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Within the winding streets, you will experience the daily life and history of an authentic southern Italian village with quaint little boutiques, craft and jewelry shops, little alimentari with fresh local food, wine and vegetables, wine bars and cafs serving aperitivi, and range of good restaurants. You will breathe the clean sea air into your lungs with views of the endless sea and horizon.
You will stay in characteristic traditionally-furnished Sperlonga village houses much those like at the organizers Casperia base. Each is used exclusively by Sunflower Retreats Holidays' guests. Delightful locations were chosen and most of the houses enjoy a terrace or balcony and great views of the sea or terracotta rooftops and characteristic village streets.
The village shops, which include amazing fruit and vegetable alimentari, stock a large range of food and drinks if you would like to cook or eat at home anytime. Kitchens are shared, with facilities that are characteristic of a traditional Italian village house.
Your retreat includes five morning yoga sessions of 90-minutes which take place either on the medieval Truglia tower, beside the sea, or on a terrace inside the hilltop village with sea and mountain views. You will breathe the clean sea air into your lungs and enjoy views of the endless sea and horizon. Some morning classes may be held on the sheltered beach area, close to where we serve breakfast, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The retreat also includes three afternoon yoga and meditation classes, held on a terrace within the hilltop village which has views of the sea.
Mara Blackburn, from the UK, will lead our Sperlonga yoga retreats.
Among Mara's skills are; Power Yoga/Vinyasa flow, a strength based practice to warm up the body and improve blood flow which is typically practiced in the morning to invigorate and remove fatigue; Somayoga, blending somatic movements with yoga asanas via specific sequences of slow, focused, yet gentle movements and Chakra Yoga using the 7 chakras and meditation as a therapy through yoga poses, visualisation, affirmations and relaxation.
Mara also practices Ayurvedic Marma Massage.
Sperlonga is steeped in history having once been the summer residence of the Roman emperor Tiberius, 'the reluctant emperor', who ruled from 14 - 37AD. Archaeologists have found a series of sculptures in the cave of his villa, which you can visit by foot on Sperlonga's south beach.
The pretty whitewashed village trickles down a hillside to the Mediterranean sea. A maze of narrow streets and alleys, inaccessible to cars, it's a perfect companion to Sunflower Retreats Casperia base and its location, midway between Rome and Naples, makes it just as easy to reach with low-cost flights and a main-line rail connection.
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A delicious breakfast will be served on the beach in the famous and stylish Il Delfino. The food is locally sourced with a wide range of healthy food options.
Lunch and dinner is not included in the package. The village has lots of great restaurants and enoteche serving delicious southern Italian dishes as well as fresh local fish.
The hot water baths of Le Terme Di Sant'Egidio, renowned for their healing properties since Roman times, are located close to Sperlonga. The pool has sun-loungers, palm trees and a bar and the water has various depths and temperature zones in different pools.
The sulphur spring waters have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, and have been used for centuries to draw impurities out of the skin, to stimulate skin cells to secrete natural oils and to reduce blood pressure and rheumatism.
Combining sulphur water bathing with yoga practice is extremely healing to the whole body and mind. A day trip, leaving after morning yoga and breakfast and returning in the afternoon, costs 40 EUR per person, including entrance fee to baths, for a minimum of two people.
Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga sessions offered. There are a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, offered but the place stands out in that they use only natural, organic products and take a holistic approach in the sessions.
A brochure describing these relaxing, healing and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive, and you can book the sessions with an on-site therapist each day at breakfast-time. She will be available to discuss each treatment and help you choose the perfect one for your own requirements. The treatments include:
You will probably fly to Rome to start your Sperlonga retreat. Rome has two airports: Ciampino, to the east, is used by Ryanair and some other low-cost carriers. Leonardo da Vinci (FCO), to the west, usually known as 'Fiumicino,' is used by National carriers and by EasyJet. Your journey will start with a transfer to the city centre rail station in Rome: Roma Termini.
