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ZEN MOUNTAIN RETREAT:
''Yoga, Rafting, Trail Hiking and
Garden-to-Table Cooking 
Experience...''

8 Days / 7 Nights ''Zen Mountain Retreat'' with
Thina Chat & Maria Vasdeki at the heart of Vikos Gorge in Breathtaking Epirus of Greece!

”The mountains are calling and I must go...”~John Muir

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About ''Zen Mountain Retreat''
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ABOUT

''Zen Mountain Retreat''

  • Daily yoga, meditation, breathwork and philosophy sessions with Thina amidst the stunning backdrop of the Zagori mountains.

  • Guided hikes through the legendary Vikos Gorge and historic stone bridges with Tasos.

  • Thrilling rafting and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Voidomatis River.

  • garden-to-table cooking workshop with Maria, featuring traditional regional recipes and more.

  • Movie nights under the starlit sky, fostering community and relaxation

  • Cozy accommodations at En Chora Vezitsa Guesthouse, blending rustic charm with modern comfort.

  • Optional first-night stay at Urban Yoga House Hostel & Retreat in Ioannina's city center.

  • meals, activities, accommodations, and transportation from Ioannina to Vitsa

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS ASHTANGA & YIN YOGA RETREAT WITH BELA LIPAT & THINA CHAT
OROSEI, SARDINIA

'' If you wish to advance in any sphere, the best way is to take a retreat ''~ Pico Iyer

Immerse yourself for a week of Ashtanga and Yin Yoga practice.  Start each morning with meditation, breathwork and asana practice in the beautiful setting of the island of Sardinia located in the Mediterranean.  With its famed coastline of crystal clear turquoise waters and a mountainous interior, take this opportunity to explore the hidden magic of Sardinia while diving into your Yoga practice!
Your home away from home will be a quiet location overlooking the Gulf of Orosei.  Our host, Renata, is "Semplicità e buon gusto" (simplicity and good taste). The villa used to be a typical noble residence of the Baronie region, formerly called "Villa Campana".  In 1990 the house was transformed into a charming hotel.  Renata and her team ensure that you will enjoy a lovely retreat holiday by the sea.  Located in a private park, it has a swimming pool and lots of green areas. The sea is 100 meters away, just a few minutes on foot. Other beaches are 200 meters away.  From the terrace, you have a wonderful view of the sea, one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in eastern Sardinia, where you can enjoy your breakfast and dinner.  Free WIFI and parking available.
Leave your worries behind, unwind & allow for magic to happen.   Your yoga practice will be guided by  
Bela Lipat, KPJAYI/SYC Authorized Ashtanga Teacher and Thina Chat for a week in a haven of rest, release and renewal.  Connect with like-minded people from all over the world and create friendships and memories for a lifetime.  This retreat will be limited to a small group to ensure individual attention for the practice.  Book your spot early!
Pack your swimwear and yoga gear and come join us for a retreat like no other.
Treat yourself to an incredible week of Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama,  sun, sand, and transformation! 


PACKAGE INCLUDES:
 

  • 8 Days / 7 Nights Accommodation in a room of your choice:
    Twin-Share or Single room.

  • 2 vegetarian meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
    Dinner upon arrival/ Breakfast before departure.

  • 1 group boat trip to the Gulf of Orosei to the caves of the Blue Marino, Cala Luna, Cala Mariolu and Cala Goloritzè, which is a UNESCO site elected in 1995. (The boat trip is a full day tour, there will be no class on this day)

  • All yoga/meditation sessions: 
    Daily Ashtanga practice
    Daily Pranayama and Meditation
    Daily Yin Yoga afternoon sessions
    2 Technique/Alignment workshops and 2 Philosophy/Q&A sessions


    THE PRACTICE:

The focus of this retreat is the practice of the Ashtanga Yoga method as taught in Mysore, South India by R. Sharath Jois. Each morning we will start the day with Meditation and Pranayama followed by the Ashtanga Yoga practice, Mysore style Ashtanga (self-practice), which is the traditional way of learning Ashtanga.  Mysore classes mean the student practices at their own pace and progress through the asanas as and when they are ready. The teacher will go around the class offering one-on-one attention to each student and adjust when necessary. You need to know at least the Sun Salutations and the standing postures of Primary Series before coming to the retreat.

