COVID has hit our holiday plans for six but there is no reason you can’t plan a fun wellness holiday at home or abroad.
Lisa Minot suggests a host of breaks where you can heal body, soul and mind. When looking to book, bear in mind the restrictions here and in other countries, and take out the best insurance policy possible.
This sport has seen a big rise in popularity in the UK.
Ullswater Paddleboarding has beginners’ lessons from £30 for 90 minutes.
You learn the basics on the calm waters of Ullswater in the Lake District and it includes all kit, with wetsuit. See ullswaterpaddleboarding.co.uk.
Stay nearby at the Quiet Site, an eco-friendly glamping and camping resort in the Ullswater Valley with quirky accommodation such as Hobbit homes and, new for 2021, Gingerbread Houses that produce more energy than they use.
Prices in the new additions are from £60 to £120pn for two adults and up to four children. See thequietsite.co.uk.
Wellness in St Lucia
Bodyholiday St Lucia’s mantra for transformation is simple: Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind.
The all-inclusive resort is based around relaxation, restorative beauty, exercise and diet.
That means a 50-minute treatment every day of your holiday.
There is a list of activities on land and sea, from yoga sessions and fitness classes to scuba diving and sailing, tennis, cycling, hiking and even abseiling.
There is a free personal training session and the restaurants serve healthy tropical treats.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive is from £2,685pp with flights from Manchester on April 15. See tui.co.uk.
E-biking in the Cotswolds
Cycling does not have to mean peak fitness. The latest electric and hybrid bikes take away some of the strain.
Cycling For Softies has self-guided tours in the UK and Europe.
Its four-night Cotswold In Comfort tour means you explore lanes, riverside cycle paths and villages on two wheels.
Recover with a spa treatment at one of a selection of boutique hotels, including the 5 star Barnsley House and Thyme at Southrop.
Includes half-board, e-bikes with panniers, water bottle and repair kit, GPS navigation and expert on-the-spot support, plus luggage transfers between hotels.
Price is from £1,295pp, available in August, September and October. See cycling-for-softies.co.uk.
Lake District wild swimming
Armathwaite Hall’s swimming and waterfalls experience is a great way to dust off cobwebs.
Set among the fells in the northern Lake District, the hotel’s wellness package promises an exhilarating outdoor experience under the guidance of its wild-swimming coach Ali Phillips.
Discover the secret Gin Pool, a natural infinity pool with amazing views, and spectacular waterfalls in Buttermere.
The half or full-day experiences cost from £90pp, for a minimum of two people.
A one-night half-board stay for two is from £320 per room.
Sailing, cycling and yoga in Croatia
Enjoy eight days sailing around the stunning Croatian islands with Contiki.
This activity and wellness-themed holiday sees you jump aboard a converted racing yacht with a skipper and full crew.
Starting and ending in the pretty harbour of Opatija, you will sail to some of the most picturesque islands off Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast.
The itinerary features yoga, bike rides and hikes through olive groves, flower fields and forests as well as fishing villages and old towns.
Prices for the cruise are from £1,041pp, including ensuite cabin, all breakfasts, six lunches and two dinners, as well as bike rides, yoga and hikes. The first departure is on June 5. Flights are extra.
Floating yoga in Mexico
The adult-only all-inclusive Unico 20°87° resort on Riviera Maya has activities including floating yoga and hydro-Pilates classes, as well as a superb gym and spa.
Three pools provide the perfect place to swim off the lockdown pounds.
Also included in the price are water sports and trips to explore the area’s rich history and food culture.
There are five restaurants, plus six bars and lounges.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive in a swim-up room is from £1,026pp, including Heathrow flights on selected dates in June/July.
See ba.com/unico or call 0344 493 0124.
Surfing and wellness in Devon
Contiki has a new Devon Surf Weekend in Croyde, North Devon, that combines riding the waves with activities including restorative yoga and hiking.
The four-day trip includes glamping in bell tents and is full-board, with a number of meals including immersive cookery lessons and dinners around the campfire as well as lunches on the beach.
Other activities include stargazing, guided swims and hikes, along with two sessions of yoga a day.
Surf lessons and wetsuit hire is included. Prices start from £495pp and there are departures from the end of May to September.
Healing horses in Dom Rep
Equine therapy is popular with Hollywood stars Ben Affleck and Selina Gomez.
Now you can try it yourself at a retreat in the luxury Casa de Campo Resort in the Dominican Republic.
The female-only retreat will use the resort’s equestrian centre and features three days of equine encounters and unlimited rides.
Guests can also enjoy the spa, pools, golf course and beaches.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive is from £2,009pp including flights from Gatwick on April 4. See ba.com/holidays.
The retreat is £1,326 and bookable via Casa de Campo on 01245 459 900.
Paragliding in the Pyrenees
France’s only 5 star wellness campsite, Adventure Creators, has a mix-and-match value approach.
Staying in one of its chalets or boutique B&B, you choose a range of activities in summer and winter in the heart of the mountains.
There is tandem paragliding, e-biking, thermal spa, meditation, yoga and Pilates as well as guided mountain hikes or snowshoeing experiences.
Seven nights’ self-catering is from £492pp, flights and car hire extra.
See adventurecreators.com (01202 798443).
Windsurf with an Olympian
Keep fit in the Bajan sunshine at the Sea Breeze Beach House with complimentary surfing, sailing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, kayaking and snorkelling.
It is led by O’Neal Marshall, who represented Barbados at the Olympics in wind- surfing.
There are also daily beach-fit exercise sessions. It is a luxurious, boutique all-inclusive resort.
After a day in the sun, enjoy local food in its six restaurants.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 4 star hotel is from £1,345pp with BA flights from Heathrow in March.
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