Low-cost carriers sell tickets for the shuttle coach services from Ciampino Airport to Roma Termini station on board the plane. You can also buy shuttle tickets online from Terravision or SIT, or as you board the coach. The journey time is about 45 minutes and tickets are about 4.
Train services to Napoli via Fondi-Sperlonga run roughly once an hour and take about an hour. Your ticket can be bought at the station or booked online. Remember to get the on regional train service and not the direct 'Freccia Rossa' train line to Napoli! You will need to frank your ticket in one of the machines at the end of the platform before you board your train.
Follow the signs to the airport station and buy a ticket to Termini on the Leonardo Express. Tickets are 14 EUR. Trains run every 30 minutes until 10 p.m. and the journey time is 30 minutes. The train service from Roma-Termini to Fondi-Sperlonga is the same as for Ciampino, above.
Once you arrive at the station, a local bus service which meets each train will take you to the village square. Call Sunflower Retreats' representatives and they will meet you.
"Charlotte and I had an amazing time in Casperia. Casa Latini is such a wonderful house with stunning views in an idyllic village. We really loved Jessie's classes. Francesca's treatments were great too! We have come back with tons of photos and incredible souvenirs."
"My daughter and I chose this yoga retreat for its location and we were not disappointed in the least. We flew from Gatwick to Rome, then followed the excellent instructions from Sunflower regarding the train from the airport to local station Poggio Mirteto and then public bus to Casperia where we were met and shown to our accommodation (first floor flat, en suite with shared kitchen). Our yoga teacher was Lise, a very pleasant Canadian lady who gave classes from 8:00 till 9:30 a.m., and extra lessons in the afternoon (for a fee). It was primarily Hatha yoga which suited me, but my daughter who practices Ashtanga found it less challenging. However, the spa treatments for her (full body massage and facial) were to her liking, and the peace and quiet of the place were wonderful. There were only five others that week but we all got on remarkably well, sharing my birthday dinner at the local restaurant, and exchanging contact numbers at the end of our break. The excursion to the thermal pool near Viterbo was great fun and highly recommended. Also the Sunday hike with local guide Alessandro was interesting as we walked along a wooded valley to an ancient shrine (eight century) in a cave used by the friars of the area. All in all, it was a wonderful experience in a beautiful part of Italy that has little tourism. I would go back anytime!"
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"I chose this retreat as I was living in Rome this summer, its very close to Rome, so it was easy to travel too. The Yoga classes were for all levels the Yoga teacher gave perfect examples of different postures from beginner variations to more advanced positions,and encouraged us to listen to our bodies and not to be competitive with ourselves. I class myself a beginner of Yoga as for me its not just about the physical postures, its also about learning to relax and unwind and the meditation and visualization techniques in the classes helped me unwind and destress. There are different accommodation options for all budgets and most rooms are en suite , when looking for a retreat close to Rome I found private room options difficult to find so this was one of the reasons i booked the retreat in the first place. The Spa treatments on offer were excellent and very healing and relaxing too. All the food I was experienced was great, i also cooked at my accommodation option Casa Latini some nights with other guests staying on the retreat. Would highly recommend Sunflower and had a special time."
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"I had the most wonderful week with Sunflower Retreats in Casperia. It was the perfect combination of yoga, food, free time, and of course a drop of wine in the Italian countryside. I would certainly recommend this tour to anyone looking for a week of reflection with like-minded individuals and would come again! Thank you again for hosting me!"
"I really enjoyed this holiday. Lovely accommodation in a beautiful village. It was well organised and I would recommend this to anyone."
"The week at Sunflower Retreats Casperia was wonderful, and it was a very restoring week. Alan was a great host. Julie was a very calm and accommodating yoga teacher, and I loved the opportunities for play! Ciara's massages were something else. I loved the painting session with Giovanna and now feel inspired to do more! Addie made the whole week run smoothly and always with a smile. The breakfasts were delicious! And the accommodation was lovely and homely. I will be back - there was so much I didn't do. Thank you all so much."
"Great location, stunning landscape and very quiet. I wish more yoga classes were included in the retreat but overall great experience very friendly and professional staff."
