Urubamba Valley sacred valley view landscape

These wellness destinations are keeping our Travel Experts’ imaginations healthy

Celebrating a different kind of self-isolation.

During a time of containment and isolation, we’ve all become (somehow more) addicted to our devices – for good or ill. But with the world opening up, the time has come not only to escape our homes but also the noise of the online world. That’s why we quizzed our Travel Experts on the wellness destinations and experiences that they can’t wait to escape to once this difficult time is over – from a remote Dark Sky Reserve in Namibia to a shamanic blessing in Peru’s Sacred Valley.

sauternes vineyard scenery near Bordeaux

Eating, cycling and vinothérapie in the countryside of Bordeaux

Do you believe that indulgence can lead to a healthier wellbeing? So does our travel expert, Carolyn, who is headed off to France this year to embrace the ‘French Paradox’. Here you’ll be the master of your schedule as you choose what you wish to do during your pursuit of purity.

After a croissant – or two – indulge in a wine-infused facial at the vinothérapie spa nestled within the spellbinding Les Sources de Caudalie. Cook world-famous cuisine in a class led by the hotel’s two-time Michelin star winning chef or simply ride a bike – or a horse-drawn carriage if that’s what you prefer – through the blossoming vineyards.

If you’d rather destress by exploring the region’s history, then we’ll take you on a guided tour of the charming village of Saint Émilion – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – to see the catacombs, Roman ruins and its fascinating 12th-century underground church. What a wonderful way to spend your day.

Must-do experience: Enjoy a Bordeaux tasting session in the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint Émilion.

Where to stay: Test the ‘French Paradox’ yourself by staying at the glorious Les Sources de Caudalie.

Namibia's landscapes

A Namibian stargazing detox in the world’s oldest desert

Sadly, 80% of the world’s population is living under light-polluted skies. But if you let us, we’ll take you away to a place where you can spend your evenings gazing at the stars in our galaxy without any flashing lights distracting your vision. Known for being one of the world’s best Dark Sky Reserves, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of two with a gold standard rating. Indulge in a great sense of peace as you watch the sky come to life at night, stargazing until you drift into a restful sleep.

Our travel expert – Tessa – swears by the authentic connection that is created when you visit this South African country. From April to October, when the temperatures are perfect and the chances of rain are low, embrace the contrasting landscapes of Namibia as you venture along the 80 million-year-old desert and allow your worries to slide away as you watch the sunset descend behind the world’s highest dunes.

Must-do experience: A low-level flight over the Eduard Bohlen Shipwreck for the ultimate birds-eye-view.

Where to stay: Nestled in the arid Namib desert, relax and disconnect at the secluded Little Kulala. 

Pisac Sacred Valley landscape

Visit Peru’s Sacred Valley and receive a purifying shamanic blessing

For those who seek deeper healing, the Sacred Valley is the place to go. This spectacular Peruvian haven is ideal from April to September if you’re searching to escape all forms of pollution whilst gaining a more intimate connection with nature. During your bespoke wellness getaway to Peru, we’ll introduce you to a local shaman who will teach you about the Andean cosmological view that respects and gives thanks to the Earth, recognising it as the source of all life and prosperity. This ancestral ritual is bound to connect you to the natural elements that surround you, leaving you rejuvenated and purified.

Trust us as we send you on an insightful trip with one of our local guides, Piero, to discover rural communities and natural wonders – the weavers of Willoc and the impressive famed ruins of Ollantaytambo and Huayna Picchu – as well as offering you the chance to browse through the must-see markets of Pisac and Chinchero. A truly memorable journey that will be rejuvenating from the moment you leave your home, as you abandon the saturation of technology and noise behind, and focus instead on the beauty of these natural Peruvian wonders.

Must-do experience: We’ll take you to the hidden gem of Huchuy Qosqo, where you’ll receive a purifying Shamanic blessing.

Where to stay: Unwind your mind, body and soul at Sol y Luna, a charmingly authentic and sustainable Andean hideaway.

Agafay Desert

Take part in purifying tea ceremonies and Hammam rituals in Morocco

Considering that wellness is deeply embedded in the Moroccan culture, our travel expert – Becky – promises a getaway that will truly set you on a pursuit of purity. With ideal temperatures from March to June and September to November, Morocco is home to an extensively rich culture, and visiting will open you up to a variety of bountiful sensory experiences worth enjoying. Just say the word and we’ll arrange for you to take part in complex mint tea ceremonies and Hammam rituals. Prepare yourself for a truly purifying experience by taking a look at the eye-opening journey Becky had here.

If you’re searching for true isolation, then we’ll take you to the moon-like expanse of the Agafay Desert. Once you’ve settled down at your rustic (albeit luxurious) camp of Terre des Etoiles by camelback, you’ll set off to the top of a dune to witness the magic of the sun kissing the desert as it begins to hide away for the evening. Forget about your worries as you roam across the dunes, discovering oases and looking out to the Moroccan landscape. Perfect for disconnecting, logging off and being immersed.

Must-do experience: Enjoy breakfast on a hot air balloon as you watch the sunrise over the Agafay Desert.

Where to stay: Recharge in your luxury tent at the sustainable Terre des Etoiles, Agafay Desert’s very own oasis.

