Greece Retreat 2022

Greece Retreat 2022

June 18-22, 2022

Contact me directly if you are interested

Crete is magical! I chose this island for our adventure because it is so diverse – all of the enticing aspects of Greece live here! Rich history to fascinate us, mountainous landscape for hiking, crystal clear, turquoise coastline for swimming and a wonderfully embracing culture to experience. 

Oh, and the food . . . did I mention the food? Cretans are known for taking great pride in their fresh, healthy Mediterranean cuisine, which we’ll enjoy daily!

We’ll also enjoy a daily yoga practice designed to enhance our experience of soaking in each precious moment and fully experiencing the wonder of our bodies and natural surroundings. 

Dina

Daily Itinerary

beach

DAY 1: Arrival and Exploration of Chania

You will be picked up from the airport in Chania. Traditional Guesthouse accommodations will be at: Hanim lounge. They have a rooftop with shade for yoga and have earned a 9.9 on Bookings.com!

Octopus, anyone?

Octopus, anyone?

Today is a day to settle into the Greek culture and meet new friends. Our guesthouse is situated in the old part of town. Those who arrive early enough will enjoy a walk to a nearby beach for a quick swim and lunch. We’ll gather for a short yoga practice to work out the kinks of travel and help ground us for the week ahead.

We’ll meet again for an evening walk around Chania. We’ll wander along the waterfront of the famous picturesque Venetian harbor to experience what is known as “Venice of the East”. Melita, our guide who is native Cretan, will begin to introduce us to the local culture and communal life. We’ll visit the Municipal Market for a sampling of local food and drinks. The tour will end with dinner at a favorite local taverna where we can enjoy live, traditional music.

greek cooking class

DAY 2: Village Hopping Through a Natural Paradise Hidden in the Heart of the Cretan Mainland

Today we will have a free morning to enjoy the beach, go shopping, visit a museum, etc. Our guide, Melita will be there to assist us in making the most of the free time.

5-Cooking-Class.jpg

Late in the afternoon we will visit the countryside of Chania and the region of Apokoronas, extending from the foothills of the White Mountains north to the coast of Chania. This is one of the most fertile areas of Chania, due to the abundance of water coming from the mountains, with beautiful villages scattered around which have preserved their cultural traditions.

We’ll continue towards the old village of Douliana enjoying scenic landscapes of olive groves, vineyards and seasonal crops until we reach the village of Gavalochori. There we’ll enjoy a drink at the local kafenio (café) and visit the local cheese-maker to learn about traditional customs and practices.

At the Cretan villages you always find the most delicious local dishes prepared with seasonal products (and love)… and this is how this lovely day will end; with a cooking class and dinner class at Vamos village.

Mountains

DAY 3: Hike the Imbros Gorge
(Transfer Day)

Today we will transfer in the morning to Imbros village (about an hour drive) where we’ll hike down the famous Imbros Gorge. It’s naturally beautiful and we’ll enjoy hiking amongst the fig and almond trees, cypress trees and wildflowers. It’s a relatively easy downhill walk (8km – about 4 hours of walking) until we reach the village of Komitades.

We’ll eat lunch and swim at the nearby beach of Iliggas before hopping on a ferry to Loutro, a picturesque village which is only accessible by boat or foot. There are no overcrowded streets, restaurants or beaches and there are no cars!

Accommodations will be at one of these guesthouses or something similar.

Villa Nikki

Loutro holidays

Gorge
sunbathing on the rocks

DAY 4: Circular Coastal Walk from Loutro to Marmara 

Today we will enjoy a relaxed coastal walk (1.5 hours) to the magical beach of Marmara, situated on a secluded small pebbly bay shaped near the exit of the Aradena Gorge. The name Marmara means “marbles” and is named after the soft colorful rocks and sea caverns that are formed. You can enjoy a lovely swim in the deep blue waters of the Libyan sea and explore the wonder of the caverns.

Fava Bean Salad!

Fava Bean Salad!

