10 Best Dark Retreats Around the World in 2023

Dark retreats are a unique getaway experience that calms the mind and aids the body’s natural healing process. Despite being an old healing technique with roots in history, dark retreats are still being used today and are becoming more and more popular across the globe.

What is a Dark Retreat?

Just as its name implies, a darkness retreat or a dark retreat is an extended stay in an area completely devoid of light (both artificial and natural). Dark retreats are a great approach to develop lucidity, awareness, and perception since they remove the continual barrage of stimuli and sensory input, helping to clear the mind and relax the body.

Woman practicing Yoga in the dark.

Top 10 Dark Retreats:

  • 1. Sky Cave Retreats

    Tucked away in the secluded Cascade-Siskiyou forest of southern Oregon, Sky Cave Retreats offers the ideal setting for an experience that has the potential to change people’s lives. Sky Cave enables their visitors to immerse themselves in the splendor of nature and unwind. Their private retreats offer delicious organic cuisine, alpine spring water, and a nature sanctuary that envelops you on all sides. This haven is a secure place for you to recuperate in solitude.

  • 2. Dark Retreats Africa

    This renowned retreat center is full of history and culture. According to their official website, “making rest your primary intention” is the greatest way to get the most out of your experience. Rest allows your five senses to recover from the continual overstimulation of daily life and serves as a foundation for any other activities. Explore stunning locations in complete silence under the guide of experts.

  • 3. Bliss Haven

    At Bliss Haven, you will feel catered to from the minute you walk through the door. As you get ready to take a deep dive into your own soul, take a swim in the on-site pool or in the nearby ocean. You can also spend some time exploring the lively and unique town of Mazunte. Three dim, well-ventilated, and temperature-controlled meditation rooms are available. Its shielded windows and entrance, curving walls, and simple furniture were all specifically built for this use. The result is a quiet, secure, and peaceful area for thoughtful and prolonged practice.

  • 4. Hridaya Yoga

    Located near Lyon, France, this place features just two small, dark rooms that are each roughly 25 square meters. They are designed to promote noble silence, or in simpler terms, solitude without any distractions, where you can connect deeply with oneself. The Hridaya’s acclaimed and talented crew welcomes you to customize your stay to best meet your needs, whether you can stay for just a couple of nights or several weeks at a time.

  • 5. Hermitage Retreats

    Hermitage Retreats is situated close to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This place offers a stunning view and a thoughtfully designed interior devoid of light and other sensory disturbances.

  • 6. Samyama Mindfulness Bali

    Samyama’s luxurious chambers are made to reduce outside distractions, allowing you to devote all of your attention to your inner work. Samyama focuses on total isolation and silence, and according to their website, three days at least is advised. The nightly rate includes three delicious vegan meals a day.

  • 7. Dark Retreats Oregon

    In the coastal rainforest of Oregon, find peace, solitude, sustenance, and community. This unique retreat place offers the comfort of complete darkness for time spent alone by yourself. Eliminate any extraneous elements that might be causing you harm and stress, and enjoy your non-visual sensibilities.

  • 8. Mantak Chia

    This stunning resort in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northernmost province offers a variety of classes, courses, and dark retreats. There are group meetings outside of the alone time that provide one to two hours for meditation practice, spiritual advice, and sharing journey stories with others.

  • 9. Gut Saunstorf

    At the Gut Saunstorf Monastery, a darkness retreat is an extended period of time spent alone in a completely dark environment with daily therapeutic care. During the retreat in this beautiful monastery, visitors are invited to chat with therapists in the dark room and to put their daily responsibilities on hold. The retreat’s priority is on expression in a calm atmosphere.

  • 10. Darkness Retreats Europe

    Dark Retreats provide an opportunity for visitors to de-stress in the heart of Tuscany. Their two dark rooms are located in a yoga and meditation hideaway in Tuscany, a tranquil haven tucked away in the woods far from it all but only an hour’s drive from Pisa and Florence, so guests have the option to take in the breathtaking scenery of Italy prior to or following the retreat, should they so choose.

Wrapping Up

Dark retreats are growing in popularity. Dark retreats are different from other retreats such as yoga and wellness retreats in the sense that they offer a tranquil area to explore the depths of your awareness and find comfort in solitude and darkness. Whether you are on a spiritual quest, seeking self-reflection, or just wanting to unplug from the digital world, dark retreats can be a new journey of self-exploration.

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