Indoor Activities

Where to go in the Cowichan Valley for a health and wellness experience

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Swap city bustle for nature’s soundscape

The Cowichan region welcomes those seeking the tranquil embrace of the natural world. A place where health and wellness is deeply tied to vibrant coastal and forest ecosystems and the nourishing food that comes from intentionally-run family farms and small-scale producers. Its simple and grounding—a place to switch off and go slow. And for those seeking a traditional spa experience, our proprietors are ready to guide you back to relaxation through massage, facials, hot-cold therapy circuits, and yoga retreats.

Find peak relaxation with organic spa experiences

Cowichan Bay Spa invites guests to indulge in customized detoxifying facials, exfoliating and hydrating body treatments, and massages from experienced staff passionate about restoring you to optimum wellbeing. Immerse in their unique Aqua Lounge Soak experience of mineralizing salts and essential oils or reap the stress-relieving benefits of their private eucalyptus steam sauna lounge. Extend your experience by booking a stay at the adjoining Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay and drift from treatment table to the comfort of your room after dinner onsite at the Cook & Butcher.

At the peak of the Malahat, you’ll find the luxurious Villa Eyrie—a European-inspired mountainside retreat with an onsite Tuscan-style spa. Hot stone massage, marine or mud body wraps, and tailored treatments for him are topped off by a relaxation space with incredible views over the Saanich Inlet. Further north, NYÜBU shares authentic nordic spa rituals with visitors in Shawnigan Lake. Nyübu is a restorative hydrotherapy circuit in a peaceful forest setting that features a wood-fired cedar barrel sauna, cold options (plunge bath, dunk bucket, or shower—take your pick!), and a rest area with a fire, tea, and water to reset. You can rent the space for a private session for you and up to 9 friends or if you’re keen to meet some fellow wellness enthusiasts then they have a wonderful community-centric offering for just $30 per person. Dates for these are updated on their website.

Soak in the benefits of forest bathing

Beyond traditional spa practices, let curiosity guide you to experiences that further blend nature and wellness. Head to the woods to reconnect with your wildest self and the teachings of the forest—find stillness through guided nature walks and forest bathing. Leaning on Trees offers accessible private and group forest bathing, walking, and ecotherapy sessions throughout the Cowichan Valley with certified Forest Therapy guide, Brian (his pup, Yogi, will also join on request!). At Wildwood Ecoforest in Ladysmith, learn about ecoforestry principles, biodiversity, and native plants as you wander through their 83-acre forest on a guided tour. Enjoy a serene stay onsite at the Merve Wilkinson Heritage Homestead filled with distinctive woodworking craftsmanship and keep an eye out for the rare Little Brown Bat colony in flight.

Near Shawnigan Lake, nestled beside the river with its own private swimming beach and yoga space is Riversong Retreat Lodge. It offers private stays that can include yoga and meditation with onsite equipment for up to ten people, as well as frequently being the venue for retreats and wellness training workshops by external practitioners.

Self-guided nature retreats

If you’re short on time or simply prefer a self-guided excursion, enjoy the warm welcome of our local hosts at the Cowichan Valley’s farm stays and waterfront cabins, quirky yurts and cozy, countryside lodges. Refuel with nutritious, colourful plates at our cafes and restaurants or stock up at the farmer’s market from one of our 700 farms—everything from meat and vegetables to lavender and honey—to cook up a delicious dish of hyperlocal, seasonal produce in your rental accommodation. 

Reconnect breath with body and ease your mind at one of our many wellness studios, like Align Yoga at Lake Cowichan, KaliYoga at Shawnigan Lake, or the Vancouver Island Yoga School in Duncan, that offer drop-in classes like yoga, pilates, and tai chi. Or simply embark on a tranquil forest walk in our extensive trail network and finish off your Cowichan Valley health and wellness trip with deep breaths of salt air along the seashore. A visit with us is a chance to recalibrate with the simple pleasures in life: honest food that draws your focus with a burst of flavour in every bite, the vast benefits of time spent outside, the creative spark fostered by connection with our artisans. We can’t wait to welcome you.

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