What is the Difference between a Wellness Retreat and a Wellness Tour?

Hikers trek across rope-bridge with mountains in the background


To put it simply, a wellness retreat is a holiday that concentrates on your health goals whereas a wellness tour spreads out your time: satisfying your love of culture or natural geography as well as your love of spa treatments. On a retreat, your time will be spent at the resort, usually enrolled on a wellness programme, and supported by experts in their field within a luxurious setting. A tour, on the other hand, will take you on a journey through your destination country and expose you to the wellness practices of the region. One style is immersive, a dive into the intricacies and depths of health therapies and the other is an exploration of all the region has to offer in terms of wellness and culture. Want to find out which one is right for you? Keep reading! 


What is a Wellness Retreat? 

A wellness retreat is the epitome of a hassle-free stress-busting holiday. It’s a time for calming reflection: a chance to completely give yourself over to the sole purposes of recovery and relaxation. You’ll be based at a luxurious resort that caters for your needs and desired wellness activities be they spa, yoga or Ayurveda. It’s a holiday for those dedicated to their personal wellness, who want to be whim to the techniques of resident experts and access it all in one place. Wellness retreats provide a comprehensive balance of all aspects of health. Resident PTs provide plans for your fitness and run group classes; at many resorts, you’ll also find guided meditation sessions to develop spirituality and focus the mind. Overall, a wellness retreat is a productive healthy holiday and a chance to really focus on every part of your wellbeing.  

Woman practicing yoga at Kamalaya whilst on a retreat


What are the Benefits of a Wellness Retreat? 

  1. Regular Treatment 

There are therapies that require repeated practice for maximum effect. These treatments can’t be offered on a wellness tour, where variety is prioritised, so are the exclusive domain of the wellness retreat. When immersion is a priority, you can regularly practice techniques or receive treatments. The intended effect is a greater change in your health and the potential for these beneficial effects to last as long as possible 

Take, for example, Essential Detox at Conrad Algarve where for a thorough and effective cleanse it is necessary to take the 3 lymphatic drainages over the 7-day holiday. Whilst several treatments may be available to you on a wellness tour, the regularity of treatment may be affected by your travel plans. Only on a wellness retreat can you take full advantage of multiple courses of rigorous treatments. 

Divine Body at Bliss Body Retreat is focused on developing your spiritual focus through regular meditation. On this holiday, you need to practice meditation multiple times a day: in 7 days you’ll be taking 10 profound yoga and pranayama sessions; and 10 awakening meditation classes. This regular practice is designed to Strengthen your practice and ensure you feel the health and wellness benefits of the retreat for as long as possible. 

2. Relaxation 

Wellness tours are jam-packed with activities and adventure. For those who have been under a lot of pressure at work and just want to relax, a 500-mile tour of all the cultural spots of Colombia may be an exhausting and unattractive prospect. The benefit of a retreat is that, once you are there, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief as you know from that moment on, there is no more upheaval or uncertainty.  

De-Stress at Epic SANA Algarve is a retreat of week-long pampering at the spa. It is a healthy holiday with a focused mission: to make you feel as relaxed as possible and to have you return home feeling rejuvenated. For the pursuit of pure relaxation, a wellness retreat is the holiday for you.  

3. Experts to Hand 

Retreats have on-site therapeutic specialists so, during your stay, you are within a literal stone’s throw of tailored advice from highly experienced wellbeing professionals. Any issues, any queries will have the full attention of experts at a moment’s notice. Easier and more regular access to expertise is a great assistant in reaching your wellness goals. Prior consultation for bespoke treatment is a cornerstone of Happiness Like Nowhere Else at Borgo Egnazia. On hand experts to guide you through the process is what makes a retreat so effective in improving your wellness.  


What is a Wellness Tour? 

A wellness tour allows travellers to branch out and open up to all the wonders of the region: scenic beauty, ancient customs, and fun activities. A wellness tour fuses culture and adventure with wellness and relaxation activities for the ultimate travel experience. Variety is a priority on a wellness tour. Spend your morning with a guided meditation class, try your hand at organic cooking for lunch, visit a temple in the afternoon, all before learning traditional dances around the evening fire. A wellness tour is a therapeutic form of cultural immersion, where luxuries aren’t sacrificed for authenticity.  

 Man cycling through open countryside


What are the Benefits of a Wellness Tour? 

  1. You Can Have It All 

Deciding what to do can be tough. A wellness tour means that you don’t have to choose, you can have it all. Culture, history, adventure, scenic views and traditional wellness therapies are yours on a tour. Destinations are important, a holiday is about soaking up the land and seeing how people live just as much as it about relaxing and retuning for your own wellbeing.  

Booking a Wellness Tour of Nepal will open your eyes to a country through many different activities and cultural experiences. You’ll be taking mountain hikes, jeep safaris of national parks, Shirodhara therapy sessions and even paragliding classes. These tours are action-packed holidays, where you get to do everything possible to broaden your horizons as you rejuvenate.  

 2. Authenticity 

To experience traditional wellness therapies and truly get a grasp of a land as diverse and dense as Bali, a wellness tour may be just the ticket. Visits to the temples of Tirta Empul and Gunung Kawi is crucial in understanding the religious and spiritual history of the region. Getting personal with the people of Bali would be tricky from within the confines of the resort but it’s very easy with the Night Market Visits and Community Training programmes on a Bali Wellness Tour.   

A tour takes you off the beaten track and to the ancient centres of wellness customs. Wellness retreats offer an exceptionally large array of high-quality spa treatments but only on a tour can you access the authentic homes of the treatments. Whether it's learning Wat Po Massage with a local family on your Wellness Tour of Thailand or practicing yoga at one of the ancient Ashrams on your Tour of India, the experience will be one steeped in authenticity and spirituality.  


Woman kitesurfing in the ocean 


Essentially, despite having distinctly similar titles, Wellness Retreats and Wellness Tours are vastly separate. Retreats are the apex of rejuvenation and serenity, whereas tours champion adventure, and culture, whilst also placing significant emphasis on wellbeing and therapy wherever they may take youDespite the contrast in holiday structures, they are united in their commitment to providing wellness, vitality, and growth. Whether itholistic and invigorating medical therapies or exhilarating paragliding, both are designed to create a life-changing experience depending on what you desire from a wellness escape. 


Talk to one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your perfect wellness holiday.


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