It was way back in March when I spotted an all-inclusive package deal to a yoga retreat in the Romanian mountains. I fired through the details to Andrew and luckily he didn’t need too much convincing as we both were looking for a trip with a bit of a difference. We have now done a few weekend ‘city breaks’ and while they are great, they can also be a bit exhausting.
So back in October off we went to Romania and were whisked away into the Transylvanian countryside to Akasha Wellness Retreat. Upon arrival in the evening we were introduced to the lovely mother and daughter duo that run the place, as well as the instructors and other guests. Everyone was super nice, down-to-earth, and not as ‘hippy’ as one might expect. We sat down to our first plant-based meal of our stay and were happy to switch-off for the weekend ahead.
On the first morning we got the first proper look at our surroundings (having arrived in the dark the previous night) and were blown away by the mountain ranges, painted with an array of autumn colours.
The retreat runs two daily yoga sessions, one before breakfast which is a flow style and then another before dinner which is a more of a restorative/yin format. The yoga is totally optional but it’s part of the whole experience. During the day we had time to ourselves to either explore the area or simply find a sunny spot and curl up with a book. Organic, plant-based, gluten-free and sugar-free food is also a huge part of the Akasha philosophy. The entire menu, which was varied, and totally delicious has been designed by a Doctor (and close relative of the owners). Akasha is also resident to five rescue dogs – all characters – especially Tony!
The Retreat is set in the quiet, small village of Pestera where the locals live simple lives. We enjoyed the peace and quiet here while exploring the mountains and forest nearby and even made a friend in an enormous black beast of a dog who followed us for a good 20 minutes.
During our third day Andrew and I hiked the 8kms down to the town of Bran – most famously known for Bran Castle – the national monument and landmark in Romania. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” this small town draws in loads of tourists and it was especially busy when we visited as it was nearing Halloween.
Our roadtrip from Bucharest into the mountains of Pestera felt like we had stepped back in time, with numerous horse-drawn carts bustling alongside the busy highways and locals selling their fresh flowers and produce from their front yards. While we didn’t get to explore a lot of Romania itself, we enjoyed taking an actual holiday where we were able to switch off and enjoy some downtime – a no stress and hassle-free trip.