This yoga retreat in Crete is designed to guide students in finding their spiritual path in order to live a more fulfilling, balanced, and peaceful life. Yoga is a holistic system that sees the human being as body, breath, mind, intellect, ego, and spirit. During this course, you will explore these aspects of your being as a journey of self-discovery and powerful awakening.
During this retreat, you will be accommodated in a traditional guesthouse located near the beach. The beautifully restored traditional stone house is situated between the lower and upper part of the village of Chora Sfakion, overlooking a small cliff. It is nearby the beach and the village shops and restaurants but also offers privacy.
Entering the garden door immediately gives one a sense of quiet and calm. The house can accommodate 13 adults. All rooms are spacious and comfortable. On the first floor, there is one large en-suite double bedroom, one large ensuite triple room, and a single bed on the small stair landing space.
On the ground floor, there is a large ensuite room with two single beds and a small double bed on the mezzanine, the living room that has two single beds (usually used as a long sofa) with direct access to the common bathroom, and one more small single bedroom.
The two upper bedrooms both have verandas with spectacular sea views. Please note that only nine persons can be accommodated comfortably in private rooms. The kitchen is fully equipped with fridge, cooker, dishwasher, and washing machine, and there is also a comfortable rustic dining room.
Although, who would want to sit inside for a meal when there is a large table outside and abundant shade offered by the olive and mulberry trees on the front patio! There is also fast wireless internet access available at the house during summer and at certain periods during the rest of the year.
The front garden harmoniously blends with the natural landscape, featuring local ferns, flowers, and trees. At the back, the small olive grove, by the vegetable garden, with a wooden bench and hammock, offers another peaceful resting spot.
But the best time to sit at the terrace, after one has absorbed enough sunlight for a day, is at dusk, to admire the panorama of the sun setting behind the mountains that taint the sea with a magical combination of colors.
Join YogaOnCrete and experience the lightness of body and spirit and joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind, and spirit through the practice of daily Hatha flow yoga, meditation, chanting and ritual, joyful encounters with the turquoise Mediterranean waters, idyllic unspoilt surroundings, wholesome local food, excursions, and a warm and welcoming group of people.
The week will begin with an introductory yoga session at 6:00 p.m. on the arrival day, followed by dinner. All other days will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a 1.5-hour yoga class. After breakfast, guests will be free to relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region.
In the late afternoon, there will be a dance session and the day's program will close with dinner. On occasion, the sessions will be held out in nature, at one of the nearby quiet beaches. Each yoga class will build upon the following, in a slow and consistent progression that allows opening up and experiencing. No previous experience in yoga is required for participation in the course.
The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes, with no yoga or movement class. An optional excursion can be arranged, including a hike through the magnificent Aradaina gorge (approximately 25 EUR depending on the number of participants). Individual excursions like hikes and boat trips can also be arranged during the week at an extra cost.
In this journey, there is no teacher and no technique to memorize. You are not here to learn any new theories. You have collected so many theories that your minds seem to have lost their ability to be alert, silent, and open to pure creation, which is what YogaOnCrete seeks to encourage during this week.
On the last day of each week, departure can be arranged after breakfast. The number of guests is limited to 14, to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, and to ascertain that individual attention is given in the classes.
The purpose of rituals and ceremonies is to embrace nature in your process of learning and growing together. There will be a lot of surprises in nature, from nature, and with nature. Playing, singing, and dancing are a must.
There will be lectures and discussions in a circle form on yoga philosophy, personal development, and of course, life.
A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water Beach will be included in the program. The water is actually sweet as there are freshwater springs right on the beach. As a result, the water glistens and on a calm day, that is most days, it is a true paradise.
This holiday will take place in Chora Sfakion, Crete, Greece. The capital of the municipality of Sfakia, Chora Sfakion, or Sfakia is located on the southwest coast of Crete. The landscape of the region is particularly dramatic. The mountains in this part of Crete meet the sea, with steep slopes towering over the beaches.
The road from the north of the island threads through breathtaking mountains and small villages to reach the port village of Sfakia. A sense of peacefulness radiates from the dry mountains and the sunset skies.
With its quiet, picturesque alleys, the beaches just walking distance away, and a few restaurants and cafés with tasty local dishes on offer lining the old harbor, Sfakia can become the little haven for anyone who wants to step out of the modern city fast-paced lifestyle for a while.
If you are up for a short hike after the sun has gone down, just above the last house of the village is the little church of Agios Georgios, hidden away in a cave. Previously a neighborhood of the village, but nowadays abandoned, Georgitsi is also a 10-minute hike up the mountain. The history of the place can almost be sensed in the air of Sfakia.
