Healthy holiday

Health farms and spas are in vogue as Britons increasingly look for ways to unwind from the stresses of modern living. But what is on offer for those looking for some quality relaxation and a bit of a health overhaul?

Doing nothing but lying on the beach all week may still be heaven for some people, but for others, concerns over things such as skin cancer and obesity means that healthier options are becoming increasingly popular.

Last year, 16 million UK adults visited a spa, sauna or Jacuzzi on their holiday, while 10 million opted for a massage (source: Travel Counsellorsopens in a new window).

As well as saunas and massages, health spas and farms can offer everything from swimming pools to mud wraps, flotation chambers, facial treatments and aromatherapy.

While Britain is well stocked with luxury health farms and spas in beautiful locations up and down the country, for something a little more unusual, you may want to head abroad. If you do, don’t forget to pack your Churchill travel insurance along with your swimming trunks.

Finland, for example, is the place to go if you love saunas. Virtually every hotel in Finland has a sauna, from traditional smoke saunas beside a lake, followed by a dip in the icy waters, to flab-zapping, high-tech infrared saunas.

Japan is another popular destination for health enthusiasts. The Japanese love nothing more than to spend time in the local onsen – naturally occurring hot springs full of healthy minerals and volcanic sulphur.

Of course, most health retreats are a little more comfortable and many also encompass the pleasures of the beach. From the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, health spas and beaches go hand in hand. The Sandals Royal Bahamian spa resort in the Bahamas, for example, offers scuba diving along with its array of treatments and massages, and the swimming pools even have bars you can swim up to and order drinks.

But if the thought of a drink has you reaching for a cigarette, however, then perhaps you should instead head down to the Holistic Holidays resort in the Canary Islands, which has a programme for smokers trying to quit – a holiday activity which is certain to improve your health.

If yoga is your thing, your best option is to head to Asia, where there are literally thousands of high-quality yoga retreats. Make sure you find one that caters for your level of experience, though, as it won’t be much fun as a beginner attempting three-hour headstands in a class of yoga maestros.

At the Barberyn Beach resort in Sri Lanka, for example, free yoga classes are held daily for guests and are open to beginners. The resort also offers free daily tai chi and meditation classes.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, make sure you take out Churchill travel insurance. Without it, the stress of losing your luggage, or finding your flights cancelled, could soon undo all those well-earned health benefits. For a single trip or annual cover quote, look online now.

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