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8 Days Yoga Retreat and Mindful Hiking in Croatia

  • Villa Ursula, Marušići 11, 51244 Grižane (Crikvenica), Croatia


Yoga Retreat and Hiking Croatia

Mindful hiking and yoga retreat On the Way Up has been designed as a unique fusion of experiences embracing some of the most beautiful Croatian seaside and mountain sights, wrapped in a personal journey. Take this mindful journey and enjoy sunny promenades along Kvarner bay, continue further up discovering magic hidden places of the hinterland and reach rocky mountain tops of the green inner land of Gorski Kotar, while looking at the crystal blue Adriatic Sea. Raise your limits, explore new heights and soak in some profound energy of nature!


  • Daily yoga sessions
  • 1 half-day sightseeing and visit to the coast
  • 4 hiking excursions and hiking yoga sessions
  • 1 relaxing aroma massage and 3 creative workshops
  • Free entrance to the National Park Risnjak
  • Daily home-cooked breakfast and dinner
  • 4 snack boxes for hiking excursions
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 10.

  • 8 days with instruction
  • Croatian, English
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Villa Ursula was built in 1906 in Art Nouveau style and renovated in 2013, preserving the centennial shine and historical character from the Austro-Hungarian times. It is a remarkable rustic house on 3 floors, surfacing 300 square meters, which brings you back in time, yet providing modern comfort with a touch of luxury.

The villa has 5 spacious bedrooms which can accommodate up to 12 guests, in addition to a lounge with a dining room and a kitchen. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and a magnificent sea view. Beside a balustrade - a covered terrace with a dining table, the main attraction of the house is a swimming pool with a dazzling sundeck, ensuring a superb relaxation and enjoyment under the Mediterranean sun.

You will begin your day with yoga exercises to pleasantly energize your body and spirit. You will then go hiking to some of the gorgeous mountain sights in Croatia. You will be walking consciously; observing the magnificent natural forms and receiving messages from nature in the unique Mediterranean and mountain surroundings. You will boost your mindfulness with a meditation during the hike; moreover, you will experience the power of aromatherapy encouraged by essential oils.

Daily schedule of activities

Saturday, arrival day

  • Arrival of guests during the day
  • Evening welcome program
  • Dinner


  • Morning yoga session
  • Breakfast
  • Mindful hiking excursion (1 sightseeing / visit to the coast + 1 free day)
  • Hiking snack-box
  • Free afternoon
  • Dinner
  • Creative workshop

Saturday, departure day

  • Morning yoga session
  • Breakfast
  • Short farewell program
  • Free time before departure

Mindful hiking excursion

Nature has always been one of our greatest teachers. However, stressed by demand of modern life, constantly chasing time and success by all means, people tend to forget the primary power of nature.

The concept of mindful hiking has been put up to bring people the experience of nature, to enable them to climb mountains with as fewer efforts, to inspire them for life. Hikes are attentively guided while the focus is given to breathing techniques during activities as well as to personal senses. On the Way Up will demonstrate techniques for steady ascending / descending, balancing physical stamina and breathing, suggest on useful hiking equipment and balanced nutrition. At the same time, they will empower the mindful approach, a focus on the present moment and a deep contact with nature with outdoor meditations and aromatherapy, through the inhalation of selected essential oils during relaxation and meditation.

Hiking highlights included in the program

Risnjak is the national park, one of the most beautiful and outstanding mountain tops in Croatia, 1528 meters high.

Snjeznik is a remarkable stony peak surrounded by steep meadows, at the altitude of 1.505 meters, offering one of the most attractive views in Croatia.

Celestial labyrinths present a piece of art made by a Croatian artist, assembled in 10 formations along a walking plateau 800 meters long, above Novi Vinodolski. The view from this highland is magnificent, extending over the coastline.

Stony stairs trail is a circular walking trail starting and ending at the center of Grizane village. The environment along the trail is stunning, including the remarkable natural and cultural-historical monuments.

Yoga sessions

On the Way Up program comprises morning yoga sessions supported by aromatherapy and scents of essential oils. Hatha, Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga will be practiced and guided by qualified yoga teachers.

Yoga sessions will be held outdoor, beside the Villa Ursulas swimming pool, or alternatively, in case of a bad weather, at the covered terrace or in the living room.

Moreover, yoga is an important part of hiking excursions. In order to encourage the balance of energies stimulated by physical activity, each hike will end with selected yoga asanas experienced in mountain environment.

Aromatherapy treatments

The excursions of mindful hiking during the program are supported by aromatherapy in nature through the inhalation of selected essential oils during relaxation and meditation with the aim of deepening contact with nature and raising the energy of the body.

Every guest will also get a personal experience of aromatherapy consisting of a relaxing aroma massage in duration of 60 minutes, which is a very pleasant, fragrant and relaxing treatment for deep relaxation. Treatments will be done by a trained aroma therapist in the private area of Villa Ursula.

