Europe

The Healthy Shores of Majorca & Ibiza

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Against a backdrop of sunshine, beaches, culture and gastronomy, the Balearic islands are prescribing medicinal additives to visitor experiences. From sports physiotherapy, fertility, dentistry, ophthalmology, preventive medicine, to dialysis facilities and increased private medical services, the islands have plans to open windows to wellness and health tourism.

The islands, favoured by many British holidaymakers, are forecasting a healthy future with a range of health and wellness treatments, activities and services with new well-equipped private clinics and hospitals, multi-lingual staff and medical service companies designed to take care of international visitors of all ages and needs.

Tennis star, Rafal Nadal is leading the way with sports rehabilitation as well as a champion training academy with an impressive centre on the eastern side of Majorca. As a native resident he opened the centre in June 2016, designed for aspiring young players as well as adults offering stylish accommodation for its range of residential programmes. His museum is also well worth a visit.

Private hospitals on the islands include The Hospital de Llevant in Porto Cristo, the only private hospital on the eastern side, with multi-lingual staff and a range of specialists to meet seasonal demands. Here there is a separate building for the new Porto Cristo Dialysis Centre while the aesthetic unit offers treatments for hair loss, weight problems and cosmetic procedures. Built originally as a retirement residence, the rooms are generous in space, complete with sea views and balcony. The Clínica Rotger, part of the Quironsalud group, is modern and well-equipped with six consulting rooms located around the island. The hospital recently introduced new services in oncology, dermatology, and dermo aesthetic treatments and has a fifth floor to make any patient feel better with views over Palma and contemporary art dotted around.  Clinica Juaneda is a multi-service hospital with 90 specialised doctors covering all medical specialties and a dedicated international medical centre. And with the increasing international demand for assisted reproduction, Majorca has a modern IVI clinic.

Specialised, well-equipped dialysis clinics with professional medical teams are encouraging patients to travel to Majorca for that well-needed break where scheduled treatments can be combined with interesting, cultured itineraries in a sunny climate.

On the island of Ibiza, the Policlinica Nuestra Señora Del Rosario has 70 rooms, an intensive care unit, emergency room and three outpatient centres on the island with more than 40 medical specialties and two physiotherapy and rehabilitation centres.  Its VIP area is independent from the hospital and benefits from a private entrance.

Trendy destinations attract the fashionable & health conscious travellers who wants to look good all year round. Private, certified aesthetic clinics, managed by registered professionals are catering for this growing market so the health tourists can feel assured they are in safe hands. On the island of Ibiza, Eiviluxury, a small, compact clinic is apace with the latest, fashionable treatments for its party-going stylish clientele who frequent the island’s rhythms especially in high season or reside in their second homes. Led by Dr. María Bufí, the variety of treatments include heavy metal body checks, ozone therapies, gynaecological treatments, hair implants and varicose vein removal using the latest technology performed by visiting doctors who are experts in their field.  The Eiviestetic plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine centre, part of Policlinica Nuestra Señora Rosario, also offers a safe answer to aesthetic treatments ranging from tattoo removal by laser, intimate wellness and the new Profound System,a one off non-invasive lifting treatment.

Health blended with a generous dose of tourism makes for a good holiday remedy while regional colourful cuisine serves up healthy Mediterranean flavours. Restaurants in Palma such as Cuit and Fabiola Gastronomic Garden are fine examples while Can March in Manacor is a rustic family inn, popular with the locals.  On Ibiza, you can dine in one of the oldest restaurants at Restaurante Ca N’Alfredo in its centre or at Calma which enjoys views over the marina. There is a good choice of accommodation in season such as the Valparaiso Palace and Spa which commands enviable views over Palma Bay.

Majorca is the largest of the Balearic islands with Palma as its heart. Here you can delve into its history by strolling along cobbled lanes, passing hidden courtyards with glimpses to imperial staircases and buildings proudly displaying their signature coat of arms.  Overlooking the sea is the imposing ornate Gothic Cathedral  with a vast rose window and wrought iron canopy by Gaudi. Away from Palma is the pretty village of Valldemossa set in the Tramuntana mountains and worth the short drive to enjoy the alley ways, stone houses dressed with hanging flower baskets and the 13thcentury monastery where the musician Chopin stayed.  A trip to Porto Cristo leads to an enchanting harbour with coves and caves and the world’s largest underground lake system.

