These empowering retreats help women reconnect with themselves

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 millennials are opting to go solo on their holidays, and surprisingly, the trend is being led by females.

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.

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Above A pool at Como Shambhala Estate (Image: Como Hotels and Resorts)

Gone is the stigma around taking off solo. Instead, it is empowering to march to your own beat, meet new people, and explore the world at your own pace—without compromising to the preferences of your companions.

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 women's only retreats for your escapade.

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Above Professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons leads this programme (Image: Como Hotels and Resorts)

1. Como: The Surf and Wellness Retreat with Sally Fitzgibbons

Where Canggu and Ubud, Bali

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 accommodations have collaborated with professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons—currently ranked third in the Women’s World Surf League—in what is 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 wind down and practice mindfulness in nature. Of course, indulging in the estate’s award-winning cuisine and wellness treatments are on the agenda.

Find out more here.

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Above The Escapada retreat in Mallorca, Spain (Image: Escapada)

2. 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 in transitional phases of their life. Both founders Emilia Herting and Maeve O’Sullivan are 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 treatment and personalised massage. At the end of the retreat, participants return with an individualised health plan to improve their lifestyles.

Find out more here.

3. 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 as 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 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.

Find out more here.

4. 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 7-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 workshop, hikes and tours in the locality, and visits to the monumental museums and cathedrals. At night, try your hand at outdoor paella cooking and sit by wood fires as you gaze into the starry skies of Spain.

Find out more here.

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Above A massage treatment by the pool (Image: Bliss Sanctuary for Women)

5. Bliss Sanctuary for Women: Eat Pray Love Retreat

Where Ubud, Bali

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.

Find out more here.

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