If your idea of a fun vacation is doing a kick-butt workout in the morning on the beach, spending the afternoon stand-up paddleboarding, taking a chill run with friends and then heading to cocktails and dinner — look no further than a fitness retreat. That’s right, yoga and hiking are no longer your only options for fit vacations. Today you can sign up for trips centered around mountain biking, HIIT, running and more.
“One of the most challenging parts of traveling is finding the right person to go with,” says Stacy Schwartz, founder of Ketanga Fitness Retreats. “I understand the desire to share your experiences with someone, but I also know that many of my friends wouldn’t want to take part in the active adventures and random activities that excite me.
“But on a fitness retreat, you’re with a community of like-minded people,” she says. “There is something to be said about sweating and getting an adrenaline rush with new friends, going out for a few drinks, but not getting too crazy because you know — and are excited about — tomorrow’s morning workout!”
While each retreat is unique, most typically have a morning workout and an afternoon workout. Between those sweat sessions, you enjoy other activities, such as ziplining, kayaking, rock climbing, wine tasting or just chilling on the beach. Then everyone gets together for dinner and maybe even drinks before heading to bed.
Travelers come from diverse backgrounds and might bring a friend, spouse or partner, or travel solo. By the end of the trip, many have established lasting friendships, Schwartz says, because everyone has a shared interest in fitness.
If you’re looking for a fit, fun vacation, check out these upcoming retreats to fulfill your every fitness desire.
FOR BOUTIQUE STUDIO WORKOUTS: KETANGA FITNESS RETREATS SUN, FUN & FITNESS
Where: Costa Rica
When: June 8–12, 2017
This trip offers a little bit of everything: Morning boot camp and afternoon Pilates and yoga mean you check off your strength training, core work, flexibility training and mind/body awareness work daily. There will also be a SUP excursion, a sunset cruise and drinks at the swim-up pool bars. Gail Barranda Rivas, your coach for the trip, is trained in everything from TRX and strength training to Pilates and dance, and she’s known for being attentive to form and also making sure everyone has fun.
FOR SURFING: SANSARA SURF AND YOGA RESORT
When: Retreats are held year-round
Although they specialize in surf and yoga retreats, Sansara Resort welcomes trainers and fitness lovers of all backgrounds to its location year-round. Its signature surf and yoga retreat includes five surf lessons, twice daily yoga, optional SUP, kayaking and biking and a cooking class. Plus all meals are made from local, healthy food. Don’t worry — there’s plenty of opportunity to simply unplug, too.
FOR TRAIL RUNNERS: ACTIVE AT ALTITUDE
Where: Estes Park, Colorado
When: September 7–10, 2017
Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine, clean air and breathtaking views, Estes Park is a great vacation destination no matter what — but especially if you are interested in trail running. With Active at Altitude, your coach leads daily workshops on both the physical and the mental aspect of running. You’ll also do cross-training such as pool running, rock climbing, hiking and foam rolling. Every day also has built-in R&R time.
FOR CYCLING: THE CYCLING HOUSE
Where: Glacier, Montana
When: September 6–10, 2017
The Cycling House offers tours in the U.S., Tuscany and Mallorca, yet its most popular ride is its tour of Glacier National Park. You’ll cover 30–55 miles daily and reach peaks of 4,500 feet, and also have time each day to explore park trails on foot and check out the lakes and rivers. Your Instagram photos will make all your friends envious, plus you can boast about biking over the Continental Divide.
FOR OUTDOORS LOVERS: MOUNTAIN BEACH FITNESS RETREATS
Where: Verbier, Switzerland
When: 7-night retreats, June through September 2017
The main location in Verbier, Switzerland, offers outdoor training in altitudes of about 4,900 feet and hiking up to 8,200 feet. Your trip could include one-on-one personal training, yoga, spa treatments, paragliding, hiking and cooking classes. All activities are consciously designed to complement each other, so you’re never overtraining or undertraining any parts of your body. You’ll refuel with fresh, healthy, seasonal dishes. Mountain Beach also hosts retreats in Tuscany and Portugal.
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