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Wellness retreats have become a popular alternative to customary luxury vacationing. Lawson Misquitta explored some of the best places around the globe to relax and take care of your health.

Every year, it could be considered necessary for us to take a step back and take some time off from our hectic lifestyles to allow us the chance to relax and recharge.

Spas play a special role in providing a space where we can go and soothe our bodies and minds. They offer therapies that promote physical, mental and spiritual healing, which are essential aspects that contribute towards a healthy lifestyle. A wellness retreat is usually structured around providing guests with a relaxing holiday that includes the benefits of a wonderful spa but also pays specific attention to helping them improve their overall health and well-being.

Wellness retreats aren’t a particularly new phenomenon, but in recent years they have comprehensively developed into a diverse offering spread across the globe, with specialist retreats working to provide a reprieve from modern life’s trials and tribulations. The retreats offer a unique and valuable venue for individuals, couples, families and groups to seek a healthy refuge from the fast-paced lifestyles so prevalent in contemporary society. At these relaxing and empowering havens, guests can nourish and revitalise their bodies, minds and psyches to attain or regain elevated levels of personal wellness.

Well-being is innately personal; hence different locations offer choices that enable guests to tailor the experience to suit themselves and their needs.

SPAIN

As an ideal holiday, it would be challenging not to include sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and delicious food. Spain really does have it all. Popular for its stylish cosmopolitan cities and beautiful sun-drenched Mediterranean coastline, the country encompasses a wide variety of places to explore. It also offers visitors its world-famous cuisine, striking architecture and fantastic museums. A visit to Spain to experience its vibrant culture can break travellers out of any rut they’ve been stuck in and help breathe new life into them.

With more than 5,000 miles of coastline and boasting over 720 Blue Flag beaches (a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that accredits that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its standards), Spain has some of the best beaches in Europe. The country’s stunning coastal areas and scenic islands are perfect for relaxing and recovering from daily stressors. As a result, it is home to some of the best and most luxurious wellness retreats in the world.

Check this out: Nestled between Alicante’s sparkling Mediterranean coastline and the Sierra Helada mountains, SHA Wellness Clinic is Spain’s leading medical spa; it combines the luxury of a resort with the objective of a health clinic. SHA is dedicated to improving guests’ health and wellbeing through a fusion of ancient Oriental disciplines and revolutionary western techniques. Each programme is expertly tailored from weight loss and detox to healthy ageing and holistic rebalancing, combining natural therapies and spa treatments with medical support and nutrition. It offers pioneering treatments, cutting-edge technology and highly acclaimed health experts. @shawellness

ICELAND

Iceland is the least-populated country in Europe. Abundant natural beauty is found around every corner owing to its unparalleled scenery, wide-open spaces and vast untouched wilderness areas. Iceland sits atop active volcanic regions at the edge of the Arctic Circle. Visitors can discover active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, glaciers, ice fields and fjords as part of the natural terrain.

Iceland’s location on the top of the world also ensures it’s among the best places to witness the northern lights or aurora borealis. These spectacular celestial wonders are commonly seen from September to mid-April. The country is equally rugged and tranquil and serves as a perfect sanctuary from daily distractions back home, making Iceland perfect for a wellness retreat.

A remarkable advantage of Iceland’s geothermal nature are the naturally heated pools found across the country, each situated in a unique environment, making them a must-visit for first-time travellers.

Check this out: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s most well-known spa destination. Drawn to the surface through geothermal extraction wells, the water here emerges enriched with silica, algae and minerals – the bioactive elements that endow this unique fluid with its healing, rejuvenating, nourishing abilities. The company completed a remarkable expansion in 2018, and now boasts a subterranean retreat spa, geothermal retreat lagoon, 62-suite retreat hotel, and Moss Restaurant. It encompasses transformative spa experiences, research and development, sustainability, culinary enjoyment, a renowned line of skincare and the impeccable convergence of hospitality and wellness. @bluelagoonis

INDIA

With centuries-old proven healing treatments through Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, India is one of the most popular global destinations for a wellness break.

Ayurveda has become an inspirational part of wellness tourism. It combines Ayur (life) and Veda (knowledge), which translates to the science of life or the science of healing. Ayurveda seeks to combine lifestyle with dietetic modifications which are aimed at stimulating the constitution of our bodies to bring about balance, which further allows individuals to learn the importance of self-care or self-healing.

From the mountains of the Himalayas to the coastal stretches of Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, India is home to a variety of spa resorts, treatment centres and wellness retreats offering stress management, preventive health care, detox therapies and fitness packages.

Check this out: Ananda In The Himalayas is spread out across the former royal estate of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal in the foothills of the Himalayas – the property is one of the most popular luxury spa and wellness retreats in India. Ananda offers visitors a choice of suites as well as independent villas that are surrounded by peaceful forests. A team of doctors, nutritionists, yoga instructors and therapists allows guests to experience signature wellness. The programmes are based on ayurvedic rejuvenation, panchakarma, holistic detox, dhyana meditation and stress management. @anandainthehimalayas

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