11 Different Types Of Retreats To Try in 2024

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As our lives become busier and more stressful, more people are realising how much more beneficial a retreat can be compared to a regular vacation. As the demand for retreats increases so does the variety on offer.

Nowadays, there are so many different types of retreats, from relaxing to active to spiritual. So whatever you’re into, you’ll find the perfect way to switch off and reset.

So, if you need some time away but desire something more replenishing than a traditional vacation, check out these 11 different types of retreats to try. 

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Wellness Retreats

Wellness retreats are some of the most popular types of retreats as they are so diverse and offer so many benefits.

Wellness retreats typically feature a broad range of activities to improve your overall health and well-being. They may include a mix of yoga, meditation, reiki, pilates, massages and spa treatments. Some wellness retreats also include Ayurvedic treatments.

Because these types of retreats offer a combination of activities, they are a good choice for someone new to the wellness world who has never tried yoga or meditation, or someone who wants to try a diverse variety of holistic therapies and treatments.

A significant aspect of wellness retreats is nutrition, so you’ll likely follow a detox or clean-eating regime too.

Yoga Retreats

Yoga retreats are one of the most popular types of retreats. They typically include one or two yoga classes daily, often with mediation classes and other activities, and are held in beautiful locations.

The most popular destinations for yoga retreats include Bali, Costa Rica and Thailand. You can also find amazing off-beat yoga retreats across the USA and Europe.

Some yoga retreats cater to all levels, while others focus solely on introducing yoga to newbies or helping advanced practitioners master their asana goals or go deeper into the practice.

The intensity of a yoga retreat can vary drastically too. Some can be super chilled with a flexible schedule and lots of free time. Others can be more intensive, where you learn about various aspects of yoga, such as asana, pranayama, and philosophy. You can even become a certified yoga instructor on a yoga teacher training retreat.

Some yoga retreats focus solely on this practice, whereas others combine yoga with other activities, like hiking or surfing. Likewise, some offer various yoga styles, whereas others focus on just one.

Yoga retreats are often held in the most beautiful and spiritual destinations, check out our pick of the top 10 yoga retreat destinations and our tips for choosing a retreat that is perfect for you.

Yoga retreats can have a reputation for being expensive, but that’s not always the case, here’s 6 amazingly affordable yoga retreats around the world for less than $600.

One of the most popular types of retreats are Yoga retreats.

Meditation Retreats

While many types of wellness retreats include yoga and meditation, there are also specific meditation retreats available. 

Like yoga retreats, the level of intensity can vary from chilled to strict. For example, a common type of meditation retreat is the 10-day Vipassana retreat, one of the oldest meditation techniques.

This type of retreat is not for the faint-hearted, as you must follow several strict rules and meditate for up to 10 hours a day!

If that doesn’t sound like what you’re after, don’t worry. Many relaxed meditation retreats are available where the main focus is to slow down, find stillness, and reconnect with yourself.

Silent Retreats

For many people, the retreat experience is all about meeting like-minded people. However, not everyone wants to go on a retreat to socialise.

Silent retreats can be an incredibly powerful experience as without having anyone to speak to, you have no choice but to explore the inner workings of your mind. 

The purpose of a silent retreat is to embark on a journey inwards to heal past wounds and discover more about yourself. While silent retreats can be a life-changing experience, this type of retreat can be intense for many. 

In this space of silence and stillness, you may find many uncomfortable emotions and memories coming up. This is a natural and necessary part of healing to process past events. 

Silent and Meditation are fantastic types of retreats.

Spiritual Retreats

While wellness retreats focus on improving your physical and mental health, spiritual retreats are for those who want to work on their spiritual development.

A spiritual retreat is designed to help you establish or deepen a connection with your soul and universal energy, whatever that means for you – a spiritual retreat is not the same as a religious retreat.

Spiritual retreats are about quieting the mind so you may meditate, chant, journal and join in spiritual discussions and sharing circles. They often include plant medicine like ayahuasca or energy work, such as reiki or chakra healing and are held in some of the most spiritual places in the world.

Fitness Retreats

Fitness retreats are ideal for people who want to dedicate time to working on their health and fitness goals. A fitness retreat is very active, and the exercises you’ll do vary depending on the instructor’s field and expertise.

Many fitness retreats combine multiple types of exercise, such as pilates, weight training, Boxfit, and running. Others focus on one sport or fitness activity, such as Muay Thai.

Spa Retreats

If a fitness retreat sounds like torture, a spa retreat may be more up your street. Spa retreats are the most relaxing out of all the different types of wellness retreats and are often very luxurious, too, taking place in lavish spa hotels.

If you’ve ever been on a spa day before, imagine repeating that experience for a whole week. That’s what a spa retreat is like. I don’t know about you, but daily massages sound like heaven to me – no wonder these types of retreat are so popular!

Spa retreats are wonderfully indulgent types of retreat.

Detox Retreats

On a detox retreat, you’ll work on eliminating all the toxins in your body. This is done by following a specific detox diet crafted by experts in nutrition. Because detoxifying has potentially harmful consequences if not done right, a detox retreat offers a safe and supportive way to cleanse your body.

On a detox retreat, you’ll be under the guidance of a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist, with whom you will have regular check-ins throughout the process, either individually or in a group.

Nature Retreats 

A nature retreat can be defined as any of the above types of retreats set in a nature-rich environment. This could be in the mountains, countryside, forest, lake or ocean. 

Nature retreats are an excellent way to reconnect with mother earth, and thus, are very popular with people who live in cities. Many activities will take place in nature, such as hiking, yoga outdoors, meditating at the beach, etc. 

What’s more, you’ll learn about the local wildlife on many nature retreats. These types of retreats may also include visits to farms, rice paddies or rainforests, where you gain knowledge of things like permaculture and sustainability. 

Adventure Retreats

One for the adrenaline junkies! If you get itchy feet laying in a hammock for hours and are always looking for the next thrill, go on an adventure retreat. These getaways are more fun than relaxing and often include a jam-packed schedule of activities.

What you’ll do on an adventure retreat depends on the location. Activities may include hiking, ziplining, mountain climbing, surfing, white water rafting, camping, or even wilderness survival challenges!

Adventure retreats keep the blood pumping. They're feel-good retreats!

Surf Camps

Another type of retreat that is growing in popularity are surf camps. If you love active beach vacations then this could be the perfect retreat for you.

Surfing is harder than it looks but after a week’s expert tuition you should be riding the waves in no time! Surfing and yoga are the perfect combination so many surf camps also include yoga classes as well as other activities.

Surf camps are often the most affordable type of retreat and have a fun, social atmosphere. Popular places for yoga and surf retreats include the beaches of Bali, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Portugal.

So which type of retreat will you try First?

With many different types of retreat available, you don’t have to be an expert yogi or meditation practitioner to take a well-earned break from your busy life. 

You don’t have to choose just one type of retreat either as many retreats combine different activities like yoga, meditation, spa, detox and spiritual activities into one amazing retreat experience. Even taking a short weekend retreat is a great way to keep up with your yoga practice while traveling.

Many retreats are suitable for beginners, check out our tips for what to expect on your first yoga retreat if it’s your first time. If you’re finding it difficult to choose between all the options, read our article about how to choose the best retreat for you.

Which type of retreat is your favourite? As an all-round travel and wellness enthusiast, I’m up for them all!

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