Creative workshops

  • The program includes the following 3 afternoon / evening workshops (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) lasting 2 hours:
  • Small home aroma pharmacy - A lovable and convenient way to learn about the magical world of essential oils and the modes of application in everyday life
  • Mandala coloring - A way of meditation and relaxation, a healing method for balancing body energies and expressing creativity, even of the ones without art skills
  • Meditative music workshop - You will float into beautiful sounds of music, let our body and spirit go with the flow, you will dance or simply listen.

During this retreat, 4 hiking excursions and 1 visit to the coast and sightseeing of coastal towns Crikvenica is scheduled within a 6-day period.

Sandra Brborovic

Sandra is a creator and a leader of the On the Way Up program. She promotes a mindful approach to outdoor activities and mountaineering, quality lifestyles and self-development, thus developing a mindful hiking concept in Croatia.

Sandra is a qualified guide, licensed by Croatian Mountaineering Association, strongly attached to nature and mountains. Mountains are her inspiration, her means of growth, a training field for moving the limits and a place of mindful being. She has been mountaineering for more than 10 years, she has climbed some of the highest peaks in Europe, experienced mountaineering in North Africa and above all - in the mighty Himalayas.

In addition to her mountain climbing, Sandra has been practicing yoga for 15 years. She has become skilled to teach yoga by attending Yoga Teacher Training, registered by Yoga Alliance, in India - the cradle of yoga.

After attaining a university degree in Tourism and Hospitality, Sandra worked for years in hospitality industry with upscale service and gained a lot of management experience. She has united her passion for nature, mountains and human wellbeing with her professional experience in tourism and hospitality, through organization of eco-travel programs and hiking and yoga retreats.

Sindy Slipac

Sindy is a qualified aroma therapist, also trained through other seminars and workshops (Indian head massage, basics of Ayurveda, Reiki I and II, and the first degree of education for practitioners of Peter Hess sound massage, Silva method of mind control).

In her own specific ways during the program, Sindy will share with the guests her great love - the fragrant world of essential oils. Co-leader of the hiking trips during which, with the help of aromatherapy, she leads meditations and opens the way to the inner world of each guest. She actively hikes and practices yoga and she expresses herself further through a combination of aromatherapy and hiking actively supporting the method of mindful hiking.

In her work, Sindy uses all techniques of application of essential oils, expert knowledge, empathy and intuition, to revitalize the body and mind of her clients, to balance the emotions and energy and awaken the joy of life and creative energy.

Jagdeesh Kaur

Jagdeesh is a Kundalini yoga teacher. With her personality and life choice, she is encouraging others to awake their energy and passion for life. She went through education to become KRI certificated instructor of Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, at Kundalini yoga center Amar Das in Vienna. With this experience, Jagdeesh has also got the membership in Yoga Alliance, as Kundalini yoga instructor.

Jagdeesh got an extra practical experience throughout the years working with many teachers from Croatia and also in India, where she was experiencing Iyengar and Acroyoga while travelling there for few months. She also finished a course to become Aerial yoga instructor. For the last two years, she is actively teaching Hatha and Kundalini yoga, holding workshops all around the Croatia.

Besides yoga, Jagdeesh has another grand passion - cooking. She is a vegetarian who enjoys in - cuisine innovations, playing with imaginative flow in the realms of her kitchen. She explores and prepares vegan, macrobiotic, raw food, and specialties of Indian / Ayurvedic cuisine. Jagdeesh exuberantly awaits the guests of the program with her cuisine specialties!

Grizane is a charming village, situated above the Adriatic sea, in the area of Kvarner. It has been built on Roman fortress ruins and has a rich cultural-historical heritage. It is located 7 kilometers away from the coast and beneath striking rocky cliffs. Nestled just behind a popular seaside resort Crikvenica and on the feet of mountains of Gorski Kotar, it offers an irresistible sea and mountain ambiance. Your connection with nature will be upgraded by amazing accommodation in rustic villa, which is located in the hinterland connecting sea and mountains, in the picturesque village of Grizane.


Nearby places

  • Beach, 5 kilometers
  • Crikvenica center city, 5 kilometers
  • Boating nearby
  • Cycling nearby
  • Hiking
  • Hiking trail nearby
  • Massage
  • Mountain walking / trekking
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
  • Bar nearby
  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Bicycle rental nearby
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

You will indulge your senses with delightful and harmonized savors. Selected vegetarian specialties, occasionally supplemented with fish and seafood, prepared tastefully using Mediterranean recipes, will be home-cooked with love and care, respecting natural balance, in order to harmonize your body and spirit. Home cooked breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of the retreat as well as lunch boxes for the excursions, tea, coffee and juices during the meals.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Ayurvedic
  • Fruitarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Lactose Free
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Seafood
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Whole food
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

Do some shopping

Eat out at local restaurants

Explore the local village of Grizane

Rent a bike

Swim and sunbath at the villas swimming pool

Swim in the beach

Take a boat trip

Take aromatherapy treatments

Visit seaside towns (Crikvenica)

Walk on the beach

Every guest will also get a personal relaxing aroma massage in duration of 60 minutes. Additional aromatherapy treatments will be available during guests stay in Villa Ursula at surcharge.