The depth of history on the island of Ibiza is cloaked within the fortified city walls of Dalt Vila, a world heritage site. Its muscular gates lead to uneven pathways, interrupted by bastions, and commemorative plaques revealing past tales and factual statements. Routes climb to the top to admire the views of modern Ibiza, a strong contrast from the old stone walls to the glitzy marina developments and the cosmopolitan retail world of Zara, Rolex watches and new boutique hotels such as the Gran Hotel, Montesol, renovated within a neo-colonial building

As the trend increases in health and wellness tourism, watch out for the healthy glow around these islands and the added restorative and medicinal tonics to holiday experiences. There’s more than fiestas and siestas in the Balearics.

https://illesbalears.travel/en/baleares/health-and-wellnes/

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River Cruising to Health

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A flute of sparkling wine or a glass of healing gemstone water, circuit training, yoga flow or afternoon tea? Tricky decisions. A fast-paced Vienna walking tour, a castle hill hike in Passau, an 18-mile bike tour to Durnstein, a gentle evening stroll with wine tasting in Krems or a Vilshofen Organ Concert & Beer Underworld Tour. These were the choices I faced on my first wellness river cruise through Germany and Austria on the AmaSonata, one of 19 ships belonging to AmaWaterways.

Wellness is the new wave in river cruising and floated into creative itineraries with a dedicated wellness host at the helm. The preconception of a sedate meander along the river has long passed by and washed ashore. Today, this trendy mode of holidaying involves daily visits to interesting places and cities interspersed with optional wellness activities onboard and indulging in fine wines and gourmet cuisine.

A Fortress Hike in Durnstein, a bike ride along the Danube, a resistance band or Zumba class. Active or gentle, competitive or a complete beginner, from early morning stretch, posture workout, to laps around the jogging track, activities have been designed for all age groups and fitness levels. If classes don’t appeal, there’s a gym, compact as it may be, Nordic sticks for hiking trails ashore, walking tours at paces to suit, a spa offering a handful of massage treatments and lectures on lifestyle wellness. But it was cycling that won the popular vote. Many of my fellow sailors chose rides along the Danube’s river paths,  the more adventurous cycling the cobbled streets and  narrow passageways on guided city tours while the longer rides haloed the fittest amongst us.

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Ashore, it was culture in abundance. History echoed through stone passageways, etched on walls, recalled in painful truths and humbling stories, crafted in statues, exposed in Baroque and Gothic architecture, shrouded in monasteries and celebrated in jaw-dropping cathedrals. Our route along the Danube cruised from Nuremberg to Vienna, each port of call having a narrative to tell. The Nuremberg trials and Courtroom, the countless listed buildings and commemorative stumbling stones in Regensburg, the world’s largest pipe organ in Passau’s St. Stephens Cathedral and Richard The Lionheart’s imprisonment in Durnstein.  We visited Mondsee, famous for its appearance in The Sound of Music, Linz, the UNESCO city of media arts, the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk ending in Vienna, the capital, personified by the Blue Danube waltz, gilded palaces and gold statue of Strauss, its state opera, rich chocolate Sachertorte, The Spanish Riding School and St. Stephens Cathedral cradled in its centre.

Quietening the mind is an easy pastime on a ship which glides along calm waters bordered by lush green river banks  – silent, still and serene. Relaxing on the sundeck, roads track us from the side, trains play hide and seek as they hiss between trees and hills, speed boats whizz pass and barges lug past dragging  their heavy cargo.  Pressures of everyday life drift downstream.

The scenery from a river cruise is just as one imagines and vibrant in sunlight.  Paths zig-zagging across the mountainside, boats moored onto private jetties, villages centred by steepled churches and families waving as they share picnics and homemade lemonade.

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The commentary along the Danube adds a historical date or two, dotted with colourful myths and fables. We see castles still standing, reminding us of Rapunzel-like fairy tales while others lie in ruins. Terraced grooves folded into the landscape define the Wachau Valley wine region complemented with a climate ripe for harvesting  apricots. The secluded inlets carved into the riverbed provide sanctuary for wildlife from river traffic while the locks and low bridges offer a different dimension to our voyage.

Dining is another attractive pursuit offering a good variety of fine dining menus for lunch and dinner with a guide to healthier options. Local and regional dishes are integrated into daily choices with some themed events to add a little theatre to the experience. The Chef’s Table boutique restaurant offers a taster menu, all complemented with wine recommendations. The waiters, as with most of the crew are eager to serve, some with distinguishable personalities, all with an appetite for high standards.  Post dinner, the entertainment takes to the floor with renditions from a West End singer, melodies on the piano, costumed operatta  and jiving into the early hours, offering music for all palettes.

