Breathe in deep and find your centre in these 15 wellness travel destinations

2018-06-20 21:00 - Ethan Van Diemen
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a young woman does a yoga pose as the sun sets in

(Photo: iStock)

Modern life has changed dramatically in the last two decades by modern technologies, societal changes and the advent of social media.

The stresses of modern life can often feel overwhelming and be taxing on our mental and physical state. Many travellers have responded to these developments by going on immersive, travel experiences with a focus on wellness.

PICS: Wellness travel is more than just staying fit on the road

If wellness travel sounds like something you could make use of then you’re in the right place. Tripadvisor has released a list of their pick of the most blissful destinations for wellness travel in the world if you’re looking to travel and revitalise your body and mind at the same time.

Check these zen destinations below:

Bali, Indonesia:

A living, breathing postcard, this Indonesian paradise is one of the best places on the planet to take some time out for your wellness. With a temperate climate, white sandy beaches and lush, temple-filled jungles, it’s easy to see how wellness and Bali complement each other so well.

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Indonesia

(Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

Rishikesh, India:

Situated at the base of the Himalayas, this holy city is imbued with a deep cultural and spiritual significance for the Hindu community. With sacred rivers and a majestic mountainous landscape, there are plenty of spots to centre yourself.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

PICS: Colours come out for the Hindu Holi festival

Sedona, United States of America:

In the middle of the dry and hot Arizona desert, you will find the veritable oasis of Sedona. With ancient red rock formations, canyons and hiking trails to explore, Sedona offers travellers a relatively-isolated respite from the noise and light pollution that characterises much of urban civilisation.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

SEE: 100 Endangered desert turtles left in Arizona

Hepburn Springs, Australia:

The springs in the name of this part of Australia are meant to be taken quite literally. Located in the middle of the largest concentration of mineral springs in Australia, today the village is a thriving town offering visitors a wide selection of spa and massage retreats.

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Ko Samui, Thailand:

Formerly a quaint fish community, Koh Samui today offers wellness travellers the same slowed pace that was prevalent in the area. With warm, inviting beaches, Buddhist temples and breathtaking sunsets, breathe it all in and revitalise here.

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Thailand

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

Costa Rica:

Yoga retreats, hot springs, pristine beaches and lush jungles make Costa Rica a decidedly good place to focus on your wellness. Check out the Miravalle Volcano and West Central Valley regions for some of the best wellness travel experiences on offer.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

Goa, India:

The seaside town of Goa in India has much to offer in the way of wellness travel. So relax, unwind at the beach, do some yoga, meditate and take it all in.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

SEE: SA travellers to India advised of compulsory e-visa biometrics requirement

Zermatt, Switzerland:

Adventurers will know Zermatt as being the staging ground for activities on the Matterhorn. This iconic Swiss mountain peak is but a part of the wonder travellers can immerse themselves in. The village of Zermatt is quaint and offers leisurely opportunities for wellness. Car-free and charmingly old-fashioned, escape the noise and bustle in Zermatt.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

SEE: #AfriTravel: Boost for diplomacy as Ethiopian Airlines announce new routes to Geneva

Maldives:

The smallest Asian country by land area, the Maldives is a great place to find your escape into wellness. This nation comprised of a chain of small islands is surrounded by tranquil, azure waters and calm beaches. As the country shifted away from its economy-dominating fishing industries to tourism, there has been substantial development of wellness retreat options for travellers to savour. 

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Maldives

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

Ibiza, Spain:

Not usually associated with tranquillity and calm, the European party capital of Ibiza does offer an excellent opportunity for transformative wellness travel experiences if you look hard enough. With more than 160 kilometres of coastline, some 50 beaches, and UNESCO world heritage sites to explore there is more than enough space to revitalise, re-energise and rejuvenate.

 (Photo: iStock)

 (Photo: iStock)

SEE: Spain expected to replace US as second tourism destination

South Africa

If an international wellness trip just isn't on the cards for you, fret not as South Africans needn’t look beyond our borders to find destinations that offer excellent spaces for the traveller seeking wellness and rejuvenation.

According to the Global Trends Report for 2016, safari holidays are increasingly including yoga, spa and meditation as part of the itinerary. This idea of ‘wellness in the wilderness’ is particularly suited to travellers seeking authentic and unique wellness travel experiences with an added element of adventure.

With wild, dramatic and beautiful landscapes and scantily touched natural habitats, the country, and continent more generally, is particularly well-suited for wellness travel.

SEE: Wellness travel craze suits SA's natural tourism offering all too well...

In every corner of the country, there is a place for travellers to find wellness, relaxation and revitalisation. These places include:

Buddhist Retreat Centre - KwaZulu-Natal

Considered an oasis of serenity and calm, the Buddhist Retreat Centre in KZN is an excellent space to come to recharge and rejuvenate mind, body and soul. Located in an area that has been declared a natural heritage site, the centre offers visitors beautiful surrounds wherein they can find their centre and reorient their energies. With yoga, an art studio, a library, a meditation hall, zen gardens and more, there is nearly no better place to enjoy some peaceful contemplation and relaxation.

 (Photo: Buddhist Retreat Centre)

 (Photo: Buddhist Retreat Centre)

SEE: #LoveSA: Must-do winter events in KZN

Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge - Limpopo

Framed by a mountainous backdrop, in the middle of indigenous forest and bushveld, the Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge is one of the best ways to block out the negativity and focus on your wellness in Limpopo. Visitors to the lodge can relax and enjoy meditation, yoga and other wellness activities to have you ready to return to the real world feeling reinvigorated.

SEE: #MadeFromAfrica: Meet the face of Amarula in the Limpopo bush

Samara Private Game Reserve – Eastern Cape

Three hours away from Port Elizabeth is the Samara Private Game Reserve. Bask in the splendour of this abundantly blessed natural landscape with mountain views and wildlife roaming freely. This is the perfect place to have a wellness travel experience without compromising on comfort.

(Photo: Samara Private Game Reserve)

 (Photo: Samara Private Game Reserve)

SEE: Samara: A secluded Eastern Cape escape

Emoyeni - North West

With the Magaliesberg Mountain range forming a picturesque backdrop to Emoyeni, it is easy to drift off into a trance at Emoyeni. Translating into “Place of Spirit”, Emoyeni in the North West Province offers visitors the chance to meditate and unwind in a space marked by its adherence to Buddhist values.

 (Photo: Emoyeni Retreat Centre)

 (Photo: Emoyeni Retreat Centre)

SEE: #FindYourEscape at these relaxing solo getaways in SA

The Garden Route

The Garden Route is a veritable gem in the South African wellness travel crown with a wide assortment of activities on offer in some of the most beautiful surrounding anywhere on the planet. Of particular interest is a ‘renewal of spirit’ programme on offer at The Crags in Plettenberg Bay. Offering an innovative, natural approach to wellness, visitors to the Water Reflections Trail can expect to enjoy an immersive schedule of yoga, meditation and more in the pristine Tsitsikamma wilderness.

 (Photo: iStock) 

 (Photo: iStock)

SEE: #FindYourEscape: Renew yourself with a Water Reflections Trail retreat in the Garden Route

  • If you're looking to head out to any of these blissful wellness travel destinations, book your flight here.