Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

Varna, Bulgaria

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat is a small family run accommodation that offers week long holidays incorporating yoga classes with meditation & Qigong, therapies, and delicious healthy food.

Yoga Retreats 1


Based on 18 reviews

7 Days Relaxing & Rejuvenating Yoga Retreat in Bulgaria

May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | May | Jun | Moreā€¦

Instruction language: English

from US$637

Great 9.8/10

Based on 18 reviews
from US$637
Price for:

7 days / 6 nights

Great 9.8/10

Based on 18 reviews

Instructors 1

Jo Crowder

Jo's interest in Yoga started as a teenager & throughout her busy career she sought refuge & 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.

Reviews 18

  • Dawn Marshall Great Britain

    September 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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.

    Wasn't any really, just seemed an awful long wait till breakfast! Though I really enjoyed it when it came (after the morning yoga session).

  • Annie Sheret Great Britain

    August 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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!

    That we couldn't stay forever!!

  • Svetlana Rubtsova Russia

    August 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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.

    Hmm... there was nothing, really, to immediately improve upon. Like I have mentioned to Jo, a couple of waterproof electrical outlets in the sweetest spot by the pool wouldn't hurt, because ipads and androids tend to go through their batteries awfully quick, but on second thought, the sun is too bright for anything but ebook screens anyway, and those are not power hungry at all. Perhaps an introductory aerial yoga session would be a bonus, since the hammocks are already in place?

  • Anonymous

    August 2017, BookYogaRetreats

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

    Maybe the place was too isolated from the world.

  • Adela Greenfield Great Britain

    July 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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 South Korea

    July 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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 Sweden

    June 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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 Great Britain

    June 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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 Great Britain

    June 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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 Great Britain

    June 2017, BookYogaRetreats

    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.

  • Angelika Belgium

    BookYogaRetreats website

    The seven days of yoga retreat with Jo and her family in Varna were the highlight of my summer!

    It was a perfect mix of relaxation, inspiration and warm reception in a beautiful environment. Right from the start, I felt most warmly welcomed; the house and the garden are beautiful and cosy; the garden invites to linger and enjoy nature; the swimming pool is perfect to refresh or just to lie in the water and enjoy the view of the lovely trees and flowers around. The Yoga Sessions were brilliant; twice a day on Jo's terrace with a view to the sky, wonderfully guided by Jo's warm and meditative voice. All meals were a feast, starting from self-made granola and many other things in the mornings to Mark's refreshing lunches and excellent dinners in the evening - a pleasure for the eyes and the gum, always including fresh ingredients from the garden. Altogether, I absolutely enjoyed my stay with Jo and her wonderful family and I can recommend this experience full-heartedly to anyone!

  • Emma United Kingdom

    BookYogaRetreats website

    The whole family are fantastic hosts and you really feel part of the family. Mark is also a fantastic chef - you will not go hungry.

  • Maja Denmark


    I really enjoyed my stay with Jo and her family. They were nice and friendly. They respected their guest's need for space and stillness and were comfortable to be around. We had good talks and laughs. The pool was nice and the food was delicious. The yoga was relaxing and well suited for the warm weather. I really feel like I got what I wanted and needed from my week in Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat. I got stillness, peace, and renewed energy.

  • Shanta and Fern United Kingdom


    Thank you for a lovely stay on your retreat. We both had such a good break and timeout from work and really enjoyed our introduction to Bulgaria. We are looking for a place to take time out and practice yoga we stumbled across Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat. Set in a beautiful humble surroundings of the Bulgarian countryside, Jo and her family have made a small haven away from the busy city world where you will find roaming chickens, the family dogs, and some young kittens (if you are lucky) playing in the garden. Nothing was better than waking up in the morning sun and a slowly warming up into our yoga poses, then grabbing some ripe and ready hazelnuts from the tree by the terrace for a quick snack. The treatments available help fully wind down and relax. We recommend the Indian head massage in particular. As well as restful days by the pool, we also enjoyed a couple of day trips around Bulgaria taking in a flavor of the local culture. It was like staying with a friend at Jo's place and we left feeling rejuvenated and ready to face our home lives. Thank you, Jo and boys. We hope we keep in touch. Best wishes!

  • Aleks, Germany


    This is just a short note to thank you for the fabulous time I've spent at your wonderful oasis. Thank you for all the wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable days and all the fun we've had. Do you remember us not going to the fancy restaurant we've chosen in Varna? I was enjoying myself a lot. Since my return, I've managed to start my day with a short yoga session every morning. Thanks for everything. Kind regards and a big hug!

  • Jennifer Aberdeen, Scotland


    I want to convey a big thank you, your family, and Lesley for my week. It was truly a blessing to have such a relaxing yet fulfilling week. I feel I have improved my yoga practice so much (even doing neck rotations on the train) and really appreciated the personalized advice you gave us. I will miss the food and conversation especially. Who knows, maybe I shall return next year and see the new barn.

