The Wellness-First Festivals to Visit this Year

Want music and wellness beneath the peachy-pink cliffs of Albania? Yoga backdropped by Arizona’s red-rock canyons? These are the boutique festivals we can’t wait to visit in 2023

Forget the days of sleeping bags and sodden tents. Boutique festivals are putting fitness first, with a solid selection of wellness-led activities: think beach massages and guided meditation under peachy-pink Albanian cliffs; cold-exposure therapies and crystal healing at a whitewashed Greek hangout; sunrise yoga sessions backdropped by the coral canyons of Arizona; and lake-filtered water systems and jungle chill-out-zones in Southeast Asia. Whether you're seeking a one-day retreat or a pleasure-packed week of fun, we've found the forward-thinking festivals that are balancing health and hedonism - one workout and cocktail at a time.

Seven seriously cool fitness-first festivals to bookmark

LoveFit Festival, Lake

LoveFit Festival

Kent, UK

A festival that brings all of our favourite London fitness studios to one place? Our gymwear is practically walking itself out the door. Just an hour's drive outside the capital, LoveFit Festival sees the likes of Kobox, Gymbox and Farm Fitness (to name but a few) head to the Kent countryside for a three-day heart-pumping extravaganza featuring core-building sessions, challenging climbs, obstacle courses, water-based pursuits and panel talks led by some of the biggest names in the fitness game. And the fun doesn't stop there. After dark, there are boutique parties with live DJ sets, hot tub sessions and dance dens filled with free-spirited crowds cutting shapes beneath the starry night sky. Bring your own yurt - it's a DIY camping situation.

When: 14-16 July 2023
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Sedona Yoga Festival

Sedona Yoga Festival

Arizona, US

If there's one destination that screams rest and relaxation, it's the coral canyons and cacti-studded terrain of Arizona. This spring, Sedona will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Sedona Yoga Festival, a four-day spiritual yogic journey following Thai, Yamas, Hatha and Kundalini practices. Sessions will draw local healers and guides to the dramatic red rocks, where the focus is on breathwork and connecting mind to body. Sure, this might not be the top choice for party people, but foodies will enjoy the veggie, vegan, keto and organic offerings on the table. When it comes to accommodation, it's over to Mii Amo for a state-of-the-art spa and bedrooms showcasing soaring vistas of the rippling Boynton Canyon - astrology and Ayurverdic massage sessions are also available on request.

When: 27-30 April 2023
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Wonderfruit Festival


Pattaya, Thailand

Looking for living proof that wellness-first festivals are nothing short of a blissful, soul-feeding experience? You'll find plenty at Wonderfruit. Located just under a two-hour drive south of Bangkok in the rolling hills of the Siam Country Club, this boutique festival has been injecting a dose of healthy hedonism into Southeast Asia since 2014. While we love the round-the-clock music, wellness workshops, on-site organic farm, jungle chill-out-zones and healing village offering massages and sound baths, it's the festival's commitment to a green and clean existence we can't get enough of - all reclaimed materials, no single-use plastics, a lake-filtered water system and quirky stages crafted from rice parcels that are later donated to the community. When hunger hits? There are enough street-food stalls to keep you feasting from dusk till dawn: think herb-drizzled kebabs, four-cheese beef burgers, wood-fired pizzas, guacamole-stuffed tacos and poke bowls on tap.

When: 2023 dates TBC - check website for updates
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PACE at Peligoni, Meditation

PACE at The Peligoni Club

Zakynthos, Greece

Resting in the foothills of northern Zakynthos, the members-only Peligoni Club is a family-run affair offering a rustic-chic, whitewashed hangout with crowd-pleasing bars, sea-facing restaurants and enough fitness facilities to satisfy the hungriest of HIIT junkies. It's the club's PACE week that we think you'll love, when crystal healing sessions, cold-exposure therapies, mindfulness and yoga coaching from industry gurus, creative workshops, resident DJ takeovers, guided watersports and health-infused feasts whipped up by guest chefs take place across five sun-drenched days. And when it comes to rest and relaxation? The restored farmhouse cottages complete with cushioned outdoor seating areas, large open-plan kitchens and Greek-chic bedrooms await.

When: 22-26 May & 2-6 October 2023
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Wanderlust Festival, Valley
Photo credit: Chris Eckhert

Wanderlust Festival

Bucharest, Romania

Those who know their downward dog from their child's pose will be quick to tell you that Wanderlust is a pioneer of the whole mindfulness trend. With its first wellness event appearing in Cali back in 2009, it today hosts iconic one- and four-day festivals across the globe. It's the one-day festival in Romania we suggest you make tracks for, where yoga sessions, veggie-stuffed refuels, meditation workshops and live playlists courtesy of composer and instrumentalist Arthur Pasecinic will help you find your inner Zen. It's worth noting that the day will be taught in Romanian: if you can't spare the extra hours on Duolingo, keep your eyes peeled for Wanderlust's Battersea Park takeover later this summer instead.

When: 26 March 2023
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SoulCircus, Cotswolds

Soul Circus

Cotswolds, UK

It's a well-known fact that anything with the word "circus" in its name makes for a fun-filled adventure. Case in point? The Cotswolds' achingly cool Soul Circus, dreamed up by free-spirited duo Roman and Ella Wroath. Balancing health with hedonism, festivalgoers are encouraged to attend sunrise yoga sessions, midday dance parties and hardcore HIIT sessions, before rewarding themselves with a fruity cocktail and boogie come sunset. If that doesn't sound appealing enough, the hot yoga tipi and sound tipi, burlesque classes, gin-tasting tours, breathpods and bong classes will surely keep you entertained. There's a lakeside spa armed with a sauna, hot tubs and a stellar treatment menu, too. The vibe? All fairy-lights, haystack seats and pin-striped deck chairs.

When: 17-20 August 2023
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Kala Festival, Albania

Kala Festival

Dhërmi, Albania

Separated from Italy's heel by the Ionian Sea, the low-key Balkan town of Dhërmi is sending a siren call to Europe's pleasure-seekers: kick-start your summer with an eclectic mix of music and wellness at Kala Festival. Taking place on the Albanian Riviera, the boutique event offers yoga classes, gong baths, meditation sessions, beach massages and a fair few live music events, too. Dhërmi's striking natural landscape rivals that of its Mediterranean neighbours, so we'd highly recommend extending your stay and exploring beaches hidden under peachy-pink cliffs and hiking up the mighty Mount Çika after your long, hot week of fun.

When: 31 May - 7 June 2023
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