Top 10 wellness vacations

Getting out of the gym, the office and the daily routine, and into another world, can be an exhilarating adventure. It only takes a week away to help us get back into healthy habits and embrace enthusiasm and energy levels like long lost friends. From yoga retreats and Pilates practise to trail running, sailing and learning a language, our top 10 wellness vacations give you that little bit of ‘me time’ so not only are you able to rest, relax and rejuvenate you're also able to return to daily life with an extra bit of added sparkle.

1. Yoga retreat, Valencia

Stretch in the Spanish sunshine and enjoy organic, home cooked meals as you relax and revive in a restored retreat in rural Valencia. What better way to unwind than with two daily Vinyasa flow classes, daily meditation, mountain walks and time well spent by the pool. This is not just a vacation; it's an opportunity to make permanent and positive changes to your life.

Best time to go: January to April
Our top selling trip: Yoga retreats in Valencia, Spain
Read more: Valencia travel guide and Yoga travel guide

2. Luxury fitness vacation, Alicante

Combine core and circuit training on the Costa Blanca with meditation classes, mountain treks, spa and fitness facilities. After being shown to your very own luxury double suite you'll have an initial one to one wellness consultation to help you formulate a focused fitness schedule for the week ahead. Daily yoga and Pilates, whole body workouts and a healthy menu in a luxury retreat in Alicante – drop in, drop out and drop a load off your mind.

Best time to go: Fixed dates throughout the year
Our top selling trip: Luxury fitness vacations in Spain

3. Yoga & walking vacation, Austria

Sunrise yoga followed by a hike and picnic in the mountains is absolutely the best excuse to enjoy Austria and all of her wonderful wellbeing qualities. Delicious and wholesome meals – including homemade cakes, of course – help you feel good from the inside. And just a short dose of that invigorating alpine air is enough to ensure Austria is all you need for a well deserved week of wellness. Make the most of a MoaAlm mountain retreat with no kids!

Best time to go: June to September
Our top selling trip: Austria yoga and walking vacation
Read more: Austria Walking travel guide

4. Wellness & relaxation vacation, Vietnam & Cambodia

Explore Vietnam and Cambodia slowly, taking the time to explore culture, food and languages over 18 days. Sail around peaceful sections of Halong Bay aboard a traditional Chinese junk boat, with stops for on-deck tai chi, kayaking and swimming along the way. Stay in a lagoonside villa, where the spa and yoga sessions sit in tranquil surroundings. And travel through the countryside as villagers do – breezing through on bikes.

Best time to go: May-June and October-November
Our top selling trip: Vietnam and Cambodia wellness and relaxation
Read more: Cambodia and Vietnam travel guide

5. Yoga & surfing vacation, Algarve

Ride the wellness wave on the southeast coast of Portugal as you tuck into a nutritious and delicious diet of healthy organic grub. Who wouldn't want to wish to be a surfing yogi with 10 Iyengar yoga classes and four days of surfing culminating in one of the coolest weeks of wellbeing ever invented? From the rejuvenating and relaxing power of the ocean to sunshine sessions and insightful instructors, this is the ultimate wellness retreat for anyone looking to channel their inner-Keanu.

Best time to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Yoga & surfing vacation in the Algarve, Portugal
Read more: Algarve travel guide

6. Pilates wellness retreat, Greece

The Pelion Peninsula provides the perfect place for Pilates as not only is it blessed with sunshine and sea views, it also conjures authentic visions of Greece from beach blankets and traditional tavernas. Pilates strengthens the core muscles and helps to balance the body and the mind; imagine combining this with Tai Chi, Qi-gong and meditation sessions against Aegean idylls. If Odysseus wanted a bit of time out, a Pilates retreat on the Pelion Peninsula is where he'd head.

Best time to go: June to September
Our top selling trip: Pilates wellness retreat in Greece
Read more: Mainland Greece travel guide and Pilates travel guide

7. Lake swimming vacation, Slovenia

Become literally immersed in the beauty and rejuvenating qualities of Slovenia as you take to the pine forest-fringed glacial lakes of Triglav National Park. There's nothing like a dip in a waterfall to get the heart pumping and the chance to go wild swimming in Slovenia's lakes and rivers a wonderful way to truly refresh the senses. Swimming for around 4km a day, accompanied only by canoes – this wellness vacation is one for the purists.

Best time to go: July to August
Our top selling trip: Slovenia lake swimming vacation
Read more: Slovenia travel guide

8. Yoga retreat, Portugal

This welcoming yoga retreat draws inspiration and energy from its surroundings: the forested valleys of rural Portugal. This week-long programme combines dynamic yoga, forest bathing, massages and Ayurvedic-inspired veggie and vegan menus cooked by local chefs who know how to make the most out of their ingredients. Take some time for yourself or join group classes and meditations that allow you to get to know fellow visitors and teachers – as well as yourself. The main mantra? Everyone is welcome.

Best time to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Yoga vacation in Portugal
Read more: Portugal wellness vacations guide

9. Learn Spanish & yoga, Picos de Europa, Spain

Expand your mind as well as your limbs as you combine language learning with daily yoga and Pilates classes in Northern Spain's Picos de Europa National Park. This is a world away from the crowded Costas and provides ample excuses to get outdoors and embrace your newfound skills. Stay with a local family, learn at a language school and practise yoga on the beach, in a studio or whilst balanced on the back of an SUP board.

Best time to go: March to October
Our top selling trip: Learn Spanish and yoga in the Picos de Europa, Spain
Read more: Picos de Europa travel guide

10. Trail running vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

Book yourself into a renovated farmhouse near Ordesa National Park and let your mind and body run free on an endless choice of forest trails, single tracks and mountain ridges. Even if you prefer to walk instead of run you'll be given every opportunity with two qualified mountain running guides leading you through an incredible mix of terrain and scenery. You’ll fine boundless energy and enthusiasm for life in this perfect part of the Pyrenees.

Best time to go: September
Our top selling trip: Trail running vacation in Spain, Spanish Pyrenees
Read more: Spanish Pyrenees travel guide
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Marion Michele] [1. Yoga retreat, Valencia: Marcus Hansson] [4. Yoga & Ayurveda vacation, Portugal: littlehenrabi] [7. Lake swimming vacation, Slovenia: Se90] [10. Trail running vacation, Spanish Pyrenees: pxhere]