Greece Swim, SUP and Kayak Adventure
October 1-8, 2021
An ocean lover’s dream! This swim, SUP, Kayaking, Hiking and Yoga retreat takes place on Amorgos – an unspoiled Greek island in the Aegean Sea made famous in Luc Besson’s classic ‘The Big Blue’. The island’s spectacular coastline and azure colored sea was chosen as the ideal location for the film, and our Big Blue Swim Retreat. The island is also known for its healing and transformative energy, dramatically beautiful landscapes and medicinal herbs that grow wild on its hills and valleys where we will be hiking.
Imagine swimming and seeing the most famous monastery in all of Greece, the ethereal Hazzoviotissa Monastery, built into the soaring cliffs, taking your breath away! The monks inside will treat you to Greek sweets and holy wine. Experience swimming, SUP’ing or kayaking in dazzling blue water, exploring grottoes and secluded beaches you can only visit by water. Mix it up with an island-hopping cruise where we will snorkel and swim around the pristine islands near Amorgos.
This Greek island retreat continues off the water too. Finding our land legs, we hike down a breathtaking rugged gorge, through crumbling ancient windmills, and between traditional mountain villages frozen in time. Here, donkeys still carry loads through cobbled streets, and folk go about their simple daily lives with welcoming smiles on their faces. Ease into the slow pace like a local, feast on traditional dishes from the healthiest diet in the world, and learn the recipe secrets in our Greek cooking class, using fresh organic ingredients from our Hotel’s own garden.
As with every Women’s Quest retreat, we love our down time. Our home for the week is the Aegialis Hotel & Spa Resort- the island’s most luxurious property sitting above our tranquil home bay. The Aegialis is a 5-star resort and is the perfect place to chill, practice sunset yoga, feast like Queens and spoil yourself with a deluxe spa treatment. Mind, body and Greek spirit, all covered.
The retreat is for all levels of ocean mermaids. We will be swimming from 1 to 3 miles per day in the open ocean with different options for all ability levels. We will also have an ocean kayak to sag all swims. And if you’d rather float than swim we’ll have SUP’s and kayaking for 2 days. The ocean in late September and early October is optimal for swimming with a water temperature of about 73 to 75. If you’re part mermaid, this is an incredible ocean experience you’ll keep with you the rest of your life.
- Swim treks daily in incredibly pristine blue water exploring the island of Amorgos
- Yoga and Stretching classes every afternoon in a beautiful studio overlooking the tranquil Aegialis bay
- 2 days of paddling: kayak type boats and SUPs. Stop for swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear water.
- Private boat cruise with lunch, snorkel and swim around the beautiful islands of Amorgos
- 2 guided hikes through remote villages, learning about the medicinal herbs that grow wild on Amorgos.
- 30 min massage: Restore your natural balance and get pampered with a massage designed to awaken your senses
- Use of Lalon Idor Spa facilities (sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, indoor heated seawater swimming pool, fitness center)
- Authentic GREEK cooking class: Greek cuisine is famous all over the world for its delicious authentic dishes including the popular savory pastries and pies. You will be introduced to the most traditional types of Greek dishes and will learn how to make these step by step from start to Finish
- Greek NIGHT with Dancing, Food and Fun! Dance holds a special place in the traditions of the island. The men and woman will wear their traditional costumes and invite you to dance and learn the steps. Lots of laughing and wonderful music is involved!
- Monastery visits
- Hazoviotissa Monastery: This 1,000 year old Monastery is built 300 m above the sea on cliffs overlooking impressive views of the island. Home to the miraculous icon of the same name, it is the one of the most remarkable and most visited monastery’s in Greece
- St George Valsamitis Monastery: The picturesque capital of the island, Chora, has 40 churches and 12 windmills, beautiful squares and houses of the 17th center.
Included in the Price:
- 7 nights at the 5-star Aegialis Hotel and Spa Resort. Double occupancy in Superior rooms with private balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea. These rooms feature state-of-the-art facilities in a minimal Cycladic design and present a subtle, elegant and modern comfort. Single room supplement $1000 extra)
- 30 min massage, plus 10% discount on Face and Body treatments at Lalon Idor Spa
- Use of Lalon Idor Spa Facilities (sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, indoor heated seawater swimming pool, fitness center)
- Yoga, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming, SUP
- 2 guided hikes through remote villages
- Daily swim treks for all ability levels (must be able to swim one mile)
- 2 days of SUP or Kayak boats
- Traditional lunch and pastry cooking class
- Traditional Greek cooking class
- Greek night with authentic food and dancing
- Private boat swim-snorkel tour with lunch to pristine islands around Amorgos
- 2 Monastery visits (Hazoviotissa Monastery, and St George Valsamitis Monastery to meet Sister Irini.
- Daily breakfast buffet (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options can be provided)
- 3 lunches including lunch on boat cruise (4 traditional lunches on your own)
- 6 dinners including special cooking class and Greek Night
- Transfers upon arrival and departure on Amorgos (port-hotel-port)
What is NOT Included in the Price:
- Airfare or Ferry to Amorgos
- four lunches and one dinner
- Travel insurance – required
- All personal expenses (e.g., shopping, laundry, telephone)
- Tips for guides, driver
What are the accommodations?