The Sfakians, together with the people of Mani in the Peloponnese, are actually considered the bravest people in Greece. It can be seen in the deep signs of aging and hardship on an old lady’s face and in the austere look of a man sitting at the coffee shop first thing in the morning drinking raki.
And then a smile breaks, and you know that these people are only too happy to welcome you.The region has also a lot to offer culturally. The lira (a traditional string instrument) can be heard on any occasion for celebration, accompanied by mantinades (rhyming poems that speak of pride, love, and death).
The annual "graviera (a hard goat’s cheese) festival" takes place in Anopoli, the next village up the mountain in August, a chance for everyone to enjoy the local specialties, dance, and have a good time.
Most beaches of the region are pebbly, the white of the beach and the turquoise of the water creating a beautiful scene for relaxed swimming and sunbathing. The waters in most beaches actually come from springs high up in the White Mountains, so they are literally crystal clear.
Illigas Beach has been awarded a Blue Beach Award for its pristine waters. Filaki Beach offers a nudist choice. Amoudi Beach is the quietest beach around. Glika Nera Beach is YogaOnCrete's favorite pick. Its name refers to the freshwater springs that are found under the sand and that give the sea its magical clear color. It can be accessed on foot or by kaiki (small boat).
Lastly, Frangokastelo and Orthi Ammos are two adjacent sandy beaches from Sfakia. Frangokastelo takes its name from the very well preserved Frankish (Venetian) castle built by the shore. There is actually a legend that just as dawn is breaking in late May - early June, the image of men on horseback exiting the castle and riding into the sea can be witnessed in the early morning mist. These are the mysterious Drosoulites (mist-men).
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During this retreat, you will be served seven breakfasts and five dinners at the house. On two of the nights, guests will be free to dine out in the village restaurants, which is not included in the course cost. A full meal including drinks will cost approximately 15 EUR.
A selection of hot and cold herbal teas, both local and imported, and fresh fruit is available at all times. YogaOnCrete's aim is to nurture your body as well as your mind by consuming foods that provide optimum energy and vitality while creating a balanced and peaceful state of mind.
Their fantastically inventive chef fully embodies and puts the above notions into practice, preparing nutritious lactovegetarian meals using local, and wherever possible, organic products. Moreover, if you have any dietary requirements, please notify YogaOnCrete and they will do their best to accommodate them.
The village restaurants, only a short walk away, offer a wide range of local dishes, including fresh fish and game. On two of the evenings during each week-long holiday, guests are free to dine out and try some of the local delicacies (not included in the course cost). Guests have also found the local bakery particularly enticing, with delicious local bakes, biscuits, and bread.
Please book your flight to arrive either at Chania International Airport (CHQ) or at Heraklion International Airport (HER). YogaOnCrete can arrange a hired car to meet you at the airport.
To get to the bus station in Chania from the airport (30 minutes for 2.50 EUR), buses run at different times every day to correspond with the flights. This is also the case for the return journey. The bus station in the city has a luggage storage, operating between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., which can be useful if you have a long wait, as the beautiful old city is just a few minutes walk away.
If you need to get a taxi from the airport to the bus station, the cost should be about 15 to 20 EUR. From Chania, you can then get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion, but confirm departures in advance because during high season (April to October), there are only four buses a day (at 8:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m). It will cost 8.30 EUR for 1 hour 45 minutes.
From Heraklion airport, there is a frequent bus service (number 6) that takes you to the main bus station in Heraklion in 15 minutes. Ask the driver to tell you where to get off for the bus station, because it is not obvious. From there, you first need to get a bus to Rethymnon, which runs approximately every hour.
It will cost 8.30 EUR for 90 minutes and then a bus to Chora Sfakion, changing buses at Vrisses (at 8:00 and 1:00 p.m.). Vrisses does not have a bus station per se, rather a coffee shop in which you can buy a ticket and in front of which the buses stop.
If you arrive by ferry from Piraeus (Athens) to Crete, there is an overnight ferry to Chania from Piraeus, the port of Athens, easily accessed by metro from Athens International Airport (ATH). It departs at 9:00 p.m. and arrives at Souda, the port of Chania, which is a 10-minute bus journey away from the main bus station in Chania city center.
If you arrive by ferry from Paleohora, Sougia, or Aghia Roumeli to Chora Sfakion, the south-west coast of Crete is fairly well served by daily ferry lines traveling from Paleohora to Chora Sfakion. This is a convenient option if you were thinking of spending some time on the south coast before arriving at YogaOnCrete.
Travelling by taxi is the most convenient way to reach the village. A taxi from Chania city center or airport costs 85 EUR (1 hour) and from Heraklion 140 EUR (2.5 hours). When there are several guests arriving at similar times at either airport, YogaOnCrete can arrange a shared taxi. Make sure you provide them with your arrival details (arrival time, flight number, airport name) as soon as you book flights to make this possible.
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