Spain wellness map & highlights

Imagine waking up and seeing an enormous bearded vulture circling overhead in the Pyrenees, or spending an evening meditating under the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. The shadow of the Alicante Mountains provides a pleasant microclimate for Valencia retreats, where beach fitness, fabulous food and some gentle yoga will quickly become your new routine. Choose a smaller retreat for your wellness break and you’ll be put up in lovely converted fincas (ranches) or casas Rurales (country cottages), their tables dragged out onto their terraces, their exteriors freshly whitewashed, and their gardens filled with local flowers.

1. Alicante

Back in 2006, the World Health Organisation dubbed Alicante the healthiest place to live in Europe. Its coast is characterised by really special, white beaches – great for fun fitness classes. Inland is perhaps even more interesting; there’s good hiking in the hills. Underground water beneath the mountains means the region is fruitful and lush, and can support visitors with ease.

2. Ibiza

Ibiza’s sophisticated north side is quieter and classier than its south. Pass through the pine forest until you come to rest in sunny gardens at the side of a swimming pool. Ibiza has long been an enclave for people pursuing their passions: there are local artists, musicians and therapists who all might inspire you to pursue your own creativity.

3. Malaga

It’s the combination of towering limestone hills, long views and distinctive pueblos blancas (white towns) baking in the heat, that give Andalucia’s Malaga province its characteristic charm. There are lovely retreats to be found here, tucked away in valleys where the sweet chestnut trees grow. They’re the perfect settings for pressing the ‘reset’ button.
Picos de Europa

4. Picos de Europa

Your path to wellness in the Picos de Europe runs alongside a historic spiritual journey: the Camino de Santiago, which passes under the high limestone massifs of the Picos mountains in northern Spain. Strike a Pilates pose on the terrace, try SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga in a river, and raise a glass in tiny mountain village, so small that its bar and convenience store are one and the same.

5. Pyrenees

Ordesa National Park in the Pyrenees is an inspiring place to recharge. You’ll want to bring your hiking boots to explore it all. Stay in a converted Pyrenean farmhouse and look out for birdlife. When you’re ready to go on an adventure, the canyons are wide and deep and you can go off in search for long-drop waterfalls.
Sierra Nevada

6. Sierra Nevada

Shelter under the ‘Roof of Spain’ in the foothills of the high, icy Sierra Nevada. The mountains might be inhospitably high, but you’ll be tucked on a terrace below, in Grenada, where there are good restaurants nearby and full use of an infinity pool to contrast with the rugged surrounding countryside.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Spain wellness or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Wellness activities in Spain


How many ways can you yoga? Terrace yoga, beach yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Hatha yoga, sunrise yoga, sunset yoga, and yoga on a stand up paddleboard: Spain has it all. Most wellness retreats offer two yoga classes a day to stretch you out, but some go deeper into the philosophy too, and there are even teacher training courses. After a week of yoga in Spain you’ll see some brilliant improvements to your flexibility – and hopefully form a new healthy habit.


A Pilates holiday in Spain might improve your posture and your core strength – but that’s just part of it. The sunshine, the fresh air, the food and the encouragement of a supportive group will give you much more. In the green valleys below the Alicante Mountains, which benefit from a special microclimate, you can stretch out on a sun terrace after a generous Spanish-inflected breakfast and feel your flexibility flourish.


Gruelling boot camps aren’t really Spain’s vibe. Punishing mandatory exercise is probably better confined to the self-loathing in rainy city parks. Most fitness holidays in Spain are entirely optional and are mindful of the high heat. They can be exceptionally luxurious too, with huge rooms, private transfers and no single supplements. Small retreats might have a gym, but it will be a modest one. Instead, try beach circuits and classes outdoors, and make the most of the mountain views.


Many Spanish wellness retreats are based in the mountains. The country has many, from the extra-terrestrial heights of the Picos de Europa to the wide, pine-cloaked canyons of the Pyrenees and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. They’re not just there for the inspiring views. Most small retreats have explored the walking trails that thread around their communities, and can point you in the direction of a good stroll.

Tips and advice

Julie Slade is the director of the Ultimate Retreat Company, our luxury fitness experts.

Beach retreats

“We’re close to the beach, and for so many people even the smell and the sound of the sea do wonders. It’s gorgeous here and we make the best of the weather. The first part of every day is yoga. We quite often do it on the terraces. It’s absolutely glorious, the best start of the day ever. And then of course, we have a swim straight after.”

Alicante’s specialities

“We’re a very big honey producing area here in Alicante. We’re famous for oranges and grapes, and particularly for young wine and sweet dessert wine. There are almonds, olive oil – it’s a huge area for olive oil. Orange season starts in December and runs through spring, but my favourite time is when the pomegranate fruit appears in autumn.”
Nicole Stone runs Yoga Breaks in Spain, our yoga experts.

Solo travellers

“I think yoga holidays are the best holidays to come on if you’re travelling on your own. Generally yogis are open-hearted people. If you’re travelling on your own you won’t feel on your own. You’ll be with like-minded people”

No experience necessary

“I would say that less than ten percent of our guests are serious yogis. Most of our guests have done yoga before but it’s not regular practice. Most people have full-time lives, and they don’t have the luxury of yoga classes three or four times a week.”

Tips from our travellers

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Spain wellness holiday travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
Don't bother taking lots of clothes, you are just going to slop around in yoga pants all day. If you go in the autumn or winter take some warm jumpers and socks with you.
– Catherine Barrett booked a Yoga retreat in Valencia, Spain
“Don’t feel that you will be a square peg, don’t fret that you aren’t fit enough, don’t worry that you feel too fat. I was very unfit and obese and I worked at my own pace with the full care and support of the team and other guests. Just do it, this is the best money I’ve spent!” – Angela Carpenter booked a luxury fitness holiday in Spain

“Embrace the detox – there was all sorts of contraband in our group but the food was so good you didn't need it.” – Kate Hindley booked a luxury fitness holiday in Spain.

“If you are a confirmed carnivore or a fussy eater you might find the uber-healthy vegetarian menu a culture shock, but the food was absolutely delicious.” – Marguerite Weatherseed booked a yoga holiday in Spain

“As the leader said 'this is a yoga holiday not a yoga retreat'. If you want asceticism this may not be for you, if you want some comfort with your exercise this is a great combination.” – Anna Bradley booked a yoga and Pilates holiday in Spain.
Go with an open mind and open heart and enjoy the experience.
– Tracey McCay booked a Yoga retreat in Valencia, Spain
Written by Eloise Barker
Photo credits: [Page banner: Kaylee Garrett] [Alicante: Attila Suranyi] [Ibiza: Jonas Verstuyft] [Malaga: Alejandro Luengo] [Picos de Europa: Alejandro Luengo] [Spanish Pyrenees: Michael Liao] [Sierra Nevada: Nicolas Renac] [Beach training: The Ultimate Retreat Company] [Beach - stretch: Shayan (USA)] [Clothes: Valentin Salija] [Mediation: JD Mason]