Sipping on a cocktail as you watch the sun sink below the horizon together. Holding hands while you enjoy a couple’s massage. Savouring a decadent meal as you talk about your day. All of these travel experiences become that much more satisfying when you’ve earned them through physical activity. That’s why many couples these days are choosing destinations that encourage them to pursue an hour or two of fitness activities each day on holiday, while seeing the sights at the same time.
With this in mind, here are five international travel destinations that are perfect for the fit couple:
- Surfing in Bali
You may think of Bali as the destination for all things yoga and you’d be correct. But did you know that it’s attracting more surfers to its shores each year too? Places like Uluwatu, Canggu and Nusa Lembongan all have surf breaks that offer waves for both the beginner and experienced surfer alike. The water’s warm, there are no sharks, and the locals are generally friendly and used to tourists. Belinda Mountain went to Bali recently with her husband because they both wanted to be active while on holiday, but had different interests. “My husband surfed early every morning and while he did that, I went to a yoga class,” she says. “We’d meet up again at breakfast and talk all about our experiences, feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy our day together.”
- Snow Activities in Val Thorens
From surf to snow! Val Thorens in the French Alps is the perfect place for an active snow holiday. Skiing or snowboarding is one of the most physical things you can do, as it’s said to benefit cardiovascular activity, strengthen your bones and joints, improve your core and even boost your mood! If your partner is keen to hit the slopes but you want to keep active in another way, you could even try snowmobiling or mountain biking on snow. If you head to Val Thorens and stay at the Club Med Val Thorens Sensations resort, your daily ski or snowboarding lessons, skis or snowboard hire and boots hire, and ski passes for a week are included in your holiday – making it a piece of cake to plan the perfect active holiday in the Alps.
- Hiking in the Grand Canyon
As one of the USA’s most popular tourist attractions, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder that attracts millions of visitors each year. But most of them simply fly in, snap a picture from the rim at the top and then leave. To really immerse yourself in this dramatic landscape, why not hike down one of several well-maintained trails to the river below? Beware though – while these trails are incredibly popular, they’re not easy, and you’ll need to be reasonably fit to attempt them. Also remember that it typically takes twice as long to climb back out the canyon as it takes to get down! “Hiking from the south rim to the river while on our honeymoon was a really memorable bonding experience for me and my new husband,” says Susan Van Reenen*. So, pull on your hiking boots and get your heart pumping as you spot eagles flying high above you, and watch the canyon’s colours change as the day goes on.
- Kiteboarding in Spain
If you both like using the power of the wind to propel your craft in adrenalin-fuelled pursuits, then Tarifa in Spain, known as the “windy capital of Europe”, is the travel destination for you. Located on the southernmost tip of Spain near Gibraltar, head to Valdevaqueros Beach for windsurfing and kitesurfing, and take advantage of the vast open water there. Bear in mind that it can get very busy in summer, so it’s not ideal for beginners still learning the ropes – but there are plenty of other spots nearby that you can try. After a few hours on the water together, you could relax at your hotel, or try your hand at horseriding. In the evening, enjoy some delicious tapas and dancing as you soak up the Spanish nightlife.
- Mountain Biking and Hiking at Grand Massif Samoens Morillon
Although it’s the picture perfect snowy postcard in the European winter, this resort in the French Alps is just as spectacular in summer! Think mountain biking and hiking with exquisite 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain range, as you feel the endorphins flood through your body and make incredible memories together. If you stay at Club Med Grand Massif Samoens Morillon, you could cool off afterwards in their indoor or outdoor pools, and then the next day try zip lining through the forest, river rafting or even rock climbing.
Whatever destination you choose, being active while you’re away adds another dimension to travelling together as a couple. And, as an added bonus, instead of returning home sluggish and overfed, you’ll get off that plane feeling healthier and more in shape than ever before!