Top 10 The Best Yoga Retreats All Over The World
Silver Island, Greece
Silver Island is special. A 60-acre, off-grid haven, it is covered in olive groves and wild flowers, with pebbled beaches, hidden coves and space for just 10 guests in two stylish, whitewashed traditional houses. American yoga and ayurveda teacher Karuna DiLibero is among the teachers lined up for next year (21-27 April and 28 April-2 May). Two daily classes of yoga and meditation and delicious organic vegetarian cuisine are included.
Jungle Yoga, Thailand
Surrounded by limestone karst and rainforest, Jungle Yoga literally floats on a freshwater lake – everything from the 30 bungalows to the restaurant and yoga shala is on the water, connected by wooden walkways. It’s an idyllic place for a yoga retreat and total digital detox (there’s no wifi signal here), with various teachers leading holidays from December to April. Join Sarah Williams for gentle, slow-flowing yoga, with a focus on self-exploration (23 February-2 March), or Simon Low, one of the original founders of London’s Triyoga, for a week of vinyasa, breath work and restorative yin (9-16 March). In the middle of Khao Sok National Park, you’re fully immersed in nature with the soundtrack of gibbons in the misty mornings and cicadas in the evening as you dine on healthy vegetarian Thai fare under the stars. There’s plenty of time for swimming or kayaking, hiking, exploring nearby caves or just hanging out in a hammock.
Free Spirit Yoga, France
On the edge of the Cevennes National Park, an hour from Nîmes, Château du Fraissinet – an old mansion in six acres of grounds bordered by the river Gardon – makes a picturesque setting. Days start with alignment-focused vinyasa flow led by Brigitte Riley, complemented by yin or yoga nidra (sleep yoga) at night. There’s free time to visit local markets or the lakes of Camboux or to hike in the mountains. Not one for beginners.
Kali Yoga, Italy
Combine yoga and cycling in Puglia, southern Italy, staying in a 16th-century farmhouse near the historic town of Martina Franca. Yoga teacher Tashi leads two classes most days, encouraging students of all levels to develop at home. There are two 30km cycling trips, exploring the beautiful Itria Valley, famed for its trullo houses (electric bikes available). Delicious, inventive vegetarian meals, meditation and optional chanting sessions included.
Amayour Surf, Morocco
The Anti-Atlas mountains are the backdrop, the call to prayer the soundtrack at Tamairt by Amayour in pretty Agouni village, which opens this month. The latest venture from the owners of Amayour Surf and Yoga Hostel in Taghazout, it’s hippy-chic with dorms or private rooms and different yoga teachers running retreats each week, with two classes daily. Cuisine is modern Moroccan, there’s a pool and, as retreats run Saturday to Thursday, you could tag on some surf time.
Soul & Surf, Portugal
After the success of its Sri Lanka and Kerala holidays, and pop-ups in Portugal, Soul & Surf is opening a permanent home on the Iberian peninsula in 2019. Based at Quinta de Mesquita, a farmhouse with 10 guest rooms close to some of the Algarve’s best surf beaches, all levels are catered for with five surf sessions and five yoga sessions included in a week’s stay. No experience needed.
Start the day with meditation under the pine trees and end it with an (optional) skinny dip in the lake. Cocoon Portugal is a new retreat on a 275-acre coastal farm near the fishing village of Zambujeira do Mar. Co-owner and yoga teacher Anton Brandt has hosted retreats around the world. The converted farmhouse has room for 24, with indoor and outdoor shalas. The vibe is distinctly carefree. Sheep and goats roam the fields and chickens provide fresh eggs. There are homemade granolas and yogurt for breakfast, and Mediterranean stews, Japanese curries and pizzas from the wood-fired oven for dinner. Between daily classes guests can hop on bikes to explore the Atlantic coast, which is 10 minutes away, or hike the stunning Costa Vicentina trail.
Tania Brown Yoga, Devon
Practise yoga on a platform in the woods or in a converted barn on this idyllic organic farm near Axminster in Devon. Experienced teacher Tania Brown leads a mix of energising hatha flow and more restorative evening sessions, while creative veggie meals, prepared with produce from the land, are a highlight. Accommodation is in a guesthouse with simple ensuite rooms filled with flowers.
Yoga Explorers, Sri Lanka
Brighton-based yoga teachers Jim Taran and Khadine Morcom host week-long retreats at Talalla Retreat, on the beach in southern Sri Lanka, with alfresco yoga to the sound of the Indian Ocean. Classical yoga is taught in a friendly, light-hearted way and suits both seasoned yogis and novices, with two daily classes fuelled by delicious, healthy vegetarian cuisine. Whale-watching safaris and surfing are among the free-time options.
Adventure Yogi, Montenegro
Combine three hours of yoga a day with outdoor adventure in unspoiled Montenegro. Based in a renovated olive mill, 10 minutes’ drive from the coast, the days are topped and tailed by Amy Williams’s accessible classes – a mix of gentle flowing hatha and slow-paced yin and meditation. In between there’s time for wild swimming in rivers and lakes, mountain hiking and visits to the old town of Stari Bar and the beach.