From beach yoga to tailored fitness weekends, we reveal the new breaks to try this year

When it comes to escaping thestrains and stresses of the dailygrind, many of us are no longercontent to spend our holiday time lying on abeach. Research by travel association ABTAreveals that the demand for detox and healthretreats and wellbeing holidays is soaring.‘Many people are now looking tocounterbalance the effects of their hecticand fast-paced lives with a wellbeingoverhaul on their holiday,’ says KathrynBrown, co-founder of The Healthy HolidayCompany. ‘People are becoming a bitanti-bootcamp, whereas yoga holidays– where you can be challenged yet also supported and nurtured – are incredibly popular.’ Bespoke fitness and health trips(where you choose the activities you do andhow often) are also on the rise, says Brown,with many villas, hotels and spas now offeringfitness activities, diet packages and wellbeing treatments to cater to your every need. If thissounds like your idea of holiday heaven, readon to discover our pick of the best.



Trend – spiritual spas

This year, spas are about so much more thangetting pampered and preened. If you wantto detoxify your mind and body, recharge your energy levels, and reconnect with your spiritual side without a visit to rehab, spas arenow the place to go.At Canyon Ranch in Tuscon, USA, you canhike and bike through desert canyons, explorepine-topped mountains, choose from over 40fitness classes a day, enjoy nutritious cuisineand melt away stresses with indulgent spatreatments. But it’s the Native-Americaninspired activities – such as desert drumming,primitive fire-making and animal tracking – plustreatments such as the Tó Bee Háájidááhexperience, which offers a twist on the ancientNative-American tradition of using sweatlodges, that will really send your spirit soaring. Itcosts from £4,879 per person for seven nightsfull-board and return flights and transfer to andfrom Tucson airport; wellbeingescapes.co.uk.Enjoy a wellness retreat for the soul at theluxury Shreyas resort in Bangalore, India.Recharge your mind with different kindsof meditation such as yoga nidra, soundmeditation and chanting of sacred mantras,rebalance your body with hatha and ashtangayoga, deep relaxation and body and breathawareness classes, and indulge in healingayurvedic treatments and therapies. Aminimum one-night stay starts from £198 perroom in a private cottage, including all mealsand yoga for one person; shreyasretreat.com.

TREND – running escapes

More of us are lacing up our running shoes thanever before. So what better way to improveyour technique and boost your fitness than arunning holiday set in stunning surrounds. Thenew breed of location-based running clinicswork on your gait and style while you enjoybeautiful scenery that will inspire you far morethan any pavement pounding could.Explore South Africa’s wine region on twofeet with the new 8-day Cape Trail Running

Tour guided by triathlete SteveAtwell. You’ll enjoy five days ofguided trail-running (betweentwo to four hours in length)plus three days to unwind andexplore local attractions. Thetrip costs £1,170 per person,including guided trails, sevennights’ accommodation,breakfasts and car hire;thehealthyholidaycompany.com.

Running the Highlands(runningthehighlands.com)offers guided tours includingthe five-day Run AcrossScotland tour where you runfrom Inverness to the Isle ofSkye while your luggage is transported for you(from £775 per person including five nights’full-board at three-star hotels), plus tailoredrunning holidays (prices on request), where youcan enjoy guided runs plus extras such as asports massage or one-on-one Pilates sessions.

TREND – bespoke fitness holidays

Want to lose weight and tone up withoutarmy-style training? A new breed of bespokefitness holiday lets you choose the amountand type of exercise you do, all tailor-made to your goals.Enjoy personal training and outdooradventure tailored to your fitness leveland goals on AdventureTemples’ newactive retreat in Cornwall. Choosefrom a menu of 90 activities, includingfood foraging, stand-up paddle surfingand meditation on the beach.Three-day packages start from £395per person, including self-catered,luxury cottage accommodation,personal training and daily activities;adventuretemples.com.New You Boot Camp has launcheda Flexible Fitness Retreat nearMarbella, Spain. Do as little or asmuch training as you like, explore thearea with excursions and hikes, andrevamp your diet with nutritionalone-on-one sessions. You’ll follow adiet developed to help stress, sleepdeprivation, blood sugar balance and food allergies as well as weight-loss.It costs from £1,150 per person, includingaccommodation, all food and drinks andactivities; newyoubootcamp.com.Health and Fitness Travel’s ‘Fusion FitnessHolidays’ let you select four, seven or 10personalised one-one-one activities andtreatments to suit your goals and interests, inaddition to optional group exercise classes andactivities and the freedom to relax in beautifulsurroundings. Choose from 12 destinations,including the Aphrodite Hills Resort and Spa inCyprus, where a seven-night package, returnflights and transfers costs from £1,590 perperson; healthandfitnesstravel.com.

TREND – the new yoga retreats

It’s time to break out of the yoga studio. Andthis year it’s as much about how you do it aswhere you do it. From Boga (beach yoga) toSUP yoga (yoga on a stand-up paddleboard) insome of the world’s most exotic, luxurylocations, yoga holidays just got seriously cool.Strike a pose in stunning outdoor locationswith the Lux* Me package at the Lux* GrandGaube Hotel in Mauritius. The ‘wellbeing safari’yoga classes are held on deserted beaches andin rainforests. The seven-night package alsoincludes three fitness classes, three spatreatments, all meals and accommodation (£1,892per person; thehealthyholidaycompany.com)Challenge your balance and tone up your abswith Paddleboard Yoga at JA Resorts & Hotelsin Dubai (4 and 5* hotels all with access to theaward-winning Watercooled Watersportscentre.) After 15 minutes of paddling in thewarm shallow sea, you’ll learn to ‘connect’ withthe board and move through a series of yinyoga poses, holding each for five minutes. Thesession ends with 20 minutes of relaxingmeditation while you float to the calmingsoundtrack of the ocean. Rooms at JA ResortsOcean View Hotel cost from £742 for sevennights; see jaresortshotels.com.

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