About to join a gym? Try a get-in-shape escape instead
Four in five of you will not visit the gym past January so why not put your money towards one of these 10 fitness breaks
Combine fitness with a holiday in some great, and warm, destinations
Get fit on holiday: Wildfitness in Crete
Bootcamps in Costa Blanca
Bootcamps don’t have to be militarily austere to be effective. Organisers just like you to think that so they can save money. Responsible Travel’s Luxury Bootcamp, near Alicante on the Costa Blanca, is an all-inclusive retreat in a swish property with your own double suite with private balcony.
Aimed at weight-loss, fitness, detox and general wellbeing, activities include yoga, pilates, beach circuit training, core workouts, coastal hikes and meditation. The company promotes it as “like being locked into your gym for a week”, their idea of a dream obviously – if it was a nightmare you’d be naked.
The Luxury Boot Camp is available at various dates throughout the year priced from GBP 1,198 to GBP 1,348 (€1,699 to €1,911) excluding flights. responsibletravel.com
Go wild in Greece
Wildfitness Crete operates in a mountain village called Milia on the super scenic western side of the island. Staying in beautifully renovated farmhouses, you can expect to work as hard as any of the original occupants with a week-long schedule packed with workshops, skills classes and training routines.
A fitness break departing June 3rd is priced from GBP 2,400 (€3,403) per person including full board, individualised exercise regime and two to three training sessions a day, plus workshops on movement, metabolism and nutrition. There’s also deep tissue massage and group sessions of stretching to promote flexibility.
They promise no humiliating weigh-ins, hunger pangs, military barking or shaming. wildfitness.com
Bike the Balearics
Nothing like getting sporting tips from a pro so if you’ve any interest in cycling, some interest in fitness and loads of interest in sunshine and scenery, get on your bike in Majorca. Stephen Roche Cycling has been operating there for 20 years now, based in Palmanova in the south-west coast of the island. Just 20km from Palma airport, it has three great Blue Flag beaches on your doorstep to cool down after your mountain climbs.
The guys have planned routes to suit all types and level of rider, each with the all-important coffee stop built in. Prices vary depending on where you stay but start, for example, at €68 per person, per night, for a shared studio in February and March. Bike hire and guided riding available. stephenrochecycling.com
Grape escape in France
For one of the most fun fitness holidays you can take, check out Forget The Gym, based in three locations in Dublin. The women-only classes, run by Mary Jennings, start from €90 for an eight-week term, during which time you get both training runs and online support.
Best of all, however, are the regular fitness breaks the company offers both at home and abroad. More than 50 women are just back, for example, from a run around the wine trails of the Beaujolais region of France. The trip, which is undertaken annually, costs about €250 for three days. forgetthegym.ie Run wild on the Costa Brava To run off the beaten track, check out Running Costa Brava, based in Spain’s wild north-east coast. It offers week-long running packages that include airport transfers from Girona airport, luggage transportation from hotel to hotel, and personal guide support along the trail. Hotels, at which you stay half board, constitute a gastronomic tour of their own which makes sense because, after all, runners run on their belly.
A full week’s running package, taking in some of the most remote parts of the Costa Brava, from Cadaques to the lighthouse at Cap de Creus, starts from € 1,133 per person sharing in low season (January to March or October to December), rising to €1,256 in summer. runningcostabrava.com
Kick back in Bangkok
Brush up on your fancy footwork, not to mention your right hook, with a Muay Thai kickboxing course at the Siam Hotel in Dusit, Bangkok. Referred to as the Art of Eight Limbs because you punch and kick as well as use your elbows and knees to strike.
The luxury hotel has its own professional, fully equipped Muay Thai gym and offers one-week programmes from beginners to advanced practitioners. You’ll also get all the spa treatments you need to ease your eight aching limbs. Rates vary but a 3½ hour stint including master class with a champion titleholder followed by a special Muay Thai Massage, costs 7,500 baht (€197) per person, while rooms start at17,191 baht (€452) per night for a double in February, a good time of year to go weatherwise. thesiamhotel.com
Go CrossFit crazy in the Canaries
The CrossFit craze has spread across the country like wildfire, with more than 30 clubs operating here within just a few years. If you’re one of its aficionados, you’ll know you don’t want to stop doing your WODs (workout of the day) just because you’re on holiday. Enter Wodholidays. com, entrepreneur and CrossFit coach Eoghan McGregor’s company.
Launched last year, it took more than 100 people to its base in Gran Canaria. This year, it’s doubling its capacity, offering breaks in Majorca too. A six-day trip, including a WOD and a beach training session each day, costs from €649, flights extra. wodholidays.com
Line up in Languadoc
Tri-athletes can train in sunshine at Sancture Sportif in the south of France, under Ironman-certified coach Richard Laidlow.
Based at his home in the spa town of Amelie les Bains, with a pool right outside the door, the company can accommodate everything from singles to groups with programmes tailored for swimming, cycling and running with an in-house sports massage therapist on hand.
Easily reached from Carcassonne, Perpignan or Girona, it offers the same affordable pricing year-round, starting from €714 a week half board, flights extra. www.sancture-sportifs.com Clean and lean in Capri Bodyism is a UK fitness company whose aim is to provide you with a “long, lean, healthy body”. In any case, it has a dedicated team of performance coaches and fat-loss specialists and a client list bulging with supermodels. No doubt it helps that Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson, is a fan.
The company has tie-ins with luxury hotels around the world which means you can avail of its services in such gorgeous destinations as the five-star Capri Palace Hotel on Capri, with spectacular views out over the Med from its gym, and where the average overnight room rate on Trip Advisor – from €335 to €2,516 – is enough to make you break a sweat on its own. Bodyism.com
Battle baby weight in France
If you’ve had a baby and are only beginning to adjust to being able to tie your shoe laces again, how about a fitness retreat for new parents at Manoir la Croix de la Jugie in Limousin?
It includes separate personal training sessions for both mum and dad, followed by relaxing massages and, best of all, particularly if you’ve other kids, four hours babysitting a day.
Courses run on various dates and cost from GBP 960 (€1,362) per family for three nights full board. Nearest airports are Bordeaux, Nantes and Limoges, flights extra. lajugie.co.uk