For many of us, holidays are all about letting your hair down and indulging in all the good things in life; food, drink, sun and, of course, plenty of relaxation. But equally, many of us who have a regular fitness routine at home know all too well how difficult it can be to get back into it post-holiday. So for some, the idea of maintaining your fitness on holiday whilst still enjoying all the good stuff is actually quite appealing. I find there’s something quite therapeutic about exercising abroad; maybe a beachfront run or a long morning walk around the local area before the sun gets too hot. Here’s my pick of some of the best places for you to keep fit on holiday.
This Portuguese island is nothing short of heaven for all the adventurers and explorers among you. Your days will be filled with hiking, trekking, cycling and climbing; whichever way you see fit to experience the stunning landscapes and national parks that Madeira is so famous for. And a holiday here wouldn’t be complete without heading to the capital, Funchal, and taking a ride on a wicker toboggan, pushed by a team of Carreiros de Monte.
2) Cape Verde
The great thing about Cape Verde is that it can please pretty much everyone. If you’re all about action and adventure, but your other half just wants to relax and soak up the sun, well that’s just fine. Cape Verde is home to stunning, sandy beaches; perfect for enjoying the year-round sunshine. But it also has a welcome sea breeze, making it the ideal spot to try all kinds of water sports; there are plenty available for you to master throughout your holiday. Alternatively, you can stay on dry land and head out on a desert buggy experience. That’s one for the core!
There are loads of great ways to keep fit in Turkey; from water sports to golf. But perhaps something that people don’t realise is just how perfect Turkey is for the avid walkers, runners and cyclists among you. The popular resort of Marmaris is home to some incredible trails that run around the centre and up into the surrounding trees and mountains. Find the simple maps at the beginning of the trails or book yourself onto an organised trek. For the more experienced among you, the famous Lycian Way that runs between Fethiye and Antalya is well worth your time to explore.
Pardon my ignorance, but you may, like me, be surprised to hear that Majorca is such a popular hotspot for cycling. People flock here in their thousands to hop on the saddle and explore this beautiful Balearic Island on two wheels. Serious athletes love hitting the open roads here, whether just for cycling or for big events such as triathlons. But you don’t have to be a competitive sportsman to enjoy cycling in Majorca; it’s something the whole family can experience too. Alcudia is great for hiring bikes and heading out on your own adventure. You and the kids will love the gentle ride from the resort to the S’Albufera Nature Reserve at Playa De Muro.
5) The Red Sea
Aside from its fascinating history, luxurious hotels and glorious, year-round sunshine, there’s something else that the Red Sea Riviera is famous for; scuba diving. Whether you’re a novice or a well-practised diver, there’s nowhere else in the world that has such incredible diving opportunities than the breathtaking Red Sea. Delve into another world, alive with bright colours and exotic marine life. People travel from all over to spend time beneath the waters here, so you’re bound to love it as well. And if you’re not one for diving, the snorkelling is just as good too. One thing’s for sure, you’ll certainly have earned that second plate at the All Inclusive dinner buffet.
Holiday fitness doesn’t all have to about strenuous, adrenaline-fuelled activities. Instead, it can often be about relaxation and rejuvenation; something healthy for both your body and soul. In which case, yoga could be just the thing you’re looking for and Bali could be just the place to give it a go. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you want to try it for the first time, there’s no better place to experience yoga than in the peaceful surroundings of Bali’s rice paddies, listening to the charming sounds of traditional Indonesian music. The resort of Ubud offers plenty of yoga programmes, for beginners, right through to experts, and is the setting for the famous book and film, ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ All together now, ‘hommm.’
A breathtaking destination, boasting a stunning coastline and hundreds of beautiful islands; it’s no wonder that sailing is so popular in Croatia. If it’s something that you’re into, then Croatia is an absolute must when it comes to picking the holiday destination that’s right for you. Head out there and charter your own boat around islands such as Brac and Hvar for an experience you’ll never forget. Time your visit right with one of the many boating events that take place throughout the year, or with the Ultra Europe Festival, if you have a love for both music and sailing.
Anyone with a craving for adrenaline-pumping thrills should definitely consider Mexico for an activity-filled holiday. There are so many incredible and unique experiences to be had here; it’s hard to know where to start. Diving in the warm waters of the mesmerising underground cenotes is an absolute must, and will give you a buzz you’ve never felt before. Or take a day to discover the ancient ruins of Tulum and Jungle Maya. Hop in a jeep to explore the tropical rainforest and then whizz through the treetops on the jungle zip line.
9) The Algarve
Anyone with a passion for golf will know that Portugal’s Algarve coast is the place to head to fulfil all your golfing holiday dreams. To you, there’s nothing better than waking up early for a leisurely round of golf as the day’s breaking. But add to that beautiful weather, stunning views and championship golf courses, and you know you’re in for an unforgettable holiday. Vilamoura is a great place to base yourself for your getaway, as it’s got plenty of greens within easy reach, but it’s a beautiful resort in itself, too. You’ll love its upmarket vibe and its picturesque, bustling marina.
10) Our hotels
Not a destination, as such, but if you stay in one of our Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts, they make every effort to help take care of your health and wellbeing while on holiday, as well as making sure you’re always having fun. You’ll find that many of our hotels have their own fitness programmes where you can take part in daily group exercise classes; great for both keeping fit and meeting new people. Then, of course, post-exercise you need to take care of your aching body; so why not check if your hotel has an on-site spa and indulge in a luxurious massage or treatment? Go on, you’re on holiday.