Everyone dreams of going on vacation. For many it’s what their daydreams are made of as they work hour after hour at their desks. Imagining all the relaxation and lack of stress can get you through a hard work day. But, many times, once we actually get to go on vacation it ends up being more stressful than restful. Instead of taking a holiday to a beach where you plan every aspect, worry about the details and the cost, consider going on a retreat to a world-renowned wellness resort. There, you can actually relax and get healthy while you’re at it. From rustic lodges in the U.S. to exotic and lush dwellings in the South Pacific, there is a resort retreat with your name on it.
Come to Costa Rica to get on a board and learn how to surf. The Kalon Surf School lives snuggled amidst the stunning and majestic beauty that is Costa Rica’s jungle-bordered beaches. Surfers of all levels and ages are welcome, and you’ll be a part of an all-inclusive, 7-night surf week package. The package includes activities like daily personalized surf coaching, fresh, flavourful food prepared by a private chef, Pilates classes and an hour-long massage right in the middle of the week, when your muscles will be protesting the loudest. This is an ideal retreat for an active adventurer who wants a solid balance between exhilaration and relaxation.
A few miles away from Saint-Tropez, there is a resort called La Reserve Ramatuelle. Most commonly known as a popular place for a summer getaway, it is also the home to a rigorous boot camp fitness retreat that is unlike anything else on this list. The entire camp is centred about the European sport of Nordic walking (with poles). No more than 8 guests will be admitted to this boutique boot camp where things are kicked off with a medical exam to assess their levels of health. Then, there are daily hikes from 15km to 20km long through the mountains and along the coast, according to the guests’ fitness levels. And, seeing as it is in France, the activity is fuelled by a balanced Mediterranean diet that is complimented by slimming treatments like balneotherapy in between the exercise.
Surrounded by pine and olive trees, Turkey’s first health centre, Natur-Med, offers a wide variety of activities and relaxation methods to take advantage of. Anti-aging treatments, weight loss programs and pain relief—you’ll find all of these options and many more as you relax and rejuvenate along the Aegean Coast. They also offer magnetic field therapy that helps restore damaged joints, muscles and nerves. In your downtime you can participate in yoga, facials and nature walks. All of the treatments are conducted under the supervision of a professional medical, and like most health resorts, these activities are backed up with a healthy diet of seafood, fruit, vegetables and grains.
As relaxing as the name of the retreat is, The Ashram, the actual practice and experience is more rigid than it lets on. Come to The Ashram if your retreat goals are to lose weight and clear your mind. There are 5:30am wake up calls for yoga, 4-6 hours of hiking with tons of elevation, kayaking in the afternoon, strength training, more yoga and a restricted, vegetarian menu. You’re guaranteed to fall into an exhausted slumber as soon as your head hits your pillow. There are only 14 guests at a time at The Ashram, so there is a lot of personal attention and lot of effort to push you to your limits. When you aren’t working hard, you can relax in the rustic rooms of a 17th-century olive farm surrounded by terraces where you can see stunning landscapes and look over rolling hills of an orchard.
Home to a 7-day programme that is designed to detox and distress, you will find adventure and activity at The Island Experience in Brazil. Participate in a myriad of activities like hiking through rainforests, kayaking, yoga, meditation and try your hand at being vegetarian. Up to 12 guests receive personal attention and relaxed guidance and encouragement instead of a strict drill-sergeant discipline. You will face more than physical challenges as you stay at the Island Experience, you will learn to find your limits, beat challenges, manage your fears and open up.
If you are feeling inspired to book your next holiday, get to it! But, be sure to include travel insurance while you’re packing for the holiday. Nothing protects your trip better than a travel insurance policy from Cover-More Australia.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Nujotajiem.IV