The Best Silent Retreats in the World

Sitting in stillness for just a few minutes each day can help cope with stress and anxiety, live a more balanced life, stay in the present moment, reset your brain function, and enhance relationships, both with a personal relationship with oneself and with others — to name just a few of the benefits of meditation. Meditation classes in a dedicated meditation center can be the perfect place to start if you’re finding the idea of meditating on your own and having a spiritual life for the first time a little daunting. I personally use Headspace and I love it. If you’ve already been initiated and are ready to try silent retreats in Europe or beyond, yaaaassssss! If you’re college students or young people and think meditation is for old folks, you are so wrong! Many campus ministry offices actually offer silent retreats these days. Getting away from your cell phone and modern world commodities for a few days has amazing benefits for your personal growth.

meditation classes

I was sold after my first Vipassana course in Thailand and I get questions about Vipassana centers quite often. Silent retreats are available everywhere in the world and are a great way of relaxing away from stressful environments and too much noise while nurturing your mental health. I believe that experiencing a silent retreat meditation should be on everyone’s bucket list at least once in a lifetime and today I wanted to share with you the best meditation centers to experience something beautiful.

You will never regret giving yourself the gift of noble silence. And whether you pick a Vipassana or an Ignatian silent retreat (and there are many other different mindfulness retreats, but do check out Ignatian spiritual exercises here if you’re curious — the Ignatian spirituality is fascinating), know that you do not need to be a religious person for the practice of meditation and its positive effects.

If you were thinking of going with a family member or partner, I suggest doing meditation retreats alone so that you can really focus on yourself during daily practice and not have your emotional state altered by worrying about someone else. But everyone’s healing process is different. Do bear in mind that, aside from arrival day, you won’t be able to talk to other course participants.

If over 12 hours of meditation a day is a bit too daunting for you to start, do check out my yoga retreat experiences recommendations too. But know that even the best silent meditation retreats are also offered in weekend retreat formats if the thought of sitting in silence for week-long retreats scares you.

The best silent retreats in the world

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

Silent Retreat Europe

Intensive Mindful Meditation, Stress Reduction and Personal Restart Retreat in Portugal

spiritual retreats in portugal

Portugal is always a good choice for an insight meditation retreat to experience meditation sessions, listen to Dharma talk, or just for relaxing. This six-day burnout and stress reduction silent meditation retreat Europe location offered under the spiritual direction of Molinum ad Mare is a must for busy people. The retreat’s intention is to help you recognize how stress affects your life and how you can make changes to improve it. Tucked away in the peaceful Algarve, Molinum ad Mare’s surroundings will provide you with a chance to just be yourself, take long walks, and shush the amount of noise in your head. Each private room is uniquely decorated with antique furniture and panoramic views of the Algarve. You may well see me there, but don’t talk to me LOL. Not even eye contact. Even in the dining room. 😉

Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Price: n/a
Closest Airport: Faro Airport (23km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Vegan Friendly?: Upon request

Check out retreats in the Algarve!

Meditation Retreat and Individual Silence in Germany

buddhist retreat asia

Little Paradise offers an eight-day individual silent retreat Europe option for guests seeking inner peace under the direction of a spiritual director to help guide their meditation practice if you’re not quite ready to be left to your own devices. Come here to find greater focus and greater clarity in daily meetings in the meditation hall — a quiet atmosphere away from your daily lives, stressful situations, mental chatter, and unresolved issues to further discover who you are, and what you really need for your life. Complement your silent retreat and readings by Buddhist teachers with the invigorating energy from wildlife and nature.

Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Price: from $659
Closest Airport: Hamburg Airport (22km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, German
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out group retreats at Little Paradise!

3 Days Spiritual Meditation Retreat in Wales, UK

meditation retreat uk

For those of you in the UK, there are so many spiritual practices options for you in all the lush greenery — the optimal conditions for daily contemplative practice. Song of the River Retreat Sanctuary is a spiritual and meditation retreat center in Wales, and a retreat house of uniquely profound energy vortexes and the perfect escape haven. They offer three and two days of spiritual and healing meditation retreats that are not frighteningly long and the perfect initiation to a silent retreat and embracing your inner world if you haven’t got that much time. Come and connect to higher energies to increase spiritual growth in a beautiful and peaceful setting.

Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Price: from $300
Closest Airport: Liverpool John Lennon Airport (35km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

Check out retreats in Wales!