After a delicious lunch by the sea at a fun and lively taverna in the area of Sfakia, we’ll start walking back to Loutro. (It’s also possible to take a 5-min water taxi back) On the way back we will pass the picturesque settlements of Foinikas and Lykos where we can enjoy a refreshing drink (Greek coffee? Wine?) and catch the unique evening light. The aim to watch the sunset just before arriving back to Loutro.

Crete beach

DAY 5:  Visit Remote Beach and Ferry to Palaiochora
(Transfer Day)

In the morning we will enjoy a one-hour coastal walk (or 5min water taxi) towards the beautiful beach known as Glyka Nera (meaning “sweet water”) because of the fresh water that gushes from the pebbles. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete because of the deep blue color of the sea.

We’ll swim and relax till the afternoon and then take an hour-long ferry ride to our next destination; Palaiochora. After we settle in at our next guesthouse, Melita will show us around the Castle and town where we will enjoy a lovely dinner.

Accommodations will be at Manto studios or Savvas rooms.

wine tasting

DAY 6: Cultural Day – Wine and Olive Oil Tasting

Today we have the opportunity to go inland and experience an agricultural tour around the beautiful villages and countryside. Expect to get a real feel for the Cretan culture as we visit Monika’s Garden Wine Bar where we’ll receive an introduction to Cretan wines in their beautiful tasting room.  We’ll learn about the production process as we sip wine and sample a selection of local cheeses. We’ve left plenty of time today to ‘come what may’!

Greek food
Greece retreat ocean

DAY 7: Boat Trip to the Incredible Elafonisi Beach

Today we’ll explore Elafonisi, a peninsula of exceptional natural beauty, part of the Natura 2000 Protection Program. We’ll walk through the sea to reach its small islet, lie at its small coves and sandy beaches and admire its interesting rock formations as the island stretches out into the sea. From Elafonisi we also enjoy a short walk to the cedar forest (Melita’s favorite place on the island) and beach which is incredibly beautiful and a natural wonder of Crete. After lunch we’ll return by boat or mini van (according to the weather) back to Palaiochora.

I will lead us in a daily practice designed to enhance our experience in Greece using our natural surroundings whenever possible. We will take time during each class to consciously breathe, fully embrace the sacredness of the present moment and our environment and invite the experience into our physical bodies. Since we will be doing quite a bit of walking and hiking, the practices will be designed to keep you feeling limber, open and raring to go!

21-Yoga-web.jpg

Although we will practice asana and enjoy deep and juicy stretching, the real yoga is in connecting with a group of spirited and interesting women to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The exact time of each yoga session will be agreed upon the evening before, based on the following day’s planned activities.

My yoga practice is always evolving, and I find as my body ages it’s best for me to move in many different ways, not only in the shapes of traditional yoga postures. In fact, many of those postures were no longer feeling good to me, so I’ve had to adapt. Perhaps you find the same is true with your body so rest assured knowing you don’t need to worry about “keeping up” with yoga, or any aspect of our trip. Everything can and will be modified to meet you exactly where you are.

Oh my gosh the yoga was great! In fact I was always looking forward to the end of the day stretching 🙂  Jennifer

COST

$2225 SINGLE OCCUPANCY

$1995 DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

Included in the fee: 

  • Daily yoga class with Dina

  • An experienced, native Cretan guide to accompany us 24/7 to educate, accompany, translate, assist us in any way we need.

  • Guided walks and explorations of the island of Crete

  • 7 nights of accommodations in lovely, traditional Greek, small boutique hotels.

  • Delicious, full breakfast which easily accommodates all dietary preferences

  • Cooking lesson and dinner one evening

  • Wine, cheese and olive oil tastings

  • Transfer to / from Chania airport to the accommodation

  • All transfer in between towns / villages / etc.
  • 24-hour support on the islands for information, advice or emergencies

  • A small, intimate group of like minded friends to travel and explore with!

NOT included in the fee: 

  • R/T Airfare to & from Chania – I HIGHLY recommend you plan to arrive in Greece AT LEAST one full day before the start of our holiday to acclimate so you’re sure to get the most from the trip. Spending a day or two in Athens (hotel recommendations & suggestions will be provided) is a wonderful start to our adventure together.

