UK Bucket List: The Best Places to Visit in the UK

From rolling hills to historic buildings, iconic landmarks and world-renowned museums, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK so it’s a shame that most tourists only visit the capital, London.

There is SO much more to see in the UK. Despite it’s reputation for unpredictable and rainy weather, the UK boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The abundance of rain contributes to the lush green landscapes while the rich history and lovely gardens add to the charm. Plus a warm cup of tea is never far away!

So, if you’re planning your next UK trip, check out my list of the top 10 must-see destinations.

The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK

Despite it’s small size, the UK is a diverse country which includes the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So whether you’re looking for a thrilling city adventure, a relaxing weekend in the countryside, or to explore quaint historic villages, you can easily find the perfect UK getaway.

Here’s my top 10 recommendations.

Contents hide 1The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK 1.1London 1.2Edinburgh 1.3The Scottish Highlands 1.4Bath and The West Country 1.5The Lake District 1.6Manchester and Liverpool 1.7Cornwall 1.8Jurassic Coast 1.9Belfast and Causeway Coast 1.10Wales and Snowdonia National Park 2Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK

London

Palace of Westminster, London

London is undoubtedly the one of the best cities to visit in the UK and the place to go if you’re seeking world-famous attractions on your UK trip.

Central London has many iconic areas, streets and famous landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Hyde Park. Of course, this is also where you will find the River Thames and perhaps London’s most iconic landmark, Big Ben.

The capital city is also home to several world-class art galleries and museums, most of which are free to enter, including The National Gallery, Tate Modern, and The British Museum. Aside from the cultural scene, there are endless historic sites like Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.

Harry Potter fans will also want to head to Warner Bros just outside of London for a special walk-through exhibition of the making of the much-loved book and film series. And if you have more than a few days here, take a day trip to Windsor Castle, where the British royal family resides.

With numerous stations and fast rail connections, it’s quick and easy to get to some of the best places to visit in England by taking a day trip from London. From the scenic university towns of Oxford or Cambridge, the hip seaside city of Brighton or the famous Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover, there’s no shortage of interesting places to visit near London.

You can even take the Eurostar train over to Europe and do a day trip to Paris or Amsterdam from London.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, adored for its rich history, cobblestone streets, and cosy pubs.

One of the top attractions here is Edinburgh Castle, built on an extinct volcano, 443 feet above sea level. Arthur’s Seat is another famous site, an 822 feet high peak of which you can climb to the top for expansive views of this beautiful city.

The best time to visit this historic city is in August when the weather is warmer and the city comes alive for the Edinburgh festival.

The Scottish Highlands

Scottish highlands

Rugged, untouched, and rural, the Scottish Highlands attract nature lovers looking to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track to explore some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes. This mountainous region boasts dramatic landscapes, romantic castles, and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Of course, it is also home to one of the most famous places in the UK, Loch Ness. This 37-kilometre freshwater loch has a world-famous legend, as the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie, is believed to reside within the waters here.

Bath and The West Country

Pulteney Weir, Bath

Bath is one of the most picturesque towns in the UK and a top-rated tourist destination for history buffs. It is home to the famous Roman baths and other historic landmarks like Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. A more modern attraction here is Thermae, Britain’s original natural thermal spa with a rooftop pool overlooking a stunning skyline view.

If you are heading to the west country, why not make a road trip out of it. See ancient and mysterious Stonehenge on the way and visit the trendy city of Bristol nearby. Also explore the charming Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and see the the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon.

The Lake District

Derwent water, Lake district

The Lake District is located in northern England and is a must-visit if you want to witness some of the UK’s most outstanding natural beauty. As England’s largest national park, you can expect endless spectacular views of serene lakes, rugged mountains, and high moorlands – the very same landscapes that inspired famous Poets like Wordsworth.

Within the Lake District region are many picturesque villages with hotels housed in historic buildings where you can experience authentic English countryside life. Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere are some of the most popular places to visit, Here’s some ideas on how to see the best of the Lake District in 4 days.

It is also one of the best places in the UK for hiking, with over 100 marked trails, many of which are suitable for beginners. If walking isn’t your thing, then one of the best ways to explore the UK countryside is on a horse riding holiday. This area is also home to some of the UK’s best yoga retreats.

If you’re in the north then why not combine visiting the Lake District with two of of the best cities to visit in the UK – Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester and Liverpool

Royal Liver Building, Liverpool

Manchester is often on the UK bucket list for football fans as it is home to not one but two major premier league teams, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Manchester is also a vibrant city known for its bustling nightlife and world-class museums like the Manchester art gallery and the Science and Industry Museum.

A short train drive from Manchester is the maritime city of Liverpool, famous for it’s musical heritage as hometown of The Beatles, and also for its own football team. Here you can visit The Beatles Story museum, hang out at Royal Albert Dock and take a ferry cruise along the Mersey waterfront.

Cornwall

St Austell, Cornwall

Despite what you may think, there are some beautiful beaches in the UK, many of which you’ll find in Cornwall, a historic and beautiful county on the southwestern tip of England.

While it is a quiet part of the country with a low population, it is very popular with tourists. There is much to explore here, from long sandy beaches and hidden coves to quaint fishing villages to epic surf spots like Newquay.

Cornwall also has a rich culture and strong folk tradition. Thus, it is a wonderful place for history lovers as well as those looking to experience a traditional afternoon tea with the best-tasting scones and clotted cream.

Jurassic Coast

Durdle door, Dorset

If you’re heading to Cornwall, I highly recommend exploring the Jurassic Coast on the way. It’s one of the most stunning places in the country and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Explore the incredible beaches like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, and enjoy a spot of fossil hunting while you’re at it. And if you’re interested in history, there are several historic ruins to check out, like the Corfe Castle, built in 1066.

Belfast and Causeway Coast

Giant’s causeway

If you want to immerse yourself in the rich culture and charm of Northern Ireland, visit the lively city of Belfast. There’s plenty to do during the day and night, with a perfect blend of modern nightlife and ancient history.

However, don’t miss out on the breathtaking beauty of the Causeway Coast, located just 61 miles away from Belfast. This Northern Ireland coastal region is home to the stunningly beautiful natural feature, Giant’s Causeway, featuring 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed by a volcanic eruption.

Other must-see attractions in the area include the Carrick-a-Rede suspension rope bridge, Dunluce Castle, and the stunning Portrush Whiterocks Beach.

Wales and Snowdonia National Park

Conwy Castle, Wales

No list of the best places to visit in the UK would be complete without a mention of Wales. With majestic mountains, rolling countryside, quaint villages, historic castles and a picturesque coastline, Wales is another popular UK holiday destination.

The rugged and unspoilt landscapes of Wales are the main draw as it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK. Snowdonia National Park encompasses nine mountain ranges up to 3,000 feet (915m) high and is one of the best places to visit in North Wales.

Snowdonia is a haven for anyone into hiking or mountain biking. Aside from the breath taking mountains, Snowdonia boasts many steep river gorges, refreshing waterfalls and green valleys, making it a perfect nature break.

Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK

As you can see, the UK has many unique and exciting destinations and much more to offer than just London. Whether you visit a historic town, national park or seaside resort, you’ll surely have a glorious time, even if the skies are grey!

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration check out my other blogs:

  • The Best Places to Visit in Europe
  • The Best Places to Visit in the USA
  • The Best Places to Visit in Asia
  • The Best Places to Visit in Australia

My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South!

Thailand is one of my all time favourite destinations. From glittering golden temples to ancient ruins, buzzing cities to tropical jungle and some of the most gorgeous beaches and islands in the world – there’s so much to see in the Land of Smiles.

In fact there’s so many amazing places to visit in Thailand that you may be wondering how to plan your trip and create the best Thailand itinerary so that you can fit it all in.

This can feel especially overwhelming if it’s your first time visiting Thailand, but this post should help you out a lot.

My Thailand Travel Guide

Don’t worry, with 2 weeks in Thailand you’ve got enough time to explore the best of north and south, from the exciting metropolis of Bangkok, to the jungles and temples around Chiang Mai and also enjoy island hopping in the south – if you plan your 2 week Thailand itinerary carefully.

I’ve been lucky enough to explore this amazing country from top to bottom several times. I even lived on the island of Koh Phangan for a while, so I know Thailand better than most! I want you to have an amazing holiday in Thailand and love it as much as I do, so this post is a mini travel guide to Thailand to help you plan your trip.

As well as the best 2 weeks Thailand itinerary, I’ll also give suggestions for other timeframes if you have 7 days or 10 days in Thailand, along with all the practical Thailand travel tips you need to know when visiting Thailand.

The Best 2 Week Thailand Itinerary

Contents hide 1My Thailand Travel Guide 2The Best 2 Week Thailand Itinerary 3Tips for Planning Your Trip To Thailand 4How to Spend 2 Weeks in Thailand 4.1Thailand Map 4.2Quick 2 Weeks in Thailand Itinerary Summary 4.3Ideas for a 7 – 10 Days Thailand Itinerary 5My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South 5.1Bangkok – 3 Days 5.2Chiang Mai – 4 days 5.3Thailand Island Hopping 5.4The Gulf of Thailand 5.5Koh Samui – 2/3 days 5.6Koh Phangan – 2/3 days 5.7Koh Tao – 2/3 days 5.8The Andaman Coast 5.9Phuket – 2/3 days 5.10Koh Phi Phi Don – 1 or 2 days 5.11Krabi – 2/3 days 5.12Back to Bangkok 6Essential Thailand Travel Tips 6.1When to Visit Thailand 6.2Getting to Thailand 6.3Visas for Thailand 6.4Getting Around Thailand 6.5Accommodation Options in Thailand 6.6Thailand Tours 6.7Travel Insurance

Tips for Planning Your Trip To Thailand

Two weeks is the ideal amount of time to see all the highlights in both northern and southern Thailand. But if you want to tick lots of things off your Thailand bucket list in just a few weeks then you’re going to need to plan your 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary carefully.

You don’t want to ruin your Thailand vacation by planning a trip that’s too ambitious and end up exhausted and stressed from trying to see too many places, but you also don’t want to miss somewhere amazing and regret it.

Many people only see Thailand’s islands and miss out on northern Thailand’s incredible sights and culture. It’s such a shame because they’ve only seen half of what this amazing country has to offer so allow time for both in your Thailand itinerary.

Luckily with 2 weeks in Thailand you can see the highlights of both north and south.

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The north of Thailand used to be the Lanna Kingdom and has it’s own distinct culture. Highlights include Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, where you can experience temples like Wat Rong Khun, traditional Thai culture, night markets, jungle adventures, trekking and elephant sanctuaries.

The south of Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Famous for towering limestone cliffs and turquoise waters. There’s excellent rock climbing and scuba diving, pampering beach holidays and easy island-hopping day trips through national marine parks.

To enable you to see the most of Thailand in only 2 weeks there is a great network of low cost domestic flights which will save a lot of travel time. A more eco friendly way would be to take the night trains which will also save you a night of accommodation.

Another way to make the most of your time, and save yourself stress and energy, is to base yourself in places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket or Koh Samui and take day trips from there instead of moving around too much.

I’d recommend booking your transport, accommodation and tours in advance so when you get to Thailand you can just relax and enjoy your trip. I use Booking.com for hotels and accommodation, Get your Guide for tours and day trips and 12 Go Asia to book your flights, trains, buses and ferries in Thailand.

How to Spend 2 Weeks in Thailand

With 2 weeks in Thailand you can start in the capital, Bangkok and see the best of both north and south if you plan your itinerary well.

Thailand Map

Here’s a map of Thailand so you can get your bearings and plan your travel route.

Start your Thailand trip with a few days exploring the exciting capital Bangkok with a day trip to the floating markets and the ancient temples at Ayutthaya.

Then head north to Chiang Mai and explore the temples, culture and natural beauty of northern Thailand. Chiang Mai makes a good base for day trips around northern Thailand.

The incredible temples like Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, the nature around Pai and the Golden Triangle are all well worth a visit. If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand I’d recommend taking day trips from Chiang Rai to save time and hassle.

Fly down to the south for some island hopping. On the west coast popular islands include Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi, while on the east coast you’ll find Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

It can be tempting to want to visit them all, but for a 2 week Thailand itinerary, you’ll probably find it more enjoyable to pick one side and relax instead of trying to fit all the islands in.

Whatever you decide, don’t forget to allow time in your itinerary to get back to Bangkok in time to catch your flight home!

Quick 2 Weeks in Thailand Itinerary Summary

Bangkok (3 days)
Chiang Mai (3 days including day trip to Chiang Rai or Pai)
East Coast Islands – Koh Samui (3 days) Koh Phangan (2 days) Koh Tao ( 2 days)
Or
West Coast Islands Phuket (3 days) Koh Phi Phi (2 days) Krabi (2 days)
Bangkok ( 1 day)

Ideas for a 7 – 10 Days Thailand Itinerary

If you don’t have so much vacation time don’t worry, you can still follow some of this itinerary just modify it depending on how many days you have.

Here’s some suggestions for a 10 day Thailand itinerary and a 7 day Thailand itinerary too:

10 Days in Thailand Itinerary

Bangkok (2 days)
Chiang Mai (3 days)
Koh Samui (2 days)
Koh Phangan (2 days)
Bangkok (1 day)

7 Days in Thailand Itinerary

Bangkok (2 days)
Chiang Mai (2 days)
Phuket (2 days)
Bangkok (1 day)

If you’ve got more time to play with then check out this 1 month Thailand backpacking route.

Read on to find out more about each destination, the best things to do there, where to stay and how to get there plus more tips for planning your perfect 2 week Thailand itinerary.

By the way, I’ve used affiliate links in this article which allow me to make a small commission if you book which helps me to keep this site going, an unbiased, at no extra cost to you.

My Perfect 2 Week Thailand Itinerary – Best of North & South

Bangkok – 3 Days

The capital of Thailand is one of the most exciting cities in the world and has plenty of flight connections making it the ideal place to start your 2 week Thailand itinerary.

The streets of Bangkok are a truly fascinating mix of old and new, packed with temples, culture and a buzzing atmosphere.

Best things to do in Bangkok

The first thing I do in a new city is taking a guided walking tour as it’s the best way to get to know the city in a short time.

Take a cruise along the Chao Phraya River for one of the most relaxing ways to see the city then climb Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn, at sunset.

Explore the spectacular Grand Palace, a gorgeous glittering masterpiece that is the former royal residence and home to Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and marvel at the huge, golden, reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.

Bangkok is also some of the world’s most legendary, vibrant and fun nightlife. Drink buckets and party on the infamous Khao San Road and try the cheap and delicious street food stands that serve up fresh and tasty thai cuisine like pad thai.

Sip cocktails at one of the trendy rooftop bars of the luxury hotels that line the river and soak up the views of the Bangkok skyline and city below. The sky bar observation deck at Baiyoke Sky Hotel is one of the best.

Allow enough time in your Bangkok itinerary to take day trips to visit the impressive historic temples at Ayutthaya, an ancient city, former capital of Thailand and UNESCO world heritage site.

This day trip combines Ayutthaya with Ayothaya floating market.

Another must see is the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the unique Maeklong railway market where you’ll experience the vendors jumping out of the way as the train comes through the market. You’ll also find bargains and souvenirs at the colourful Chatuchak weekend market.

A day trip to Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwai is also possible.

Allow at least 2 days to see Bangkok’s highlights, but there’s so many activities and temples in Bangkok to keep you busy for 3 days or more.

You’ll probably want to stay one more night in Bangkok at the end of your 2 week Thailand itinerary for some last minute shopping before you fly home.

