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European spa resorts

There are more European spa resorts than anywhere else in the world. It's hardly surprising as this is the continent that invented the concept, with the upper classes regularly escaping the bustle of the city to relax in healthy thermal waters.

Indeed, if you know your history you will recognise that the Romans were doing this over 2000 years ago. In fact, many European spa resorts - like Britain's own Bath - are located on the site of the ancient Roman baths.

It's a testament to the relaxing effects of these places that they are still popular 2000 years later.

Choosing your getaway spot these days is a little harder - there are many more choices than in Roman times - but that is offset by the ease of travel. With most of Europe just two to three hours away by plane, the whole continent is within easy reach.

When you are comparing facilities you will find both traditional and modern options. Traditional places typically offer water based treatments such as a swimming pool, a steam room, or a spa bath (Jacuzzi), plus massages, mud wraps and facials.

Modern twists to this add more exotic treatments, often imported from Asia. Popular choices include yoga, acupuncture, T'ai Chi, and aromatherapy.

Whichever route you choose, you will find hundreds of choices in every price range, all offering you the chance to relax and unwind.