Taktsang Monastery tigers nest temple location cliff

Visit Buddhist monasteries and practice meditation in Bhutan and India

Both highly spiritual locations, it won’t take you long to find your zen here. Sometimes it’s essential to get away from the constant hustle and bustle of modern life and breathe. We can help you do that and much more by taking you to reinvigorate in the Indian Subcontinent. The noise of the city will be replaced by the tune of monks chanting, and then we’ll fly you to India – the home of yoga, ancient wonders and religious offerings.

Visiting anytime from February to May and September to November, you’ll be able to destress and hit the reset. In Bhutan, you can start your mornings by attending our tailor-made yoga rituals and meditation sessions led by a personal yoga instructor. Slide into a downward-facing dog in the shadow of the Himalayan mountain range before meditating under the clear, starry night skies or in the caves of Guru Rinpoches – monks will go into meditation here for three-year periods. Can you compete?

After you begin your peaceful journey in Bhutan, we’ll send you to Rishikesh. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills near Dehradun, you’ll be able to take part in the traditional Aarti ceremony on the Ganges. This Hindu ceremony of light is a fascinating practice that descended from the Vedic concept of fire rituals, offering a unique insight into the oldest cultural nuances of Hinduism. Trust us, you’ll feel so purified once the ceremony is over that you’ll wish to extend your trip.

Must-do experience: Let our guide, Dorji, take you to the Tiger’s Nest, a highly unique Buddhist holy site.

Where to stay: Start your stay at the peaceful Six Senses Bhutan and end your pursuit of purity at The Ananda.

Ready to plan your adventure?

We thought so. From learning about ‘La Pura Vida’ in Costa Rica to witnessing rare and natural wonders in New Zealand, we can plan the perfect getaway. Keep scrolling for inspiration on where to go or check out our trip finder to start planning your incredible getaway.

TAKE ME THERE

Experience ‘La Pura Vida’ as you meet indigenous people in Costa Rica

Well known for its ability to offer ‘La Pura Vida’ (the good life) – locals use this saying to express a healthy lifestyle, from eating wisely to embracing nature – Costa Rica is the perfect wellness destination. From white beaches and luscious rainforests to secluded lodges and world-class spas, this Central American haven ticks all the boxes. No wonder it’s considered as one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the world.

Whether you’re on the search for thrilling outdoor activities or to rejuvenate fully as you surrender yourself to the country’s wild and untamed landscapes, Costa Rica will offer you the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature. Switch your technology and social media for hikes in the jungle, plunge down the rapids of the famed Pacuare River and zipline past the majestic Arenal Volcano, or meet locals to learn the deeper meaning of ‘La Pura Vida’ for an amazing sense of purification.

For a truly peaceful experience, we’ve tapped to one of our travel experts – Tom – who recommends “watching on in silence in the dark as the Pacific Green Turtles come to nest on the beaches of the Gulf of Papagayo”. Ok, fine. You had us at “watching.”

Must-do experience: Cruise down the river in a private tour and spot the exotic wildlife of Costa Rica.

Where to stay: Immerse into the tropical Costa Rican rainforest as you stay at the eco-friendly Pacuare Lodge.

Alentejo Marvao Castle sunset

Stargaze beneath some of the world’s clearest skies in Alqueva, Portugal

Perfectly nestled between the warm tides of the Atlantic and the sierras of Spain, Portugal has never been short of hidden gems. The beautifully unspoilt Alentejo region has always piqued our curiosity and with history and natural beauty overflowing, it becomes an ideal wellness destination for those wanting to escape the crowds and truly rejuvenate.

Perfect between May and October, let us take you to this slower side of Portugal to truly relax and experience a calmer world from the one you’re typically used to. Prepare to catch a glimpse of Portugal’s authentic side, as you cross the rolling landscapes, horse ride and cycle across vineyards and trek in the evenings – a wondrous experience as the area of Alqueva is well-known for also being a Dark Sky Reserve, offering some of the best stargazing in the world. With us, you’ll be able to experience a new angle to this Portuguese region. Something real and untapped.

Must-do experience: Visit in autumn and participate in the harvest at São Lourenço before enjoying wine tastings.

Where to stay: Take a stroll at São Lourenço, a 200-year-old hacienda surrounded by a spectacular countryside.

Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

Swim with the world’s smallest dolphin and gaze at the rare Aurora Australis in New Zealand

Abandon the online world – even if it’s just temporary – by travelling halfway around the world to enjoy the jaw-dropping landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. Home to some of the world’s greatest lakes, glaciers and mountain ranges, New Zealand offers a new level of rejuvenation to those desperately seeking outdoor adventures. The ideal temperatures and climates are between November and April, and if you’re hoping to breathe fresher air and gaze at clearer skies, then this is the perfect wellness trip for you.

From exploring the crater of an extinct volcano to swimming with the Hector’s Dolphin – the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin – a visit to the South Island will certainly reconnect you with mother nature and rejuvenate your mind so that a fresh batch of creativity can flow. If you’d wish to enjoy a much more isolated experience to truly enhance your freedom, then perhaps our Get Lost experience would be well suited for you?

Must-do experience: Visit the Dark Sky Reserve of Lake Tekapo and witness the rare beauty of the Aurora Australis.

Where to stay: Find yourself on the water’s edge of one of the world’s best fly-fishing destinations at the Lindis.