Israel is home to some of the best spas in the world, so come and chill out in style! Criss-crossed by spas offering varied treatments from across the world, Israelis are big on their treatments and whether it involves a quiet weekend retreat in a rural corner of the country or a treatment the center of a major city, there are a huge selection of spas to choose from.
Dead Sea Spas
Over the past decade, spas have increased dramatically in popularity, quality and number across Israel. At the Dead Sea, however, spa facilities have long existed due to the unique ‘healing’ properties of the water and mud here. The spas and treatments here attract a huge range of people, from Israeli daytrippers, to international tourists, and even tourists who travel here for extended periods of time to take advantage of the spas and treatments.
At the Dead Sea, most of the large, resort-style hotels boast full spa facilities, which is, in itself pretty unusual. As a result, there is a huge choice if you are after treatments, and you are able to often find great deals. Some of the most popular spa hotels at the Dead Sea include the Isrotel Ganim Hotel, Royal Rimonim, Spa Club Hotel, and Daniel Dead Sea, however there is a massive choice of other hotels of varying degrees of luxury and price.
As well as the spa hotels, there are day-spas aside the Dead Sea and, further north of the main group of hotels, is Ein Gedi, a kibbutz whose hotel and mineral pools are quite famous.
Spas in the Galilee
A view from the spa in Tiberias in Galilee. Courtesy of Jason Nathan of Flickr
The spas which have sprung up elsewhere across Israel, particularly in the Galilee, are very different to those at the Dead Sea. Often in quiet and tranquil locations, these are true sanctuaries, often boutique in nature, appealing to a far less touristy clientele.
The spas you will find in the Galilee are not really on the international tourist trail, often because they are so new, but also because they are so popular with Israelis (often escaping from Tel Aviv for the weekend) that they aren’t heavily publicized outside of Israel. Despite not necessarily having international recognician, these spas have a very high standard of treatments, with many of the staff having learnt their Thai Massages or Indian ayurveda in Thailand or India.
Carmel Forest Spa Resort. Courtesy of Raanan Niss.
Three of the Galilee’s most prestigious spas are:
- The Relais and Chateaux Mizpe HaYamim located between Rosh Pina and Safed in the Upper Galilee and said to have not only superb treatments, but also great food in a stunning setting.
- The Vered Hagalil spa is set between the Sea of Galilee and Rosh Pina and was listed in Workman Publishing’s book of 1,000 places to see before you die, and even has horse-back riding on site!
- Not strictly in the Galilee, the Carmel Forest Spa is an international-style spa less Israeli than the other two, but no less luxurious and is set in a nature reserve. This is also significantly closer to Tel Aviv and the Coastal Plain