Yoga and hiking holiday in Crete
Description of Yoga and hiking holiday in Crete
Spend a week relaxing and resetting in beautiful surroundings on this yoga and hiking holiday in Crete. There are daily walks and there’s twice-daily yoga in and around Kissamos, a small town in the north-west of the island by the sea. This is a relaxed holiday where you can participate as much or as little as you like.
Crete is a Greek island with a serious amount of heritage and history. You’ll be stumbling over ruins from Venetian, Roman, Ancient Greek and Minoan civilisations – that is, when you’re not admiring wildflowers in the pretty natural landscapes. This is a Natura 2000 eco-protected area for a reason.
Where will you hike today? After your morning yoga and meditation session, and a massive breakfast, the island’s your oyster.
Walking is done at a leisurely pace, each trip taking between one and a half and four hours. On the way through the islands valleys, gorges and rolling hills, your local guide will point out Crete’s beautiful flora. You’ll pass traditional villages, little chapels, and stroll along the coast using the reliable local bus service to get to and from each walk. Look out for local cafes where you can stop for a strong Greek coffee.
Every day is bookended by a gentle yoga and meditation session with an instructor. Even if you’re not an experienced yogi, you’ll probably come away from this holiday feeling inspired to take it up.
This trip is run from a hotel with a pool and garden, operated by hosts who are deeply embedded in their local area. You can take advantage of the connections they’ve forged with their neighbours, and enjoy warm hospitality in the nearby tavernas. You’ll feel like you’re part of the community in no time.
1 Reviews of Yoga and hiking holiday in Crete
Reviewed on 15 Oct 2022 by Jayne Wright
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Both the beautiful local walks guided by Lakavos who was so knowledgeable about the trees, flowers, geology, local and national history, it was an absolute pleasure walking with him. Also the theory and practical yoga course sessions with Zena were both calming but left us feeling energised, she oozes calmness and spirituality. She is an inspiration to us to continue with regular yoga.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Embrace all the wonderful experiences on offer! You won’t regret it.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The local people benefitted (as we did) by always eating and drinking locally, plus visiting local producers where we bought some of their wonderful products and crafts. Pity our suitcases limited what we could buy!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
We were a party of 3 women and all feel we rate the tour operator, Camille and Lakavos more than 5stars . We definitely hope to return and book with the tour operator again.
PlanetBefore the Yoga & Hiking holiday begins, we clean up plastic rubbish that has been swept in by the winter sea and put it into local municipality bins. Unfortunately there is no official recycling scheme in this area yet. On our walks, all rubbish is taken home after picnics. We promote and share our real concern for the environment, talking about the birds we see (mostly raptors like buzzards and Griffon vultures, herons and finches and rarer migratory birds), the flora and fauna, such as tiny frogs on the road, taking great care not to tread on them. We point out badger holes and mourn the occasional dead badger or weasel on the road. We are constantly learning about the properties of plants and their uses, passing on this information to interested co-walkers or learning from them. For example, there are many carob trees around Kissamos Bay. Carob beans were a staple food during the Nazi occupation and are now a recognised nutritionally rich substitute for chocolate in vegetarian food.
As Walking Leaders, we are always willing to learn more about the history, botany, culture etc. of the area and to do what we can to protect it. We also grow our own organic vegetables, have a garden that is abuzz with insect life and use solar power for hot water. We walk a lot!
As most of the walks are in the local area on old tracks we do not need transport, but if we go further afield, we use the public bus system. The accommodation where guests stay also use solar power for hot water. Because our holidays are in the low season, it is rare to need air conditioning.
Yoga is a contemplative practice which asserts harmony between all living things; it promotes healthy living which has an indirect effect on the environment. If more people practiced yoga, we contend that the world would be in better balance. But at the very least, a yoga and walking holiday leaves people refreshed and relaxed.
PeopleOur Yoga & Hiking holiday take place in a small area where we are well known and loved. The welcome given to guests by everyone is genuine and generous. Our suppliers are all local and friendly neighbours. For example the delicious bread van comes round 6 days a week, supplying the area. The baker always hangs a bag of free bread on a neighbour's fence because he is unable to pay for it. He supplies his bread to the accommodation we use. This is a small family run business, which uses its own organic produce in its generous breakfasts. The local tavernas to which guests return time and again also use their own vegetables, wine, raki and olive oil. Their friendly and direct communication with everyone creates a wonderful atmosphere. We introduce our guests to the local family run winery, which uses grapes grown only in Crete. They offer unlimited wine-tasting with all 30 of their varieties in a truly Cretan gesture of hospitality, in a room that also acts as a museum of old farming and vinicultural equipment.
In the town of Kissamos, guests are shown family run businesses and shops, where they can buy local honey, herbs, cheeses and other artefacts. Here too, there is a 24/7 Health Centre, open to all. We visit the excellent museum, where artefacts from the Minoan, Ancient Greek and Roman periods are on display, informing visitors of some of the many fascinating layers of Cretan culture. The small fee paid goes to the local council, who are proud of their heritage and are working to sustain their local culture. As far as payment is concerned, we always make sure that all bills are paid and tips left; that Cretan generosity is neither exploited nor misunderstood. We aim for a 'win-win' situation in our dealings with everybody and the result is guests feel so relaxed and welcome that they want to return.
As a village, we all support each other, exchanging skills and goods. This is the best form of charity on a local scale. On wider issues, like the new bio-sewage system that the local government installed, we are part of the discussion, calling for lower connection fees. At a time of economic crisis they are prohibitive and therefore unpopular. It is good news that they have reduced the costs now by more than 50%. This work goes on, as does vigilance over the quality of the sea. As mentioned above, we are also part of a voluntary group who cleans up plastic from the beach and adjacent ground.
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