Not everyone dreams of taking a long trip that focuses on fitness. In fact, these types of trips are exceedingly rare—even for the athletically inclined. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, many people feel the need to stretch their legs and get moving even while relaxing on vacation searching for fitness and wellness at one of the top retreats..

Holidays can throw off those who rely on exercise for wellness. Missing out on a morning jog or afternoon weightlifting can throw some people for a loop—especially when combined with jetlag, a new diet, and other environmental changes. But what if we told you that there are plenty of vacations that come with a bit of fitness planned into the itinerary? 

Over the last decade, retreats have become incredibly popular for travelers. Unlike old-school retreats, these aren’t focused on business or marketing. Instead, they are focused on unique and sometimes niche interests, then built out to include balanced schedules—with fitness included.

Let’s take a look at some of the more imaginative retreats available, all of which include sporty day trips and other fitness experiences.

Poker Retreats: Combining Fitness and Strategy

Poker and fitness don’t have much in common—at least, not on the outside looking in. In reality, poker players need to exercise, eat right, and rest well if they want to compete with the pros. There are plenty of fun ways to do this—and we’re recommending poker adventure. 

One great example is the PCA/PSPC Bahamas Caribbean Adventure retreat. This trip includes plenty in the way of poker action, along with tons of sporty activities, from swimming with pigs to riding ATVs. This allows players to balance skill development with self-improvement, which involves getting into the outdoors and back in touch with nature.

Silent Retreats: Turning Inward & Tuning In

For those who aren’t familiar with Texas Hold’em poker, you might want a more general focus when it comes to your retreat. If you’ve been craving a bit of downtime, especially if it involves getting away from screens, then consider a silent retreat.

These are quite popular and have been around for a while. Because of their popularity, you’ll be able to find a silent retreat that focuses on whatever you’re interested in. Some concentrate on nature, such as Sardinia’s ’16 Strong Women’ adventure, allowing you to escape the urban hustle and focus on mental and physical wellness. Others, like Nepal’s ‘7 Day Beyond Smile’ retreats, focus on yoga, whilst also including cultural and medicinal courses.

Fashion Retreats: Transforming Perceptions of Beauty

Similar to poker, not many people would imagine that fashion-forward retreats exist. However, these are starting to pop up as influencer and content culture becomes more prominent. In other words, young professionals focused on fashion are seeking to uncover the inner workings of style. 

Programs like ‘The Brand Clinich Package’ from Agency De La Mode focus on how to build a brand. This involves a lot of self-reflection and pairing personal views with the latest trends. Others, such as Deni Kiro’s ‘Dress to Success Fashion Retreat’, are more focused on style as a transformational approach to life. Both options use fitness-based outings, including hikes and swimming, to help practitioners get into deeper contact with themselves.

Adventure Retreats: Learning to Play with Fire (& Other Elements)

Lastly, let’s focus on one of the most exciting adventures you can take: an adventure retreat. Just like fashion retreats, these are becoming more popular. However, the emphasis at adventure retreats is on learning a new skill while stepping out of your comfort zone. Similar to poker retreats, these balance skills acquisition with fun.

So, what types of adventure retreats are out there? For now, there’s a focus on outdoor adventuring and unique hobbies, with great variance in terms of pricing. ‘Equitours’, for example, is a private company that offers multi-day adventures on horseback.  Another unique retreat is ‘Ignite Your Inner Flame’ in Costa Rica, which teaches members how to dance and otherwise work with fire. A similar adventure in Morocco instead focuses on belly dancing for women. Lastly, there are also plenty of hybrid adventure retreats, like Patagonia’s ‘Heli Boat Trip’, combining elements of helicopter travel and boating.