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This late summer, Out to Explore Zen Yoga experience is a unique opportunity to develop your Zen yoga and meditation while having an authentic experience of life in Zakynthos. September is without a doubt one of my favourite months of the year. The hot and hectic tourist season peaks in August, bringing a sense of calm in September. Cooler evenings contrasting with the September sun are perfect for outdoor practice and quieter exploration.
Late summer is the season to engage with the Earth element in our yoga practice, working with the Spleen and Stomach meridians to develop our feelings of stability, building an abundance of compassion and care, shedding insecurity and incessant worries. We’ll explore and take our yoga and meditation practice to some stunning locations around the island.
You will be accommodated in Explorer's Rest. It is set back on a quiet lane in Argasi at the foot of Mount Skopos. It is a single villa divided into four studios set in a small olive grove. There is parking available in the gardens to the front of Explorer’s Rest.
Hiring a car enables you to explore the island in your own way and at your own pace. The studios provide compact home comforts. There are two ground floor studios. They have been refurbished and both can accommodate up to three adults with the option of an extra Z bed for a child.
The first floor studios are basically equipped and can accommodate up to two adults each.
Voyager and Wayfarer studios both bear characteristics of their names, reflected in their color schemes and décor. The spirit of the sea explorer and the wandering wayfarer are invoked in the carefully selected furnishings, pictures, ornaments, and books.
Both studios have full kitchens giving you the freedom to choose whether to eat out or prepare some great home cooked food. The bunk beds too reflect the sense of adventure that Out to Explore like to share with their guests.
The balconies have French windows with pull down mosquito nets for your comfort and convenience, and enjoy views of the foothills of Mount Skopos. Perfect for enjoying a sundowner. Both studios have flat screen TV, safety deposit box, free air conditioning, and Wi Fi.
Nomad and Fernweh offer basic accommodation for the happy holiday maker and explorer on a budget. They are accessed via stairs at the rear of the building that lead to a shared terrace at the entrance to the studios.
From here, you have a panoramic view of the sea and coast all the way to Zakynthos town as well as being able to watch the sun rise over the coastline. The balconies on the other side of each studio enjoy views of the foothills of Skopos and the surrounding lush green area.
It is a perfect place for watching the sinking sun, below the horizon. The balcony windows have pull down mosquito nets. Both studios have kitchen, refrigerator, wet room old style shower room, TV, safety deposit box, and free Wi Fi.
Free day. Breakfast as usual and time for optional extra activities and massage.
The first exploration will be to Alykes for sunset beach yoga. Aykes nestles on the East Coast and has a long sandy beach and seemingly endless sea in one direction and an imposing view of Kefalonia in the other. We will experience the calm at the end of the day and have a chance for a sunset dip in the sea.
The first of our Mindful Walks takes us from Kanalos, where a beautiful meadow halfway towards the summit of Mount Skopos leads to a winding pathway down to Crystal beach where we can swim and relax before heading back to Kanalos for lunch at the taverna with its stunning views. This is a 30-minute walk at a slow pace in each direction.
Our next excursion takes us to Crystal Beach for sunrise Yoga. So named because of the vast crystal formations on the beach. The rising sun paints the sky the most stunning colors and the dawning of the day inspire us in our practice. The feel of soft sand between our toes and the warmth of the rising sun on our faces will remain deep in our memories, as will the quality of the fresh sea air as we breathe in our asanas.
We will enjoy a picnic breakfast and take a little time to swim, snorkel or seek out the mineral mud that deposits around this area. The clay-like mud is renowned to have healing and moisturizing qualities so we let it dry on our skin and wash it off in the sea revealing soft skin. Nature's beauty treat!
The second of our guided Mindful Walks takes us on a circular walk along the Gerakas peninsula. This is a 40-minute gentle walk that starts above Gerakas beach along the headland overlooking the strange stalagmite formations, through meadows and pine forest and then the quiet village before reaching our starting point again. We will then settle on the beach for a swim and picnic. Plenty of time to relax, unwind and contemplate.
Our last excursion will include some of the West coast wonders. Together, we will drive along the untamed West Coast of the island, away from mass tourism through the villages seemingly untouched by time. We will explore off the beaten track through rural pockets of Zakynthos, learning a little of the culture, history, and traditions of the island.
After visiting the breathtaking Kampi viewpoint with its vast cement cross commemorating those lives lost during the civil war and seeing the turquoise sparkling sea we will head down the coast to Porto Roxa. There, we will have our evening practice on the rock platforms besides the sea and stay for our last dinner together at the taverna spending some time soaking up the extraordinary atmosphere awakening the body and the mind and reconnecting with nature. We'll also get a taste of the hospitality and filoxenia (welcoming of all) that the Zakynthians are well known for.
Yoga became a part of Barbara's life in her mid 30s. After practicing yoga for 20 years and teaching for two years, Barbara Clother created the Zen Yoga Studio in Argassi as a base for sharing Zen yoga practice. Barbara has been involved in performance arts since childhood, she always enjoyed the emotional release she got from movement. One of her greatest pleasures is helping others find their path and connect with their joy, enabling them to continue their practice in their own daily lives.
