Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreats offer worldwide yoga holidays incorporating meditation, energy work, Qigong, therapies, and delicious healthy food.

Yoga Retreats (3)

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7 Days Relaxing & Rejuvenating Yoga Holiday in Bulgaria

May | June | July | August | September, 2019
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4 Days Relaxing and Rejuvenating Yoga Holiday Varna, Bulgaria

May | June | July | August | September, 2019

Instructors (2)

Jo Crowder

Jo's interest in yoga started as a teenager and throughout her busy career, she sought refuge and relaxation in it whenever possible. Moving to Bulgaria in 2006 gave Jo time to reflect on life and realize she wanted to develop further in this area. During this time, she has gained her Yoga Alliance certification, Yoga Teacher diploma, Reiki healing up to Reiki Master and teacher level and completed a course in Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, from the University of California.

Katie Holland

Katie is the co-host and dance instructor of this retreat. Katie is a renowned and highly sought after professional dancer across the world with a passionate interest in dance for healing and spiritual development. This combines perfectly with her extensive experience as an Inner Dance Facilitator, Reiki Master, Yoga teacher and energy worker. Katie is the creator of Awakened Bellydance™ which forms an important part of this journey. This gift is the intuitive synthesis and integration of her life's studies and experiences to date.

Reviews (26)

Nina Schmitt

from Belgium, September 2018

"Pleasant Yoga with cats"

The atmosphere was very relaxed like in a family. The program gave lots of free time and the opportunity to go to the beach and Varna city. We enjoyed a great pool and wonderfully tasty food. I really liked the Yoga classes which were easy to follow and offered something for everyone.

The massage offers were excellent!

Lisa Donofrio

from United States, September 2018

"A great week in August"

The week's yoga retreat was exactly what I had been looking for - a serene place, calm atmosphere, super welcome and really good yoga. Jo is an amazing instructor, and takes the time to understand her guest's needs so that she can give them the best yoga experience. She also gives reiki treatments and head massages which are the best! Staying with Jo and her family was so nice - you really feel looked after and comfortable. It was a really important step on my yoga journey. Thank you!

Kay Audoire

from Great Britain, August 2018

"A super chilled yoga retreat"

Where to start? Loved it all! Jo’s yoga is super accessible and I really enjoyed and progressed with my practice over the week.

The food is super yummy and served very sensible portions. Great swimming pool, lovely and very clean rooms with access to a kitchen/ lounge if wanted. Jo is a very considerate host, nothing is too much trouble, Mark, Jo’s husband is a fab chef and their boys very helpful and nice to have around. We had two outings, a evening meal in Varna and a beach day which were fab! Jo also does the best ever Indian head massages💙 We also did a inner dance workshop with Katie which was very interesting/powerful (for me) We will defiantly be returning for more wonderful chilled yoga retreat.

Birgitte Heiberg Lykke

from Norway, August 2018

"Peace of mind and excellent yoga!"

The heart-warming welcome by Jo set the tone for the week. She is such a pleasant person to be around. The facilities around the retreat was super, with a pool, sun beds, sofas and a table and chairs for our excellent meals. The rooms were comfortable and the bathroom clean and nice. The food was absolutely excellent. The yoga sessions were great. Jo is an excellent instructor, making it easy for us. She made sure I had alternativ poses when needed. We had a nice evening in Varna and a wonderful day on the beach. As extras we had gong immersion and healing inner dance sessions during the week. Both interesting and rewarding. The transfer worked out well.

Rebecca Bloor

from United States, August 2018

"Reached far beyond expectations "

This was the most blissful, relaxing and rejuvenating experience I’ve ever had. It was far more than I expected. Room was perfect, food was amazing, looked forward to every meal (thank you mark!) Jo has a great welcome for you to her retreat, the yoga and meditation has taught me so much more than I had experienced previously. I had Reiki and aromatherapy whilst there, highly recommend it!

