This Spring’s Best Fitness Retreats
Climbing Cima Scotoni in the Dolomites with Hotel Rosa Alpina. Photograph by Mr Giuseppe Ghedina
Get away from it all, get a tan and get in shape for summer. Whatever your sport, we have the ideal sporting holiday for you.
A great holiday can be life-changing. But an even better holiday can be body changing, too. This summer, why not book a retreat that strengthens your physique as much as your resolve for the year ahead?
On your behalf, we’ve scoured the globe for the finest of these trips. These are the world’s most exclusive fitness retreats, where you can train in luxurious surroundings, while honing your abilities at your chosen sport. Each, of course, has more than enough vitamin D to help the medicine go down smoothly.
So read on, book up and dig in. Sport is all about winning – and summer isn’t going to win itself. Gentlemen, it’s time to get in the sun and feel the burn.
01. CYCLING IN MAJORCA
Sa Calobra, Majorca. Photograph by Mr Peter Drinkell
Majorca has long been regarded as a road cyclist’s paradise, attracting pro teams and eager amateurs alike with its challenging gradients, breathtaking coastal roads and year-round sunshine. Now the island’s luxurious Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa has teamed up with former Team GB Olympic captain (as well as MR PORTER Style Council member and face of top-end cycling brand Chpt.///) Mr David Millar. He'll lead a series of weekend training camps from the five-star property in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, covering 174 miles of the island’s best routes over three days. Everything is done to the highest possible standard – from the personalised cycling jerseys and kit you’ll be presented with on arrival to the Maserati support cars. Post-ride, you can relax in the Jumeirah’s excellent spa before settling down to dinner with Mr Millar.
Average temperature in June/July: 22.5°C
Inside line: The Jumeirah’s outstanding Talise Spa offers specialist sports massages. Book yours before arrival to beat the rest of the saddle-sore pack.
What to pack
02. SURFING IN COSTA RICA
Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica. Photograph by Mr Matt Chenet
With British Airways starting its long-awaited flights to San José from London Gatwick next month, Costa Rica’s stock is on the rise. Famed for its waves as much as its waterfalls and rainforests, the country is home to the world’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified surf hotel, the newly opened Olas Verdes. Situated in the pretty town of Nosara on the west coast, the hotel offers eco-minded surf camps with local partner Safari Surf School. Open to surfers of any level, the camps are up to six days’ duration with group lessons every morning and afternoon. On top of this, there are optional downtime excursions ranging from rainforest expeditions and sky canopy tours to deep-sea fishing. By the end of the week you’ll be carving and turning beautifully in the Pacific peelers, with big-breaker biceps to boot.
Average temperature in June/July: 27.5°C
Inside line: Book room 106 or 206 at the Olas Verdes Hotel for the best tropical forest views – and make sure you order the ceviche at the El Manglar, the hotel’s restaurant
What to pack
03. SAILING IN BERMUDA
Sailing off the coast of Bermuda. Photograph courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority
If you’re going to learn the ropes, you might as well do it in style. As the location for next year’s Louis Vuitton and Bremont-sponsored America’s Cup World Series, Bermuda has launched a new learn-to-sail programme, in a bid to attract those who have ever dreamt of a life – or at least a holiday – on the ocean wave. The Learn To Sail Programme courses, run in association with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, are fully accredited by the Royal Yacht Association, with level-one and -two certificates on offer, and accommodation recommended at the excellent Hamilton Princess hotel on the marina. Keep your eyes peeled while you’re out in Bermuda’s protected crystal-clear waters – you might well see Sir Ben Ainslie and the British team training.
Average temperature in June/July: 27°C
Insider tip: Enjoy the sunset, dark ’n’ stormy cocktail in hand, from the infinity pool at the Hamilton, overlooking Bermuda’s Great Sound.
What to pack
04. SWIMMING IN SLOVENIA
Swimming in the Adriatic Sea along the Montenegrin coast. Photograph courtesy Strel Swimming Adventures
Mr Martin Strel is a big – nay, alpha – fish in the swimming world. The legendary Big River Man was the first person to swim the planet’s five great rivers (the Amazon, Yangtze, Paraná, Mississippi and Danube), and his Strel Swimming Adventures allow mere mortals to dive into his watery realm. Locations include Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey and Lake Powell, Arizona, but the pick of the bunch is the four-day Slovenian lakes and river trip, with multiple departures this summer. Led by Mr Strel and his son Mr Borut Strel, your itinerary includes plunging into the crystal-clear lakes of Triglav National Park before bathing in the crashing Kozjak waterfall, as well as swimming out to a magnificent 17th-century church on Lake Bled – all with kayak, jet-ski and powerboat support.
Average temperature in June/July: 22°C
Insider tip: Pack two pairs of goggles to make the most of your trip: one clear and one anti-glare for sunny days.
What to pack
05. HIKING IN THE PERUVIAN ANDES
Soray Lodge, perched among the Peruvian Andes on the Salkantay Trail. Photograph by Mountain Lodges Of Peru
Forget the Inca Trail. If you want to see Machu Picchu and get in shape, the Salkantay Trek is the one for you. Luxury specialist Wexas Travel offers a five-day guided trek from Cusco to the the lost Incan city, over more challenging – and more beautiful – terrain. Salkantay, which means “savage mountain”, is the snow-capped peak you’re aiming for, but the good news is that en route, you’ll enjoy comfortable nights in four cosy lodges, complete with hot showers, gourmet meals and fine wines. And the best bit? Each has an outdoor hot tub in which to immerse your weary limbs while you stargaze under clear Andean skies after a tough day’s hiking.
Average temperature in June/July: 20°C
Insider tip: Pack a portable crank-powered torch with solar charging cells – there aren’t many battery outlets in the Peruvian Andes.
What to pack
06. MOUNTAIN CLIMBING IN ITALY
Climbing at Lagazuoi with Hotel Rosa Alpina. Photograph by Mr Randy J Braun
High up in the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites, the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa in San Cassiano is one of Italy’s most exquisite hotels. Here you can learn to scale some of the region’s most magnificent – and highest – peaks in the safe hands of resident mountain guide, Mr Diego Zanesco. The boulder-like cliff faces of the surrounding Dolomites proffer all manner of climbing possibilities, from alpinism to sports climbing, while the short approaches to the faces mean less walking and more ascending. Every evening you’ll be able to unwind while you coil your ropes at the luxurious Relais & Châteaux property, which boasts a spa and newly renovated wellness area, including Finnish and Bio saunas overlooking the woodland.
Average temperature in June/July: 21°C
Inside line: Book the new chef’s table at St. Hubertus, the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, to enjoy delicious, creative local dishes prepared in front of you.