Take time to reenergise and leave the stress behind with these perfect escapes
From energising mountain treks to calming meditation retreats, these life-changing breaks will help you take time out to relax and focus on what makes you happy.
Where: Slovenian Alps Trek, Slovenia
Why: Swap the daily grind for beautiful snowy-peaked mountains. This trekking trail starts at magical Lake Bled and ascends gradually into the alps with amazing lake views and traditional Slovenian food at each pit stop. The trek ends at Savica Waterfall, with the opportunity to try white water rafting – the ideal way to blow off some steam.
Perfect for: Adrenaline junkies.
Book it: Eight-day trekking package from €798 (approx £670), lifeadventures.si
Where: Silica Hotel, Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Why: The geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon draw tourists from all over the world. The warm 40°C water is said to have healing and calming powers and is surrounded by dramatic lava landscape. Stay at the nearby Silica Hotel and you’ll have your own private bathing lagoon where you can apply mud masks and soothe sore muscles under the waterfall, or book an in-water massage using mineral massage oil in the lagoon.
Perfect for: Water worshippers.
Book it: Rooms from £909 for three days, bluelagoon.com
Where: Champneys Spa, Henlow, UK
Why: If a solo retreat isn’t your thing, gather your friends for a bootcamp weekend, designed to kickstart your fitness regime. Choose from six hours of indoor and outdoor exercise classes per day and enjoy a healing thalassotherapy (a treatment using saltwater) pool session. There’s plenty of healthy food, with a breakfast and lunch buffet, plus the Champneys team provides diet and exercise tips to help you continue post check-out. Vitality members get 75% off one, two or three-night Spa Stays and Spa Days at any of four calming Champneys resorts – Springs in Leicestershire, Tring in Hertfordshire, Forest Mere in Hampshire or Henlow in Bedfordshire.
Perfect for: Friends who love a mix of exercise and chill.
Book it: Prices from £299 per person, champneys.com
Where: Errant Surf Camp, Lagos, Portugal
Why: Whether you’re an avid surfer or just feel like trying out a new sport, a surf trip is a great way to focus your mind and tone up your body at the same time. The Algarve is known for its amazing swell and Errant’s surfing trips based in picturesque Lagos include twice-daily sessions with a surf coach and healthy lunches on the beach. Back at the surf house, there’s a lounge and barbecue area to chill out in.
Perfect for: Social, sporty types.
Book it: Seven-night packages from £330, errantsurf.com
Where: Yaan Wellness Spa, Tulum, Mexico
Why: The temazcals, or Mexican Sweat lodges, at Yaan allow you to experience the power of Mayan ceremonial cleansing. Led by indigenous healers, the ritual is said to cleanse the mind and spirit and is performed every new moon. Follow it up with a healing herbal bath or try a yoga class on the treetop canopy or on the beach.
Perfect for: Culture vultures looking for something unique.
Where: Sharpham Estate, South Devon, UK
Why: In the 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can set up camp surrounded by nature. During the day there are mindful activities such as guided meditation and wild foraging, giving you time to pause and appreciate your surroundings. Before retreating to your cosy bell tent or the barn for the night, everyone has the chance to gather around the fire and eat together.
Perfect for: Happy campers and foodies.
Book it: Six nights from £260, 1-day introduction course from £68, sharphamtrust.org
Where: Breathing Space, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Why: Breath coach Alan Dolan runs these retreats from his home, focusing on the transformative nature of conscious breathing. His daily one-to-one breath sessions are said to infuse the body with oxygen, giving you an energy recharge. The retreat also includes volcano excursions and personal training sessions, while the sandy beaches and turquoise sea are just beyond the villa.
Perfect for: Workaholics.
Book it: Four nights for two guests sharing from £1,880, breathguru.com
Where: Bali Silent Retreat, Penatahan, Bali
Why: This eco-friendly silent retreat is all about taking time out to help you completely focus on yourself. Totally off the grid, the lodges and yoga centre are set within protected rice fields with stunning views of Mount Batu Karu. Take walks in the fields or the jungle, try a healing workshop or be free to just eat, sleep and repeat, all in soothing silence.
Perfect for: Eco-enthusiasts.
Book it: Rooms from $40 (approx £30) per night, balisilentretreat.com
Where: Dormy House, Cotswolds, UK
Why: This rustic retreat is part 17th-century farmhouse, part Scandi-chic spa. With lavender and juniper saunas, salt-infusion therapy rooms and a candlelit indoor pool, relaxing is high on the agenda, plus there’s a nearby golf club and landscaped grounds to explore. Go all out with a Champagne and truffle facial (feels as delicious as it sounds), or try a Turkish delight – great for couples – with a joint body scrub and mud massage. Vitality members could get up to 25% off Mr & Mrs Smith hotels.
Perfect for: Those craving some classic spa time.
Book it: Rooms from £255 per night, mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/dormy-house
Where: Wildfitness Urban Retreat, Berlin, Germany
Why: If you’re more of a city dweller, a Wildfitness long weekend is the one for you. Reenergise with a packed itinerary of ‘movement’ sessions in the city park, forest runs and martial arts classes, plus time to tuck into Berlin’s foodie hot spots – from delicious Vietnamese dinners to organic wine tasting.
Perfect for: Active city slickers.
Book it: Three nights from £865, wildfitness.com
Want more inspiration? Check out our pick of the best cycling holidays.
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