It's no secret spring break is anything but a "break." This year, skip the crowds, lines, and hoards of rowdy college students, opting instead to get back to nature. Enjoy a relaxing day at one of these popular hot springs destinations and your body and mind will thank you.

Photo Credit: Sarah Ackerman on Flickr

Blue Lagoon - Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's most visited attraction, so you'll likely have to share these soothing waters with a few hundred strangers, but it's worth it. The Blue Lagoon gets it's name from the milky blue color of the water, and surrounded by black lava rock, you might think you've landed on another planet. Caused by silica and other minerals said to have natural healing properties (especially for those suffering from skin ailments such as psoriasis), the warm waters stay between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, and are sure to sooth and provide a welcome respite from the chilly Icelandic air along with stunning photos.

Photo Credit: Rob at

Ma'in Hot Springs - Jordon

The rumored bathing spot of biblical King Herod who frequented the spa so often he built a villa to reside nearby, Ma'in is also said to be the historic location of Salome's dance and John the Baptist's beheading. Despite it's sordid past, the springs now house a spectacularly modern resort centered around a waterfall with bathing temperatures that range from 104-140 degrees Fahrenheit. If Ma'in Hot Springs is on your itinerary, be sure to keep local culture in mind and pack a more modest swimsuit. While you will see western swimming attire, the Brazilian bikini is best saved for Brazil.

Photo Credit: Robert Saltori

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools - New Zealand

Due to New Zealand's very active geothermal activity, the water in Te Manaroa is nearly boiling. It's so hot in fact, that it must be cooled before it can be pumped into the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools for guests to enjoy. Comprised of several manmade pools that are drained daily, it is the purest bathing experience in New Zealand. Of course, if you'd rather get even closer to nature, you can talk a walking trail to explore the steaming Te Manaroa Spring -- you'll swear you're in Jurassic Park.

Photo Credit: Ana Raquel S. Hernandes

Pamukkale Baths - Turkey

Pamukkale is Turkish for "cotton castle," the perfect name for this geological formation that'll have you feeling like you're bathing on a cloud. Of course, the thermal pools aren't as soft as they look and all that white "fluffy" stuff is actually hardened minerals deposited over time. Spring is a perfect time to visit, as it does tend to get crowded once the cold weather hits.

Photo Credit: Ken Lund

Hot Springs - Arkansas, USA

The name says it all. First used by Native Americans for their legendary healing properties, the small town of Hot Springs, Arkansas was discovered by European settlers in the 1800s. Now protected by national park services, the 143-degree water is a welcome respite for all. Like much of the U.S., the town experienced a boom in the 1920s, followed be a period of slowed growth during the Great Depression. If you can pry yourself away from the warm waters, there are still a large number of town buildings featuring the popular art deco architecture of the roaring '20s that are well worth exploring.