7 short-stay retreats that will transform your life for the better

Posted by
Susan Devaney

Even as adults, that back-to-school September feeling is incredibly powerful. So throughout this month, we’re running the Stylist September Shake-Up – a series offering encouragement, advice and inspiration for everyone wanting to reinvigorate their lives as autumn begins.

It’s September and you’ve got holiday time to take before the year ends, but you’re hell-bent on using it wisely. In short: a weekend back home or a short trip to Brighton just isn’t going to cut it.

Fear not, we’ve got you covered. From a short-stay learning to ride Cornwall’s waves or doing yoga next to the sea in Portugal, a couple of days away at a retreat is the ideal getaway in the run up to Christmas. 

Or why not go one step further and go off on a writer’s retreat? You’ll thank yourself later for getting the book you’ve always dreamt of writing done and dusted once and for all.

Whatever you fancy doing this month, one thing’s for sure: a short-stay retreat is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and, well, a better person. And if you can’t commit to it before seeing the month through, then why not ensure to book one by the end of September - give yourself something different to look forward to in the coming months.  

Take a look below at our edit of the best retreats out there right now. 

1) Shamballah Yoga Retreat

Owned by Portuguese couple Patricia and Zarqa, the tranquil retreat, located near Sintra national park, is actually the couple’s home, too. It’s a small space – with three guest bedrooms up for grabs – which only adds to the charm and calming atmosphere of the retreat.

If you’re not yet a dab-hand at yoga then fear not as the retreat welcomes all levels – whether you’re a beginner or expert. With two yoga classes a day, plus an hour of meditation after dinner, it makes for a stress-free week. 

Prices start from €600 (£538) – includes all meals. You can book here

2) Women and Water Retreat by Wild and Free Adventures 

This four-day retreat located in Yurt Village at The Park, Mawgan Porth is ideal for someone who wants a bit of adventure mixed in with some meditative activities, too. You’ll begin each day with a guided meditation session, followed by a Vinyasa flow yoga class and then a surf lesson from professional surfer, Alan Stokes. Don’t fret if you haven’t attempted surfing the Cornish waters before, the retreat caters to all levels of expertise – so just go for it!

And the added bonus? You’ll have a private chef on hand to make ALL your meals.

In your downtime you can always go for a relaxing walk along the coast or spend some time swimming in the heated outdoor pool.

Prices start from £595. It’s popular so don’t delay in booking

3) Fat Buddha Yoga Surf 

If you’re on the lookout for space and stillness then Fat Buddha Yoga Surf is for you. In September, the retreat will be located in Fuerteventura and involves yoga (including surf school), a volcano trek, surf theory lessons and snorkelling in the lagoons – all overlooking the sea.

Not only will there be a private chef serving up deliciously healthy meals for six days and six nights, but there will also be one night out in the nearest town.

Prices start from £1250 (flights not included). If you don’t want to miss out then you can book here

4) Surf Sistas 

Fancy some sea, sun, sand and surfing? Then join Surf Sistas on its next international retreat.

Aimed specifically at women, the next retreat will be hosted in France from 29 September to 6 October. Staying in a villa in south west France, the retreat accommodates people of all surfing ability levels and even hosts a yoga class every day, too.

Prices start from £660. You can book a place here

5) Skyros on The Isle of Wight

Apparently after staying for a few days at Skyros on The Isle of Wight, celebrity Jimmy Carr decided to leave his job and become a comedian. That’s how inspiring the holistic retreats are at The Grange, a Georgian B&B with a beautiful sea view.

And you can pick from an array of options, including: novel writing (you can finally finish your book), windsurfing, music and singing and so much more.

Prices start from £90 for 2 nights. You can check out what’s available here

6) Raw Horizons

Designed for women looking for a respite away from it all, the wellbeing retreats take place in a comfortable converted house in the Yorkshire countryside. Run by raw food chef and life coach Dr Claire Maguire, the short-stay combines life coaching, yoga and gourmet raw food to help you relax, work through stress or adopt a more positive attitude.

Along with a hot tub, sauna and country views, it’s the perfect excuse to simply get away from it all. 

Prices start from £165pp, you can book here

7) All the Good Things

If making decisions is really not your strongpoint then an ad-hoc retreat is right up your street. This young company designs retreats at the last-minute that focus on making people happy. And they keep things simple so it’s all about exercise, nature, creative classes, food and the opportunity to meet new people.

In collaboration with Surf Sistas, the retreats stay pretty close to home, so you could go off to Penbryn, West Wales and Mawgan Porth or Cornwall.

You can book a place here