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8 Days Vinyasa and Yin Yoga Charming Sunny Retreat in Crete, Greece

Country Hotel Velani, Velani 46, Avdou Pediados, Crete, Greece

Greece Yoga Retreat

On an absolute stunning hillside location with a panoramic view of the Langada Valley, lies small charming Velani Hotel where you can indulge in the relaxing scenery, tranquility and beautiful nature, revitalize your body and your mind, and pamper all your senses. Join in a modern Odyssey of experiences and only then shall your heart beat in rhythms long forgotten!

Meet the instructors

Konstantinos & Emmanouela
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Highlights

  • 6 days of practice
  • 2 yoga classes per day
  • Daily meditation session
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Amazing surroundings

Yoga styles


6 days with instruction
Airport transfer available:
Heraklion International Airport (US$55 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
00:00

You will be accommodated at Country Hotel Velani. Every day, there is a service of room cleaning and towel change at the Country Hotel Velani. Every once a week, the sheets are changed as well. You can also have a free use of sunbeds. The reception, café, and restaurant have opening hours.

The moment you arrive on the hillside, you will experience the serene quietness and the tremendous panoramic view. Under the hotel, stretches the Langada Valley with the Apposelemis River crossing through.

Above Country Hotel Velani, rises the red-colored peaks of the Dikti mountains. Birds of prey, like the griffon vulture, glide along these peaks. The estate is surrounded by protected kermes oak forest and olive groves stretching down to the valley.

On the estate, many protected trees and flowers can be found, such as a different type of beautiful orchids. The hotel suits its surrounding as it is built with real natural stones collected from the land it stands on, giving it a robust and natural look. The hotel has a neo-classic style creating a romantic atmosphere for long summer nights.

The main building houses the reception and a café with a large balcony on which you can drink your Greek coffee or rakí. In the main building, you can also find Restaurant Veláni with its large terrace overlooking the riding place and the valley. Next to the main building lays the naturally formed large swimming pool that is 100 square meters in size (130 to 160 meters deep) with a separate and lower situated children’s pool of 11 square meters (40 centimeters deep).

The 12 hotel rooms are grouped into two bungalows, each housing six rooms. The bungalows lay quietly separate from the main activities. The rooms are large and comfortable and all have a tremendous view over the valley. Each room has a large bathroom with bathtub.

The rooms have central heating and air conditioning (both included in the price), a fridge, a flat screen TV with international channels, a hairdryer, a large glass door of two meters, and a private balcony or terrace. Most rooms are equipped with a wood stove (the wood is not included in the price). There are three types of rooms including Grand Comfort room, Panorama VIP room, and Family Luxury room.

Grand Comfort

The Grand Comfort room is a two-person room that sleeps one to three persons. The total room surface is 23 square meters. The room has a terrace with private garden and a bathroom with toilet and bathtub.

Panorama VIP

The Panorama VIP room is a three-person room that sleeps two to four persons. The total room surface is 29 square meters with a balcony. The bathroom has a bathtub and a separate shower cabin. The toilet is housed in a separate room.

Family Luxury

The Family Luxury room is a four-person room that sleeps two to five persons. This room actually comprises two Grant Comfort rooms that are connected with a connecting door.

Program

Daily morning Vinyasa yoga practice to awaken and energize the body, followed by relaxing on the sun deck of the large infinity pool, a weekly yoga themed workshop, and daily twilight Yin yoga calming the body and mind through long and deep stretching and meditation for relaxation and releasing tension. Also treat your inner body and soul with the healthy Cretan cuisine, delicious home cooking with home-grown organic produce, making your stay complete.

Benefits

  • Unique location with panoramic views and a serene quietness
  • Relaxing the body, soul, and mind to revitalize the body’s energy
  • Unplug from it all and discover oneself
  • Charming small hotel with Greek warmth and hospitality
  • A relaxing stay to pamper the body and stimulate your senses

Daily schedule

  • 75 minutes of Vinyasa yoga
  • Breakfast
  • Free time, possible hiking, horse riding, massage, body treatment, or sightseeing
  • 14:00 Lunch
  • Relaxing time, swimming pool
  • 75 minutes of Yin yoga and meditation
  • 19:00 Dinner

Instructors

Konstantinos Tournas

Emmanouela Korki

Retreat location

This holiday will take place at the Country Velani Hotel in Greece, in the middle of the island of Crete. There is an 18-hole golf course located seven kilometers away from the hotel. The traditional Greek village of Avdou lies one kilometer from the hotel and has 250 inhabitants. Here, the time has stood still. The wide sandy beach of Anissaras lies 15 kilometers away while Heraklion International Airport (HER) is 40 kilometers from the hotel.

Crete

Crete, a Greek island in the sun surrounded by a clear blue sea and with mountains rising to 2.5 kilometers (8,000 feet) and a coastline with 1000 kilometers (650 miles) in length, makes a rough and wild landscape. The island is blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate, gorges, and fertile plains.