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On board, the atmosphere is convivial and with 160 passengers it’s easy to forge friendships in a short time. Conversation centres around cultural experiences ashore while wellness activities draw individuals together, motivating and sharing achievements. Dotted with miniature orange trees and table orchids, the AmaSonata is tastefully decorated and contemporary in style.

Before disembarking, we are informed of the launch next year of the AmaMagna, a revolutionary new style double-width river ship, with a Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform. So, with more wellness activities, more choices,  I decide to be better prepared for my next wellness cruise as I enjoy a farewell glass of healing gemstone water.

For more information about AmaWaterways or to book go to www.amawaterways.co.uk, call tel: 0800 320 2335 or visit your local travel agent.

About AmaWaterways:

Family-owned, AmaWaterways is headquartered in, California with offices in Switzerland and the U.K. It provides river cruise holidays on 19 ships, sailing along the waterways of Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Next year the company will launch three ships. The AmaMora, will offer a choice of itineraries on the Rhine, while the smaller, more intimate AmaDouro makes her debut on Portugal and Spain’s Douro River.The revolutionary AmaMagna will also enter service in May 2019. She will offer an unprecedented range of facilities including a choice of restaurants, Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform as well as offering far more personal space than traditional river cruise ships.

From  Summer 2019, the Wellness Programme will be offered across the European fleet (excluding Douro).

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Healthy Tenerife

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The Tenerife Tourism Corporation is gearing up to promote the island’s medical, health & wellness tourism offering.

Visitors to Tenerife will benefit from a range of top quality medical, surgical and wellbeing treatments at very competitive prices, due to the island’s tax incentives, while also enjoying the island’s attractive landscapes and all-year-round spring-like temperatures.

A new brand, Tenerife Medical Destination, which has  been designed to provide visitors to the island with access to trusted healthcare professionals and medical facilities such as hospitals, spas and hotels, taps into the increase in demand for health tourism in Tenerife.

Mr. Alberto Bernabé, Tourism Minister for the Tenerife Island Government, comments: “The number of tourists combining healthcare treatments with their holidays in Tenerife keeps increasing”. In order to meet this demand, Tenerife Tourism Corporation has launched the new Tenerife Medical Destination brand to offer visitors advice and help in finding top-quality services across the island.

Treatments available on the island range from therapeutic recreation and rehabilitation, dentistry and cosmetic surgery to aesthetic or cardiovascular treatments. Wellness treatments are also available which  include yoga and meditation as well as beauty treatments.

 

 

Essential Facts Spain

Airport: Within Spain, numerous airports occupy the region. As the largest and busiest airport in Spain, Madrid Barajas is 12 kilometers from the centre of Madrid. The second largest airport in the country is Barcelona Airport, or El Prat, which is 14 kilometers from the Barcelona city centre. Other airports include Murcia San Javier, Alicante Elche, Valencia, Malaga and Girona Costa Brava Airports.

Voltage: 230 V

Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 1

Weather/Climate: In its Mediterranean climate, Spain has hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. In the central regions, summers are hot and dry, and the winters are cold while the spring and fall months are rainy. North of the Cantabrian mountains, these areas have cool summers and mild winters with frequently cloudy and rainy weather.
Language Spoken: Spanish

Currency: Euro

Dialing Code: +34

Essential Facts Italy

Airport: Italy has a variety of airports. The country’s largest airport is the Leonardo da Vinci Airport, which is 26 kilometers west of Rome and is near the Mediterranean coast by the city of Fiumicino. Another main airport is the Milan Malpensa Airport, which is 50 kilometers’ northwest of Milan. Others include Naples International, Florence and Venice Marco Polo Airports.

Voltage: 230 V

Time Zone: UTC + 1

Weather/Climate: Overall, Italy experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. In the north and mountainous regions, winters in Italy are cool and humid, but in the coastal areas, winters are relatively warm. During the summer months, the south of the peninsula witnesses hot temperatures with an average high of 28-33°C and frequent thunderstorms. However, along the coast, summers are accompanied by a breeze, and in the mountains, summer months see cooler temperatures.

