1. Soulful yachting in the Andaman Islands
This archipelago in the Bay of Bengal has long been popular with adventurous surfers. Now, thanks to a Soul & Surf pop-up, you can experience the magic of these idyllic islands too. You’ll spend 10 blissful nights aboard a wooden cutter yacht, seeking out little-known surf breaks and enjoying downtime on the large sun deck with its barbecue and loungers.
2. Bespoke holistic hideaways in Ibiza
Ibiza may be legendary for its summer club scene, but its more sedate parts are increasingly popular for holistic hideaways. 38 Degrees North offers DNA Fitness, which gives you a fitness and nutrition programme tailored specifically according to your DNA. You’ll be aided by personal and group training plus goal setting and mindfulness sessions – with sumptuous five-star luxury to relax in at the end of the day. Available as a long weekend retreat or a bespoke option on other dates.
3. Folk singing seaside retreats in the UK
The UK may not immediately spring to mind when it comes to well-being retreats. Granted, you’re more likely to get showers than guaranteed sunshine, but at a folk singing retreat, the weather is just extra inspiration. Bristol musician Heg Brignall’s retreats by the sea are aimed at beginners, with morning yoga to hone diaphragmatic breathing, group harmony workshops and songwriting sessions. You’ll also enjoy nutritious vegetarian food and fireside sing-songs.
4. Safari spa in South Africa
Everyone knows about South Africa’s magnificent safaris, but how about safari spas? Karkloof Safari Spa in KwaZulu-Natal is a natural choice for animal lovers looking to relax in the wild. Packages include lodge or villa accommodation with magnificent views, game drives and spa sessions.
5. Yoga getaway in Oman
The Middle East is becoming a hub for wellness holidays, especially Oman with its invigorating mountain scenery. Six Senses at Zighy Bay is currently at the forefront, proving you don’t have to hide out in an ashram to experience the healing power of yoga. Their Discover Yoga retreat is available over five or seven nights, with private Hatha yoga sessions so you can learn at your own pace. Afterwards you get to unwind with signature spa treatments.
6. Stop smoking in Spain
If one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2017 is to give up smoking, then a trip to the SHA Wellness Clinic in sunny Spain is a great place to kick-start your healthy new lifestyle. Over seven days, you’ll go through a personal programme designed to ease your addiction and help your body recover from any damage. Expect oxygen therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, psychotherapy and even dental cleaning to help you on your way.
7. Living wild in Zanzibar
Signed up for a marathon in 2017? Training doesn’t need to be torture on a fitness retreat in East Africa. Do your warm-ups on white, sandy beaches, go barefoot running, climb trees and dine under the stars. All with the added support of a coach, workshops and soothing post-workout massages – Wild Fitness
8. Relaxing relief in Portugal
Portugal is the perfect place to unwind with its mediterranean climate and laid-back lifestyle. Take it a step further with the de-stress programme at Epic Sana, set in the wonderfully warm Algarve. Let your worries drift off into the sunset with a combination of nature walks, reflexology, aromatherapy massages and more.
9. Forest bathing in Japan
The concept, coined in the 1980s, combines mindfulness with the health benefits of walking in nature. It’s currently experiencing a resurgence, especially in North America, but if you can hold out for The Chedi Tomakomai, you can experience it on its home turf. The highly-anticipated hotel is set amid lush, tranquil forests with outdoor hot springs, all the better for enjoying the local bird song.
10. In search of peace in Cambodia
In need of some quiet time? Then head to Song Saa Private Island for a super luxurious eco retreat. The whole island is a peaceful sanctuary and an incredible place to experience traditional Khmer treatments using local ingredients. All programmes are bespoke and treatments take place in discreet villas, placed harmoniously around the rainforest and by the beach for maximum restfulness.
– TEXT BY HANNAH STUART-LEACH
PHOTOS: 38DEGREESNORTH FACEBOOK PAGE, FOLK SINGING RETREATS FACEBOOK PAGE, KARKLOOF SAFARI SPA FACEBOOK PAGE, SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY FACEBOOK PAGE, SHA FACEBOOK PAGE, WILDFITNESS FACEBOOK PAGE, EPIC SANA ALGARVE HOTEL FACEBOOK PAGE
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.