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7 Days Relaxing Yoga Retreat in Bulgaria

  • Tranquil Times Retreat, Sadovo 9139, Avren, Varna, Bulgaria.


Tranquil Yoga Retreat in Bulgaria

Come and join Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat for a wonderful week of yoga, holistic therapies, healthy and delicious vegetarian food with non-veggie option in a relaxing rural location, close to the Black Sea beaches, near Varna, Bulgaria. Enjoy the atmosphere of serenity and being in harmony with nature and take the opportunity to relax, restore, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your inner self.


  • Twice daily yoga classes
  • Choice of different workshops
  • Hatha and Sivananda yoga practices
  • Various therapy options to choose
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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The comfortable rooms have all been individually designed with original artwork. Light and airy bedrooms are located in the bungalow by the pool and also on the top floor of the main house. There is also a communal kitchen and lounge with double sofa bed.

Rooms offered in the bungalow

Two en-suite twin bedrooms with single beds suitable for shared or single use

Rooms offered in the main house

  • Two double bedrooms with balcony (suitable for couples or for single use)
  • These two bedrooms share a spacious bathroom with bath and shower.
  • One therapy room


  • Barbeque and summer kitchen area
  • Bike hire
  • Book and DVD library
  • Color TV and DVD, hairdryer and ironing facilities on request
  • Free wireless internet access
  • Fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, and honesty bar
  • Large gardens with sun loungers, hammocks and shaded seating areas
  • Large swimming pool with shallow children's section. The childrens area of the pool is also great for anyone who wants to cool down, take a dip, but is unable to swim
  • Open May to October
  • Tiled terrace for yoga and Tai chi / Qi gong
  • UK and EU electrical sockets in rooms
  • Wooden decked area for sunbathing

The holiday includes 2 x 90 minutes classes a day, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, (except for a lunch and dinner where we go out and sample the local cuisine). Tranquil Times Holistic Retreats is specialized in tailoring programs to your individual requirements to give you the ultimate holistic experience. Classes are suitable for all ages and beginner and intermediate levels.

Daily schedule

  • 08:00 - 09:30 : Morning class (90 min yoga)
  • 09:30 - 10:30 : Breakfast
  • 10:30 - 14:00 : Free time for therapies, relaxation, further activity, practice, etc.
  • 14:00 - 15:00 : Light lunch
  • 15:00 - 17:30 : Free time
  • 17:30 - 19:00 : Afternoon class (90 minutes yoga or meditation)
  • 19:30 - 20:30 : Evening meal
  • Please note that morning class will start between 08:00 and 08:30 depending on the heat of the season. Flexibility and individual requests are always allowed.


On your retreat, you will learn and practice various asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga Nidra (relaxation), and meditation at your own pace and within your own range. Morning classes tend to be slightly more dynamic in order to energize and revitalize, as well as to relax, while the late afternoon class includes more yoga Nidra and meditation.

The classes include sun salutations with variations depending on your level. Classes are small and informal so there will be plenty of time for individual attention and to concentrate on poses suitable for you and your body.

Over the years, resident instructor Jo has practiced and studied various styles of Hatha yoga and has been influenced by the correct alignment that Iyengar yoga teaches, the breath synchronized flowing movements of Vinyasa with its sun salutations and Viniyoga with its individualistic approach and gentle flow.

Her main influences in recent years are Integral yoga which incorporates gentle hatha practice and focuses on the healing power of meditation and Sivanander. Her classes have a lovely flowing sequence and although predominantly Sivanander based, incorporate aspects from many of the above styles of yoga, suitable for beginners and the more experienced.


Meditation expands awareness and develops calmness, serenity, and focus, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of our inner nature. Meditation also has much to offer as a tool for enhancing concentration, willpower, and resistance to stress.

It allows us to ride the waves of life without being disturbed by them. The meditation techniques are taught systematically, and over the course of the week may cover body and breathe awareness, inner observation, and mantra (sound). Healing chakra meditations are often included as are special confidence boosting and abundance meditations.

