We are spoilt for choice when it comes to health retreats and wellness getaways. A growing trend of travellers are seeking health and wellness treatments when they travel. Here are some incredible Zen spots around the world to find your bliss. From therapeutic mud baths and paddle board yoga to pilates in salt caves and goat yoga, here are unusual activities you can try when you travel:
Goat Yoga, Portland, Oregon
From the Pacific Northwest comes goat yoga. During this hour-long Vinyasa yoga class, friendly goats hop on participants’ backs, nuzzle to distraction and even throw them off balance. Yogis and goat lovers can stick around after class for a meet-and-greet with affectionate four-legged twins, Preston and Quincy.
Mud Therapy, Greater Palm Springs, California
Greater Palm Springs, California’s desert oasis, is a go-to for specialist spa and wellness treatments. Travel to Two Bunch Palms Desert Hot Springs to relax with Mud Therapy – spending 20 minutes soaking up the aromatic clay and peat moss whilst lying in a mud bath.
Bathers can float weightlessly whilst treating themselves to deeply moisturised skin. The city of Desert Hot Springs is known for the natural mineral-rich spring water that has been flowing below the city for over 600 years. To travel here, find out more on the Greater Palm Springs website.
Salt Caves, Santa Barbara, California
Travel lovers can find their Zen and unwind at Salt Caves Santa Barbara – the largest man-made underground crystal salt cave in North America. Covered from floor to ceiling in Himalayan Salt known for its health benefits, the air in the cave is also infused with micro-particles of salt and minerals, which are absorbed naturally through the skin. You can choose from a range of treatments and activities, including Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga Nidra. Quite unique, as health retreats go!
Forest Bathing, Setouchi, Japan
Travel lovers can get their Zen on and indulge in forest bathing at Shiso City, Hyogo prefecture, which became Hyogo’s first certified Forest Therapy Base in 2016. Read our handy guide to learn more about forest bathing.
A 2-hour drive from Kobe, the Therapy Base covers almost 8% of the prefecture and is made up of 90% forest. Here, visitors can stroll through the beautiful scenery, taking in the scents of a 1,000 year-old wisteria tree and admire the Hara-Fudo Falls, which have been named one of the 100 best falls in Japan. Find out more about the Setouchi region.
Lake Tahoe Balloons, South Lake Tahoe, California
Travel lovers can float above the crystal clear Lake Tahoe on a hot air balloon ride from Lake Tahoe Balloons, the only hot air balloon ride in the world to begin and end on the deck of a boat. The breathtaking flight showcases the natural beauty of the alpine setting.
Bliss Paddle Yoga, Newport Beach, California
You can relax – and test your balance – on the calm waters of Newport Beach during a Bliss Paddle Yoga session. With no distractions to disturb inner peace, yogis can rent their own paddle board for a Zen experience or join an intimate paddle board yoga class, suitable for all abilities.
Yoga on the Rocks, Colorado, USA
For a truly Zen experience, you can get involved in a Yoga on the Rocks workout at one of the most awe-inspiring venues in the world – Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Yogis can take part in a number of classes unlike any other, joining hundreds of enthusiasts to unwind and relax, all whilst feeling on top of the world at an altitude of 6,400ft which makes exercise even more demanding. Health retreats rarely get a better backdrop than this!
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Santa Cruz, California
Travel to Santa Cruz to find peace amongst the blooming flowers with a visit to UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Home to more than 300 plant families and thousands of individual plants, the gardens are a sanctuary for those seeking a Zen afternoon amongst the greenery.
Separated into different ecosystems and climates, the gardens also features new installations, such as the Future Garden for the Central Coast of California and art spanning three geodesic domes, showcasing plants which are likely to thrive as temperatures increase in future years.
Sunset Bay, San Francisco, California
Sailors can feel the waves as they enjoy the iconic San Francisco Bay at sunset. During a 90-minute excursion with Adventure Cat Bay Sail, visitors sail around Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge. With a complimentary glass of local wine or Californian beer in hand, this is relaxation at its best.
Balanced Rock Foundation, Yosemite Mariposa County, California
Travel to Yosemite National Park to take part in a Balanced Rock Foundation programme to recognise the area’s spirituality. The programme includes a backpacking journey focusing on inward reflection and an outdoor exploration of the incredible surroundings.
Expert guides share a combination of local Yosemite knowledge and spirited dedication to practices, including yoga and meditation, allowing visitors to understand holistic health and wellness. As health retreats with scenic backdrops, this one is hard to beat.
Health retreats can be so rejuvenating – find one in the lap of nature that suits you best!