The classes are suitable for all levels, focusing on both practice and philosophy. Classes are taught in English. Please bring your own yoga mat and practice towels/rugs, and yoga blocks if you use them in your practice. 

Mouna, or Silence, will be practiced daily until Breakfast.

In the afternoons you will have daily Yin Yoga class with Thina.  There will also be an hour of Technique/Alignment class with Bela twice in the week as well as a Philosophy talk twice in the week.

This retreat is designed to take you deeper into your practice as we move into stillness, become more aware, more sensitive, and more receptive to the beauty in our lives.  Enjoy nature, clean air and starry nights to recharge from your busy daily life.

SAMPLE / DAILY SCHEDULE:

  • 6:45 - 8:45 Meditation, Breathwork, Asana practice

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Breakfast / Rest, relax, Free time

  • 16:00 – 17:00 Yoga Workshop/or Philosophy

  • 17:00 – 18:30 Yin Yoga

  • 19:00 Dinner

 

    LOCATION & ACCOMMODATION:

This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Immersed in its garden overlooking the Gulf of Orosei, Hotel Fuile 'E Mare is a unique renovated villa with a shared terrace and restaurant, just 200 m from the sea in the Baronia area. It offers free WiFi in public areas and an outdoor pool. Parking is free.  With its peaceful location 10 km from Orosei, this property offers rooms with garden views featuring simple traditional furnishings.  Breakfast is served daily on a sea-view terrace.  A car is recommended to explore the beautiful beaches and nature of the Golfo di Orosei.

In accordance with the management philosophy, for ethical reasons, the use of air conditioning is not included in the retreat package.  It can be paid separately by those who need the service. The service can be requested at any time at the reception, even after your arrival, for the days you deem it necessary at 5euros/day.  Accommodation choices are either Twin Sharing or Single Superior Rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms.  

     FOOD:

Breakfast and dinner will be lacto-ovo vegetarian.  In case you have any food allergies or special diets, please let us know when booking and we will try our best to meet your needs. 

Please arrive on time, by 3pm for check-in on the 24th of June. Settle in, relax, so as not to miss the Welcome - Opening Circle at 5pm.

  • Class times from 25th June – 1 July , 6:45 – 8:45am and 16:00 - 18:30. 

  • No class on the day of the Group Boat Trip. 

  • Last session ends on the 1st of July, at 8:30am.

  • Breakfast at 9:00.  Check-out by 10am.

Secure your spot with a 500€ non refundable deposit
-Twin-Share Room     1293
€ /person
-Single Room           1507€

*All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. 10% VAT included within the price.

Sign-up early to book your desired room!

Solo travelers: We try as much as possible to accommodate solo travelers in a

shared double room, but if there is no one to share a room with, you may have to pay a single room supplement.

Rates increase by 100euros after December 31, 2022
Confirmation of booking depends on receipt of your deposit.

To Register/Book for the Retreat:
1. Send us an email to register
2. Wait for our e-mail confirmation with all payment instructions.
3. Submit your non-refundable deposit of 500€ to reserve your space. 
4. Full payment must be completed no later than April 24, 2023.

To book your spot, send us an email requesting which room you would like to book. 
We will let you know if the room is available.  Once the room is reserved with us, to confirm your reservation, please send your deposit of 500euros following the payment instructions.

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Yoga - Zen Mountain Retreat
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YOGA WITH THINA

Meditation, Breathwork, Asana

Philophy

  • Welcome & Closing circle 

  • Daily meditation practice

  • Daily pranayama

  • Daily asana practice in the Hatha Yoga Traditions of Sivananda, Yin and Ashtanga

  • Yoga Philosophy

  • Yoga Nidra sessions

  • Tea ceremony

During the serene days at Zen Mountain retreat, Thina will orchestrate a harmonious fusion of ancient yogic disciplines, guiding participants on a journey of self-discovery and inner peace. Each morning begins with a gentle call to mindfulness, as participants gather for the sacred ritual of meditation. With sacred silence as their compass, participants will delve into the depths of their consciousness, cultivating stillness and clarity amidst the tranquil mountain surroundings.