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Lebua at State Tower

Start your Thailand trip off in style with the amazing sweeping views over the Chao Phraya River and the city’s skyline from the private balcony of your spacious and full equipped luxury suites at the 5 star Lebua at State Tower – one of the highest buildings in Bangkok.

There’s a swimming pool, spa and restaurant serving fine Thai cuisine. It’s also home to one of Bangkok’s best rooftop bars with breath taking views. See if you can spot Wat Arun and The Grand Place glittering at sunset.

When you want to come down and explore the Grand Palace and the rest of the city this luxury hotel is conveniently located close to the Saphan Taksin stop on the BTS sky train.

The Lebua is one of the more affordable luxury hotels on the riverside, which is one of my favourite areas to stay in Bangkok, a far cry from the backpacker scene on Khao San Road. Check Prices

The Mulberry

A great budget option in the popular backpacker area of Khao San Road. Recently refurbished and formerly known as the popular Rikka Inn, this is one of the best budget hotels in Bangkok.

The cosy and unique rooms are decorated with vintage Thai memorabilia and the rooftop pool is a real highlight after a hot day sightseeing.

The location on Khaosan Road means you only need to step out of the door to be in the lively and colourful backpacker district but the sound proofing means you’ll still enjoy a good nights sleep. Check prices here

How to get to Bangkok and Get Around

Bangkok has some of the best flight connections in Southeast Asia and receives many international flights from around the world.

The city has two airports, Suvarnabhumi international airport (BKK) – which handles mostly long haul international flights, and Don Mueang (DMK), which handles low cost flights with carriers like Air Asia with domestic flights around the rest of Thailand.

You’ll probably fly into Suvarnabhumi airport and start your Thailand itinerary there. The airport rail link that connects the airport to the BTS Sky train is the quickest and cheapest way to get into the city. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the Phaya Thai BTS station.

Taxis are available but will probably take longer if there is heavy traffic. Uber or Grab are easier if you don’t speak Thai. You can also ask your hotel if they offer an airport transfer or shuttle service.

Once in Bangkok the super modern BTS Skytrain and MRT Metro are the quickest way to get around. Tuk tuks can also be a fun way to explore the city but agree on the price before setting off.

There’s plenty of bus, train and flights from Bangkok offering easy onward travel around the rest of Thailand. If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand definitely consider taking a few budget flights as it will save you alot of time.

You can book your transport all around Thailand with 12 Go Asia.

Chiang Mai – 4 days

Chiang Mai is a beautiful city amongst the mountains of northern Thailand. It’s the country’s 2nd city but offers a much more peaceful experience than Bangkok so visiting Chiang Mai should not be missed from any Thailand itinerary.

Best Things to do in Chiang Mai

Explore the Old City. Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 and the temples, walls and moats from the Old City still stand today, making it a fascinating place to explore and learn about Thailand’s history and traditional Thai culture. If you want to learn more about traditional Thai culture then the Lanna Folklore Museum is worth a visit.

Temple hopping is a popular pastime in Chiang Mai as the old city offers tons of gorgeous temples to explore such as Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chiang Man. You can even chat with the monks at Wat Chedi Luang.

The city also makes a great base from which to explore the mountains and jungles of Northern Thailand with many trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting and kayaking trips on offer.

Nature and animal lovers should head to the Elephant Nature Park and Doi Inthanon National Park. For more adrenaline try the Flight of the Gibbon zipline.

Just outside the city, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a beautiful temple with equally as spell bounding views.

Chiang Mai is also a modern and fun city with plenty of trendy cafes, bars popular with students and digital nomads. Don’t miss the night market and walking street where you can find street food bites, arts, crafts and souvenirs.

It’s also a great place to learn something new. Take a traditional Thai cooking class, Muay Thai boxing lessons, Buddhist meditation and yoga. There’s also plenty of places to enjoy a traditional Thai massage at cheaper prices than you’ll find on the islands of southern Thailand.

Day Trips from Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a great base to do day trips to explore the rest of northern Thailand. If you had more time I would recommend spending a few nights in these places but if you only have 2 weeks in Thailand the best way is to take an organised day trip.

Chiang Rai is home to some of the most amazing temples in the world, including Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple) which shouldn’t be missed from any Thailand itinerary.

Wat Rong Khun is one of the most amazing temples and sights I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen lots of temples!). It’s more like an art exhibit than a temple, with intricate and interesting designs that you might not expect to see in a Thai temple.

Also in Chiang Rai is Baan Dum (the Black House), Rong Suea Ten (the Blue Temple) and Thailand’s biggest Guan Yin statue. The Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre are also worth a visit.

If you’ve only got 2 weeks in Thailand then you can visit the highlights of Chiang Rai on a day trip like this one from Chiang Mai. Chiang Rai is about 3 hours from Chiang Mai so it makes for quite a long day trip but it’s still the quickest way to see the highlights.

Even if you only have two weeks in Thailand you really must see the White Temple, Wat Rong Khun, it’s my favourite temple in the world!

Another popular place to visit is Pai, a small, laid back town nestled on the banks of the river in one of the most beautiful valleys in Thailand from where you can explore the surrounding forests, hot springs, waterfalls, mountains and Pai canyon.

Pai’s chill vibes and stunning nature have made it a popular hangout with relaxed, hippie vibes and plenty of cosy and colourful vegan and vegetarian cafes. There’s also bars with live music, a night market and walking street with all the Thai street food delights.

If you have 2 weeks in Thailand you could visit Pai with a day trip from Chiang Mai, but if you have more time then it’s better to stay at least 1 or 2 nights to soak up the relaxed, hippie vibes and gorgeous scenery of Thailand’s most beautiful valley.

You could also take a day trip to explore the Golden Triangle. An area along the banks of the Mekong River that borders Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, famous for it’s history of growing opium.

Check out all the activities and excursions from Chiang Mai here.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

Tamarind Village

A wonderfully atmospheric traditional Thai style boutique hotel with super clean and comfortable rooms and plenty of teak features, heritage artefacts and gorgeous tribal fabrics.

A highlight is the serene swimming pool surrounded by luscious tropical gardens and majestic tamarind trees, and the super helpful staff.

The location is unbeatable, a hidden oasis conveniently situated in the heart of the Old City. The spa and restaurant are both excellent and the friendly tour desk makes planning trips and activities a breeze. This is my favourite place to stay in Chiang Mai and probably my favourite in all of Thailand. Check Prices

Chill Chill

Chill Chill is a great budget hotel in Chiang Mai. Clean and comfortable rooms have terraces or balconies with good views over the city. It’s centrally located and close to all amenities, there’s a 7Eleven right outside. Check prices here

How to get to Chiang Mai From Bangkok

The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is by flight which takes about 1.15 hours. Chiang Mai’s airport (CNX) has both international and domestic flights with regular connections to Bangkok.

Budget airlines like Air Asia, Nok Air and Thai Lion fly from Bangkok’s Don Muang airport (DMK). Flights only take about 1 hour 15 minutes and will save you precious time if you only have two weeks in Thailand.

There are train services every day from Bangkok’s Hualamphong train station to Chiang Mai but I would recommend taking the overnight train as it will save you time and can be a fun and comfortable experience if you get a sleeper berth with air con.

The journey takes about 11 hours and there’s a bar and restaurant car which sometimes turns into a bit of a party with the locals.

There are also modern buses which take about 10 hours from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but if you’re planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary then I’d recommend taking either the night train or a flight to save time.

Thailand Island Hopping

The beaches and islands in Thailand are some of the very best in the world and it would almost be a crime to not include any beach time or island hopping in your Thailand itinerary!

There are hundreds of beautiful beaches and paradasical islands in Thailand but if you’re planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary you won’t be able to see them all – but you can make a good start!

If you’ve got 2 weeks in Thailand then I’d recommend picking 2 or 3 neighbouring islands.

For diving, partying and relaxation head east to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

For island hopping and iconic limestone cliffs head west to Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi.

A great way to see more islands in a short period of time is to join an island-hopping day trip. You can find them operating from many of Thailand’s most popular islands, like Phuket.

If you try to squeeze all the islands that I’ve mentioned into 2 weeks you’ll probably end up more stressed out than blissed out!

How to get to the Thai Islands from Chiang Mai

The quickest way to get from Chiang Mai to the Thai islands is to take a flight from Chiang Mai to Phuket or Koh Samui.

Bangkok Airways runs direct flights from Chiang Mai to both Koh Samui and Phuket which will take about 2 hours.

There’s also airports at Krabi and Surat Thani. There are also many connecting flights through Bangkok, but that route will probably take nearer 5 hours.`

You could get the bus or an overnight train back down to Bangkok and then catch a connecting train or bus going south. Travel agents often sell a combined mini bus, bus and ferry package that will get you smoothly from door to door which is the best option if you want to avoid flying.

However, this will probably take you about 24 hours. So regardless if you are planning a 2 week Thailand itinerary I’d recommend taking the flight here as it will save you time and, if you book in advance with a budget airline, it’s often not much more expensive to fly.

Remember to leave enough time in your Thailand itinerary to fly back to Bangkok and maybe spend another day or night there before catching your flight home.

The Gulf of Thailand

The Gulf of Thailand, on the East Coast, is home to three of Thailand’s best islands – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

All offer beautiful beaches with powder soft sands, azure waters and boat trips to the stunning Ang Thong Marine National Park, but each have a different vibe and are all worth exploring.

Their proximity to each other make for a fantastic and easy island hopping adventure.

Koh Samui – 2/3 days

Start off your Thailand island hopping adventure by flying to Koh Samui located in the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand.

Thailand’s second largest island has everything you’d want from a tropical island – soft white sand beaches, clear turquoise oceans, swaying palm trees and plenty of resorts, eateries, spas, bars and healthy retreats.

Highlights of Koh Samui are it’s natural beauty spots, relaxing beaches, warm tropical waters and the opportunity to take snorkeling or kayaking tours to sensational Ang Thong Marine National Park.

There’s also plenty of temples to visit including Wat Phra Yai with its Big Buddha statue and the Secret Buddha Garden.

You can also trek to waterfalls, see the infamous phallic rock of Hat Lamai, visit the Ethical Elephant Sanctuary, take an off road jungle safari tour, ride an ATV through the jungle or splash about in the waterparks.

There’s plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets from luxury resorts to family friendly hotels and backpacker hostels, from gourmet dinning to street food stalls.

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere head to busy and popular Chaweng Beach. If you just want to chill out, coconut in hand, better to head to the other beaches.

Where to Stay on Koh Samui

Melati Beach Resort & Spa

A beautiful secluded beachfront resort with luxe modern rooms, villas and suites, some with private pools or outdoor bath tubs and sea views. There’s 2 swimming pools, 2 restaurants, 3 bars and a spa where you can indulge in a massage under a gazebo on the beachfront.

Melati Beach Resort is located in Choeng Mon – an area home to the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s only 15 minutes from the airport and the property provides airport transfers and shuttles to Chaweng Beach so you can relax in peace and still enjoy all the action in Chaweng. Check Prices

The Summer House

This budget hotel is amazing value for money. Located close to the airport, pier, several beaches and the big Buddha, the Summer House makes an affordable and easy base from which to explore the island.

The clean air conditioned rooms, suites and studio apartments are well equipped and many have sea views. There’s also a nice restaurant, garden and really friendly and helpful hosts. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Samui

Koh Samui’s airport (USM) makes getting to the island quick and easy.

Bangkok Airlines has a daily direct flight from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui which takes under 2 hours. There are also many flights via Bangkok that will take you about 4 hours in total.

You can also buy combined travel tickets with an overnight train from Bangkok, then bus and ferry rides to Koh Samui. An easy place to buy tickets online is 12goAsia.

Koh Phangan – 2/3 days

If you are a party person then you’ll want to plan your Thailand itinerary so that the dates you will be on Koh Phangan, also known as Koh Pha-Ngan, coincide with the date for the famous monthly Full Moon Party.

This massive party takes over the whole of Haad Rin beach and attracts tens of thousands of people every single month for a bucket list experience. Deck yourself out in UV glow paint, sip on buckets of booze and party on the beach until sunrise with loud dance music blasting from the many bars along the beach.

Many hotels in Haad Rin have a minimum stay of 3 nights around full moon. Make sure you book your accommodation well in advance if you’ll be in Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party.

If it’s not full moon time when you visit don’t worry as there are still lots of amazing parties like the Half Moon Party and the Jungle Experience, which are in many ways better than the Full Moon party anyway.

Koh Phangan also has a hippie, spiritual side with many yoga retreats and numerous meditation and tantra classes available on the other side of the island.

Nature lovers should head to Than Sadet Ko Phagnan National Park which has numerous waterfalls, secluded beaches, and gorgeous hiking opportunities. Phaeng Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall with a nice lookout point in the jungle. Also check out the pretty Chinese style Guanyin Temple.

Where to Stay on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan has many different beaches and areas that will appeal to different people – whether you are looking to be close to the nightlife, yoga studios or just relax on a beautiful beach. Check out my guide to where to stay in Koh Phangan for more details.

The Cabin Beach Resort

Located on the beach front of secluded Leela Beach just 700m away from Haad Rin Beach where the Full Moon Party takes place.

This means it’s within stumbling distance from the epic party so, once you’re done revelling, you can easily retreat to your luxurious room or the multi layer beach front pool to rest and recover.

The resort has a modern industrial style and rooms come with mountain or sea views. Some suites even have a private plunge pool overlooking the ocean. The property offers a free pick-up service from Haad Rin Pier for added convivence. Check Prices

Seacroft Bamboo Village

These traditional wooden huts surrounded by coconut palms just steps from Hin Kong beach will immerse you in the tropical resort lifestyle for a budget friendly price. There’s a small pool and the beautiful beach is just steps away.

The room prices are very reasonable, all the huts have a balcony, some with sea views. There’s also a shared kitchen. The hosts treat guests like family and are very knowledgeable about the local area. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Phangan

Ferries from Koh Samui go regularly to Koh Phangan taking between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and then continue onwards to Koh Tao.

 

Koh Tao – 2/3 days

The tiny turtle shaped island of Koh Tao is one of the best places not just in Thailand but in the whole world for scuba diving due to its colourful and vibrant coral reefs and warm tropical waters.

Koh Tao is one of the best, and cheapest, places in the world to do your PADI open water course and learn how to scuba dive.

If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand and still want to give diving a try you can also do a 1 day discover dive, or just go snorkelling.

Under the water you have the chance to see turtles, rays, whale sharks, and numerous other species of fish and wildlife.

The island is also home to many beautiful bays, groves, and secluded beaches. Don’t miss the trek up to the Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint to take in the gorgeous panorama.

Most diving courses take 3 or 4 days, so if you want to do both the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan and a diving course in Koh Tao you might want to spend less time on Koh Samui to fit it all in to a 2 week Thailand itinerary.

Koh Tao has a party scene too, Sairee Beach is where most of the amenities and nightlife are but can be a noisy place to stay.

Where to Stay on Koh Tao

Sensi Paradise Beach Resort

Air conditioned wooden bungalows nestled in luscious gardens and tropical jungle with a lovely pool area and a restaurant overlooking the beach.

The property is conveniently located overlooking Mae Haad Beach, a good snorkeling spot. It’s also within walking distance from the port and popular Sairee Beach but far away enough from the nightlife so that you can get some sleep! Check Prices

Koh Tao Heritage

This beautiful resort has a huge variety of rooms so there’s something to suit all budgets. The spectacular sea views allow you to soak up Koh Tao’s beauty right from your accommodation.

Located near to popular Sairee Beach, the island’s nightlife is close by and the hostess will always do her best to make your stay truly exceptional. Check prices here

How to get to Koh Tao

The ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao takes about 1 hour. From Koh Samui it’s closer to 2 hours.