"My yoga holiday in Sunflower Retreats in Casperia was from 16th to 22nd July 2015. The whole environment of Casperia was part of the experience. Let's start at the arrival. Very specific instructions were given as to how to reach Casperia from Rome Airport. My flight arrived into Fiumicino Airport and there was a train station just below the airport. I got the train directly to the designated station, Poggio Mirteto, which took about an hour and half. I was picked up by the Sunflower driver and brought to Casperia. Unfortunately in my case, it was late and I had missed the first night buffet dinner available to guests to meet and greet each other and the Sunflower representative. However, they did save me a platter of food and I was glad to have it as I hadn't eaten much that day. Casperia is a traffic-free ancient hilltop village in a beautiful setting, which must be navigated via the many steps and winding streets. My accommodation was at the top of the village which was a steep climb. One of my housemates said there were 500 steps from the bottom to our house at the top of the village. I believe it, although I didn't count them myself. I stayed in village house number one which is at the top of the village beside the church where the bell tolls every morning at 07:00 a.m. This was a good wake up call to prepare for the 08:00 a.m. morning yoga session. I had originally booked a single room and shared bathroom but was upgraded by Sunflower Retreats free of charge to a single en suite room for my stay, as I would have been the only occupier in the other village house. This worked out very well for me and was an unexpected bonus. My room was clean and spacious and my bathroom was tiny. The house had five guests and we shared the kitchen. The kitchen was well equipped with utensils and a fridge cooker and kettle. All the guests in the house, and indeed the whole group, got on very well and we were good friends by the end of the week. I met people from all over Europe and the USA. Our yoga teacher, Paola, was excellent and ensured we all had a memorable yoga journey. I am not a regular yoga practitioner and the group was of mixed yoga experience. In fact, some of our group had never done yoga before. Each day she added a bit more and always challenged us gently. She also held workshops in the afternoon which covered a variety of themes. I attended just one which was a guided yoga Nidra and total relaxation. I felt the benefit for days afterwards. The yoga rooms were serene and cool and the yoga deck where we practiced each morning was a lovely space. Breakfast was very good and offered a great variety of food. The dining room was very pleasant. We had an opportunity at this time each day to book some of the holistic treatments which were also offered by Sunflower Retreats. Ciara, the holistic therapist, was very helpful and friendly. There were other types of activities on offer which we could book at this time. I didn't participate in any daytime excursions but those who did enjoyed their experiences. Other guests went to the Sulphur Springs, guided walking in the hills and horse riding. Some also went to a local Agri Turismo for dinner on the second night. The week I stayed was during a heatwave with temperatures of 38 degrees centigrade every day. Even the Italians found it too hot! I booked one holistic treatment with Ciara, the crystal reflexology treatment I opted for was both relaxing and informative. It consisted of a reflexology massage and a scan of my chakras to see which were open and which were closed. Areas which were closed were given special attention during the massage. Chakras were checked again at the end of the treatment and in my case all were open. Afterwards, I felt totally peaceful and relaxed. Ciara has a genuine gift for this type of treatment. Ten out of ten for the treatment alone. Thank you Ciara."
