Yoga, Culture, Deep History. Crete June 21-29, 2021

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

Guided meditation is offered each morning at 7:30.
Yoga happens one or two times each day during mornings and/or late afternoon.
We will have dance lessons, 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, visiting a local olive farm, visits to nearby beaches and of course easy access to the beach at Kato Zakros, A hike from the top to the bottom of Dead’s Gorge, which is right next to our guest house, and exploration of the Minoan 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 :)

About This Event

 

Summer Yoga Retreat on Crete!

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.

 

Recommended:

Arrive a day early, April 20, to Heraklion to take in the largest Minoan palace of Knossos, visit the truly spectacular archaeological museum, an dine with others from the group at Peskesi with it's excellent Cretan cuisine. Wake fresh and ready for our journey to Lasithi.

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.

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

If the studios fill and more people would like to join, we can inquire at the close neighboring guesthouse. Rates may be slightly different.

The retreat will happen with eight people minimum, fourteen 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 in the courtyard garden at Stella's. The floor is flat laid stone. The roof is palm leaves and the sky.

Yoga mats, blankets, and blocks are provided.

Morning meditation is at the rooftop garden.

 

During our nine days of retreat, along with a once or twice 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 may visit a local olive farm and learn about olive oil production. 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 visit other beaches nearby as well.

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 by your very own yoga teacher and her assistant 💛. These will be accessible in our group kitchen. Each of us can take what we like.

Dinners can also be had at the wonderful tavernas on the beach. The five or so cafes are quite good, some featuring gluten free options and fabulous salads, and of course world class seafood.Two lunches and two taverna dinners are provided within the cost of the retreat.

Lunches in general and drinks are not provided.

 

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 (contact info blocked)!)  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 (contact info blocked) really, will I see you there next year?  Because I am going back.

Photos on Crete Retreat pages by Meagan Healy, Stella’s Traditional Studios, and Trishna Horvath.

What's Included

  • Full Yoga Program.
  • Daily meditation.
  • Eight nights accommodation in en suite studios with A/C, and kitchenettes.
  • All breakfast and dinner fixings for self catering.
  • Two group dinners on the beach.
  • Two lunches which are part of our culinary excursions.
  • Two to three Greek and Cretan Folk Dance Lessons with a native teacher.
  • Garden harvest and cooking with a local grandmother.
  • Group hike of Dead's Gorge
  • An olive oil tasting lesson in a local orchard.
  • Group excursion to a mountain village where we are guided by a local culinary and medicinal herb grower.
  • Group visits to other beaches nearby.
  • All ground transportation for the retreat events. (not included, shuttle to and from the venue).

What's Not Included

Airfare or ferry fare.
Some meals.
Alcoholic beverages.
Required Travel Insurance.

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, and looking out to the sea.
Tthe rooftop garden is beautiful for morning meditation and personal practice throughout the day with it’s sunrise view, and shade of bougainvillea and grape vines. There is more room at the beautiful courtyard for our yoga practice.
The 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. If we fill these and more people would like to join, we can inquire with a very close neighboring venue. For the overflow option accommodation costs may differ from the ones listed for this retreat.
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. Housekeeping is provided daily with a deep clean on day 4, or upon request.

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

  • A/C in Rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut 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 by your very own yoga teacher and her assistant 💛. These will be accessible in our group kitchen. Each of us can take what we like.
Dinners can also be had at the wonderful tavernas on the beach. The five or so cafes are quite good, some featuring gluten free options and fabulous salads, and of course world class seafood.
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.
We coordinate a shared cost shuttle from Heraklion to Kato Zakros on June 20, and in the opposite direction on June 28. To avail yourself of these you must click on the option when you register. This will add $70. to your total. If the per rider cost is less than that, you will be reimbursed the remainder.
Renting a car or motorbike is also possible.
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 arrange pick up at that air or sea port 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).




Crete culture Europe hike history Meditation mediterranean Nature swim yoga

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Amelia Straton   October 17, 2019

      Amazing trip to a quiet and welcoming Greek Paradise

    I love how Trishna turns reclaiming my yoga practice into a discovery of not only of myself and my edges, But also I discovery of a way of life and a living culture. There were just the right amount of tours in which we never felt like tourists: herb walk with lunch from a working farm, olive oil tasting at another working farm, greek dance lessons, hiking, swimming in the buoyant costal waters. Beautiful lodging. I can not over state the sense of rarity the opportunity held. Both my daughter and I want to do it again.

  • Paula Day   October 17, 2019

      Yoga retreat Crete

    Trishna offered vast insight to a yoga practitioner of any level. Trishna's knowledge and grasp of yoga is deep and profound. The culmination of years of inquiry. If Trishna was my daughter I would be very proud of her. It's was an honor to revel in all the jewels that she has integrated. Trishna shares her extensive and ecclectic teachings with Grace and skill.

  • kim bender   January 08, 2018

      Inner Adventure Travel Sierra Hot Springs Retreat

    I love Trishna's approach to yoga. It's an immersive experience. She starts out the first hour with very gentle meditation and movement, working up to an active Vinyasa that really warms up the body. The second hour is dedicated to deep Asana practice, which develops inner strength. She often ends the two-hour session with a meaningful Sanskrit chant. Trishna's voice is soothing and encouraging. Her guidance helps me get stronger - while never feeling the need to push myself into places of discomfort. The pace of each class is just right. Trishna clearly thinks about muscle groups that she will focus on in any given session and makes absolutely sure that we warm up properly before doing the deep stretches. It's a pleasure to participate in yoga practice with Trishna.

  • Amelia Straton   January 08, 2018

      ReNEWel and Dedication

    As a dedicated practitioner of the Dharma of eastern language and method, Trishna brings a wealth of experience into her teaching that makes access available to the immediate fruits of practice. She has the wisdom to allow for the limitations of the body while encouraging that her students explore their own thresholds and tendencies. Practicing with Trishna is always a whole body, speech, and mind reflection that reveals the inner yoga and source of strength and wisdom in the body. She is highly qualified to teach to a beginner and an advanced student with the humility to reveal how yoga belongs to the participant and is not about competition or endurance - but ones inner relationship with who and how they are in life. I always highly recommend her and would not trust the depth of my practice with anyone who lacked her uncommon dedication to her students.

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