5 Adventurous Wellbeing Retreats
Want some adventure with your wellbeing? On these wonderful healthy holidays you can see the world but look after yourself at the same time, says retreat journalist Caroline Sylger Jones.
Reclaim Your Self yoga holidays, Mongolia
I’ve retreated with experienced yoga retreat company Reclaim Your Self a number of times really rate them, and I’m very excited they’ll be running Mongolia’s first yoga retreat in July 2015. You’ll get to be inside untamed wilderness and experience an ancient culture that’s changed little over the centuries. Accommodation is a gem, a traditional Mongolian yurt, in a luxury camp in the East Gobi. The amazing landscapes are mostly rock formations, semi-arid steppes and small vernal pools . Enjoy them on foot, by bike, on camel or on horseback in between twice-daily yoga classes with Emma Henry, who teaches the powerful Jivamukti form of yoga. Decent hot stone massage with retreat leader Jools Sampson is available, and healthy meals are created by the company’s own holistic chef. The next retreat takes places from 19-25 July 2015. From £1400, which includes everything apart from flights, camel rides and horse trekking.
Peuma Hue, Argentina
This lovingly kept rural estate on the stunning shores of Lake Gutierrez makes a nourishing base to explore Patagonia. It’s surrounded by raw mountains and vast coihue forests, and you can kayak across clear waters or hike or horseride on trails straight from the door then head back to the ranch for some TLC. Have a private tango lesson, do a spot of yoga or enjoy an in-room massage. The Breema sessions with local therapist Ronnie Pruden are worth trying too a mixture of partner yoga and Thai massage, they’re a gentle mindbody practice perfect for travel weary bodies. Food is delicious, organic and locally sourced, and there’s a woodfired outdoor hot tub and a sauna too. From $315 (£205) per person per night for full board.
Highlives Travel Wellness Holidays, Peru
HighLives Travel specialises in bespoke trips to South America, and their Wellness Holidays mix cultural and food experiences with a spot of spa-ing, yoga or fitness. They advocate the benefits of being at high altitude as a wellness activity in its own right too, citing weight loss and increased athleticism as potential plus points of being up high. On the 10 day Culture, Calm and Cuisine trip in Peru, you’ll see the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, but you’ll also experience a Peruvian cooking class in Lima, have the option to take part in a traditional ceremony with an Andean shaman, and enjoy a three day spa retreat at the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel and Wellness Centre, which is is built around a sprawling 17th century hacienda estate and where the UNNO Spa offers pots of melty treatments. Take all the time that’s advised to adjust to the altitude. From £4200 per person for 10 days all inclusive.
Sara Campbell wellbeing retreats, Egypt
Kundalini yoga teacher and World Champion freediver Sara Campbell offers private wellbeing retreats for couples and solo travellers based in the laid back, beachside town of Dahab in Egypt where she has a home. You’ll stay in a contemporary villa and enjoy the company of a highly likeable, very fit and talented teacher. Adventurous types must be sure to escape with her overnight into the fabulous and otherworldly Sinai desert an experience certain to blow all your city worries away. Your retreat could also include swimming, diving and snorkelling, yoga, meditation and pranayama, yogic philosophy, personal journeying and life coaching, depending on your tastes and needs. Sara travels quite a bit, so do book well in advance. From £135 per person per day.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Want a some culture in a relaxing, authentic environment? Song Saa (Khmer for ‘sweethearts’) is a serene, ecofriendly private island in the Koh Rong Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand that offers five and seven day wellbeing retreats to it's guests as well as a regular holiday space to relax. You can swim, sunbathe and indulge in holistic rituals devised by British organic skincare brand Ila in an expansive villa or a wonderfully rustic outdoor shala surrounded by the endless sea, but you can also visit the local Buddhist community and village, experience a Buddhist blessing with a local monk, walk along deserted beaches and kayak through the mangroves. Fusion food is delicious, and Song Saa’s integrity and commitment to helping its local communities makes you feel good about staying here. Western & Oriental has five night retreats at Song Saa from £3,424 per person including private villa accommodation, all food & beverages, flights from London to Phnom Penh with Cathay Pacific, airport transfers and a personalised retreat programme.