"As the weather was so hot, I went to the swimming pool most days which was about a mile away. We walked there and back the first day but got a lift with the Sunflower driver every day thereafter. The pool is in a beautiful private setting, overlooking the undulating hills and fields of fruit trees. It is privately owned and exclusive to Sunflower guests and the representative needed to know we were going to use it in advance so that it was opened for our use. There was plenty of shade and open areas to sunbathe and rest. Sunbeds were also provided. There are no facilities laid on but there is a fridge provided and guests can bring drinks and food if they choose. We ate a couple of times at La Vigna, the only cafe bar within the walls of the village. We always stopped there for a drink on the way back from the swimming pool. It was a hub of activity as it was one of just two Wi-Fi areas within the village. The other was at the Sunflower Retreats office. There was one other Wi-Fi area at a bar just outside the walls opposite the supermarket. The food at La Vigna was far from spectacular but its location on a terrace overlooking the hills and capturing the stunning sunsets made it worthwhile. It was a great place to people watch and experience life in Casperia as the locals all gathered there too. I availed of one excursion to a restaurant in a neighboring hilltop village where the food was homegrown, home-prepared and the portions very generous. The hospitality, food, wine, and company were great but, as we were sitting outside, the mosquitoes were very busy. So too were the scavenging cats. It wasn't until a group arrived with two dogs in tow that the cats left us alone. Aside from those nuisances, it was a lovely evening. On the final night, the house guests at Casa Latini kindly invited the rest of us to eat at their place and experience the spectacular views from their balcony. We all brought and prepared something. It was a wonderful way to finish off a great week. I scored this holiday 8 out of 10 because I found it expensive. As a solo traveler, holidays are generally more expensive. The initial outlay is a given, but in this case, I found running a tab, as it is done here, makes the total run up quickly. I personally find it easier to manage my budget paying as I go. I also found the prices in La Vigna for mediocre food very expensive. I understand this is probably outside of the control of Sunflower Retreats, but it was an intrinsic part of my experience. The price charged for the first and final night buffets is also expensive although, in my own case, I did not have to pay in full for the first night and we all went to Casa Latini on the final night. The whole holiday, the location, the staff, the yoga, treatments, and the company, made for a really memorable experience. If I were to return, I would go outside of July or August so as to avail of the various opportunities to explore the surrounding area and take part in other activities. The extremely high temperatures during my stay put me off on this occasion. Casperia truly is a retreat, far away from the noise and distraction of traffic, crowds and social media, leaving time and space to just be. This was the best part of the holiday for me. Even getting lost in the winding streets, as happened with me regularly, was a sensory experience, which I mostly enjoyed. I was only rescued once because I was late for yoga class! Thank you Addie, for finding me and guiding me to the yoga deck. Thank you Sunflower Retreats for an extraordinary experience."
"I just came back from spending a week in Casperia at the Sunflower Retreat. It is located in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. It is absolutely magical. I found that everything was well-organized and the people at Sunflower are very helpful and friendly. I was first a little worried if I could keep up with the yoga class not knowing what to expect. The yoga teacher was great, teaching yoga to all different levels. I made some new friends, ate some delicious Italian food and enjoyed great wine. Casperia was good for my body and especially my soul. I will be back!"
"Sunflower Retreat was a relaxing haven, having never done yoga before I really enjoyed the physical challenge and mental relaxation Jess provided. The massage was heavenly too! Addy was also fantastic organizing everything and being very hospitable!"
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"Really wonderful stay, genuinely fantastic break. Beautiful house and gorgeous village, helpful and friendly staff, easy to book other treatments, idyllic setting, and lovely yoga and sauna facilities. Really great yoga teacher when I was there (Jess Cover, inspirational lady) and wonderful sessions where you really felt you were getting your money's worth. There was only me and one other girl there when I went, and it felt like we were getting really personal coaching. Thank you for not cancelling the week due to only two of us being there - it was so special to have the place nearly to ourselves! I highly recommend small groups! "
"I have just had the most amazing six-night yoga retreat in Casperia. The website doesn't do it justice as you really can't capture the beauty and atmosphere of the place on pictures. The staff were so helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make our stay is a very enjoyable one. We went cycling, walking, and had a day at the hot springs. We also attended an Italian cookery class which was amazing, painting, and extra yoga classes. You could do as much or as little as you liked. We had an hour and half of yoga before breakfast every morning. Our yoga teacher was excellent. You could also book treatments if you wished. They were also very good. I can't praise the place and the people highly enough and would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to go on a yoga retreat."
