After the many indulgences of summer, autumn provides the perfect opportunity for a healthy reset.
These active breaks in the UK and Europe put you back into the feel-good zone, both physically and mentally...
Bootcamp Insanity at Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve
The name – Insanity – perhaps says as much as you need to know about this retreat in southern Portugal, available for three-, five- or seven-night stints. Based on intense military-style training, with weight-lifting, cardio and circuit training all in the mix, it kicks off with an assessment by a personal trainer so that no matter your fitness level you’ll feel challenged. Huffing and puffing is mandatory but at least you’ll be sweating it out in a beautiful setting – on the beaches and in the pine forests of the Algarve, where weather is typically warm and sunny well into autumn.
Three nights from £675, excluding accommodation, serenity-spa.com
The Retreater UK Fitness Beach Retreat, Hampshire
There’s not a gym in sight on this varied three-day coastal workout retreat by the Dorset/Hampshire border – rather, it’s the great British outdoors that’s going to get you fit. Operating from September 22 - 24, the retreat based in Barton-on-Sea packs in coastal bike rides, stand up paddleboarding, HIIT and core training for its participants, many of which are solo travellers. Accommodation is in the comfy Cliff House, where you’ll wake up to panoramic views of the watery Solent.
Three days from £599, theretreater.com
Spartan Spirit of Adventure at Euphoria Retreat, Peloponnese
Fitness is as much about your mental MO as it is your physical. And whether you choose to come for three days, five days or seven, this fitness break in the Peloponnese is designed to make you leave feeling like a fierce Spartan warrior. The mix of inner resilience building with plenty of outdoor activity – including rock climbing, hiking, running and interval training – helps you push past your existing limits and make you feel ready for anything. The epic Greek landscapes (rolling hills, sun-baked olive groves, ancient ruins) aren’t half bad either.
Three days from £1,066, excluding accommodation, euphoriaretreat.com
The Body Camp, Mallorca
Want intense fitness sessions combined with some proper holiday-style R&R? Welcome to The Body Camp in the Balearics, where mornings are dedicated to high impact (say, biking, hiking or boxing) and afternoons are open for either slow-paced activities or chill-out time by the pool. Sleeping in a stone-walled Mallorcan manor building in Sencelles – overlooking rural greenery – and eating organic, nutrient-dense meals only contributes to your overall sense of well-being. And of course the Spanish island sun certainly helps too.
Seven days from £1,650, fandptravel.com
Forest Fix Retreat at Lime Wood, Hampshire
For Joe Wicks wannabes short on time, luxe hotel Lime Wood’s one-day retreat can give you the kick-start you need to get in the healthy habit. Running on October 10 this year, the Herb House Spa’s Forest Fix Retreat includes the likes of seasonal raw meals, HIIT, kettlebell training and a mobility and strength class. Best of all, though, is being immersed in the raw natural beauty of the ancient Hampshire forest (that, and the use of Lime Wood’s first-rate spa facilities).
One day from £325, excluding accommodation, limewoodhotel.co.uk
Atjan Wild Islands, Faroe Islands
If you’re already into outdoor running, this adventure-focused festival from September 6-10 in the remote Faroe Islands lets you take things to the next level. Hundreds of like-minded active types descend in the rugged Atlantic coast terrain for days of trail running, wild swimming, live music and general party ambiance. Base tickets include activities like hot tub soaks, pub crawl runs and adventure film nights, but you’ll need to pay extra if you want to take part in the official ‘races’, from 10km up to marthon-plus distances of 55km.
Five days from £109, atjanwildislands.com
Women’s Activity Week by Ramblers Walking Holidays, Lake District
Getting into shape can feel easier when you’ve got a supportive chorus around you, which is why Ramblers is holding its seven-night Women’s Activity Week once again from September 30 this year. Eschewing the no-pain-no-gain approach of a standard bootcamp, it instead focuses on non-competitive communal activities such as Nordic walking, kayaking, yoga and aerobics – all with the magnificent scenery of the Lake District as your backdrop.
