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As the whole world feels within reach again and travel is becoming top of mind, book Gran Canaria for an affordable, healthy holiday to rejuvenate both mind and body. Expect clean beaches, rejuvenating massage, guaranteed sun, and delicious dining…
Whether you’re into hiking, beauty treatments or in need of the elusive massage we’re all craving, trips away seem more urgent after witnessing a global health crisis. With 236km of stunning coastline, a vast desert, giant sands dunes, and a Biosphere Reserve, Gran Canaria isn’t wanting for extraordinary natural surroundings. In fact, the country has impressive credentials with its diverse bird life and species of plants, in particular its renowned aloe vera. It’s hard to imagine anything more reinvigorating than a few days in this health-centric miniature continent.
I took full advantage of the country’s wellness programme, which promotes good health through nutrient-rich cuisine and holistic therapies such as thalassotherapy and reflexology. There are also excellent quality cosmetic and medical treatments in state-of-the-art clinics such as dental surgery, facelifts, liposuction, various vein treatments and laser hair removal (at a less expensive rate than in the UK). You may be on vacation, but there is no reason you can’t throw some pamper time in the mix, too. For the more adventurous, there is whale and dolphin watching, biking excursions, windsurfing lessons and scuba diving. At a time when mindfulness and emotional wellbeing is becoming increasingly important to counter burn out, Gran Canaria is a place where you can fully switch off and boost your physical health and inner calm.
Where to stay:
With week-long programs, a bio sauna, stone/steam bath, salt cave and an abundance of spa treatments on offer, Seaside Palm Beach resort is ideal for a whole host of rejuvenation-seeking travellers and offers full-board, half-board and B&B. The food is varied, local, seasonal and delicious, with imaginative combinations you wouldn’t find at home. I enjoyed daily spa treatments (try the bliss-inducing reflexology – the therapist was head-spinningly accurate, or the Ready For The Holidays package, €89 for 55mins, which includes a hammam ceremony and a relaxing massage with warm sesame oil and rosemary scent), and kids can sample an eclectic mix of activities, too. It doesn’t hurt that it sits on white sandy beaches, either, so if you’d rather hang back and catch up on your book, that is ok, too.
Up in the clean, clear air of the mountains, you can embrace life with day-long hikes and sunrise yoga classes. Everything at the Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity is targeted towards achieving optimal health. The on-site head chef develops locally sourced, nutrient-rich meals – the fresh grilled fish was one of my favourites – and rest assured the cocktails flow freely. If you want to take advantage of the views, I suggest a hike up the mountains or taking a swing at the on-site driving range. The resort’s Aloe Spa has plenty of ways to shed the stress with the oxygen therapy cabin (with 99.99% pure air – free of bacteria, mites, viruses), the Andullation therapy massage bed and the Aloe Experience. This experience includes 90 minutes of aloe vera face massage, an aloe ritual and aloe drink for €139.
The Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa and its nook-and-cranny caves are the canvases for unique rock art sites, some as old as 10,000 years, allowing you to get your fix of nature and history on holiday. A luxury resort and an authentic Spanish atmosphere in a quiet environment, the beautiful gardens surround the pool with over 450 different species of plants, and Puerto de Mogán, the area of the island where Cordial Mogán Playa is situated, is equally as bountiful with flowers climbing each building. The Inagua Spa is stunning too. Book a personalised massage at the end of a day lounging in the rose gardens. For the most rejuvenating treatment go for the Volcanic Lava Body Exfoliation which helps to remove impurities and dead cells. A soft body peel with the strengths of the nature of the island.
The Gloria Palace San Agustin Thalasso & Hotel is home to one of the largest thalassotherapy centres in Europe, dedicated to health with seawater, with 29 hydro massage points of varying temperatures of seawater, to ensure maximum opportunities for rejuvenation. Compound that with the hotel’s medical spa (how many holiday retreats offer aesthetic dentistry and dermatology services?), a nutrition programme and spectacular views of the sea and you’re on the fast-track to wellness. I guarantee you’ll leave feeling a million bucks.
Here’s the lowdown on all health and travel advice:
Travellers need to be fully vaccinated to travel to avoid quarantine on arrival
All travellers must download ‘Radar Covid’ mobile app to keep up to date on Covid during their stay
Online check in available prior to arrival
Enhanced cleaning cycles in all areas
Socially distant around all hotel areas
To book a break in Gran Canaria go to www.grancanariawellness.com
For details of Gran Canaria’s nautical activities visit www.grancanariablue.com