I loved the Tai Chi which we did on the beach #awesome and the meal(s) in Varna by the sea was beautiful. I’ve met some lovely people on my weeks stay at Tranquil Times and memories I’ll have forever. Definitely going back next year!

Isabelle Obrien

from Great Britain, August 2018

"The perfect yoga retreat"

This is the perfect yoga retreat: great yoga and surrounding philosophies; superb food provided by Mark; a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere; superb surroundings; a day out to the beach and an evening out to Varna. Jo really goes out of her way to ensure every single guest feels looked after and cared for. This retreat has met all of my expectations ... and more!

Gill Stevenson

from Great Britain, July 2018

"A lovely, peaceful break"

Jo and family made us feel so welcome and I really felt that the yoga was tailored to our needs.

Minna Kruhse

from Finland, June 2018

"Cosy family-run retreat"

Really loved everything here - the general atmosphere was very chill and relaxing - just what I needed for a perfect yoga holiday in the sun! Jo and Mark along with their sons made sure everyone felt welcome right from the very beginning. And food was great! Despite traveling solo, did not feel lonely, as there were other guests to spend time with. Learned about some more challenging yoga poses with Jo's assistance - will keep on practising on them at home too! :D

Dawn Marshall

from Great Britain, September 2017

"Great for a relaxing break"

Very small retreat so there was a lovely family atmosphere. The food is mainly targeted at vegetarians but very enjoyable even so. Jo and Mark made a great team.

I was a reluctant yoga person at first (just went to keep my husband happy) but found myself getting better through the week. I also went with a bad back and it definitely improved.

The guest kitchen is nice for making coffee etc.

Annie Sheret

from Great Britain, August 2017

"The best week!!!"

Couldn't have wished for a better holiday! Jo and Mark and her lovely boys made myself and my friend have the best week possible. I felt like I was visiting family friends rather than on a retreat! They welcomed us with open arms, cared for us and really ensured we were being looked after in the best way possible. Mark's cooking was amazing, every morning we were looking forward to what delicious meals we were in for!!! Take on board so many recipes and food ideas from him! The quality of the produce he used was brilliant! Absolutely loved the night we had the chocolate fondant!!! Jake and Alex made us laugh and added to the family feel the retreat brought! Jo was a great teacher, I really noticed the improvement in my practise throughout the week! And was delighted to achieve a pose I had struggled doing over the years of yoga!! Had reiki with Jo throughout my stay and that was so very relaxing!

Myself and my friend both were very sad to leave, we honestly had the best, most relaxing holiday! But I think the best bit was we didn't feel like clients or customers we genuinely felt cared for like friends! Jo and Mark took an interest in getting to know us and they paid close attention to how we were feeling or what food intolerances we had etc.

We would highly recommend this retreat to anyone and are itching to go back next year!

Svetlana Rubtsova

from Russia, August 2017

"11/10 would do it again "

This is a place where you can relax and just enjoy being cared for, on all fronts. Two yoga sessions a day, three delicious meals and a pool right in the middle of the guest area tend to take care of every emotional or physical need you might have at the moment. Two planned outings a week took excellent care of the wanderlust. The schedule leaves substantial chunks of free time as well, so you can wander around the village, curl up with a book or chat with other guests to your heart's content. In short, a great place to tune out of the city rat race for a few days. Comfortable rooms, fully functioning guest kitchen (just in case) and lots of places to chill outside, whether alone or in a company.


from Italy, August 2017

"Totally relax"

Atmosphere, food and people. The trip to blacksea and to Varna.

Adela Greenfield

from Great Britain, July 2017

As soon as I arrived at Jo's I felt instantly relaxed. The gardens and rooms are beautiful and the hammock was perfect for chilling out and reading. The yoga was amazing and Jo is a great instructor so much so that by the end of the week i was doing all sorts of things that id never had the confidence to do before. The reiki and meditation was also great. Jo is very insightful and caring and tailored the sessions for each one of us. The food is amazing and Jo's family are so warm and welcoming. The trip was just what I needed and I came back rested, relaxed and raring to go!

