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Over the past five years, wellness travel has grown at a rapid clip of 7.8 per cent annually (more than twice as fast as general tourism), according to the 2018 Global Wellness Tourism Economy report.

Behind this swift ascent? In large part, women.

A dramatic uptick in solo female travel bookings has boosted the industry across the board. Luxury travel designer Jacada Travel, for example, recently reported a year-on-year increase of 150 per cent, while Hostelworld revealed a 45 per cent surge between 2015 and 2017.

Some women travel to escape daily demands, others to rekindle old friendships, embark on a bucket-list challenge or learn a new skill. No matter why you’re flying solo, we’ve rounded up a few notable women-only retreats, hikes and hotels to fuel your wanderlust:

Island retreat SuperShe, Finland

1. Join the tribe in Finland

Off the southern coast of Finland, SuperShe stole headlines when it opened last year as one of the world’s first women-only island retreats. On this 3.5-hectare island, you’ll find minimalist Nordic-inspired cabins, Baltic Sea views, Finnish saunas, an al fresco yoga pavilion, as well as a buffet of fitness, nature and dining experiences.

The 10-person island has quickly carved out a niche for itself as a haven for women looking to create lifelong relationships and a support system, as founder Kristina Roth, a German-American entrepreneur, puts it. ‘Women don’t enjoy enough together, there have always been men’s clubs, they play golf, it’s where ideas are made. But when you get a bunch of strong-willed women together, magic can happen.’

Tranquil retreat Ocean Soul Retreat, Bali

2. Find your bliss in Bali

Ever since Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love hit bookshelves in 2006, Bali has become synonymous with wellness travel. But Ocean Soul Retreat takes it one step further with an exclusive women-only address that’s hidden away in a secret-garden like atmosphere in the heart of stylish Seminyak.

You can make your own adventure at this tranquil retreat: spend your days relaxing at the spa, hit the gym, learn to dive or calm your mind through meditation. Care to venture farther afield? Ocean Soul also runs a location in Komodo National Park that celebrates the UNESCO World Heritage site’s incredible natural beauty through outdoorsy experiences, such as snorkelling with manta rays or spending the day with Komodo dragons. The location isn’t gender-exclusive, but you can round up the girls and do it via private boat.

Exploration-filled retreats by Mad to Live, Morocco and beyond

3. Go mad for Morocco

For the ultimate women-only retreat, take off on a Mad to Live adventure. The outfit runs seven-day journeys through Portugal, Costa Rica and Morocco, just to name a few. In Morocco, one of the company’s most popular options, you’ll rest your head in a gorgeous, sun-kissed villa full of like-minded female travellers. From there, you’ll spend your days surfing, meditating, practising yoga, shopping at local souks and immersing yourself in Moroccan culture. There are only two of the retreats in 2020, so be sure to book ahead if you’re keen.

Adventure-filled retreats by Responsible Travel, Slovenia and beyond

4. Test your mettle in Slovenia

Activist travel company Responsible Travel connects travellers with an array of women’s expeditions including life-changing pursuits, from mountain biking in Slovenia to kayaking in Sweden or surfing in Portugal. The adventure-packed itineraries strike a perfect balance between fitness and culture, scenery and socialising to ensure you have a well-rounded experience. On the seven-night mountain biking adventure through Slovenia, for instance, you’ll tackle dramatic mountains on two wheels while learning all about the country’s wartime history, food traditions and more.

A-taste-of-everything retreat by Elle Voyage, Cambodia and beyond

5. Get lost in Cambodia

Dedicated to supporting women-owned businesses around the globe, Elle Voyage designs experiential tours for every type of woman, from busy mums juggling it all to adventure junkies, burnt-out executive types and girlfriends keen to reconnect. The company’s seven- to 13-night getaways span the globe, taking intrepid types to alluring destinations such as Costa Rica, Jordan, Kerala, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Coming up in 2020, the next all-women Cambodia tour kicks off with some local activities before a sunrise tour of world-famous Angkor Wat, followed by a series of immersive visits to atmospheric silk-weaving villages, floating villages, rice paddies and secret beaches — the perfect mix of city and country, surf and turf.