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"The flat in first floor in Casa Latini, amazing, Kitchen in next floor With an amazing terrace, sunset in a chair with a book, wine or only look at the sky. Peace for body and soul. Yoga, Qigong,etc and making Italian food with a chef, a mountain guided walk, visit restaurants.Met people from many places, we were 10 People, 2 English, 2 Australian, 1 Irish, 1 Scottish and 2 Norwegian.. You can do different things every day, or you can relax and enjoy the little village, sit down look at people and be a part of the silent and kindly village.Sunflower is a good choice to chose if you want an other holiday, do something different. We love the place, the staff and it is a very good price for the stay. Thank you"
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"The Sperlonga Retreat in May 2014 was amazing with Sunflower Retreats, the hilltop village of Sperlonga has breath taking views,the food was great everywhere we ate , our Yoga instructor who was from Canada was a great teacher and the Spa treatments offered are a must too, Lise taught a variety of classes and I joined a couple of the afternoon meditation classes too, I must say practicing Yoga on the Trulli Tower was unforgettable."
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"Perfect and just what I needed during a very stressful time at work! I needed time off and I had a time that was very easy-going, relaxing, and joyfully indulgent. There was plenty to do (chill yoga classes, treatments, massages, walking, hiking, painting, and more). I was with other solo yogis and it was fun dining with them every night and in general hanging out, which added to the positive experience. Casperia is breathtaking, the food delicious, the views inspiring, and the locals sweet and easy-going too. The village is somewhat overrun with stray cats but they're equally relaxed and keep to themselves so that didn't bother me in the least. I met a few Italians who were visiting from Rome and had holiday homes in this perfect hilltop village (one of many scattered around the area) and it seems to be a well-kept secret archetypal Roman village. Every corner of every cobbled street and stairway could easily be used in a filming location for a beautiful movie!I most certainly plan on coming back in the future!"
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"Had a wonderful time on the four days yoga retreat. Lisa's teaching was excellent, the village is beautiful and peaceful. Breakfast was brilliant each morning with a wide variety of bread, cereals, fruit, eggs, and cheese to choose from. Would definitely go again and stay for longer next time."
"The room on the first floor of Casa Latini is amazing. The kitchen is on the next floor. It has an amazing terrace. At sunset you can sit on a chair with a book, a glass of wine, or only look at the sky. Peace for the body and soul. Many activities such as yoga, qigong, cooking Italian food with a chef, mountain tour, and visiting restaurants. I met people from many places. There were 10 peoples; two English, two Australians, one Irish, one Scottish, and two Norwegians."
"You can do different things every day, or you can relax and enjoy the little village, sit down and look at people passing by, and be a part of the silent and kind village. Sunflower is a good choice to choose from if you want another holiday to do something different. We love the place, the staff and it is a very good price for the stay."
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"I visited the Sunflower Retreats in Casperia for a six-night yoga retreat and I was blown away. Casperia is a truly beautiful place, lovely little cobbled streets and views that take your breath away. I traveled to Casperia by myself and stayed at the village house and it is ideally set up for solo travelers, it is a shared house so is perfect for meeting other people but also for having the privacy of your own room (great room too), most people were solo travelers. On the first night, we had the option of a welcome buffet which everyone on the trip attended and it was a really good chance to get to know everyone over lovely food and wine overlooking the gardens. Each day started with an hour and a half of yoga followed by a lovely breakfast after which we had the opportunity to book activities for the rest of the day. What's lovely is that you can do as much or as little as you like. If you like your activities, then you'll be spoiled for choice. These included among others; extra yoga, guided walks, cycling, horse riding, the swimming pool, treatments, or just relaxing on the terrace in the sunshine. Some of these are free, others you pay for at the end of the holiday, but what I liked was that there was never a hard sell on activities, the whole atmosphere of the place is relaxed and for most activities you don't need to decide until the day if you want to do them. I would definitely recommend the pool. Even if you don't like to swim, it's worth going for the view. I also really enjoyed the yoga, I did a little bit of yoga at home before the trip but I felt so good by the end of the trip from doing yoga daily that I have kept this up back at home. To anyone not sure about yoga, I would say don't let that put you off. The group that I was in had a range of experience. Some people had done very little yoga and someone was a trainee yoga teacher but everyone seemed to enjoy it. Our yoga teacher was fab. We had a warm welcome from all of the staff. Adi looked after us all week and was always on hand if we had any questions or needed any help with anything. The locals are friendly, there a couple of lovely local bars with good wine and food. This was an all round amazing holiday. I met some fantastic people and had a great time. It is a trip that I would recommend to anyone."
