Four of the best
European wellness retreats,
Sha Wellness Clinic Near Alicante, Spain The great and the good fock to Sha for its winning combination of glamorous hotel and seriously good medical spa. Opened by a man who had spent years battling with chronic diseases before curing himself with a macrobiotic diet and naturopathy, it of fers the perfect blend of Eastern and Western medicine. Just above the pretty, white-washed town of Altea, it is also lucky
enough to be sun-drenched for about 320 days of the year. Hosting a feet of the world’s leading medical experts, in areas including macrobiotics and mindfulness, Sha gives you a
constant sense of being in the best hands possible. Programmes include detox, weight loss and general wellbeing, and there are therapies to treat stress and insomnia. There is
even a cognitive-development test that can predict your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. Whatever you opt for, it will provide a thorough MOT of both body and soul, and you
will go home with a plan. The details Healing Holidays (020-7843 3597; healingholidays.co.uk) of fers a four-night stay
from £1,655pp, based on two sharing a Deluxe Suite Mountain View, or £2,099 for single occupancy,
including full board, fights and transfers.
Health Retreat Parkhotel Igls Innsbruck, Austria This smart, comfortable sanctuary – set within a leafy park overlooking Innsbruck – embraces the Modern Mayr principle, which is that bad diet, overeating and lack of exercise are the causes of most health problems, and a week spent here can set all that straight. While weight loss is a common goal, many come for digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome or to boost their immune system after a treatment such as chemotherapy. The retreat’s preventative approach is based on cleansing, substitution, self-discovery, exercise, rest and training, and each guest is medically assessed using cutting-edge testing devices combined with alternative medical procedures. From this, a tailor-made programme and meal plan is created. Your days are spent doing everything from anti-stress exercises to cooking classes. Two new programmes have just been launched: one focuses on men’s health; the other is an eight-day fast.
The details The Basic Programme costs £896 for a one-week stay, excluding accommodation, which costs from £110 per night for a single room (0043-512 377305; parkhotel-igls.at).
Longevity at Vilalara Thalassa Resort Algarve, Portugal The great thing about this serene, Scandinavian-chic resort is that it’s a lovely place for a holiday in its own right, set in beautiful botanical gardens with six outdoor pools and direct access to its own private beach. So you can bring a friend who just wants to hang out. It is also home to Longevity medical spa, which has one of the world’s best thalassotherapy centres and aims to redress the imbalances between mind and body through medical assessments followed by personalised treatments. Programmes in everything from detox to anti-ageing span three to seven nights. For something in between, why not opt for the
fve-night Wellness Booster, which includes osteopathy, cranial sacral therapy, personal training and wellbeing-enhancing spa treatments. There are also two good Portuguese restaurants and a
poolside bar. The details The Healthy Holiday Company (020-8968 0501; thehealthyholiday company.co.uk) offers a fve-night Wellness Booster from £2,055pp, based on two sharing a Junior
Suite Garden View, or £2,280 for single occupancy, including half board, fights and transfers.
Ti Sani Lombardy, Italy Housed in what was once a noble residence within an 18th-century hamlet, this family-run health retreat, a 45-minute drive from Milan, is a great place to go to combine a tailored wellness programme and delicious food in a rural Italian setting. The retreat refers to its wellness programmes as being ‘healtheatarian’, with each combining organic vegan nutrition, holistic therapies and tailored physical activity to focus on a particular theme, whether that be detox, weight loss, tackling insomnia or learning how to de-stress. Just relaxing is also integral to the experience. The organic, seasonal vegan food – both raw and cooked – is a highlight, as is the spa with its brilliant menu of massages, hydrotherapy pools, saunas and showers. You can add in Nordic walking, rebounding, martial ftness, yoga, Pilates, cookery lessons and educational seminars. The details Health and Fitness Travel (020-3397 8891; healthandftnesstravel.com) offers seven nights at Ti Sani from £2,198pp, or £2,433 for single occupancy, including full board, a choice of programmes, fights and transfers. Next: Alpine chalets