We’re living in a world today that is becoming less and less materialistic and more and more experiential; today’s youth are investing in travel instead of Chanel clutches, collecting experiences the way their grandmothers collected fine bone china, and wearing wellness as the most luxurious fashion brand.
So it’s no surprise that one of the biggest travel trends of 2018 is fitness vacations: the perfect blend of wellness and adventure. Gone are the days of relaxing by the beach at all-inclusive resorts, sipping unlimited piña coladas and eating tacos until you find yourself groaning on the shore like a beached whale. Today’s travelers want vacation packages that enable them to have unique experiences while exploring a territory in an authentic, eco-friendly way, improving their bodies, and discovering their true selves.
That’s probably why yoga retreats have been around pretty much as long as hippies. If yoga isn’t your thing, however, there are plenty of other retreats that cater to a wide variety of interests, from rock climbing to surfing to boxing and more. Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorites for 2018 that suit a diverse audience with a variety of budgets. And if you’re vacationing on a budget this year, be sure to check out these 10 Stunning American Resorts Under $150-Per-Night.
Rock-Climbing in Greece
Sasha DiGiulian, 25, is a world champion rock climber who has been setting records for female ascents all over the world since she became the first American women to climb grade 9a at the age of 19. On October 14, she’ll be leading a 6-day rock climbing adventure on the idyllic Greek island Kalymnos. The retreat is geared toward intermediate and advanced climbers, and will focus on climbing techniques that help you build confidence and various exercises that teach you how to fall safely. When you’re not hanging off of limestone cliffs and enjoying incredible vistas of the Aegean sea, you’ll have plenty of time to go swimming or snorkeling, explore ancient ruins, visit small towns, take a day-trip to one of the neighboring islands, or feast on local seafood. Rates start at $2395 and include 6 nights of accommodation, 2 meals per day, group transport, and personal instructions from this world champion. Book it here.
Mountain Hiking in Canada
If weight-loss is your goal, but going to an adult fat-camp is quite your idea of a holiday, you can try Mountain Trek’s “fitness-hiking vacation” in the lush scenery of Canada’s British Columbia. The award-winning program, which has been around for almost two decades, consists of six days of yoga at sunrise, a 3-4 hour scenic mountain hike in the morning, and a circuit training, spin class, strength training, or cardio class in the evening. In between, you can enjoy organic fine dining, a detox spa treatment, a soak in the hot tub, or a visit to one of the hot springs nearby. The cost, which covers everything except flights, is $5,100 USD with a $1,000 USD non-refundable deposit at the time off booking. The good news is that they have dates all year round! Book one here.
Cycling in Morocco
Forget spin class. If you really love cycling, nothing beats the thrill of snaking through the sands of the Sahara, splashing through the red cliffs of the Todra Gorge, and scaling the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains. Intrepid Travel offers a very popular two-week cycling program that includes all of that along with authentic tourism, such as mint tea ceremonies in Berber villages, tours through the famous blue city of Chefchaouen, and visits to the spice-filled souls of Fes and Marrakech. Rates for double-room occupancy start at $1,270, and they include virtually all meals, the bicycle, 11 nights of accommodation, one desert camp, an overnight train, and various trip activities. There are dates available throughout the year. Book one here.
Luxury Yoga in India
It’s not easy to choose a yoga retreat since, as the heralders of wellness vacations, there are so many too choose from all over the world. It seems sensible, however, to go back to where it all began: India. While those seeking a true Eat, Pray, Love experience would no doubt opt for the traditional Ashram experience, those who want all of the spiritual enlightenment without the hard beds and toilet cleaning would love Ananda–an award-winning luxury destination spa resort in India situated at the Himalayan foothills in Northern India. They have holistic yoga programs that range from 7, 14, or 21 nights. Their week-long program starts at $3,185, and includes wellness consultations, meals, wellness activities, and daily use of the steam, sauna, chill plunge pool, and kneipp Hydrotherapy Foot Bath. Book it here.
Surfing and Ballet in Costa Rica
Point Break offers unique retreats that marry two disciplines that sculpt the ideal female body: surfing and ballet. All set in Nosara–a little slice of paradise on the Pacific coast, known for its yoga and excellent waves. A typical day on the retreat consists of a light, organic breakfast, an extension method ballet class in an open-air studio, an organic lunch, surf coaching and photography lessons, a sunset ballet class, and an organic dinner, in between therapeutic massages and relaxation by the pool. If you’re looking for a vacation asap, they’ve got a retreat coming up on February 24th, followed directly by one on March 3 – 10. Rates for 6 nights start at $2,395.00, and cover everything except airfare. Book it here.
Boxing in Thailand
Boxing may not be a sport you associate with a “retreat,” but it’s a great sport, especially if your goal is to gain strength and muscle while losing weight and learning a valuable skill. Tiger Muay Thai & MMA is a famous destination gym located in the Chalong area of Phuket, Thailand– a glorious, lush island and major beach destination. A one-week package (with flexible dates) includes standard accommodation and a meal card, as well as access to the weight room and all of their classes (Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and more) for only $622. Book it here.
Pilates in Italy
The revered New York Pilates has been hosting retreats in Tulum, Mexico, for a while now, but from May 30-June 3, they’ll be hosting their first ever retreat in the postcard-perfect, candy-colored cliffside village of Positano. The details are still scarce, but if it’s anything like their other retreat, it’ll include pilates led by world-renowned instructors, meditation workshops, deep tissue massages, and plenty of free time to relax, feast on fresh seafood, or explore one of the most popular destinations on the bejeweled Amalfi coast. Book it here.
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