Tourism: these retreats far from the world

Between women in a farm-hamlet in Lozère

Here, neither Wi-Fi nor TV. Drop off your phone when you arrive on Wednesday and pick it up when you leave on Sunday evening. Then we enter a space of refined contemplation, facing the majesty of the Gorges du Tarn. Marise, a hatha yoga teacher, and Monia, a music therapist, have restored Almières, an 18th-century farm-hamlet, to host chic holistic retreats for women. Dry stone walls, large bay windows opening onto a spectacular view, bohemian and refined decor… “Almières is for anyone looking for depth”, explains Marise. We alternate morning and evening yoga classes, deep relaxation with music therapy, self-massage workshops, hikes in the moor, sauna and bath breaks… And we eat plant-based cuisine, natural and locavore. The chef is based on the principles of Ayurveda.

As the hamlet is located 920 meters above sea level, on a Natura 2000 classified site and dark sky reserve, the retreats follow the lunar calendar and the cycles of the vegetation of the Grands Causses: awakening in spring (early May), peak in summer solstice, before the sweetness of the Lozère autumn in an absolutely sumptuous landscape…

I go !

Retreat of 5 days, 4 nights with full board, from €1,910 per person. Information and 06 95 11 95 56.

In an abbey between sky and sea on the Riviera

We are a stone’s throw from Cannes, but far from the bustle of the Croisette, on the smallest of the Lérins islands: Saint-Honorat. For sixteen centuries, it has been home to a community of Cistercian monks.

About twenty of them live today in the Abbey of Lérins, which is accessed by an alley of palm trees between sky and sea. Facing the open sea, the tower of the fortified monastery has its feet in the water and the orchard of the abbey, surrounded by high walls of golden stone, is a veritable Eden. “An antechamber of paradise”, according to Brother Marie, who takes care of the monastic hostelry. There is no need to be a believer or a practitioner to make a retreat there; everyone is welcome, men, women, in a group, as a couple or alone… provided they comply with a few rules. Here, the monks live according to the principles of Saint Benedict, dividing their time between prayer and work, and if one is not obliged to attend all the offices, it is fashionable to participate in some prayers. You will also be asked to contribute to household chores (setting the table or doing the dishes) and to respect silence during meals. The rest of the time, everyone is free to go about their business. Some come here to seek rest, others to take stock, write or revise exams… Unless they cannot resist the call of the wild creeks and walk the paths lined with eucalyptus trees or vines worked by the monks, in the enchanting setting of this small island of 40 hectares. You can stroll there between chapels, ball ovens from the Napoleonic era and oratories where you can contemplate the horizon… Staying on the island, when day visitors leave for Cannes with the last boat, is the most delightful of privileges .

I go !

Retreat from 2 nights to a maximum of 1 week, in a single room with shared bathroom and toilets, or in a double room with private baths, full board. Free financial participation, knowing that a minimum of 45 € per person and per day is recommended. Book 2 months in advance with the brother hotelier, on

Artistic on the heights in Cathar country

Finding the time to write, paint or indulge in photography alongside other artists… this is what La Muse offers, a retreat for creatives and writers in Labastide-Esparbairenque, an isolated village, in Aude. We live in a large old house where each of the ten rooms opens onto the reliefs of the Black Mountain forest. If all are equipped with a desk, you can also work on the terrace, in the library, the workshop, or even in the chapel. Hours of silence must be observed in the morning and afternoon, but meals are generally taken together. Alain, guardian of the premises, ensures the harmony and tranquility of this space, which is also open to filmmakers, musicians, designers… La Muse also organizes writing workshops. The opportunity for a great emulation, not to mention the hikes along the Rieutort, in the valley planted with chestnut trees, or that of the Grave, more wild and deserted. Unless you go visit Carcassonne, 27 km away. A very inspiring medieval break.

I go !

From €375 per room per week, guests preparing their meals in the shared kitchen. Writing workshop: + €200 per week with 2 dinners included. Information and 06 07 84 06 63.

Initiations under the sign of yoga in Burgundy

You don’t need to be an experienced yogi to enjoy a retreat around this practice. Happy Ferme offers weekends to learn or perfect hatha yoga, which is more postural, and yin yoga, which is gentler. In the village of Suilly-la-Tour, near Sancerre, participants find themselves in an old Burgundian farmhouse renovated according to the principles of feng shui. The ideal place to forget the frenetic pace and the notions of competition and performance imposed by modern life. Here reign tolerance, benevolence and openness to others. Guided by Jordana, yoga teacher trained in Bali and co-founder of Happy Ferme, we learn the main postures, pranayamas (breathing exercises), mantras and meditation. Between sessions, time is punctuated by walks in nature, naps, reading, moments of sharing and healthy and vegetarian meals prepared with products from the permaculture or local vegetable garden. And if some want to take the opportunity to end their stay with a tour of the Sancerre cellars, we won’t say anything…

I go !

Retreats of 3 days-2 nights, from Friday to Sunday, full board, from €246 per person. Information Other yoga retreats on

New age in a Zen garden in Brittany

Between Saint-Brieuc and Pontivy, in the heart of the Côtes-d’Armor, Laurence and David imagined an atypical place: the Quistillic Zen Garden, where, around a 16th century manor, wooden huts are organized on stilts with Finnish baths, others perched in the trees, a Mongolian yurt, geodesic domes, a mandala garden, a koi carp pond… and an insect hotel.

Everything is renovated or built in an ecological approach with the idea of ​​recharging one’s batteries far from the tumult. Master feng shui, Laurence uses ancestral techniques from the other side of the world to pamper bodies and minds: Ayurvedic massages, qi gong, singing bowls, sophrology, Zen songs, sweat lodge… A regeneration a bit new age, time a weekend or a week. In addition to this program, it offers to feed on the energies of the surrounding sites: detox walk and sylvotherapy in the forest of Huelgoat, discovery of the labyrinth of the basilica of Guingamp and meditation around the alignments of Carnac (above), site of astronomical observation or sacred neolithic sanctuary according to legend. Quite a journey…

I go !

Weekend at the equinoxes and the solstices (March, June, September, December), €399 per pers. accommodation, breakfast and activities. 5-day retreat in March, €999 per person. Information and 06 25 29 03 18

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Tourism: these retreats far from the world

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