Getting fit is the number one New Year’s resolution, but the grinding boredom of the gym can make it hard to stick to. If your resolve is faltering by now, a few months into the year, skip the sweaty studio classes and the treadmill torture and book a holiday with health benefits instead.
Go Hiking on Santorini
Santorini is probably the most beautiful of all the gorgeous Greek islands, and the hiking path between Fira and Oia is just view after view after view. From looking out over the caldera to the island’s famous volcanic peak to the moment you see the jumble of white houses that is picturesque Oia, the two-hour hike can take much longer due to endless photo stops along the way.
Where to stay: There are plenty of whitewashed traditional-style Santorini hotels to choose from. Dana Villas Hotel & Suites in Fira boasts volcano views, while Residence Suites in Oia give you fantastic cliffside views that will inspire you to get out there and get active.
Try Beach Yoga in Ibiza
The most free-spirited of the Balearic Islands and yoga make perfect partners – and what could be better than alfresco stretching by the sea? Amante Beach Club in Cala Llonga and Aiyanna in Cala Nova offer early morning beach yoga sessions on the sands, followed by a healthy buffet breakfast, for a perfect start to any day.
Climb Mount Teide on Tenerife
Being able to say that you’ve climbed a volcano will earn you points for fitness and fearlessness, although it’s best to choose one that’s lying dormant! You can trek up Tenerife’s mighty Mount Teide all year-round, with trails of different lengths taking you to different altitudes. But if it’s summit or bust for you, then you can reach the top in around five to seven hours for a real workout that rewards you with spectacular views.
Where to stay: For a change from the typical beach break, you could try a Tenerife hotel in the Teide National Park. Parador de las Canadas del Teide sits in a secluded location just three miles from the Teide cable car. Check out more of Spain’s unique historic parador hotels on Expedia’s Hotel Edit.
Conquer the Canopy in Portugal
There aren’t too many hidden gems left in Portugal’s tourist zone around Albufeira, but the Parque Aventura high ropes complex is definitely one. Set in thick forest just minutes from Santa Eulália beach, this attraction has five treetop courses across three ability levels – Curious, Adventurous and Fearless. To complete all five will give you a good half-day full-body workout – and you could conquer any fear of heights while you’re there.
Where to stay: Lively Albufeira is about an hour’s walk away – Belver Boa Vista sits in the centre of the charming cobbled Old Town. Or if you’d prefer to stay in a quieter Santa Eulália, the Grande Real Resort is right by the beach.
Run in Rio
Brazil’s buzzing beachfront tourist hub is a cool choice for runners – although not literally, so early morning or evening runs are advised. You can join the locals in a jog along the promenade that stretches across Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, covering around 10 miles. Or, for jaw-dropping views of majestic Sugarloaf Mountain, run the beachfront path at Botafogo.
Where to stay: Copacabana Beach is a popular Rio de Janeiro hotel base with plenty of places to stay. The JW Marriott gives you beachside luxury, while the Américas Hotel is set slightly back and a budget alternative.
Lagoon-swim in Turkey
If you want to give wild swimming a go but find the movement of open water a struggle, a lagoon offers a dream alternative. At the beautiful Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz, Turkey, you get calm, bright-blue waters surrounded by lush greenery and overlooked by Babadag Mountain – a backdrop that no hotel pool can compete with. If you’re lucky you might even find yourself swimming alongside the local sea turtles.
Where to stay: The rooms at the simple and traditional Lagoon Boutique Hotel may be modest, but the hotel’s position on the lagoon is anything but!
Where is your favourite place to have an active holiday?