Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays, prepping for the new year, and fighting the winter blues, this time of year always gets me dreaming of an escape—like the wellness retreat I took at Fivelements, an eco-conscious health resort in Bali. I knew I’d come back to “real life” feeling healthy and relaxed after a few days of noshing on nutritious raw foods, reading and writing in my private villa, and enjoying spa treatments. But I was surprised to discover just how motivated, balanced, and recharged I felt after taking a few days to focus on myself in a beautiful, supportive destination. Taking a retreat was a game-changer for an otherwise tough season—and a strategy that now helps me get through every winter. While the cost of luxury resorts is out of reach for most of us, there are a slew of less expensive retreats that will restore you. From surfing and yoga camps to choose-your-own-adventure getaways, here are five of the best upcoming wellness retreats to help you recharge this winter.
(Costa Rica; Feb. 10–17) Known for her physically lively, spiritually uplifting classes, yoga teacher Julie Serow is leading a next-level practice this February at the Relax & Revive Yoga and Pilates Retreat in Montezuma Beach, Costa Rica. You’ll find inner peace during Serow’s yoga and meditation classes and build strength in partner teacher Kristi Cole’s Pilates classes—all three are offered daily on the weeklong retreat. Off the mat, you’ll have plenty of free time to go horseback riding on the beach, hike to hidden waterfalls, engage with local street performers, and enjoy nutritious foods with the rest of the group. If that doesn’t make you say “ahhhh,” we’re not sure what will. Price: Starts at $1,450
(Boone, North Carolina; dates vary) Women in need of a recharge are spoiled for choice at the Art of Living Retreat Center. If you’re trying to find more joy in your life, the signature Happiness Retreat, which is offered every weekend, will teach you practical tools you can use to feel more confident and less stressed out—and find a greater sense of enthusiasm in your everyday life. You’ll learn Sudarshan Kriya yoga, a technique of breathing and posing exercises that research shows may reduce stress and anxiety. The Happiness Retreat is one of dozens of options at the Art of Living Retreat Center. Check out the calendar for other upcoming themes, like the art of silence, yoga, and meditation. Price: Starts at $545
(Morocco; Dec. 23–30; Dec. 30–Jan 6; Jan. 13–20; Feb. 17–24) The only thing that’s better than devoting seven days to hitting the waves and your mat is doing it in Morocco—and you can experience it for yourself on a Yoga Surf Retreat at Villa Mandala. Picture this: After waking up in your tranquil bedroom, you’ll kick-start your day with two hours of vinyasa yoga as the sun rises, dig in to a nutrient-packed breakfast, then suit up for a couple hours of surfing instruction with qualified coaches. When you’re not in downward dog or hanging ten, you can relax at the oceanfront swimming pool, indulge in a massage, go cliff jumping, wind down with sunset yoga, and eat dinner under the stars. Price: Starts at $904
(Québec, Canada; choose your own dates) Need a spiritual recharge? At Le Monastère des Augustines, you can sleep in a restored original cloister and choose a wellness retreat that fits your needs and budget. This beautiful spot offers a range of options that aim to help visitors feel balanced, renewed, and regenerated. Some include a holistic health consultation, massage, nature walks, meditation, and yoga. No matter which one you choose, you can expect to ease into each day with a healthy breakfast held in silence at the restaurant. Price: Starts at $74/night
(Cabarete, Dominican Republic; choose your own dates) If your idea of a retreat involves stepping outside your comfort zone, you’ll love the offerings at eXtreme Hotel, an eco-sports adventure hotel with beachfront accommodations in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. All of its Yoga Plus weeklong retreats include in-depth yoga classes daily, access to the gym, river tubing, and tours of the hotel’s organic farm—but you also get to pick creative add-ons such as surf instruction, kiteboarding lessons, and circus classes (like flying trapeze and aerial arts). No matter which ones you choose, you’ll end the retreat feeling strong, invigorated, and confident. Price: Starts at $930