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Wednesday 12 October 2011

Sluttery Travels: Huzur Vadisi, Turkey

I discovered Huzur Vadisi out of desperation. Somehow it had got to autumn and I hadn't yet been on holliday. Too much work, too many hours staring at computers, a rubbish summer and I was feeling glum. I needed somewhere to fulfil my need for sunshine and head space. My imagination wasn't running at top speed either, so an internet search later and after finding this Guardian article, I followed in the footsteps of the writer and booked the first available course at Huzur Vadisi.

Huzur Vadisi means 'peaceful valley' in Turkey and that's certainly a good summation of this beautiful place, situated near to Gocek (and a 40 minute transfer from Dalaman airport). The place hosts yoga retreats but, the yoga aside, it's a really good place to relax, think and most importantly have a good time. It's completely lacking in any of the pretension you might associate with the idea of a yoga holiday. I went on my own and found my fellow guests to be a really friendly group of British and Dutch (with one German) of all ages and abilities and ages.

Possibly one of the most exciting things about the accommodation is that you get to stay in a yurt. This is the view from my bed one sunny afternoon, looking out to the olive trees that are part of the site. Perfect for a spot of star gazing at night.

Having not done any yoga for a good few years, I found the classes stretching to say the least. We did about 3.5 hours a day under the supervision of our teacher, Hilary. I had picked the week more for the timing than the course, but they offer a wide range of style of classes and teachers through the spring, summer and autumn months.

Once the class was over we had plenty of spare time to ourselves along with plenty of things to occupy ourselves with, whether hanging out by their pool, walking in the beautiful local area, or lying in one of the hammocks, helpfully slung by each yurt. One day we took a boat trip round some of the bays in the area, swimming in fabulously blue seas. In contrast to the blissful sunshine we had for most of the week, on my very last day there was a fearsome storm - we retreated to the resort's summer house and its wood burning stove and spent the day joyous reading, cosily wrapped in blankets.

Another great attraction of Huzur Vadisi is its delicious vegetarian food. Breakfast was homemade museli, yoghurt, bread, cheese and a huge array of honeys and syrups. Lunch and dinner were generous portions of every changing vegetables and dips. There was an ever present mound of fresh mint leaves ready for fresh tea. It definitely wasn't a yogic style starvation diet. They were all served on the sunny verdana shown in the very first picture. You can even buy their own cookbook to recreate something of the experience.

I left well fed, well rested and slightly achey from all the yoga. I hope some of the complicated moves I learnt stay with me, along with some of the beauty and warmth of the Huzur Vadisi resort itself. The perfect place to lose or find yourself in.

Prices vary according to the course you take but are typically around the £600 mark for a week's retreat, including classes, accommodation and all meals. And inner peace. 


  1. It was really beautiful - blue skies and trees as far as the eye can see!

  2. I was there this autumn its gorgeous but watch out for the Turkish owner he can be a bit ardent with the yoga girls!


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