After Koh Tao, head back to Koh Samui for better onward travel options. Take a ferry and bus or train combination or catch a flight from Koh Samui back to Bangkok to catch your flight home.

 

The Andaman Coast

Thailand’s Andaman Coast is where you’ll find the picture postcard Thailand you’ve been dreaming of.

Hundreds of emerald, jungle covered islands with soft white sands, sparking turquoise seas, towering limestone cliffs and colourful long tail boats.

The Andaman Coast is home to some of the most famous spots in Thailand like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi and is where movies like ‘The Beach‘ and ‘James Bond – The Man With The Golden Gun’ were filmed.

Unsurprisingly it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, but the beauty still exceeds the hype.

Phuket – 2/3 days

Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and known as the Pearl of the Andaman Sea. Sometimes Phuket doesn’t feel so much like an island but it’s the best destination for those who want to experience a bit of everything in one easy package.

Phuket offers a huge range of beaches, hotels, attractions, restaurants, bars, spas and things to do. From boat trips, water sports, diving, snorkelling, zip lining and white water rafting.

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring Sirinat National Park and Khao Phra Thaew Royal Wildlife and Forest Reserve, home to the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation project. There’s also plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy with kids in Phuket.

The legacy of Phuket’s history as a rubber and tin trade post is seen in the colourful and pretty old Phuket Town which blends many cultural influences with arty coffee shops, boutiques and galleries. It’s a delight to explore.

Another highlight is the Big Buddha statue which offers wonderful vistas from Phuket’s finest viewpoint.

Phuket makes a great base for exploring the hundreds of other beautiful Andaman sea islands. Tha Rassada, 3km south of Phuket Town, is the main pier for boats, ferries and day trips to the Phi Phi islands, Krabi and beyond.

If you only have 2 weeks in Thailand, or less, then basing yourself in Phuket and taking day trips and tours will allow you to see the most in the time you have.

One of the best excursions from Phuket is to the insanely pretty (and popular) Koh Phi Phi islands and Maya Bay. For a more relaxing two weeks in Thailand itinerary I’d recommend just taking a day trip to Koh Phi Phi, unless you want to party as Koh Phi Phi Don has become quite the party island.

Another great day trip is to Ao Phang Na National Park, Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island where you’ll see some of Thailand’s most spectacular sights, have lunch at a fishing village and have fun swimming and canoeing. Check it out here.

Where to Stay in Phuket

Mandarava Resort and Spa

Simply stunning 5 star resort located on Karon Beach, a long sandy beach that offers a more peaceful stay than busy, and slightly sleezy, Patong. You get the best of both worlds as the resort offers a free shuttle if you want to check out Patong’s nightlife which only takes 10 minutes.

As well as the five swimming pools, each with a pool bar, and breath taking views from the restaurant, the highlight at Mandarava is the villas which feature a private, over water deck with direct swimming access to the main pool. Check Prices

The Malika Hotel

This is a great value for money modern hotel complete with a swimming pool, light and spacious rooms with views over the city. The location in Phuket Town is a convenient base for exploring the rest of the island. Check prices here

How to get to Phuket

Phuket has some of the best transport connections to the rest of Thailand and abroad with an international airport and many bus and boat connections which make it quick and easy to visit even if you’re short on time.

If you’re coming from Koh Samui you can fly directly to Phuket airport with Bangkok Airlines in just 1 hour.

You can also take a ferry and bus combination ticket which takes between 6 and 8 hours.

Koh Phi Phi Don – 1 or 2 days

The small islands of Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh are possibly the most beautiful islands in Thailand. These idyllic slices of tropical paradise shot to fame after the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed in Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh.

The forested island still doesn’t have any roads but boat rides and treks through the jungle will lead you to discover quiet bays away from the lively nightlife hub of Ton Sai Village and Ao Lo Dalam. The steep hike up to the Koh Phi Phi viewpoint is well worth it for the panoramic vistas.

There’s no accommodation on tiny Phi Phi Leh, and due to the island’s popularity you can no longer camp on Maya Bay, but long tail boat trips and sunset cruises around the islands are a great way to soak up the stunning scenery.

Snorkelling and scuba diving offer the chance to swim with reef sharks and you can also rock climb the limestone cliffs.

Where to Stay in Koh Phi Phi

Phi Phi The Beach Resort

Spacious air conditioned bungalows and villas with teak wood furnishings and private balconies, most with sea views. There’s also a coffee bar, restaurant, beachfront cocktail bar, massage parlour and a swimming pool complete with sunset views.

The resort is situated in Hat Yao (Long Beach) which offers a gorgeous beach with good snorkelling and is a peaceful escape from noisy Ton Sai Village and Ao Lo Dalam. Take the free boat transfer service to Ton Sai pier or a 30 minute walk to enjoy the bars and clubs and then retreat back to the resort for a peaceful nights sleep in paradise. Check Prices

Viking Nature Resort

Affordable and simple yet still beautiful huts made from natural materials surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation on a private sandy beach. One of the best budget resorts in Thailand. Check prices here

How to Get to Koh Phi Phi

Ferries regularly run to Koh Phi Phi from Phuket and Krabi.

The speedboat from Phuket is the quickest way and only takes 1 hour. From Krabi it takes about 2 hours.

Krabi –  2/3 days

Krabi is home to spectacular limestone karst formations that tower over the ocean, dense forests, a 150-kilometer coastline, and tons of tiny islands just outside of its shores. For beachside stays in Krabi head to either Ao Nang or catch a long tail boat to Railay Beach.

The picturesque towering cliffs of Krabi’s Railay Beach are a dream for rock climbing. As Railay is cut off from the mainland by thick jungle and rugged cliffs getting there is an adventure in itself – it’s only accessible by boat.

Other things to do here include taking a long tail boat trip to visit five nearby islands in one day, sailing to penis cave – a shrine to fertility, visiting the night market in Krabi Town, taking a trip out to Wat Tham Seua – the tiger cave temple, and experiencing the hot springs and freshwater pools at Khlong Thom. Check out more excursions from Krabi here.

Krabi is more laid back than Phuket and less busy than some of the other spots in southern Thailand, but still one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.

Koh Lanta is also a good option if you want to escape the crowds, but might be tricky to fit in to a 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary.

Where to Stay in Krabi

Railay Bay Resort & Spa

Tropical style luxury rooms and cottages are nestled in nature amongst the dramatic limestone cliffs offering the best accommodation in the area.

The stunning sunset views over the ocean from the beachfront swimming pool are a real highlight and the airport shuttle service makes getting to paradise a breeze. Breakfast comes included and the pizza and seafood restaurant, spa, tour desk and room service complete the package.

Go for a deluxe room or splash out and book a cottage with either a spa bath or private pool in the private garden for an extra special experience. Check Prices

Lada Krabi Residence 

This modern budget hotel with spacious rooms and helpful staff is located right in the centre of Krabi town and makes a convenient base from which to explore the area. Check prices

How to get to Krabi

Boats take about 2.5 – 3 hours from Phuket and about 2 hours from Koh Phi Phi.

You can also take a minivan or taxi from Phuket to Krabi which takes about 3 hours.

Bangkok Airways also has direct flights from Koh Samui to Krabi which take 1 hour if you wanted to explore both coasts.

 

Back to Bangkok

It’s just a 1 hr 20 min direct flight from Krabi back to Bangkok to catch your international flight home.

I’d recommend allowing time in your 2 week Thailand itinerary to get back to Bangkok with plenty of time to make your next flight, maybe spending one more night in Bangkok to eat some last pad thai, visit one more temple, get one more massage and do some last minute shopping and bring a bit of Thailand back home with you.

Essential Thailand Travel Tips

Now you’ve got a better idea of how to plan your perfect 2 weeks in Thailand itinerary, here’s all the other essential travel tips you’ll need to plan your trip and start your adventure of a lifetime!

When to Visit Thailand

One thing that’s really important to know before you plan a trip to Thailand is the best time to visit Thailand. Tropical Thailand is warm all year round but there are three different seasons in Thailand: hot, cool, and wet.

The best time to visit Thailand is in the cool season from November/December – February/March where sunny, clear skies and warm (not unbearably hot) temperatures are the most pleasant for traveling and sightseeing and beach days.

A highlight is the Loi Krathong festival. Celebrated in Northern Thailand in November where you’ll witness hundreds of lanterns being released into the air.

This is also the peak tourist season so it will be busier and prices will be higher. So it’s best to book ahead, especially in December and January and around Christmas and New Year.

April and May are still dry and sunny but can be uncomfortably hot for sightseeing in the North but a good time for relaxing on the beaches. Celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year on 13th April can be fun but book accommodation and transport well in advance.

June, July and August see the start of the rainy season, which increases in intensity as it progresses. At first it’s usually just a short afternoon downpour that brings a welcome relief to the heat and humidity. See more about the advantages and disadvantages of traveling in the rainy season.

Phuket and the Andaman Coast experience the most rain in September – October, but the Gulf is still pretty dry at this time.

Koh Samui and the Gulf of Thailand witnesses downpours from November to December, but the Andaman coast has mostly dried up by now.

If you are looking for beach bliss just avoid those months or switch to the opposite coast.

Getting to Thailand

Bangkok has two airports and is well connected to the rest of the world which makes getting to Thailand easy.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport (BKK) handles long haul international flights and Don Mueang (DMK) handles flights within Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s network of low cost domestic flights make getting around quick and easy with airports in popular destinations including Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and more.

Visas for Thailand

Getting in to Thailand is easy as the country offers 30 day visa free entry to most nationalities including U.K., U.S.A., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and most European countries.

You can only get the 30 days visa free if you arrive to Thailand via air with an onward ticket. If you arrive by land you only get 15 days visa free.

If you fall in love and want to stay longer you can extend your visa by another 30 days at an immigration office and paying about 2,000 baht. Or, apply for a longer visa at any Thai Embassy before you enter Thailand.  More visa info here.

Covid-19 Update: Thailand is now fully open! From 1st October 2022, Thailand no longer requires travellers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. The length of stay allowed with the visa exemption has also increased from 30 days to 45 days.

Be aware that this can change depending on the covid situation. Check the latest entry requirements and keep up to date with the latest news from the Thailand Tourism Authority.

Getting Around Thailand

Thailand’s transportation system is modern and efficient which makes getting around Thailand safe and easy. Trains, buses, flights, boats, taxis and tuk-tuks operate all over the country.

Trains are comfortable and can be a fun way to get to know some of the locals. Taking an overnight train can also save on a night’s accommodation.

Thai Buses are mostly modern, convenient and comfortable, especially if you book one of the luxury air conditioned buses that run frequently between major towns and tourist destinations. Minivans are also an affordable way to travel but can be cramped for long distances.

When planning your 2 week Thailand itinerary in advance you can book your transport online easily using 12 Go Asia

Accommodation Options in Thailand

Thailand has all types of accommodation, whether you’re looking for luxury 5 star hotels with spas and rooftop pools, yoga retreats, affordable guesthouses and backpacker hostels plus everything in between.

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Thailand and prices are often considerably cheaper than you’ll find in Europe or the US.

In this post I’ve recommended mid range hotels and resorts for each destination that I feel represents both a great experience and great value for money without breaking the bank, but both ultra luxury and ultra cheap options are also available.

You can also find plenty of hotels including budget options on Booking.com and Agoda also offers great deals on hotels in Asia.

Thailand Tours

Thailand is quite safe and easy to travel independently but if you want to take the hassle out of planning and arranging your Thailand itinerary for yourself, or if you’re a solo traveller and don’t want to travel alone, then considering a small group multi day Thailand tour is a good option.

Taking a tour of Thailand will allow you to see all the highlights in a shorter period of time and are a good option if you want to fit as much as possible into a short trip.

If you pick the right tour you’ll also be traveling with a group of like minded people and make plenty of new friends. Tours often include some more off the beaten track and less touristy experiences that you might not have known about or that might be harder to reach on your own.

My favourite tour companies are G Adventures or Intrepid Travel. You can also search through all the Thailand tours available from hundreds of companies on Tour Radar.

Taking guided tours are a great way to get to know more about the history and culture of country and can really bring a destination to life.

Day trips and island hopping tours are also a good way to see the highlights of other areas without the hassle and time spent switching hotels or organising it all on your own.

For guided tours and day trips I recommend Get your Guide where you can see all the activities and trips available, check out reviews and book them online in advance to save the time and hassle of organising it after you arrive, and the risk of missing out if the trip you want to take is fully booked.

The Lonely Planet Thailand Guidebook is packed with useful information for pretty much every tourist destination in Thailand. It’s invaluable for both planning your Thailand itinerary and for taking on the road with you.

Travel Insurance

Thailand is generally a very safe and welcoming country to travel in but whenever you travel abroad you shouldn’t leave home without travel insurance in case you fall ill, have an accident or have to cancel your trip.

It’s even more important nowadays to get travel insurance that covers Covid-19 related illnesses, cancellations or delays.

I recommend World Nomads for shorter trips or, if you’re a digital nomad or already traveling, you can get covered with Safety Wing. Both cover Covid 19.

Read more of my posts about Thailand here.

I hope you found this post useful and that it helps you to plan your own perfect 2 week Thailand itinerary.

Have an amazing trip to Thailand!

 

My Pick of the 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Florida, USA for 2023

The Sunshine State: 1350 miles of coastline, 25,000 square miles of forests, vibrant cities, and a joyous, intercultural energy. Florida is not just one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US, there are also some excellent yoga retreats in Florida too.

The Best Yoga Retreats in Florida, USA for 2023

Hawaii, California, Florida and Arizona are the best places to take a yoga retreat in the USA with great weather and gorgeous scenery that is the perfect setting to recharge and reconnect with your mind, body and soul.

How to find the best Florida yoga retreat for you

Whether you’re looking to chant mantra in Miami, hone your tadasana in Tallahassee, or just to kick back in Key West, there’s bound to be the perfect Florida yoga retreat for you.

So, to help you find the best option, I’ve narrowed it down to bring you my pick of the five best yoga retreats in Florida. If you like any of the retreats I recommend you can simply click on the links to see more details, photos and reviews, get dates and prices, check availability and enquire to book your place.

If you’re considering a Florida yoga retreat, I recommend checking out www.bookyogaretreats.com where not only can you search all the best retreats but also you can read the testimonials and reviews from previous students.

No two yoga retreats are the same and each retreat can have very varied facilities so it’s really worth doing your research and checking out the reviews on this site first – it’s like TripAdvisor or Booking.com for yoga retreats!

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Florida is known for it’s mildly subtropical climate and generally fantastic weather. If you like it hot, consider visiting between June-September, however, if you like it a little cooler, the best time to visit Florida may be the Spring and Autumn months.

Read More: The Best Yoga Retreats in the USA

Here is my pick of the 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Florida

4 Day Relax and Refresh Yoga Retreat

@ Full Circle Yoga School, Cocoa Beach, FL

The hosts of this short and sweet luxury yoga retreat in Florida have curated the perfect blend of soul-feeding activities, so guests can transformed after just one long weekend. You’ll be staying at beachside lodging in the characterful town of Cocoa Beach, lined by powdery sands, turquoise waters, and promising remarkable sunsets.

Your mornings will start with a yoga class with views over the coast, followed by a delicious plant-based breakfast. Yoga classes are a Hatha-flow style, and suitable for all levels.

The blissful days continue with wellness workshops, meditation, SUP and paddleboard sessions, more yoga, and yet more delicious meals. In your free time, you can book in a private reiki or massage experience, or simply explore the beautiful local area. 

