Very often, holidays – with their combination of sunburn and travel stress – can cause skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema and acne to flare up. But Iceland’s Blue Lagoon could prove to be the ideal destination.
The active ingredients in the natural geothermal pools at the lagoon – including sea water, minerals, algae and silica – have been scientifically shown to help improve the skin. The onsite clinic hotel (think sleek rooms set in a spectacular lava landscape) offers specialist treatment programmes, but anyone can benefit from a trip to the lagoon. Relaxing in the warm, mineral-rich waters will help clear up skin complaints and blemishes, while the spa offers massages and scrubs that take place in the water,
and leave you with a glowing complexion.
Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel costs from £161 per double room per night (with access to the lagoon). A day pass to Blue Lagoon is from £32 per person.
Whether it happens to be IBS or bloating, digestive complaints are fairly common – and can cause other issues, too, such as backache and sleep difficulties. With this in mind, Grayshott Spa in Surrey has devised a special seven-day programme aimed at restoring the digestive system to full health.
You will stay in the grounds of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s former home, eat a diet designed to take the pressure off the gut and give it time to heal, have abdominal massages and hydrobaths to encourage detoxification, as well as one-to-one consultations with a nutritional therapist and herbalist.
The seven-day Grayshott Spa Programme costs from £1,295 per person, including accommodation, consultations and treatments.
Stress is one of the biggest causes of ill health. Combat it on the Anti-Stress programme at SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. Consultations provide a personal plan targeting triggers and symptoms. As well as being given a diet and exercise plan, a meditation and stress reduction session will help get to the core of your anxiety, while yoga, tai chi and shiatsu will relax you. For the perfect de-stress, enjoy an outdoor massage with sea views.
The SHA Anti-Stress seven-day programme costs from £2,425 per person, based on two sharing for seven nights full board, flights and transfers (www.healthandfitnesstravel.com).
Firming up a flabby stomach or thighs doesn’t have to mean a week alone being shouted at by an ex-army sergeant on a bootcamp. In fact, at Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel in Portugal, you might not even realise you’re toning up all over. Set in a natural park on the south-west coast of the Algarve, this family-friendly resort makes the most of its surroundings to provide a packed activity schedule. A game of Padel tennis will strengthen arms – this heart-pumping mix of squash and tennis is easy to play, and Martinhal’s glass-sided courts overlook the coast. Borrow one of the bikes for a ride around the park or, for the ultimate tone, take to the sea for stand-up paddle boarding, which is much easier than surfing. You use an oar while standing on a big, stable-ish board, firming tummy, arms and thighs at the same time. And, if you overdo the exercise, the on-site spa specialises in easing aching muscles.
Martinhal costs from £1,965 for a one-bedroom garden house for a week in June 2013, including flights from London and transfers (www.realholidays.co.uk).
Hunching over a desk, poor posture and heavy handbags can all cause back problems. The pain is notoriously difficult to treat long term, but the Method Putkisto can help strengthen and elongate key support muscles.
A mix of pilates and yoga, it was designed by Marja Putkisto, who will take you through the exercises in person at the canyon-top Dionysos Estate in Turkey. For a couple of hours each morning and evening, Marja leads the stretches on a terrace overlooking the secluded and beautiful Bay of Kumlubük.
The method not only helps to ease aches and pains, but also aims to improve energy levels. And youll enjoy a nutritional boost from the biodynamically and locally grown food served in the restaurant the hotel is 70 per cent self-sufficient from its organic farm.
Method Putkisto breaks at the Dionysos Estate cost from £1,500 per person, including flights, seven nights half-board accommodation and all instruction (www.exclusiveescapes.co.uk).
Do you have difficulty going to sleep or wake up worrying in the early hours? Then book onto the Sleep Well & Revitalise programme at the Almyra Hotel in Cyprus. After an initial consultation, you will embark on activities and treatments that are designed to improve the quality of your sleep. Yoga sessions teach you relaxation techniques, while daily head massage, reflexology or reiki sessions ease any tension. At night, drift off to the sound of the waves outside.
The Almyra Sleep Well & Revitalise programme costs from £1,479 per person, based on two sharing for seven nights, including four days of treatments (www.wellbeingescapes.com).
If you feel like you’re going from one health niggle to the next, it could be time to recharge your immune system. The Ayush Wellness Spa in Jersey uses Ayurvedic techniques to help get to the core of your body’s problems.
The two-night Natural Detox and Immunity package includes Nasya – a special face
and head massage that combines steam inhalation with pressure point massage
to clear the sinuses and relieve headaches, while the Body Envelopment treatment uses Ayurvedic oils and herb masks combined with dry body-brushing to help stimulate the immune system and eliminate toxins.
Stay in one of the spa rooms, enjoying the views of St Helier and the coast beyond from the comfort of your balcony, and this mini-break will give you the benefits of
a week’s holiday.
The natural Detox and Immunity Boost costs from £305, including two nights’
accommodation, two treatments and lunch on one day (www.ayushspa.com).