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Iyengar Yoga Retreat Greece

Join us at YogaOnCrete and experience lightness of body and spirit and the joy of honouring and nurturing the needs of your body, mind and spirit through the practice of Iyengar yoga, daily encounters with the cool, turquoise Mediterranean waters at quiet beaches, idyllic unspoilt surroundings, and wholesome local food, excursions, a warm and welcoming group of people and much more! No previous experience in yoga or movement is required for participation in the course while more experienced students will discover tools for deepening their practice.

Meet the instructors

Kristina
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Highlights

  • Twice daily Iyengar yoga classes
  • Professional and experienced yoga instructor
  • 7 nights' accommodation in traditional guesthouse located near beach
  • A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach
  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners included
  • Linen and towels provided

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Yoga styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 14 participants
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Yoga studio
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Patio

On this yoga retreat, you will stay for 7 nights. The accommodation is offered in a lovely traditional stone house. Rooms are designed in a natural combination of old and new and are spacious and comfortable. Rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis (there is limited availability of rooms and single rooms in particular).

The house is a 5-minute walking distance to the village center and beach, but also pleasantly secluded. The garden at the front and the private olive grove at the back blend in with the landscape and offer options for places to rest.

Program

During this week we will use the precision of the postures (asanas) to visit and focus on different areas of our bodies. The practice of asana is not about doing the perfect posture. It’s about using postures to understand and transform ourselves. By starting to observe where we feel tension and where we experience flexibility, we can use the body’s knowledge to understand our limits, physiological and psychological. Sometimes it is the body saying yes and the mind saying no, or vice versa. The purpose of this workshop is to have the body and mind work together while executing a posture. To actually be in an asana and not trying to reach it. To enjoy yoga no matter how flexible we are!

Course Program

Each week begins with an introductory yoga session at 6.00 p.m. on the day of arrival, followed by dinner. All other days will begin at 8 a.m. with a 1.5 hour Iyengar yoga class. After breakfast guests are free to relax and enjoy the beach and sunshine, receive a massage treatment, or explore the village and region. In the late afternoon there is a second 1.5 hour class, and the day's programme closes with dinner.

The fourth day of the week is a rest day from classes; guests can join in an optional excursion, including a guided hike through the magnificent Aradaina gorge (approx. €25 depending on number of participants). All breakasts and 5 dinners are offered at the house, while on two of the nights guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approx. €15 for a full meal including drinks). Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged at an extra cost. On the last day, 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.

Iyengar yoga

The classes comprise of a series of asanas (physical postures), usually sustained for some time so that the body and its necessary actions can be observed within the posture, pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditative techniques (sitting in silence, concentration techniques), through which the development of awareness of the body and mind in the present moment and deep relaxation are practiced.

Iyengar yoga was developed through the pioneering work of B.K.S. Iyengar, who freed the classical yoga postures (asanas) from their Indian mystique and with the use of props made them suitable for Westerners, who want to have a clear understanding of what happens in a yoga posture. A typical Iyengar yoga class focuses on precision of movement, correct alignment, and the study of the ‘muscle and mind’ actions and resistance necessary to enter a state of concentration. Breathing awareness is emphasized in every asana in order to deepen the experience. Through consistent practice the student overcomes physical and mental/emotional limits and develops a deep awareness of the body, power, control, patience and physical and mental harmony.

Included excursions

This package includes a round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach.

Instructors

Kristina Assimakopoulou-Scondra

Retreat location

Chora (pronounced "Hora") Sfakion or Sfakia, the capital of the municipality of Sfakia, is located on the south-west 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 cafes 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 ten minute hike up the mountain.

Distances

  • Amoudi (Sandy Beach), 1.5 kilometers
  • Filaki (Prison) beach, 2 kilometers
  • Frangokastelo (Frankish fort), 15 kilometers
  • Georgitsi - 10 minutes hike
  • Glika Nera (Sweet Water) - 30 minutes walk
  • lligas (Vertigo) beach, 1.5 kilometers
  • Orthi Ammos (Vertical Sand, literally), 15 kilometers
  • Vrisi (Spring) village beach - 10 minutes walk

Food

You will be served with seven breakfasts and five dinners at the house, while on two of the nights' guests are free to dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approximately 15 EUR for a full meal including drinks).

