Gibraltar is a great place for kick-starting your New Year Resolutions. January is the time for shaking off the sluggishness that follows all that over-indulgence of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. It’s also a good time for making fresh starts, including getting a sprint off the blocks for all those resolutions for living a healthier more active lifestyle, which perhaps fell by the wayside during 2019.
And what better way to make a fresh start on a healthier lifestyle than to take a bit of time to recover from the hurly burly of the party season, and Gibraltar, where a bit of the best of everything is just at your fingertips, is just the place to do it.
Gibraltar’s location at the southern tip of Spain gives it the Mediterranean climate that so many of us crave during those long, dull days of midwinter. Easily accessed by air from the UK, Gibraltar’s International Airport is just a short taxi drive from the Rock’s main hotels. It is a taxi ride that impresses many first time visitors as they are driven across the runway towards Gibraltar’s imposing North Face.
There are numerous choices of places to stay to enjoy a few days’ break in Gibraltar’s pleasantly warm winter sunshine. You might opt to stay at the fringes of the Nature Reserve, at the historic Rock Hotel, which overlooks the Bay of Gibraltar. Its west-facing aspect means you can indulge in some of the most spectacular sunsets anywhere. Or you might choose to stay at the edge of the pretty fishing village of Catalan Bay, at the splendid Caleta Palace Hotel, right on the beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Then again, perhaps one of the city centre hotels, close to the shops and bars, galleries and theatre, might be better suited to you, as might one of the short stay self-catering apartments available for rental through Gibraltar’s many estate agents.
Once you’ve settled on where you are staying, you are spoiled for choice as to how you start your year. Gibraltar is an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors. The Upper Rock Nature Reserve provides some great opportunities for outdoor exercise, and in places it is pretty challenging! You might decide to scale the Mediterranean Steps which rise up above the Gorham’s Cave Complex in Gibraltar’s World Heritage Site. Or you might decide to hike along some of the alternative walking tours on pathways that criss-cross the nature reserve at various heights. Then again, even if you decide to take a more leisurely route up to the top of the Rock in the cable car or on a private taxi tour, you will be treated to spectacular views and to an encounter with Gibraltar’s wildlife (including the world famous apes). And you will also gain a wonderful sense of open space, wide skies and endless seas that will make you feel uplifted, clear-headed and ready for the year ahead.
To set you on the right path for increasing your level of activity for a fitter, healthier you this coming year, you can try your hand at one, or several, of the many sporting activities that Gibraltar has to offer You could try out sailing, diving, rowing, kayaking or stand-up paddle, for example, and you might just discover a brand new skill and a fresh enthusiasm for something you might not have tried before.
Gibraltar also boasts numerous gyms and training centres, personal fitness instructors and health and beauty spas. The yoga centre as well as private yoga instructors might help you find a slower, meditative pace for your exercise, bringing a sense of calm after the flurry of the new year celebrations. And if you already have some yoga skills, Gibraltar has some gorgeous locations if you like your exercise outdoors; from beaches to sea-front parks, a quiet corner of the Alameda Botanic Gardens, and the open spaces of Europa Point, just to name a few.
Good health, of course, also depends on what you eat. Gibraltar is the perfect location to sample the delights of a Mediterranean diet, renowned for its health benefits. With a wonderful choice of restaurants, healthy eating options are a pleasure rather than a problem.
A few days’ break in Gibraltar before heading back to the humdrum of work has to be the best way to start a new, more active, healthier year.