Unwind, reconnect, activate
Let’s face it. Sometimes, all we need is to unwind from our routine and daily lives. Whether it’s due to work, relationships, or any other issues, we have to face challenges that accumulate and make us feel stressed, anxious or worried. Other times, we simply need a break. Retreats that bring you some peace of mind are amongst the best options to achieve just that. Today, we’re going to discover a yoga and hiking retreat in Spain that can help both mentally and physically.
Judy Colaneri and her husband Juan Carlos, founders and hosts of the charming, rural Hotel Fuentes de Lucía, know the immense benefits of travelling mindfully and recharging batteries from time to time, and how much people need to do so.
“People often arrive feeling stressed by their daily life challenges. By providing a physical and mental experience, people can refocus their energy and thoughts into a different space and return to their normal world with some renewed energy” – Judy Colaneri
A mindful getaway
Tucked away in the heart of the bewildering mountains of the south of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain, lies Fuentes de Lucía. This extraordinary country house offers a haven of peace, serenity, and one of the best yoga and hiking retreats each year. Note that one of the biggest pulls of this retreat is not only the unusual combination of both activities but its location.
Asturias is wonderful in itself, but this blissful sanctuary is located in an exceptional natural setting: a natural park that’s been named a reserve of the biosphere by the UNESCO. For Judy, this is one of the most positive aspects. “We are surrounded by nature, our television screen is a screen of mountains, meadows and open skies, offering a place to come and disconnect”. Although, she adds, “we do have Wi-Fi”, just in case.
The retreat runs throughout the whole year and lasts eight full days, in which you simply let go and let them take care of everything. This is also one of the major perks that make people return time and time again: the comfort, support, and a family-like atmosphere. Commonly, this results in long-lasting friendships with customers. “We keep in touch with many of our customers”, confirms Judy without a doubt. As soon as the getaway begins, you get personally picked up in Oviedo and taken to your new countryside home. After that, unpack, relax and enjoy.
Exercise, live, breathe & be happy
The combination of both yoga and hiking came naturally to Judy. Normally, one only finds a standard yoga retreat, but this one covers a broader range of necessities. Judy took her first yoga class when only 16 and has since been travelling, and in and out of yoga classes. Because her travels usually involve biking or hiking, the love for and usefulness of both activities made the idea of blending them just ideal. Plus, she explains, the combination is important “for both the physical and mental aspect and to detox and de-stress. Getting out of the car, using our muscles, breathing clean air and listening to the silence”.
But what if you’re no expert yogi or hiker? Not to worry. Yoga lessons, which take place twice daily, are taught by expert teachers from around the globe that adapt to your level, and each teaches their own style. Also, if you are concerned about not being an experienced hiker, the local guides will accommodate your needs and can make the daily hike shorter for you. Judy acknowledges that some people may not be able to walk the scheduled distance for a number of reasons, but she firmly encourages everyone to take part as they offer a large support base.
Since the retreat is settled in a natural park and farming area, the scenic hiking routes are not only absolutely breathtaking but also stimulating and culturally revealing. Surrounded by dramatic peaks, animals, and crystal-clear lakes, you’ll take in the pure mountain air from Asturias.
Every day, you can enjoy a distinctive mountain trail of approximately 15 km, accompanied by knowledgeable guides that will tell you all about the local life, history and traditions. This is important, as not only will you be exercising and connecting with nature, but will also discover a new side of Spain.
“Many of the walks are along old farming routes, dirt paths, that lead from one village to the next. Daily farming life is still active so we get a glimpse of old-world Spain”.
But that’s not all. If you’re feeling brave and want to stretch out your legs even further, there are plenty of options. Hiking trails branch out from the back, front, and kitchen doors of the hotel. Plus, only 1.5 km down the hill there’s the popular and peculiar hiking and biking trail known as ‘Senda del Oso’ (the bear trail). A definite must!
However, if you just feel like sitting down for a while, there’s also a vast video library holding numerous documentary-type films. And, if you want to relax even more and enjoy getting pampered, one of the heavenly on-sight massages is a must.
Munch away peacefully
After such an enriching and complete day, who doesn’t need a bite? As if the retreat wasn’t fulfilling enough, the food gets even better. In fact, your palate will definitely be convinced of returning when you try the fresh and savoury dishes.
Enjoy local gastronomy, delectable cheeses, and even the traditional Sidra beverage produced with locally sourced apples. Most ingredients used for the hearty meals come straight from the garden, so they can’t really get any fresher than that!
The meals are vegetarian, and special diets such as those gluten-free for celiac people or vegans are also available. Judy and Juan Carlos are both healthy food lovers, and you can tell.
“Our creative passion comes through in the kitchen”.
Embrace your “me” time
Indeed, this yoga and hiking retreat is a mindful getaway that can help one take a break from daily stressful routines. Most of us go through every day without straying too far from the set rules and activities: work, house chores, gym, paperwork… and really, this kind of retreat helps to gain a new perspective.
A retreat is your own special time to reflect on your life, decisions, and difficulties. It can help you become more aware, not only of yourself and your needs but of everything and everyone surrounding you.
Take this time for yourself, physically and mentally. We don’t usually get much of it, so why not give a go? Take this as a gentle reminder that you exist. You are important, and a strong, honest connection with your inner-self, nature and all that surrounds you is key to a happy, mindful life.