Mindful Travel Retreats

morocco middle east north africa yoga retreat

My retreats emphasize meaningful cultural immersion & mindful travel. Restorative yoga and mindfulness practices provide the ground as we connect, discover and expand.

All of my retreats give back to local charities that empower women and girls.

Mindful Travel Retreat Model

My retreats are much more than just a vacation. If you’re looking for something deeper, more adventurous, and more purposeful, you’ve come to the right place.

Together, we will have awesome adventures while also learning to build resilience. We will explore what it means to be a good traveler and take time each day to care for our bodies and minds.

Cultural immersion is the centerpiece of my trips while daily movement and mindfulness sessions create the container to process our travels and build community.

I fell in love with the Middle East and North Africa when I moved to Turkey 15 years ago and have been obsessed with sharing it ever since. I hope to empower you to see a part of the world you might not otherwise see and share practices that help you feel composed, connected, and inspired.

Explore + Restore Practice

Discover Explore & Restore: Gentle Yoga for Mindful Travelers, a proprietary practice exclusively offered through Nicole Griffin Wellness retreats.

Immerse yourself in the art of mindful travel as we seamlessly blend daily adventures with the restorative power of gentle yoga. 

Experience the transformative magic of our Explore & Restore practice, where each session gently guides you towards inner peace, enhanced self-awareness, and a deeper connection to your surroundings. 

This unique approach creates an inspiring and nurturing environment, allowing you to cultivate mindfulness, reduce stress, and release tension, leaving you feeling grounded and revitalized. 
Step into your truest self, one mindful adventure at a time, with our intentional and exclusive retreats.

As the mastermind behind the Explore & Restore technique, Nicole combines her extensive expertise as a yoga and mindfulness teacher and intrepid traveler to craft intentional daily practices that nurture both body and soul, offering travelers an enriching and life-changing experience like no other.

With a deep care for curating meaningful travel adventures and her unique blend of mindfulness, cultural immersion, and wellness, Nicole has developed an unparalleled practice that you can only experience on her retreats.

What is Mindful Travel?

Mindful travel encompasses how we engage with the places we are visiting and how well we are able to maintain composure within ourselves.

When traveling mindfully, we are curious, open-minded, and intentional with our interactions. We make sustainable choices and spend money in ways that benefit local communities and people. We also seek opportunities to meet people and have conversations so that we can deeply learn about the places we visit.

Additionally, we seek to maintain composure within ourselves while traveling outside of our comfort zone. We do this by incorporating simple mindfulness practices like breath awareness, pausing before responding, building rest into our itineraries, and always considering the larger view.

I wrote a blog post about mindful travel that you can read here.

“This retreat exceeded expectations for its combination of culture and yoga. Each day was constructed to accommodate a great deal of activity with yoga to complement. I hope to join Nicole someday again!”

Sondra A

Why the Middle East & North Africa?

I have lived and studied abroad in four MENA countries (Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon). Over the years, I have fallen in love with the region and have found it to be consistently hospitable, endlessly fascinating, and strikingly beautiful.

Through my nearly 15 years of travel to the MENA region, I have developed a lot of mindful travel skills and strategies. I feel a kindred connection to this corner of the world and am passionate about sharing it with others.

Why Retreats in The Middle East & North Africa?

My retreats are an opportunity to really put your yoga in action. Our daily practices serve as a container for the overall travel experience. Here, we learn skills that we can take with us off the mat, building resilience, mindfulness, and intention. Practices include breathwork, guided meditations, movement, and space to rest and integrate.

My retreats are unique and special and tend to attract people who are looking for something a little different. Expect to meet a diverse range of real people, gain an intimate understanding of history, culture, and humanity, and leave feeling connected, grounded, and inspired.

If you are an adventurous, curious traveler, I’d love for you to check out my upcoming cultural retreats and reach out to connect!

I wrote a blog post about Mindful Middle East Travel that you can read here.

“The Moroccan retreat with Nicole was the experience of a lifetime. It was well thought out and guided I loved every minute and had so much fun and am so happy I took the opportunity to do it! Would love to do it again.”

Elda S
Nzala Embroidery Cooperative in Morocco

Women’s Empowerment in the Middle East & North Africa

My yoga retreats are designed to give back. Each retreat includes opportunities to engage with local nonprofits that are working to empower women. We might visit a local school or women’s shelter, learn about how refugees are being supported, or meet women from rural areas who are pursuing a college education. In addition, at the end of each retreat, a portion of the proceeds is donated to support the nonprofits we interacted with.