Full Circle is one of the most popular yoga centres in Florida with a large variety of retreats and yoga teacher training courses in Cocoa Beach and the Florida Keys, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Bali. Check out all the options here.

More details here!  

Read More: Best Yoga Retreats in California

6 Day Meditation and Rejuvenating Yoga Retreat

@ Zen Den Yoga, Boca Raton, FL

When it comes to Florida yoga retreats, Zen Den Yoga School Wellness and Retreat is arguably one of the most committed to offering an authentic yoga experience which is also one of the most affordable!

The team strive to honour the many paths of yoga, including Hatha, Sivananda, Vinyasa, and restorative, while creating an immersive experience for their guests.

Days start with a green shake and meditation, before a full schedule of varied yoga classes, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, and shamanic breathwork. You’ll be given all in the ingredients and instruction to make your own nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast and lunch.

Evenings are your free time to explore beautiful Boca, and you can borrow a bike to take in the local area. There are also many nearby restaurants for you to enjoy dinner.

The school also offers 200-hour yoga teacher training and an advanced 300-hour yoga teacher training programs, for yogis who wish to take their practice to the next level.

More details here!  

Read More: The Best Yoga Retreats in Mexico

3 Day Sacred Medicine and Yoga Wellness Retreat

@ Truly Helpful, Fort Myers, FL

With a maximum group size of just five participants, this home-from-home retreat experience is personal, intimate, and spiritual.

Your hosts will welcome you into your beautiful accommodation for the weekend, complete with queen beds, private bathroom, and saltwater pool.

During the three-day stay, you’ll discover the sacred teachings of plant medicine, as well as sessions of sound healing, music therapy, and Thai yoga. The daily Hatha yoga classes are accompanied by guided breathwork, to enable you to immerse deeply into the practices.

Fresh and healthy meals are carefully planned to be conducive to your wellness practices, and detox juices are readily available. In your free time, the stunning beaches are awaiting exploration nearby.

If you love the retreat experience and want to take your practice further, they also offer 21 day 200 hour transformational yoga teacher training programs. See more details here.

More details here!  

Read More: The Best Yoga and Surf Retreats in Hawaii

 

4 Day Kundalini Yoga Private Retreat

@ Full Circle Yoga, Cudjoe Key, FL

With a focus on deep healing and spiritual integration this private Florida yoga retreat, held in the beautiful Florida Keys, is designed to help you identify the root cause and resolve the blocks that are holding you back in life.

Your host will guide you through the practice of Kundalini  – exercises, breathing techniques, and mantras, to work with the energy in the body.

The luxurious ocean-front accommodation is fully equipped with all you could need to enjoy the water, including a swimming ladder, kayaks and bikes and lounging chairs.

You’ll also experience an arrival ceremony and cleansing smudging ritual, meditation, movement medicine classes, two 3-hour transformational workshop sessions, a 90 minute massage and stargazing. You’ll also get complimentary enrolment into the Jolie Wilson anxiety and depression relief online course.

You’ll have plenty of time to connect with nature, with yourself and explore the beautiful surrounding area. Your hosts will recommend nearby shops and restaurants to ensure you stay nourished throughout your stay and provide ongoing support.

More details here!  

Full Circle even offer an amazing luxurious and pampering Bachelorette retreat in Cudjoe Key which includes all meals, morning yoga and meditation, an arrival smudging ceremony and sacred goddess beach ceremony as well as a double decker slide boat adventure to Sand Bars and transport to Key West for girls night out! Check out more details here.

Read More: The Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica

3 Day Silent Outdoor Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat

@ Body In Unity, Oviedo, FL

Surrounded by oak trees and overlooking the tranquil Lake Gem, this 3-day weekend retreat held at Canterbury retreat center in Oviedo combines immersion in nature and periods of mindful silence with gentle yoga and energy work.

Much of the retreat takes place outdoors, to facilitate the nature connection. Your hosts will guide you to reconnect with your inner peace and wisdom with morning Hatha yoga classes by the lake, guided meditation walks, mindful movement, pranayama, breathing practices, sound healing and devotional music medicine by the bonfire.

With sharing circles, emotional healing support, releasing and cleansing practices and the immersion in nature you sure to leave feeling renewed. There’s also the option to try additional activities like kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding on the lake as well as a fitness trail in nature.

The retreat has simple and comfortable rooms surrounded by plenty of nature and three delicious vegetarian meals are prepared each day.

More details here!  

 

Still looking for the perfect yoga vacation? Check out my round up of the very best yoga retreats around the world

 

Have you been on an amazing yoga retreat in Florida?

Leave your recommendations in the comments below the post and help out other yogis and travellers!

 

Read More:

  • My Yoga Retreat Packing List
  • The Best Yoga Retreats in the USA
  • The Best Yoga Retreats in California 
  • The Best Yoga and Surf Retreats in Hawaii
  • The Best Yoga Retreats in Mexico
  • The Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica

 

My Pick of The Best Yoga Retreats and Surf Camps in The Algarve, Portugal for 2023

Spanning two Atlantic coastlines and known as one of the world’s top surf and yoga destinations, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to yoga retreats and surf camps in the Algarve.

This slice of paradise in the sunny south of Portugal is dotted with traditional white washed Portuguese fishing villages, picture perfect beach coves with dramatic cliffs and unspoilt natural beauty perfect for active and healthy holidays.

The Best Yoga Retreats and Surf Camps in The Algarve, Portugal for 2023

With the surf scene in Portugal only going from strength to strength and the huge amount of yoga retreats and surf camps in the Algarve on offer, it can be tricky to determine which are the best.

Many Algarve retreats combine surfing and yoga for the perfect active holiday so you don’t even to need to choose between the two – they compliment each other perfectly!

So, to help you narrow it down, I’ve put together this post with my top tips and  recommendations for the best surf and yoga retreats in the Algarve.

Best Places for Yoga and Surfing in The Algarve

The Algarve is a region with many historic towns and beautiful beaches to explore. While places around Faro and Lagos are some of Portugal’s most popular and busy tourist destinations, many of the best surf spots and yoga retreats in the Algarve are away from the main resorts on unspoilt beaches and surrounded by natural beauty.

Some of the most famous places to surf in Portugal include Peniche, Nazare and Ericeira on the coast between Lisbon and Porto. While the best Algarve surf spots are found around Sagres, Arrifana, Aljezur, Odeceixe, Carrapateira and Lagos and offer warmer and more beginner friendly conditions with a wide variety of surf camps, lodges and hostels that are great for learning to surf.

Lagos, Aljezur and the mountains of Monchique are home to some great yoga and mediation retreats.

Best Time for Surfing in the Algarve

The best time to visit the Algarve will depend on your surf level. Beginners will find conditions easier for learning to surf in the summer months, while intermediate and more advanced surfers will enjoy the bigger winter waves.

The sea temperatures in the Algarve are higher than in the rest of Portugal but you’ll still need a wetsuit apart from the middle of summer.

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Reasons to Join a Yoga and Surf Camp

Surfing is not as easy as it looks so I really recommend joining a surf camp in the Algarve to learn to surf or improve your skills in a fun and safe way.

Having experienced instructors teach you how to catch a wave safely is important plus they also have invaluable expert local knowledge so they will take you to the best surf spots for your level depending on the forecast that day.

When you join a surf camp you get to progress much quicker and have a better and safer experience. You’ll also get to meet other like-minded people in a fun, friendly and sociable environment.

Most surf camps include accommodation, meals, lessons, board hire, and some also include yoga classes, transfers and local excursions, so they are also great value for money.

But of course not all yoga retreats and surf camps are equal. If you’re considering joining an Algarve surf camp, I recommend checking out booksurfcamps.com to read the testimonials and reviews from previous students.

No two surf camps are the same and can have very varied facilities so it’s really worth checking out this site first – it’s like TripAdvisor or Booking.com for surf camps! For Algarve yoga retreats go to bookyogaretreats.com to check out the reviews.

COVID-19 Update: Portugal has reopened for tourism, but be aware that pandemic-related travel permissions can change at any moment and be dependent on your nationality. Check out the Portugal travel and tourism website for the most up-to-date information and remember to check the re-entry rules for your home country.  Also make sure you have travel insurance which covers Covid-related cancellations. Mine is with Safety Wing.

Here is my pick of the Best Yoga Retreats and Surf Camps in The Algarve

The Surf Experience, Lagos

The Surf Experience is one of the most popular surf camps in the Algarve. The experienced, fun and friendly team here offer surf tuition for all abilities, with classes taking place daily, on either side of lunch. As well as traditional surfing lessons, guests have the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.

Situated in the heart of vibrant Lagos, The Surf House is the main accommodation, and in the perfect spot for anyone seeking proximity to nature and sightseeing, with all the convenience of a buzzing coastal town. They are also known for their amazing Surfaris in the autumn months!

Breakfast and lunch are included on this surf retreat, and The Surf Experience team take their culinary offerings very seriously, with rave reviews of the dishes prepared. Thanks to the central location there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby to explore too should you wish to vary your dining.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!  

Read More: The Best Surf Camps in Peniche, Portugal

Prana Casa Surf & Yoga Retreat, Aljezur

With a focus on the shared depths of yoga and surf practices, Prana Casa is one of the best Algarve yoga retreats curated to foster mindfulness and connection with nature in Vale da Telha, a beautiful and lesser developed part of the Algarve.

Mornings start with yoga and pranayama (breathing exercises) to prepare you for the day, physically and mentally. After a healthy buffet breakfast, it’s out to the surf for a full day on the waves. Afternoons are rounded off with yin or nidra yoga, a mindful nature walk, or a group reiki session.

The surf house is located in Costa Vicentina Natural Park, with plenty of hiking trails and only 3km to the nearest beach. In your free time, take a dip in the saltwater pool, or relax under the garden’s olive trees.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!  

Read More: The Best Yoga Retreats in Portugal

Russo Surf Resorts, Vale Figueiras, Aljezur

Nestled in lush green forest, with views across the Atlantic, Russo Surf Resort in Vale Figueiras welcomes surfers of all levels for step-by-step tuition with this all inclusive surf camp package.

The Surf team is headed by Luis Marreiros, the most famous Algarve surf coach, and is recognised for running one of the best surf camps in the Algarve, taking pride in offering high-quality surf training to help all guests take their techniques to the next level.

As well as time on the waves, there are plenty of other activities on offer. Fridays are barbecue and live music night – an opportunity to socialise with your campmates and enjoy some Portuguese talent. The camp is also conveniently situated near to hiking trails, unspoilt beaches, and abundant natural landscapes to explore.

If you find yourself with any sore muscles as a result of conquering the waves, book in for a session with the resident massage therapist, or join one of the optional yoga classes.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!  

Read More: The Best Surf Camps in Portugal

Tiny Whale Surf & Yoga Lodge, near Lagos

Surrounded by lush gardens, Tiny Whale Surf Lodge is situated in the peaceful Bensafrim countryside near Lagos. The lodge boasts a pool, jacuzzi, yoga space, and even resident chickens!

The friendly and experienced surf team offer incredibly personalised tuition, with only three students to each instructor. Surf sessions are carefully structured and perfect for beginners and intermediates. The school sets itself apart from other Algarve surf camps by describing their approach as coaching, rather than teaching, to ensure you build long-lasting surf skills you can take home with you.

Daily yoga classes are delivered by the resident teacher, who makes sure that muscles are stretched and released through a variety of traditional disciplines. In case you haven’t had your fill of activity, other optional activities include diving, horse riding, and kayaking.

The lodge’s chef will prepare sumptuous dishes, using fresh, local ingredients, to keep your body nourished throughout your active days. This surf camp is perfect if you want a relaxing and intimate experience whilst still being close to the popular beaches and sights.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!  

Read More: The Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs in Portugal

Sagres Sun Stay Surf Camp & Hostel, Sagres

Located in Sagres, the biggest surf town in the Algarve and the most south-westerly point of Portugal, Sagres Sun Stay is a brand new eco-friendly hostel and surf camp with a wide range of very affordable surfing and windsurfing packages.

Choose from dormitory rooms to deluxe private rooms depending on your budget and enjoy all the facilities including a T-shaped salt water pool, fitness machines, communal kitchen, yoga classes and a bar and cafe. A varied and healthy breakfast and dinner is served and packed lunch boxed provided for when you’re out surfing.

Their learn to surf program has been expertly created by coupling professional knowledge and teaching method with a friendly and interactive coaching approach combing theory and practical skills that guarantee quick, fun and safe progression.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

Read More: The Best Surf Camps in Ericeira 

Arrifana Surf Lodge, Aljezur

Located at one of the best surf spots in the Algarve, the Arrifana Surf Lodge experience is intended to be a cosy, welcoming, home away from home. The friendly hosts are dedicated to creating a personalised experience – balancing fun and adventure with relaxation and reconnection with nature.

The surf school offers three levels of tuition: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – each designed to guide guests to take their surf to the next level. There are three incredible surf spots within ten minutes of the surf lodge, and your experienced hosts will decide which beach to head to depending on the conditions of the day.

This is one of the most popular surf camps in the Algarve for all levels. Your stay includes airport transfers, so you don’t need to worry about getting to the lodge once you land. There’s also a yoga class as part of the experience, to help you ease out any sore muscles. Guests are also invited to use the lodge’s plunge pool, hammocks, and sun loungers for ultimate post-surf relaxation.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!  

Read More: Where to Stay in Lisbon

Moinhos Velhos Yoga & Detox Retreat, Lagos

Moinhos Velhos Detox and Yoga Retreat has been holding some of the best yoga retreats in Portugal for 25 years. They have even been listed as one of the ten best detox retreats in the world by The Times for their detox juice fasting program that benefits body, mind and spirit.

The original concept was inspired by the pioneering work on cleansing and detoxification by Bernard Jensen, Swami Sivananda and Dr. Gerson. There’s a daily morning Sivananda style yoga class and a relaxing mediation session each evening.

These eight day detox and yoga retreats are located in a secluded valley away from the touristy areas of the Algarve, the perfect setting to relax, unwind, recharge and detox.

There’s also an day trip to the beach or Lagos town each week and plenty of free time to relax, explore the nearby beaches and countryside or soak up the sun on your private patio or by the saltwater swimming pool in the spacious and lush retreat center.

Meals aren’t served as this is a juicing and detox retreat, but you won’t go hungry with the range of delicious fresh fruit and vegetable juices and vegetable broth mixed with herbs, vitamins and minerals. There is also a range of spa, massage and healing treatments available to help with the elimination of toxins and the balancing of your entire system.

See more details, dates, prices, reviews and book here!

I hope this post has helped your plan your trip and find the ideal yoga and surf retreat in the Algarve. If you’re still looking for the perfect yoga or surf retreat check out my round up of the best retreats in Portugal and the very best yoga retreats around the world

Have you been on any amazing yoga retreats or surf camps in the Algarve?

Leave your recommendations in the comments below the post and help out other surfers and travellers!

Also Read:

The new, unique, silent, mediation and yoga retreat in Monchique, Algarve 

Where to Stay in Rome: The Best Places to Stay in Rome in 2023

Where to Stay in Rome: The Best Areas, Hotels and Places to Stay in Rome.

Rome, also known as ‘The Eternal City,’ has been a must-see destination for literally hundreds of years. Some make their way to the Italian capital to take in the mastery of structures that have survived 2000 years since the heyday of ancient Rome. Others come on pilgrimages to see some of Christianity’s most important locations, while still more come to enjoy la dolce vita, with excellent food and wine around every sunny corner.

As your accommodation choice can make or break a trip knowing where to stay in Rome is vital. In this post I’ll guide you through all of Rome’s accommodation options describing all the different neighbourhoods and areas of this historic city and sharing my pick of the best hotels in each as well as all the essential travel tips to help you plan your trip.