Seven nights from £1,065, ramblersholidays.co.uk
Triathlon Camp Schloss Elmau, Bavaria
For followers of professional triathlon-ing, Ironman champion Sebastian Kienle is basically royalty. And as host of luxury resort Schloss Elmau’s dedicated triathlon retreat from October 22-27, he’ll be teaching attendees all there is to know about the three-part sport. Analyzing technique – including running posture and cycling diagnostics – forms a big part of the plan, but the real highlight is arguably the dramatic Bavarian panorama, including snow-capped peaks, squiggly forest trails and tranquil blue lakes.
Five nights from £2,108, schloss-elmau.de
ELITE Retreat at Grantley Hall, Yorkshire
Yorkshire country house Grantley Hall has one of the finest hotel gyms you’ll ever see. But it’s not just the cryotherapy chamber and underwater treadmill that will draw you to its ELITE Retreat; rather, it’s the quality of the on-site staff. A two-day package will have you consulting with personal trainers and nutritionists, sampling EMS (electric muscle simulation) to strengthen weak muscles and recovering with an ace rub-down in the Three Graces Spa. You’ll probably have burned enough calories to justify a feast in the excellent onsite Fletcher’s restaurant, too.
Two days from £630, grantleyhall.co.uk
Shaun T Retreat at Ritz-Carlton Abama, Tenerife
If you haven’t heard of American celeb personal trainer Shaun T, know that he is a Big Deal. Along with his partner Scott Blokker, he’s hosting a six-day retreat in Tenerife from December 4-9, combining the reliable Canary Island warmth with intense cardio and toning sessions as well as self-discovery workshops. The Ritz-Carlton’s rambling, palm-dotted hotel grounds alone have plenty of draw, but also expect a serious dose of unbuttoned fun via pool parties, wine tastings, fashion shows and Speedos galore.
Six days from £4,482, travelgems.com
Kurhotel Skodsborg, Copenhagen
While not strictly a retreat, this 125-year-old Danish hotel has wellness in its DNA – it was founded by Dr Carl Ottosen as a sanatorium. Today guests come for the thermal treatments and spa, but also the roster of fitness classes, of which there are more than 150 to choose from each week . Join yin yoga or TRX, aqua fitness or extreme core training, pulling together a DIY retreat itinerary that suits your interests and comfort level. Dips in the sea and mountain biking through the forested local terrain add extra appeal in early autumn.
Double rooms from £236, skodsborg.dk
Fitness & Wellbeing Retreat Weekend at Murrayshall Country Estate, Perthshire
Zip up to Scotland for this affordable break this October 28 and 29, combining the plush environs of a tartan-clad Perthshire hotel with feel-good classes devised by personal trainer group Club 300. Things kick off with an early morning 5km trail run, then progress with nutrition tutorials, movement classes, mountain biking and yoga. There will be as many recovery smoothies as you care to drink – and, if you fancy it, a wee dram in the Barossa bar as a well-earned nightcap…
Two nights from £375, murrayshall.co.uk
Pillar x Yazz Collective, Turquoise Coast
Newly opened in Turkey’s Fethiye, chic resort Yazz Collective is wasting no time in upscaling its activity programme – introducing a five-day retreat in conjunction with fitness experts Pillar this September 18-22. Led by Pillar CEO Harry Jameson, the itinerary includes cardio and breathwork, strength work and ice baths, plus no-and-low cocktail classes and a jeep safari. Because Yazz is set in a private bay, only accessible by boat, the setting of sun, lush green hillscapes and sparkling sea is as exclusive as it is invigorating.
Five days from £3,675, pillarwellbeing.com
Return to the Wilds RVIVAL x Unique Homestays, Cornwall
What’s better than an expert-led fitness retreat in South Cornwall? One that’s based out of a magnificent place to stay. Luxe self-catering holiday company Unique Homestays has partnered up with immersive outdoors experts RVIVAL to host an adventurous retreat from October 27-30 in its spectacular Gwithian beach house Senara. When you aren’t enjoying the views out to sea through big windows or eating in the airy dining room, you’ll get freediving lessons, coastal hikes with cliff abseiling, and training sessions led by a member of the SAS. Call it extremely wild luxury.
Three nights from £3,900, rvival.co.uk