It’s no secret that here at House of coco we have a wanderlust like no other and maybe a slight social media addiction (but who doesn’t right?). Now don’t get it wrong we love nothing more than capturing and sharing every adventure and foodspo on Instagram, but we often need an excuse to digital detox and recharge in between va-cays. We sent travel writer Melissa to escape reality in the French Alps on behalf of AdventureYogi, and yes we had serious “zen envy”….because offline (in moderation) is the new luxury.
After a quick flight into Geneva we were greeted and collected at the airport by the Adventureyogi host’s along with the rest of the Yogi’s who had flown in from all around the globe. The two point five hour road trip through the valleys and up to the chalet was a breeze, we exchanged stories, embraced the breathtaking scenery and admired the summer vibes whilst crossing over into France.
It was love at first sight when we arrived at our new home for the week. Let me set the scene, a picturesque boutique chalet hidden amongst the hills of Saint Foy, nature at it’s finest boasting epic views of Mont Blanc. Hosting five large ensuite guest bedrooms in the main chalet and 3 extra ensuite rooms in the garden wing each named after surrounding local mountains (nice touch), our room was the Tsantaleina and it was a stones throw away from the outdoor hot tub and sauna, this came in handy after a long days hike and before an invigorating yoga class, happy days.
Bon appetit. Now there is nothing like a banquet of home cooked food and red wine to kick off a week of fun and relaxation, four courses may we add (every night). If you had chance to follow the HOC Insta story you may have seen the serious food porn we were dealing with. Will is the very talented head chef, his creative dishes of locally sourced food made into vegetarian cuisine every evening were nothing short of Michelin star worthy – seriously no crumbs left in sight. Breakfast was a continental buffet style with an array of options, the food was delicious with a capital D and only seasonal produce were used.
After a heavenly nights sleep I awoke with the birds surrounded by bliss, serenity and fresh mountain air. Ready to find out what a typical day in the heart of the Alps would involve, but first let’s yoga #TeamCoco was in for a treat. The super friendly chalet team could not do enough to make the days run smooth and make sure everyone felt right at at home. The notice board in the communal and very cosy living room provided us with daily schedules and updates which went a little like this… Morning hot lemon and water to start, followed by an energetic yoga flow, brunch fit for a king with views from the balcony, activities or treatments depending on how you feel, relaxing evening yoga to unwind and stretch out. And finally dinner….sounds like a dream right? That’s exactly how it felt, it’s no secret yoga makes you happier and healthy but mix it with all of the above and you are on cloud 9.
The yoga practice varied from hatha, vinyasa flow, ashtanga, acroyoga and partner yoga. The fabulous and very inspiring teacher Chetana was intuitive to the group and how we were feeling (or what we were not feeling) and it just worked. Levels varied and everything was beginner friendly, the Childs pose is always a good option after a full day of hiking and building up a sweat. Especially so after the first big escapade we embarked on in which we hiked a total climb of 574ms (and back down). We began through a small hamlet called L’Echaillon 1847m alt, continuing onto the beautiful village of Le Monal which sits at 1880m. We cut up through the woods, momentarily stopping at the top of a rock for the view down and the pictures just don’t do any justice may I add. We finally passed through the abandoned village of Le Clou at 2205m on our last pitch up to Lac Clou which sits at 2373m alt and looks over the Rocher Blanc hanging glaciers. Challenging,YES. Worth it? You can’t put a price on the views from the top.
So yes there is something for everyone on AdventureYogi. Whether it’s perfecting that downward dog, embarking on expeditions upon the highest of mountains, white water rafting, waking up at 5am for sunrise yoga, horse back riding, we say YES to it all. Because great things never come from comfort zones right? You are spoilt for choice with the daily activities offered but if you prefer to do nothing then stay back at the chalet and soak up the sun. It’s important to listen to your needs, even if that’s swapping your lemon water for a coffee (as I may have done a couple of days) pouring an extra glass of wine or two, go for it because who is judging?
Each day there is free transport to take you to the surrounding areas and villages of Val d’sere, Bourg St Maurice, Tignes and Saint Foy. If you don’t fancy getting your adventure hat on then shop, hit the markets, kick back in a coffee shop or taste the local delicacies. The cheese fondue is an absolute must. And just look at this hidden gem we discovered 2,600ft into the mountains of Val d’sere…boho paradise.
AdventureYogi has been running for 10 years in both the summer and the winter; starting off as 1 week per season and now they hold around 4 weeks in both summer and winter seasons. Follow this link for further details of the next retreat: goo.gl/qX97EQ.
If you are looking to runaway, escape the heavy schedule, switch off from reality and find a home away from home then this retreat is where you need to be. The good news is they are held all around from Ibiza, Sri Lanka, Morocco and even the UK.