What is your favourite kind of holiday? For me a holiday is about discovery and regain a sense of being ‘in the moment’, so I always look for places where I can not only relax but also keep active and explore my surroundings. This is why in the last few years I became a fan of the idea of yoga eco holidays in Italy and abroad.
I am not a disciplined yoga practitioner, but I do find yoga beneficial, even if only done occasionally on a rainy Dublin evening.
Imagine how amazing it can be to practice yoga in a beautiful natural place, it being India or, easier for me, Italy.
In Italy there are several yoga holidays opportunities but the ones that captured my attention the most are the ones organised by Sunflower retreats.
The retreat was established in 1998 and it was the first of its kind in Italy. Now they have two locations, Casperia and Sperlonga in Italy and also an oversea retreat in wonderful Costa Rica!
The retreat has a responsible travel policy and works with local people, providing income to local families, from the accommodation owners and the shopkeepers to the local guide. It’s a ‘low profit eco-tourism organisation‘ and awareness to sustainability permeates all elements of the holiday.
I absolutely love their approach and I love how the retreat manages to give a great holiday experience without impacting in a negative way on the wonderful areas that hosts them.
Yoga vacation near Rome Italy, some info
The yoga course takes place every morning from Friday to Tuesday, from 8.00 to 9.30. Classes are suitable for all levels and are taught by experienced, English-speaking teachers. The rest of the day is free so you can relax in Casperia, explore your surroundings at your own pace or even join additional activities organised by the retreat, such as Italian classes, cooking classes, creating writing workshops and so on. You can find a list of activities available here.
The teachers teach a variety of Hatha yoga methods such as Iyengar, Satyananda, Sivananda, Vinyasa Flow, Anusara, Astanga and Yin Yoga.
The yoga holiday is offered as a residential experience and you can choose between three different types of accommodation, all just two minutes walk for each other and from the yoga, breakfast and treatment centre.
Depending on the number of people travelling and your budget, you can choose between a village house (a traditionally furnished medieval guest house), Casa Latini ( a lovingly renovated 13th-century house furnished in a boutique Latin style) and Forani Palace, a 15th century palazzo. Breakfast/brunch is served every morning in the retreat and is made of a variety of fresh produce, while cooking facilities ensure you can make your own meals fro lunch and dinner.
How much does it cost, what is included? The Yoga Holiday takes place from Thursday to Wednesday, with 6 nights accommodation. You can find all the info here
What I love about this yoga holiday
Many are the things I love about this holiday.
The first is the location: super convenient from Rome but already in a beautiful countryside setting, it really embodies the best of both world: practical and charming. Casperia is a small, hilltop village, entirely pedestrinaised and the perfect setting to switch off and relax for a few days.
The second, as I mentioned earlier on, is the approach and how respectful it is of the environment and the people who work in and around it.
Last, I love that you can add to your holiday as little or as many activities as you like: horse riding, swimming, trekking, cycling, cooking, salsa dancing, watercolours, Italian classes, olive picking, creating writing and climbing.
You can also choose between any interesting local excursions. Activities and trips don’t need to be planned in advance, which is great, as it gives you all the flexibility to really tailor your stay to your own pace and taste.
This sounds like my perfect holiday: would it work for you too?
Please note: this post is unsolicited and unbiased and I received no compensation for it. All opinions are, as always, my own and the facts and information have been checked with Sunflower retreats for accuracy.