Sharon Gillette

from South Korea, July 2017

"Relaxed and rejuvenated!"

The whole experience, from the lovely accommodations, delicious meals, and fun yoga sessions to making new friends and exploring a new country made this retreat special. I didn't want to leave at the end of the week! Jo and Mark welcomed me into their home and made me feel pampered.

Nina Linde

from Sweden, June 2017

"Yoga retreat with lovely family in Bulgaria "

Time to relax. To be able to take things at my own pace. Jo's actually super functioning voice for guided meditation and her openess and inspiration. Marks food and honesty. The pool. The cats. Basically just meeting unexpectably cool people and to get in contact with myself through yoga.

Alexandra Swann

from Great Britain, June 2017

"Wonderful stay at Tranquil Times"

There was nothing to not like - TQ is run by the most lovely, welcoming family and the facilities are great. I was only there for four days and regret not staying for longer. I will definitely return and can highly recommend a visit.

Paula O'donoghue

from Great Britain, June 2017

"A Tranquil Time"

I am very lucky to have spent two weeks with Jo and her family in Sadovo:

I felt most warmly welcomed from the start and easily settled into the very cosy accommodation; restful sleeps ended with the lovely sound of birds chirping, the cockerel crowing and leaves from the high walnut & hazelnut trees rustling in the wind; many trails and walks were to be explored with the stunning view of rolling hills; Jo lit the "Peshka" in The Barn on cooler evenings (I arrived at the very start of the season) for some cosier yoga/meditation sessions which was also a nice space to relax/practice independently during the day.

A real highlight is the delicious food prepared by Mark. Particularly memorable were his French onion soup, home-made paneer korma, his brie & almond parcels, home-made fallafel, a poached egg from one of their hens and chocolate lava cake. Mark generously shared some of his recipes...I hope I can live up to the standard!

The yoga sessions were great with different asanas everyday. I personally really enjoyed the Tai Chi/Qigong & meditation sessions. Jo is a very warm & caring person & I consider Tranquil Times to not just be a place for relaxation and deeper practice but also for nurturing & healing. I really deepened my understanding of energy work.

I would recommend this place to everyone. I hope to return some day.

Helen Bakewell

from Great Britain, June 2017

"Such a good experience "

The hospitality makes you feel like part of the family. Was so easy to relax and de-stress. The yoga was for all levels and you got individual attention.

Heike Werner

from Germany, October 2018

"Yoga in Varna"

das Essen war sehr gut, die Anlage hatte einen recht großen Pool, ich hatte ein eigenes Zimmer mit einem großen Balkon.

Jo ist super nett und hat versucht, allen gerecht zu werden. Die ganze Familie hat sich wirklich sehr um uns bemüht.

Wir hatten 2x Yoga am Tag. Dazwischen gab es Zeit zum faulenzen am Pool.

Einen Strandtag haben wir gemacht und ein Abendessen in Varna gab es auch.

Iris Joustra

from United States, May 2018

"Super relaxte vakantie in Bulgarije"

Op een prachtige locatie hebben mijn zus en ik een unieke Yoga vakantie beleefd. Twee keer per dag Yoga van Jo. Zij is een warme en oplettende yogi die echt oog heeft voor waar je behoefte aan hebt. Je niveau maakt niet uit. Heerlijke sessies buiten onder vogelgezang brengen zelfs de meest gestresste personen tot rust. Mark kookt fantastisch, ik heb zelden zo genoten van de vegetarische keuken, het was een feest voor het oog en de maag. Jo is als een warme deken, ze zorgt voor je als een moederkloek en het ontbreekt je aan niets. In de avond tafel je met haar gezin aan het zwembad. Tripjes naar het strand en de mooie stad Varna waren ook erg gezellig. Kortom een vakantie waar je totaal zen weer van terugkeert, super!