Being situated in between three continents (Europe, Africa, and Asia) and conquered by many invaders have created an island rich in history with influences in the food and culture. In Heraklion, there is the ancient site of Knossos and the Minoan culture, the cradle of the European continent. Together with the pleasant Cretans and the Greek filotimo (hospitality), it is an island worth a visit.

Distances

  • An 18-hole golf course, 7 kilometers
  • Anissaras, 15 kilometers
  • Avdou, 1 kilometer
  • Heraklion International Airport (HER), 40 kilometers

Unique features

Activities

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Massage
  • Mountain biking
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)

General

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant
  • Terrace
  • Patio

Services

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Room cleaning

Food

During this retreat, you will enjoy full board meals daily a la carte in Restaurant Velani starting with a dinner on the first day until the breakfast on the last day. Breakfasts and lunches are served in between standard hours. Dinners include free choices from the menu and include a starter, main dish, and salad. Country Hotel Velani can cater to all kind of different diets.

Restaurant Velani

Restaurant Velani welcomes everybody who wants to experience the local healthy Cretan diet or Greek cuisine. The Cretan diet is famous for being healthy and the use of olive oil. The olive oil is Restaurant Velani's own produce by the olive grove of the estate.

The restaurant serves all fresh home cooking with organically grown vegetables and fruit from their own gardens and makes use of local products from nearby farmers. You can enjoy a refreshing drink or Greek dinner after the ride at the terrace with a view of the riding arena.

Every Sunday afternoon, chef Manolis heats up the outdoor oven by burning wood from the restaurant's olive trees. When the oven reaches the right temperature, the wood is removed and the food trays are placed inside, then the door is closed with a paste of ash and water. The food is slowly cooked for hours, making them soft and juicy. For vegetarians, the Cretan kitchen offers a wide range of possibilities.

The Restaurant Velani opens all year from spring to autumn and on a daily basis when they have guests staying in the hotel. In winter, the restaurant opens on Saturdays and Sundays. If you follow a special diet, please inform Odysseia Stables with your reservation so Restaurant Velani can cater for you. Moreover, for groups, it is possible to make arrangements outside normal opening hours.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Extras available

  • Private yoga sessions
  • Swedish massage, Thai massage, deep tissue, or Cretan massage by professional therapist
  • Wellness treatments of body and face with Cretan herbs, essential oils, and local olive oil
  • Horse riding day rides: 2 hour hacks or instruction
  • Paragliding (only for experienced flyers)
  • Hiking
  • Rent mountain bikes
  • Free use of a computer in the main building with printer

The Odysseia Stables

Odysseia is a small friendly stable giving home to 18 horses. Due to the small character of Odysseia, with a maximum of 10 horse riders a week, they are able to maintain a close and personal contact with their guests. The stables are designed in a way to be as close as possible to the physical needs of horses. The Odysseia Stables has high standards for their horses, facilities, and equipment. They use English saddles.--

The facilities include:

  • 14 stables with connected behind turnout paddocks letting the horses choose to go inside or outside
  • Outdoor arena, 42 x 20 meters with an all-weather proof floor and a small tribune
  • Outdoor arena, 15 x 12 meters, for lunging
  • Tack room
  • A horse shower
  • Bathroom or changing-room and toilets for the guests

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 6 days of Vinyasa and Yin yoga
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner a la carte in Restaurant Velani

What's not included

  • All drinks, sweets, and ice creams
  • Travel to the hotel
  • A rental car is advised due to the remote location

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Heraklion International Airport

  • At the airport or port of Heraklion follow the signs to the national highway in the direction of Agios Nikolaos. Stay on the highway for about 25 km.
  • Take the exit Kastelli or Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio). In the end of the exit turn right direction Lassithi Plateau or Golf Course. You drive past the golf course.
  • The road will split in direction Lassithi Plateau (Oropedio) and direction Kastelli. Here you follow Lassithi Plateau.
  • Follow this road until you drive into Avdou. You drive past a large supermarket and the Lake Aposelemis.
  • In Avdou, follow the signs Country Hotel Velani and Odysseia Stables. Pay attention that you turn to the right, into a small street after ‘Avdou Restaurant’. The road becomes an unpaved rural road. Drive up-hill until you meet the hotel entrance.
  • Please note that the last 2 km to the hotel is up hill and an unpaved rural road. Every car can reach the hotel.
  • GPS use; Set the village ‘Avdou’ as your end destination. And from the village follow the hotel signs.

Arrival by airplane

Book your flights to arrive at Heraklion International Airport (HER). From there, you can rent a car. Country Hotel Velani happily works together with a small family business renting good cars. You can pick up and return the car at Heraklion International Airport (HER), Heraklion city, or port.

Airport: Heraklion International Airport Airport transfer available: Heraklion International Airport (US$55 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 21 days before arrival.
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