Read on and soon you will know all of the best places to stay in Rome!

Where to Stay in Rome – A Quick Rundown of the different neighbourhoods

Each of Rome’s different areas and neighbourhoods have pros and cons and will appeal to different people and different types of travellers meaning that the best place to stay in Rome will depend on the reasons you’re travelling here.

Here’s a quick run down of the different areas by holiday type and the best Rome hotels and carry on reading as I’ll describe the neighbourhoods and hotels in more detail.

Best Places to Stay for History, Sightseeing and First Time Visitors – Centro Storico, Spagna

Best Place to Stay for Nightlife and Atmosphere – Trastevere

Best Place to Stay for Couples, Luxury or Romantic Getaways – Prati, Spagna

Best Place to Stay for Family and Local Life- Testaccio, Monti 

Best Place to Stay for Budget Travellers – Esquilino (Termini)

Safest Places to Stay in Rome – Monti and Prati

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The Best Rome Hotels – My Quick Picks

Best Views – Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj

Best Luxury Experience – Hotel Eden

Most Romantic Hotel – Rocco Forte de la Ville

Best Historic Hotel – Donna Camilla Savelli 

Best Family Friendly Hotel – Rome Cavalieri

Best Budget Hotel – Roma Centrale Fidelis

Best Apartment – Testaccio Historic House

View from Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj Hotel

The Best Places to Stay in Rome: Best Neighbourhoods and Areas

Before deciding on the perfect place to stay in Rome you need to know a bit more about the city and it’s different neighbourhoods and areas so you can decide where to stay.

Rome is Italy’s capital and largest city, home to around 3 million people. The city is located in the Lazio region, situated close to but not quite touching the coast, and oozes history as it has been a thriving metropolis for at least 2500 years (tradition dates its founding to 21 April 753 BC) Rome is undeniably one of the most fascinating cities to visit in the whole world!

Traditionally Rome is said to have been built on seven hills and contains many interesting neighbourhoods to explore. The exact boundaries of each neighbourhood can shift by a street or two depending on who you speak to. The most obvious modern geographical way to get your bearings is with the river Tiber (or ‘Tevere’ on Italian-language maps) which runs with several twists and turns north-south across the city.

Rome’s Centro Storico, or historic centre, is located on the eastern side of the Tiber, with the impressive temple turned church the Pantheon usually considered its centre point. Other attractions in the area include the Trevi Fountain and ancient Imperial Forum. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980 and makes one of the best places to stay for history lovers and first time visitors alike. Some include the Spanish Steps on Piazza di Spagna as part of the centro storico, but I’ll deal with that part of the city separately.

Trastevere, roughly translating as ‘beyond the Tiber’, is on the river’s westernmost banks a short distance south of the Colosseum and centro storico. It is arguably even more charming than the historic centre with its souvenir stalls and men dressed as gladiators. By comparison, Trastevere has cobbled alleyways which often follow Roman roots and a bohemian feel that makes itself known in a flurry of independently owned shops, cafés and trattoria (bistros). It’s therefore one of the best places to stay in Rome for atmosphere.

Wedged between the Colosseum to the west and Roma Termini train station – the city’s busiest (with regular trains to Florence and Venice) – Monti can be a bit of a trek to other attractions such as the Vatican Museums if you’re a dedicated pavement treader but it’s one of the safest places to stay in Rome.  However, the metro system is cheap and simple to use and the neighbourhood does have its own attractions in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, as well as the Domus Aurea, the excavated palace of the Emperor Nero. Its private lake was so large it would eventually become the foundations of the Colosseum.

The view from the Rocco Forte De Ville Hotel

With a stellar position between river, Vatican City (where there are no hotels) and Castel Sant’Angelo, Prati is another good option. Arguably, the top place in stay in Rome for couples, it’s regulation grid of streets may be a little bland compared to the cobbles of Trastevere further south. But this upmarket area does itself proud when it comes to rooftop bar views and places to stay within walking distance of the top sights.

Sometimes simply referred to as Termini but officially known as Esquilino, this neighbourhood of Rome doesn’t historically have the best of reputations. However, it’s undergone a facelift over recent years and is perfectly safe to stay in, although it has few attractions of its own. Because of its proximity to the railway station there’s a good number of hotels to choose between and is one of the best places to stay for budget travellers and those on flying visits.

One the opposite side of the Tiber to Trastevere you’ll find our last neighbourhood Testaccio. Offering a more local vibe than the centro storico, hotels are thinner on the ground but there are some great places to eat and drink. What’s more, Piramide metro station is also within walking distance, making Testaccio a great Rome accommodation option for families or those wanting to live more like a local than a tourist.

The Best Rome Hotels by Neighbourhood

Centro Storico – Best for History, Sightseeing and First Time Visits to Rome

As a first-time visitor to Rome, you’ll want to spend a much time as possible at the city’s major attractions and as little time as possible travelling to them. Basing yourself in the centro storico is an unbelievable experience, with world-famous sights only ever a short stroll away.

And what sights they are with Piazza Navona and the Pantheon competing for attention with the Colosseum and ‘wedding cake’ Altara della Patria, as well as the Imperial Forum. Centro Storico is the best place to stay in Rome for a first time visitor and thankfully, there’s plenty of great places to stay in the area.

The Best Places to Stay in Rome’s Centro Storico

Hotel Eden – Dorchester Collection – For Five-Star Elegance

With an exquisite design both inside and out, this paradise of a hotel is perfectly named. Guests are able to enjoy a rooftop terrace with views stretching across the city, as well as a Michelin-starred La Terrazza restaurant onsite. The spacious rooms have a touch of the art deco to them without it becoming a gimmick, while still managing to be light and airy. There’s also a spa and wellness centre.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

 Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj – Best for Piazza Navona Views

The Eitch Borromini Palazzo Pamphilj allows you to draw back the curtains each morning and face the grandeur of the Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most important squares. Dating back to the 1600s, its historic corridors have been carefully modernised so they lose none of their charm, while many rooms come complete with double-height windows and open fireplaces. There’s also a panoramic rooftop terrace with views to the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. This is one of the best places to stay in Rome for the views alone.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Navona Essence Hotel – For Stays in Central Rome on a Budget

The term budget in central Rome is comparative, and you’ll still need a relatively healthy bank balance for the Navona Essence Hotel to be a proposition for your vacation. However, its proximity to the top sights makes it a bit of a bargain in my eyes. Rooms are simply decorated, and shared spaces kept as wonderfully as the breakfasts taste.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

 

Spagna and the Spanish Steps – Best for Shopping, Parks and Convenience

Commissioned by France’s Louis XII, the Spanish Steps take their name from the fact the Vatican’s Spanish embassy has been located here since the 1600s. The steps themselves were constructed in three tiers, known as the Holy Trinity, in the 1700s in the rococo style. Although busy with tourists, it is one of the most famous addresses in Rome and one you won’t want to miss.

Spagna has some of the best shopping in Rome as well as plenty of luxury accommodation and fine dining restaurants. Staying in Spagna also means you’re only about 15 minutes walk to all the sights in the Centro Storico and you’re close to the Metro station so this area gives convenient access to the whole city.

For a relaxing escape from crowds stroll around the beautiful Villa Borghese – Rome’s central park stretches for over 100 acres with lovely gardens to relax in and great museums to explore. All this makes Spagna one of the best places to stay in Rome.

The Best Places to Stay in Spagna

Rocco Forte de la Ville – Best for Romance and Luxury

Walking distance from the Villa Borghese gardens and Trevi Fountain, Rocco Forte Hotel de la Ville has a prime location at the top of the Spanish Steps in an area sometimes called Spagna. Styled to combine a seventeenth-century look with modern-day comforts, you’ll want a room with city rather than courtyard views. The luxury then continues with a well-equipped spa, restaurants overseen by celebrity chef Fulvio Pierangelini and no less than three bars in which to relax.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Hassler Roma – For Stays Fit for a King

Luxury hotels in Rome don’t get much better than Hassler Roma, which combines the Spanish Steps location of the Rocco Forte hotel and sumptuousness of the Hotel Eden. Its palatial interiors are stuffed with antiques and artworks leading to highly-rated suites and another of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Imago. Complimentary use of the wellness area’s Turkish bath and sauna will help you relax having made use of the hotel’s electric shuttle to shop till you drop.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

 

Trastevere – Best for Nightlife and Bohemian Atmosphere

Once a down at heel working class district no self-respecting tourist would be recommended to visit, Trastevere now gives the Centro Storico a run for its money when it comes to the best places to stay in Rome for historic charm and atmosphere.

Smartened up but still maintaining its distinct ambience, the neighbourhood is awash with historic buildings, some dating back to medieval times. With rents cheaper than elsewhere in the city, it is popular with artists and other independently-minded residents. It’s cobblestones also host a much-loved flea market at the Porta Portese on Sunday mornings and there’s plenty of independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to check out.

The Best Places to Stay in Trastevere

Donna Camilla Savelli – VRetreats  – Best For Lovers of History

The incredible Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel by VRetreats is a baroque-era structure created by one of the most important architects of their day, Borromini. Once a monastery, its spaces are filled with history. Guests can also enjoy time in the hotel’s very own private gardens. The Church of Santa Maria a five-minute walk away and the Imperial Forum just a short distance across the river.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Hotel Santa Maria – Best for Simple Pleasures

Feeling very much like an authentic Roman home (it was once a convent), guests at Hotel Santa Maria can sit beneath the shade of a citrus tree in the afternoon sun before returning to simply furnished rooms. They face into an internal courtyard, giving a residential feel, with the hotel’s public areas having a fun mix of original features. Family-friendly and incredibly welcoming, it’s just around the corner from one of Trastevere’s main squares, that of Santa Maria.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Monti – The Safest Neighbourhood to Stay in Rome

Monti is one of Rome’s more diverse neighbourhoods. Not only do students, expats and everyday Romans call the area there home, but there is an intriguing mix of architectural styles too. Ancient Rome isn’t absence due to the presence of Trajan’s Market and the Domus Aurea, while modern shopping experiences can be had around Via Cavour and Via Nazionale.

There are a good number of places to stay, eat and drink in between primarily aimed at locals rather than tourists. It may not be as glamorous as other neighbourhoods, but Monti is one of the safest places to stay in Rome and one where you can feel more like a local and less like a tourist.

The Best Places to Stay in Monti

Hotel Bolivar – For an Alternative to the Centro Storico

With a range of attractions within a 15-minute walking radius, Hotel Bolivar feels more like it’s in the centro storico. Situated in an archetypal Roman building of cornerstones and painted plasterwork, there’s an old-world charm to this hotel which fits perfectly with what the Italian capital is all about. Many rooms have fine views, and there’s also a cocktail bar should you be too tired to leave the hotel after a day of exploring.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Conti House – Best for Connectivity on a Budget

Simple but effective is the perfect description of Conti House, whose rooms provide everything the modern traveller can want without the costly thrills, including family rooms. Very well maintained by the hard-working staff, there’s a small terrace giving you a sense of the street life below. When it comes to transport, Conti House sits roughly equally between two metro stations and tram route 8, which concludes at Roma Termini train station.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

The pool area at the Rome Cavalieri has amazing views over the city

Prati – Near the Vatican and the Best Area of Rome for Couples

Rome’s most upmarket neighbourhood, Prati remains the best part of Rome for couples. It is bounded by the Tiber on one side and the Vatican City on another, making it an international border of sorts, although you don’t have to worry about taking your passport with you anywhere.

It’s boulevard-style streets are known for their art nouveau buildings and high-end shopping boutiques. A major location for big business too, it quietens down slightly over the weekend, and remains relatively unknown to those who travel to the city for pleasure.

The Best Places to Stay in Prati

Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel – Best for Poolside Bliss

Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of just a handful of Rome hotels with a pool, making it a great pick for Rome’s hot summer afternoons and a good choice for families. Located on Montemario hill, it has a commanding position over Rome and the Vatican, which guests can enjoy from private balconies. The rooftop features a three-Michelin star restaurant, the highest award possible, called La Pergola, with another found beside the extensive outdoor pool terrace and Mediterranean gardens. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a large wellness centre on site too.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

The Boutique Hotel – Best for Modern Splendour

The Boutique Hotel provides a fine night’s rest just 700 metres from St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Rooms have been given a modern look with herring bone patterned flooring, beautiful chandeliers and spaces which comfortably fit the large double beds. Natural light pours in from the windows, and international calls are included as standard, making this a sensible choice for those who may need to contact home.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Esquilino (Termini) – Best Place to Stay in Rome for Budget Travellers

A relatively small area of the city, Esquilino (otherwise known simply as Termini) shouldn’t be discounted when considering where to stay in Rome. Particularly if being within close proximity of the city’s primary railway station and metro station, Roma Termini train station, may be useful, such as an early morning train to Venice.

Accommodation in the neighbourhood tends to be a little more basic which makes it the best place in Rome for budget travellers. It’s also one of the best areas of Rome to find Asian and African flavours. Sights include the Porta Maggiore and the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the catholic faith’s most important and impressive.

The Best Places to Stay in Esquilino (Termini)

Hotel Best Roma – A Rare High-end Option in Esquilino

Staying in Esquilino doesn’t mean doing away with the luxury completely as the Hotel Best Roma proves. In fact, the antique-style décor of the rooms and contrasting contemporary outdoor terrace have a lot going for them. Not only are they within easy reach of the train station, but also one of the historic gateways to the city. They sit close to several major attractions including the Trevi Fountain too. When it comes to eating and drinking, the Via del Pigneto pedestrianized zone has plenty to keep you occupied come evening.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Roma Centrale Fidelis – Best for Budgeting in Style

You can still stay in satisfying accommodation on a tight budget thanks to the Roma Centrale Fidelis. It’s small number of rooms gives it an exclusive feel usually reserved for the boutique hotels of Prati, while rooms have been beautifully modernised with a mix of hard floors, feature walls and neutral tones. Another good place to stay in Rome for families, kid will love the smart TVs and adults will appreciate the feeling of calm that comes over them every time they step across the threshold.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Testaccio – The Best Area to Stay in Rome for Families and Foodies

Testaccio is one of Rome’s least-well known centrally-located neighbourhoods, but that’s no bad thing when looking for good accommodation. Described by some as both edgy and daring, this may be taking it a bit far in conservative Italy.

In fact, Testaccio is one of the best areas to stay in Rome for families and foodies. Tucked into this underrated little neighbourhood are some fine things to do including the MACRO Modern Art Museum and some of the best theatres and nightclubs the city has to offer.

Testaccio is also famous for it’s foodie scene so don’t miss checking out the Testaccio Market, the street food stalls and the many eateries.

The Best Places to Stay in Testaccio

San Anselmo – Best for a Touch of Class

This rather chic option in Testaccio started life as a villa and surrounding gardens in the 1800s. Minimalists may find the rooms here a touch over the top, but I love the intricate detailing that has gone into creating each space. Guests are able to have breakfast on the terrace in fine weather, or cosy up together at the tiny bar on cooler evenings before returning to the richly ornate privacy of your room or suite.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Testaccio Historic House – Best for Apartment Living

Guests at Testaccio Historic House are able to choose between a one bedroom and a two-bedroom apartment. Each incorporate a living room and feature a well-equipped kitchen should you decide to put all you’ve learned about Italian cookery to the test. Add to this some charming original features, and you’re all set for a home away from home.

Click here to check prices, reviews and to book

Keep reading for all the essential info you’ll need when planning a trip to Rome including the best time to visit, how to get around and how many days to spend in Rome.

