6 types of retreat vacations

Five women stand upright with arms raised on a ledge in a yoga pose on a seashore on sand against the waves

To transform the mind, body and soul

The tension that has gripped the world is turning retreat vacations into a global trend. Retreat in English means “seclusion”, characteristic of this type of experience: finding oneself through healthy practices that encourage self-absorption, remove blockages and relieve body and soul from stress: yoga, meditation, energy charging, solar therapies, nature walks .

You go somewhere and you get to your essence – is that possible? Is it easy to achieve? Family vacations, as fun, fulfilling and memorable as they are, are often tiring and a “vacation break” is needed, so people around the world come up with different ideas to disconnect from the unnecessary hustle and bustle.

Among the many ways of solitude that cleanses and transforms the mind, body and soul, we select 6 types of retreat journeys. Practiced alone or with like-minded people, over a weekend or longer, they really distract from the clouds of confusion, anger and tension, and get you closer to achieving harmony – with yourself and with others.

A woman wearing a jacket is sitting on her back on a rock and looking at mountain peaks
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Adventure retreat

To awaken their dormant adventurous souls, and because the emotions we feel in unfamiliar places help to explore the inner world, many people focus on adventure travel. The combination of the nirvana of a retreat with a dose of adrenaline is achieved when we do something unexpected for a change of the usual rhythm.

Traveling with snowshoes in inaccessible mountains or with snorkels and fins in deep seas gives the feeling of spiritual freedom. When you feel trapped and don’t know how to move forward, choose the adventure: a ride in an unknown area, a night hike or a visit to a cave tempers the character and leaves unforgettable memories.

Where you can practice it: The sacred path of the Camino – from France through the whole of northern Spain with the end point in the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela is the most common, mystical and invigorating destination, but also walking the Kom-Emine route in Bulgaria can leave you with positive energetic emotions. There are retreat centers in Stara Planina and Pirin, and if you want to escape far away, consider Colorado in the States and even the African savannas.

A man in a green jacket and a green bicycle next to him stands on an icy road surrounded by high snow
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A spiritual retreat journey

The combination of yoga and meditation in solitude is the most popular type of spiritual retreat. It also occurs individually – yoga retreats help to isolate from the cacophony and with unblocking blocked energies. Travelling and meditation help to get closer to universal secrets and shake off false values, selfish and arrogant lifestyles.

The art of self-awareness rises to a new level when you contemplate quiet nature and follow the lessons of yoga gurus to balance the chakras. Merging with silence, mastering yoga poses and plant-based foods are steps to the depths of our inner world and awareness of our own capacity. Choose a beautiful place and go!

Where you can practice it: In Bulgaria there are interesting options for yoga and relaxation retreats: in Tryavna, Apriltsi village, near Varna. Popular destinations are also the island of Kos in Greece, the island of Bali, Alicante in Spain, around Scotland…

Water lily with dissolved color in water
Photo: Unsplash

A musical retreat

Sometimes it’s difficult to attend a concert with your favorite musicians, but there are always ways to get close and mingle live with beautiful music – the world is full of interesting destinations that support different music and dance traditions, and joining them is spiritually uplifting.

Where you can practice it: The Bulgarian resort of Borovets periodically hosts a rhythm and zen retreat, in the big cities there are art and music centers where you can play and listen to exotic rhythms, dance rumba and salsa, but if you are more cosmopolitan, you can you combine their study with a holiday in a Latin American country. Scotland is famous for its pipers, India for its classically refined bharatanatyam dances, Cuba for the sounds of congas.

Three colorful African drums and female hands beating on them
Photo: Unsplash

A culinary retreat

Food retreat is a “trend within a trend” and it is not by chance that it is gaining an ever larger scale – there is no one who does not appreciate the pleasure of good food, and there are millions of lovers of diverse taste experiences and for them there are no boundaries. Hundreds of thousands of people travel the world to try unfamiliar cuisines, because each has its own identity and is woven from centuries-old traditions and folklore. There are also retreats for conscious cooking, for Ayurvedic and other types of healthy cuisines, vacations specifically for vegans, for connoisseurs of seafood. Many places host themed culinary festivals, so it’s not difficult to choose a destination with your favourite cuisine.

Where you can practice it: Portugal, Turkey, Italy and Spain are top destinations for food retreats, but there is a choice of suggestions in more distant places – Ecuador, Mexico, India, South Korea, Thailand. Here we have cooking workshops in the Rhodopes, there are also culinary expeditions around the villages in Rila and Pirin, wine and fish routes around our Southern Black Sea coast.

On a table with a white tablecloth and a black tray are arranged three bowls of green, yellow and red dishes, smaller bowls of spices, two glasses of water, another tray of fresh fruit and two plates of salad, above which a hands of two people
Photo: Unsplash

Wellness, detox and SPA retreat

Nothing soothes the soul and relaxes tense muscles better than a good massage. It is inseparable from the concept of wellness, which concentrates on human well-being in physical and psychological aspects. It includes relaxation therapies, holistic procedures and programs for cleansing the body, but it also has a philosophical side, which brings it closer to the retreat trend. Commit to renewing your body, mind and spirit.

Where you can practice it: In Bulgaria there are many resorts with hotels offering wellness and detox programs – in Bansko, Borovets and by the sea. you can indulge in SPA pleasures almost anywhere, because mineral waters abound and the options vary from Velingrad and Dobrinishte to Ognyanovo and Oshtava. You can also try retreats with such a focus in Italy and France, but also in Costa Rica, USA, Iceland, Thailand.

Back view of a woman wearing a two-peace swimsuit sitting in a pool with her hands raised, her palms forming a heart, looking at forest
SPA retreat

Corporate retreat

In this case, the focus is different, namely self-improvement among teammates, and this does not exclude entertainment. Yes, company vacations and team building may sound corny and forced, but it’s amazing how a week camping in the woods can change both individual employees and the entire company for a better and more successful future. When a group of colleagues ditches the business suits and puts on ski gear or engages in activities outside of the work routine, it allows for a broadening of horizons and different perspectives

Where you can practice it: from Vitosha to the Austrian Alps and from our Black Sea to the Caribbean, you will find tempting offers for business holidays combined with sports and entertainment.

Six arms are visible up to the elbows, all with knitted sleeves of a different color - pink, orange, blue, green, beige. The hands are placed on top of each other with the palms down. Two rings are visible on one hand
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