So January is here, and the whole world appears to be rising from their Christmas slumber and hitting the gym to beat the winter blues – and the consequential weight-gain from too many mince pies! (Apparently we gain on average 5 pounds over the Christmas period – whoops.)
This is the perfect time of year to grab a travel bargain, but also to look at not only your typical European sun holiday but to think outside the box a little. How about incorporating some of your New Year fitness regime into your holiday? Sporty getaways create the ultimate feel good factor, not only do you get some relaxing time off work but you spend time in the great outdoors exercising your mind and body. Doesn’t that sound better than that familiar feeling of needing a holiday to recover from the holiday after a week of excess?!
It’s difficult to discuss sporty getaways in Europe without talking about skiing. European skiing destinations, dominated by the mighty Alps, are some of the most prestigious and challenging in the world – and there are packages to suit all skill levels and budgets. Some of the more famous names are Interlaken and St Moritz in Switzerland and St Anton in Austria, however there are some interesting alternatives – for example Finnish Lapland for something truly unusual! Try Trip Advisor for great starter ideas to get your ski bunny imagination to run wild! After a hard day hitting the slopes you can always put your feet up with a nice hot chocolate.
Image via @ Stuart Madeley
If you would prefer to enjoy your active holiday in a warmer climate, how about trying the winning combination of surf and yoga, offered on the stunning Portuguese coastline by Surf Algarve. This retreat offers 5-7 day yoga and surf programmes, immersed in the clean ocean air to revitalise your body and soul. At Portugal’s first specialised surf and yoga retreat, there are rarely more than 10 guests at any one time, ensuring a personalised and intimate stay. All-inclusive packages vary in price between off-peak and on-peak times, so check the website to see what might be best for you.
Image via @ GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS
Now for horse lovers among you – have you considered a horse riding holiday in Europe? The perfect way to get some fresh air, great exercise and see some stunning countryside (which you can’t necessarily see by car.) Try In The Saddle for some tips on specialised riding holidays to suit you.
Aspiring jockeys among you – you would like to stay closer to home! – may be interested in the thrill of the race at the renowned www.kempton.co.uk racecourse, located between Sunbury and Hampton Court on the A308, South-West London, Kempton is easily reached by either road or rail from London Waterloo. Racing spectacles are held year-round with a variety of packages to suit all tastes and budgets. This could be a fun day or night out to compliment a horse-lovers holiday, and vouchers for the park make a terrific gift.
So get those endorphins moving with a sporty getaway in Europe this new year – it doesn’t have to mean attending a footie match in Spain!