10 of the best health and wellness retreats in Europe for 2023

Need to rebalance your life? From sunny Greece to snowy Finland we pick the best restorative breaks

Back to nature, Croatia

This four-night yoga and meditation retreat is led by experienced teacher Yogi Ashokananda. Accommodation overlooking Lake Begovac is in simple log cabins (called “monk pods”), or guests can camp. Daily yoga and meditation takes place on a platform with great views, and there are guided nature walks, lake swimming, vegetarian meals, optional massages and visits to a potter and Plitvice Lakes national park. The centre is the newly opened sister to a retreat in India.
27 April to 1 May, from £510 for four nights, ashoktree.com

Deep cleanse, France

people heading out on a walk with green drinks

A British couple run this detox and yoga retreat at Maison de Lunel, their estate in the Lot department, south-west France. Accommodation is in an elegant farmhouse, with freshly prepared organic juices and soups on the menu, and twice-daily yoga classes and candlelit meditation each evening. Fitness sessions, wellness workshops, guided nature walks and a massage are included, and there’s a pool, hot tub and infrared sauna.
Five-, seven- and 14-night retreats from 8 April to 30 Sept, from €695, maisondelunel.com

Island idyll, Greece

people writing at a waterside table

On the Aegean island of the same name, Skyros holidays offers a range of courses to heal and inspire, from writing and art to yoga and kayaking at two locations: Skyros Centre in the village (May-July) and coastal Atsitsa Bay (July-September). All sessions are led by experienced facilitators, the community environment is supportive and food is veggie and tasty. Families are welcome during school holidays.
Weekly from 20 May-23 Sept, from £875 a week, skyros.com

Seaside escape, Portugal

people at surf beach with boards

Based at Cocoon, a peaceful eco farm near the seafront village of Vila Nova de Milfontes on the wild Atlantic coast, Yoga on a Shoestring’s week-long retreat features twice-daily movement, breath and relaxation on a shaded deck, led by American hatha yoga teacher Nancy Lea. Between classes there’s a lake to swim in, a surf beach a 10-minute drive away, bikes to borrow and walks along the Costa Vicentina trail. Stylish bedrooms open on to a courtyard. Veggie meals (with fish once a week) use local produce.
8-15 July, from £995 for seven nights, yogaonashoestring.com

Arctic adventure, Finland

 winter sunrise over snowy landscape

See the northern lights and escape from the world at Reclaim Your Self’s Arctic Wilderness Adventure on a silent, snowy, family-run farm in Finnish Lapland. Twice-daily yoga is led by Adam Husler, who teaches a strong alignment-focused practice in a cosy studio. Arctic winter activities include a guided snowshoe hike in the national park, an ice-water lake swim and sauna experience, plus a folklore evening. There’s also optional husky sledding. Food is warm, nourishing and vegetarian.
7-11 December, from £995pp for four nights, reclaimyourself.co.uk

Rural restoration, Turkey

yoga Studio with mats

Huzur Vadisi, a rural haven near Dalaman on the Turquoise Coast, offers a range of interesting week-long, yoga retreats from May to October led by visiting teachers: they include yoga and pilates with Sam Hughes; a gratitude retreat with Julie Paterson; and a creative writing and yoga retreat with Philippa Pride and Ken Eyerman. Twice-daily yoga sessions can be mixed with walks, visits to the coast and local markets, food is vegetarian, and accommodation for up to 30 is in single-, twin- and triple-bed yurts, with super-clean shared bathroom facilities.
From £989 a week, huzurvadisi.com

Spring clean, Germany

kitchen brunch at Bahrenhof

Based at Bahrenhof, a farmhouse in open countryside in northern Germany, Spring Awakening is a back-to-nature retreat by We Come Home, run by yogic couple Imme Kock and Sascha Kaus, which features morning energising yoga classes and evening restorative yoga in a spacious wooden-floored shala. Fully plant-based brunches and dinners are served in a communal kitchen. There’s a sauna, a campfire and guided excursions to the Wadden Sea world heritage site.
4-8 May, from £495 for three nights, wecomehome.com

Pampering reset, Italy

outdoor yoga on deck

Maraviglia is a stylish retreat in Tuscany with far-reaching valley views. The six-night Open House summer retreat offers daily meditation and twice-daily yoga on a garden deck with grounded, attentive teacher Tashi Dawa. There’s a swimming pool, countryside walks, optional massage and local trips. Organic vegetarian brunches and three-course dinners use produce straight from the garden.
Weekly from 4 June to 15 July, from €990 for six nights, maraviglia.net

Writers’ retreat, Spain

woman with laptop in the multi-purpose studio

Set in Las Chimeneas, a collection of houses in the peaceful village of Mairena in the gorgeous Alpujarra region, this retreat led by former publisher and author of Write Every Day Harriet Griffey offers beginners and experienced writers creative space to write, one-to-one feedback, and group opportunities to share and discuss their process. There’s a small pool, access to a yoga studio, guided mountain walks, optional massage and free activities including a cookery class and a talk with local writer Chris Stewart. Tasty meals use locally sourced produce, with vegan options.
10 to 17 June, from €860 for seven nights, laschimeneas.com

Healthy eating, France

cooking class with fennel, courgette flowers and other veg

Nourish Retreat, held at Manoir Mouret close to the village of Andillac in south-west France, is a five-night nutrition retreat led by nutritionist Fiona Berry and French naturopathic chef Stéphanie Cruchandeau designed to help guests fall in love with healthy food and regain their joie de vivre. Accommodation is in a sensitively restored maison de maître (manor house) for immersion into slow French rural life with daily mindful walks, nutrition discussions, a sleep workshop, a cookery session and a market visit. Tasty meals are seasonal and plant-based, with lunch the main meal of the day. There is a tennis court, a pool, walk in the vineyards and massages (€60).
21-26 June or 11-16 October, from €1,150pp (if booked before 11 March) for five nights, manoirmouretretreats.com

Caroline Sylger Jones is founder of queenofretreats.com

Caroline Sylger Jones

The GuardianTramp

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