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"Loved the location, great people!"
"I'm a yoga novice and thought going on a holiday would be a nice way to learn more and at the same time get some sunshine. When I was here there were 14 people in total and everyone had traveled independently from various locations. The first night everyone ate together and got to know one another - the entire group got on well. Aside from the yoga which is easy going there's activities offered at morning breakfast, I would highly recommend the cooking class which comes with dinner and the swimming pool. Although I have no idea what I'm doing with yoga it would have been nice if some of the sessions were a bit tougher as things were a bit lethargic for someone that's relatively fit however I understand it's difficult to appeal to everyone with a broad demographic. The staff here are super friendly and helpful - I would definitely recommend and I'd consider coming back or going to one of their other locations."
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"Had a wonderful weekend in Casperia. Really enjoyed the yoga suited to my ability levels. Shared the experience with lovely people. Beautiful and peaceful setting. A great destination to take time out and reflect and recharge batteries."
"Loved it! And loved that it was a group of people between the ages of around 30 and 55 (usually those sorts of single or groups holidays are much younger or much older). Would definitely do this holiday again!"
"Many thanks to Michelle for the wonderful holistic therapy sessions and the personal attention given. Claire, my first yoga teacher, I hope to find a teacher in Amsterdam like you! I didn't know if I take to yoga, but I hoped I would. Now I'm hooked thanks to the wonderful classes I was so lucky to be a part of. Thank you both Claire and Michelle for helping me to get back to my normal self again. It was hard work but with your help I did it. Alessandro and Addie, thank you for your kind help making me feel at home in the mesmerizing village of Casperia. Sunflower Retreats was a lovely yoga holiday all in all. Except the mattress in my room did my back in, time for a new one?"
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"My yoga holidays trip to Sunflower Retreats as a fantastic experience."
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"I have just got back from a yoga holiday at Sunflower Retreats and it was fantastic! I fell in love with the little village of Casperia from the moment I saw it on the hilltop (yes, there are quite a few stairs to navigate but keep an eye out for the two lifts!). The instructions to get from Rome airport were spot on - about two hours in total on the train and bus (10 EUR). I had booked the single loft skylight apartment at Casa Latini which was very cozy and perfect for me. There were only four of us which was unusual apparently and we got on really well, spending the right amount of time together and giving good space. There was a nice rhythm to the retreat - yoga for 90 minutes in the morning, a healthy and filling breakfast, then a trip to the thermal spa or a walk or a cycle or an holistic treatment, then optional afternoon yoga, and dinner. We were blessed with nice weather, and only one day of light rain. We found the fresh pasta shop just down the hill and the patisserie and the supermarket, and cooked three course meals for each other in the kitchen at Casa Latini on three nights, watching the sun set over the hills. Do try the gelato from Cafe Friends which is actually made in Casperia! So most of the time we ate for about 8 EUR each per night, although it was about the food not the money! We also ate at Gusto's (five courses of amazingly fresh and beautifully cooked food - definitely do this!) and got takeaway pizza on another. I must have got through about five books on my kindle, reading out on the balcony, enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine. One of our group did the watercolor class and came back after two hours with a fantastic piece of art. I slept brilliantly and the church bells at 7:00 a.m. every morning were my alarm clock for 8:00 a.m. yoga. A lovely way to wake up. Oh yes, and the yoga instruction by Liza was high quality with all of us progressing well through the week. Chrystal was super friendly and kept us well informed and organised, and Tina was a great therapist. I would recommend the one hour reflexology. Everyone was so helpful. This is a holiday that will definitely leave you feeling rejuvenated and balanced. A definite recommendation!"
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"I spent a week in Casperia with the sunflower retreat family. The yoga was awesome, breakfast lovely - the accommodation was gorgeous too. All in all it was heaven - I recommend the holistic treatments and the free mountain walk."
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