The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Europe seems to be the ideal land for travel: it’s full of history, contrasts, great variety, and breathtaking wonders to keep exploring. Because of the uniquely beautiful geography and the authentic experiences to be had across the continent, it’s also the perfect setting for yoga.

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Just picture this: wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could choose from a few all-inclusive vacations where you get to relax, do some yoga and experience the local culture? After you find the perfect destination and package for you, you just get your Eurail Pass, pack up the essentials in a backpack, and go exploring your way around the continent!

There are plenty of other things to scratch off that travel map of yours on your way to your main destination or on your way back. What could be a more perfect way to spend a long vacation?

So, without further ado, here is my ultimate list of must-see and must-feel places in Europe if you’re looking for a great place to do yoga in, and if you also plan to go on a multi-destination railway journey. Sure, there are other noteworthy European destinations to explore, but these are my personal faves and the ones I can actually vouch for.

#1. Algarve, Portugal

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Algarve is probably the best beach destination in Europe, where the beautiful view is combined with a variety of available watersports and other activities to indulge in. Amazing food and a bit of nightlife are also on the menu while vacationing in this picture-perfect place. The whole of Portugal is one amazing destination (especially for yoga), but the Algarve region and its many beaches really take the cake.

Yoga is one of the main offers in the Algarve since many teachers choose this tranquil spot for guiding their classes towards inner peace. Also, if you want to go on a quick day trip by train during this mainstay in Algarve, you can easily get to Lisbon, Evora and even to Seville in Spain. To enjoy Algarve at its best, you should make the most of the ocean breeze and beach vibes from March to October.

#2. Paros, Greece

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Ok, so, technically, Paros is an island. This means that if you want to go here you won’t be able to complete your entire journey by train alone. Still, you can get pretty close to Paros just by using the railway and then a ferry will take you to the island itself. Once you’re there, you can enjoy the beautiful Greek colors and the breeze while working on your lotus pose and stretches.

Of course, there’s more than yoga in store in such a beautiful place: the local cuisine (fresh seafood galore), old stone churches and ruins, charming fishing villages or a traditional winery and the locals and their stories. If you fancy a visit to the mainland, know that Athens is pretty close by, and since it’s the capital (and the cradle of European civilization, by and large), there will definitely be lots of exploring to do.

My personal experience with Greece was at the same time overwhelming and serene. The peacefulness and the colors to be encountered there make it both an interesting place to explore and an ideal destination for yoga.

#3. Tuscany, Italy

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

In my experience, Italy is a land worth returning to, time and time again, for yogis and non-yogis alike. Many people think only of the amazing wineries and beautiful golden autumn scenery whenever Tuscany is mentioned. But yogis know that this gorgeous Italian region is also one of the most popular year-round yoga destinations, too.

The small mountains and valleys in the region not only create the perfect setting for vineyards to grow and mature but also for your inner self. At least, that’s what would explain the growing popularity of yoga retreats in Tuscany and why all those in need of a fresh start flock to get their energy levels replenished here.

There are also plenty of extra activities to enjoy while touring Tuscany for getting your yoga poses worked on. The Italian cuisine, for example, surely needs no introduction from me or anyone, and the local wine-tasting tours are as frequent here as regular cafes. Speaking of cafes, I recommend getting up early at least once in your trip, even if you’re not usually a morning person. Trust me when I say that few things can compare to a good cappuccino on a café terrace while watching the sunrise.

#4. Burgundy, France

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Another region famed for its wines but which also doubles up as a perfect setting for getting your yoga vibes on is Burgundy. The French countryside is uniquely equipped to provide you with peace and a deep rest and relaxation, so you can return home after your trip with refreshed and ready to take on the world. Therefore, if you choose a more remote area for enjoying a week-long retreat, you might fully immerse yourself in the charm of the region.

For little day trips during your longer Bordeaux stay, try to visit Dijon (the historical town that makes the famed mustard paste) and Orleans, the site of medieval battles with England and home to beautiful castles and ruins. Basically, your entire Bordeaux trip can consist of visiting castles and attending wine tasting tours, besides working towards your yoga goals.

#5. Berlin, Germany

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Fancy a more urban setting for your yoga classes, or you’d like to follow more high-profile yoga teachers and meet more interesting people during your journey? Then you should head over to Berlin; nowadays, it’s probably the most eclectic and creative of all European capitals (no offense meant to those of you guys who have biases different from mine!).

Combining yoga classes with energetic sessions of exploring the city and its markets or clubs, or simply admiring some art galleries during the free hours is one of the best things about attending a yoga retreat right in the capital of Berlin.

Also, you can expect to find relevant events and conferences (on yoga themes but also any creative field you might enjoy learning about) at almost any visiting time. An extra bonus? Berlin is so well-connected by train to many other German and foreign cities that you can easily adapt your journey to include a few days here even if your main destination is somewhere else.

#6. Alicante, Spain

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

Another beach haven in the Iberic peninsula is Alicante on the coast of sunny Spain. Many yoga teachers (as well as watersports instructors and chefs) choose to organize their classes here, simply because this beach city is perfect for vacationing with a purpose.

Alicante is both remote enough to be relaxing but also urban enough to stay interesting; both homey and enticing, both tranquil for soaking up the sun and also full of a vibrant nightlife.

While taking a stroll along the beach in Alicante, you can expect to encounter plenty of groups working on yoga poses, practicing their boxing or having watersports lessons, besides the regular beach-goers. Another great thing about this Spanish destination is that you can visit it throughout most of the year and still enjoy it.

#7. York, UK

 

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in Europe

The historical region of York in the UK is home to impressive castles and old buildings, that give you a better feel of how England became an empire and all the majesty that entailed. If you’re a sucker for medieval history (as I tend to be), a tour of York should definitely make it on your travel agenda.

But the nicest thing about York is that for every majestic castle and solemn building to be found in town centers, the countryside is full of homey and charming English cottages that will make you wish you can move here. Basically, a stay in the countryside will have you thinking you found the Shire. Of course, this makes it the ideal setting for a nice yoga retreat, or simply one of the most rejuvenating vacations you’ve ever had.

*Need even more travel inspiration for exploring Europe by railway and practicing your yoga poses? Feel free to head over to the On and Beyond the Yoga Mat blog so you can check my next updates there.

The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Destinations in EuropeAuthor bio: Miriam Cihodariu is an anthropology TA turned marketing expert, with over 7-years’ experience on all things content. She is now the editor of BookYogaRetreats.com’s blog and enjoys practicing asanas as a beginner yogi. When she’s not doing marketing stuff she is either reading fiction (feel free to follow her on Goodreads) or exploring old neighborhoods for rare architectural gems.

 

This entry was posted by sara vanhandenhove on October 16th, 2018, and is filed under Europe. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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