baths, sensory deprivation tanks and other unusual activities. Here are some of our favorite experiences around the world.

From enjoying green spaces like Parc Lahaie to visiting markets, trying new foods, and climbing Mount Royal, there are lots of fun things to do in Montreal Canada

19 Ways to Love a Weekend in Montreal

A little bit European and a little bit Canadian, Montreal is a city that loves good food, good art, and getting outside at every opportunity, no matter the weather. In the spirit of its French settlers, Montreal teems with joie de vivre.

The Hedon Spa & Hotel in Parnu, Estonia, offers a variety of treatments in an historic setting

Spa by the Sea in Parnu, Estonia

Sweat dripped down the sides of my hairline as I breathed in the steamy air of the sauna and contemplated the bucket. Just outside the door, people filled a bucket with ice-cold water and dumped it on themselves. Intentionally.

The Caldea INUU spa complex in Andorra.

Relax at the Spa Caldea – INUU in Andorra

A pointed dagger made of glass piercing the sky. That’s the first thing you see when you arrive in Andorra la Vella. This is the amazing Caldea INUU spa complex in the principality of Andorra. And it is an amazing experience!

The Keltenbad spa in Bad Salzungen, Germany.

The Cure of Bad Salzungen’s Keltenbad Spa

Like ghosts in the mist, white hooded bodies move silently through the 200 year old wooden structure. The dense fog strangles the senses as sight and sound are distorted. Slowly, the bodies pace back and forth. The only noise is the faint trickle of water. These pilgrims come to the Keltenbad spa (or Celtic Bath) in Bad Salzungen, Germany for “The Cure.” As I quickly learned, the Keltenbad Bad Salzungen is like very few places on earth.

The Kursalon and Cafe at the Kupele Sklene Teplice Spa in Slovakia.

Relaxation at The Kupele Sklene Teplice Spa in Central Slovakia

Throughout much of Central Slovakia, the mountainous geology yields a significant amount of geothermal activity and a robust spa culture has developed around these hot springs. We visited the Kupele Sklene Teplice spa on a breezy fall day for a relaxation.