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World of workshops: Türkiye’s top retreat centers

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Türkiye, and especially the country’s southern coast, has long been the proprietor of wellness workshops and retreats in which a holiday can become the full package. Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I mean the traditional all-inclusive stay at a five-star hotel, but what I am referring to is the variety of yoga, meditation breathing and different types of retreats that include a full program of holistic practices with a group that tends to take place in rustic yet relaxing accommodation in nature.

The great part of such types of holidays is that one gets the opportunity to learn new wellnesses practices such as yoga and meditation, and meet new yet like minded individuals. These types of retreats offer a healthy alternative to vacationing with friends, or the opportunity to make new ones should you decide to embark on such an adventure alone. These days, there seem to be countless opportunities to combine a holiday with healthy workshops, which can make it a challenge to choose which retreat and destination is right for you.

Websites such as Workshopix offer full packages on a variety of destinations or you can track down your favorite yoga teacher to see what workshops they are offering this summer. Either way, there are a number of tried and true retreat centers in spectacular destinations that may help guide you in deciding on where to go and what to do for your next trip.

Huzur Vadisi in Göçek

Türkiye’s first-ever yoga retreat center, which has been operating for over three decades now and has been named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best retreat centers in the world, remains to be the country’s most in-demand getaway for yoga and glamping. The reason, behind it in most part, is simply because yoga teachers who hold retreats there are predominantly from abroad, as are the center’s owners, and the spaces book up months in advance due to the demand driven by their followers. The venue accommodates up to 30 guests who stay in traditional Turkish nomadic yurts. Luckily, Huzur Vadisi now also has a Lagoon Retreat overlooking Sülüngür Lake, which has 11 rooms with full amenities such as air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. The organization itself has grown to now include centers in a variety of countries including Wales, Spain, Norway and even Iceland.

Ephesus Retreat Center

Located in the hills overlooking Selçuk with spectacular views of the sea, a lake and the windy road leading up to the Virgin Mary House, the Ephesus Retreat Center is in a league of its own. This retreat, which was also built by an expat-Turkish couple and took eight years to do so, has luxurious rooms with shared options of an infinity pool with it perhaps being the best view in Türkiye, and three separate and top-notch yoga halls that are situated indoors, outdoors or equipped for acro-yoga. Retreats at this center can be found on Workshopix.

Karakaya Valley Gümüşlük

This retreat center consisting of rustic chic wooden cabins at the top of a hill overlooking Bodrum’s Gümüşlük has also been around for decades. Also owned by an expat-Turkish couple, this venue is another one that is generally booked well in advance for the variety of wellness workshops offered by Türkiye’s leading holistic experts. There is also a long narrow natural pool on the premises with inspiring views of the endless vista of the Aegean. Coming up next month will be their “Cleanse and Move” retreat which will be centered on detox and movement practices and is appropriate for those who are complete novices to wellness practices as well as non-Turkish speakers.

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Hızır Kamp in Kaz Dağları

Located in a village above Edremit in what is referred to in general as the Kaz Dağları, or Mount Ida, region, the Hızır Kamp has also been around for decades and is known for its retreats that help immerse in nature. This is because the setting is literally in the forests and among forest creeks with accommodation offered in rustic treehouses. They have a full schedule of retreats that focus on yoga and breathing, but the exciting one will be the week-long meditation retreat led by Vardha Rainer scheduled for the last week of September.

Çeşmeköy in Çeşme

This boutique hotel located in the forested hills above Izmir’s Çeşme is a more luxurious venue to experience a holistic retreat. Immersed in nature in style, with a seasonal gourmet menu, beautiful stonework buildings and over 60 different types of trees among the hundreds actually housed there, this retreat center hosts workshops on yoga, wellness, mindfulness and East Asian practices year-round. Accommodation ranges from stone houses and rooms to tiny houses and nomadic tents. In addition to offering daily yoga sessions, there is a wealth of three to five-day retreats scheduled in the upcoming month ranging from yoga, meditation, chakra and breathing.

The Land in Geyikbayırı

While this region of Antalya is actually famed for being Türkiye’s top rock-climbing destination, and thus that is definitely an activity that can take place on the sidelines, The Land in Geyikbayırı is also a popular retreat center that has 12 unique bungalows, a shared kitchen and a café as well as a natural pool, sauna and an exquisite yoga center. This is a great place to stay on your own or to be part of one of the many wellness workshop retreats being held this summer.

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