It’s a new year and the last one has been challenging to say the least, so what better than some healthy, relaxing and renewing wellness retreats to look forward to. Here’s a few ideas from around Europe, from the lush green Isle of Wight to mountains of Italy, and a few others in between.
1. The Grange by the Sea, Isle of Wight
Located on the Isle of Wight, UK, The Grange B&B in the seaside town of Shanklin makes for an idyllic retreat location, offering holiday courses, island retreats and festive breaks. Holistic holiday company Skyros runs several unique holidays from here, with its setting of picturesque thatched pubs and restaurants and just moments from the long, sandy beach. There are a variety of retreats, from yoga with awareness, to mindfulness through art, to writing orientated ones, all of which offer different combinations of activities. All courses follow a structure of eight hours of your chosen Masterclass per week, afternoon drop-in classes and additional ad-hoc morning and evening activities. The community structures unique to Skyros bring everyone together in a fun and authentic way, and the lovely location provides comfort as well as plenty of opportunities to explore the area.
2. Wildfitness, Menorca, Spain
Wildfitness offers both 6 day fundamental and 13 day transformative courses, tucked away on 300 acres of private land on the beautiful south coast of Menorca. The unspoilt Balearic Island makes for the perfect place to rest, rejuvenate, recharge and escape from the outside world through a wild adventure. In between exploring the island and the private villa, enjoy daily group sessions, games, and educational workshops on wild moving, living, eating and mindset, as well as a hands on cooking lesson with the chef, and a complementary massage from the local masseuse. Throughout your stay you will be served delicious natural, organic meals, making for a truly nourishing experience for body, mind and soul.
3. Silver Island, Greece
Silver Island is a private island a few miles from mainland Greece, with 60 acres of gently rolling hills, small idyllic coves, ancient old olive groves, cypress trees and wild flowers. Between April and October, however, it is possible to attend week-long yoga retreats there, led by experts from all over Europe. Enjoy two yoga classes per day in the open air overlooking the ocean, delicious and locally grown vegetarian food, and beautiful whitewashed rooms to stay in. The off-grid island is the ideal digital detox, and you can spend your spare time on the beach, swimming or snorkelling, walking the island, canoeing on the sea, or making the most of the art cupboard to feed your creativity.
4. Cocoon, Portugal
Located on the beautiful and unspoilt West coast of Portugal in the Alentejo region, known for its long stretches of untouched coastline and white-washed villages, Cocoon is a coastal farm with a freshwater lake, near the charming fishing village of Zambujeira do Mar. Here you can enjoy a week-long yoga retreat, with two hatha yoga classes a day which focus on awareness of breath, alignment and inner connection. With the sea only 10-15 minute drive, or refreshing bike ride away, and you can explore and run wild on the stunning stretch of coast. Spend your free time swimming, walking or relaxing in a hammock, before sitting down to enjoy vegetarian meals which take inspiration from a range of cuisines, from Indian to Japanese to Mediterranean. A gorgeous retreat in an incredible setting.
5. Mandali, Italy
Mandali sits against the stunning natural backdrop of Italy’s Lago d’Orta, with beautiful views across to the Alps. In addition to the amazing setting, they offer varying three to six day experiences for anyone wanting to switch off and reconnect to their natural flow. Throughout the retreats they use a combination of yoga, meditation, silence and self-care that facilitates and accelerates personal growth, and offer guided meditation and yoga. This is all accompanied by indulgent body care, healthy food and beautiful architecture and design with tranquil rooms for your to feel at home in. It’s also run as a not-for-profit venture.