5 European yoga retreats to embark on this year
Yoga retreats have exploded in Europe, with restorative breaks popping up in a whole range of hotspots. It makes sense - breathtaking views, soul-enriching sunshine and luxurious venues all mix harmoniously with top yoga teachers. From beachside classes in Sardinia to hill walking in the Alpujarra region, there’s a cleansing escape to suit every kind of yogi.
For action lovers, most destinations offer an exciting range of activities, from skiing in the Alps to scuba diving in Italy. If you prefer to take things slow, spend time between classes bobbing afloat Mediterranean waters or sunbathing with a book. Most retreats cater for all levels, so plan out some all-out rejuvenation and mark the dates of these idyllic escapes in your diary.
Raw food and restoration in Spain
Based in the hilly region of Alpujarras, Kaliyoga offers a medley of activities to mix in with your yoga, including hiking, horse riding, raw food cleansing and juice fasting. With knowledgeable teachers including Lely Aldworth on hand to guide you through your yoga practices twice a day, you can spend the rest of your time relaxing by the pool, having a treatment, or enjoying the cutting-edge vegetarian and vegan cuisine on offer.
Discover ancient magic in Portugal
Portugal-based Sadvidya Foundation adapt ancient yoga practices to the modern-day world for serene short breaks - the ultimate mental, physical and spiritual recharge. Following Yogic and Ayurvedic principles, traditional vegetarian dishes are served around activities, so you’ll feel calm and healthy inside and out. As well as Portuguese weekend workshops, the foundation have deep roots in the spiritual home of yoga - India. 10-day retreats to the south Asian gem combine morning and evening yoga and meditation with active day trips, including jungle hikes and temple tours.
Cleanse by the coast in Greece
Tucked into a cliff on Crete’s southern coast, Yoga Rocks take an eclectic approach to yoga. The friendly and experienced team run retreats that range from gentle chanting and meditation to funky, deep hatha inspired by tai chi - simply pick a teacher who feels right to you. Between classes, explore the coast by swimming, snorkelling or watching bright blue skies pass by from the sweet comfort of a hammock. Refuel after a day at the beach with scrumptious vegetarian feasts, locally sourced and immaculately prepared.
Saluting the sun in Italy
For those who don’t want classes to take over your whole break away, Sardinia Yoga offers the perfect solution. Based at the four-star Grand Hotel in Porto Cervo, you’ll start the day with two hours of open-air yoga every morning. Practice vinyasa flows and gentle breathing while looking out onto twinkling azure waters of Sardinia’s north coast. When you’re not practising your downward dogs on the beachfront, other activities include scuba diving, boat trips, tennis and cycling.
Alpine snow-ga in France
Snowsports and yoga. The two are an uncommon pair, but escape on a yoga retreat with AdventureYogi and you’ll see they’re a match made in heaven. Start the day with an energising hour of hatha yoga with Chetana Thornton before a day on the slopes. Power hounds can wind down in the sauna after an energetic day, or sink into a book by an open fire before the restorative evening class. Rejuvenate after an intense and healthy day by tucking into three-course gourmet vegetarian cuisine, washed down with local organic wines.