Getting healthy is the new holiday. And at one of these wellness-focused retreats, you can get your body and mind in shape
The one for… ultimate mindfulness
An “all-out celebration of mindful living”: it’s the California-founded wellbeing festival that’s conquered the world. This year, running from 18–21 July, 2019. A serious feel-good refit: think, yoga sessions and trail runs by day; uplifting tunes and high-altitude pool parties by night. Plus, the festival has its own app for booking sessions and spa appointments. Lake Tahoe in Northern California is the OG edition.
The one for… yogis
A huge yoga fest (1–7 March, 2019 ) in Rishikesh, India – the self-styled “yoga capital of the world” on the banks of the River Ganges in Uttarakhand (where the Beatles zenned out in 1966). Go for enlightenment on an epic scale at Parmarth Niketan, the 1,000-room ashram at the foot of the Himalayas. And the evening Ganga Aarti every day at sunset is pure, transcendental bliss.
The one for… letting your hair down
The Glastonbury of the UK wellness calendar (1–4 August, 2019) but with the reverse effect: you leave feeling better than when you arrived. Food is by no means an afterthought but its cultural bona fides make a strong draw, too: last year’s headliners included Kamasi Washington and Nile Rodgers. Don’t miss the Wellbeing Workshops include group yoga sessions and gong baths as well as a spa village. Plus, it’s less than two hours by train from London.
The one for… expert attention
Fly-in fitness, Morocco
Luxury wellness company in:spa flies in nutritionists, massage therapists, yoga teachers and fitness experts from around the world especially for their detox and wellness retreats, organised at locations like Morocco, the south of France, Ibiza and mainland Spain in compact, luxury boutique hotels. Past locations have included a Catalan country house and a villa at the foot of the Atlas mountains.
The one for… adrenaline junkies
Yoga & surf
Already with successful outposts in Sri Lanka and their original camp in India, Soul & Surf combines surfing camps with yoga and is a great option for younger solo travellers. They pledge a certain amount of their income to environmental charities and they’re due to open up a new outpost in Portugal in 2019.
The one for… luxury lovers
Chiva Som, Thailand
The wellness hotel that provided the blueprint for all other wellness hotels in Asia has undergone a makeover and is reopening to the world in November 2018. Chiva Som been going strong for 25 years and now its world-class facilities, including the fitness centre and suites, are being given a facelift.
The one for… solo travellers
This is the best for an intensive fitness workout holiday, in the stunning island location of Ibiza – but there’s strictly no partying here. Start the day with sunrise yoga and continue with a weights and HIIT circuit as well as beach run and boxing. What really sets this wellness holiday apart is the cookery school where you’re taught to cook a healthy raw food diet and skills to take back home.
The one for… unusual treatments
Ocean healing programme
Always one to go above and beyond, Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives has now launched a whole new programme based around the ocean, and it might just be the most luxurious wellness holiday of them all. There’s yoga in the world’s largest underwater aquarium restaurant, and meditation in time with the rhythm of the waves, the more usual activity of snorkelling among turtles and dolphins and a sunset sound bath with Himalayan bowls on the beach.