Jo (your host and teacher)

Jo's interest in Yoga started as a teenager and throughout her busy career as a make-up artist, she sought refuge and relaxation in it whenever possible. At one point due to clashing schedules, she started Tai chi Qi gong sessions instead and continued for several years, including while being in labor with her children!

She was running two businesses, a college department and had a young family she needed something to stop her going mad, to slow her down and keep her health on an even keel; we all need to take some time out for ourselves before we burn out!

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 teacher diploma, Reiki level I and II and completed a course in nutrition for health promotion and disease prevention, from the University of California.

She has also completed training courses in mind control and meditation, encompassing the law of attraction and related areas in order to help others heal and create better lives.

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat is located in Sadovo, an authentic Bulgarian village. The venue is nestled in a valley surrounded by vineyards, forest and beautiful countryside which is part of the Kamchia Nature Reserve. Situated just a short 25-minute drive from Varna city center, the sea capital of Bulgaria, you will find the retreat is easily accessible.


  • Beaches - 30 minutes
  • Beach resorts - 45 minutes
  • Burgas Airport - 1.5 - 2 hours
  • Varna - 25 minutes
  • Varna Airport - 35 minutes
  • Massage
  • Swimming pool
  • Bar
  • BBQ facilities
  • Terrace
  • Bicycle rental
  • Library
  • Special menu request
  • Wireless internet

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians are equally welcome at the retreat. Special menus for each group of visitors are designed and prepared, so you can be sure that there will be a plentiful supply of delicious healthy food to suit your tastes. Please note, however, that many of the meals will be vegetarian and we don't serve any red meat or mushrooms.

On your retreat, 3 meals per day are provided, apart from one lunch and dinner where we eat out. The first meal of the day is served after any early morning activities. This consists of a continental type breakfast and can include cereals, fruit, freshly baked bread, eggs, cheeses, yoghurt, local honey, and homemade preserves.

A light lunch is served in the early afternoon and includes salads. A two course evening meal is served a short while after the late afternoon classes. There has always been wonderful feedback about the food as it is super tasty, varied and produced from as much locally sourced produce as possible.

Drawing on culinary influences from around the world, subtle herbs and spices are used to produce classic and innovative meals. It is a promise you will not be left hungry and if you have sweet cravings, scrumptious desserts will be happily prepared too! There is a well-stocked organic vegetable garden, over 30 fruit and nut trees on site and eggs from free range hens.


  • Red meat
  • Mushrooms

You will have plenty of free time to contemplate, to have therapies, go swimming and walking, mountain biking, or simply relax and recharge those batteries while sunbathing with a good book around the pool. Alternatively you may wish to visit local attractions such as the city, beaches, mineral spas at St. Constantine, Balchick's Botanical gardens or The Eco Park.

Aromatherapy massage (35 GBP)

This treatment combines the benefits of a full body massage with the healing properties of essential oils. The oils or essences are derived from many different aromatic plants, including trees, herbs, flowers, and fruit. Many are known for their powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, as well as for their more subtle effects on the mind and emotions. The massage itself lasts about 50 minutes.

Indian head massage (35 GBP)

Indian head massage is based on the Ayurvedic system of healing which has been practiced in India for over a thousand years. The aim of Indian head massage is to release the stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face, neck and shoulders.

Indian head massage is especially good for relieving tension, stress, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, sinusitis, and migraine. Clients report that the experience is deeply calming and relaxing, leaving them feeling energized and revitalized and better able to concentrate.

The treatment helps increase joint mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders, improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow, frees knots of muscular tension, relaxes connective tissue, and aids in the elimination of accumulated toxins and waste products.

A one-hour treatment includes a consultation, treatment of upper back, shoulders, neck, upper arms, scalp and face.

Reflexology (30 GBP)

Reflexology, otherwise known as zone therapy, uses trigger points on the body to stimulate the clients own healing mechanisms. The science of reflexology dates back to ancient times. Artifacts and paintings from China and Egypt indicate that reflex points on the feet were used to promote good health as far back as 4,000 B.C.

