There’s nothing quite like the buzz of a festival, and the wellness world really knows how to throw a party. From all-vegan markets to forest raves to desert treks, there’s a variety of conferences, workshops and weekend escapes around the world. Mark your calendars and book those flights, and add these wonderful wellness festivals to your travel itinerary in 2018.
Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, Scotland (January 27-28)
Hosted at the Assembly Rooms, the Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival is here to make sure you’re sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions. They’ve invited international health and fitness speakers from a variety of backgrounds, and are hosting workshops and debates – including a discussion between Alan Lambie of Tribe Yoga and Forrest yoga teacher Finlay Wilson on what yoga type is right for you, and a talk from celebrity chef Tom Kerridge on losing weight for good. With brands and businesses like Tribe Yoga, Pure Gym and Lululemon all showing, it’s a great way to kick off a healthier 2018.
The GOOD Fest, California USA (February 3)
This one-day wellness conference in downtown LA is a space for wellness warriors to connect with like-minded people for speakers, workshops, and a fresh lunch provided by festival partner Sweetgreen. With Lauryn Evarts and Michael Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential podcast as the headlining guest speakers, yoga classes, a wellness marketplace and guilt-free closing cocktail party, it’s a full day of fitness fun.
Envison, Costa Rica (February 22-25)
If you’re looking for an escape to the tropics, look no further than Envision. Lush jungle meets beachside paradise at this artsy festival that bridges dance, performing art, and music, with a healthy dose of yoga and surfing on the side. The festival has an eco-sustainable focus with workshops on permaculture, renewables and ethical sourcing, which alongside the cultural sessions on diversity, interculturalism and collaboration, give this festival a feel-good vibe.
Beyond Sahara, Morocco (March 2-5)
Take a literal wellness journey – across the Sahara desert. If you’re feeling adventurous, travel with Beyond Sahara to an isolated oasis and spend two nights sleeping under the stars among the sand dunes. Sunset yoga, mindful meditation, sandboarding and disco dodgeball are all on the agenda, along with fireside storytelling and desert dancing. This festival is equal parts party, fitness and reflection, but it’s 100% going to leave you with incredible memories and a new perspective.
IRIS, Hong Kong (March 3-4)
Hong Kong’s favourite wellness festival returns for another all-day session of more than 60 yoga, meditation, music, arts, health and wellness workshops. The family-friendly weekend event, hosted at West Kowloon Nursery Park, features some of the biggest names in Hong Kong’s wellness community – including CompareRetreats.com’s very own wellness experts Victor Chau and Cristina Lopez McLauchlan.
WellFest, Ireland (May 12-13)
Dublin debuted WellFest in 2015, and the incredible turnout and support over the past two years means it’s back for 2018. Early-bird tickets have sold out already, but the second batch will be released soon, along with information about the venue and full lineup of yoga and pilates classes, talks on nutrition and mental health, cooking demonstrations and wellness marketplace for you to stock up on tasty (guilt-free!) treats for the summer.
Telluride Yoga Festival, Colorado USA (July 19-22)
If zenning out in the canyons of Colorado’s Telluride mountains sounds like the perfect weekend, make your way to the Telluride Yoga Festival. The four-day festival getaway offers over 100 workshops ranging from yoga and meditation to hiking and SUP yoga, as well as many free community workshops for those without festival passes. With the options of booking a luxe hotel in town, a cosy mountain cabin, or roughing it in the camping grounds, this is a festival for everybody, whatever your budget.
Wilderness Festival, UK (August 2-5)
With so many music festivals across the UK, what sets Wilderness apart is its unique, nature-focused setting in the historic Cornbury Park and its extensive wellness programming. For those who enjoy their evening dancing and festivities with a good dose of relaxation and mindfulness during the day, this is the festival for you. Enjoy mainstage music from the Two Door Cinema Club and First Aid Kit, parties in the forest with DJ sets, and all-day yoga, meditation, and pilates. With wellness talks and discussions, and outdoor activities like wild swimming, archery and wild medicine walks, there’s plenty to keep you busy the whole weekend.
Balance, The Netherlands (September 7-9)
A no-nonsense yoga festival for the Millennial wellness crowd, this long weekend in Amsterdam’s Westpark offers workshops in meditation, handstands, box HIIT and of course, yoga. Taking to the main stage to lead group workouts are some of the Boys of Yoga instructors, and along with plenty of fresh, organic and health food options, it’s an experience that’s sure to reset mind, body and soul. Balance also hosts a festival in London, taking place in May 2018.
Obonjan Creative Wellness Festival, Croatia (September, TBC)
Obonjan island has been the island destination of choice with wellness travellers for a few years now, with eco-camping accommodation, watersports and seaside spas. The Obonjan Music festival has brought some creative energy to this azure Adriatic island in 2015 and 2016, and we’ve heard rumours it may return for 2018… watch this space; you’ll know when we do.
The Bali Vegan Festival, Bali (October 5-7, 12-14)
Calling all vegans, veggies and health-conscious personnel – the Bali Vegan Festival is your essential event of the year. Now with two weekends and two locations – October 5-7 at the original Paradiso Ubud, and October 12-14 in Canggu – the festival aims to educate with expert speakers, cooking demos, and vegan product markets, while uniting communities with discussions, yoga sessions and meditation workshops. So if you’ve been looking for an excuse to head to Bali, this could the perfect time.
Wonderfruit Thailand (December 13-16)
One of the best-known wellness festivals – and with good reason – Wonderfruit has confirmed its dates for December 2018 already, and early bird sales are already over. The four-day art, music and wellness festival will be back at The Fields at Siam Country Club Pattaya, so watch this space for more tickets and lineup information.