From Ayurvedic healing to cooking under a starry Spanish sky, these women-only retreats will empower and inspire

Most of us have always known travel to be a group activity—whether it’s a family vacation during the summer, a graduation trip with friends, or a honeymoon with your other half. However, more and more people are opting to go solo on their holidays, and surprisingly, the trend is being led by women.

According to a Global Solo Travel Study by British Airways, over 50 per cent of women in the survey had taken a holiday by themselves, with 75 per cent of women planning a solo trip in the next few years.

Gone is the stigma around taking off solo. Instead, it's empowering to march to your own beat, meet new people, and explore the world at your own pace. With this new breed of travellers, we’re also seeing a rise in women’s only retreats—itineraries that take them from peaceful sanctuaries to outdoor adventures in the company of other like-minded individuals.

Whether you are preparing to embark on your first solo journey or looking for your next adventure, here are five luxurious and purposeful women's only retreats:

1 / 5

Como: The Surf and Wellness Retreat with Sally Fitzgibbons

Where: Canggu and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

When: November 2 to 9, 2019

Whether you are a beginner or intermediate surfer, you’ll benefit from this seven-night programme, which brings together the best of Como Uma Canggu and Como Shambhala Estate. The two luxury hotels have collaborated with professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons—currently ranked third in the Women’s World Surf League—in their first ever all-women surf and wellness retreat.

Participants will spend four nights at Como Uma Canggu by the shores of Bali’s best surf breaks, followed by three nights in the jungle sanctuary that is Como Shambhala Estate, where they will wind down and practice mindfulness in nature. Of course, indulging in the estate’s award-winning cuisine and wellness treatments are on the agenda as well.

Find out more at

See also: 48 Hours In Bali

2 / 5

Escapada: Women’s Health Retreat

Where: Mallorca, Spain

When: November 8 to 12, 2019

Founded by women for women, this empowering retreat at Escapada in Mallorca, Spain, is designed for women who have found themselves in a transitional phase in their life. Founders Emilia Herting and Maeve O’Sullivan are both qualified practitioners in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, combining their expertise to create a natural healing space for women.

The retreat package includes a health consultation with the experts, full board, Ayurvedic cuisine, daily mindful practice and yoga as well as acupuncture and personalised massages. At the end of the retreat, participants will return with a bespoke health plan to continue to improve their lifestyle long-term.

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3 / 5

SuperShe Island

Where: Baltic Sea, Finland

When: June to September, yearly

The women’s only SuperShe Island in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland is as much a retreat as it is an exclusive member’s club. Founded by entrepreneur Kristina Roth, the 8.4-acre private island features four beautifully-decorated cabins, Finnish saunas, and other spa and wellness facilities for the lucky ten who are selected for the retreat each week.

Participants have to first sign up to be part of the SuperShe community, followed by a Skype interview conducted by Roth herself. Once on the island, the SuperShes spend seven days connecting over yoga, meditation, fitness classes and attending motivational seminars—and of course, facials and massages from therapists on the island. Nutrition is also a focus—no alcohol is allowed on the island, and guests dine on farm-to-table cuisine based on the paleo diet.

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See also: 5 Luxury Wellness Retreats To Help You Find Inner Peace in Six Days Or Less

4 / 5

Esme Tours: A Culinary Retreat For Women

Where: Pozos, Spain

When: September 5 to 11, 2019; October 24 to 30, 2019

Love paella and Spanish wine? This culinary retreat is for you. Designed for the independent female traveller, the seven-day retreat takes place at Esme Tours’ lodge in the quaint village of Pozos, Spain.

Limited to six participants, look forward to gourmet food by renowned Spanish chef Esmeraldo Oteruelo, hands-on cooking workshops, hikes and tours in the locality, and visits to the area's monumental museums and cathedrals. At night, try your hand at outdoor paella cooking and sit by the fires as you gaze into the starry skies of rural Spain.

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5 / 5

Bliss Sanctuary for Women: Eat Pray Love Retreat

Where Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

When Year-round

If you’ve ever wanted to embark on a journey of self-discovery like Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, this retreat by Bliss Sanctuary puts you in the footsteps of the writer, where she found love in Bali.

The retreat takes participants on a day trip to Ketut Liyer’s house—the late Balinese medicine man who offered Elizabeth guidance—where you can get a palm reading from his son, who has taken over the family practice. See the same beautiful sights on an eco bike tour around Ubud, and also visit Wayan Nuriasih, another healer who developed a friendship with Elizabeth during her pilgrimage.

You can also look forward to unlimited massage and spa treatments, yoga sessions, sightseeing experiences, and gourmet local cuisine during the 7-day stay.

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See also: Beautiful Destinations: Jeremy Jauncey's Top 5 Travel Picks For 2019

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