Modern day reflexology is based on the work published by the American physician Dr. William Fitzgerald in 1915. Dr. Fitzgerald demonstrated how pressure applied to one part of the body could anaesthetize another part. During the mid-1900s, Eunice Ingham (a physiotherapist) extended and developed Fitzgeralds work and created the reflex zone maps that are used today.

Generally, the trigger points on the feet are the most responsive, which is why most reflexology treatments concentrate on these, but pressure is also sometimes applied to points on the hands, arms or legs. The treatment lasts 45 minutes.

Reiki (30 GBP)

Reiki is a non-invasive therapy whose purpose is to provide a holistic treatment to the mind, body and spirit. Reiki's natural healing energy works on every level, not just the physical, and promotes the body's regenerative self-healing ability.

The universal energy heals you and activates your body's natural ability to heal itself. Reiki goes to the deeper levels of your being, where many illnesses have their origins.

It works wherever you need it most, releasing blocked energies, cleansing the body of toxins and working to create a state of harmony and balance. It reinforces your own ability to take responsibility for your life and helps to make the necessary changes in your attitude and lifestyle in order to promote a happier and healthy life.

It is a very simple, non-intrusive and extremely powerful process. A treatment session lasts approximately 50 minutes, the client usually lies down, fully clothed on a treatment couch covered with a blanket or can be seated on a chair.

The practitioner gently places her/his hands in various positions over the body. Each position is held for a short time, there is no pressure: making it ideal for treating the very young, the elderly, pregnant women and those recovering from surgery.

  • 7 nights accommodation and full board meals (except for one lunch and one evening meal where we eat out locally)
  • 2 x 90 minute classes per day
  • Access to facilities, yoga mats, water, teas, and coffee
  • 1 evening meal
  • 1 lunch
  • Bar drinks
  • Optional trips
  • Therapies
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Varna International Airport is 35 minutes away and has flights from many parts of Europe, Russia, the USA and the UAE. From the UK, you can fly direct into Varna from various regional airports around the country. Flying time is 3 - 3.5 hours.

Direct Flights from the UK

Wizz Air - Luton to Varna various days of the week direct.

Balkan Holidays - Fly into Varna from the 16th May through to October direct from Manchester, London Gatwick, Newcastle and East Midlands. Arrival days are Fridays and Saturdays. Flights into Bourgas arrive from London Gatwick or Stanstead, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Humberside, Doncaster, Sheffield, Leeds / Bradford, Manchester, East Midlands, Birmingham, Norwich and Belfast.

Indirect flights from the UK

  • Bulgaria Air - Flights via Sofia only from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Flights from Sofia to Varna three times daily.
  • Austrian Air - Heathrow to Varna via Vienna.
  • Thomson Holidays - Fly to Bourgas only from Manchester.
  • Easyjet - Fly to Sofia from Manchester or London.
  • Ryan Air- Fly into Plovdiv from London Stanstead.
  • From other countries, please check your usual airlines.
For information about the booking conditions, please send Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat an inquiry.
  • Review by Angelika from Brussels, Belgium
    10 out of 10

    "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!" website, edited

  • Review by Emma from Croydon, United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "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." website, edited

  • Review by Maja from Copenhagen, Denmark
    10 out of 10

    "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.", edited

  • Review by Shanta and Fern from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "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!", edited

  • Review by Aleks, Germany
    10 out of 10

    "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!", edited

  • Review by Jennifer Aberdeen, Scotland
    10 out of 10

    "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.", edited

  • Review by Sheila from North Wales, UK
    10 out of 10

    "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.", edited

  • Review by Jacalyn M from Edinburgh, Scotland
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

  • Review by J. Lunn from Bristol, UK
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Marcia T. from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

  • Review by G. Hall from UK
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

  • Review by D. Kehoe from UK
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

  • Review by Johanna from Helsinki, Finland
    10 out of 10

    "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."

    Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat website, edited

Varna, Bulgaria

Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat is an accommodation that offers week long holidays incorporating yoga and / or Qigong classes, therapies, and delicious healthy food.

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7 days / 6 nights


This vacation is available from May to September, please select an arrival date below.

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