Ioana has over 11 years experience as a fully qualified therapist in Romania and has continued that experience in Zakynthos setting up 'Body and Soul Massage, Zante'. She has training in many disciplines of massage including deep tissue, therapeutic and relaxing massage,reflexology, facial and head massage. After initial consultation with her clients she decides on the most beneficial course of massage. Her deep understanding and continual desire to learn more is reflected in her commitment to each and every client. Her massage technique encompasses a holistic approach with outstanding results
Melanie has been a specialist leader and consultant in education for several years in the U.K. As part of her strategic role she has been fortunate to coach and mentor leadership teams and individuals. Gaining professional accreditation’s at Master coach level has enabled Melanie to develop, introduce and embed tiered coaching systems into multiple organisations. Melanie’s motivation for a pure coaching model is to empower individuals to tackle sometimes tricky situations and enable them to find their own pathway
This retreat takes place in Agarssi, Zakynthos, Greece. Argassi village is situated in the southern part of the island, on the east coast, three kilometers southeast of Zakynthos town and 5.8 kilometers from the airport which is about 10 minutes by car.
Argassi is an ideal base on the coastal road between Zakynthos town and the Vasilikos peninsular. During the summer season (May to October), Argassi resort, based along the sea front, enjoys the benefits of a tourist resort.
A small but good selection of excellent and varied tavernas, restaurants, beach bars, and shops. The narrow sandy or shingle beach has a lively water sports center and also harbors the remains of a Venetian bridge built in 1805.
The breakfast buffet consists of freshly baked croissants or pancakes (gluten free), various cereals, and muesli. As well as oats seeds and dried fruits to mix your own muesli. Greek Yoghurt, milk, almond milk. Toast (wholemeal or white), Wheat free crisp breads and a variety of other crispbreads, as well as pumpernickel.
There are also butter, homemade marmalades, and jams and preserves. Locally produced honey. Feta cheese. Breakfast bars and traditional Greek paxamathia cookies. Boiled free range eggs from our farm. Fresh seasonal fruit including plums, watermelon, pears, bananas. Fresh orange and apple juice. Smoothies with frozen forest fruits. lemon and mint squash. Variety of teas (including green and Matcha tea) and cafetiere coffee.
The picnic lunch includes vegetarian quiche with gluten-free pastry, chickpea patties, pomegranate and tomato salsa, feta cheese dip, fresh fruit, and sesame bars. Our Mindful cooking session will be using fresh seasonal produce that we will prepare and eat together. This is always vegetarian.
You are welcome to use the swimming pool at the Edelweiss Hotel, which is the opposite of Explorer's Rest. If the beach is more your thing, then Argassi Beach is a 10-minute stroll away. There are regular buses that can take you to Vasilikos and the gorgeous beaches along the Vasilikos peninsular. Gerakas Beach, at the tip of the peninsula, is one of the main sites under the protection of the National Marine Park for the conservation of loggerhead turtles.
You can find out more about National Marine Park's work by visiting their observation station at Gerakas. During your free time, you may like to explore some of the more creative activities that Zakynthos offers. Argassi is the home of Afrodite, a local potter who will teach you how to make piece pottery using old fashioned techniques at the Spinspot pottery.
You can also ride a horse on an unspoiled beach beside the ocean, or explore by sea, or enjoy a kayaking trip to the blue caves organized by them. There is also the opportunity to join a Zakynthian cookery class and learn the secrets of the local cuisine. They can also organize bicycle and car hire for you. They are always on hand if you need any tips or advice.
In this retreat, one massage session is included in the price. You can choose from sports massage therapy, reflexology, Swedish massage therapy, Indian head massage, and onsite massage. Additional massages can also be booked upon request at an additional cost.
Zakynthos International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Zakynthos International Airport (ZTH). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Out to Explore will pick you up from the airport.
There are all year round flights leaving every day from Athens which take approximately 45 minutes. There are also regular flights to and from Kefalonia, Corfu, Kithira, and Preveza.
During the tourist season, April to October, there are direct charter connections between Zakynthos and a number of European cities. Some of the larger charter airlines, Ryanair and EasyJet, fly to Zakynthos. Transfer from the airport can be done by taxi, costing approximately 16 EUR. Alternatively, you can collect a hire car from the airport either by booking online in advance or you can hire a car when you arrive.
Please book your ticket to Kyllini. The national bus company (KTEL) runs a daily coach service with direct connections to the cities of Athens, Patras, and Thessaloniki via a short journey on the Zakynthos-Kyllini ferry. The trip from Athens to Kyllini lasts roughly four hours and 30 minutes. From Kyllini, there is a direct ferry boat link to Zakynthos. The ferryboat ticket is included in the price of the bus ticket.
From the bus station in Zakynthos town, you can either take a bus to Argassi or a taxi costing approximately 8 EUR.
All year round there are daily ferry routes from the port of Killini, on the Peloponnese coast, to Zakynthos. Two companies operating are Ionian Group and Kefalonian Lines. During the tourist season, May to October, there is a ferry connection which is Ionion Pelagos between Pesada in Kefalonia and Saint Nikolas port in Zakynthos. %All year round, there are daily car-ferry routes from Venice, Ancona, Bari or Brindisi (Italy) to Patras (Greece). Then, by car or bus (KTEL) to Killini's port, and by ferry to Zakynthos.
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