They're the people who know us best, who coach us through breakups and promotions, and who will answer our text messages at any hour, yet with our busy schedules, it can be hard to sync with close girlfriends for anything beyond a cup of coffee. If you can't remember the last time you properly caught up with your other S.O.s, ditch café catch-ups and joint gym sessions and schedule a mini escape.
From a yoga retreat in Havana to a farm-to-table experience in Tennessee, we've tracked down five unique getaways for any type of friendship. Just choose a vacation theme—a health kick, a vino vacation, a tech detox, a gourmet getaway, or a yoga retreat—and block out time on your calendar. The best bit? Many of these retreats take care of the accommodation, activities, and meals, leaving you free to kick back with your friends and make up for lost time. Have we convinced you? Tag a friend and clear your calendar. It's vacation time.
Who: Looking for a wellness escape that doesn't involve marathon-grade training? You don't even have to be a regular yogi to join Yoga for Bad People, a retreat tailored to people who want to escape their 9-to-5 and redeem unhealthy habits with a week of yoga and meditation.
Where: Yoga for Bad People holds regular retreats around the world, but our pick is the program in Havana, which runs from December 4–10. Can't wait that long? There are also programs in Croatia, Costa Rica, and Montana in the meantime.
What: This seven-day retreat includes daily yoga and meditation classes, local guided tours of Havana, hotel accommodation, and Cuban cuisine. In other words, all you and your girlfriends have to do is a book a flight.
PERFECT YOUR POSE:
Who: If you and your friends usually catch up over a glass of wine rather than at the gym, this retreat is for you.
Where: Nestled among grapevines and olive groves in the Tuscan countryside, Castello di Potentino is a wellness-meets–wine escape situated in a medieval castle in Italy (yes, really).
What: Set aside five days to sample Italian wine, become a pasta connoisseur, and redeem yourself with yoga classes by the castle's outdoor pool. The retreat is the brainchild of Emily O'Hare, the famous former head sommelier of London's Michelin-starred River Cafe. By the end, you and your friends will receive a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 wine certification—yes, you can officially say you're a vino pro.
Who: If you talk to your besties more via text message, Facebook, or Snapchat than in real life, it's time to schedule some face time (not FaceTime).
Where: Jacada Travel Detox Safari takes digital detoxing to the extreme, offering a tech-free escape amid the African wilderness in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
What: Unplug from everyday life at Singita Explore Tented Camp, a five-star mobile camp that features billowing, luxury tents, an on-site chef, and private safari tours of the park.
Who: Looking for a short-haul escape where you can catch up with your closest friends over fresh farm-to-table cuisine? Blackberry Farm should be at the top of your list.
Where: Located in the foothills of Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountain, Blackberry Farm sprawls across 4200 acres of private gardens, vegetable patches, and mist-covered lakes.
What: Spend the day wandering the property grounds and foraging for fresh, seasonal produce; then return for a guided cooking lesson by in-house chefs Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers. If you're planning to extend your stay beyond a weekend, there's also a spa, a cheese-tasting course, and truffle-hunting on offer.
RELAX & UNWIND
Who: If you won't book a hotel without checking if it has a gym and love to debrief your friends during a jog, this fitness escape could be just the thing.
Where: Mile-High Run Club is an annual marathon retreat that winds through the breathtaking Icelandic countryside.
What: Looking for a challenge? This is it. Bond with your besties during this 11-day itinerary, which kicks off August 18. The adventure includes guided runs through Thórsmörk National Park, accommodations overlooking the glaciers at Skaftafell, and a well-deserved soak in the iconic Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. First-time gym-goers need not apply.