Following meditation, the practice of pranayama unfolds, as Thina expertly leads participants through rhythmic breathing exercises designed to awaken the vital life force energy within. Through conscious control of the breath, they learn to harmonize mind, body, and spirit, attuning themselves to the subtle rhythms of the universe.

Participants are invited to explore the physical dimension of yoga through the practice of different traditions of Hatha yoga. With Thina's expert guidance, they flow through a series of asanas, or postures, seamlessly integrating movement, breath, and mindfulness. Through each pose, they cultivate strength, flexibility, and presence, awakening to the innate wisdom of their bodies and the interconnectedness of mind, body, energy and matter.

As the day progresses, Thina will imparts the timeless wisdom of yoga philosophy, drawing upon ancient texts and personal insights on the yogic path. Exploring the philosophical landscapes of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, offering profound teachings on the nature of reality, the power of consciousness, and the interconnectedness of all beings.

As the sun sets over the mountain peaks, Thina will leads the group to softer gentle yin and yoga nidra practices as the group will withdraw in silence, in a sacred communion with the divine essence that resides within and without. With hearts full and minds clear, participants carry the transformative teachings and experience with them as they journey onward, forever changed by the wisdom of Zen Mountain retreat.

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Hiking - Zen Mountain Retreat
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HIKING

''Bridges & Villages''

  • Explore the timeless landscapes of Zen Mountain Retreat's Bridges & Villages Hike.

  • Begin your adventure in the charming village of Vitsa, traversing historic staircases from centuries past.

  • Descend into the picturesque ravine of Vikos.

  • Follow the path winding through Central Zagori's rich heritage.

  • Encounter the renowned Missios and Kokkoris bridges.

  • tread the ancient stone path of Koukouli.

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HIKING 

Crossing ''Vikos Gorge''

  • Explore the awe-inspiring Vikos Gorge within Vikos-Aoos National Park.

  • Witness the Guinness World Record canyon with cliffs towering up to 1700 meters high.

  • Traverse cobblestone paths and footpaths amidst the gorge's mystique.

  • Connect with nature's tranquility, fostering a union of body, mind, and spirit.

  • Immerse in the enchanting beauty of Voidomatis Springs, a poetic oasis of crystal-clear waters.

  • Step off the beaten path and into nature's embrace.

  • Get ready for an unforgettable voyage of self-discovery.

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OUR EXPERIENCED GUIDE: 

Tasos Anestis

  • Explore the awe-inspiring Vikos Gorge within Vikos-Aoos National Park.

BRIDGES AND VILLAGES

Embark on an enriching journey through the timeless landscapes of Zen Mountain Retreat's Bridges & Villages Hike. Step into the quaint village of Vitsa, where your adventure begins along the historic staircase crafted centuries ago. As you descend, immerse yourself in the picturesque ravine of Vikos, where nature's splendor unfolds before your eyes.

Traverse the path of legends, winding through the heart of Central Zagori's rich heritage. This circular hike unveils the intricate tapestry of tradition, as you tread upon the very stones that once connected Zagori's 46 villages. Along the way, encounter architectural marvels born from the generosity of past benefactors, such as the renowned Missios and Kokkoris bridges, each a testament to a bygone era.

Feel the echoes of history beneath your feet as you follow the ancient stone path of Koukouli, known affectionately as Koukouli Steps. Let the whispers of the past guide your steps through the traditional villages of Koukouli and Vitsa, where every cobblestone holds a story waiting to be shared.

From the crossroads of culture to the embrace of nature's embrace, this hike promises an unforgettable odyssey. Join us and experience the harmony of past and present amidst the timeless beauty of Zen Mountain Retreat's Bridges & Villages Hike.


CROSSING VIKOS GORGE
On the 5th day we'll journey through the heart of nature's grandeur, where the Vikos Gorge beckons with its awe-inspiring beauty. Nestled within the embrace of the 12,600-hectare Vikos-Aoos National Park, this sacred sanctuary holds the Guinness World Record for the deepest canyon relative to its width, a testament to its breathtaking splendor.