  • Tip for Guide (tipping guidelines will be provided)

  • Lunch, 6 Dinners and Snacks (budget about $30 per day including wine)

RESERVE YOUR SPOT:

A $500 non-refundable deposit will secure your place. The remaining balance is due before April 1st, 2022.

You can send your payment to: 

Dina Ferrante
PO Box 2216
Crested Butte, CO 81224 

or Venmo using @dina-ferrante

CANCELLATION POLICY:

Once final payment is made, the cancellation policy is as follows:

  • $350 cancellation fee if you cancel before March 1st  

  • $500 cancellation fee if you cancel before after April 1st 

  • $750 cancellation fee if you cancel before May 1

  • There will be no refunds issued on or after May 2 

If the participant arrives late to retreat or leaves prior to its conclusion, refunds will not be made for any unused portion of the retreat including hotels, cooking class or any other pre-arranged activities.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

You will be picked up at Chania airport and taken to our guesthouse on Saturday, June 18th. It’s best to arrange an early flight to maximize the first day.

I do suggest you arrive in Greece one or two days before the start of our trip to acclimate to the time and culture change. A great way to make optimal use of this time is to enjoy Athens. Here you can relax and tour the city and get to Chania ready to go!

Although this is not part of the 7-night holiday being offered, I will provide recommendations for Athens hotels, historical city tours and walking / food tours.

On June 22nd  you will be taken back to Chania airport so plan your flight home accordingly.

*Travel insurance

It is recommended for all participants to purchase travel insurance. Your travel insurance should provide coverage against trip cancellations or interruption, personal accident, illness, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation.

FAQs and Things to Know:

PACK LIGHT! Let’s all agree that we don’t mind seeing each other in the same sundress, shoes, shorts, etc . . . lugging around a huge suitcase that barely closes is NO fun. Believe me, I’ve made that mistake one too many times and won’t do it again. So I will be repeating clothing and have come to terms with that. The freedom of a light or even a carry-on suitcase is liberating! You’ll have to be choosey and thoughtful in your packing, but it’s worth it!

YOGA MAT?  It is up to you whether or not you want to bring your own. I’ve arranged for “mat delivery”. For $25 (paid to me in advance) you can have a mat delivered to our first hotel. You can leave it behind, or stuff it in your suitcase and take it home with you. It is possible (although not ideal) for you to get by without a mat and use a towel or whatever else we can find at the hotel. Please let me know on this.

HIKING SHOES: Sneakers or a lightweight hiking shoe will be fine. (I love my Salomon trail runners but you may like a more sturdy, ankle support type boot). We’ll be walking an average 3-4 miles a day, some days more, some less. Many of our walks will be through villages as well as through mountains and along the coast so we can appreciate the culture and nature. If you wear these shoes on the plane, you’ll save a lot of space.

WATER: It’s painful to say, but Greece uses bottled water for everything. I know! Bring your own water bottle so you can fill up daily and your water will stay chilled. We’ll have to buy water as we go.

PASSPORT: Don’t forget it! And make sure it doesn’t expire 6 months prior to your return date.

YOGA: Been practicing every day, twice a day in preparation for our trip? Haven’t practiced in years? All ok. Come as you are and we’ll accommodate your needs. If there’s something you want to work on (body part, balance, focus?) let me know. I promise you the yoga part of our trip will be suitable for all.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK IN THAT LITTLE SUITCASE?

  • Water bottle
  • Day pack (to hold your water, snacks, bathing suit, sunscreen, towel)
  • I got this Turkish towel from amazon which I plan to bring. It’s light and will serve as a beach blanket and towel.  
  • Toiletries and medications (go light on jewelry, make up, hairspray, etc)
  • Light jacket / sweater for cool evenings
  • bathing suit (s) / cover up
  • sneaker / hiking shoe
  • foldable hiking stick (optional)
  • comfortable sandals that you can walk on cobblestone streets with. (leave heels at home)
  • lightweight shorts, or better yet cropped hiking pants to protect you legs from the sun
  • long sleeve, lightweight hiking shirt (s)
  • wicking t-shirts – they dry quickly when washed
  • flip flops or water shoes – I like shoes that I easily wear to the beach and get in the water if I need to like Tevas or these
  • socks / underwear
  • dresses/skirts are great if that’s your thing. Most important is to be comfortable. You will not need anything fancy. I mean it.
  • 3 prong Europoean adapter to plug in
  • Phone charger
  • yoga clothes
  • something comfy to sleep in