Meditation Centers in Asia

Zen Meditation Retreat in Japan

Zen Retreat Center

If you want to experience days of silence and Zen at its very origin, consider this Five Days Zen Meditation and Japanese Culture experience offered by Zen priest Yodo Kono. This Buddhist retreat Asia opportunity takes place in a 670 years old Zen Temple in the scenic town of Hiji and is part of the insight meditation society recommendations. Guests can really unplug and de-stress in the peaceful surroundings around the temple. Zen Centers retreats offer accommodation and activities like hiking to natural hot springs, Japanese food-making, and a hot spring tour at the famous Beppu City.

Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Price: from $401
Closest Airport: Fukuoka Airport (100km) & Oita Airport (24km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Languages: English, Japanese
Vegan Friendly?: Yes, it’s all vegetarian meals that can be made vegan

Check out retreats at the Zen Meditation Retreat location!

Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine

silent retreat in india

One for the yogi, come and find inner stillness away from negative thoughts at any of the excellent retreats organized by Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science. This spiritual center’s aim is to help you reconnect with yourself by improving your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health through the practice of all limbs of yoga. Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine offers daily yoga classes, methods of asana, pranayama, meditation, personal prayer guidance, Ayurveda, and retreats in the Vedic tradition, ranging from a few days to a full month.

Duration: starts at eight-day retreats
Price: From $438
Closest Airport: Delhi Airport (23km) or Dehradun Airport (15km)
Airport pick up included? No, can be organized for $25 per person
Skill Level: Beginner
Languages: English, French, German, Hindi, Russian, Sanskrit
Vegan Friendly?: Upon request

Check out retreats at Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science!

Mindfulness Meditation Retreat and Positive Self-Transformation Guide in Thailand

meditation center thailand

Nestled in picturesque Koh Lanta Thailand, Naturbliss offers an energizing mindfulness retreat for travelers seeking simplicity in their daily life, from silent prayer to mindful eating. The goal of this six-day retreat is to help you rejuvenate by reconnecting yourself to nature’s healing energy. It will also help you be present by appreciating your thoughts and emotions without judging them. The accommodation comes with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, if you still want to relax, Naturbliss also offers Thai massage, the perfect way to end a day of silence during your spiritual journey.

Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Price: from $1,693
Closest Airport: Krabi Airport (62km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Thai
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Naturbliss!

Meditation Centers in the Americas

Vinyasa Yoga and Tantra Teacher Training in Peru

mindfulness retreat in peru

Located in the culturally diverse city of Cusco Peru, Samadhi Sacred Village offers 14 days of mindfulness yoga sessions for those wishing to become a meditation teacher, through a daily schedule of practices of Tantra yoga. In this extended retreat, you will also learn Tantric cleansing Kriyas to purify your monkey mind and be focused on the present life. The program includes accommodation, food, and transportation services. Ideal for those wishing to embark on longer retreats. Peru is also a great location to take an Ayahuasca retreat, another of those amazing life experiences to go deep within.

Duration: 14 days, 13 night
Price: from $2,520
Closest Airport: Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (24km)
Airport pick up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, Spanish
Vegan Friendly?: On request

Check out retreats at Tantra!

Rejuvenating Summer Retreat in New Hampshire, USA

silent meditation retreat Europe

Meditation classes are offered across the United States and North America, but what sets this three-day spiritual retreat apart is the inclusion of music. Guests can use musical instruments like drums to let go of stress. The accommodation is set on 500 acres of the scenic countryside of Chesterfield, New Hampshire in a former monastery. Guests can enjoy swimming in the pool, hot tub, or lake. Definitely, a perfect setting to rejuvenate yourselves and get acquainted with your own minds while listening to the buddhist teachings.

Duration: 3 days, 2 night
Price: n/a
Closest Airport: Bradley International Airport (104km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: On request

Check out retreats at Marla Leigh!

Shamanism Seasonal Retreat in Ontario, Canada

meditation retreat canada

Heart Foundations of Shamanism offers four-day spiritual retreats to take a break from everyday life, dive within your inner being and contemplate your own thoughts. Each season of gatherings has a different theme, and guests can build a resilient and sustainable foundation of heart-centered living. Along this journey and spiritual practice, you’ll learn to love yourself and others. For accommodation, guests can wake up to Algonquin Park’s fresh forest air.

Duration: 4 days, 3 night
Price: $862
Closest Airport: North Bay/Jack Garland Airport (58km)
Airport pick up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly?: Yes

Check out retreats at Northern Edge Algonquin!