  • Sheila United Kingdom


    This was my first trip to Bulgaria and the first time going to a yoga retreat by myself. I arranged that Jo collected me from the airport, reducing the stress of traveling by myself either on public transport or by taxi. Even though my flight was delayed for an hour making my arrival time 2 a.m., I had a lovely welcome and relaxing journey to the retreat. On arrival, I was shown around my room and facilities, not feeling rushed even with the early hour. The yoga was discussed at length prior to booking as currently I have tendonitis in the left foot. Jo showed knowledge when discussing this problem and monitored my foot throughout the stay. The yoga classes have been fantastic. Even though I am a relative beginner, time has been taken to ensure poses and the alignment is correct and carried out at a wonderful relaxing pace. The improvement I have made in a week is astonishing. I'm far more supple, have enjoyed every session and felt so very calm especially at the end of the day. While there, I had two wonderful treatments, Indian head massage and aromatherapy massage with Reiki healing Both are truly wonderful and leaving me a dribbling, serene person not remembering when I have felt this way. The accommodation is clean ad well-equipped. The showers are wonderful. There is a good sized swimming pool and plenty of areas to sit in the shade or sun yourself. The food is cooked so it's both a pleasure to the eye and also the palate. I have some allergies which have been catered for and I wish Mark would come and live with me so he can cook for me every day. The hosts Jo, Mark, the boys Alex and Jake, and their friend Lesley who helps are all very welcoming, friendly without being intrusive. I've enjoyed all of their company. One evening, we went to Varna for a stroll and a meal which was a wonderful experience.

Testimonials 13

  • 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!

  • Christine, Hilarie, Lesley & Tricia United Kingdom

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

    We are a group of 4 yoga friends who had a lovely one week holiday with Jo, Mark and the boys in July 2016. We stayed in the cottages which were beautifully done out - comfortable mattresses, blankets if needed, decent water pressure and plenty of hot water in the shower etc. Mark's food was wonderful, and Jo is a lovely, warm, friendly host and teacher. We had two sessions a day, mostly yoga but Jo was also very happy to throw in some Tai Chi for beginner’s sessions too. She also took us out on several excursions, which made a nice change. We had gorgeous weather, so the pool was much appreciated too. All in all we had a wonderful stay - highly recommended!

  • Julia and Linda Finland

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat

    My sister and I spent a lovely week at Tranquil Times. We loved every minute of it! The daily rhythm was perfect in terms of balance between yoga/meditation practice and free time. It gave us enough time to reflect, do some reading/swimming and digest our personal journeys. Jo provided gentle guidance and led the practice in a way that suits all levels. She has an amazingly soothing voice! Still in mid winter Finland, it feels warm when I imagine myself lying on the warm rooftop yoga terrace.…We had such a lovely time and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this yoga retreat to anyone needing a space to breathe, relax and reflect.

  • Jacalyn M Scotland

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    After hours of research, we chose Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat because it is a non-corporate retreat run by a family using local resource. The accommodation was excellent, very modern with great facilities. Jo and Mark managed to achieve a great balance of making you feel part of the family but without encroaching on your personal space. Mark prepared most of the meals which were delicious and used local fresh ingredients, many home grown. Jo ran the excellent yoga and tai chi sessions which were tailored to our needs and abilities. Jo and Mark have superb knowledge of Bulgaria and the local areas of interest. One day we walked through beautiful Bulgarian countryside, past local goat farmers and their flocks to a local lake at the Eco Park where Mark and the boys met us for lunch. We spent another day at a thermal spring at Saint Constantine, known locally for their healing qualities. I strongly recommend Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat and Bulgaria as the perfect yoga retreat in a beautiful country.

  • J. Lunn United Kingdom

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    This was a very relaxing holiday in peaceful countryside but with opportunities to explore the area, particularly the coast, so it was ideal for me. Jo and Mark were extremely helpful and very hospitable hosts. I felt very welcome and enjoyed sharing meals with them and their two boys. The fresh produce, home cooking, and plentiful breakfasts were great. Although visiting alone, I never felt lonely. The pool was lovely for swimming. Jo and Mark speak Bulgarian fluently, which was very helpful. They are very knowledgeable about Bulgarian life and culture and this helped me to understand more about the country at the time I was there. Overall, I found this a refreshing, relaxing, enjoyable, and very interesting holiday.

  • Marcia T. United Kingdom

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    I found Jo an excellent teacher who successfully manages to adapt to different people's needs within a class. The classes were well paced with a nice flow to them.

  • G. Hall United Kingdom

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    Our accommodation was brilliant and we really enjoyed our stay. Jo and Mark have created a wonderful calming space with a fantastic pool in a beautiful garden. Altogether, it's a very homely experience with great rooms and spacious facilities.

  • D. Kehoe United Kingdom

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    Excellent value for money. Food was very good, plenty of choice and, superbly cooked. To my surprise, I absolutely loved the yoga even though I'd previously thought my body wasn't suited to it. What a difference a great teacher and that personal touch makes! I feel like a new woman and I will definitely keep it up at home. The Qigong was heavenly and I've learned so much about energy work. I really can't thank you enough. I got wonderful memories and overall it's a completely relaxing holiday.

  • Johanna Finland

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website

    I spent a very nice relaxing week at Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat on July 2014. The family was very welcoming and hospitable. The room was nice and neat and all the food was fresh, local, and delicious. I felt like I was eating in a restaurant all week and I enjoyed especially as the kids helped set up the dinner table in the garden every evening. Jo's yoga lessons were absolutely amazing. I felt so much better after a week and I have continued to do some of the stretching techniques and relaxing movements at home. Jo also did couple of meditation sessions which I found very relaxing. Jo and myself both share a passion and interest for healthy nutrition and we had nice chats about it together. I learned from Jo to add tofu into berry smoothie and I have continued to do so at home. I also learned a lot about Bulgarian life and culture and had a chance to visit Varna. I highly recommend Tranguil Times Holistic Retreat to anyone who is looking for a nice, relaxing, and neat yoga resort. I am sure I will be back one day.

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