Why you need to take a holistic holiday – and three of the best places to go

Snappy? Sluggish? Constantly feel frazzled? A holistic holiday might be just the remedy you’re looking for…

With our lives busier than the local Waitrose on a Saturday afternoon, it’s not surprising that so many of us feel like we’re running on empty.

And whilst a sneaky mid-week massage or a hastily booked Sunday morning yoga session can go someway to giving you a boost, it can often feel as though you’re just papering over the cracks.

Which is where a holistic holiday – also known as a wellness holiday – comes in. Imagine seven, ten or even fourteen whole days dedicated entirely to finding your Zen.

What is a holistic holiday?

In medicine, a holistic approach views the body and mind as one interconnected whole.

Mirroring this method, holistic holidays are designed to restore balance in all aspects of your life, including your diet, physical condition, and mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Think of it as a 360-degree health reboot that will leave you feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to take on the world once more.

Where should I head for my holistic holiday?

With demand for wellness breaks on the rise, there are a wealth of places to choose from, including luxury resorts and retreats with a focus on getting back to nature.

Here are three of the best places to visit…

Tobago

With an abundance of spectacular beaches, several lush national park and at just 11 hours flight time from the UK, Tobago is the perfect place to get away from it all. It’s more off the radar than its larger sister island of Trinidad, too, meaning you’ll leave the crowds behind – bliss.

Mornings at the alluringly named Kariwak Holistic Haven start with yoga, tai chi and qi gong classes (free for registered guests), helping to set you up for a healthy day ahead.

What’s more, the Kariwak comes Dalai Lama-approved – his holiness blessed the resort’s yoga pavilion when he visited Tobago in 1998.

After filling up on homemade yoghurt, muesli and the island’s famously fresh fruit at the hotel restaurant (where many of the ingredients are home-grown), there’s a wealth of ways to spend your day.

Kariwak’s Dalai Lama-blessed yoga pavilion

Find further relaxation with a choice of treatments – including Shiatsu massage, acupuncture and Biophonton Light Therapy, a UV light treatment used to heal a range of issues – which can be booked through the on-site therapy centre. Or enjoy some bibliotherapy by grabbing a book from the hotel library.

Alternatively, head out to explore the island and let nature be your therapist – bird watching, sailing, horseback riding, bike rental and water sports (including an evening paddleboard outing where you can experience bioluminescence, the magical blue-ish light emitted by disturbed plankton) can all be arranged on request.

The white-tailed sabrewing – one of the many exotic birds you can see in Tobago

You can’t get much closer to nature than sleeping in a treetop cabin, and that’s exactly what you can experience with a stay at Castara Retreat’s eco-lodges, another great option in Tobago.

The hotel hosts week-long wellness retreats, with upcoming options including ‘The Power of You’, a Kundalini yoga course, and ‘Spread Your Wings’, with a focus on Vinyasa and restorative yoga.

British Airways currently offers flights to Tobago and a seven-night hotel stay from £579pp.

Ibiza

The White Isle may be typically associated with excess, but away from the bars and clubs of San Antonio, the north east of the Balearic Island has established itself as a wellness mecca.

And with a wealth of sandy beaches and mountainous trails for hiking, plus sunshine-filled days, it’s not hard to see why.

Those looking for a totally transformative trip head to 38 Degrees North. Their luxury Body:Fit retreats include personal training sessions to blitz the body, as well as one-on-one life coaching to focus the mind.

IBIZA: Summer 2018. Join us for here @meibiza for a total mind and body reset. Dates on website.

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It also includes an expert nutrition workshop, which is complemented by tasty and nutritiously-balanced breakfasts and lunches.

The retreat is hosted at the five-star ME Ibiza hotel in Santa Eulalia, where you can spend your downtime by the pool or relaxing in a hammock.

India

Ayurveda – an alternative practice that views the body and mind as inextricably linked, and a wellness buzzword right now – is one of the oldest forms of holistic therapy.

It originates from India, making the enchanting South Asian country an obvious destination for a healing holiday.

The pool at Ananda Spa, India

The breathtaking foothills of the Himalayas are the magical setting of Ananda, an award-winning destination spa that offers wellness packages catering to a variety of health, fitness and wellbeing concerns.

Its Ayurvedic Rejuvenation programme is designed to restore vitality to the body through a bespoke programme of Ayurvedic treatments, a controlled diet and yoga sessions (this is India, after all…).

Yoga is one of the activities on offer at Ananda

Other activities include cooking demonstrations, meditation and weekly treks, with guests able to make full use of the on-site facilities including a steam room, sauna, plunge pool and hydrotherapy footbath.

On-going progress checks with the doctor and spa consultants are offered, along with a lifestyle consultation and counselling session for a wholly holistic holiday.

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