Paris has a slew of options for those who want to stay healthy in body and mind. Whether you choose to pimp out your habitual morning jog with an organised running tour around the stunning Parisian cityscape or sign up for an outdoor yoga class in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, here are five of the best wellness experiences in Paris.
Running tours have become popular alternatives to traditional walking tours in the French capital, as they do double duty, offering fitness on holiday alongside the opportunity to cover a lot of Parisian sightseeing ground – and all this with the help of a local guide. This particular run starts at Notre-Dame Cathedral and passes the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, Place de la Concorde, the Avenue Champs-Elysées, the Hôtel des Invalides and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Stops are planned along the route to allow for selfies, Instagram shots and refreshments. It’s recommended that participants be active and capable of running 5 kilometres (3 miles); the running tour lasts two hours.
The Château de Versailles is as palatial and opulent as its name suggests. While many visitors stick to the main castle, this biking tour leads guests at a leisurely pace through the grounds’ many forest trails and gardens and to attractions that are somewhat farther afield like Marie Antoinette’s picturesque hamlet and the Petit and Grand Trianons. The pick-up point is Javel metro station in Paris, from where a guide leads the group onto a Versailles-bound train. After picking up a bike near the palace, guests are taken to visit a village market to buy baguettes, ham, cheese and wine for a picnic lunch that takes place along a secluded section of the Grand Canal. The bike tour covers about 16 kilometres (10 miles) in total, and the package also includes a 90-minute visit to the main buildings of the Château de Versailles.
In place of your average yoga studio, practise downward dogs and warrior poses at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, or in the Luxembourg Garden under the gentle Parisian sun. These yoga sessions last two hours and are conducted in small groups (maximum 15 people). While locations vary for each session, participants are notified of the destination three days before their session. The meeting place is Gare de Lyon.
In recent years, Paris has caught on to the growing European interest in clean eating and veganism with the opening of several plant-based cafés and restaurants. And what better way to try vegan food in Paris than to eat with a local? After working in music as a legal manager, Loly has turned her passion for eating green into a new career. Chef Loly now opens her home in the east of Paris to guests and hosts organic, vegan, three-course dinners, and describes her cuisine as fusion.
The beauty of Paris is arguably its hidden alleyways and secret courtyards. This half-day bike tour takes visitors through the Latin Quarter and the Marais, which hold some of the most picturesque streetscapes in the city. With the help of a local guide and two wheels, those joining the tour have the chance to take in a whole host of Parisian sights. The bike-tour itinerary includes stops at an old city wall and a Roman arena, as well as a café for a crêpe and coffee. The group meets in front of the Saint-Michel Fountain at Place Saint-Michel.