As you traverse the rugged terrain, you'll be enveloped in the mystique of the gorge, where the ancient Voidomatis River has sculpted sheer cliffs that tower up to 1700 meters high. Carved over eons, the landscape reveals a tapestry of limestone and dolomite formations, a geological marvel dating back 150 million years. This journey will lead us through a mosaic of ecosystems, from verdant forests to rocky outcrops, offering a glimpse into the intricate balance of nature's design.
At Zen Mountain Yoga Retreat, this expedition is not merely a physical endeavor but a spiritual odyssey, inviting you to delve into the depths of your being as you navigate the cobblestone paths and footpaths that wind through the gorge. Here, amid the tranquil serenity of the wilderness, you'll discover a profound connection to the earth and sky, a union of body, mind, and spirit.
Prepare to be enraptured by the enchanting beauty of Voidomatis Springs, where crystal-clear waters flow like liquid poetry, rejuvenating your senses and revitalizing your soul. Each step becomes a meditation, a conscious communion with the natural world, as you surrender to the rhythm of the hike and the whispers of the wind.
Equip yourself with hiking shoes, comfy hiking clothes, and a backpack filled with essentials (water, sunscreen, hat and our guesthouse's packed lunchbox) ready to embark on a six-hour exploration of the soul-stirring landscapes that await.
At Zen Mountain Yoga Retreat, we invite you to step off the beaten path and into nature's embrace, where every moment is an opportunity for growth, discovery, and transformation. Are you ready to embark on this unforgettable voyage of self-discovery?

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Rafting - Zen Mountain Retreat
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RAFTING

Voidomatis River Adventure

  • Duration: 3 Hours.

  • Rafting in the heart of Vikos-Aoos National Park.

  • Paddle through turquoise crystal clear waters.

  • Discover the inner beauty of Vikos Gorge.

  • Have fun whilst swimming and jumping in the crystal clear waters.

  • Pass by the arched bridge of Klidonia.

       PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS:

  • 4 years old and above

  • Basic Physical Condition

  • Knowledge of swimming if you join the swimming session.

  • No previous experience required

On the the 4th day of our retreat we embark on a journey of serenity and adventure as we join a guided rafting experience down the gentle currents of Voidomatis River. Nestled within the majestic Vikos Gorge, this serene waterway meanders through a landscape adorned with ancient plane trees and time-honored stone bridges, painting a picture of natural splendor that is both awe-inspiring and soul-nourishing. As we'll glide along the crystalline waters, letting the rhythmic paddling become a moving meditation, syncing our breath with the flow of the river and the rhythm of nature, Immersing ourselves in the untouched beauty of Vikos Gorge, where the vibrant hues of turquoise water contrast against the verdant backdrop of lush forests and towering mountains, creating a scene of unparalleled tranquility.

While we'll take moments to pause and connect with the essence of the surroundings, feeling the cool embrace of the river as it carries us through this sacred wilderness. And when the urge arises, we'll embrace the playful spirit within, allowing ourselves to swim and frolic in the refreshing waters, experiencing pure joy in each splash and leap.As we navigate our way downstream, passing beneath the graceful arches of the Klidonia bridge, feeling a sense of harmony and unity with the natural world around us, a profound reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

This experience is open to travelers of all ages, inviting those with a basic level of physical fitness and swimming ability to join us on this journey of discovery and renewal. No prior rafting experience is necessary, only a willingness to surrender to the flow and embrace the beauty of the present moment. Venturing off the beaten path and discover the hidden gem of the Voidomatis River—a sanctuary for the adventurous soul seeking to reconnect with nature's timeless rhythms and find inner peace amidst the splendor of the Greek wilderness.

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Cooking Workshop - Zen Mountan Retreat
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COOKING WORKSHOP

WITH MARIA

  • Master the art of crafting Greek delicacies like cheese pie and stuffed tomatoes in an easy, approachable manner.

