Would you like to learn a new skill or technique or practice one you already love?
These things are what we call Healthy Retreats. These are places and services where you can combine many things into a short getaway: even a half day can be considered a Healthy Retreat. These places range from completely chilled out to hardcore training. They promote health, sport, spirituality and much more…
These Retreats offer you the best opportunities to enrich your life through education, physical and mental exercise, relaxation and... FUN! Here are a few to check out:
Spas, Sauna’s and Turkish Baths
In the modern era, there are so many poisons and pollutions in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe that our bodies often need to find a way to expel them. One of the most natural methods of passing these negative things from the body requires heat, moisture and SWEAT!
Are you feeling a bit down? You may consider a detox session. It can help to let it all sweat out. But you can also get your spirituality in order. There are several sorts. Do you want complete relaxation in an All-Inclusive place? The idea behind these is to take all of the major decisions out of your hands so that total relaxation is possible. You are pampered. These places range from basic herbal baths to private bungalows and 5-star resorts.
There is an option for every budget and time allotment. If you are after a quick hour break between your busy workday and your social life, go for a sauna or a Turkish bath. You can choose from a simple individual steam sauna with hot stones or a more social setting like a public bathhouse or sauna. Some offer steam treatments, massages and aromatherapies, for “head to toe” attention.
In Amsterdam, there are many chances to get your clothes off! Some of the saunas are for men only, some for women only and some for both. Some saunas are known more for their sexual nature. There are many homosexual spas among these. It is good to make sure you ask in advance to know what you are getting into long before you go “au naturel”!
Spas have a positive effect on your circulation, your blood pressure and your skin. They give you time to collect your thoughts and relax after a tough day. The ritual is part of the experience; there is the purification aspect that promotes a sense of well being. After a proper spa session, you should feel cleaner, peaceful, healthier and if you’re lucky, more sexually active!
These consist of yoga, meditation, tai chi, enlightenment and spiritual cleansing trips. For many people, this may sound a bit lame but it is well worth it to give it a try; particularly if you are feeling stressed or a bit “under the weather”. It can be great to have a weekend away to get yourself together. These types of retreats are good for identifying and relieving everyday complaints that normally revolve around aches, pains and daily irritations. These are things that can be controlled and managed. In short, these types of getaways are essential for progressive people to learn more and grow into the people they want to be… next year, in place of a trip to your local beach place, think about a yoga/mediation retreat.
For some, the most important thing in their lives is family. Sadly, in this modern age of “time is money” we seem to lose time to spend with those who are most important in our lives. A bit of time away at a spa, training camp, or even a fun-park can be a great way to strengthen or re-ignite a passion for your loved ones. One of the most important aspects of the family park is that you can visit many of these without having to “commit” to a long term vacation. You will find a few of our fav’s in our index.
Have you ever considered mountain climbing, river rafting, caving, skydiving, or something that will scare the [email protected]!+ out of you? There are plenty of choices out there.
Physical Training & Bootcamps
For those who lack discipline, WATCH OUT! Do you wish to return to your previous physical condition, or are you interested in losing some of those last tough kilos? Do you need to get fit in a short amount of time, or are you simply slack, and in need of some good ol’ fashioned ass kicking? A bootcamp may be just thing you need.
Weight Loss & Diet Camps
There are many camps that are designed to help people change their eating patterns and exercise habits. It can be of great assistance to be away from your usual routine; being offered new alternatives in a relaxing or exciting environment can help establish new patterns or habits through association.
Sport & Riding Camp
These can range from tennis camps to horseback riding camps, offering kids and adults (in some cases) a chance to practise their favourite sport in a social environment, usually in an appropriate setting.
Biking, Hiking & Walking Tours
For some people, organising a “road trip” is preferred. It allows you to get out and have a great time on the road while you are getting some serious exercise. There are all sorts of options, ranging from a one day biking route along the Ijsselmeer to a 14 day hiking trip through the Swiss Alps.
Wind & Water Sports, Scuba Camps, Water Tours & Fishing
If overland trekking doesn’t appeal to you, there are bunch of things to do on the water. After all, you are in the Netherlands! If you’ve got an afternoon with a few free hours you can pop over to Zandvoort to learn to surf, windsurf or even kitesurf! How about a 15 minute ride out to the south of the city for some relaxing kayaking amongst the beautiful trees and flowers of the often overlooked Amsterdamse Bos? For water action further away, you can consider a weekend sailing trip in the Ijsselmeer or a week long Mediterranean fishing or diving expedition. The choices seem as wide as the Atlantic Ocean!
For the less sporty there are camps and retreats for people who like to learn new skills or educate themselves. Usually these types of camps feature great equipment, like computers or cool programs. It makes it easy to learn when you get to use the latest toys.
Snow, Ice & more
A trip to the nearest ski hills isn’t out of the question when you live in the Low Countries. There are many cheap deals (via train, plane or your own car) to be found for downhill and cross-country skiing. Usually spa treatments are available in most mountain resorts. If you are not into skiing, there are some cool cruises to Scandinavia, Iceland and even the Arctic Circle on offer. These things take a bit of planning and are not cheap of course, so make sure you do your research thoroughly before plunking down your dough.
Special Skills Retreats
Besides the more mainstream things we have listed there are some different types of trips on offer as well. There are rock climbing and abseiling camps as well as canyoning/canyoneering weekends on offer as close as Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
Special Needs Camps
Not everyone has the same challenges in life. We are all unique, with our own individual needs. The average facilities are not always adequate for people with differing physical and mental attributes. Camps that specialise in catering to all types of people can be very hard to find if you don’t know where to look. But there are all sorts of offers out there from special supervised sailing trips for people with learning problems/disabilities to tai chi retreats for 65-plussers and water-training rehabilitation weekends for those recovering from traumatic accidents accidents, injuries, diseases or chronic illness..
Music, Dance & Art Retreats
With ballroom dancing cruises in the North Sea, tango weekends in Belgium and even break dancing camps in Germany, there are heaps of choices for those interested in the performing arts.
Eco Tours, Farms [Boerderijen] & Vineyards
These days, it seems that everyone is going green. This trend carries over to some Healthy Retreats too. You can spend a weekend at a local farm where you can learn to milk some cows, make some cheese and learn about sustainable bio-organic farming.
If you like cooking (or more likely eating), then you will want to consider some of the culinary courses on offer in and around the city of Amsterdam. There are some great services that can teach you how to make some lovely meals using sustainable and bio-organic products and cooking methods.
Detox, Drug & Alcohol Rehab
There are all sorts of issues that can come up in a lifetime. Addictions can come in every form and they can strike at any time of life. For people that get into trouble with substance abuse, it can be very helpful to get away from the normal routines and focus your energy on getting better and detoxifying your system. Amsterdam offers many programs for people suffering from dependency. In some cases the treatments are fully covered by health insurance plans. Check out the Jellinek Clinic for a full list of options for getting some help. www.jellinek.nl
Plastic Surgery Safari’s
One interesting trend we have seen lately is for people to go for some serious cosmetic work and spend the recovery time on a “luxury safari” in South Africa. This allows for people to heal in privacy so that their friends and neighbours don’t know they had the work done! Most of the reports indicate that the facilities are great, the doctors are well trained and the views… what more could you want? Just make sure you do your research, and find a reputable retreat. For those of you who are afraid of wild animals, no worries; post surgery, you are more likely to scare the hell out of a baboon than vice-versa!