Thinking of the Canary Islands, many reminisce of fond times along the Puerto Del Carmen strip, memories at Siam and Loro Parque or partying the night away in Playa de las Americas. We rarely think of the archipelago as a haven for those seeking healing and meaningful mindfulness.
Thanks to its incredible landscape and the efforts of the local people, the Canary Islands has become one of the world’s leading destinations for mindfulness. The calm atmosphere felt throughout the archipelago has led to the establishment of facilities specially designed for mindfulness, including yoga and meditation, as well as surfing, diving, and trekking and of course, there are few places better in the world to watch the sun go down.
Meditate on Mount Teide, Tenerife
Enjoy a meditation experience out of this world on Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain and the world’s third tallest volcano. Climb Mount Teide and meditate during the early hours of the morning when the sun rises from the ocean. Alternatively, stay on the foothills, a unique landscape described by poets as resembling the moon.
Our Retreat Pick: Estilo Verde in Güímar deserves a mention for its yoga, mindfulness and meditation expertise. Located amongst volcanoes, avocado farms and the Atlantic Ocean, this centre offers accommodation and teachers of exceptional warmth and experience.
Bathe on the Beaches of Fuerteventura
In the more than 150 kilometres of shoreline, no two beaches on the island of Fuerteventura are the same. For those who practice yoga, meditation and other mindfulness activities on the pristine sands and pebbly shores, it is soon discovered that each beach has its own personality.
The main beach on the Isle of Lobos, La Concha, is an ideal place to practice mindfulness. This special beach, located on this 4.5km squared uninhabited island, is a picture of calm with virtually white sand and – at times – totally still Atlantic, offering over a kilometre of tranquillity. It can be reached in just fifteen minutes by boat from Corralejo in the north of Fuerteventura.
Retreat Pick: Casa de La Pared is a retreat which offers an eleven-day course of Mindful Surf and Yoga. The schedule includes daily yoga and meditation sessions as well as surfing lessons. A vegan menu is provided along with surfing and yoga equipment.
Find yourself in Gran Canaria
Famed for its varied landscape, Gran Canaria boasts lush green scenery in the north and an arid south coast. The island is home to mountains reaching up to 2,000 metres, including Morro de la Agujereada, with envious views. Beaches in Gran Canaria vary from crystal clear waters and startling rock faces and yellow sand, like Guayedra, to black volcanic sand, like Güi Güi which overlooks Mount Teide.
Retreat Pick: The Mahalo Healthy House, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. A typical eight-day stay would involve nineteen hours of yoga classes, mindfulness and holistic workshops, and four excursions to notable locations on the island.
Experience Nature in Lanzarote
Lanzarote’s antidote to worries is its rare natural beauty, home to hundreds of volcanos, lava fields, palm-lined valleys, dreamy beaches with turquoise water and charming little towns with white houses.
A 10-kilometre leisurely walk around the Caldera Blanca crater is a great place to disconnect and absorb the wonders of the natural world. In the south of the island, five minutes by car from Playa Blanca, the isolated natural pools of Los Charcones are a perfect place to take a dip, plunge under the water and remember the pleasures of life. For the ultimate experience, meditate on the rocks while you cool off.
Retreat Pick: In the interior of the island, surrounded by vineyards, Shama Retreats have a reputation for exceptional accommodation and healing activities. Their double cabins and vegan and vegetarian menus are ideally suited to the mindful traveller.
Stargaze in La Palma
From the very early days of human existence, the night sky has been a source of tremendous exhilaration. La Palma is famed for its clear skies, which is why an astronomical observatory was built on top of Roque de Los Muchachos, a rock formation some 2,420 metres above sea level. Visitors to La Palma can join scientists in staring at the celestial phenomenon above our heads. To let go and gaze up at the stars is to imagine the origins of the earth and the universe.
Restore Your Mind in La Gomera
Laurel forests are a type of subtropical forest which date back millions of years and the island of La Gomera is one of the few places in the world in which they still survive. Besides this, the island is renowned for its lush ravines, valleys coloured by green palm trees, black sand beaches, crystal clear waters and lush forests with springs. Along any stretch of the 650 kilometres of walking paths, ramblers discover the equanimity of being removed from the din of civilization.
Retreat Pick: The Parador de la Gomera offers retreats for tired minds with yoga, detoxes, meditation, massages, mindfulness talks and excursions. Sleep in restful rooms is provided along with food developed especially to purify the body.
Unwind in La Graciosa
The sights of a dirt track stretching off into the distance, a fisherman’s house perched above a golden cover, and miles of turquoise sea are peaceful. La Graciosa is the ideal place for silence. The smallest of the Canary Islands has around 700 inhabitants and is the perfect setting for those seeking a holiday away from the world.
Retreat Pick: Organized out of his little paradise hideaway, the retreats of Yogi José Antonio Machado (connected to Mundo Armonía Lanzarote) are a great place to discover this tiny island for the first time.
For more information please visit www.hellocanaryislands.com