Namaste: 11 peaceful yoga retreats around the world

Curious beginner or yoga master? It doesn’t matter! Discover these 11 yoga retreats and come back feeling completely zen

Tune in with the rhythms of nature @ SurfAkademin.se

Tune in with the rhythms of nature @ YogaAkademin

Category Beach & nature

Date 13th June 2017

Is stress creeping into your everyday life? Do you want to get away from it all? We’ve put together a selection of our favorite yoga retreats around the world. Pack your yoga pants and get on your way to full-on relaxation!

Koh Samui – Thailand

Bend so you don't break at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand
Bend so you don’t break at Samahita Retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand © Samahita Retreat

If you’re after a tropical setting, warm weather and world-renowned teachers, Thailand is your new best friend. While tranquility and serenity might not be synonymous with Koh Samui at first glance, look beyond the family-style resorts and crowded beaches, go off the beaten track and join the industry-leading Samahita Retreat.

Located directly on the beach on the south coast of the island, Samahita offers everything from all-inclusive group retreats to wellness, weight loss and detox programs and in-depth teacher training. In short, you can tailor your experience to your specific needs.

Inhale fresh air as you practice in the open-air shala (yoga studio), exhale and enjoy some quiet contemplation in the meditation garden, and finish with a refreshing swim in the saltwater pool. Your eco-friendly accommodation includes a private balcony and solar-powered hot water, and meals are based on the principles of Ayurveda to keep you happy and healthy. All of this is only an hour’s flight from lively Bangkok.

Find a flight to Koh Samui

Aruba –  Dutch Caribbean

Try your hand at SUP Yoga at Rachel Brathen's Island Yoga Retreat
Try your hand at SUP Yoga at Rachel Brathen’s Island Yoga Retreat © Rachel Brathen

Miles upon miles of white-sand beaches, clear blue waters and year-round sunshine welcome you to the Caribbean island of Aruba. This tropical charmer, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, provides near-perfect conditions for windsurfers, kiteboarders and divers – and, of course, serenity-seeking yogis.

The digitally connected yogis among you may already have stumbled upon Rachel Brathen, aka @yoga_girl. The Swedish-born Instagram sensation, with more than 2 million followers, shares honest and personal posts about what goes on behind the scenes of her picture-perfect, Caribbean life in Aruba.

Combine five days of invigorating yoga, meditation and self-discovery with the holiday destination of your dreams on Rachel’s Island Yoga Retreat. Test your balance with SUP Yoga (yoga on a paddle board), explore the north shore of the island and sail into the sunset – all included in the price along with breakfast, two dinners and accommodation.

Find a flight to Aruba

Bali – Indonesia

Blooming Lotus Yoga is located in lush surroundings just outside Ubud, Bali
Blooming Lotus Yoga is located in lush surroundings just outside Ubud, Bali © Blooming Lotus Yoga

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali comes only second to India in terms of yoga offerings. You truly are spoiled by the choices on this Indonesian island composed of lush mountains, rugged coastlines, volcanic hillsides and magnificent beaches.

In a tropical jungle setting just outside Ubud, nestled above a holy river and with views of a divine temple, Blooming Lotus Yoga welcomes you on a four- or seven-day yoga retreat that promises to revitalise and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Daily classes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga are combined with in-depth workshops in asana (postures), meditation and pranayama (breath control) as well as optional healing treatments, nature excursions and cultural immersion opportunities.

Retreat to your 5-star villa with spacious rooms and private plunge pool, or spend an afternoon exploring nearby, buzzing Ubud. Do you already know your Virabhadrasana (a pose also known as warrior) from your Sirsasana (headstand) and looking to make a change? Blooming Lotus Yoga also offers a Yoga Alliance accredited 200-hour teacher training course.

Find a flight to Denpasar

Aourir – Morocco

Yoga and surfing are a wonderful match - explore your skills on the mat and on the waves with a retreat in Morocco
Yoga and surfing are a wonderful match – explore your skills on the mat and on the waves with a retreat in Morocco

Can’t decide between finding inner-peace and sparking your adrenaline rush? No need to choose one or the other with the increasingly popular surf & yoga retreats.

SurfMaroc’s retreat is set in a tranquil villa overlooking the rugged Moroccan coastline. Suitable for all levels and abilities, yoga classes are held in a fully-equipped rooftop yoga shala with views of the Atlantic Ocean. Work on your physical and mental strength, essential skills for the accomplished surfer, through a blend of dynamic Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga and the more calming Hatha and Restorative Yoga.

World-class waves and a peaceful atmosphere set the scene for the village of Aourir, otherwise known as Banana Village due to the large number of banana plantations in the area. Only a 40-minute car ride from Agadir, your retreat is easily accessible from most European hubs. Wind in your hair, sand on your feet – that surfer…ahem…warrior pose has never looked so good.

Find a flight to nearby Agadir

Bornholm – Denmark

Bornholm-Yoga-Centre-best-yoga-retreats-yoga-retreats-europe
Meditation in quiet surroundings at the Bornholm Yoga & Retreat Center

Known as Denmark’s sunny island, Bornholm is located east of the mainland and just a short 35-minute flight from capital city Copenhagen. Bornholm is not your average island. Here you’ll find abrupt cliffs falling directly into the Baltic Sea, chalky white beaches, large forests where delicate light seeps through, and picturesque towns and villages.

