12 Interesting Destinations for Wellness Travel

12 Interesting Destinations for Wellness Travel

Our top pick of places to pause and refresh.

Wellbeing comes first: our favourite places to reset


doesn’t have to be about meditation and cleansing.
Whether you’re in need of a massage or a marathon sleep, a majestic
view or an IV drip of margaritas, these choice locations are sure
to make you feel better than you have in months.



As one of the world’s “Blue Zones”, people live longer in
Sardinia than (almost) anywhere else. No prizes for guessing why
the natives clock up the years considering Sardinia’s pleasant
climate (approximately 300 days of sunshine) and Mediterranean
surrounds. A Sardinian diet of goat’s milk, barley and a glass of
Cannonau red wine a day may also be a contributing factor to the
locals’ longevity. Take a trip to the seaside village of Pittulongu
to test the effects for yourself. Once here, your daily to-dos
revolve around (skinny) dipping in the ocean and tackling that
ambitious reading list.

Joshua Tree

United States

Dotted with bizarre rock formations and the oddly shaped trees
for which Joshua
Tree National Park
is named, this remote, desolate environment
has long been tipped as a place for spiritual growth. On the
cactus-studded trail across the park, sunrise and sunset hikes are
a riteof passage. Following a marathon walk, you’ll be rewarded
with unobstructed views of the Sawtooth Wilderness and San Gorgonio
mountain. As the sky shifts to an ink-blue hue, head to Skull Rock
or the Ocotillo Patch for stargazing under a glittering dome of



If you want to cleanse your body of urban pollutants, heading
somewhere with an abundance of fresh mountain air is a good
starting point. Known for their “rejuvenation therapy” – which
claims to boost your immune system – Swiss maverick Clinique La
Prairie combines a state-of-the-art medical spa with a holistic
approach to wellness. From detox programmes to sleep management,
the clinic is best experienced solo, allowing you to leave your
everyday reality behind. Located on Lake Geneva’s shoreline,
Montreux is also an idyllic spot to spend a few reflective days

Costa Rica

Central America

Lush with verdant forests and wildlife-rich beaches, Costa Rica is one of those
places where even the utterance of its name causes an involuntary
exhale. At Pointe Break Retreats, the focus
is placed on dance – proven to reduce levels of cortisol (a stress
hormone) while simultaneously releasing feel-good endorphins into
the bloodstream. After your morning stretch and dance session,
linger over a healthy breakfast before riding Nosara’s choppy
waves. Spend the afternoon in a hammock as your flick through your
latest read. Unwind with a candlelit, sunset ballet class in the
resort’s open-air studio.



In the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, you’ll find the
birthplace of yoga and meditation. With no phone reception, take
this as the perfect excuse to detox your mind, body and Instagram
feed for a few days. The Ananda resort uses Ayurveda, an ancient form of
healing, practice and teachings to help melt away stress. The
retreat aims to restore balance and harmonise energy; in short
you’ll leave here with a newfound self-awareness. Don’t take it to
heart if your friends and colleagues get fed up of hearing about
the “new you”.

Chiang Mai


As Southeast Asia’s creative capital, Chiang Mai, in
‘s tropical and mountainous north, is a cultural
hotbed. Once you’ve finished exploring this megalopolis, travel to
Dhara Dhevi resort to recharge. Dhara Dhevi is modelled on a
traditional Thai village complete with old city walls, serene
temples and wooden walkways over rice paddies. Unwind poolside,
sipping Thai iced coffees with a view of verdant paddy fields from
your lounger.



It might be synonymous with spring break, but
is all about balance, so indulge the naughty and nice
with meditation and margaritas in sequence (or simultaneously) in
Cancun. Entrepreneur-turned-spiritual-guru Kelsey Patel hosts his
eponymous retreat with a focus on oceanside yoga and chilling out
on the beach. Visit Kelsey Patel in April through December to avoid
the crowds but still catch those rays.



More akin to the tropical shores of Thailand than tech-obsessed
Tokyo, Japan’s Okinawa islands are a hotbed for surfers, scuba
divers and stressed-out urbanites seeking sand. Banish the burnout
by heading to Yanbaru for an afternoon of shinrin yoku (forest
bathing), first prescribed in the 80’s as an antidote to stress.
Leave the gadgets at home and spend a few hours submerging yourself
in the sounds, smells and sights of the rainforest. City dwellers
can continue the practice at home – although we’d avoid Hyde Park
and head to Highgate Wood instead.


New Zealand

Situated in southern New Zealand, Glenorchy is all about craggy
peaks, clean air and connectivity with nature. Overlooking Lake
Wakatipu, Aro Ha takes slowing down seriously – its six-day
retreats are stuff of wellness legend. Mornings are filled with
sunrise vinyasa flows and lengthy mountain hikes, while afternoons
are best spent idling in the plunge pools overlooking the peaks.
With an emphasis on sustainability – the whole retreat is solar and
hydro powered – the menu is predominantly raw and plant-based.
Stripping everything back to basics (no coffee, sugar or scrolling)
will be a shock to the system, but your body will (eventually)
welcome the break.



Hidden in the heart of the Californian wine lands, Calistoga is
as famous for its erupting Old Faithful Geyser as it is for its
plonk – although it’s definitely the pinot noir that piqued our
interest here. We suspect that whoever said the answer might not
lie in the bottom of a bottle hadn’t visited Napa Valley or its 300
wineries. All of the best vineyards are just a short wobble away
from the Calistoga Ranch, where you’ll also get the chance to prune
and crush your own grapes before tasting them in the cellar.



Hailed as Iceland’s “Capital of the North”, Akureyri is a cuter,
calmer alternative to Reykjavík – read: the traffic lights are
heart-shaped. Cradled at the bottom of the Eyjafjörður Fjord with
the Súlur mountain looming in the distance, the dramatic landscapes
may well inspire your next (first) novel. After all, one in 10
Icelanders have already written a book. Booker Prize pending, visit
the Mývatn Nature Baths – nature’s original soaking tub. It bubbles
along at a muscle soothing 36°C, is packed with rich minerals and,
unlike Iceland’s more famous geothermal baths, you’ll likely have
the place to yourself.



Wellness retreats tend to include a digital detox but with a
resort this Insta-worthy as this it would be rude not to gram. Over
the course of your stay at Fivelements, nourish your soul with
Balinese food and bathe in their open-air tub before test-driving
their on coconut-tree bolstered swing. Make sure to carve out ample
spa time; soaking in oils and a kaleidoscopic array of petals will
leave you smelling – and feeling – as fresh as a frangipani.

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