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Join life coach Julie for a 7-day joyful living experience on Crete, the inspiring and heart-opening Mediterranean island paradise. Julie used to have a busy corporate job in London. Once she learned to live her days mindfully, she noticed how she became much more relaxed. The days werent less stressful, but she wasnt as stressed anymore. Instead, she was feeling grateful for living effortlessly and in flow. Julie created the exclusive Joyful Living retreat to assist YogaOnCrete guests in cultivating mindfulness and gratitude. In a warm and supportive group of maximum 10 participants, you will explore how to make ordinary days extraordinary.
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 a limited availability of rooms and single rooms in particular). The house is a 5-minute walking distance to the village centre 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.
Do you want to:
Live with joy and ease?
Improve your work life balance?
Cultivate mindfulness and gratitude?
Enhance your health and wellbeing?
Find peace in a hectic life style?
This powerful retreat will give you: Written positive outcomes about what Joyful Living means to you
A renewed sense of energy and joy in life
Positive outcomes about what Joyful Living means to you
An individualised roadmap on how to get there
Commitment to prioritise according to your values
A chance to soak up the magical Mediterranean.
Each day at the retreat includes a meditation and conscious movement session to open your heart and body, and two interactive workshops on the Joyful Living theme of the day. You will also have time for relaxing by the beach, and exploring the scenic village and countryside. Julie facilitates the workshops using life coaching techniques to create insights and find your own answers, as well as get you committed to put them into practice. You will leave feeling transformed.
The week begins with a welcome activity and then delicious vegan welcome dinner on Sunday evening at 19:00. From Monday to Saturday, you will start the day with a lovely relaxed meditation and conscious movement practice. Then its time for a refreshing detox smoothie before you start the interactive morning workshop.
Each day, you will take a closer look at the benefits of one of the five Joyful Living themes:
The retreats five themes are designed to anchor your days in the things that matter to you and bring joy into your life. Together, these themes give you a recipe for how to be the change you want to see and own your unique footprint. The retreat program is designed to put these themes in practice straight away so you will experience the benefits of Joyful Living first hand.
After lunch and siesta, the afternoon workshop is dedicated to giving expression to your own commitments and creating an individualised roadmap for each theme. Julie will hold the sessions out in nature as much as possible so you can enjoy your connection with the sea, the trees and the hills. In the afternoons, there's the opportunity to relax, enjoy the beach and sunshine, get a massage, explore the village, take a walk in the countryside.
Coaching enables you to create real and positive change by dramatically increasing your levels of self-confidence and awareness.
A life coach facilitates your journey of finding answers to your questions. The answers already lie within you and point you to how to realise your full potential. The life coaching method is built on the cornerstone that we are all naturally creative, resourceful and whole and that we all possess the capacity for knowing what is best for ourselves.
In a coaching session, the coach creates for the client a safe place of authentic being, powerful listening and encouragement, to uncover the best in oneself and others. This way, the coach and client together create insights and commitment to action so that the clients life is optimised.
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.
Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats
Six vegan breakfasts (smoothie) and 5 lunches are offered at the house, while in the evenings guests can dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approximately 15 EUR for a full meal including drinks). On Sunday, 15th of July, you will have brunch together before guests leave. The welcome dinner on Sunday, 8th of July, is included in the price.
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.
YogaOnCrete's lovely cook Maria 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 fourth day of each week-long course is a rest day from the classes. Guests can join an optional excursion, including a guided hike through the stunning Aradaina Gorge on this day, at an extra cost (25 EUR). Individual excursions can also be arranged to numerous gorges, along the coastal trail, as well as boat trips to neighbouring seaside villages and beaches, in addition to scuba diving lessons.
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. The village beach, Vrisi (Spring), is just 10 minutes walk away from the house.
lligas (Vertigo), 1.5 kilometers out of the village has been awarded a Blue Beach Award for its pristine waters. Filaki (Prison), approximately 2 kilometers away offers a nudist choice. Amoudi (Sandy Beach), 1.5 kilometers away is the quietest beach around. Glika Nera (Sweet Water) is the favorite pick. Its name refers to the fresh water springs that are found under the sand and that give the sea its magical clear color. It can be accessed on foot (30 minutes walk along the coastal path) or by kaiki (small boat, 10 minutes from Sfakia).
Frangokastelo (Frankish fort) and Orthi Ammos (Vertical Sand, literally), are two adjacent sandy beaches 15 kilometers away 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).
Choose from Holistic massage, Thai massage, Cranio-sacral treatment, and Reflexology with our on-site or visiting therapist at 40 EUR per hour.
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 hire companies YogaOnCrete recommends are Drive Kreta and the international Enterprise.
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).
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 centre, 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).
The south-west coast of Crete is fairly well served by daily ferry lines travelling 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.
Alternatively, from Chania you can 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 08:30, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00; 7.60 EUR; duration 2 hours).
From Heraklion you first need to get a bus to Rethymnon (approximately every hour; 7.60 EUR; duration 90 minutes) and then a bus to Chora Sfakion changing buses at Vrisses (at 08:00, and 13:00; 7.30 EUR; 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.
To get to the bus station in Chania from the airport, 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 luggage storage, operating between 06:30 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 the cost should be about 15-20 EUR.
To reach the Heraklion bus station from the airport, there is a bus service (bus No. 6) at regular intervals, but ask the driver to tell you where to get off for the bus station, because it is not obvious.
Travelling by taxi is the most convenient way to reach the village. A taxi from Chania city centre or airport costs 85 EUR (1 hour) and from Heraklion 140 EUR (2.5 hours).
YogaOnCrete house - 35.20192, 24.13809
YogaOnCrete studio - 35.20184, 24.13936