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The Mahale Mountains – In Search of Chimpanzees in Tanzania

Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains are situated in the far west of the country, dramatically rolling down to the sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika, the second largest lake in the world, 626kms long, 1,000m deep and containing 17% of the world’s freshwater.

Body Revival Retreat – May 2017

I’m just back from a pre-season visit to the Luberon, the location for our next Zen Retreat. Body Revival will take place from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th May 2017 at the beautiful La Colline Fleurie.

Even in February the landscape was a bucolic paradise with hills undulating into the distance, punctuated only by picturesque hill villages and with snow-capped mountains in the far distance. I can only imagine how stunning the area will look in May.

In the Eye of Cleopatra’s Needle – 48hrs in Cairo

There is still an indefinable magic about Cairo. Quite possibly because of its 5,000 year old history or maybe because it’s a city that literally never sleeps. It is also a place of which no one seems to know the population size – some say 18 million whilst others solemnly assure you that is 25 million. Perhaps it makes no difference – the streets have always been clogged and donkeys still vie with Mercedes’ weaving between smelly old buses belching out diesel fumes. This is a place where one can literally feel the heart of the city pulsating through your body with the ever present call to prayer, interspersed with the pointless beep-beeping of drivers irritated by their fellow countrymen’s irresponsible driving.

The Leg School – Capri Palace Hotel and Spa

I can safely say that my first visit to Capri, in June 2016, fully lived up to my expectations of this enchanting isle. On sighting the busy port, awash with glistening speedboats, I was immediately transported to a bygone world of style and glamour and half expected David Niven to come water-skiing across the bay, accompanied by Diana Rigg, martinis in hand.

SHA Wellness, Alicante

I am at SHA Wellness, the renowned Spanish clinic just outside Alicante for a three-day immersion at this world-famous health retreat.

The first thing to strike me is the calm atmosphere, which is what you would expect at a top-notch health resort but, believe me, it’s not always achieved. The hotel is incredibly cleverly-designed with very few solid walls and masses of greenery so you feel you’re walking through a beautiful, many-tiered garden whether inside or out. The fact that this has been designed by a Feng Shui expert is evident.

Optimal Fitness at Kamalaya

Having spent the summer mainly on planes and in cars, travelling the world checking out some of the best health retreats out there I am, ironically, feeling the need to stretch my legs. My week-long stay at Kamalaya on Koh Samui presents the ideal opportunity for this, renowned as it is for its excellent facilities and treatments . I’ve been jogging and doing a bit of yoga at home but really want to kick start my fitness with an intensive week of personal training.

A retreat for the soul in the heart of Umbria

As I turn off Autostrada 1 I reach for the directions I’ve been sent by the owner of the remote, monastic health retreat for which I am destined. At first glance they seem somewhat overly-detailed but I soon see why. Eremito Hotelito del Alma (The Hermitage) is not a place that’s meant to be found at random. Like ‘The Beach’ you have to know that it’s there and trust your guides.

What Retreats Have Done For Me

Prior to experiencing my first ever retreat my holidays tended to consist of cultural touring, lots of physical activity (skiing, riding and hiking) or, occasionally, lying on the beach somewhere in the Indian Ocean. I would come back feeling somewhat refreshed by the break from work but often not very relaxed or feeling I had had any real time to myself.

European Holidays – The Culinary Art of Squeezing Tomatoes

Our European Destination Specialist Jackie Slaughter loves nothing more than discovering other cultures, so she couldn’t wait to get involved in a Sicilian cookery class at the Verdura Resort in Sicily this summer. She joined local chef Gianluca and a handful of other guests to prepare a delicious lunch.  The dishes were crafted under Gianluca’s watchful eye, using fresh local ingredients. To bring the taste of Sicily into your own home this chilly autumn , see the recipes below.