Cretan food

The Cretan diet is renowned for its macrobiotic qualities, but also for its great variety of delicious flavors. More than the pure, fresh ingredients themselves, it is the fact that cooking is traditionally performed almost like a ritual, with love, and always in the prospect of offering the food to others, that makes the Cretan cuisine so special.

YogaOnCretes cook embodies this spirit, preparing two nutritious lacto-vegetarian meals a day, using local, and wherever possible, organic products (grown in their own garden!). The village restaurants, only a short walk away, offer a wide range of local dishes, including fresh fish and game.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Organic
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • A boat trips to neighboring seaside villages and beaches
  • A guided hike through the stunning Aradaina Gorge
  • Scuba diving lessons
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming and sunbathing

Spa treatments

You can enjoy massage treatment to pamper and relax your body. There are options from Holistic massage, Craniosacral treatment, and Reflexology with Ginger compress treatment with Federica. The price is 40 EUR / 1 hour and not included in this package.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • A round trip to the beautiful Sweet Water beach
  • Daily morning and afternoon Iyengar yoga class
  • Linen and towels

What's not included

  • Additional excursions
  • All lunches and 2 dinners out
  • Flights to Crete
  • Insurance
  • Massage treatments
  • Transfers to Chora Sfakion

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

In order to reach Chora Sfakion, you can fly directly to Crete, to the airports of Chania (CHQ - pronounced Chania, which is an hour's drive) or Heraklion (HER, which is 2.5 hours' drive). For flights from the UK, Easyjet, Ryanair and Monarch airlines have direct flights from several UK airports to Crete, both to Heraklion (HER) and to Chania (CHQ), during the tourist season. You can also use Thomas Cook, Just The Flight, Charter Flights, Cheap Flights, or Flight Line. From London Stansted, also check the daily flight of Aegean Airlines to Chania via Athens. For flights from other European countries try Ryanair, that now connects several European cities to Chania (CHQ). Also Easyjet, Transavia, Norwegian Airlines, Aer Lingus, German Wings, or Air Berlin. Be aware that on some occasions booking two single flights can be cheaper than a return flight!

You can also fly to Athens (ATH) (www.airtickets.gr or with Easyjet) and either get a transit flight or boat to Crete (Chania - CHQ).

Arrival by car

A car can be hired and picked up at either Chania or Heraklion airport upon arrival, or during your stay in the village. The windy mountain road down to the village has just undergone extensive work, with three tunnels replacing the sharp curves, making it much safer and easy to drive on! Alternative car hires companies YogaOnCrete recommends are Drive Kreta and the international Enterprise.

Arrival by ferry from Piraeus (Athens)

There is an overnight ferry to Chania from Piraeus, the port of Athens, easily accessed by metro from Athens "E. Venizelos" airport. It departs at 21:00 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, at 05:30 the next morning. The return journey with Anek lines starts from 63 EUR (deck price; there is a discount if the return journey is booked at the same time as the first part).

Arrival by ferry from Paleohora, Sougia or Aghia Roumeli

The south-west coast of Crete is fairly well served by daily ferry lines traveling from Paleohora to Chora Sfakion, which is a convenient option if you were thinking of spending some time on the south coast before arriving at YogaOnCrete. You can also reach them in this way after hiking the Samaria gorge (consider putting your luggage on a bus at Chania, to be picked up at Chora Sfakion, so you can hike light.

Arrival by bus

To get to the bus station in Chania from the airport (2.50 EURO; duration 30 minutes), 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 and 20.00, 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 15-20 EURO. From Chania you can then get a bus directly to Chora Sfakion, but confirm departures in advance because during high season (April-October) there are only four buses a day (at 8.15, 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00; 8.30 EURO; duration 1 hour 45 minutes).

From Heraklion airport, there is a frequent bus service (No. 6) that takes you to the main bus station in Heraklion (duration 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 (approximately every hour; 8.30 EURO; duration 90 miutes) and then a bus to Chora Sfakion changing buses at Vrisses (at 8.00, and 13.00; 8.30 EURO; duration 2 hours). 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.

Arrival by taxi

Traveling 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).

GPS

  • YogaOnCrete house - 35.20192, 24.13809
  • YogaOnCrete studio - 35.20184, 24.13936

Distances

  • Chania Airport - 1 hour
  • Heraklion Airport - 2.5 hours

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

Arrival: Wednesday July 14, 2021
Departure: Wednesday July 21, 2021

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