The World’s Coolest Yoga Retreats
Main image: Yoga Escapes, Moab
Devoting an entire week to practising yoga.
It might sound like a bit of a stretch.
But you may just be persuaded to when you see these irresistible dedicated retreats – where you can combine wholesome, spiritual, and physically demanding workouts with endless massages, bountiful feasts and a load of quality, guilt-free hammock time looking over some beautiful ocean. So to leave you with more time to finesse the downward dog, we’ve put together our top recommendations for yoga retreats around the world…
Yogascapes | Utah
Yogascapes fuse yoga with landscapes – and some pretty spectacular ones at that. They run retreats around the world from Iceland to Morocco – but it’s their 4 night stay in Moab, Utah that’s the most jaw-dropping. Days are spent scaling the rocks of Arches National Park, trail running and rafting; bookended by energetic yoga flows against the searing red sunrise and sunset. Come the evening, you’ll eat together round a camfire before retreating to your accommodation for the night – surprisingly luxurious tipis and safari tents with proper beds, hot showers and that most indispensable of luxuries, flushing toilets.
Details: Moab Under Canvas, Utah | From £767 for 4 nights
Silver Island Yoga | Greece
Silver Island Yoga is planted on a private Greek island, with 60 acres of unspoilt olive groves, hills and beach coves to explore. The entire place is pretty much self-sufficient (they’re fully solar-powered, and collect and filter rainwater), and you’re invited to completely switch off from technology while you’re there. Which is more than doable, because you’ll be plenty occupied by the twice daily yoga sessions, Mediterranean feasts, and therapeutic treatments on offer.
Details: Private Greek Island | From £1146 per week
Amanbagh | India
Take a load off Darjeeling Limited-style at this rose pink palatial resort in Rajasthan. Their ‘Wellness Immersions’ stretch from 4 to 21 night stays, during which you’ll undergo a full Ayurvedic treatment plan devised on the basis of your own personal dosha, or constitution. That may sound intense, but it essentially boils down to eating delicious, equilibrium-restoring meals; relaxing Ayurvedic spa treatments; trips to nearby sights like the Neelkanth Temple and Mansarovar Lake; and of course frequent yoga and candle meditation sessions in their peaceful private gardens.
Details: Amanbagh Resort, Ajabgarh, Alwar, Rajasthan 301027 | From £365 per night
Absolute Sanctuary | Thailand
Absolute Sanctuary run 12 different programmes – like anti-stress, detox and fitness – in an award-winning resort on Koh Samui, complete with gorgeously decorated rooms and beautiful views. Their yoga programmes are designed with a holistic approach in mind, and will net you daily massages, an unlimited number of yoga classes, and a bonus colonic hose-down, to really get to know yourself inside and out.
Details: 88 Moo.5, Cheongmon, Tambol Bophut, Amphur Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320 | From £1275 for 5 days
Reclaim Your Self | Japan
Meditate with Zen priests, soak in hot springs in the mountains and practice daily with an experienced instructor on this tour of the Nagano prefecture in central Japan. The seven day trip promises a pretty full-on but spiritually-infused journey around some of the region’s most scenic spots, from chamomile fields (which are then harvested and used in spa treatments on-site) to cherry blossom viewings, midnight hikes, and forest bathing. The whole trip’s structured around Jivamukti yoga, one of the more vigourous flow styles, so should leave you feeling pretty pepped up.
Details: Tours around Nagano prefecture | From £2,495
Suryalila | Spain
If you’ve been yearning to develop your understanding of yoga as a whole, but can’t help but feel it would be easier surrounded by the gently rolling hills of Andalusia – Suryalila is where you need to go. Their immersion programmes don’t just offer daily classes (although they’re pretty special, taking place in a purpose-built dome decked out with Tibetan murals and prayer flags) – they also offer talks and lectures, pranayama breathing workshops and hour-long yoga philosophy lessons. It all takes place in the rural setting of an old olive oil factory, complete with massage rooms, chill-out pagodas, a salt-water swimming pool, and a host of free-roaming animals. Who knows, you might even see a yogi bear.
Details: Suryalila Retreat Centre, Pago del Pagarete, Cortijo La Fabrica, 11650 Villamartín, Cádiz, Spain | From £432 for 6 days
Yoga Magic Eco Retreat | Goa
With its traditional clay and cow-dung shalas, chanting sessions, and silent meditation, Yoga Magic offers a authentic, stripped-down approach to the yoga retreat – disregarding, of course, the beautifully appointed, palm-fringed, en-suite Rajasthani hunting tent bedrooms you’ll be staying in. Multiple styles of yoga practices run throughout the trip, bolstered by ancient massage techniques, bountiful raw and vegan feasts, and fresh smoothies delivered to your verandah each morning, made with vitamin-stacked ingredients plucked from their own garden.
Details: 1586/1 Grand Chinvar, Anjuna, Bardez, North Goa, India 403509 | From £66 per night
Ulpotha | Sri Lanka
For half the year, Ulpotha goes about its business as a traditional rice-growing village. For the other half, it opens the doors to its secluded paradise for relaxation and yoga retreats, bussing in internationally renowned instructors every fortnight to run different styles of yoga practice in their traditional shala, next to local temples or under the banyan tree. Aside from the twice-daily sessions, there’s also day trips, morning walks, steam baths, weekly massages and Ayurvedic consultations. Oh – and the whole place is beautiful.
Details: Ulpotha Village, Dambulla 21100 | From £2158 for two weeks (travel not included)
PS More of an adrenaline junkie? Check out these adventure holidays for the brave
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