I don't know about you, but when I think of Ibiza I think of sunshine, friends, and partying... But mainly the partying. You may even remember my last trip to Ibiza last summer, if not then you can read about it here. So when my friend and fellow presenter Lilah Parsons asked me if I'd like to go on a fitness holiday there with 38oN I was excited to see a different side to the party capital of Europe and spending quality time with my friend, all whilst getting fit.
This probably sounds ridiculous but I was also excited to go abroad so that I could show off my passport case and hand luggage case. Ok not probably, definitely ridiculous BUT if you've followed my blog for a while you'll know that I'm a massive fan of Aspinal and I recently spent hours mulling over which colour luggage tags and passport covers to get. As you can see I settled with pretty pink as I like the way they coordinated with the sophisticated black case. What do you think? It definitely made finding my suitcase way easier when they came out onto the carousel at the airport.
We left last Sunday night arriving into Ibiza late and were taken straight to our hotel for the three nights, the Sol Beach House in Santa Eulalia, located on the East side of the island. I've never stayed in such an instagram-friendly hotel (this is the 21st century so please don't judge that statement ok?)! Every corner of every area on both the inside and outside of the hotel are picture perfect - from the incredible decor, to the motivational quotes, to the hammocks and pool area. Lilah and I were shown up to our amazing suite where we and drank our welcome bottle of champagne and tried on bikinis - well technically the fitness wasn't starting until morning.
I always wake up every morning looking forward to breakfast, and whilst the breakfast was divine (you can never go wrong with a buffet of fruit and cooked food) it was something else that made my morning on my first day in Ibiza, and that was waking up to realise my bedroom window looked out onto the Mediterranean sea.
After finishing breakfast we strolled along to our neighbouring hotel and the home of 38oN, Aguas de Ibiza, for our introduction chat where we met James, 38oN's founder who was incredibly friendly, ensured we were well looked after, and gave us lots of tips on things to do and see during our stay.
Our first activity of the morning was rooftop yoga. I've only recently got into yoga, and find the more I do it the more I enjoy it, but I think even the most cynical yoga bunny would have struggled not to love doing yoga in the warm air and with sea views - it was the perfect start to the day. Well, that and waking up to the sea view. Oh and the breakfast.
Over the course of the three days we were spoilt with a huge range of activities: yoga, bootcamp, circuits, hiking over the beautiful island, and I even lost my pilates virginity, which was the most insanely relaxing experience ever. Pilates and indoor yoga were enhanced by the fact the studio is situated right next to a water feature, a sound I find so calming. The outdoor circuit training and bootcamp sessions got my pulse racing and I burnt as many calories as the sun burns Brits, which is lucky as we had to strip to our bikinis for probably my favourite activity of the trip - Paddleboarding. This was an activity I'd never tried before and as it's been several years since my surfing days I worried I wouldn't be able to maintain my balance and stand up on the board, but I did (YES!) and so did Lilah. It's an excellent activity for body toning your body so we paddled like pros before calling it a day.
When not working up a sweat from exercise we worked up a sweat around the pool and maximised our opportunity to wear itsy bitsy teeny weenie bikinis. I came across a really cool website called Simply Beach who stock different bikinis of varying price ranges and brands, so all my bikinis were from there.
I believe that food is one of the most important parts of fitness so I just had to mention the most amazing little cafe we went to on our final night with 38oN's own James, a raw organic cafe called Passion. Not only are there positive quotes dotted around the place, but there's an outdoor seating area, which is always such a novelty for a little Brit like me. They had a huge selection of food, from meats and fish, curries, to the indulgent salad bowl I tried. I know I know, indulgent and salad are two words that shouldn't go together but I couldn't even finish my bowl. To top it off they had sweet potato fries and avocado fries for the first time, which I'd never even heard of before!
As I returned to the beautiful yet freezing climate of London I felt refreshed yet rather sad that my healthy trip had come to an end, so I decided to maintain the positive and zen space that I'd found on my trip. I've been going to the gym every weekday (I even tried pilates but it just wasn't the same here), and embarked on a three juice detox from the original juicemaster himself, Jason Vale. I had four juices per day to drink (five on the last day) and each one was a completely different flavour, so it felt like I had variety in my day despite the fact I was only having juice. I've tried several of these diets in the past and have never ever been able to last for more than a day without cheating so I was amazed to find that I was actually full from these juices. I finished my third day with radiant hair and skin and felt full of energy.
When I think back to the state in which I returned from Ibiza last summer, I feel smug that I felt so refreshed this time round. Whilst I do love to let my hair down I'm already excited about returning to the magical little island for another fitness break. And ok, perhaps I'll mix in a bit of partying too - life is about balance after all!
Find me on ashleylouisejames.com / twitter: @ashleyljames / instagram: @ashleylouisejames
All my images were shot on a Canon PowerShot G7 X which has wifi ability so you can send images straight to your phone.