Top 10 Unusual Yoga Retreats

Combine daily yoga practice with a range of activities, in extra special places designed to deepen your connection with the natural world or to simply help you relax and destress. On our top 10 unusual yoga retreats you’ll be stretching out after surf lessons, meditating in the mountains and learning how to refuel the right way with healthy cooking classes. All alongside yoga classes perfect for beginners and beyond. Aaand breathe.

1. Walking & yoga, Spain

Yoga for the soul, walks for the lungs. Strap on your walking boots in between time on the mat for a retreat which perfectly balances energising hikes with restorative yoga classes. Deep breathing comes naturally in Alicante, a part of Spain reputed to have one of the healthiest climates in the world.

When to go: March and October
Our top selling trip: Yoga and walking holiday in Spain
See all our trips: Yoga holidays in Spain
Read more: Walking in Spain guide

2. Yoga, meditation & massage, Portugal

When just one form of relaxation and reflection isn’t going to be enough, combine your yoga practise with Thai or Ayurvedic massage and meditation sessions for a truly restorative retreat. Look to the peaceful foothills of the Portugal’s Serra de Estrela Mountains for silent guided morning walks in the forest, wild swimming and massage, combined with yoga for all abilities.

When to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Yoga holiday in Portugal
See all our trips: Portugal yoga retreats
Read more: Portugal travel guide

3. Snowshoeing & yoga, Austria

Buck the trend for warm weather workouts and opt for a stylish winter retreat. You’ll find the silence and stillness of the snow covered Austrian Alps are the perfect accompaniment to daily yoga classes, based in a tranquil mountain chalet. You’ll have plenty of time to explore, with guided snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter walking complementing your yoga practice.

When to go: December to April
Our top selling trip: Austria activity holiday, hiking, snowshoeing and yoga
See all our trips: Austria yoga retreats
Read more: Austria winter travel guide

4. Himalayan hiking & yoga, Nepal

Combine challenging trekking with restorative yoga in Nepal. Trek in the lesser visited Helambu region, discovering Himalayan views, pine filled valleys and an insight into fascinating Buddhist traditions. Alternatively, the Annapurna Range offers more iconic, high-altitude hiking. Guided yoga based meditation and Ayurvedic spa treatments follow your trek, in mountain retreats or Kathmandu, and will help you reflect on your mountain experiences.

When to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Nepal charity trek and yoga holiday
See all our trips: Yoga retreats in Nepal
Read more: Nepal trekking travel guide

5. Yoga & desert camping, Morocco

Match Marrakech with mindfulness in the Sahara Desert, where yoga holidays at riads and desert camps combine Moroccan hospitality with camel rides and stargazing. Alongside twice-daily yoga, relax in a steamy traditional hammam, sip sweet mint tea in cool courtyards, enjoy delicious tagines or take a stroll through Marrakech.

When to go: March and October
Our top selling trip: Morocco holiday with daily yoga
See all our trips: Unusual Morocco holidays
Read more: Morocco travel guide

6. Yoga for foodies, Italy

Focussing on pranayama, correct and deep breathing, isn’t difficult when your surroundings are a peaceful organic farmstay in the beautiful Umbrian countryside. Often overshadowed by neighbouring Tuscany, Umbria offers some of Italy’s most delectable local produce and you’ll combine your daily yoga classes with hands on cooking designed to equip you with a repertoire of organic, vegetarian dishes.

When to go: May to September
Our top selling trip: Yoga and vegetarian cooking lessons in Umbria, Italy
See all our trips: Yoga retreats in Italy
Read more: Umbria travel guide

7. Learn Spanish with yoga, Spain

Stretch muscles in your body and mind on a relaxed retreat in the heart of the Picos de Europa Mountains in green, northern Spain. Or join a local yoga group in Granada, with daily Spanish lessons to help you converse across your mat. You’ll enjoy daily yoga and an intensive Spanish course, all suitable for beginners and beyond. In your free time the mountains, cafes and local markets await.

When to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Learn Spanish and yoga in the Picos de Europa, Spain
See all our trips: Yoga holidays in Spain
Read more: Picos de Europa travel guide

8. Yoga & surfing, Portugal & Sri Lanka

Experience the thrill of learning to surf at some of the Algarve’s most beautiful, wild Atlantic beaches while contemplating your connection with the ocean via yoga sessions for all abilities. Or take to the sea off Sri Lanka’s palm-backed coastline, where surf lessons are combined with yoga on the beach and there are options for whale watching, cooking classes and snorkelling.

When to go: April to October
Our top selling trip: Yoga and surfing holiday in the Algarve, Portugal
See all our trips: Yoga holidays in Portugal and Yoga holiday in Sri Lanka
Read more: Algarve travel guide and Sri Lanka travel guide

9. Yoga & sailing, Greece

There are few better ways to explore Greece’s lovely islands than by boat, especially when this doubles as your own mobile yoga retreat. Enjoy sun salutations on deck or harbourside, as the sun rises over the crystal-clear Ionian Sea, and in-between yoga practices swim and snorkel in hidden bays, explore fishing villages and sup on tasty food and wine at local restaurants.

When to go: May to July
Our top selling trip: Yoga and sailing retreat in Greece
See all our trips: Wellness holidays in Greece
Read more: Greece wellness travel guide

10. Yoga & volunteering, India

Learn yoga in its birthplace, India, and open your heart to a uniquely warm, eloquent and energetic culture by fitting your daily yoga classes around a community volunteer project. In Kerala you’ll start your day with a local yoga guru, before assisting local school teachers with English classes or an adult literacy scheme. This is nourishment for the soul, as well as the body.

When to go: All year round
Our top selling trip: Yoga in India and volunteering holiday
See all our trips: Yoga retreats in India
Read more: Kerala travel guide
Written by Sarah Faith
Photo credits: [Page banner: Marion Michele] [Top box: Paul Arps] [Austrian Alps: Michael Niessl] [Cooking lesson Italy: USAG Livorno PAO] [Sailing in Greece: Gaetano Cessati]