Fit to travel

Four retreats to get your mind and body in shape for summer.


What Luxurious fitness retreat Bootique is run by personal trainer Alice Cowen. Programmes are devised individually: activities range from mountain biking, swimming, kite surfing and riding to more holistic programmes framed around yoga and Pilates. It’s ideal for a fitness boost or weight loss, but if you’d prefer a villa holiday with freshly prepared, healthy food and just some gentle fitness alongside a good deal of lazing and the odd massage, that’s also an option.

Where A traditional finca, set among olive and lemon trees between the Tramuntana mountains and the coast.

Who The villa is especially good for groups: up to seven people can stay at one time and you can choose to train together or to do individual programmes one-on-one. Ideal when some people lust for lunges and stomach crunches and others to sit back and drink rosé.

When Year-round. April to June is pleasantly warm; July to August is best for sun-lovers.

Details Three nights from £600pp (


Isle of Wight

What For ten years the trainers at Wildfitness have been encouraging clients to exercise outside, using their own body weight for resistance. You’ll be taught barefoot-running technique, and can test it out on a run along the cliffs. They also encourage hardcore exercise, with boxing sessions and obstacle races on the beach. Exercise is largely done in groups, though trainers give one-on-one advice.  

Where Previously only held in Kenya and Crete, you can now sign up for the three-day energiser courses at North Court Manor, a Jacobean home on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. There are sofas by open fires for you to flop on to at the end of an exhausting day.

Who Ideal for anyone who wants to crunch their training up several gears.

When 12-15 April.

Details From £690pp (



What The Coral Beach Hotel & Resort is the warm-weather training ground for the British Olympic team and has all the facilities world-class athletes demand. Do laps in the Olympic-size pool, knock up on one of the four tennis courts, run in the track and field stadium, or work out in one of two state-of-the-art gyms. The in-house trainers will work with you on your existing programme or help you build a new routine. There are also lighter activities on offer including jet-skiing, scuba-diving and Pilates.

Where The UNESCO-protected Akamas peninsula in northwest Cyprus. Coral Beach is a large hotel, more functional than chic, with dedicated child-free areas.

Who Ideal for die-hard triathletes and anyone competitive.

When The temperature starts rising in May.

Details B&B from £80pp, per night. Personal training from £40 an hour (



What Psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo has 25 years of experience working with everything from anorexia to addiction. This year, for the first time, she has created a three-day escape for stressed women. As well as sessions with Fiona, you’ll try Mary Molloy’s massage-based therapy in which she gently manipulates your cranium and torso until the gut releases pent-up tension. Each day begins with yoga and breathing classes and nutritious meals are prepared by a private chef – one day is a fresh juice fast.

Where Dewsall Court, a ten-bedroom Grade II-listed hall set in landscaped grounds with views over the Black Mountains.

Who Anyone wanting a mental detox.

When 30 April to 5 May.

Details Groups of five to six from £2,325pp (

Original article published in ES Magazine, in March, 2012

Related articles: