A yoga retreat makes a great break for single travellers, couples and groups. Three experts give their recommendations to Adam Shaw
What’s the brief?
An individual traveller wants to enjoy an active break in a natural, outdoorsy setting – with plenty of yoga. As well as having time to themselves to relax and unwind, they’re also keen to interact with likeminded people.
Tim Williamson, customer director, Responsible Travel
Active and wellness holidays, including those involving yoga, have been steadily growing in popularity for several years, and this year has been a strong one. Small-group escapes are a great way for solo travellers to meet other people with shared interests, but they’ll also be tailored to a varying degree, with the freedom and flexibility for guests to spend time alone when they want it.
Some yoga retreats are very focused on holistic health and wellbeing, whereas others are broader, often nature-based, with additional activities for guests to take part in, such as guided hikes, foraging or wild swimming.
Our trade-bookable yoga retreats in Valencia offer twice-daily hatha or vinyasa classes catering to all levels. Alongside daily yoga classes, there are regular yin yoga sessions, as well as other activities such as pranayama breathing, guided meditation, periods of silence and walks in the surrounding hills.
The trip is full-board, with delicious plant-based meals prepared using quality regional organic produce – great for the guests, the planet and the local farmers. Solo travellers can choose from a range of single-occupancy rooms and suites – though there might be a surcharge.
Book it: Responsible Travel’s six-day Yoga Retreat in Valencia starts at £691 in September, including accommodation, meals and activities.
What’s the brief?
A couple want to explore a traditional yoga region, while also enjoying some wellness experiences. They would like some downtime together, but also want to immerse themselves in the place they’re visiting.
Nick Botham, India and Nepal senior specialist, Audley Travel
For couples who want to try an authentic yoga experience in a romantic setting, we recommend Ananda in the Himalayas. About a 45-minute drive from the holy town of Rishikesh, it’s set in 100 acres of forest. As well as arresting views of the low Himalaya, the Ganges and valley of Rishikesh, Ananda boasts a spa offering Ayurvedic treatments and wellness programmes.
Couples can do yoga, chanting and meditation sessions – including personalised hatha and pranayama classes – through to emotional healing programmes, where after a dedicated consultation they can focus on fully relaxing their bodies and minds.
Rooms are set in a separate block away from the palace, giving a feeling of total peace. Our tours in the Western Himalaya also include visits to the Sikh Golden Temple at Amritsar and to Dharamshala, where clients can learn about Tibetan traditions and visit the Buddhist Monastery.
Book it: Audley Travel’s 13-day tailor-made trip to the Western Himalaya includes three nights at Ananda. Prices start at £3,900 between July and October, including flights, accommodation and excursions.
What’s the brief?
A group of friends are looking for a place in a special location where they can enjoy themselves away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. They want regular yoga options, as well as the chance to fully relax and recharge.
Stacey Owens, travel expert, Kuoni
Group yoga trips are a great way for people to spend time away together, connecting not only with themselves but also with each other. Encourage clients to book any personalised services (such as Ayurvedic treatments) in advance, particularly if they’re going as a group.
And consider resorts that can offer other spa and wellness options, for a well-rounded experience. Santani Wellness Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka has guided hatha yoga sessions twice daily, which are great for groups.
Everyone can take part in them together, which might help anyone who’s feeling a bit self-conscious. Guests can access the hydrotherapy suite, which is a great place for groups to hang out in. It’s quite sociable and the heated pools, steam room and sauna make it the ideal spot to relax in. The resort is in such a striking setting that it’s perfect for getting away – you don’t need anything outside of it.
Book it: Five nights’ all-inclusive in a Mountain Chalet at Santani Wellness Resort & Spa starts at £2,399, including flights, departing October 2.
PICTURES: Shutterstock/shellygraphy, Dmitry Rukhlenko
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