If at any point in the year, you stop and ask where your vitality, regular physical activity, healthy diet, positive attitude and relaxation have gone, you're certainly ready for a wellness holiday.
If you're unable to put aside an entire week due to work obligations, don't worry – a wellness weekend of two to three days is a good start, and the benefits are guaranteed.
From Umag to Novigrad, northwestern Istria boasts world-class wellness centres where, in addition to peace and quiet, you'll find top wellness staff and specially designed programs.
Let's run through them by season...
Many consider spring, the time when our bodies awaken, to be ideal for refreshing both body and spirit through physical activity, as well as for relaxing in wellness and detox treatments.
Special attention should be paid to light diet that will purify your body of toxins that have built up over winter. Light teas, specially prepared juices, and asparagus will serve as true body cleansing agents. Add open-air exercise, walking, cycling and relaxing by the sea, and positive results are guaranteed.
However, to truly relax, reset and detoxify your body, I recommend spending time at a wellness centre.
Treat yourself to a carefully designed detox programme or simply choose something from the wide range of treatments. Don't forget that skin care begins with body scrub, relaxing in the spa zone, and choosing a massage. There are truly a lot of them, but I wholeheartedly recommend a warm oil massage to free the tension in your muscles and relax your body.
If you want a true "overhaul", add a facial treatment that best suits your skin's needs.
Although this is the period of the year we're mostly focused on the sun, sea and beach, you'll agree that preparing and protecting your skin is of prime importance in the summertime.
Even if you use a high SPF factor, spending too much time in the sun causes your skin to lose its elasticity and moisture, so it's important to nourish it well at least once a week, as well as before and after sunbathing.
Just like we try to drink lots of liquids and eat easily digestible meals based on fish, fruit and vegetables in the summertime, our skin needs something to enrich and protect it from the summer sun.
The first line of defence here consists of body wraps based on olive oil, immortelle or shea butter, which replenish your skin with lipids and bring back its natural glow.
If you choose an open-air massage during hot weather, I certainly recommend light, airy massages based on aloe vera or cold mint or peppermint wraps for instant refreshment.
Also, don't forget the golden rule: protect your skin with a high SPF factor and drink lots of liquids!
After so much sun and sea, your body will long for some peace and quiet. Spoil your senses in northwestern Istria's wellness centres and enjoy the benefits of saunas, massages, long walks and world-class autumn delicacies.
If you've spent a lot of time in the sun over summer, your skin will need a nourishing mask and bath to rejuvenate it and bring back its natural shine.
For those of you who love grape vines and a glass of fine wine, northwestern Istria's wellness centres offer themed treatments and programs. These include specially designed packages for couples that include grape-scented bubble baths and a toast with a glass of wine.
Did you know that, in addition to grapes and wine, grape vines are used in cosmetology? In the early 1990s, the Americans proved that grape polyphenols are 10 times more active as antioxidants than vitamin E at renewing the skin and reducing signs of ageing.
So if you want a youthful appearance, make sure to try grape-based treatments. I recommend a brown sugar and grape peeling treatment, a luxurious grape body mask, and a grape-scented massage to top it off. Not only will it smell wonderful, it will rejuvenate your skin as well. Of the remaining parts of the plant, the grape leaf is the most fascinating. The leaves are picked in autumn when they contain highest levels of tannins, anthocyanins and other compounds that are great for venous and arterial circulation. The grape leaf thus serves as a basic ingredient in many gels and creams for varicose veins, broken capillaries and sore feet.
If you decide to spend a weekend in Istria with your family, besides long seaside strolls or bike rides, I recommend you try out special kids' wellness treatments together with your little ones. It's loads of fun spending time together at a massage, bathing in the scents of vanilla and chocolate!
And what would a holiday in Istria be without treating your taste buds to world-class delicacies? In autumn, many restaurants offer fish specialties, among which a special place is reserved for the sole, a fish with an exceptionally mild flavour. And while we're talking about good food and fish, don't forget the old saying... Fish must swim three times – once in the sea, once in olive oil, and once in good wine. Bon appétit!
Although the days are much shorter and the temperatures much lower, winter is the ideal time to take care of your body.
Swimming in the pool, working out at the gym, enjoying saunas and massages are just a few of the things you can find at the wellness centres. If you can't manage to sneak in the time for a trip to the wellness centre or gym during the week, I recommend you do so at the weekend.
It's a well-known fact that we're most prone to colds and poor immunity during the winter. Exercising strengthens the immune system, while saunas and massages help us relax and nourish our skin. That's why it's especially important to feed our bodies not just with vitamins but with local ingredients during the wintertime.
Honey, kiwi and persimmon will serve as a true vitamin bomb to help your body ward off colds!
Olive oil body scrub
1.5dL olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
Mix together the olive oil and sugar into a paste. Apply the scrub to dry skin in a circular motion from head to toe. This treatment will remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin smooth and soft.