Six of the best spas for adventure lovers

OMAN - Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort

Breathtakingly positioned on the rim of a grand canyon 2000 metres above sea level, Anantara Al Jabal offers guests plenty of options when it comes to a spa session. Those in the mood for a thorough tune-up head to the steamy hammam for a scrub and soak, while others prefer the simple soothing of a milk and oriental spice foot-cleansing ritual. Adrenalin junkies are equally spoiled for choice, with Oman's dramatic terrain perfectly suited for all kinds of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, abseiling or rock climbing.

From $560 per night; see 

GREECE - Euphoria Retreat, the Peloponnese

The ancient Spartans, among the most redoubtable warriors ever to grace this planet, came from the Peloponnese. In recognition of that fact, Euphoria Retreat offers a series of Spartan Adventure retreats, available in three-, five- or seven-day options. The program lets you discover the area's beauty and rich history through nature-based activities ranging from hiking and cycling to swimming and aerial yoga. This being one of Europe's cutting-edge spas, guests also have the opportunity to soothe their bodies after a hard day's workout with plenty of spa treatments.

From €930 for a three-day program; see 

SWITZERLAND - Backstage Hotel, Zermatt

There is nothing standard about the Backstage Hotel, famous for its slightly surreal interiors and its unusual spa. The seven-room Spa Genesis draws inspiration from the biblical tale of how God created the world in seven days, with experiences involving sauna, steam and infra-red-heated glass pearls. There are also plenty of activities to lure you outside, with about 400 kilometres of marked trails criss-crossing the mountains surrounding the hotels. Love skiing, but can't get there during the northern winter? Zermatt also offers summer skiing, thanks to a nearby glacier that has 21 kilometres of groomed pistes.

From CHF190 per night; see 


INDONESIA - Bawah Reserve

Yes, it's set in a picturesque Indonesian archipelago and yes, it offers free daily spa treatments, but Bawah Reserve is far from being just another fly-and-flop destination. With 13 beaches and three lagoons to explore, water sports are predictably popular, from snorkelling and coral planting to sailing and kayaking. There are also plenty of ways to stay active on land, including a tennis court and a number of hikes through the island's verdant forest on offer. Or mix it up with a hike to a beach on the far side of the island, where you can enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to the resort by boat just in time for your daily massage.

From $US1980 per room twin share. See 

SCOTLAND - Gleneagles Estate

It is one of Britain's most fabled five-star retreats, a high-end estate set amid 344 hectares of glorious Scottish wilderness. While most guests come to Gleneagles to enjoy the sybaritic spa or the three championship golf courses, the estate also gives guests the opportunity to get active in the great outdoors, with its Discovery packages. Experienced instructors guide guests through fly fishing, riding or clay target shooting programs, which can be tailored to suit absolute beginners and experienced adventurers alike.

Discovery packages start from £2225 per room (twin share). See 

CALIFORNIA - The Ranch Malibu

Selma Blair and Rebel Wilson are among the Hollywood names who have signed up for The Ranch Malibu's no-holds-barred wellness boot camp. The accommodation may be comfortable but its programs aren't; participants sign up for a minimum of four days of intense exercise (think four-hour hikes, plus classes such as weight training and yoga – yes, all on the same day). No, you can't opt out of anything. Oh, and the food is strictly vegetarian. But apparently you feel fabulous at the end of it all.

From $4200, see 

Ute Junker was a guest of Bawah Reserve.