Perhaps logical for a country obsessed with yoga, Israel is emerging as a hotbed for wellness retreats, from luxury spa hotels to hippy communes in the barren desert. For those of you looking to connect with nature, channel your spirituality, and rejuvenate your body and soul in the Holy Land, this list should prove highly useful.
Mizpe Hayamim Spa Hotel
This enchanting hotel spa in the charming town of Rosh Pina in Israel’s north offers a wide range of spa treatments, from mud body masks to Indian Abhyanga massages and Shiatsu. With 97 gorgeous rooms with different styles, a tranquil atmosphere (use of mobile phones is prohibited in public areas in the hotel), and wonderful views over the surrounding mountains and Sea of Galilee, this idyllic spa hotel offers everything you need for a relaxing and revitalising trip away.
Located in the lower Galilee overlooking Lake Kinneret, Mitzpe Alummot is a rejuvenation center and health farm that offers a natural diet of raw food, body cleansing, and juice fasting. They combine this with weekly workshops focusing on the mind, the body and the spirit. There are 24 rooms all with lake views, lecture and workshop areas, a yoga and exercise room, a therapy center offering massages and other spa treatments, and more.
The Tree of Life is an international establishment offering 9-day spiritual fasting retreats twice a year in Almog, overlooking the Dead Sea. Aside from the fasting, activities include silent sitting meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, nature walks, artist workshops, Kabbalistic ceremonies, spiritual talks, and more. The retreat promises a body cleanse detox with plenty of organic fruit and veg juice. If juice fasting is what you’re looking for, then this is the retreat for you.
This company does not operate exclusively in Israel but they do offer retreats there a few times a year. Their two offerings are wilderness yoga and scuba yoga, a mix between scuba diving and yoga, which looks like a pretty amazing experience! Their aim is “to promote simple living and community gatherings based on spiritual practices and Mother Earth”, using methods such as meditation, yoga, massage, nature, and traditional practices.
Surrounded by the vast desert landscape of the Arava along the ancient Nabatean incense route, Moa Oasis is a hub for workshops (yoga, meditation, nutrition, etc.), conferences, and gatherings of like-minded people. Describing themselves as an ecological resort, Moa Oasis was established sustainably using local earth bricks to be a “home for a culture of peace”, offering 10 luxury tents, 11 luxury rooms (5 with a private pool), and 8 larger patio rooms, as well as a large multipurpose hall. One of the main activities that takes place here is the peace academy, which teaches mostly teenagers about the meaning of peace in all its forms. This is a tranquil and well-equipped spot in a beautiful location.
Moa Oasis, “Place for the culture of peace” | Courtesy of Moa Oasis
Now in its seventh year, Yoga Arava offers a weekend of yoga workshops in the spectacular surroundings of Israel’s southern Arava Desert. With workshops taking place throughout its villages and communities, led by experienced instructors from Israel and abroad, this weekend retreat is sure to leave you spiritually rejuvenated and connected to nature. Keep your eye on their Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss out.
“Dedicated to the evolution of consciousness” is the mantra of Desert Ashram, a well-established spiritual center based in Israel’s southern Negev Desert. Run by members of a vibrant commune of “desert dwellers and Osho meditators”, Desert Ashram is a hub for festivals, meditation retreats, and spiritual and therapeutic workshops, which take place every weekend.
Puzzle Israel is a tour company that offers a range of options for those seeking to experience Israel, from culinary to cycling to yoga tours. In their yoga tour you will experience spiritual growth while taking in Israel’s most beautiful landscapes, including the Dead Sea, Makhtesh Ramon Crater, and the colourful Jezreel Valley. This is ideal for those seeking to explore Israel’s natural beauty while also finding their inner peace.
The Setai Hotel Sea of Galilee
For those seeking a combination of luxury and wellness, this is the place for you. A luxury resort nestled in the hills of the Golan Heights and overlooking Lake Kinneret in northern Israel, the Setai Hotel has 110 rooms and villas. The resort is home to Israel’s largest spa and wellness facility, and offers a diverse range of treatments that are sure to rejuvenate the body and soul. From wonderful massages and relaxing in the indoor mineral pool to cleansing in the Turkish Hamam and state-of-the-art sauna, the Setai Hotel has got your wellness needs covered.
Ananda Israel offers week-long retreats at the Dead Sea, one of the most mesmerising places in Israel and the lowest point on earth. At this retreat you will meditate twice daily, take yoga classes with an experienced instructor, float in the Dead Sea, and eat raw, organic and vegetarian food to detox and cleanse your body, while staying in a villa at an oasis on the edge of a desert.