As a wellness traveller, when I am staying in a new city I am looking for accommodation that helps me stick to my yoga practice, where I can feel at home and be close to all the buzzing action and culture, and can go and explore the local sights all whist feeling the calmness within me.
The Bed and Breakfast Valencia Mindfulness Retreat is the kind of place you discover only through recommendation, a close friend or because your Google key word search got you there. You can’t book online, you need to be invited or get in touch personally with the owners like I did. Located in the old town, in the heart of the historical district and just around the corner from Plaza Virgin you have everything on your doorstep.
It’s not your average bed and breakfast or a hotel, it’s a home, owned and managed by a lovely and extremely hospitable Dutch couple Dany and Thijs. A home where in the morning you have the option of joining in a yoga and mindfulness class at 8.00am in a bright, quiet and sunlit room where the only noise you hear is the chime of the church bells (which will also wake you in the morning so you don’t need an alarm clock).
It’s a beautiful way to start the day and set intentions for the week ahead and leaves me feeling positive and ready to take on the champagne breakfast. Everyone eats at the communal table, a social affair where you can get to know others guests from all over the world. There’s an abundance of food to tuck into. As a vegan I ate many rounds of avocado and peanut butter on freshly baked bread and lots of fresh fruit.
Valencia in itself is an excellent choice for vegans and yogis. I bought a weeks unlimited class pass from Bikram Hot Yoga whilst I was there. The class is taught in Spanish but as the series of postures is repeated if you don’t normally practice Bikram you will soon pick it up and learn some new Spanish phrases whilst you are sweating!. Check this list from the Culture Trip for more studios in Valencia.
One of the coolest areas I discovered was called Ruzafa, it has loads of nice cafes, galleries, vintage boutiques, wine bards and quirky shops. It’s got a bohemian vibe going on and it’s where the hipsters hang out. I recommend chilling at Ubik café and eating at La Tavernaire, famous for its vegan tapas. The Happy Cow is the app I simply can’t travel without, if I am in need of a pick me up juice, a healthy lunch or the looking for the best vegan restaurant in town it will tell me what’s in the area and you can leave a review and help other people to discover these places.
I didn’t need to have an itinerary planned out before I got there as Dany and Thijs know all the sites worth visiting, and have got plenty of inside knowledge between them of the local places and hidden gems that you won’t find in a guide book.
With a five star rating on Tripadvisor, the reviews speak for themselves. Go in the spring or summer months when the sun doesn’t stop shining and make sure you book ahead. And if you are not satisified with your stay, they’ll even give you your money back after the first night. For yoga teachers looking for a place to rent for your retreat, this can also be organised.