Hiking & Yoga in Crete

A retreat in the isolated village of Ayios Ioannis

Ayios Ioannis is a remote village of 15 inhabitants located between the White Mountains and the sea. There is no better place to take care of yourself than here, using the calm of nature to dive into yourself, to observe yourself, giving you the space and horizon to open up and unify with the universe. We will spend our week-long retreat in this wonderful natural place, 800 meters above sea level in south-west Crete, in the Sfakia region. We are accommodated in a charming guest house, in shared rooms with every comfort. Our days will be regulated by yoga lessons and walks, either up to the heights or down towards the sparkling sea. A free day in the middle of the week will allow everyone to follow their own rhythm and desires.

¤ Stay in a charming guest house in rural Crete
¤ Yoga each day, hiking each day
¤ A lovely balance of sea and mountains

Dates : 23 - 30 June, 10 - 17 July, 5 - 12 Sept 2020. For the week in Sept it will be Pilates practice rather than yoga.

Price: 1055€ - 1245€ pp depending on number of participants. Price includes: transfers between Chania and Ayios Ioannis, full board accommodation from lunch on day D1 to breakfast on D8, all transfers during the week's program, daily yoga, walks. Not included: drinks, personal insurance, flights.

Program

D1 : Arrival in Ayios Ioannis and settling in

We organize your transfer by private bus from Chania to Ayios Ioannis. Installation in your rooms and lunch. Short stroll in the late afternoon to Kakoporos, a balcony with breathtaking views perched 600m above the sea. Possible small meditation session (walk 1h, -200m, +200m)

D2 : Walk to Papakefala

Morning yoga session. Breakfast then walk in the forest to Papakefala, "the head of the pope" (1000m above sea level) which overlooks the gorge of Eliyas and offers a panorama over Ayia Roumeli and the exit of the gorge of Samaria. Lunch and return to Alonia. Free time (3h walk, + 200m, -200m)

D3 : Hike in Aradena Gorge

Morning yoga and breakfast. Pick-up transfer or bikes to Aradena bridge. We then descend the wild gorge to its outlet on the sea in the bay of Marmara. Lunch on the marble, eyes in the water. Possible meditation, swimming and return to Alonia by pick up. (walking 3h30 -600m, + 100m or 5h30 -600m, + 600m)

D4 : Walk to the Drakoulakis cave

Morning yoga and breakfast. Transfer by pick-up to the Krousia plateau at 1200m altitude and a pleasant country walk to the Drakoulakis cave. This cave is fantastic and offers us a little taste of speleology and a superb meditation room. Picnic in the green meadow and return to Alonia (walk 2h AR, + 150m, -150m, or 4h, +150m, -550m).

D5 : Free day

Morning yoga and breakfast. You are then free to follow your desires! Relax, read, practice your yoga, massage or whatever you want and / or have to offer. Possibility of transfer to Ilingas beach, near Sfakia.

D6 : Walk to Loutro and Likos

Morning yoga and breakfast. Collection and transfer to Anopoli and Ayia Aikaterina church. We then walk down the old mule path to Loutro, have some time there to look around and then walk on to Likos on the other side of the peninsula. Lunch, swimming and return ot Alonia (walk 3h, -600m, +50m or 3h45 -600m, +250m).

D7 : Pachnès, the high peaks

Morning yoga and breakfast. Transfer by pick-up in lunar landscapes to Roussiès at 2000m, from where we hike to the roof of the White Mountains, the Pachnès summit (2453m) in the middle of the white deserts. Breath, you are free....  on the way back we'll visit our favourite herbalist in Anopoli - perhaps some malotira for your evening tea? (walk 3h, +450m, -450m).

D8: Departure

Morning yoga and breakfast. Transfer by private bus from Ayios Ioannis to Chania.

Note: The walking program can be adapted from day to day depending on the level of the group and group preferences, and the possibilities available to us. Everyone can, of course, take the liberty of not participating in walks or yoga sessions when the urge takes them!

Other information and practical advice

Lodging:

We will stay in a small village of 15 inhabitants located at 800m altitude between sea and mountains. Our place of welcome is called Alonia and is composed of seven simple but charming guest rooms, all equipped with private bathrooms, articulated around an old restored building which serves as a common place. Accommodation is provided, with some exceptions, on the basis of sharing a double room. The rooms include, depending on the case, single beds or a double bed + a single bed.

Meals:

We will take most of our meals, breakfasts and dinners, at Alonia. We will thus benefit from Anna's culinary skills and talents, which will allow us to discover the best of Cretan cuisine. The meals will be taken in the common room or on the outdoor terrace depending on the weather. At noon, our lunches will take the form of a picnic that we will either take with us, each at Alonia or in a tavern during the walk, depending on the day. No shop is available in the village, the closest ones are in the village of Anopoli, 7kms away. Drinks are available at Alonia, plan your extras if necessary, various supplies will always be possible during our walks.

Yoga/ meditation lessons:

Our well-being activities will take place at the ‘kiosk’, a platform located under the olive trees below the accommodation, or in different corners of nature all around the cottage. Mats and blocks are available.

Transfers:

We organize the transfer of the group, in a private minibus, from Chania to Ayios Ioannis on the first day, and from Ayios Ioannis to Chania on the last day. Transfers through the week long retreat are done by pick up truck.

 

Equipment:

Small paved aisles lead to the rooms in Alonia, not always convenient for the transfer of wheeled suitcases, prefer as far as possible flexible and portable bags.

Take a small backpack for the walks, to carry your picnic, your water and your other personal belongings (fleece and wind proof jacket, swimsuit and towel for the coast)

The paths are generally stony or even rocky, more like goat trails; rather wear hiking shoes, high to protect your ankles, or low if you have flexible ankles, but with a good sole so as not to feel stones and avoid fatigue of the feet. If you are used to walking with poles, take them, four legs are always more stable than two on this type of trail. Likewise, a camelbag, a water pocket that you put in your bag and which supplies you with a hose, is a very practical and useful accessory to hydrate you effortlessly during the walks.

The evenings can sometimes be cool at an altitude of 800m, take warm, covering clothes. Pants, a fleece, a windbreaker / waterproof jacket are recommended for climbing to the top of the White Mountains, you never know what the weather is like.

For yoga, choose comfortable and casual clothes, warm for the relaxation phase, and airy for the exercises

For Ayios Ioannis, a flashlight can be useful to reach your rooms or walk around at night. You will also need it for the visit of the cave, in this case prefer a frontal.

And of course don't forget your hat, glasses, sunscreen, swimwear, snorkel mask if you enjoy snorkeling, and camera!

Reserve your place directly

Searching Availability...