Essential Tips for Planning a Trip to Rome

The Best Time to Visit Rome

Rome can be visited at any time of year. Even so, both the Lazio weather and its traditional vacation periods can have an impact on your holiday plans. For me, the best time to visit Rome is either between April and June or in September and October. This way you’ll avoid the hottest temperatures and biggest crowds of Summer.

During April, May and the beginning of June the weather in Rome is generally good. Although you should be prepared for some quick spring showers, temperatures are already averaging 16°C, meaning you’ll need little more than a light jacket for the evenings. Smaller attractions open their doors for the first time in the year, while the big attractions have shorter queues to enter than in July and August.

Come in early April and you’ve also got the chance of absorbing the city’s Easter traditions. With so many attractions linked to early Christianity, as well as the Vatican City, it makes Easter a very special time to visit. You’ll want to book your accommodation in good time as a result. September and October are usually similar to spring with regards to the weather.

If you’re limited to travelling during the school summer holidays of July and August you can still visit Rome and have a fantastic time. Be aware that temperatures can regularly hit 30°C, so the middle of the day will be best saved for relaxing rather than rushing between tourists attractions.

Because it’s the holiday period you will also face longer queues for sights such as the Vatican Museums and Colosseum, although it’s now possible to pre-book timed slots and skip the lines at the Sistine Chapel and many more. The downside of travelling during these months is that many smaller family-owned businesses shut down for the month as they take their own annual vacation.

Travel to Rome over the winter months can also be very rewarding. To see the top things to do in Rome without the crowds is a special experience, and there’s also the benefit of considerably lower prices on flights and accommodation. Christmas is another potential draw. You’re unlikely to see any snow though, with average daily temperatures still in double figures at around 10°C.

How to Get to Rome and Get Around

By far the majority of visitors to Rome arrive and depart from Rome’s international airports. The primary airport is Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino. It’s located slightly further from the city centre than Rome’s other international base, but if anything, transport options to the best hotels in Rome is better.

Both express and regular trains run throughout the day from Fiumicino Aeroporto train station. Shuttle buses are another option, with Terravision and TAM being the main players. And of course, there are taxis too. Prices are fixed, but not the cheapest, with the journey to within the city’s centuries-old walls costing roughly 50 Euros. Pre book your transfer here for a hassle free experience.

It tends to be the low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Wizzair that use Rome’s second airport, Ciampino. Around 50 cities in 20-plus countries can still be reached by passing through its departure hall. An Airlink service operated by Trenitalia connects passengers directly with the nearest railway station at Ciampino Town, from where it’s a short train journey to central Rome. Terravision also runs a shuttle bus service from Ciampino, while a private taxi will cost you around $35 or pre book a transfer here.

Whizzing past historic fountains on a vespa tour around Rome!

Once in Rome walking provides a great way of experiencing the city from street level as I’ve already mentioned. But it’s not possible to walk everywhere every day. Thankfully there are plenty of additional options and good public transport.

The Rome Metro consists of three lines that between them cover all the major locations in the Italian capital. Line A (coloured orange) and line B (coloured blue) are the most useful for visitors. Both connect with Termini train station. Stations are recognisable from a white M on a red background. Services on lines are safe, reliable and inexpensive. They are also easy to use for those who don’t speak Italian thanks to plenty of signage and automated ticket kiosks with multiple language options.

By contrast, the bus network is a little trickier to use simply because it’s harder to know exactly which roads a bus will travel on without knowing Rome well. Some have onboard information, but you shouldn’t rely on it. Drivers do not sell tickets. You need to purchase them before boarding from a newsagent’s stall or tobacconists. You’ll usually find one close by. You will also need to validate your ticket using one of the yellow boxes on the bus or face stiff penalties from roving inspectors.

There is also a six-line tram network, numbered non-consequentially as 2, 3, 5, 8, 14 and 19, but they are of limited use to most visitors.

The Ideal Rome Itinerary – How Many Days to Spend in Rome

Rome is a destination that will have you mesmerized however long you stay and however many times you visit. But don’t worry if you can only spare a couple of days in the Eternal City. It’s still possible to get the essence of what the city is all about over a weekend. You can check out exactly how much you can squeeze into just two days with my video diary of the perfect weekend in Rome.

If Rome is going to be part of a larger Italy trip, I’d say three nights and four days is the right amount of time to spend in the Italian capital. That way you’ll have a good amount of time to dedicate to the big museums and historical sights, as well as being able to relax in one of the city’s public parks with a gelato without feeling like you should be doing something more productive. It also means you’ll have time to walk between many of the city’s sights, seeing hidden gems along the way. Walking in Rome is definitely one of the best ways of capturing its atmosphere.

Stays in Rome of between five and seven days shouldn’t be discounted either, especially if you’re keen to experience all your luxurious hotel has to offer or tick off the city’s top restaurants and nightspots. You could even take a day trip to the villa of the Emperor Hadrian at Tivoli or Rome’s ancient port at Ostia or even Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. 

 

I hope this guide helps you to plan an amazing trip to Rome and I hope you love this fascinating city as much as I do! Ciao! 🙂 

If you find our articles useful please use the links to book your hotels as we can earn a small affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you, which helps us to keep traveling and to keep bringing you real and useful travel tips. Thanks for reading and Happy Travels! 

Read More:

Where to Stay in Venice

My Perfect Weekend in Rome Itinerary 

How to Skip the Queue at The Vatican and Sistine Chapel

Exploring Underground at the Colosseum 

Exploring Rome on a Vespa

 

My Pick of The 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Nicaragua for 2023

Nicaragua’s wellness and holistic scene has been thriving in recent years, yet it still retains an authentic, feeling with plenty of unspoilt nature to explore for adventurous yogis.

With a rich spiritual heritage, incredible scenery, amazing surf and some fantastic yoga schools it’s no surprise that yoga retreats in Nicaragua are becoming so popular.

The Best Yoga Retreats in Nicaragua

For surfing and yoga retreats to luxury wellness retreats hidden in the jungle there’s more choice than ever when it goes to Nicaragua yoga retreats. But with so many different options available how do you choose the right one?

In this post I’ll guide you through what makes Nicaragua such a great retreat destination, how to choose the best one for you and give you my tops recommendations.

Reasons to go on a Yoga Vacation in Nicaragua

With colourful colonial cities, volcanoes, jungle, and beautiful beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, it can be hard to know where to begin exploring Nicaragua.

Wellness retreats in Nicaragua are not just about yoga, some also include surfing, traditional healing therapies, practices and rituals for personal and spiritual growth, excursions and other sports and activities.

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With yoga retreats, wellness resorts and surf camps popping up along the coast, it can be a challenge to know which retreat experience is best for you. So to help you find your prefect Nicaragua retreat, I’ve put together my list of my favourite yoga retreats in Nicaragua.

Not all yoga retreats are created equal so, before booking a place on a yoga retreat, be sure to read the real reviews and testimonials on bookyogaretreats.com for peace of mind that your experience will be memorable for all the right reasons!

My Pick of the 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Nicaragua

Eden on the Chocolata, San Juan del Sur

Eden on the Chocolata, a name as tempting and delicious as the experience itself, is definitely one of the best yoga retreats in Nicaragua and is surprisingly affordable!

Start your day with an energising Vinyasa yoga practice with views over the jungle, take a dip in the pool after brunch and sway in your hammock by your private bungalow overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

You can also opt to take a surf lesson or horseback riding trip, or join your group for an energy-clearing bonfire ritual. Dinners are chef-prepared and enjoyed family-style with fellow retreaters.

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Also See: 5 Best Surf Camps in Nicaragua 

Costa Dulce Retreat, San Juan del Sur

For a truly nourishing experience, take a week at the Costa Dulce eco-retreat in San Juan del Sur. This retreat is committed to doing good for the environment and contributing to the local community, so you can be confident that your money is being invested both in your wellbeing and in the support of positive causes.

Your experience includes two yoga sessions per day, ranging from Yin to Acroyoga. You can also choose a daily spa treatment, depending on what you feel you need that day.

Aside from being pampered at the resort, there are excursions and workshops scattered throughout the itinerary. Guided hikes through the nearby jungle include animal spotting, and there’s an introduction to how turtles are protected in the area.

After a busy day of restoration, enjoy a traditional sweat lodge, swing in a hammock on the balcony, or enjoy a solar-powered shower. Retire to your luxury cabin, ready to repeat it all again tomorrow.

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Finca El Zopilote, Ometepe Island

If you’re keen to bring more wellness practices into your life, this meditation and yoga retreat on the magical Ometepe Island will give you the tools you need to create a sustainable practice to continue at home.

Speaking of sustainable, the accommodation is purely wind and solar powered, and the eco vibe is celebrated across the resort. From the compost toilets to the bamboo huts, this an immersive jungle experience, with regular visits from wild birds and monkeys.

Your hosts will introduce you to Pranayama – yogic breathing, and Yoga Nidra – yogic sleep, as well as offering guided meditations. You will learn how to bring mindful techniques into your daily life in a way the will best serve you.

There is also an abundance of varied activities here, from beekeeping to macrame, so follow your curiosity and see what you discover.

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Also See: 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica

Dream Sea Surf Camp, San Juan del Sur

You don’t need to take a week off work to work on your wellness. This short and sweet Nicaragua retreat combines the spiritual practice of yoga with the magical experience of surfing, to leave you feeling rested and refreshed.

Your instructors will introduce you to surf theory and take you to the best spot of the day. Tuition is tailored to your level and group sizes are kept small. After a day on the waves, release any tight surfing muscles with a soothing hatha yoga class, followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner with your fellow retreaters.

The Instagrammble interiors are rustic and chic. Choose a private cabana or a shared room, complete with bamboo bunks. Round off your visit with a fresh smoothie or custom cocktail at the on-site tiki bar.

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Also See: 5 Best Surf Camps in Costa Rica

Room to Roam, Rivas

If your ideal retreat looks a little more productive than days of blissful sunning and stretching, this yoga retreat in Nicaragua might be the one for you.

Over the course of a week, reconnect with your true self through yogic practices, clarify your vision through workshops and mentorship, and set actionable goals for your return home.

All of this transformation takes place at a gated property near the beach, making it easy for you to explore the beautiful surroundings for further inspiration between classes. The on-site pool is surrounded by hammocks and loungers, offering another beautiful spot for relaxation.

Your Hatha yoga practices take place in different locations, from a shala at sunrise to the terrace at dusk, giving varied perspectives as you journey deeper into your inner world. Meanwhile, powerful Wi-Fi makes it easy to stay connected to life back home, should you wish.

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Also See: 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Mexic

I hope this post has helped you to find the perfect yoga vacation in Nicaragua. If you are still looking for the ideal yoga retreat check out posts or maybe my round up of the very best yoga retreats around the world

Read more about yoga retreats:

  • Best Surf Camps in Nicaragua 
  • Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica
  • Best Yoga Retreats in Mexico
  • Best Yoga Retreats in the United States

Have you been on any amazing yoga retreats in Nicaragua?

Leave your recommendations in the comments below the post and help out other yogis and travellers! 😊

Why I Loved Traveling in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a small, tropical, beautiful, tear drop shaped island in the Indian Ocean has overcome decades of war and uncertainty to become one of the best travel destinations in the world today.

Why I loved traveling in Sri Lanka

Packed with sun kissed beaches, verdant nature, stunning hill country scenery, exciting wildlife encounters, Buddhist temples and ancient ruins, colonial architecture and not so many tourists … yet.

It’s not surprising The Lonely Planet ranked Sri Lanka in the top spot as the best country in the world to visit in 2019. Sri Lanka really does offer something for everyone and every day traveling in Sri Lanka contained too many delights to mention.

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So here are just some of the main reasons I loved traveling in Sri Lanka, and why you will too!

Stunning nature, scenery and the best wildlife watching opportunities outside of Africa!

Sri Lanka is truly a beautiful country with stunning scenery.

The country is carpeted with millions of emerald palm trees, there are miles of golden, sandy, sun kissed, tropical beaches to explore,  as well as verdant jungles and the neatly manicured, impossibly scenic landscapes of the hill country and tea plantations.

Even the train ride from Kandy to Ella is one of the most spectacular in the world. This country is a photographer’s paradise. Some parts even reminded me of Bali – minus the crowds of tourists!

Sri Lanka is also a winner for wildlife lovers. The island offers some of the best wildlife watching experiences in South Asia and some of the best safari opportunities outside of Africa.

In fact, your chance of spotting a herd of hundreds of wild elephants is probably more likely in Sri Lanka’s national parks than anywhere else on the planet!

Sri Lanka has over 20 national parks where you can enjoy unspoilt nature and the chance to spot hundreds of different types of birds and animals including, elephants, leopards and sloth bears, if you are lucky.

We visited Wilpattu National Park which is the largest and saw many birds, jungle chickens, monitors, deer, buffalo, wild pigs, peacocks, monkeys and an elephant in the lake.

We also visited the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe National Park where witnessing feeding time for hundreds of orphaned baby elephants who will later be released back into the wild without any chains or elephant riding was a real highlight. (Please, don’t ride elephants! Read here why)

If you’re longing to see herds of hundreds of elephants in the wild head to Udawalawe, Yala or Minneriya for your best chance.

Sri Lanka is also one of the best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching! I lost count of how many groups of playful dolphins we saw frolicking and leaping out of the water together in synchronicity off the coast of Kalpitiya.

It was one of the most amazing sights I’ve seen in my life and we were even lucky enough to spot a Brydes Whale even though it wasn’t the season for whale watching.

For your chance to see the largest animal even known to have lived on earth – the mighty Blue Whale – then head to Mirissa and Trincomalee as they are some of the best places in the world to see blue whales! The sighting rate is on average over 80% in Mirissa from December to March.

Sri Lanka is probably the best place for wildlife watching outside of Africa and the only country where you can see the largest land mammal, the elephant, and the biggest sea mammal, the blue whale, within 30 mins of each other!

Read more about Sri Lanka’s national parks and which animals you can spot here.

Colourful, fascinating culture, history and Unesco world heritage sites

Sri Lanka has a long and fascinating history spanning over 2500 years and one of the highlights of traveling in Sri Lanka today is the opportunity to explore the ancient Buddhist ruins and temples as well as colonial architecture and fortresses from the Portuguese, Dutch and British eras when the island was known as Ceylon.

For a small island, Sri Lanka has an impressive 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites – 6 cultural and 2 natural. They include the ancient and sacred cities of Anuradapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy, home to the temple of the tooth, a sprawling Buddhist temple complex that houses the Buddha’s tooth which is one of most sacred Buddhist relics.

The Golden Temple of Dambulla and Galle Fort are also unmissable while Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the stunning vistas of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka are the country’s natural UNESCO sites.

One of the most interesting and well known sights in Sri Lanka is the mighty Sirigiya Rock where climbing 1200 steps is rewarded with stunning views and fascinating ruins and frescoes of a 5th century palace.

I also really loved visiting the impressive Buddhist temples and huge stupas around Anuradhapura and Kandy which still buzz with life and colour as hundreds of devotees still flock there daily.

Ceylon’s colonial era also offers alot of interesting architecture. Exploring historic Dutch built Galle Fort can’t be missed. It may be a little touristy nowadays but its still fascinating to explore this unique working community.

I also loved staying in colonial heritage hotels and felt right at home in Nuwara Eilya which is also known as ‘Little England’ due to it’s tudor style bungalows, race track, parks and cool hill climate.

Read more about Sri Lanka’s 8 UNESCO world heritage sights here.

Sri Lanka is similar to India but much easier, quieter, cleaner and less hassle

Sri Lanka has often been described to me as a ‘Diet India‘ or ‘India Lite’ and I can see what people mean (but it’s definitely 100% worth visiting both!)  Sri Lanka is different from India but still has many similarities to South India.