In one of these towns lies The Bornholm Yoga & Retreat Center, an expansive property dedicated to body, soul and nature. They run several workshops throughout the year. For an all-encompassing experience, choose the ‘Moving Into Silence Weekend Retreat’ hosted by resident yogi, Solveig Egebjerg. You are encouraged to leave all communication devices behind and dive into the world of silence. This journey starts and ends in nature: you will hike in the neighboring forests and along the coast, learn new breathing techniques and meditate on the beach.

Each day will end with a homemade organic vegetarian meal served by a campfire on the beach.

Find a flight to Bornholm

Santa Teresa – Costa Rica

Sun salutations have never felt so good
Sun salutations have never felt so good © Yogiakademin

Located in northwestern Costa Rica, Santa Teresa attracts yoga enthusiasts and spa junkies from all over the world. The setting is dreamlike: the rainforest that runs all the way down to the palm-lined beach, the reflection of the sun in the crystal clear waters, the cloudless blue sky, the tropical climate … All of them come together to create the perfect meditation retreat.

The retreat, Nautilus Boutique Hotel, rests on a rock ledge with a view of the majestic Pacific Ocean. 90-minute yoga sessions are run twice a day, but you can opt for a private session if you prefer.

Private terraces, a swimming pool, in-room massages and a restaurant preparing healthy organic dishes are just a few of the things that’ll make your retreat an unforgettable experience.

Find a flight to nearby San José

Big Sur – California, USA

This is what luxury camping is all about!
This is what luxury camping is all about!

If you like to camp, but don’t want give up on certain luxury amenities, glamping (glamorous camping) might just be the thing for you.

Located on a coastal ridge with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Treebones Resort offers back-to-nature yurt accommodation. A yurt is a Mongolian tent-like structure built in a circular shape, but not to worry, the yurts here come equipped with comfy beds, a heat source and electric lighting, and access to private decks that boast spectacular views.

Go for the ‘Yoga in Nature’ workshop that includes yurt accommodation, six different yoga sessions on the beautiful outdoor platform and nourishing meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients. End a day of yoga sessions with a tailored massage or a rejuvenating swim in the pool.

Find a flight to nearby San Francisco

Loviisa – Finland

You'll be guaranteed a relaxed sleep at Villa Mandala © Mikko Harma / Villa Mandala
You’ll be guaranteed a relaxed sleep at Villa Mandala © Mikko Harma / Villa Mandala

Looking to escape the stress of a demanding job? Rustic Villa Mandala Manor & Resort, located just a one-hour drive from Helsinki, in the city of Loviisa, is the perfect spot. With a focus on stress relief, relaxation and culinary nutrition, Villa Mandala hosts around five yoga retreats every year. Nature is a core element of each retreat: you’ll go on silent hikes in the forests, take a dip in the nearby lake or go on a bicycle ride through the Finnish countryside.

No trip to Finland is complete without a sauna experience: Villa Mandala has a traditional wood-heated Finnish sauna that can accommodate 15 bathers. Try the therapeutic herbal sauna or a holistic bone setting treatment.

Find a flight to nearby Helsinki

Ahetze – French Basque Country, France

Let the sounds of the waves guide you
Let the sounds of the waves guide you © Yogiakademin

French Basque Country recalls images of beautiful old villages, emerald rolling hills, full-bodied red wines and proud, fiery people. Resting between the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean, just a 30-minute car drive from Biarritz, the small Basque village Ahetze is the perfect spot for a week of untroubled yoga sessions. To book a retreat here, visit Swedish Yogiakademin.

Beneath the late summer sun, surrounded by lush gardens, you’ll dive deep in Osho meditation (a type of meditation conditioned by a constant state of awareness) and different types of yoga, both dynamic and restorative. In between sessions, you can go on a walk and discover the Basque countryside, visit the nearby village or get a start on a good book. Finish the day with a detox vegetarian meal and take in the sunset.

For all those who want to end the yoga retreat on an active note: go surfing in the crisp waters of Biarritz.

Find a flight to Biarritz

Goa – India

© Little Cove Yoga Retreat
Can you feel the soft breeze? © Little Cove Yoga Retreat

This is where it all started! India is home to hundreds of yoga retreats. If you’re looking to combine a beach holiday with tranquil yoga sessions among palm trees, go for the Little Cove Yoga Retreat located on Cola Beach in the former Portuguese province of Goa. The concept here is to be as close to nature as possible, so you’ll live in eco-friendly cottages among coconut palm trees directly on the beach and be served two filling Indian vegetarian meals a day.

Run by experienced yogi Mahendra Pardeshi, the sessions will focus on finding your inner calm and achieving good physical health. You can also opt for as many traditional Ayurvedic massages and treatments (alternative medicine practices originating from the Indian subcontinent) as you like. Alternatively, soak up the sun on the beach or go for a boat ride with local fishermen.

Find a flight to Goa

Read more: 14 places to visit in India

Bretagne – France

Breathe in, breathe out 
Breathe in, breathe out © Yogiakademin

Though perhaps a bit overlooked, Bretagne, with its combination of dramatic landscape, endless beaches, charming small villages and hearty cuisine, makes for a serene setting for a yoga retreat.

The retreat is located in the beautiful Chateau du Grand Val dating back to the 15th century. The castle boasts scenic views of the countryside and the property comes complete with fishponds where you can take a boat out for a row. After a dynamic Vinyasa session, you can unwind by the open fireplace or take a swim in the heated pool.

Harmonious meditation goes hand-in-hand with a balanced meal: think French cuisine meets organic raw innovations. If you’re interested in joining a retreat here, visit Sweden-based Yogiakademin.

Find a flight to Rennes
Are you looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our picks for books that inspire wanderlust or visit momondo inspiration for more travel ideas and expert tips

Originally published

13th June 2017