There comes a time in every traveller’s journey when she’s had enough of returning from her adventures more tired than when she left. With my February break looming large, this year I knew I wanted to do something that was more than just ticking a location off my bucket list and snapping some great Instagram pics. I wanted to reconnect with a part of me I’d lost touch with. I wanted rejuvenation, relaxation… but not too much relaxation. And a little adventure thrown in there. Oh, and some decent weather, please?
Europe has no shortage of yoga retreats in inspiring locations, so how do you pick the right one? A lot of research and a little luck led me to Azulfit Yoga and Pilates in Fuerteventura!
I had no idea what to expect of the Canary Islands. Some people call them, “Europe’s Florida”, but my experience on Fuerteventura was so far away from the endless candy colored strip malls of Southwest Florida. The main drag of Corralejo is a tourist trap for sure, but venture beyond that and you’ll be rewarded with stretches of lonely windswept dunes and beaches and miles and miles of volcano hikes! My advice if you want the “in town” experience while you’re there is to skip Corralejo and head to Lajares, a cool-ass hippie village full of artsy markets, cool cafes and handmade boutique shops.
Be sure to venture beyond Corralejo’s tacky souveneir shops to frolic on miles of incredible beaches!
The weather in February is warm by the beaches, but can be cool and breezy in the evening up in the hills where we were! Pack layers and you’ll be a happy camper.
Welcome to Lajares, where humans are so chilled out that the signs in your local health food shop advertise Reiki for pets!
I attended Azulfit’s Surya retreat, which is tucked away in the rolling hills of Fuerteventura. We were surrounded by peaceful farmland, windmills and gorgeous moss-covered volcanoes. There’s some lovely wandering to do in this remote neighbor hood. It’s mostly residential but there’s some cute cafes and a great Tapas place thrown into the mix too. Exploring the area by foot or bike is ideal. If you wish you can get around via the island’s cheap yet infrequent bus service. Those who have a lot of ground to cover and a schedule to keep chose car rental, but I didn’t feel stranded without wheels.
You’ll feel yourself relax immediately once you set foot on the grounds, which are designed with your enjoyment in mind. There are multiple outdoor seating areas available where you can kick back on a couch, hammock or recliner to enjoy a good book, cup of tea or conversation with other guests and staff. Oh and did I mention there’s a pool?
Most of the rooms are assembled around either the pool or courtyard. The rooms themselves are bright, cozy and clean with a lovely rustic charm. You’ll find there is ample opportunity to both socilaize and retreat into your own little world, and nobody will judge you for either!
This is an ideal vacation for a solo traveller to book. Most people come alone or with one other person, so it’s easy to find buddies for a hike, a trip to the beach or a wander into town. The retreat program takes place Saturday to Saturday so you have a chance to get to know your fellow yogis and there’s not the constant feeling of coming and going. This is great because I find that folks you meet on yoga retreats are almost always interesting to talk to!
The natives are friendly! I made not one, but two canine friends during my stay!
Two delicious vegetarian meals a day are included in the price of the retreat. I never felt hungry while I was there as they had healthy snacks on hand to buy between meals, and there were a few small cafes in the area we could pop to for a light lunch.
Also included in the price of the retreat was an amazing full body massage. The Surya retreat has a couple of therapists you can book a variety of treatments with on premesis, or you can go to their sister spa in Correlejo for an even wider variety of treatments. Everybody I spoke woth raved about the treatments they recieved while on retreat. If I could do things differently I would have explored these options more fully and booked a few more healing appointments in advance. They say you don’t need to do this, but if you also want ample time to explore the island, you may want to plan a little further in advance.
Azulfit classes are a nice mix of pilates and many different styles of yoga ranging from Yin, Hatha, Kundalindi and Vinyasa! The clientele is not hardcore sporty, most of us were just average busy folks looking for a much-needed opportunity to practice self-care and create some healthy habits to bring home with us. The teachers are lovely and really listen to what their students want, so if you’re in need of something, speak up!
All in all this was exactly the experience I was looking for. Om it out with Azulfit and you won’t be disappointed! I have fallen in love with the laid back Canary Island culture and can picture myself opening my own little yoga and arts retreat here someday. Hey… it’s a dream!
Sea breeze and volcanic rock formations… Miss Apple was in her element in Fuerteventura! So kids, what’s your favorite island?