Language Spoken: Italian

Currency: Euro

Dialing Code: +39

Lanserhof, Waakirchen and Hamburg

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With two locations in Germany, Resort Tegernsee and Lans Medicum Hamburg, Lanserhof is Europe’s leader in modern medicine. By acknowledging the healing powers of medical treatments, this designation uses a holistic medical approach to prevent pain and restore the body. Doctors and medical specialists tailor the wellness experience to fit the needs of the individual, which makes the holiday a worthwhile health excursion. Lanserhof’s utilization of medicine empowers individuals to develop a healthier and happier lifestyle. From Resort Tegernsee’s beautiful architecture and glorious natural surroundings to Lans Medicum Hamburg’s natural healing processes and reliance on sports medicine, both destinations use the latest methods for a holiday that guarantees results — both mental and physical.

http://www.lanserhof.com/tegernsee

http://www.lanserhof.com/hamburg

Schloss Elmau, Krün

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Schloss Elmau provides a peaceful sanctuary to restore mind and body within the calm surrounds of the Bavarian Alps. Located 100 kilometers south of Munich, this destination offers a number of healthy gourmet restaurants, six spas and pools, various fitness and yoga classes, aimed for guests to discover mental clarity and physical wellness within a relaxing environment. In addition, over 170 concerts with contemporary artists and talks with current authors are offered each year to cultivate a better mind-body relationship.

https://www.schloss-elmau.de

Heiligendamm, Bad Doberan, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

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Situated within the town of Bad Doberan in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Heiligendamm is an ideal wellness destination for its revitalizing weather and stunning surroundings. Sitting along the Baltic coast, this resort uses seawater for therapeutic treatments while the mild temperatures, moist air and low dust levels provide prescriptive conditions for those with respiratory illnesses and allergies.

It is the oldest seaside resort in Germany and has been hosting prominent figures, such as Duke Friedrich Franz, for over 200 years.

https://www.grandhotel-heiligendamm.de

Essential Facts Germany

Airport: There are numerous airports serving Germany. The main ones include Munich Airport, which is about 30 kilometers northeast of Munich and Frankfurt International Airport, 12 kilometers from the city. Both have access to public transportation.

Voltage: 230 Volts

Time Zone: UTC + 1

Weather/Climate: Germany’s overall climate is moderate. The northwestern and coastal regions have warm summers and mild and cloudy winters. Away from the coast, these areas have a larger variation in seasons, such as warmer summers and colder winters. The Alpine regions in the south and some areas of the Central German Uplands in the mountains have lower temperatures due to higher altitudes and precipitation levels. These mountainous regions may witness heavy rain and thunderstorms in the summertime.

Language Spoken: German

Currency: Euro

Dialing Code: +49

Castles and Christmas Markets

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Beethoven and Bach, the Berlin Wall, the Black Forest, beer festivals and Christmas markets encapsulate a glimpse into Germany’s culture, history and tourist attractions.

Some of the most interesting cities in the country include Berlin and Munich. As the capital of Germany and the country’s largest city, Berlin is known for its creative scenes, politics and media. From museums, such as the National Gallery and German Spy Museum, to the Berlin Wall, this city offers cultural immersion. Of its iconic architecture, Brandenburg Gate is a sandstone monument with six large pillars and a must-see on any tour.

As the cultural, economic and political capital of the German state Bavaria, Munich is 30 miles north of the Bavarian Alps. This city is popular for Oktoberfest – a beer festival that hosts carnival rides, traditional German food of sausages and soft pretzels and beer tents. With transportation, such as the S-Bahn commuter rail and the U-Bahn metro, Munich is very accessible. Its main square, Marienplatz, has a town hall, churches and shops worth visiting. The Church of Our Lady, Frauenkirche, is emblematic of the city’s stunning architecture.

The country is also famous for its ravishing castles on mountain tops that have existed for centuries. Of Germany’s 25,000 castles, Neuschwanstein in Bavaria inspired Walt Disney’s castle.

With16 national parks, 100 nature parks, 130 preserved national landscapes, 200,000 kilometers of hiking trails, 70,000 cycling paths, outdoor activity is in abundance.  Around a third of the country is covered with forest with many rivers such as the Danube and the Rhine winding through, making it an increasingly popular destination for river cruising.

Located in western Europe and bordering the North Sea between France and Poland, Germany is Europe’s largest nation in terms of its population size and economy. With stunning landscapes of forests, mountains, rivers and beaches along the North Sea and Baltic Sea, this country offers natural beauty and the ideal settling for wellbeing.