In a hurried daily life, a lot is done, and so much is left behind. Mental and spiritual well-being are not always a priority — and even physical well-being is often forgotten.

It is in this context that wellness retreats or wellness tourism gain popularity. The idea is not only to get to know another part of the planet, with different landscapes and cultures, but also to take advantage of nature and local wisdom to relax and nourish the body and mind.

In the following countries, holistic human well-being is promoted. No dimension of life is forgotten, from physical health to mental and spiritual health, because you don’t have to be religious to have a transcendent experience. You will return renewed.

In villages and beaches further away from big cities like Bangkok, where KLM lands, it’s easy to understand why this country is ideal for taking a break from the hectic day-to-day life and finding physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The landscapes are idyllic and contact with nature is inspiring.


Among the most popular activities in Thailand are yoga and meditation retreats and there are several beach resorts where you can start practicing these practices. Learning the main yoga positions can be important to bring this lifestyle back home, but it will be equally important to learn to simply be silent — something very encouraged by some of these retreats.

Some of these resorts even have “detox” plans and add healthy eating to the beach and yoga. This is another aspect that you will be able to delve into in Thailand: in any city and even in some smaller towns it is easy to find cooking courses that focus on vegetables and that help you understand and use herbs and medicinal plants.

Yoga, meditation, natural nutrition and the use of plants are some of the pillars of traditional Thai medicine and the only thing missing from this lifestyle is Thai massages. They are made from a combination of stretching, pressure and manipulation of areas of the body. They result in an incomparable feeling of relaxation. All that remains is to finish the local experience in one of the thousands of Buddhist temples in the country.

For Finns, there is a wellness practice that shapes a large part of their culture: the sauna. In Helsinki, served daily by KLM, the sauna is indeed a kind of second home for many, where the hot and humid climate mixes with fir and eucalyptus essential oils.

If the sauna is like a home, some examples have beautiful living rooms, where it is traditional to talk and socialize with friends. The Löyly sauna, along the coast of the capital, is one of the most popular public saunas, thanks to its contemporary architecture that mixes glass and wood. Also in Helsinki, the Kotiharjun sauna is a must-see. It is one of the oldest in the city, built in 1928, and maintains its impressive wood-burning stove.

After a sauna session, the Finns dictate that you take a bath in cold water — a kind of yin-yang of Nordic well-being. Culturally it is transmitted that this practice has benefits for circulation and immunity. You don’t need to leave the capital to experience the benefits of the cold waters of the north: just go to Pikkukoski beach which, during certain seasons, allows you to swim in holes in the ice. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before diving and follow the safety rules regarding the time spent in cold water.

If these extremes between hot and cold are not to your body’s taste, don’t rule out this trip now: the spas with traditional products from this region, such as wild berries, honey and plant oils, do wonders for the skin and the relaxation of any person. one. As for the spirit, indulge it in the transcendent experience of the Northern Lights, which are frequently seen between October and March, especially in the north of the country.

Even though Tokyo is a super-city, vibrant and fast-paced, the break and contact with nature (and with yourself) are present. The capital of Japan is one of the Japanese cities served by KLM flights. Although your destination may be a small, remote inn to fully relax, it’s worth finding nature in Tokyo.

Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park or Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden are perfect places for the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which we can translate as forest bathing. Walking slowly along the trails, practitioners of this ritual notice every detail of the different species, breathe fresh air and can even meditate or practice some relaxation exercises.

The wellness experience in Japan will only be complete with a retreat in one of the traditional inns, the ryokans. They can be luxury accommodations — like Tawaraya, in Kyoto, one of the most prestigious in the country — or old classics — like Nishimuraya Honkan, more than 150 years old in the hot spring town of Kinosaki Onsen — but they are always temples of hospitality and rest. Some even offer onsen thermal baths. Some of these hot springs have waters containing minerals that are important for health and are an important element of Japanese culture and rituals.

Another unmissable ritual is tea. The tea ceremony is more than the preparation of a drink, it is a moment in which time stops to pay attention to the details of the present and the beauty of simplicity.

If with all this you don’t feel your body levitating, you’ll need to put yourself in the hands of a shiatsu master, the Japanese massage that applies pressure to specific points on the body to relieve muscle tension.

When you return from these experiences, you will always have a place of relaxation to mentally return to — until your next trip.


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