Yoga Adventure on Crete

  • Inner Adventure Travel Inner Adventure Travel
  • Crete, Greece
  • Oct 6 - 14, 2019 (9 days)
  • $1,500.00 - Program cost. Shared room, per person, garden view. rooms have private bathroom and fully stocked kitchenette. Please note: Shared rooms on this retreat are only available to people who know each other and choose to share as the bed sizes in

About This Event

 

Yoga, Nature, History, and Culture.

This retreat provides an opportunity to immerse in yoga practice, enjoy the unique landscape and beauty of Eastern Crete, soak in the atmosphere of this ancient Minoan land, and connect with Cretan culture through learning traditional cooking, olive, honey, and herb lore, and dance!

In these nine days you will have time for all this as well as for soaking up the mediterranean sun, swimming in the sea, resting, reading, and relaxing.

Kato Zakros is the site of an ancient Minoan palace. It is located on a beautiful bay at the end of the road, eight kilometers from the small town of Zakros. There are a handful of guesthouses and tavernas, and plenty of nature, olive and fruit orchards, gorges, beaches, and atmosphere. Ruined remains of Kato Zakros Palace and an entry to the Gorge of the Dead are just a five minute walk from our venue. The sea is a few minutes beyond that.

The energy of human ancestry and a culture that honored feminine strength and the earth is palpable here. There is time on this adventure to just be, with that.

Stella’s Traditional Studios has been welcoming guests for ten years. They are comfortable stone studios, some facing the beautiful courtyards and gardens, and some facing the sea. Each studio has a kitchenette and private bathroom with a shower. Laundry service is offered on site.

There are eight studios available to us, some of which have two beds. Sharing is possible amongst friends or partners who choose to share and will bring the cost down a bit. (I am not arranging sharing with people who don’t know each other. The room set up is not ideal for that).

The retreat will happen with eight people minimum, twelve people maximum.

Being Yoga with Trishna is authentic Yoga with a strong flow element.

This retreat is open to all levels of practice. We will warm into meditation, physical, and esoteric practices over time. Practices will be offered with gradations of challenge and students are encouraged to work in a way that feels good for each of them.

Subtle classical practices with breath and meditation are combined with some innovative approaches for a deeply

nourishing and revitalizing experience. Steady practice on retreat is conducive to self-discovery, self-reflection, and personal transformation.

Yoga classes will be held on the rooftop garden at Stella’s. The floor is flat laid concrete. The roof is grape and bouganvillea vine, and the sky.

Yoga mats, blankets, and blocks are provided.

During our nine days of retreat, along with a daily yoga practice, we will have the guidance of Stella Ailamaki in traditional Cretan Dance! Another group event is a cooking lesson with Thespina, Stella’s mother. She invites us to harvest produce from her garden and prepare local specialities such as stuffed zuchini flowers and vine leaves and other traditional local cuisine. We will spend a day in the mountains touring a traditional Herb farm and exploring the mountain villages. We will hike the Gorge of the Dead which is known for its caves where Ancient Minoan remains have been found. The beaches at Kato Zakros are lovely. We will go to Xerokampos’ long white sand beach as well, which is about 25 minutes from Kato Zakros by car.

Optional outings will include a half day boat tour. The cost for this is not included in the retreat and is dependent on conditions on the water.

At Stella’s there is a common open kitchen for our group to use as well as each studio having it’s own small kitchen.

We will have plenty of supplies for self catering breakfasts as well as vegetarian soups, dips and salads. Retreatants may choose to have a simple meal at our venue, or enjoy the seaside tavernas which provide a good array of seafood, wines, and more. Foods provided at Stella’s are included in the cost of the retreat. Meals at the tavernas are not, so you’ll want to budget for those. The retreat cost does include dinners at the taverna on the first and last nights, as well as lunches that are part of two of our cultural events.

Travel to this location is an adventure in itself and will take some planning. Please feel free to contact Trishna with any questions. Kato Zakros is 1 hour drive from the nearest airport and ferry port at Sitia and three hours drive from the main airport and ferry port at Heraklion. (Flights and ferries to Heraklion are very frequent each day. Also, the archeological museum there is a must see. I strongly reccommend that folks go before the retreat!).


A review from Aine, who attended the 2018 Crete Retreat

YOGA RETREAT ON CRETE!!!

I’m gonna be honest.  I initially chose this retreat because Greece was on my bucket list and I wanted a break from my husband and kids.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into, because I was not prepared to fall so deeply in love: with the culture in Kato Zakros, the people, the food, the dance, Stella (the hostess of the apartments where the retreat is held), Trishna‘s yoga style!  All of it.  It was way more than a yoga retreat where we just go do yoga in a pretty location.  I fell in love with this place and this retreat so hard, I am going back as often as I can.