Morocco Mindful Travel Retreat: March 16-23, 2024

Embark on an unforgettable journey and immerse yourself in the art of mindful travel as we seamlessly blend daily adventures with the restorative power of gentle yoga. This retreat will be hosted at Bab Zouina and there will be an optional Sahara Desert extension trip from March 23-27, 2024.

This retreat will benefit the Douar Sbiti Association and Education for All Morocco.

Turkey Mindful Travel Retreat: April 22-30, 2024

Nicole lived in Turkey as an undergraduate while she was studying Islamic Art History and fell in love with the country. Her Turkey yoga retreat has been expertly and thoughtfully curated to showcase Turkey’s rich cultural and geographic diversity.  

Our Turkish retreat will be split between Istanbul and Cappadocia and will be re-launched soon!

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Before we depart, I will send you detailed information about what to expect and what to bring. In short, plan for warm days and cooler nights. Light layers are the best way to go. In more conservative areas, modest dress is most respectful. The only time you might want to cover your hair is if you go inside a mosque, otherwise, you do not need to.

While a basic level of yoga experience will be very helpful, all practices will be accessible and inclusive to everyone. You do not need to be a seasoned yogi to join my trips, you just have to be open-minded and willing to learn. Our calming yoga sessions will include relaxing yoga postures, mindful movement, yoga poses for stress relief and insomnia, as well as gentle yoga practices that build resilience.

Our daily practices will be a fusion of gentle yoga, mindful movement, qi gong, Ayurveda, and therapeutics. Generally speaking, the morning practices are more mindful movement yoga and the evening practices are more restful, relaxing, and calming yoga. As a teacher, I am more interested in mindfulness, embodiment, balance, and resilience than I am in alignment and “advanced” poses.

Curious, intrepid, easy-going travelers who are looking for a special and unique travel experience. My yoga retreats attract all kinds of awesome, interesting people from many different backgrounds. The common ground tends to be a seeking nature, an adventurous spirit, and a desire to dive deeper and travel better with the support of a like-hearted community.

Yes! I can connect you with a professional travel agent who can assist you with making your travel arrangements.

I have found Squaremouth to be very helpful for shopping for travel insurance (as well as for learning more about different coverage options). From what I have seen, there have been some limitations for travel insurance coverage due to the Covid-19. Be sure to look into Cancel for Any Reason coverage, which should cover you in the event that you feel unsafe or uncomfortable traveling and would allow you to have additional flexibility. The cost of travel insurance varies per selected feature and depends on the overall value of your trip. I would budget at least $150-$300, but definitely do some homework to see what will work best for you!

Yes! When you book, you will fill out a questionnaire that includes questions about food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Absolutely! Yoga retreats are the perfect travel groups for singles. Many people book retreats alone, it is a great opportunity to meet like-hearted, new people. You can also book with a friend or partner, totally up to you.

For the most part, I lead retreats in countries that I have lived in and know well. I spend between 12-24 months planning each retreat before it launches and consider every small detail with a tremendous amount of care. I also consult friends and colleagues I have in the region throughout the planning process.

The Middle East is a diverse and dynamic part of the world. For the most part, yes, Middle East travel is safe, although, active conflict zones should be avoided. Helpful resources to consult include the US Department of State, the CDC, and Gov.UK.

It depends on what you want to see! If you Google this question, Jordan will probably be the answer you see the most. This is largely due to its political stability, tourist infrastructure, and English fluency. However, each country in the MENA region is unique and worthy of your consideration. Morocco is a great place to start as is Turkey, and from there, the world of awesome Middle East vacations is your oyster!

At this point, unfortunately not, but I hope to be able to offer both in the future, so please do stay tuned!

Social impact travel is travel that seeks to give back and have a lighter footprint. Social impact travel asks you to be aware of how things are all connected, to make choices that have a positive impact on the people and world around you, and to travel with a purpose. I have linked some great articles about mindful travel and social impact travel on my Resources page.

Oftentimes, I have been following them for a while before I decide to work with them. I also rely on insights from friends who live in the countries where the charities are based. While there are so many incredible charities out there, I choose to work with organizations that work to empower women and girls in the MENA region.