10 Amazing Meditation Retreats You Must Visit

Sometimes there’s nothing else for it but to pack it all in (for a while, at least) and head to a place that’s all about you. A place to relax, be pampered a little, and most importantly, indulge in a little space to clear your mind of the strains and stresses of regular life.

And there are some amazing meditation retreats around the world. Feast your eyes on the following 10: We guarantee you’ll be desperate to put the essentials in a rucksack and head off into the wild blue yonder…

1. Spirit Rock Meditation Center, California

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Think 411 acres of some of the most beautiful countryside in the world… Think great staff, teachers, and volunteers… Think Insight Meditation and the teachings of Buddha… This is one of the most awesome retreats in the whole of the US.

Spirit Rock attracts people from all walks of life. But the one thing most of them have in common is that they tend to return – again and again. And once you discover the superb combination of luxury and a true retreat experience, we think you’ll be inclined to agree.

2. Kalyana Center, Dingle, Ireland

Kalyana Center, Dingle, Ireland

Nestled in an idyllic location in the heart of the Emerald Isle, the Kalyana Center is a small retreat (7 people maximum) in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The courses range from a single weekend to a few weeks in length, and most of the time here is spent in silence.

If you want to truly switch off from the outside world, this is the place to come.

3. Stillpoint Lodge, Alaska

Stillpoint Lodge, Alaska

Only accessible by boat or small plane, the boutique Stillpoint Lodge retreat offers a combination of wilderness retreat, yoga, and mediation. Combine this with wildlife spotting opportunities – such as bear, whales, otters, and seals, and it truly is paradise found.

If that’s not enough, you can take a kayak tour around icebergs, appreciate fine art at seasonal local galleries, and stay in some of the most sumptuous, eco-friendly, Scandinavia cabins you could hope to find.

4. The Esalan Institute, Big Sur

The Esalan Institute, Big Sur

The Esalan Institute in California could not be set in a more dramatic location. If views down to the ocean from towering cliffs make you gasp in awe, then this is the place to visit.

The institute offers a plethora of different mindfulness activities. From Buddhist to Tantric, martial arts to massage, there’s something here for everyone.

Big enough to have more than enough personal space, yet small enough to be personal, it’s no wonder it’s been the haunt of celebrities over the years.

5. Ananda in the Himalayas, India

Ananda in the Himalayas, India

We couldn’t have a list of the world’s best meditation retreats without including at least one in the mythical mountains of The Himalayas. And the award winning retreat, Anada, has to be the ultimate to visit.

Nestled in 100 acres, overlooking the Ganges River and various temples, this is the epitome of a luxury retreat. Meditation sessions tend to be one-to-one, concentrating on the exact type of mindfulness it is that you want to practice.

The only problem with this place? You’re not going to want to tear yourself away…

6. Harmony Dawn Retreat, Ontario, Canada

Harmony Dawn Retreat, Ontario, Canada

The Harmony Dawn Retreat is a leading edge, green retreat that inspires its visitors to return time and time again. And it’s little wonder, because this is a truly awesome location.

If you can force yourself away from simply standing and staring at the wilderness and beauty you’re surrounded by, you can take part in many types of mindfulness activities. Qigong, nature walks, interpretive dance, detox weekends, nutritional awareness… There’s something here to suit everyone.

7. Holy Isle, Scotland

Holy Isle, Scotland

Yes, that’s Scotland, UK. But don’t be thinking that it’s simply going to be cold and rainy here (although admittedly is does rain, and it can be very cold). But Holy Isle is a private island that is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on the globe.

This rugged coastline location is for those who want a ‘hard core’ meditation retreat. Join the 12 or so locals who live here permanently, most of who are serious Buddhist students. There’s not much luxury on offer, but if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, then you’ll get it in bucket loads…

8. Gaia House, Devon, UK

Gaia House, Devon, UK

The traditional Buddhist meditation center, Gaia House, is located in the delightful South Devon countryside, and offers a selection of different retreats and courses. Group retreats are led by experienced Dharma teachers, with accommodation being in the imposing manor house that is Gaia House.

There’s a good amount of different options if you wish to come here. From meditation days, through to family retreats, and longer stays if you wish, this is the place to come if you truly want to immerse yourself in the silent meditation experience.

9. Longevity Mindfulness, Portugal

Longevity Mindfulness, Portugal

Longevity Mindfulness is located on the rugged Algarve coast of Portugal. A place where the sun shines more days than not, yet flanked by the wild Atlantic Ocean to add a touch of wildness to the experience.

If you fancy some R&R,, but aren’t quite ready to take on the full silent experience that many of the above locations offer, then this Thalassa and Medical Spa could be just what you’re looking for. And it’s luxury you’re after, then we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

10. Shreyas Silent Retreat, Bangalore, India

Shreyas Silent Retreat, Bangalore, India

If you’d like to combine true silent mediation with luxuriating pampering, then look no further than one of India’s best retreats – the Shreyas Silent Retreat. Embark on an individual discover of self-awareness, combined with yoga, massages, and spa treatment. And of course, traditional Indian cuisine.

Regularly voted as one of the best retreats in the world, and as India’s top spa, you can choose to stay from 7 days, to as long as you’d like to. And, we have to say, for the luxury on offer, it really does offer exceptional value for money.