The 11 Most Epic Wellness Vacations of Summer 2017
One of the biggest bummers of adulthood has to be the lack of mandatory summer break. I mean, think about how much happier you’d be if you still had three months to get out from behind your desks to move, stick your toes in some sand, soak up a little vitamin D, and spend tons of QT with our pals.
Totally unrealistic? Perhaps. But there’s at least one way to capture a little bit of that school’s-out magic after graduation: Use a major chunk of your PTO for a wellness retreat in a faraway destination.
From a yoga-and-sailing adventure in the Mediterranean to a trek through the Himalayas, the getaways that follow are all perfect opportunities to take an extended break from routine—and make a few new friends, reconnect with nature, indulge in a little self-care, and get a daily hit of exercise-induced endorphins while you're at it. (Bonus points if you choose a destination so far-flung, there’s no wifi.)
Keep reading for the 11 buzziest summer wellness retreats around the world.
June 22–29: Yogascapes Iceland Yoga Retreat
Various locations in Iceland
If you can’t deal with humid city summers, a jaunt to Iceland may be just your cup of cold brew. You’ll criss-cross the island nation over the course of a week, taking in glaciers and icebergs, power walking the streets of Reykjavik, and soaking in healing geothermal hot springs (including the world-famous Blue Lagoon). In between spa treatments, whale watching, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and cave tours, you’ll also be treated to a daily yoga practice courtesy of Los Angeles-based instructor Rebecca Hall.
July 8–15: Love Yoga in Italy
Be sure to pack your leggings with the extra-stretchy waistband for this retreat in Puglia, the home of orecchiette pasta and burrata cheese. You’ll be staying in an 18th-century farmhouse that looks like something out of Architectural Digest, where Love Yoga founders Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon will guide you through two daily asana classes. And to balance out all the gourmet goodness you’ll experience during day trips to neighboring villages and the Adriatic Coast, vegetarian meals will be cooked up on site.
July 22–29: FP Escapes’ Wellness Voyage
Sardinia, Italy to Corsica, France
Ahoy, yogi—you’ve probably never experienced a retreat quite like this one. Chloe Kernaghan of Sky Ting Yoga is leading Free People’s island-hopping journey through the southern Mediterranean, which takes place mostly on an eight-person sailboat. On your stop-offs, you’ll have a chance to hike and snorkel along the coasts of Tavolara Island, the La Maddalena archipelago, and Bonifacio, all fueled by plant-based, gluten-free meals cooked by Australian chef Sandy Ho. Better start working on your boat pose now.
July 22–29: Healing the Heart meditation retreat
If Tinder burnout has you feeling like a leggings-clad Grinch, this weeklong retreat will likely help you call in some loving vibes. Two of LA’s most respected meditation instructors—Heather Prete and Chandresh Bhardwaj of The Den—are planning a curriculum of heart-opening mindfulness meditation and healing mantra, all designed to get you out of your head and feeling more deeply. Also on the agenda: yoga, hiking, beach time, and archaeological tours (because this is a vacation, after all).
August 19–27: Escape to Shape Bhutan
Various locations, Bhutan
Get ready to wear out your fitness tracker. During this Himalayan hiking adventure, you’ll be clocking way more than 10,000 steps per day—which is a good thing if you want to boost your metabolism. Photo ops will include ancient fortresses, monasteries, temples, and markets, supplemented with daily vinyasa yoga, restorative massage, and plenty of healthy, seasonal meals made from indigenous ingredients. And after meeting a few of the locals, you’ll quickly realize why the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan’s repeatedly been named the happiest country in the world.
August 12–19: Yoga for Bad People in Croatia
Korcula Island, Croatia
Does the idea of a yoga retreat put you to sleep? This one might be more your speed, with adrenaline-boosting activities that include sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Instructors Katelin Sisson and Kat Colla will ensure you’re properly energized for your daily adventures, and you’ll have a chance to recover from all those extreme sports with massages and wine tasting. It’s all about balance, right?
August 13–20: For the Love of Travel: The Scandinavia Trip
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
Okay, so it might not be hygge season, but there’s still plenty of cozy camaraderie to be soaked up in Scandinavia come summer. This three-country escapade includes a bike tour of Copenhagen, a fresh-air boat ride through Oslo’s fjords, and a 10K midnight run around Stockholm. And after eating at tons of farm-to-table hotspots and learning about the region's progressive policies, you might even return home with some fuel for your activist aspirations.
August 13–18: DuVine’s Holland Bike Tour
Various locations in The Netherlands
Cycling through Europe might sound glamorous, but there’s something slightly terrifying about sharing winding, two-lane roads with speeding Fiats, no? This trip provides the perfect solution: It’s set in one of the most rider-friendly places in the world, where bike lanes are as common as sidewalks. The route takes you past canals and castles, through towns like Utrecht and Gouda, and to tulip gardens, microbreweries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and even locals’ homes. (Inside tip: Schedule some extra time at the end to check out the all-avocado restaurant in Amsterdam, where the journey concludes.)
August 13–19: Heal Yourself Yoga & Meditation Retreat
If work stress is messing with your health, Bee Bosnak is your girl. The New York City-based instructor first turned to yoga to deal with the pressure of a fashion career and chronic asthma, and now she’s spreading the self-care love through asana, pranayama, and meditation. During this week in southern Spain you’ll go deep into all of these practices, with horseback riding, hiking, wine tasting, and beach time also on the itinerary. Are you breathing a little easier already?
September 2–6: LuxeFIT’s Saint Martin Retreat
Reaching max heart rate is a lot less excruciating when you’re doing it by a white sand beach. At this high-intensity, Labor Day retreat, you’ll start each morning with a workout by top trainer JJ Dancer, followed up with adventures like water sports, zip-lining, and catamaran tours. At night, you’ll have lots of options for topping up your macros—Saint Martin is known as the culinary capital of the Carribean, you know.
September 2–9: Matthew Kenney Wellness
Plant-based foodies will be in total nirvana at this retreat concept from the vegan celeb chef and yogi Jacyn Fain, which includes farm-to-table dinners, hands-on cooking demos, and nutrition coaching. Island exploration is also highly encouraged, whether that means hiking and stand-up paddleboarding, doing yoga and meditation—or just napping off your veggie ceviche coma.
Here's how to make sure the magic of your experience doesn't fade once you get home. And for more ways to have an entire season full of scrapbook-worthy moments, check out our #99DaysofSummer guide.
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