Famed for its architecture and food, Barcelona is a progressive European city that has fully embraced modern wellness trends aimed at healing the body, mind and soul. Culture Trip has teamed up with Pullman Barcelona Skipper, a hotel that caters to health enthusiasts, to explore the city’s wellness scene. If you’re travelling to the Catalan capital, head to these spots for a complete reset and recharge.
Chiromassage uses chiropractic care as a more practical and medical approach to massage therapy. At Confort Centre Quiromassatge, you can enjoy deep-tissue and pain-relief massages, as well as couple’s treatments, in a modern environment that’s sure to leave you feeling relaxed and regenerated.
Located in El Raval, Barcelona’s hip central district, Mailuna is a peaceful escape from the noise of the city. Its airy café, filled with natural light and featuring high ceilings, serves pastries, crepes and other treats as well as a large selection of teas and herbal infusions. Mailuna also offers various healing treatments in its beautiful upstairs spa. Whether you’re looking for homeopathic, naturopathic or reiki treatments, or just a massage, Mailuna will help you to chill out and unwind.
Flax and Kale is now something of a Barcelona institution, with a few locations across the city, including a small café in an H&M store. The biggest and most attractive branch is in El Raval – it even has an upstairs garden. Flax & Kale’s menu is pescatarian, with a focus on good and healthy food, but there’s also plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Visible from just about anywhere in the city centre, Serra de Collserola is the green expanse that flanks Barcelona and provides the most convenient natural escape from the hustle and bustle. With mountains and hills to explore, including Mount Tibidabo, you can lose yourself among the oaks and pines of Collserola for a day, breathe in the fresh woodland air and even enjoy a meal at a local masia (farmhouse) restaurant. Come between February and March and you can experience a calçotada, a typical Catalan barbecue featuring spring onions, meat, vegetables and more.
For those who prefer a more active break, or want to see the city from an unbeatable viewpoint, Carretera de les Aigües has you covered. This long, flat route through the mountains of Collserola is popular with runners and cyclists, as the passage is punctuated with the occasional mirador, or lookout, from which you can gaze across the entirety of the city, out to the sea.
Hydrotherapy, massage, body and facial treatments – you’ll find it all at Aqua Urban Spa in the chic, bohemian area of Gràcia. The spa might lack the ancient beauty of the better-known Aire de Barcelona, but its modern, cutting-edge facilities help provide customers with the latest health, beauty and well-being treatments. Aqua Urban Spa has all the tools to provide the perfect experience, whether you’re looking to pamper yourself, relieve aches and pains or just relax.
Located just around the corner from Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família, Breathe is a restaurant focussing on dishes made with organic and natural ingredients. Breathe offers fast food as well as a more traditional dining experience, with its mix-and-match salad bowls especially popular among customers. If you’re checking out Gaudí’s masterpiece and are inspired by its nod towards nature, stop off at Breathe for a bite to eat once you’ve escaped the crowds.
Nothing relaxes the soul quite like a picturesque lake. The Lake of Banyoles is Catalonia’s largest, and a 90-minute drive from Barcelona, in the Girona region. The lake’s soothing qualities have a long-standing reputation: the song ‘El Monstre de Banyoles’ tells the tale of how it transformed a terrifying man-eating dragon into a peaceful herbivore. Today, nature abounds above and below the shoreline. If you’re feeling energetic, you can attempt a number of water sports and other activities in the area; if not, simply enjoy the quaint village nearby.
Conveniently located opposite Barceloneta Beach, the Pullman Barcelona Skipper is a luxurious haven designed with relaxation and recharging in mind. Facilities include two pools, a hot tub, a solarium, bike hire and on-site massage services. Health-conscious guests are also catered for at the hotel’s TENDIEZ Tapas bar & restaurant, where vegetarian, gluten-free and salt-free menus are available at request.