Basically, I want to tell you all about this yoga adventure, but it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime types of experiences in a land not very sullied by too much tourism that I actually DON’T want to tell you all about it.  It was that magical.  But I will, because it is not nice to hoard experiences like this for those of you who want it. Trishna created a perfect blend of yoga practice and cultural exchange.  It was a full-on cultural experience.  We had daily practice, sometimes twice daily.  In addition, we did an educational walk in a local herb garden followed by the most amazing home cooked local cuisine, then followed by a total surprise walk to some ancient local ruins…a village with a 4/500 year old well and castles that you could walk through and touch.  We had dancing lessons. (Optional if you are not a dancer, but be prepared to get sucked in because Greek dance is very simple and soooo fun).  We attended a local street festival and partied the Greek way.  We learned all about the local olive oil farms and the farmers’ fight to create more sustainable practices from their ancient family business that go back generations (not to mention, the olive oil AND the honey from these places…oralgasmic!)  All of this happened in the dramatic backdrop of one of the most ancient civilizations, the Minoans, an ancient matriarchal society who once inhabited Crete.

 

Another true confession:  I have historically pretty much done yoga mostly for a workout and not a spiritual practice because that has just worked for me.  But, Trishna‘s teaching style blew me away, she is so knowledgable.    The way Trishna teaches is so simple yet so deeply refreshing, I could not help but connect with a deeper part of the practice, because, simply put, Trishna‘s way of being combined with her vast wealth of knowledge naturally invited me in that way and I was drawn.  All against the backdrop and energy of an island that is so connected to their ancient, Goddess worshipping roots.  We strolled through ruins of ancient cities and Queens’ palaces, hiked through a gorge with caves where the Minoans buried their dead (and baby goats jumped in our path!!!).  Pure heaven.

The apartments where the retreat is held look like King’s Landing (for you Game of Thrones fans), and the town that it is in feels like it is set back about 10-15 years. Dramatic mountains and cerulean beaches.  Slower pace, super friendly locals, the most amazing meals you will eat that were caught or harvested that day, locals singing and playing music in the tavernas by the sea at night.  Oh yeah, and the Mediterranean on this side of the island, so gorgeous.  Opening your eyes underwater feels like opening your eyes in a swimming pool.  The Greeks are one of those people who just treat you like family.

So yeah, like I said, I am reluctant to tell you all this because when an experience is this magical, part of me wants to be selfish and keep it all to myself.  If you want a true “inner adventure”, this is the retreat that offers that all and more.  Don’t go, I want to keep it all to myself …but really, will I see you there next year?  Because I am going back.



A review from Aine, who attended the 2018 Crete Retreat YOGA RETREAT ON CRETE!!! I’m gonna be honest. I initially chose this retreat because Greece was on my bucket list and I wanted a break from my husband and kids. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, because I was not prepared to fall so deeply in love: with the culture in Kato Zakros, the people, the food, the dance, Stella (the hostess of the apartments where the retreat is held), Trishna‘s yoga style! All of it. It was way more than a yoga retreat where we just go do yoga in a pretty location. I fell in love with this place and this retreat so hard, I am going back as often as I can. Basically, I want to tell you all about this yoga adventure, but it is one of those once-in-a-lifetime types of experiences in a land not very sullied by too much tourism that I actually DON’T want to tell you all about it. It was that magical. But I will, because it is not nice to hoard experiences like this for those of you who want it. Trishna created a perfect blend of yoga practice and cultural exchange. It was a full-on cultural experience. We had daily practice, sometimes twice daily. In addition, we did an educational walk in a local herb garden followed by the most amazing home cooked local cuisine, then followed by a total surprise walk to some ancient local ruins…a village with a 4/500 year old well and castles that you could walk through and touch. We had dancing lessons. (Optional if you are not a dancer, but be prepared to get sucked in because Greek dance is very simple and soooo fun). We attended a local street festival and partied the Greek way. We learned all about the local olive oil farms and the farmers’ fight to create more sustainable practices from their ancient family business that go back generations (not to mention, the olive oil AND the honey from these places…oralgasmic!) All of this happened in the dramatic backdrop of one of the most ancient civilizations, the Minoans, an ancient matriarchal society who once inhabited Crete. Another true confession: I have historically pretty much done yoga mostly for a workout and not a spiritual practice because that has just worked for me. But, Trishna‘s teaching style blew me away, she is so knowledgable. The way Trishna teaches is so simple yet so deeply refreshing, I could not help but connect with a deeper part of the practice, because, simply put, Trishna‘s way of being combined with her vast wealth of knowledge naturally invited me in that way and I was drawn. All against the backdrop and energy of an island that is so connected to their ancient, Goddess worshipping roots. We strolled through ruins of ancient cities and Queens’ palaces, hiked through a gorge with caves where the Minoans buried their dead (and baby goats jumped in our path!!!). Pure heaven. The apartments where the retreat is held look like King’s Landing (for you Game of Thrones fans), and the town that it is in feels like it is set back about 10-15 years. Dramatic mountains and cerulean beaches. Slower pace, super friendly locals, the most amazing meals you will eat that were caught or harvested that day, locals singing and playing music in the tavernas by the sea at night. Oh yeah, and the Mediterranean on this side of the island, so gorgeous. Opening your eyes underwater feels like opening your eyes in a swimming pool. The Greeks are one of those people who just treat you like family. So yeah, like I said, I am reluctant to tell you all this because when an experience is this magical, part of me wants to be selfish and keep it all to myself. If you want a true “inner adventure”, this is the retreat that offers that all and more. Don’t go, I want to keep it all to myself 😉…but really, will I see you there next year? Because I am going back.

