New year travel ideas
Get some travel inspiration for 2013
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So the whirlwind of Christmas is behind us at last, but all that celebrating has come at a price, and no doubt youre in need of a well-deserved break. So why not escape the winter blues and indulge in a relaxing holiday this winter? Places like Thailand, India and Europe offer some of the best retreats in the world, and if detoxing after all that chocolate and mulled wine sounds like your thing, then read on...
Start as you mean to go on
Whats the point going on a relaxing holiday if the lead-up involves rushing around getting the last of your packing done, and being stuck in miles of traffic on the way to the airport as your departure time looms ecloser? With plenty of hotels near Heathrow airport and other airports across the country, it really is wise to travel there the day before, especially if your flight is at an inconvenient time. Booking into one of the cheap cheap hotels from Travelodge will really make life easier.
Where to go: our recommendations
Once used as a spiritual retreat for Buddhist monks, the island of Koh Sumai, with its lush green forests, sacred caves, sandy beaches and clear, blue water has been a place of quiet rejuvenation for centuries. Wellness Programmes offered by companies like Kamalaya include yoga, optimum fitness, detox, stress and burnout and weight loss.
With a sister sanctuary in Somerset, the Sanctuary, situated on the island of Koh Phangan, is a remote, rustic resort of sandy roads, abundant jungle and thatched roofed, wooden bungalows. Detox packages, weight-loss programs and School of Life workshops are on offer, as well as a world famous vegetarian and seafood restaurant.
One of the best ways to relax and detox is by doing yoga. As an integral part of the Hindu culture, practiced in India for centuries as a way of freeing the mind, body and spirit, where better to go for a yoga holiday? With everything from in-depth courses to flexible drop-in classes there are many yoga centers in India, including the Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger and the Yoga Institute in Mumbai.
If you fancy somewhere a little closer to home, why not try special wine treatments, skin therapies and bath treatments at Les Sources De Caudalie in France, the award-winning detox spa at the Complete Retreat in Spain or Portugals Longevity Resort which tackles lifestyle problems that lead to premature aging?