"Pamukkale" by Miss_ohara via Flickr Creative Commos

The public bath houses of Morocco and Tunisia will scrub and pummel your tired skin and muscles into health. Alternatively you could gain all kinds of health benefits from visiting the Dead Sea of Israel or help others through music therapy. From Tanzania to Kenya and Egypt come to Africa for health and wellness vacations.

  1. Dead Sea, Israel The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth (more than 400m below sea level) and its waters are ten times saltier than the ocean. The waters have remarkable health-giving properties and the mud and thermo-mineral springs, climate and filtered sunlight make it a natural spa second to none. Come to rejuvenate, recover and relax or to seek cures for skin disease, arthritis, rheumatism and respiratory problems.
  2. Moroccan Hammam Pack your bath lotions and strip off for the ultimate in scrubbing and pummeling. You’ll never have felt cleaner by the time you get out of these public baths. It’s a real social occasion too with families and groups meeting to chat and talk.
  3. Music therapy Music can elevate the spirit and is woven into the very fabric of living in Africa where there is a long tradition of music healing. Groups such as Music Therapy International or the Music Therapy Society of Southern Africa do a lot to help those effected by trauma, loss or violence. Donate your time and talent, sponsor a child or attend a concert in support.
  4. Color therapy / chromatherapy, Egypt Use of color to balance mental and spiritual health through the use of colored rooms, light bulbs and fabrics is a technique that dates back to ancient Egypt. There are still tours in or to Egypt that offer use of this technique.
  5. Marathon des Sables, Morocco Need a break from the mundane? This 151 mile through the desert should jolt you out of a rut if nothing does. You’ll have to carry your own clothes, food and sleeping bag in extreme temperatures. It’s the ultimate physical challenge.
  6. Massai programs, Kenya Become a volunteer teacher to the Massai children, of which it is estimated only half attend schools. Help reverse this trend and educate in English, math, science, social studies and extra-curricular activities.
  7. Bath houses, Tunisia Like Morocco, hammams or bath houses are an important part of the culture. They are segregated and you pay your three dinars for a complete scrub down performed by a large Tunisian man or woman who will thwart any efforts at modesty. The dead skin is then washed off by soap and buckets of water.
  8. Art volunteer, Tanzania If you have an artistic bent help the local artists, youth and working women of Tanzania by getting actively involved in workshops and exhibitions.
  9. Cape Town, South Africa Master the fears in life that are holding you back in any of the adventure activities around Cape Town and enjoy the local environment and scenery at the same time. There’s hiking, mountain biking or abseiling Table Mountain, diving with sharks or surfing.
  10. Pamukkale, Turkey These gorgeous thermal spring waters in white limestone pools are terrace down a cliff above Kusadasi. They have been used for therapeutic purposes since Roman times and were extensively used for bathing until recently. But the human sweat, body oil, soap and shampoo damaged the natural pools and they are now closed. You can wade through the main track to get through to the top but as many nearby hotels have thermal pools fed by the springs, strip off in those for some relaxation.

Click here for Top 10 Health, Wellness and Spa Vacations in Asia and the Far East