Event Highlights

  • Between our venue and the ten minute walk to the beach pictured here we pass by the preserved ruin of the ancient Minoan Palace of Kato Zakros. We also pass an entry point to the Gorge of the Dead.
  • Highlights are practicing meditative yoga in a landscape that is still humming with the energy of the Minoan ancestors, learning traditional folk dance, cooking, and herb lore with local community members, hiking the Gorge of the Dead, swimming in the Sea and taking time for your own healing and well being in this beautiful and powerful place.

Schedule

The daily schedule varies quite a bit on this Yoga Retreat and Cultural Arts Immersion.
A steady theme will be our yoga practice which will happen one or two times each day during mornings and/or late afternoons.
We will have dance lessons and a festa, a trip to the mountains to learn about local herbology as we walk through the fields, visiting the ruins of Greek villages, a morning of harvesting and preparing food in traditional style with our hosts mother, the lovely Thesphina, A hike from the top of Dead’s Gorge to the bottom which is right next to our guest house, and exploration of the ruin of Kato Zakros.

Every other day will be more lightly scheduled with a dynamic and a restorative yoga session offered, and the middle of the day free for the beach, the hammock, and really anything you feel is right for you on your retreat.
There are four group meals. Dinners on nights of arrival and departure, and lunches on our herb walk day and cooking day.
(For more on meals, see menu section :)

Venue Highlights

Our venue for this retreat is adjacent to the Ancient Minoan ruin of Kato Zakros, which is in a sweet little bay at the end of the road. Stella’s Traditional is an assortment of traditional style studios each en suite and with its own kitchenette and outdoor seating.
This amidst a garden setting, with three of the studios facing the sea.
We have transformed the rooftop garden into a yoga shala which is shaded by bougainvillea and grape vines. The quality of light and air are lovely.
The beautiful gardens, relaxing hammocks, and group kitchen (a larger kitchen for preparing tea, coffee, and light meals) as well as the rooftop shala are open to the whole group at all times during the retreat.

Accommodations

At Stella’s Traditional their are eight studios altogether. Each studio can accommodate one or two people, as well as one family studio which could accommodate four.
Rooms come with one queen bed, or two full beds, or for the family room a queen and two twins.
Each studio is en suite with a shower. Each studio has a well stocked kitchenette.
Towels and linens are provided and housekeeping is available daily.

The base cost is for a double occupied garden studio. I would like double occupied studios to be shared by people who know each other and choose that.
There are add on options when you register for single room and for sea view.

Amenities

  • Air Conditioning in Rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Includes Meat
  • Organic
  • Dairy Free

Menu/Cuisine

At Stella’s the guests are provided with a variety of foods and with those, self-cater their breakfast/brunch, and light evening meal.
Breakfast fixings: Eggs, bread, muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit, butter, cheeses, teas, coffee, local honey and olive oil.
light dinner fare: Vegetarian soups, salads, and dips prepared for us by Thesphina. These will be stored in the group kitchen. Each of us can take what we like.
Dinners can also be had at the wonderful tavernas on the beach. (Last year this was our only option and was very enjoyable. This year we added simple vegetrian dinner fixings for evenings that you may prefe to spend quietly).
Two lunches and two taverna dinners are provided within the cost of the retreat.

Lunches in general and drinks are not provided.



Directions

The main port of arrival on Crete is at Heraklion. There are many flights each day between Athens and Heraklion and even direct flights from some other cities in Europe.
In early June we will help coordinate a shared cost shuttle from Heraklion to Kato Zakros on June 20, and in the opposite direction on June 28. Alternately, you may want to rent a car or motorbike.
The flight from Athens is under 1 hour. The drive from Heraklion to Kato Zakros is 3 hours.

The airport at Sitia is only 1 hours drive from Kato Zakros, but there are far fewer flights in and out.
SItia is en route from and to Heraklion, so we can try to accommodate Use of that airport as well in our shared ride plan.

(I am strongly recommending a day in Heraklion before the retreat to take in Knossos and the amazing Archeological Museum there. This would require an overnight there. I can help coordinate that if you are interested).

Flights are about $50. each way Athens-Heraklion.

If you have time, the ferry is also an option. Nine hours, overnight.


Tags: crete culture europe hike history meditation mediterranean nature swim yoga

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