  • 1 half-day sightseeing and visit to the coast
  • 1 relaxing aroma massage for each guest
  • 3 creative workshops
  • 4 hiking excursions and hiking yoga sessions
  • 4 snack boxes for hiking excursions
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily home-cooked breakfast and dinner
  • Daily yoga sessions
  • Free entrance to National Park Risnjak
  • Tea, juices and coffee with breakfast and dinner
  • Transfers to hiking destinations
  • Yoga mats
  • Additional aromatherapies
  • Hiking and personal outfit and accessories
  • Lunch and extra drinks
  • Transfers to retreat location

Arrival by airplane

You have to book flights to Rijeka Airport (RJK) or Zagreb Airport (ZAG) and take the local bus to Crikvenica.

For information about the booking conditions, please send On the Way Up an inquiry.
  • Review by a participant

    "This retreat felt like a glimpse of heaven and was exactly the kind of getaway I needed! Sandra and Sindy were amazing and their passion really shows – it feels like you are spending time with friends. The days start at 7 am with yoga by the pool, overlooking the mountains, and is followed by an excursion or hike. It was great to enjoy both the mountains and the beach – and the insertion of aromatherapy/ meditation made the experience truly unique. I cannot recommend this treat enough for anyone looking for an escape in nature and a chance for self-reflection."

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by a participant

    "I cannot find enough words to express my feelings… I get overwhelmed with emotions the moment I think of the week we spent together in Grižane. It was unforgettable. I have found this new feeling of happiness, satisfaction and love in myself that I did not find before… I see the world with different eyes now. I thought it would be nice, but I didn’t expect to feel the way I feel now. I am so pleased that I met you and that I feel like this when I am with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by a participant

    "I really like the house and location, was very quiet and peaceful. It was my first experience of vegetarian food (for one week)… So, I would say I did not miss meat. And I was amazed how many varieties of vegetarian food you can cook. Amazing experience! Hiking was special for me. I think because of different landscape with a lot of little stones, roots of the trees and it really was mindful, you need to focus on your every step and it is not easy. It somehow helps you to learn focus on the present you do not think about something else. And thank you Sandra for coaching us! Again I have learned a lot about yoga. And I just like to do it. And I will continue to do it with our local yoga class. I have enjoyed Sindy’s massage, it was amazing! Thank you Sindy! We are very happy that we spend our holiday with you; everything was new and very different, very friendly and positive. We are remembering you, girls, Grižane almost every day. Thank you for everything!"

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by a participant

    "Dear Sandra and Sindy, if there were no you, there would not be this retreat or this beautiful experience. I sincerely thank you… thank you for all the care and love you have brought in my days… I love you.”"

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by a participant

    "Thank you for the amazing days spent in your company. Your retreat is not about the days spent in Grižane, it is a process which still goes on, if you are conscious. All there, whether it was yoga, the card messages, essential oils, massage… had its importance. The hiking was really mindful… to be with yourself, with nature, to breath… to be on the mountain top, meditating with essential oils and card messages… The location, the ambiance, the yoga… all great… the food was excellent, as per my taste… hiking sights were beautiful and diverse… unforgettable… And all that is because of you!!! You are honest people with heart, just stay the way you are!"

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by a participant

    "Thank you for the organization of a beautiful retreat in Grižane. When I think of this week, I feel warmth around my heart. You are a great team… the hiking excursions, labyrinths, yoga, the company of kind and positive people… in one word – MAGICAL."

    May 2016. On the Way Up website, edited

  • Review by Besan Abu-Joudeh from Jerusalem
    10 out of 10

    "This retreat felt like a glimpse of heaven and was exactly the kind of getaway I needed! Sandra and Sindy were amazing and their passion really shows- it feels like I you are spending time with friends. The days start at 7 am with yoga by the pool, overlooking the mountains, and is followed by an excursion or hike. It was great to enjoy both the mountains and the beach - and the insertion of aromatherapy/ meditation made the experience truly unique. I cannot recommend this treat enough for anyone looking for an escape in nature and a chance for self-reflection. ", edited

Zagreb HR-10020, Croatia

On the Way Up promotes and organizes quality lifestyles, self realization, outdoor activities, mountaineering, mindful hiking, yoga and aromatherapy.

from --

8 days / 7 nights


Arrival: Saturday May 20, 2017
Departure: Saturday May 27, 2017

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