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Body and soul

Body and soul travel guide

Make health, wellness and spa treatments part of your travel experience and return from your holidays feeling refreshed and invigorated

Travel is the perfect way to rejuvenate your tired body or sagging soul. And there are many traditional and terrific ways to give your being a boost worldwide.

Spas are often faceless and expensive – but in some countries they are authentic, incredible and extremely cheap. For example, if you’re heading to the Middle East don’t miss a visit to a hammam. These great public bathhouses – found across Morocco, Turkey, Syria and beyond – will allow you to steam with the masses and gain a real insight into local culture.

Many European cities have historical wellness centres too – try the coastal resorts of Estonia, the Art Deco glamour of Budapest’s baths or the saunas of Arctic Sweden (a post-steaming roll in the snow is optional but recommended).

In Asia your spiritual well-being is well catered for. Stay at an Indian ashram for complete removal from the modern world, plus healing meditation and a fascinating cultural immersion. Or make a holy pilgrimage – perhaps to the source of the River Ganges in the Himalaya, or a circumambulation of Buddhist biggie, Mount Kailash, Tibet. Cambodia, Bhutan, Thailand and Laos also offer chances to visit temples and witness monastery life up close.

To refresh yourself without recourse to religion, you could try learning a new skill – a vegetarian cookery retreat in Turkey, a sailing course off Gibraltar, painting lessons on an art safari in Malawi… All can leave you far more fulfilled than just flopping on a beach.

Sometimes just getting away from it all is enough: maybe heading out into the wilds of Patagonia or the Australian Outback, to regain a sense of scale.

But whether you chose to go bush or devote yourself to intensive laughter therapy in frenetic Mumbai, travel can leave you invigorated and refreshed and ready to take on the world.

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