Peak health After two years of isolating and social distancing it's time to look after your body and mind
The bleak and dreary January is now just a distant memory and with Covid numbers heading in the right direction it’s time to start thinking about summer holidays. So why not think big?
Healthy holidays are nothing new but G Adventures seems to be able to take the concept to the next level and they are currently offering some amazing bucket list trips that will leave you with a whole new extreme version of yourself.
The new year is a time for optimism, for new goals and to invest in ourselves. With fad diets a thing of the past, many of us are looking for healthier, more balanced ways to boost our mood and our physical wellbeing.
According to global adventure travel specialist, G Adventures, 60 percent of Irish travellers said mental and physical wellbeing was a top consideration when booking their holiday, with 58 percent looking to book a holiday to help alleviate pandemic-related stress and burnout. Another Zoom call anyone?
While wellness breaks have often involved folding your body into some sort of pretzel shape, or consuming juices that look like they could have come fresh from the Liffey, things have moved on. Whether it’s kayaking through mangroves, hiking to historical sites, munching on fresh seafood or exploring some of the world’s most stunning national parks, there’s a lot of fun to be had while being wholesome.
And there isn’t a vegetable juice in sight.
1. Kilimanjaro: Machame Route And Zanzibar Adventure
Price from €3,099
Reaching the ‘roof of Africa’ is a physical and mental journey. Not only is Kilimanjaro the highest point in Africa, but also one of the world’s seven summits, and not for the faint hearted. But for those wanting a real fitness goal to aim for, there’s no better one than this.
We’ve been told that there’s no better feeling than standing at the summit, watching the sun rise over the Tanzanian landscape. Plus, this trip ends in Zanzibar with a few days of beach time following the climb to rest tired legs and enjoy some well deserved R&R.
2. Jordan Multisport
Price from €1,299
The desert may not instantly shout wellness break, but this eight-day multisport adventure will satisfy the boldest thrill-seekers with canyon hikes to the Dead Sea, abseiling by Wadis and biking with local communities.
While the heart is pumping, it wouldn’t be a trip to Jordan without visits to historic Petra and a night spent under the stars in a traditional Bedouin camp.
3. Hiking Ibiza
Prices from €799
Think the White Isle is just superclubs and pool parties? Think again. This close to home island, has been growing in popularity amongst wellness-seekers, with a number of yoga retreats popping up in recent years. And now, travellers can get their heart racing - minus the techno beats - with this new six-day hiking tour. Swapping clubs for cliff hikes and bar crawls for bike rides, it’s the perfect healthy mini break for those looking to fall in love with the more wholesome side of this beautiful island.
4. Wellness Costa Rica
Price from €1,499.
“Pura Vida”. You’ll hear these words wherever you go in Costa Rica. Literally translating into ‘pure life’, it says a lot about the local’s easy-going lifestyle and love of the simple things in life. This eight day wellness trip is perfect for those wanting to slow down and recharge. Sunrise yoga sessions on the beach meet thermal mountain hot springs, with meditation, canyoning and surfing all making for the perfect week of rejuvenation. Now that’s pura vida.
5. Hiking the Canary Islands
Say so long to all inclusive hotels and tourist-packed beaches and hello to a more wholesome side of the Canary Islands.
This six-day hiking adventure shows off all the best parts of Tenerife, from colonial towns and national parks to volcanoes and jeep safaris. A visit to Las Cañadas del Teide National Park offers a unique landscape of craters, volcanoes and lava rivers. Don’t miss an evening watching the stars at the top of Mount Teide, recognised as one of the best stargazing destinations due to its lack of light pollution.
6. Thailand Hike, Bike & Kayak
Price from €1,599.
Can’t pick between a hiking, cycling or watersports holiday? You don’t need to! This two week multisport adventure in Thailand will have you hiking through rice paddies one day and paddling to secret caves the next. It’s ideal for those who are easily bored, with different activities on the agenda each day including an incredible three-day hike to meet the northern hilltribe communities.
7. American National Parks Explorer
Price from €4,099.
With the US reopening borders late last year, there’s no better time to plan an adventure across the pond. And, this two-week trip is just the ticket. Journeying from Los Angeles to San Francisco, it takes in seven of the country’s famous national parks and is packed with nature, hiking and some moments that will take your breath away. From hiking around the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park valleys, to gazing up in Death Valley at the tallest trees in the world. Sometimes wellness is about expanding the imagination, and this trip is just the ticket.
8. Inca Trail
Prices from €979.
There’s a reason the Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world. The ancient route, which winds through Peru’s high Andes and cloud forests before finishing at sunrise at the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu speaks for itself. This trip includes the four day hike, where days are spent trekking, exploring ancient ruins and camping along the route, as well as cultural experiences with local communities in the Sacred Valley.
9. Sailing Sri Lanka
Price from €1,499.
Healthy holidays, don’t have to be hardcore. Sometimes there’s a time and a place for sitting back, unwinding and enjoying a good book. This week-long sailing adventure in Sri Lanka is the perfect balance of adventure and down time, with days spent cruising along the southern coast of the island, spotting whales, snorkeling in deserted coves and hiking through coastal jungles. With a skipper and chef on board, you’ll be nourishing your body with freshly-caught seafood and delicious local curries. Now what’s wellness.
10. Trans Bhutan Trail
Prices from €2,749.
Wellness and happiness go hand in hand, and there’s no better example of this than in Bhutan, where ‘gross national happiness’ is their measurement of success. This year will see the reopening of the ancient Trans Bhutan Trail, which connects remote communities and some of the country’s most breathtaking hiking routes. Travellers can explore the trail for the first time this May, where they’ll visit ancient temples, hike diverse landscapes and meet locals along the way.
■ ALL prices in this article are based on per person, excluding flights.
■ G Adventures has a new policy that allows you to cancel or rebook your tour up to 14 days before your departure, effective until August 31, 2022, on travel departing before April 30, 2023.
■ See gadventures.com for more information.
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