A New Kind of Fitness Retreat for New Year’s Fitness Goals


Many people make resolutions to exercise more and follow a healthy diet at the beginning of a new year, but sticking to those goals is easier said than done.

This year, however, several new fitness-focused retreats in photogenic destinations could help give travelers the motivation they need for lasting success. Deprivation isn’t the point of these getaways: instead of calorie-restricted diets and hours of punishing workouts, these options emphasize balance, a sense of place and most importantly, pleasure. In fact, at most, imbibing isn’t off-limits — it is even encouraged.

ToneEscapes, for one, is a new company offering five small group retreats throughout the year in locales like Marbella, Spain; Santorini, Greece; and Saint Lucia. Mantas Zvinas, the company’s founder and a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor in New York City, said that the trips are meant to be the opposite of a boot camp. “I want to teach people a sustainable lifestyle where you workout moderately and absolutely enjoy a glass or two of wine and reasonable portions of sweets,” he said.

Like all ToneEscapes retreats, the one in Marbella, from March 23 to 29, will have morning workouts that incorporate the surrounding environment, like bike rides along the Andalucia Coast and hikes through the Sierra de las Nieves mountains. Afternoons include visits to historic villages and meeting local olive oil and wine producers. Meals will emphasize the abundance of seafood and produce in the area, and local wine will be served at lunch and dinner. Prices start at $3,900 a person, inclusive of accommodations, meals, workouts, excursions, activities, local transportation and one spa treatment. Book online at tone-escapes.com.

AKT Retreats, for women only, is another choice. Anna Kaiser, a certified personal trainer and the owner of the New York City workout studios AKT, created four 2018 trips with the purpose of teaching participants how to develop lifelong healthy habits in a fun setting. One retreat, in Nicaragua from May 6 to 11, for example, will have a schedule of morning workouts that includes interval classes, volcano hikes and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. Afternoons feature cooking classes on Nicaraguan cuisine and sightseeing tours. Meals will highlight local ingredients. Prices start at $3,200 a person, inclusive of accommodations, meals, workouts, excursions, local transportation and one spa treatment. Book online at aktmotion.com.

WearActive will lead weeklong fitness retreats in the Austrian Alps all year. Guests stay in a private home and can design their own schedule. The included activity options include skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe hiking in winter, mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing in summer and yoga during both seasons. An in-house chef prepares all meals. Prices start at 880 euros (about $1,070) a person, inclusive of accommodations, most meals, activities and transfers. Book by emailing austria@wearactive.com.

38 Degrees North will host three-night active getaways throughout the year in Ibiza and Marbella. Workouts include beach runs, hikes and sunset yoga classes while group sessions with a nutritionist are also part of the itinerary. Prices start at 1,300 euros (about $1,580) a person, inclusive of accommodations, most meals, workouts and some activities. Book online at thirtyeightdegreesnorth.com.

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