Swap the fly-and-flop holiday for an active, outdoor getaway! Lily Smith reveals our picks of the best walking and fitness retreats.

Discover Rural Japan on Foot

What: Shikoku: Kochi & Ehime Discovery by Walk Japan
Where: Western Shikoku, Japan
When: October 18-24
Price: Approximately £2,180 per person based on double occupancy; enquire directly for single occupancy rates

This fully guided, seven-day tour travels through two of Japan’s most beautiful but least-visited prefectures, Kochi and Ehime, which are both characterised by pristine streams and rivers, deeply forested mountainous terrain, and lush valleys leading on to the coast and the steely-blue Pacific Ocean. Suitable for anyone who leads a reasonably active lifestyle, this immersive walking tour is composed of ancient and historic trails that complement each other with their own distinct ambience and interest, from the sacred to the worldly and from the age-old to the modern day.

Pilgrimage has been an everyday feature of life in Shikoku for millennia and is an inclusive part of the route, which features visits to some of the 88 temples along a 12-kilometre mini-pilgrimage route. Every evening, you can expect delicious feasts, comprised of the freshest seasonal produce sourced from the surrounding mountains, fields, and seas. Then, after a long day of walking between nine and 12 kilometres, you’ll rest your head in comfortable Japanese or western-style hotels, including experiences in traditional accommodations with onsen hot spring baths.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

What: Slovenia’s Enchanted Valley Walking Holiday by Inntravel
Where: Logarska Dolina, Slovenia
When: From May 1-September 23
Price: £1,370 per person based on double occupancy; £1,520 per person based on single occupancy

Aided by Inntravel’s walking route maps and detailed notes about the local area, get ready to explore the little-visited Logar Valley of Slovenia, home to stunning craggy peaks and tumbling waterfalls, on this seven-day walking tour. While the majority of your trip is self-guided, allowing you to explore recommended routes at your leisure, you’ll also be treated to a half-day tour with a guide who will teach you about local traditions and regional herbs.

Staying at the eco-conscious, mother- and daughter-run Hotel Plesnik, you’ll also have access to a selection of opulent spa and wellness facilities, including a chlorine-free outdoor swimming pool with mountain views, a firepit which is lit nightly, yoga sessions on the lawn, forest bathing excursions, and the services of a local Ayurvedic master. Your package also includes breakfast every morning, three dinners and three lunches, and complimentary car hire for venturing further afield.

Go Rambling in the Cotswolds

What: Ramblers Package at Stonehouse Court
Where: Cotswolds, UK
When: Ongoing offer
Price: £299 based on double occupancy; enquire directly for single occupancy rates

Nestled in six acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside and overlooking the rolling hills of the Stroud Valley, the quaint Stonehouse Court Hotel is the perfect base for exploring the Cotswolds on foot. The 17th-century manor house is steeped in rich history, featuring beautiful historical architecture and interior design.

Perfect for keen walkers, the Ramblers Package includes two nights accommodation in a cosy room, a hearty breakfast each morning to set you up for the day, a delicious dinner on one evening during your stay, a selection of walking maps for the best routes in the area, a packed lunch to take with you on your walks, plus a warming hot drink on your return to the hotel after your day out walking. Time to dust off the hiking boots!

Train with the Olympians

What: Wellness Weekend at Anda Barut Collection
Where: Didim, Turkey
When: May 10-12
Price: Double occupancy from £640; single occupancy from £480

Get back to fitness with the help of top athletes at this exclusive Wellness Weekend With Olympic Medallists, taking place at the new Anda Barut Collection in Didim, Turkey. Alongside enjoying your choice of luxurious accommodation – including deluxe rooms with sea views and balconies, and larger villas with private pools and terraces – your weekend will include a huge range of fitness classes led by top Olympians. Try running lessons with Paula Radcliffe, swimming with Rebecca Adlington, rowing demos with Vicky Thornley and Ric Egington, seafront circuit training with Denise Lewis, Daley Thompson, Colin Jackson and Jamie Baulch, and much more. You’ll also have the chance to dance with Strictly icons James and Ola Jordan, and Ian Waite.

Aside from the fantastic weekend line-up, your all-inclusive getaway includes access to the hotel’s spa and leisure facilities, as well as all meals and beverages. Plus, Turkey is a prime destination for wellness-seekers, with its historical heritage, beautiful coasts and landscapes, idyllic beaches and perfect weather. If you’re a fitness fan, you won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity to train with some of the best athletes in the world – all while enjoying luxurious accommodation, some serious fun, and welcome relaxation in a stunning location.

Words: Lily Smith. Images: Various brands.