I found Sri Lanka to be much easier to travel than India. Sri Lanka is cleaner, quieter, less crowded and less hassle than India. I felt safer as a woman here and witnessed less scams. Because of this I feel Sri Lanka makes a great starting point for traveling in the Indian subcontinent. There’s also many stunning surf and yoga retreats in Sri Lanka.

After years of traveling and living in neighboring India, the relatively short distances between destinations in Sri Lanka are a god send and mean that you can see alot more of this country in a shorter time, so you spend more time enjoying and less time traveling. The infrastructure and roads have recently been upgraded and make for comfortable travel in most areas.

I enjoyed some curries, hoppers and street side kotthu, but have to say that the food in India is better, richer and more varied, although apparently you’re also less likely to fall ill due to travelers diarrhea in Sri Lanka than India and happily I had no problems in that department either.

Price wise, Sri Lanka is more expensive than India, especially the high entry fees for foreigners (average $25 – $50) for the main tourist sights, UNESCO heritage sites and national parks can really add up.

However, it’s still possible to find decent guest houses on Booking.com for a similar price as in India, there are plenty of local buses, trains and rickshaws to get you around and cheap local and street food so it’s still easy to enjoy Sri Lanka on a budget.

Another amazing destination you can add on to a trip to Sri Lanka is the Maldives! These paradise islands are only a 1 hour flight away and not just for luxury honeymooners. Read my tips for budget travel in the Maldives – you might be surpirsed how affordable it can be!

The Sri Lankan people were another highlight of my time traveling in Sri Lanka, most people were so warm, welcoming and helpful and are still genuinely pleased to see tourists.

Read more here about the costs of traveling in Sri Lanka.

Read more things you should know before traveling to Sri Lanka

Read my recommendations for surf schools and yoga retreats in Sri Lanka

Read all my India travel tips here

There’s so many more reasons I loved traveling in Sri Lanka and I can’t believe it took me so long to visit.  I have a feeling I’ll visit this gorgeous country many more times in the not too distant future! Since my trip my list of places to visit in Sri Lanka just keeps on growing.

Have you visited Sri Lanka? What did you love about it?

Disclourse: The Sri Lankan Tourist Board kindly sponsored my trip around Sri Lanka but all views and opinions are, as always, my own.

 

My Pick of the 5 Best Yoga Retreats in India for Beginners

The 5 Best Yoga Retreats in India for Beginners

As the birthplace of yoga there couldn’t be any better place to learn yoga or take a yoga retreat than India! There’s a multitude of reasons to consider yoga retreats in India, its the birthplace of yoga so you’ll go straight to the most authentic, traditional teachings and at the same time you can fully immerse yourself in the unique culture and spirituality of India and dive deep into the yogic way of life at the very source of where these teachings began. Yoga is so much more than just the physical asanas (poses), it is part of the Indian culture and way of life, and this is something you really get in touch with when you choose to do a yoga retreat in India.

Read More: Can you really find yourself in India

India has very diverse and picturesque landscapes too, and there are endless options for locations of retreats, from the beautiful beaches of the southern coastlines to the wondrous Himalayan mountains. There are many Holy places in Mother India and the land itself holds a very profound spiritual energy that is difficult to describe but life changing to experience.

Yoga retreats can be found all over India but the best places to practice yoga in India are:-

  • Rishikesh – the yoga capital of the world situated on the banks of the holy Ganges river
  • Kerala – laid back, luscious backwaters and the birthplace of Ayurveda
  • Goa – a popular beach holiday destination
  • Dharamasala – the home of the Tibetan government in exile in the Himlayan mountains
  • Mysore – colourful town in South India famous for Ashtanga yoga and it’s flamoyant palace but most yoga schools here require 1 months commitment and only take experienced yogis.

Click on the links above to read other articles and travel guides on these places that I’ve written. My top tip would be to consider what style of yoga you want to do (go for traditional Hatha if your unsure) and then decide which destination you’d like to visit and then start your search there.

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Other positive reasons to consider exploring yoga retreats in India include the affordability aspects of courses and travel expenses, ancient Ayurvedic teachings which can often be incorporated into the retreat, meeting people from around the globe, and not to mention experiencing the Indian culture and tantalising cuisines! There’s really no better place in the world to take a yoga retreat than India! Don’t forget that you’ll need an Indian visa too – read this post on how to get an Indian visa.

I’ve travelled all over India for the last 5 years and am now based in Goa. My yoga practice has really improved so much since learning yoga in India. I know that as a beginner it may sound daunting to travel to India for a yoga retreat as there are many famous gurus and yoga teachers in India but some only take very experienced yoga practitioners and require commitments of a month or more.

Read More: 5 best places for yoga teacher training in India

Yoga has also become big business nowadays and sadly there are some fake gurus and awful yoga schools out there so its really important to do your research and make sure you find a reputable yoga retreat. I love using www.bookyogaretreats.com because you can check reviews and testimonials from real yogis who’ve already been there. You can also book and pay on here rather than wiring money to India so it makes payment easier and more trustworthy.

To make finding the perfect beginners yoga retreat in India easier I thought I would write a post with my 5 favourite yoga retreats to help point you in the right direction. Yoga has changed my life so much and traveling in India has been a transformational experience so even if you are just starting out on your yoga journey there’s really no better place.

Here’s my recommendations for the 5 best yoga retreats in India for beginners:

1. Yoga Vidya Mandiram, Tapovan Bypass, Rishikesh

Top of the list of yoga destinations to visit in India is of course Rishikesh – the yoga capital of the world! My favourite yoga retreat for beginners is Yoga Vidya Mandiram in Rishikesh. The retreats at Yoga Vidya Mandiram are some of the best yoga retreats in India, perfectly suited for beginners who wish to learn the basics of not just asanas but also pranayama, mudras, mantra chanting, yoga philosophy and an introduction to meditation.

If you’re just starting out you can even just book in for a 3 day yoga retreat for less than £100 to see how you like it without committing to a full week like most yoga retreats. They also offer 7 day or 14 day retreats as well as excellent yoga teacher training courses if you want to take your practice to the next level. The retreat is located in Rishikesh, nestled in the mountains of Uttarakhand, also known as “the home of yoga” and “Land of the Gods”. Rishikesh is surrounded by beautiful, untouched nature, the holy Ganges and picturesque Himalayan mountains.

The yoga retreat also includes an excursion to nearby shrines, temples, caves and waterfalls as well as sightseeing around the town and a fire ceremony. All meals are vegetarian and are included in the price as well as modern, clean, comfortable accommodation. From the moment you arrive you can really feel there is a highly spiritual and special energy in this place. Click here to read Yoga Vidya Mandirams reviews, see pictures and book your place! 

Read More: My Rishikesh Travel Guide and My pick of the 5 best yoga retreats in Rishikesh and My pick of the 5 best yoga teacher training courses in Rishikesh

Palolem Beach, South Goa

2. Anand Yoga Village, Palolem, Goa 

The tropical beaches of Goa are another of the best places to take a yoga retreat in India. I’d recommend South Goa over North Goa as its much more peaceful and less built up. Beautiful, laid back Palolem is one of my all time favourite beaches in Goa and the best place to take a yoga retreat. Anand Yoga Village is an unpretentious and inclusive yoga retreat that offers many different styles of yoga and is perfect for beginners.

The yoga village is situated under tranquil palm trees just 2 min walk from the beach and offers comfortable accommodation in newly built cute wooden beach huts and healthy, wholesome, vegetarian food from around the world. Anand yoga village offers hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, restorative and yin yoga asana classes as well as meditation, pranayama, chanting sutras, yoga nidra, Ayurvedic massage, sound bath and more. There’s also plenty of time to relax on the beach, take a boat trip to spot dolphins and explore beautiful and serene South Goa. Click here to read the reviews, see photos, more details and to book your place!

Read More: My insider’s guide to Goa and my pick of the 5 best yoga retreats in Goa and my recommendations for the 5 best yoga teacher trainings in Goa.

Houseboats on the Kerala backwaters

3. Bodhi Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat, Kochi, Kerala

Laid back and luscious Kerala is a world away from the hectic cities of North India and is also the home of Ayurveda (the world’s oldest holistic healing system) and some of India’s best yoga retreats. I love the Bodhi Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat as it offers a unique program of Hatha yoga sessions, pranayama, meditation, Ayurveda therapies and holistic healing. As well as yoga, a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage and steam bath are also included. There are also sessions on the theory and philosophy behind yoga, cookery demonstrations and bhajans (devotional singing) or you can just relax or swim in the pool and enjoy the tropical gardens.

Bodhi offers 3 day retreats, perfect for beginners wanting to give yoga, meditation and Ayurveda a try, and also 7 and 10 day retreats for those wanting to go deeper. The Indian instructors are all experienced, authentic and welcoming.  Comfortable, air conditioned accommodation and delicious homemade sattvic and Keralan vegetarian meals and tropical juices made with love are included. The retreat center is situated in a traditional tropical Keralan homestay surrounded by 7 acres of lush vegetation and palm trees on the outskirts of Kochi.  Don’t miss the chance to cruise the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat, visit historic and multicultural Fort Kochi and some nearby beaches while in Kerala!  Click here to read the reviews, see photos and to book your place! 

Read More: My Kerala travel guide and my Fort Kochi Travel Guide and my experience cruising the Kerala backwaters 

Om Yoga Ashram, McCleod Ganj, nr Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Dharamshala and the surrounding areas of McCleod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot are like my 2nd home in India and where I head to when it gets too hot in Goa. This beautiful mountainous region is an amazing place for yoga and meditation, trekking in the Himalayan mountains and soaking up the Tibetan culture. Om Yoga Ashram in McCleod Ganj is a non-profit organisation founded by Dr. Rashpal Yogi. It’s a great place to learn about yoga, Indian culture and Indian spirituality and is specifically aimed at offering a gentle introduction to yoga  and the ashram lifestyle for beginners with trekking and local sightseeing.

Om Yoga Ashram offers morning and evening Hatha yoga and meditation classes, an introduction to yogic cleansing techniques and a daily Aarti (traditional prayer ceremony) and bhajans (devotional singing) There are also classes on anatomy, philosophy, mantras and chakras as well as trekking and local sightseeing to waterfalls and Tibean monasteries nearby. The accommodation is clean and comfortable ensuite rooms in a newly built comfortable with views of the mountains from the balcony and 3 vegetarian, Ayurvedic meals daily are also included. Click here to read reviews, see photos and more details to and book your place! 

Read More: Why Dharamkot is the best place to find yourself in India

 

Fusion, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh

If you are just starting out on your yoga journey and don’t know which style you prefer yet then taking a multi style yoga retreat at Fusion in Rishikesh could be ideal. Fusion offers a 7 day course in one of the best locations in Rishikesh great for beginners who get the chance to try  Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and even Aerial yoga! Ariel yoga is super fun and this is one of the few places in Rishikesh that offer it. There’s  2 daily yoga classes as well as pranayama and meditation sessions. Fusion offers a good balance of yoga classes and activities and also plenty of free time to explore the temples, cafes and shops of Rishikesh, go trekking in the mountains or rafting along the river Ganges. 

This is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating multi style yoga retreats in Rishikesh. The location is in a quieter area of Rishikesh but still with easy access to everything the town offers. There’s several accommodation options from budget rooms to AC rooms with a view. 3 tasty and nutritious ayurvedic, sattvik and rajasik meals daily are also included.  Click here to see more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!

 

 

Have you been on a great yoga retreat in India? Do you have any more tips to share?

Leave a comment below and your recommendations can help out other travellers 🙂

Read more:

5 Best Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh, India – The Yoga Capital of the World

My Pick of the 5 Best Yoga Retreats in Goa, India

The Best Yoga and Meditation Retreats in India

5 best places to do yoga teacher training in India

Best yoga retreats in Thailand

 

Btw – I have used affiliate links in the post. So if you find my recommendations for the best yoga retreats in India useful and want to book through the links I’ve provided then I can earn a small commission which helps to keep this site running at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support! 🙂

The Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Ubud, Bali (2023)

Bali is, without a doubt, one of very best places in the world to do a yoga teacher training, and the very best place for yoga in Bali is by far Ubud!

Ubud is the spiritual heart of the ‘island of the gods’ and doing yoga teacher training in Ubud is a magical and healing experience.

The thriving wellness scene means there are literally hundreds of yoga teacher training courses in Ubud, which makes it kind of overwhelming trying to choose. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.

My yoga training in Ubud was life changing in many ways and I’ve spent alot of time in Bali and have been able to check out many of the yoga schools myself so hopefully this post will help you find the perfect program for you.

Contents hide 1Why Ubud is the best place in Bali to do yoga teacher training 2How to choose a yoga teacher training course in Ubud 3The Cost of Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud 4My Pick of the 6 Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Ubud: (updated for 2023)

Why Ubud is the best place in Bali to do yoga teacher training

Ubud is about 1 hours drive inland north of the famous southern beaches region of Bali. Ubud has a long history of healing and is the spiritual, cultural and artistic heart of Bali – also known as ‘the island of the gods.’ The town is sounded by lusciously green rice paddies, Hindu temples,  stunning rice terraces and thick tropical jungle.

Since ‘Eat Pray Love’ was released in 2010, there has been an influx of people searching for their own spiritual journey visiting this once very laid-back, quiet little village. The area is also fast becoming well-known worldwide as an epicentre of yoga and you’ll find some of the world’s very best yoga teacher training courses in Ubud and many amazing raw vegan cafes.

Even though India is the birthplace of yoga, Bali also follows the Hindu religion and is a deeply spiritual island. Add that to the natural beauty of the island and the kindness of the Balinese people, its no wonder that Bali is such a great place to learn yoga and Ubud is Bali’s spiritual heart.

How to choose a yoga teacher training course in Ubud

When choosing a YTT it’s a good idea to be clear on your intentions and expectations so you know which certification you want to gain and what yoga style you want to focus on.

Ubud’s Yoga teacher training courses (YTTC) are understandably very popular, and it’s not just something for those who intend to teach yoga. Many people also choose to do yoga training in Bali just to gain a deeper understanding of yoga and to dive deeper into themselves.

If you want to change your career and teach yoga you need to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training program which takes between 15 – 30 days to complete and is the basic requirement you need to start teaching yoga. If your course is approved by Yoga Alliance you will be able to apply to become a registered yoga teacher upon completion.

If you just want to learn more about yoga and immerse yourself in the spiritual and magical atmosphere of Ubud then you could do a shorter course like a 100 hour YTT if you don’t have the time or money for the full yoga training.

Other important things to consider when looking for a yoga teacher training program include your experience level and the style of yoga you wish to teach, the length and price of the course, the facilities and location and the reputation of the yoga school and instructors.

A good way to check this and get an idea of what to expect is by checking reviews from previous students on an unbiased site like bookyogateachertraining.com. Be aware that a yoga retreats website or social media may not always tell the full story.

A YTT can be a transformative experience but it is challenging – if you’d prefer just a relaxing yoga holiday then check out my pick of Ubud’s best yoga retreats.

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The Cost of Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud

Whether you plan to teach yoga as a career, or just want to deepen your own practice, yoga teacher training is a big investment in your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional health.

Luckily Bali is one of the most affordable places to do a YTT in the world. While there are some very luxurious retreat centres in Bali, there are also some affordable yoga teacher training programs in Ubud.

The price of a 200 hour yoga teacher training in Ubud is normally between $1000 and $2000 and most courses include accommodation and meals in the price as well as the yoga training. Some also include airport transfers, massages and excursions to explore the island on your days off which makes it a great deal.

