Wellness holidays and wellbeing breaks are a great way to recharge away from life’s stresses and strains. In fact, in a recent study, 79% of respondents considered wellbeing to be a top reason for free time.
On the other hand, if you’ve just had medical treatment and are looking for ways to enhance your wellbeing – to feel more like “you” again – a wellness holiday may help. Going away for a wistful weekend or a couple of weeks in the sun could be the opportunity you need to focus on and enhance your wellbeing.
Although an illness may prevent you from travelling far from home, at Free Spirit we believe that living with a medical condition shouldn’t stop you from travelling. Just check with your doctor before booking a trip. Then pick a time that’s best for you.
Whatever the distance or reason we’ve carefully chosen a selection of wellness holidays and activities to inspire you to enhance your wellbeing on holiday this year.
Mediterranean Wellness Holidays
From sun-kissed sharing plates packed with incredible flavours, including olives in Greece or sun-dried tomatoes in Sicily; the Mediterranean diet is said to be the healthiest around. What could be a better, wellness holiday destination, than one that allows you to experience colourful and nutritious cuisine? In between mealtimes, spend hours exploring a beautiful coastline… you might even discover some new foods to look for when you’re back home.
What are the different types of Mediterranean holiday?
- Sailing holidays around the Greek islands. Set sail on a private yacht, among the flotilla, then dock in small fishing villages for a light lunch before exploring the islands.
- Kayaking Mediterranean holidays. Immerse yourself in nature, while you improve your heart health (due to the brisk movements involved) and paddle across the water. From day trips to longer expeditions, choose how long you want to explore the pristine waters.
- Snorkelling holidays in the Mediterranean can really help joint pain or stiffness. Moving in water gives your muscles a workout while reducing the impact forces generally associated with other cardiovascular exercises like walking and jogging. As well as being a health-boosting activity, you’ll see some amazing underwater wonders. For example, in Makarska, Croatia, there are opportunities to see seahorses and some of the best coral reefs in Europe.
- Also, there are many Mediterranean beach holidays to choose from. To boost your dose of vitamin D, our previous destination guide to Spain can give you some top sunshine spots to visit.
If you like to – or need to – take ample shelter from the sun or heat, opt for a European city break where there will be plenty of cafes, museums, bars, and shops to cool off…
European city breaks
If you go on a short city break or a multi-destination holiday across Europe, there is always a lot to see.
What are the top European city break destinations?
- A Vienna city break. Step back in time to Austria’s capital. Walk around imperial palaces, grand buildings, and lap up old-world glamour.
- A Berlin city break. Berlin is home to five world-renowned museums, which are found on a Unesco-listed island called – fittingly – Museum Island. It also has a great contemporary fine art scene.
- For art galleries, head to Prague where you will be spoiled for choice. View Bohemian art, such as the glowing Gothic altarpieces in the Convent of St Agnes or the art nouveau of Alphonse Mucha.
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Full of artistic treasures within a cosmopolitan dining scene! Explore Amsterdam via foot, bike, or canal boat. This cultural town is also one of the best European city breaks to visit by rail. Simply sit back and watch the world go by…
If you fancy a trip to Europe but are unsure about the changes after Brexit, read our Brexit Guide.
These holidays may involve a lot of walking so plan how many excursions you wish to go on beforehand. Know your limitations but also remember that this gentle exercise will improve your health. Your muscles will strengthen, your stamina will build and any excess calories will be burnt, all while you’re visiting exciting locations! If you’re also someone who owns wearable fitness technology your step count will likely go through the roof!
If you can’t or don’t want to travel too far but would still like to go on a walking holiday, pick up a lead and head off with your furry friend…
Dog walking holidays for your health and wellbeing
A dog friendly walking holiday can be done at any time, throughout the UK. There’s no better feeling than watching your dog enjoy a runaround. Aside from getting out and active, watching them having a good time will make you feel happy too. Walking among nature or leaf peeping is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, as you notice the scenery and wildlife. So if you’re a photography enthusiast, the great outdoors can become a beautiful backdrop for your next photography project.
Stay in a dog-friendly cottage and go on a daily guided walk with the whole family. Or set out on a self-guided walking tour, which is suitable for both you and your dog. You can also book some wonderful dog walking holidays with overnight stops, within cosy dog-friendly pubs and B&Bs. Some walking trails can even be designed for you, based on your (and your dog’s) level of stamina. Whatever kind of walking holiday you do, there are many beautiful locations to walk around the British Isles.
Where can I go for a dog walking holiday in the UK?
- Wales can offer you walks along rugged beaches and give you a taste of Welsh rarebit.
- Known for kilts, castles, and the legendary Loch Ness Monster, Scotland is filled with medieval history and myths to discover.
- Dorset’s Jurassic coastline can provide spectacular photo opportunities. Remember to take some Dorset Blue Vinney along to nibble on too.
- For a mini adventure visit Ireland. Take the ferry from lively Liverpool and explore the quiet land of the fairies. Sit within a glade in perfect peace and tuck into a picnic lunch; or set out to admire wonderful waterfall gardens, castles, and estuaries.
- The Peak District is the perfect escape to appreciate the UK’s wildlife and nature at any time of the year. If you feel adventurous, there are chances to head underground into vast caverns and tunnel networks far below the ground.
If you choose to holiday in the UK, contact us for a policy that includes cancellation and curtailment cover, travel disruption, and unexpected events.
The health benefits of walking with or without a dog are easy but if you want to lie back, drift off and relax, you should visit a wellness retreat…
Wellness retreats can be found all over the UK, on luxury cruises from Southampton, or at resorts scattered across Europe. Combine yours with yoga or another self-care activity and you’ll be caring for your mind and body.
What types of wellness retreats are there?
- Spa retreat holidays. These include spa and beauty treatments, unlimited access to spa facilities, punctuated by healthy, nutritious meals.
- Yoga and active retreats. Depending on what type of sport you enjoy, you could start the day with yoga and then take part in a game of tennis. For an option with outstanding scenery, go on a winter sports adventure across the Alps!
- Fitness and wellbeing holidays. Fitness holidays focus on health and wellness through physical and fun exercises. Try Nordic walking (using poles) while you explore the Halkidiki Peninsula in Greece and finish the day at the spa. Or wake up in the morning and give Zumba a go, to boost your circulation, strength, and stamina.
In contrast, if you’d prefer a little more time to yourself, solo wellness holidays are a great option. You will feel more nurtured and cared for while enjoying this uplifting experience. Especially if you have just undergone surgery or are in recovery. Many spas offer treatments to help people who are living /recovering from an illness. Find the perfect one for you in the UK or overseas.
Find more inspiration to plan wellness holidays
We hope we’ve shared some thoughtful wellness holidays and a range of activities, which will make you feel better again. To find more inspiration to plan a wellness holiday, view our collection of wellness holiday blogs.