Yoga Holidays 2017

Our dates for 2017
30 May - 6 June 4 - 11 July 11 - 18 July 18 - 25 July
22 - 29 August 29 August - 5 September 5 - 12 September 17- 24 October

Our Holiday Courses

2017 is our 12th season at our beautiful venue right on the sea in Kissamos Bay. We welcome Iyengar yoga students of all ages and all nationalities, whether keen regular students or Iyengar teachers or trainees, and the students all enjoy meeting the most fantastic mix of like-minded people. A high proportion (some weeks as much as 75%) are returnees who love the beauty and tranquillity of the area and the opportunity to practise yoga in a purpose-built yoga space right next to the sea.

Is the course suitable for me?

All students are assumed to be attending regular Iyengar classes. (Very rare exceptions may be made for students who live on remote islands or in the Arctic!) The courses are challenging for all students - to be offered a place you should have a regular practice and be used to practising inversions and backbends. This need not rule out newer students but the course is definitely not suitable for beginners or those who attend classes irregularly. You will need to have a good level of fitness to participate. It may still be possible to take part if you are recovering from an injury, an operation, or serious illness but please give full details on your application form or in an email so that Marios can make an informed decision about your suitability.

Our Facilities

We have a large yoga space designed and built specifically for our use with wall ropes and yoga chairs. All other equipment is provided and we prefer that you do not bring your own so that the equipment used in class is uniform. Iyengar yoga (as you know) uses props to help students practise the poses safely when there is stiffness or injury. See our page about Iyengar Yoga for further information.

From 2017 there is an early morning pranayama class added to Saturday. The Sunday evening class is replaced by a self-practice session, which is an ideal opportunity to put some of the week's learning into effect. In May and October the timings may be slightly different.

The weekly schedule is shown below, although exact times can vary with the season and temperature.

Tue   Travel day Welcome dinner
Wed 9.00-11.00 6.00-7.30  
Thur 9.00-11.00 6.00-7.30  
Fri 9.00-11.00 6.00-7.30  
Sat 8.00-9.00 Pranayama    
  10.00-12.30ish Asana Free  
Sun Free 6.00-7.30 Self practice  
Mon 9.00-11.00 6.00-7.30 Farewell dinner
Tue Breakfast Travel day  

The morning yoga class is followed by a generous breakfast which most people find keeps them going until the evening. The middle part of the day is your own, to enjoy time on the beach swimming or sunbathing, to go off exploring, or just to relax away from the usual hectic pace of life. The yoga space is always available for personal practice outside class times and is kept as a quiet zone. The evening class usually includes inversions, restorative postures and pranayama and often finishes as the sun is setting; the relaxing sound of the Aegean Sea washing the beach is a constant background to the yoga. We have found that having a longer break across the middle part of the weekend has proved very popular, giving you scope for trips further afield.

Accommodation and Food

Our venue is typical of seaside places found all over Greece, a taverna on the sea with basic rooms behind. Our hosts are the epitome of Cretan hospitality, very warm and welcoming and keen to make sure that everyone enjoys their time on the island.

The rooms are simple and basic, clean and airy but not luxurious so please look elsewhere if you are used to five star luxury! You are welcome of course to share a room with a friend/family member (participant or non-participant) but please note we do not allocate shared rooms to strangers. All rooms can be either single or twin/double and all have an outside area (either terrace or balcony), fridge and tv. A couple of rooms can sleep three or four so are suitable for friends sharing. Air-conditioning is available at a small extra charge. There are tea and coffee making facilities provided in the reception area, where there is also an informal library. There is wi-fi internet access in the taverna and the cafe area.

If you are spending time in Crete with a group of family or friends who are not participating in the yoga and would like to book your own independent self-catering accommodation please ask us - there are places locally that we can recommend.

Evening meals on the first and last nights are included in the price. On other evenings you are free to eat where you like, although many people unsurprisingly choose to eat at Leonidas every night. They serve a large variety of traditional Greek dishes, using much of their own produce. They produce their own olive oil and grow a large amount of the fruit and vegetables they serve. The fresh orange juice from their own orchards is a particular favourite. The combination of the high quality local ingredients with expert traditional cooking produces superb food. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for, but there is also local fish and meat available. Special diets can usually be accommodated but please check before booking.

Rooms

View from Leonidas cafe

Photo by Derek Verweij

Beach in front of the venue - early July morning

The Area

Next door to us there is a campsite which has a minimarket, bar and taverna and just a short walk away there's another campsite where you can use their exquisitely situated pool free of charge (see below).

The area around the hotel is quiet and rural, even though it's right on the coast. The village of Drapanias (with bakery, taverna and small shop) is a fifteen minute walk and from there you can catch buses to either Kastelli or Chania. Cars can be hired locally for as many days as you require and can be brought to the hotel for you, and bike hire is always popular.Taxis can be arranged by us for trips if you prefer not to hire a car.

This part of Crete is a wonderfully varied area, famous for its olive oil since antiquity, and there are many places to explore within easy reach. Walking east round Kissamos Bay past the second campsite will bring you to some rocky coves and secluded beaches which you may find you have all to yourself. Falassarna is a beautiful long sweep of yellow sand facing west which has the most stunning sunsets - it's only about 20 mins drive away. Boat or bus trips are available to Balos Bay and the Gramvousa peninsula, which offer fabulous swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. Elafonisi, famous for its white sand and turquoise lagoon, is about an hour away by car. Nearby Kastelli (also known as Kissamos) is a quiet untouristy sort of town, with plenty of shops, tavernas, banks and post office for all your practical needs. It also has a small but excellent archaeological museum.

Chania (photo below) is a wonderful place to spend a few hours exploring (or days, if you have any extra time in Crete). It was first settled by the Minoans and remains one of the longest continuously inhabited city sites anywhere in the world. The area around its Venetian harbour is full of interesting narrow streets with shops, cafes and restaurants, and the covered food market is worth visiting for its huge variety of local produce. It also has several interesting museums which are worth a look. Chania is usually the most popular destination for the free evening.

Pool at Nopigia

Chania's Venetian harbour

Beach at Falassarna

Travel Information (flights and insurance are not included in the price)

The courses run from Tuesday to Tuesday - this day has the widest choice of flights to Chania from the UK. Direct flights to Chania are available from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. Easyjet offer flights to Chania from Gatwick on most days, offering you more flexibility on price if you have any extra days available. You can fly to Chania daily via Athens with Aegean or Ryanair. Chania is also served by daily ferry from Piraeus (Athens). Please visit our links page for some useful travel sites. Car hire is available locally or can be pre-booked with your flight from Chania or Heraklion airports.

For travel information from outside the UK please visit our page Booking from outside the UK.

Rare sea lilies which are native to this part of Crete flower all along the seafront in August and September

Page last updated 26/04/17