Of course you also have to factor in the cost of flights to Bali. Return flight tickets from Australia to Bali can be really cheap. Flights from the UK or Europe to Bali can be found for about £500 or around $750 from the East Coast of the USA. I recommend checking Skyscanner and being flexible on dates to find the best deals.

Once in Bali, it’s very affordable, easy and safe to travel around, even as a solo female traveller. So to make the most of the experience I’d recommend allowing extra time before or after your yoga course to explore beautiful Bali – it’s one of my favourite places in the world!

If cost is an issue, you may be able to find yoga teacher training scholarships where you volunteer to help out at the yoga school to earn your place on the training.

My Pick of the 6 Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Ubud: (updated for 2023)

Because there’s just about every possible type of yoga being taught in Ubud, it can make it a bit of a task deciding on which course is best for you. So, this is my pick of the best yoga teacher training courses in Ubud, complied by personal experience and reviews, to help you with your decision making process.

  • Best Vinyasa YTT – Yoga Union
  • Most Authentic YTT – Yoga New Vision
  • Best Multi-Style YTT – House of Om
  • Best Luxury YTT – East + West
  • Most Affordable YTT – Yogamantra
  • Most Famous YTT – The Yoga Barn
Yoga Union in Ubud

Yoga Union

Yoga Union have been running some of the most popular Bali yoga teacher training programs for over a decade. They offer a fully comprehensive intensive 200-hour yoga teacher training course in Ubud, completed in just 23 days. Great for those who have less time and are looking for a compact course structure.

Yoga Union teach a combination of different styles of yoga, however, they mainly focus on Vinyasa Flow. Their course covers a wide range of teachings, including pranayama, meditation, philosophy, anatomy and 80 different yoga postures which you will learn to analyze.

Also worth mentioning is their beautiful, open-air yoga shala with overlooks the luscious, green rice paddies behind the school.

Check Reviews 

 

Yoga New Vision

If you’re looking to transform your life through the ancient wisdom of yoga consider this authentic and spiritual yoga teacher training course in Ubud with Yoga New Vison.

This 22-day 200-hour yoga teacher training program blends ancient Indian wisdom with modern scientific research. Designed for anyone interested in deepening their personal practice, becoming a successful yoga teacher, or simply discovering the joy and fulfilment of life.

The program’s innovative “Meditative Hatha Vinyasa” approach combines stillness, movement, breathing, and mindfulness in one unique meditation style. Led by experienced Indian teachers like Deep Kumar who has such a profound understanding of yogic philosophy, students can learn in a fun and interactive environment.

With its focus on authenticity, connection, support, and celebration, this course empowers individuals to find their true happiness and soul calling while also rooting them in the ancient tradition.

Held in luxurious resorts with small class sizes, this Ubud yoga teacher training equips students with all the necessary tools to become exceptional, deeply connected, and fulfilled yoga teachers.

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House of Om Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud

House of Om

This 200-hour Ubud yoga teacher training from House of Om includes training in Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Nidra, and Kriya, for a rounded approach to yoga teaching.

Upon successful completion of the 20-day experience, you’ll be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as a certified teacher. The whole YTT experience is intended to be deeply enriching, heart-opening, and a life changing spiritual experience.

The traditional Balinese resort has the choice of either shared or private bedrooms, and access to the outdoor swimming pool. The beautiful shala where you’ll take your training is made from wood and bamboo, and surrounded by lush jungle views. All meals are included – freshly prepared with healthy local vegan ingredients.

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Yoga Photo Credit zjuzjaka and Shutterstock 

East + West Yoga

The Bali yoga teacher training course from Yoga East West is designed for yogis who yearn for a deeper knowledge of yoga and a transformative spiritual experience.

The 21-day yoga teacher training in Ubud brings in some of the best teachers from around the world, each with varied specialisms, for the perfect combination of East and West.

You’ll cover all elements needed for Yoga Alliance Certification, including asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, anatomy, and sequencing. You can expect a rich, spiritual, and authentic experience.

The training is set at Ananda Cottages – a luxurious resort with a spa, swimming pools, and traditional Balinese rooms. Between classes, you can walk the surrounding rice fields, before nourishing your body and soul with organic, vegetarian meals.

This was one of my absolute favourite Bali yoga teacher training experiences. You can get $100 discount by mentioning Global Gallivanting!

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Yogmantra Bali

At Yogmantra Bali, the 200-hour yoga teacher training is delivered both as the first step towards a teaching career, and as an all-round introduction to the practices and philosophy of yoga.

Over the course of 25 days, you will discover Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Ashtanga approaches to yoga, as well as meditation, pranayama, mantra and chanting. The course also includes an introduction to the principles of Ayurveda, with cooking and healing courses.

During the experience, you’ll stay in a comfortable private room. The retreat centre has an outdoor pool and meditation garden so you can unwind between classes. The all-inclusive menu is freshly created from local, vegan ingredients.

With prices starting at US$1,499 this is one of the most affordable yoga teacher trainings  however it is a little further out of the main Ubud area.

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Taking a Vinyasa class at The Yoga Barn in Ubud

The Yoga Barn

And of course, no mention of yoga teacher training in Ubud would be complete without The Yoga Barn! This is one of the most famous and largest yoga teacher training centres in Ubud (and South East Asia!)

From the minute you arrive at this wonderful place it’s easy to see why so many people speak so highly of this beautiful place!

Over the years The Yoga Barn has grown from one simple, small, open-walled studio overlooking the green rice paddies behind, to the well-known hub of all things yoga that they have become in more recent years.

The Yoga Barn offers teacher-training courses in traditional Hatha, restorative Yin Yoga, and the more intensive Vinyasa, so there’s something to suit everyone.

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On the Bali swing

I hope this blog has helped to find your ideal yoga teacher training program in Ubud. If you’re still undecided  did you know there are yoga teacher training courses all over Bali?

If you’d rather practice on a beach front shala on a tropical island or hidden in the jungle away from any other yogis or tourists then check out my post about the best yoga teacher training courses in Bali or this article about yoga teacher training abroad for more tips and recommendations.

Have you been on any amazing yoga teacher training courses in Ubud?

Leave your recommendations in the comments below the post and help out other yogis and travellers!

By the way – this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you find my recommendations for the best yoga teacher training courses in Ubud useful and choose to book through the links I provide I can earn a small commission at no extra cost to you which helps me to keep traveling and to keep this site going. Thanks so much for your support!

 

Read more about yoga in Bali:

  • Ultimate Guide to Yoga in Ubud
  • Check out my other posts about Bali here
  • Yoga Retreats in Bali
  • Yoga Retreats in Ubud
  • Best Things to do in Ubud
  • Yoga teacher training courses in Bali
  • Reasons to take a retreat holiday for your next trip
  • A Guide to Yoga Teacher Training in India

10 of the Absolute Best Things to do in Canggu, Bali

10 of the Absolute Best Things to do in Canggu

Bali, known as the island of the Gods, is a wonderland for the soul, full to the brim with its natural beauty, rich culture, beach bohemian lifestyle and endless things to do. Popularised by the film and book Eat Pray Love, the main hangouts of Bali have since become a tad overdone. So it’s no surprise that a new hangout has popped up on the radar to rival its predecessors in Canggu. The Canggu area is located on the southern beaches region of Bali, just west of the previously better-known areas of Seminyak and Kuta. For a freshly emerged hotspot, there are actually a surprising number of appealing reasons to visit and things to do in Canggu.

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Girl walking across bamboo bride. Photo credit: Breslavtsev Oleg (Shutterstock) & Guy surfing at Canggu Beach. Photo Credit: Stilo (Shutterstock)

Canggu is fast becoming a place where people are choosing to stay a bit longer and once you land here, you’ll see why! This area has rapidly become a popular location of choice for digital nomads, surfers and travellers. The beaches are much cleaner, there’s a collection of trendy cafes, restaurants and bars that have recently popped up on the scene and the whole area just oozes of a laid-back, beach bohemian vibe. Surfing in Canggu has been named one of the top surfing spots in the world too! Overall, Canggu is still relatively less crowded and less overdone than other places in Bali, which suits those looking for something a bit less touristy and wish to stay awhile. Check out my post on the 5 best places to stay in Canggu.

Read More: 5 Best Places to Stay in Canggu (to suit all budgets)

Here are 10 of the best things to do in Canggu:

Girl Surfing in Bali. Photo credit: Wonderful Nature (Shutterstock)

1. Go Surfing

Probably the one thing Canggu is best known for is surfing! Canggu is dotted with several top surfing spots favoured by the global surfing community and avid local surfers alike, though the most well-known spot would have to be Echo Beach. The waves in Canggu are arguably the best for surfing in the whole southern beaches region of Bali, which is probably also why many of the digital nomads who are also avid surfers are attracted to and all congregate in this area.

There’s are loads of surf schools, camps and retreats in Canggu too, so even if you haven’t tried surfing before, there’s seriously no better place to start! I really recommend getting some lessons or even better staying at a surf camp for a few days – you’ll notice your surfing skills improve so much more than if you just go it alone.  I used www.booksurfcamps.com to find my perfect surf and yoga retreat in Canggu! I love this site because you can check reviews – it’s like Booking.com but for surf camps! Don’t miss getting out on the water – surfing is at the top of this list as it’s simply one of the absolute best things to do in Canggu!

If your serious about learning how to surf and catching some waves then I really recommend staying at one of the fab surf camps in Bali – having daily instructor and being immersed in a surf crazy environment has improved my surfing ability dramatically – here’s my pick of the 5 best Bali surf camps.

Tanah Lot Temple at Sunset. Photo credit: CO Leong (Shutterstock)

2. Visit Tanah Lot Temple

Pura Tanah Lot Temple is one of the most iconic tourist attractions of Bali, and it happens to be in Canggu! This sacred, ancient Hindu temple is one of Bali’s most important landmarks and most valued treasures because of both its cultural significance and picturesque beauty. For a dip into Bali’s culture and beauty, this has to be one of the best things to do in Canggu. The temple is perched on an eroding cliff face, with waves crashing at its base, and it’s a truly unique sight to see with your own eyes! To enter the temple will cost you approximately $4USD and the best time to visit would have to be sunset to snap up the best pictures!

 

Watermelon juice at Echo Beach. Photo credit: Svetlana Khovrina (Shutterstock)

3. Check out the stunning beaches

There are a number of great beaches in the Canggu area that are all worth checking out! Canggu Beach and Batu Bolong Beach are the best all-round beaches. These two are lined with golden sands and perfect, aqua blue waves rolling in, they’re great for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. Most come here to watch the sunset from the many beachfront bars and restaurants.

Nelayan Beach is a very quiet spot with almost no development and you’ll see local fisherman with their boats. It’s a relatively calm spot that’s great for swimming and wading. Echo Beach is a well-known spot that’s for perfect surfing waves (although not the best for swimming). The last beach in the Canggu stretch is Pererenan Beach. It’s a bit rough here as it’s at a river mouth but it’s a pretty spot and worth checking out too. Of course, a visit to these beaches is a must and one of the best things to do in Canggu. Try to visit them all!

Finns Beach Club. Photo credit: Sharon Wildie (Shutterstock)

4. Relax at Finn’s Beach Club

If you haven’t yet heard about Finns Beach Club then you must have been hiding under a rock, this place is must on the things to do in Canggu list! There are so many reasons why Finns is a favourite for many, it’s located absolute beachfront, on a beautiful white sanded beach, with day beds to laze away the afternoons on. It’s a perfect spot to watch the sun go down, there are resident & international DJs playing here every day from 1 pm onwards. The service is everything you would expect from a 5-star place so expect to be waited on hand and foot whilst you relax and enjoy the experience!

Water park fun. Photo by Funny Solution Studio and Shutterstock

5. Taman Segara Madu Water Park

If you have kids (or even if you’re just a big kid yourself!) a visit to Taman Segara Madu Water Park is one of the most fun-filled things to do in Canggu! Beyond the waterparks thrill-seeking rides & slides, there’s also a huge Olympic-sized swimming pool to enjoy too. They’re also offering dive courses at Taman Segara Madu if that’s something that interests you. Entry into the water park is about $3USD for adults and $2USD for kids. There are great food and lovely gazebos to sit at that overlook the rice paddies behind the waterpark too.

 

Balinese hand-made rattan bags. Photo credit: Nokuro (Shutterstock)

6. Old Man’s Canggu Market

If you are looking for a great day out and an excuse to shop till you drop, then this is surely one of the most appealing things to do in Canggu for you! The weekly Sunday market at Old Man’s is a big event and meet-up for the Canggu community. The market boasts a huge collection of over 150+ stalls from local & expat designers; it’s definitely a great place to nab up some bargains. This place is a well-known gathering that’s full of good vibes all around, there’s even a beer garden with live music and happy hour drinks!

 

Outdoor yoga class. Photo credit: Knmata (Shutterstock)

7. Practice yoga or take a fitness class

Bali, Ubud in particlaur, is one of the world’s best places to learn yoga and Canggu is also a hub for all things yoga, fitness and healthy lifestyles. There are many yoga classes and retreats in this area, cross fit clubs and gyms in this area, and the community of expats who stay long term in this area tend to also be healthy lifestyle people. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro you’ll find there are classes to suit every interest and ability level.

One of my favourite studios here for drop in classes are Samadhi and Serenity. If you want to really improve your yoga practice you could take a yoga retreat (some of them are even yoga and surf retreats combning the best of both worlds!) I use www.bookyogaretreats.com to find, check reviews and book yoga courses.

 

Jewellery making class. Photo credit: Goghy73 (Shutterstock)

8. Join a jewellery making class

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make jewellery then Canggu is the place to start! There’s an abundance of different jewellery making courses that you can sign up for such as working with silver or learning how to weave macramé. Class sizes are generally kept small so that you can get the most out of the course and there are courses starting from $50USD (very cheap when you think about it!) Materials needed for the jewellery making courses are generally included in the price too, and besides all else, what better souvenir to take home than a piece of jewellery you made yourself! One of the most rewarding things to do in Canggu is acquire a new skill you can take with you wherever you go!

 

9. Go on a foodie tour

Another reason why this area of Bali is attracting lots of noise lately is the abundance of amazing cafes and restaurants that have popped up! Think mouth-watering and Instagram worthy meals for every breakfast, lunch and dinner! There are over 300+ restaurants in just this one area! Whether you are looking for vegan specific, a showcase of the best of local dishes, or something from just about any corner of the globe you’ll find it in Canggu.

The raw, vegan food movement is amazing in Bali and so tasty and healthy – you must try some of Bali’s fabulous raw vegan restaurants, even if you’re not vegan I’m sure you will love the food and feel amazing. Check out this guide to the best of Canggu’s vegan restaurants. 

 

Rice fields at Sunset

10. Admire the rice paddies

One of the more leisurely things to do in Canggu would be to go for a nice ride or walk through the local rice paddies. This is a nice scenic way to appreciate the local villagers way of life in Canggu. The easiest way to get around in Canggu and to the rice paddies would be to hire a scooter, however, if you are not comfortable in riding one you can hire a bicycle, walk or even hire a private driver to take you there. The rice fields are located on Jalan Pura Blulang Yeh

Read More:

Where to stay in Canggu

Canggu – Bali’s Beach Hotspot

Bali travel guide and tips: 20 things that will surprise first-time visitors

Everywhere You Should Go in Canggu, Bali’s Bohemian Hideaway

 

If you found my recommendations for the best things to do in Canggu useful and want to book through my links I can earn a small commission which helps to keep this site going at no extra cost to you so thank you! 😊

Have you been to Canggu? Do you have any more tips on things to do in Canggu?

Leave a comment below and your recommendations can help out other travellers 🙂