Summer is now well upon us; the sun is out, the season for shorts has arrived, and you haven’t quite achieved the perfect beach body you were striving for. While holidays are fantastic for lounging by the pool, book in one hand and cocktail in the other, they can also be the perfect place to try a new activity and enjoy the beautiful scenery. So why not combine relaxation with adventure and try one of our alternative summer holidays? We’ve chosen our favourite fitness holidays, both in the UK and abroad, all of which promise a memorable experience to ensure you return home suitably relaxed and feeling great.
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1. Surf Spain
Head to Portugal for some of the best surfing in Europe at world famous Ericeira where the internationally known surf breaks of Praia da Ribeira d’Ilhas and Praia dos Coxos can be found. At the Ribamar retreat you can enjoy time in the sea as well post-surf restorative yoga classes to combine activity with relaxation. Healthy gourmet vegetarian dinners come part of the package, and you’ll be put up comfortably in guest houses nestled in a little village with open views.7 days
2. Alpine Auras
Austria’s captivating mountains, glacial lakes and beautiful landscape make it a perfect destination for a healthy holiday in the great outdoors. The luxurious Schloss Pichlarn Spa & Golf Resort is tucked away at the foot of Grimming Mountain where a wealth of activities can be enjoyed, from hiking to cycling. Renowned for its relaxation spell, Austria’s ‘Sytrian Ennstal’ valley is worth a visit.
3. Horseback Holiday
Horseback holidays Castle Leslie Estate promises to be one of Europe’s finest equestrian playgrounds and can offer an unforgettable equestrian experience for enthusiasts of all levels. Here, beginners can learn on a mechanical horse to make sure your holiday isn’t ruined by falling off! You’ll be rewarded at the end of your stay with a solo ride around 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside.
4. Beautiful Biking
The mountain biking (and hiking) opportunities in Tuscany are second to none, as you can pick an easy route or more arduous circuit to explore the stunning country and medieval history. Combine exercise with culture, indulge in historic sites and waterfalls while knowing you can retreat to the Alder Thermae wellness resort. It offers restorative views, delicious Italian food, a herbal steam room and nutrition advice for those who seek it.
5. Sublime Somerset
Holistic happiness can easily be found close to home. Fairfield House resides just a few miles from the sea and is well located for visiting some of the most beautiful locations in Somerset and Devon. Here you can cleanse both body and conscience as everything on site is green, organic and environmentally friendly. Enjoy yoga, meditation, long walks in the surrounding countryside – you can even learn to cook!
6. Ski Switzerland
At the heart of the Swiss Alps there are ample kilometres of groomed trails to explore and it’s not only cross country skiing that is an option…whether you fancy showshoeing, mountain biking or Nordic walking there will be a route for you. Not only is cross country skiing incredible for fitness but this ‘low impact’ exercise also offers one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery and fresh mountain air.
7. Farm Fitness
Set in Kent, ‘The Garden of England’ and surrounded by rural English countryside, Green Farm Fitness is a little retreat that will make you look forward to outdoor training. A wellbeing minibreak here provides an authentic fitness experience involving natural elements, and you’ll be rewarded with great food and company in the evenings.
8. Wonderful Wilderness
A guided group bike and nature tour could be just what you need to retreat from daily life while remaining active. In the heart of Eastern Finland, The Escape in Karelia will let you do just that. Here you can cycle through pine forests, staying in different retreats along the way, meditate outdoors, and canoe on crystal waters. Long summer evenings and infamous hospitality makes this beautiful country worth a visit.
9. Family Fun
Head to Mauritius for an active family beach and watersports holiday. Small children will be well cared for in the Kids Clubs, older ones can go sailing, water-skiing, canoeing or snorkelling. For the adults, there are multiple first class golf courses and restorative yoga classes that can be enjoyed. Relaxed charm and welcoming people make Mauritius special and unmissable.
10. Calming Kayaking
A week of sea kayaking along the coast of Sardinia may be just what you need. Hidden sandy coves and transparent emerald seas hallmark this Mediterranean location. Your efforts will be rewarded each day with sunsets and meals prepared by the guides using only fresh Sardinian produce. With opportunities to also snorkel and rock climb, a week here will leave you worry-free.