select - Get Fit

Attention: open in a new window.  E-mail| Print | Bookmark Added: 29.12.2011, 17:46

Want to escape the sightseeing tourist grind and return from a holiday feeling fit and fantastic? Then here’s how you can take in glorious landscapes, local life, and monuments as you exercise along the way.



Buffalo Bayou Park is a much loved destination for Houston residents, whether for watching fireworks on July 4, enjoying the jogging trails, or showing off the latest tricks at the skate park. The hilly 124 acres, with the city skyline as a backdrop, provides an urban escape while barely leaving the confines of downtown, and nowhere more so than if you take to the bayou by kayak among herons and past the occasional alligator soaking up the sun on the riverbanks. (If you aren’t up to paddling, take a scenic cruise along the waterway instead.) In March, an annual regatta also gets families onto the water for a variety of races and activities, including the largest kayak and canoe race in Texas, which takes place along a 15-mile stretch of bayou between San Felipe Bridge and Sesquicentennial Park.

Expansive Buffalo Bayou Park sprawls from Shepherd Drive in the west to Bagby Street in the East End of Houston.

Great exercise on the water in natural surroundings, while still within sight of Houston skyscrapers: what could be better?

Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Houston.



Cycling is a great way to get some exercise and see cities close up, and there are few places better to do it than Copenhagen, with its brilliant system of cycle paths and even dedicated bicycle traffic lights. Everyone, from the postman to commuters and the Copenhagen mayor, rides bicycles; even the Queen of Denmark takes to her bike. Your hotel will probably be able to supply you with a ride, or you can rent one from the city’s many bicycle stands; helmets are not compulsory, and few people wear them. An alternative, though not quite as convenient, is to use one of the 1,300 free bicycles located at 125 or so racks around the city between May and December. All you need is a two-kroner coin to release a bicycle, refunded when you return it.

Copenhagen spreads across the islands of Zealand and Amager in eastern Denmark, where flat landscapes are ideal for cycling.

Cycling is a great way to join the bike-mad locals, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing.

Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Copenhagen.



Phuket has some outstanding diving, with good visibility, superb reefs, impressive underwater rock formations, and a startling variety of marine life that includes amazing whale sharks, manta rays, and leopard sharks. Wall-diving and shallow-water wrecks add to the variety. This is also the place for live-aboard safari excursions by boat to offshore dive sites such as the Similan Islands, and as far afield as Myanmar (Burma).

Phuket, connected to the mainland by two bridges, lies off Thailand’s west coast in the Andaman Sea.

Access to Thailand’s best diving, a varied choice of dive sites, and an all-round, renowned holiday destination.

Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur.



If you want to exercise on the ice with the added bonus of an impressive cultural setting, head to London. In the city centre, Somerset House between The Strand and Victoria Embankment on the River Thames is the 18th century neo-classical backdrop to an outdoor rink. Further upstream, the stunning façade of 16th century Hampton Court boasts another winter wonderland, with an impressive ice rink for 250 skaters. Both offer illuminated skating at night, which is very atmospheric. Kids can have skating lessons at weekends at the Penguin Club on the adjacent mini-rink at Somerset House, or hire an instructor at Hampton Court. At both, non-skaters can enjoy the action from rink-side cafés as they enjoy a warming hot chocolate – or, at Somerset House, even a champagne breakfast as you watch skaters twirl by.

Take the underground to Temple for Somerset House, or the train from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court.

Skating by the River Thames with beautiful historical backdrops is one of London’s best winter experiences.

Qatar Airways has four flights daily from Doha to London Heathrow.



Ever since it became established on the hippy trail in the 1960s, India’s former Portuguese colony Goa has been about getting away from the rat race. In recent years, increasing sophistication in the tourist scene allows visitors to enjoy top-quality resorts and spa retreats along with Goa’s balmy climate and stretches of golden sand. Given its laid-back lifestyle, it seems like the natural place to indulge in yoga, with numerous retreats devoted to this ancient art of relaxation and exercise; some yoga courses run over several weeks to allow practitioners to become fully absorbed into the ancient exercise regime. There could be few better getaways than one that leaves you with great strength, flexibility, and feelings of calm. And with blue ocean, golden sands, lush tropical gardens – and monkeys for an audience – you might truly be heading for nirvana.

India’s smallest state lies on the Arabian Sea halfway down the country’s western coastline, scalloped with beautiful bays and beaches.

Yoga and Ayurvedic treatments provide a healthy, stress-free holiday in the land where these ancient therapies first originated.

Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Goa.



This congregation of atolls in the Indian Ocean is surrounded by chains of coral reefs that create countless surf breaks to suit every kind of surfer, from beginners to those on the pro circuit. Many breaks can be reached from the beach, especially on Malé Atoll, others from charter boats or traditional dhonis. The most consistent waves occur between March and October. Enjoy.

Malé has the best-known and most accessible surfing; the eastern side of North Malé Atoll has great breaks.

With top resorts and beautiful surrounds, few non-surfing partners will complain about being taken to the Maldives.

Qatar Airways has two flights daily from Doha to the Maldives.

Write comment

Write the displayed characters:

security code
smaller | bigger


Oryx Magazine December 2016

Oryx Cover December 2016

View the Oryx eMagazine archive

Oryx Premium December 2016

Oryx Premium Cover December 2016

View the Oryx Premium eMagazine archive

Oryx Updates

If you would like to be notified
when the magazine is updated,
please click below

Email updates

Latest Features

  • From the mountains... with love

    If you’re looking for inspiration for a romantic snow-filled getaway, then look no further. For many... 
  • A heart-warming winter in Denmark

    If you’re looking for cheer during dark December days, then Denmark provides plenty of hygge. Writer and... 
  • Qatar: Past and present

    Qatar celebrates its National Day on December 18, commemorating the birth of the modern state.  

Most read


Copyright © 2009 ORYX Digital Magazine. All rights reserved.

Powered by Agency Fish   |  Endorsed by Qatar Airways