Diana Cristea

from United States, August 2018

"Retreat in Bulgaria, close to the sea"

I felt very welcomed and I enjoyed a lot the yoga classes and the inner dance session. Jo took much care in adapting the yoga routine and poses according to the participants' needs. I strongly recommend this retreat.

Meg Harvey

from Hungary, August 2018

"So relaxing!"

What a fabulous experience, I've never felt so relaxed and in tune with my body and mind, I didn't want to leave. Not to mention the food, so nourishing and delicious, I was always counting down to the next fabulous meal. Jo and her family made me feel so looked after in such a short amount of time, I feel like a new women!

Annalisa Monzione

from Great Britain, May 2018

"Tranquil Retreat review"

Yoga was great. Food was amazing and catered to individual needs.

Testimonials (5)

Isabelle Germany

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

My week at Tranquil Times Yoga Retreat was wonderful! So relaxing and special, just what I needed! Jo is an excellent Yoga teacher and was very attentive to my special needs during practise and meditation. Every single meal was absolutely tasty and after two yoga classes and swimming in the pool I was always looking forward to the yummy dinners Mark prepared. The whole place was created with great care. My little apartment by the pool had a lovely charm and I felt very much at home there. I also enjoyed the trips down to the beach and to Varna. I wanted to learn a bit about Bulgarian culture and Jo has lots of knowledge that she was happy to share. Overall I can highly recommend staying here!

Lesley United Kingdom

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

Just to say how fantastic our yoga week was with you & your family. Not only was the yoga restorative & energising but also a positive spiritual experience. Added to that was the wonderful food that Mark produced plus the lovely environment you have created. Thank you for an amazing week!

Heike Germany


My stay at Tranquil Times was wonderful and it felt more like staying with a relative/friend than in a retreat. Jo and her family were super welcoming from the very first sight.

The place itself is amazing - my room (I booked a private) was spacious including a modern bathroom with a wonderful rain shower. I absolutely enjoyed sleeping with open window, watching the huge pool and listening to the sounds of nature- jackals, dogs, birds, chickens, cats - HEAVEN! This sound underlined the Yoga outside the terrace. Jo is a very good teacher and made sure that we get the relaxation and flexibility needed. My highlight was the guided meditation which revealed a lot of interesting insights.

The food made by Jo's husband Mark was always fresh cooked with healthy ingredients and always super, super tasty. My stay was overall absolutely enjoyable and I would highly recommend this place if you are looking for relaxation, good company with very few people in a family surrounding and a less developed country! Thanks a lot for this amazing week! Hope to be back soon!

Tiziana United Kingdom

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

I have just come back to the UK after having spent a fabulous week at the Tranquil Times Yoga retreat. I feel so calm, happy and content. I can’t thank Jo, Mark and their boys enough for having made me feel so welcome and comfortable there. The place is set in rural Bulgaria, surrounded by trees, birds and nature and its best. There’s nothing quite like practicing Yoga under the blue skies and with birds chirping around you. Jo’s Yoga classes are easy to follow and Jo is an excellent teacher, always so patient and understanding, and always ready to adapt the practice to your level of ability. The food is absolutely DELICIOUS and it was definitely one of the highlights of my stay there. The rooms are clean, cozy and very quiet and they foster the best of sleeps. Thank you so much for the wonderful time I had there. I will never forget you and I will definitely recommend you to all my friends and patients alike.

Sarah United Kingdom

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

I booked to stay at Tranquil Times in May half term this year. Although my flight was delayed 3hrs, Mark was there to bring me to the retreat. My week was just wonderful!!. The food superb & organic as most of the veg came fresh from Jo's garden. The weather very warm mostly 28 - 30 degrees Celsius,so I made use of the pool every day. We had a great trip into Varna to the market & a walk in a city sea gardens, to a beach & swam in the Black Sea. The yoga & meditation made me feel healthy & strong again after having a shoulder operation earlier in the year. The accommodation is clean & roomy, I will definitely book again as I loved it!

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