  • Return home, ready to impress family and friends with your newfound skills and recipes.

  • Enjoy eating our cooked delicacies together.

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Greece with our immersive Greek Cooking Workshop! Picture yourself savoring the fresh taste of a delectable Greek cheese pie or inhaling the irresistible aroma of stuffed tomatoes and peppers. Wouldn't it be wonderful to carry a piece of Greece back home with you after your holiday?

Join us and unlock the secrets of crafting these mouthwatering dishes in a fun and approachable manner. With our expert guidance, you'll effortlessly master the art of Greek cuisine, empowering you to return home as a culinary maestro, ready to dazzle your loved ones with your newfound culinary prowess.

But the experience doesn't end in the kitchen! After all the culinary magic unfolds, it's time to gather together in our charming courtyard, adorned with blossoming flowers and fragrant herb pots. Here, under the enchanting Mediterranean sky, we'll come together to feast, drink, and revel in the joyful ambiance. Immerse yourself in the sounds of Greek music, share stories, and forge unforgettable memories as we celebrate the culinary delights of Greece in the company of newfound friends.

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Thina & Maria - Zen Mountain Retreat

Thina Chat and Maria Vasdeki, the dynamic hosts of Zen Mountain Retreat, bring a harmonious blend of expertise, passion, and creativity to their roles, creating an unforgettable experience for all who cross their path.

Thina Chat, with a background rooted in music and performance, embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her from Athens to the Netherlands and eventually to becoming a seasoned yoga educator. Her immersion in the teachings of Yoga Philosophy and Advaita Vedanta, and the physical practice of Hatha yoga in the traditions of Sivananda, Ashtanga, yin and Iyengar, coupled with years of dedicated practice under renowned teachers such as Manju Pattabhi Jois, Bela Lipat, and Vairagya Ranko, has shaped her her love, practice and teaching of the yogic path. As the owner of ''Yoga Fusion Shala'' school and Urban Yoga House retreat in Ioannina, Greece, Thina passionately shares her wisdom, love for philosophy, and extensive experience with students worldwide. Her status as an E-500RYT and YACEP educator with Yoga Alliance underscores her commitment to excellence in teaching, ensuring that participants of Zen Mountain Retreat are guided with expertise and compassion on their journey to inner peace and self-knowledge.
Maria Vasdeki embarked on her journey in Athens, immersing herself in the realm of Geography, culminating in a Master's degree in Environmental Protection and Management. Her profound adoration for nature and a penchant for creative hospitality experiences beckoned her back to her origins. Returning to the captivating region of Zagori, Maria assumed the reins of her family's En Chora Vezitsa Guesthouse. Since then, she has been an ambassador of her love, passion, and expertise, offering guests not only a stay but an immersive local encounter. From exhilarating hikes to culinary workshops, yoga sessions to rafting adventures, and cooking retreats, Maria curates authentic experiences, ensuring each visitor departs with cherished memories and a deeper connection to the beauty of Zagori.

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Getting to Ioannina

GETTING TO IOANNINA: 

BY AIR / BUS

FROM ATHENS
Booking a flight from Athens International Airport (ATH) to Ioannina National Airport (IOA). Aegean airline offers direct flights between these two destinations, typically with a duration of around 1 hour.

FROM THESSALONIKI
Take a taxi or bus from Thessaloniki airport to Thessaloniki's intercity bus station (KTEL). From there, board a bus headed to Ioannina. The journey by bus usually takes around 3.5 hours.

FROM CORFU
Upon arrival at Corfu Airport, you'll find taxis and buses available outside the terminal building so that you can head to Corfu port. Ferries operate regularly from Corfu to the port city of Igoumenitsa. The ferry journey from Corfu to Igoumenitsa typically takes around 1.5 hours. There are buses available from Igoumenitsa to Ioannina, with varying schedules throughout the day.

FROM AKTION - PREVEZA
you can first take a taxi or bus from the airport to the nearby town of Preveza. From Preveza, you can then catch a bus to Ioannina. The bus journey typically takes around 1.5 hours, depending on the schedule and any transfers required.

Gallery - Zen Mountain Retreat
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