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Best Places in Europe for Yoga Enthusiasts

Europe's Best Destinations for Yoga © Pexels, Chevanon Photography

We’re not going to pretend to be yoga experts here at In Your Pocket. That would be disingenuous, and we’ve built an entire travel guide empire on being as genuine as possible. Let’s just say it would be off-brand. Ironically, our position as relative yoga amateurs makes us perfect for judging yoga around Europe as we approach the subject with fresh eyes and creaking limbs. Yoga is growing on every corner of the continent, from Iceland to Istanbul and Latvia to Lisbon, with various styles and settings available. Looking for some yoga this summer? Pack your stretchies, book your flights, and get ready for serenity.

Santorini, Greece

The rooftops of Santorini are a yoga enthusiasts dream © Pixabay

For obvious reasons, Santorini is a bucket list fixture, although yoga might not be the first thing that jumps to mind. The blue roofs, white-washed buildings, the dazzling sea, those are the main pulling points of the most famous Cyclades island, but all of those attributes make for a true yoga playground. Santorini has become one of the great yoga destinations of the world, with a conveyor belt of Instagram-approved attractive young people taking to its beaches in a slow-motion blur of affirmations, but don’t let our cynicism put you off. If you’re looking for the perfect European yoga spot, Santorini is in the discussion.

Bohinj, Slovenia

Yoga near Bohinj, Slovenia © Pexels, Thiago

Insert the generic line about Bohinj being preferred to Bled here; we’re a little bit over the comparison, to be honest. Both are magnificent lakes deserving of all the attention, with Bohinj taking the spoils if you are after activities. There are plenty of gorgeous spots for yoga in and around the lake as Bohinj becomes a destination increasingly focused on the sustainability of business and body. SUP (standup paddleboarding) yoga is increasingly popular in these parts, so get out on the waters for your stretches before retiring to the wellness brilliance of ECO Hotel Bohinj.

Tuscany, Italy

This photo was actually taken in Romania, but if Hollywood can use Romania as a more budget-friendly stand-in for Tuscany, so can we, right? It’s also your token male for this yoga article © Pexels, Zsolt Joo

We think we’ve worked this one out. Initially, dragging yourself away from the magnificent vineyards of Tuscany seems nigh on impossible, although we offer a compromise. If you enjoy a yoga session before hitting the vineyards, you can justify the alcohol. That’s how it works, right? It might be a stretch (pun intended), but the famous undulating hills of Tuscany are the perfect backdrop for morning yoga. There are many yoga retreats in the Italian region, some of which combine yoga with pilates to cover all the bases and provide even more impetus for the wine. Go on, you deserve it.

Reykjavik, Iceland

© Pexels, Chermiti Mohamed

Just when you thought Iceland couldn’t get any more hipster-friendly, here it comes with its excellent yoga setting. In many ways, Iceland is your ex-partner’s new lover, infinitely better looking, more productive, more professional, yet quirkier and funnier than anyone should be. What? Yes, yoga in Iceland. Icelanders are among the healthiest people on the planet, and while an abundance of fresh foods and fresh air help, yoga’s growing popularity is another reason. A broad range of yoga variations have taken hold in Iceland, everything from cold yoga to bungee yoga, and the country is becoming an increasingly popular spot for tailored yoga retreats. Also, yes, yoga in Icelandic nature is on offer.

Barcelona, Spain

© Pexels, RF Studio

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most magnetic destinations, a thrilling city brimming with history, culture, entertainment, and delicious, delicious food. The Catalonian capital is also one of the most popular yoga destinations on the continent, although that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. From yoga on the beach to stretching in the mountains, Barcelona ticks a lot of boxes. There are also plenty of studios and schools in the city proper, if you’re looking for something a little more formal.

Berlin, Germany

Berliners never miss a chance to mix their daily wellness routine with a little avant garde performance art © Pexels, Cottonbro Studio

Sticking with the obvious, Berlin is another wildly popular city for yoga devotees. Can “yoga” and “wild” be used in the same sentence? We’re not entirely sure, but the German capital has long attracted a wide range of lifestyles and desires. Yoga has been a big deal here for decades, and the yoga offered in the city has been likened to its nightlife. Because of the variety on offer, not the raucous, all-night nature of it, although 24-hour yoga is surely available here. Many styles of yoga are practiced in Berlin, from Ashtanga to Vinyasa and beyond. 

Vis, Croatia

© Pexels, Andrea Piacquadio

Yoga in Croatia hasn’t quite taken off as some expected it might, but that could also be a blessing in disguise. There are a handful of yoga options on the country’s mass of islands, with Vis the standout. The island benefits from a slower pace than that found on Hvar, Korčula, and the rest, and it has become a popular yoga retreat as a result. Integrity is king on Vis, keeping the island’s streets calm and creating the perfect environment for serene stretching by the sea.

London, England

Our ankle hurts just looking at this photo © Pexels, Elina Fairytale

From a tranquil island to a chaotic metropolis and serene seas to packed streets. London is a busy place, so the opportunity to enjoy some meditative exercise takes on a greater importance. The English capital is packed with yoga studios and schools for everyone, from beginners to veterans, as converts of all shapes and sizes dig in search of the beauty of bending. There are also occasional outdoor classes during summer, although “summer” and “London” might as well be antonyms. We joke, we joke. (We do not joke).

Nøsen, Norway

This is more meditation than yoga, and there’s almost certainly a queue of literally hundreds of people waiting behind this lady for their 15 seconds of photo-op, but don’t let that distract you from your relaxation © Pexels, Noelle Otto

Set more than 130 miles north of Oslo, Nøsen is an expertly curated yoga retreat in a quite magnificent setting. The story of the Fjellhotell goes back to 1888, but its second life as a yoga hotspot (cold spot?) began in 2015 under the watchful eye of Alexander Medin. The hotel is 906m above sea level, surrounded by lakes and mountains that help cleanse the lungs and reinvigorate the soul. The Norwegian language has a special word for spending time getting acquainted with nature (friluftsliv, if you were wondering), and yoga is the perfect way to dive in with both feet.

Poznań, Poland

And a little sunset acroyoga to conclude things © Pixabay

Yoga has a long history of popularity in Poland, a history that began in 1909 with the publication of “Rozwój Potęgi Woli Przez Psychofizyczne Ćwiczenia Według Dawnych Aryjskich Tradycji Oraz Własnych Swoich Doświadczeń Podaje do Użytku Rodaków Wincenty Lutosławski.” Yeah, that was the full title. That is “Development of Willpower through Psycho-physical Exercises According to Ancient Aryan Traditions as Well as My Own Experiences I, Wincenty Lutosławski, Give to My Countrymen,” to be exact, as Wincenty looked to find ways to deal with his physical and mental struggles. Yoga-style poses were the key, and the tradition continues nationwide. We’re giving the nod here to Poznań, thanks to its pioneering Yoga Academy and willingness to embrace innovation on every level. 

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