The Glenburn Tea Estate

World’s Best Retreats

The world is full of hidden surprises, perfect retreats with remarkable surroundings and great food where you can relax and recharge your batteries. Here are a few of our absolute favourites, gleaned from all corners of the globe.

The Glenburn Tea Estate is in Darjeeling in northeast India, in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. The tea estate is still working (enabling you to enjoy freshly made tea every morning) and every morning you’ll wake up to a spectacular mountain backdrop.

Best Retreats in the The Glenburn Tea Estate

flickr image by Mountain Partnership

Accommodation is in a beautiful tea bungalow, the vegetables served at mealtimes have been grown in the bungalow garden, and you can spend your days walking amongst the tea bushes, taking picnics by the river, and looking for wildlife including the elusive Bengal tiger.

Not a million miles away in Ladakh, tourists can visit the Buddhist monastery at Thiksey, high on the Tibetan Plateau but still within the confines of India. It is possible to stay in the monastery’s simple guesthouse and to join the monks every morning as they say their prayers at daybreak. You can relax with meditation and yoga sessions, or explore the nearby Hemis National Park on foot. All of the food served at the monastery is vegetarian and there is no alcohol available, so your body and mind will both be cleansed.

Visit Thiksey

flickr image by SaurabhChatterjee

In Central Asia, why not live like the nomadic locals do and take your retreat in a yurt? Lake Song Kol in Kyrgyzstan is one of the most photogenic mountain lakes in the Tian Shan range and as it is quite some drive from the nearest tarmacked road, very few foreigners come here at all. You can stay on the lake shore in a traditional felt yurt, eat home cooked meals with a family, watch them hunt, fish and care for their animals, and connect with a community whose way of life has not changed for hundreds of years and is almost untouched by the outside world.

Lake Song Kol in Kyrgyzstan

flickr image by kanglapass

Going on retreat is not necessarily without creature comforts. The cave hotels in Capadoccia, Turkey are boutique hotels cut into solid rock. Though the metres-thick walls ensure perfect quiet, and you might feel a little like a hermit when you first step through the doors, the four-poster beds and pedestal baths mean this is a treat of a retreat!

Prefer your retreat afloat? Why not consider taking a houseboat on serene Nagin Lake in Srinagar? At the northern end of the Kashmir Valley, Srinagar has often been described as heaven on earth. Nagin Lake is far quieter than neighbouring Dal Lake, and it is the perfect spot to recline of your veranda with a book in one hand and a gin and tonic in the other. You can watch the sun set across the water, the call of the muezzin faintly drifting on the breeze from afar.

Date posted: 18th August, 2017

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