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Spiritual indulgence in Europe

Stressful jobs, hectic schedules and always wanting (and having) to do more things than any of us really have time for can take a toll on the mind, body and general well-being. Which gives us solid reasons for choosing travel – it’s good to get out of the daily rut and have opportunities to ‘stop and smell the flowers’ every once in a while.

We recently wrote about spiritual journeys and yoga retreats in India, the birthplace of many of these practices. But if the prospect of long-haul travel isn’t your cup of tea, or you just can’t get away for a long break, there are some interesting opportunities somewhat closer to home. More and more centres for relaxation are opening up in Europe, offering travellers the chance to let their cares and woes drift away in calming environments without the added stress of a long journey on top.

The Flexicover Team has put together some trips considered as the best yoga retreats in Europe where you can enjoy a wonderfully rejuvenating holiday this year.

Les Passeroses; Angoulême, France

This resort is based in a converted farm house in the beautiful rural environs near Angoulême in south-western France. Les Passeroses provides one of Europe’s best meditation retreats and yoga retreats, offering a varied mix of styles from freestyle to Iyengar. Here you’ll spend a few hours each day practicing yoga and meditating in their gorgeous tented space or an outdoor deck with lovely views. The rest of the time, relax with a dip in the pool, enjoy a hot-stone massage, take luxurious walks around the premises and dine on delicious vegetarian food to soothe your stresses away.

Kaliyoga; Granada, Spain

Just south of the sweeping Sierra Nevada, a UNESCO biosphere reserve in Andalucia, is this picturesque yoga resort. On offer is a whole host of programmes, designed to let you determine the experience you need. Popular activities include dynamic flow training, juice detoxing, raw food workshops, walking in the hills and soaking in the natural pool overlooking the spectacular mountain scenery. And all of this alongside twice daily yoga and meditation sessions using their unique yoga methods. Plus healthy vegetarian/vegan meals and a range of accommodation options makes this a popular yoga break in Europe.

The Zest Life; Anglesey, Wales

If you like yoga but want a little action and adventure as well during your holistic holidays, then this is a great retreat. From the stylish country house at Plas Cadnant, surrounded by waterfalls and gorgeous mountain views amidst 21 acres of sprawling parkland, you can explore yourself and the Welsh countryside at the same time. Get back to nature as you practice yoga, take thrilling hikes, meditate on mindfulness and truly enjoy the symbiosis on offer. Cosy accommodation in a converted barn is available for you to recuperate after a day spent engaging with nature making it one of the UK's great yoga and meditation retreats.

Silver Island Yoga; Evia, Greece

Set on a private island off the coast of Evia in eastern Greece, this retreat sits in 60 acres of serene olive groves, picturesque pebbled beaches, rolling hills and enchantingly beautiful coves. Silver Island Yoga offers week-long yoga and spiritual retreats, where you stay in traditionally Greek whitewashed buildings with their characteristic blue shutters. Yoga sessions are held on a cliff-top pavilion overlooking the sea and showcase a variety of traditions as teachers are drawn from all over the world. In your free time go kayaking in the surrounding coast, get creative in art workshops, try snorkelling or take a trip to the island’s lighthouse.

Sardinia Yoga; Sardinia, Italy

Combine a beach holiday with a spot of daily yoga and you’ve got a superb retreat experience that the four-star Grand Hotel in Porto Cervo offers. Start each day with two hours of meditation and practice on a beachfront deck overlooking the mesmerising azure waters of Sardinia’s northern coast. Teachers here specialise in vinyasa and gentle hatha yoga styles. Follow this with rejuvenating spa treatments or boat tours of the surrounding area. The sun, sand and sea all provide an exceptional setting for a wonderful yoga holiday in Europe that you can enjoy at any time right from May all the way through to September.

With a variety of options on offer for a yoga retreat in Europe, picking one based on your interests should be easy. The harder part will be setting aside some time, just for yourself. We at Flexicover Direct, are committed to providing you the highest level of protection with European travel insurance to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.