Fitness for Free – Where to go for healthy holidays


If you’re thinking about your next holiday but aren’t sure where to go that won’t ruin your gym routine, worry not, you have options. Those 4* all-inclusive buffet breakfasts next to the beach aren’t going to do irreparable damage to your hard-earned physique, but are best avoided if you want to return home without looking like you’ve noshed on one too many buffet bagels.

It needn’t be a sports retreat, a mad, gym-centric locale or any of that nonsense that you should look for to stay fit on holiday, either. Some destinations will simply give you boundless options for free, easy outdoor fitness. Read below to find out where.


In Ho Chi Min and Hanoi, flexing your pecs and building up a salty sweat outdoors is taken as a given part of morning routines. People gather in parks and squares to engage in group or individual exercise classes without any fear of who or what is watching. This all happens before the skin-roasting sun raises its head though; so not ideal if you’ve been making the most of those 30p watered-down beers the previous evening.


If you’re Europe-bound then Cala Millor in Majorca is very bike centric. Mountain biking tours, bike rental, buggy tours, kick bike activities… If you haven’t seen a kick bike before, try to imagine if a skateboard and a bike had a lovechild, with easy steering and handles to ensure a lot fewer bruised knees and grazed shins.


The abundance of deep fried elements present in the Scottish cuisine might make some raise a sceptical eyebrow at this suggestion. But, with year round temperate weather and the presence of Scottish-born Wimbledon superstar Andy Murray means this is a great location for active tennis fans. At the Cromix Hotel in Perthshire, which is owned by the man himself, you can book bed, breakfast and tennis lessons for one or as a couple. (They’re about £40 per hour for an individual, and unlikely to be offered by Andy first hand).


This remote corner of the globe is renounced as a surfer’s paradise, so if water sports are you thing there is nowhere better. Victoria’s surf coast is where the rip curl pro surf takes place, but for more manageable waves in the area head to Jan Juc or Point Danger (despite the threatening-sounding names). The Gold Coast in Queensland is another surfer’s paradise.


Those mad people who manage to wake themselves up in the morning and actually face the outside world without clinging to the duvet and hysterically yelling ‘why’ at nobody in particular just to go running might enjoy the annual Three Countries Race in Munich. It’s on at the same time as Oktoberfest, so you can feel smug and superior as you waltz over the finish line, 42,1 kilometres later, ready to indulge in some serious Bavarian grub and architecture.