COMMUNICATION WITH HOME

There will be wifi in many places so you can rely solely on that if you’d like. You can make phone calls and send texts via WhatsApp over wifi and it won’t cost you anything.  If you’d like to be more connected you can call your phone company and see what they can offer for international travel. 2 years ago, Verizon charged $10/day – I’m not sure what their rate is now. OR you can get a Greek SIM card when you arrive which is fairly cheap and your phone will be set up for use in Greece with all the data you could need. I personally don’t think this is necessary as you won’t need to find your way around, but it might make you feel more comfortable.

MONEY

Credit cards work in most places, but not all so you’ll need euros. You can get euros with an ATM card once you’re there or order them from your local bank ahead of time. There are ATM machines at the Athens Airport so you can get cash as soon as you arrive. You may want to alert your credit card company to your travel plans and be using a card that does not incur international fees.

As a reminder, breakfast is included in your trip, but not lunch or dinner, except for the cooking class evening. Food is fantastic and relatively cheap in Greece! As is wine.

TRAVEL INSURANCE is highly recommended. Check out The Points Guy

This is a trust site for good recommendations on travel insurance so see which option is best for you. I went with Seven Corners.

HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS IN ATHENS

Sofitel – Athens Airport

Cypria hotel

Akropolis Select

Hotel Adonis

Akropolis view

Sweet home

Reserve Your Spot

This trip is designed for 8 women max.

A $500 non-refundable deposit will secure your place. The remaining balance is due before April 1, 2022.

You can submit your payment via this site or send a check to:

Dina Ferrante
PO Box 2216
Crested Butte, CO 81224

or Venmo @dina-ferrante

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions or concerns.

203-994-6604 / dina@theyoga-door.com

2019 Retreat Participants Weigh In!

“It was an amazing opportunity to recharge my batteries, and I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to be a part of it. I love reflection time, and felt that this trip gave me oodles of it.”

Emily

”Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

“Focusing on me.  The balance of my year has been stressful for various reasons, and the majority of my time is spent organizing and managing people, a home, a husband, family,…..all of which I love dearly and don’t wish to change.  But for this Greece vacation- I LOVED that my only obligation was to do whatever I wanted to do, and that someone else was informing me where to go and when (and that it was my choice to decide if I wanted to participate).  It was an amazing opportunity to recharge my batteries, and I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to be a part of it.  I love reflection time, and felt that this trip gave me oodles of it.”

Oh my gosh the yoga was great! In fact I was always looking forward to the end of the day stretching 🙂

Jennifer

“Dina is the best!!!  The environment you fostered was really perfect for me – I truly appreciate your openness, inclusiveness, and down to earth-ness!”

“I loved the hiking and our dinners probably the best.  The cooking class was wonderful too.  I loved walking through town and knowing we were on our way to a delicious meal where we could experience something new and different, and enjoy each other’s company.”

“Other ‘best parts’ for me were meeting an amazing group of women, and experiencing a new culture via a local guide, and AMAZING grounding/stretching through your daily yoga sessions.  (My secret hope is that you start a daily yoga podcast subscription so I can have Dina yoga every day regardless of where in the world I am.)  🙂 “

“There were so many great parts, it is hard to choose just one!  Personally, being in a relaxed country with water all around me filled my soul with pleasure.  But I also loved the hiking, the swimming, hanging out with a fantastic group of women, and the food.  I loved the trip!”

“The walking just as you described it. Walking at different speeds. Talking to different people. Hearing Melita tell the Greek mythologies, reasons for certain customs, interpreting menus. I really enjoyed her company and expertise. And Greek yogurt. Yogurt just hasn’t been the same ever since.”

“I loved Melita!  She was so great and patient!  Like during our meals, helping us to pick out delicious food to try.  I felt like she handled the needs of our group like a champ!  I loved her enthusiasm for exposing us to the Greek culture.”

I look forward to meeting you

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