Aegialis Hotel and Spa is a renowned destination for wellness and yoga enthusiasts, awarded by CNN for being one of the top five Yoga Hotels in Greece!
According to mythology, Amorgos was the island where Ulysses, returning to Ithaki, was attracted like a magnet by Goddess Kirki, and stayed for many years. Every year since, the same magnetic attraction brings people from everywhere to the island attracted by its strong revitalizing energy and abundance of therapeutic herbs for spiritual and physical upliftment.
We will be spending our week “Surrounded by Water” in the luxurious 5-star Aegialis Hotel and Spa. All rooms offer amazing views of the Aegean Sea and the Aegiali beach. This hotel is ideal for relaxing after our morning water outings and it has a large yoga shala overlooking the water for our restorative afternoon classes where we can hear the whispering sound of the waves. It also has an onsite spa, salt water swimming pools, fitness center and more.
Single Rooms are available at an additional cost of $1000
- Handmade furniture
- 32’’ flat screen TV
- Free Wi-Fi Internet
- Direct telephone line
- Private Balcony
- Hair Dryer
- Safe Box
- Coffee & Tea facilities
- Glass cabin shower
- Bathrobes & Pool towels
- Free access to the Spa (Sauna – Hammam – Jacuzzi – Indoor Swimming Pool – Fitness Centre)
Tell me about the spa
Lalon Idor Spa- WATER THAT SPEAKS!
A soothing experience of stillness and harmony amid the mind-blowing scenery of the Aegean. The name of the spa is taken from the story of the ancient water oracle dedicated to the god Apollo, where visitors came seeking clarity and answers in prophetic water readings. Find purity and peace of mind in this nurturing and peaceful atmosphere, allowing inspired therapists to bring you to a state of stillness and rest, and let the voice of the sea sooth your mind away from the chaos of life.
What will the food be like?
Greek diet is considered the healthiest diet in the world and especially at our hotel where they use food and beverages from their organic garden.
We will be eating at the Ambrosia Gallery Restaurant that specializes in traditional Amorgian cuisine.
The Chef specializes in Greek traditional food and uses recipes of the owners’ grand-parents. He prepares local dishes such as “patatato” (Amorgian goat marinated in local red wine, slowly cooked in a cinnamon flavor tomato sauce with potatoes); “fava” (Amorgian yellow peas cooked with fresh onion and rainwater, served in puree style, topped with sweet onions, fresh herbs, wild mint and virgin Amorgian olive oil); and “favokeftedes” (Amorgian vegetable croquettes with yellow peas). We will also have vegetarian meals such as the Veggie Delight (a synthesis of grilled marinated ingredients with thyme, melted ladotiri cheese, arugula pesto, balsamic glaze and a portion of wild aromatic rice).
We will be delighted by the tasty Greek island fare, as we dine right next to the gently breaking waves of the enchanting Aegean Sea.
Tell me about the Greek cooking class
We have a traditional Greek cooking class one evening. After a warm welcome including Greek coffee or organic tea with fresh homemade cookies, your introduction to the local agricultural products and mountainous herbs begins. We will learn from our Chef how to make fava, favatokeftedes, vegetable croquettes, methismena amorgiana dessert and many more delicious Greek dishes. We will be taking a piece of Greece with us.
THE GREEK NIGHT!!! Greek night is a super fun experience with authentic Greek food and traditional dancing. It is the Greek way of life to enjoy dinner for a celebration of fun, dancing to the sound of the violin and lute all night long.
What about the yoga?
We will align and rebalance every afternoon with a restorative yoga practice. This gentle but powerful practice draws inspiration from Gyrokinesis, Qigong, and Tai Chi, and is a perfect way unwind and recalibrate your body after a long day of Play.
What about the hiking?
Amorgos is famous worldwide for its hiking trails. Most of them are old donkey routes that connect the villages of Amorgos. Our first hike (the Dolphin and Goat Tour) is around 3 hours and connects the village of Tholaria to the village of Langada. It’s a traverse which rewards hikers with spectacular views of the entire valley of Aegiali and the four villages of Tholaria, Langada, Ormos and Potamos. Our second hike is the path from Aegiali to Chora and the Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa. This path is declared as one of the most fabulous hikes in Greece, offering sea views on both sides of the trail.
What about the SUP and kayaking?
Kayaking around the Aegean is spectacular and listed in the top 10 kayaking destinations by National Geographic Magazine.
We will have open kayaks and SUPS for 3 days.
What about the swim tour?
This swim tour is designed for all levels of ocean swimmers. Swim routes are structured so that you can swim a shorter distance or continue longer. You will be grouped with swim buddies of similar ability so you swim at the same pace. An experienced support kayaker will accompany swimmers in the water.
The 3 days of SUP or kayaking will take the same route as the swimmers.
From our luxury hotel in Amorgo’s Aegialis Bay, we are transferred to swim locations around the island by private bus.
We swim a different route each day from 7 different swim locations, according to conditions on the day. Lady Anna Chapel Beach, the picturesque film location in ‘The Big Blue, is a highlight on our itinerary.
Spectacular swims each morning (1.5 to 3 miles)
Oct 1: Arrival day afternoon, Aegialis Bay Local Swim, Start/Finish Lakki Beach with a surprise beach. On this day we will try out SUP’s and our Kayak boats to learn how to use them in Aegialis Bay
Oct 2: Paradise Beach to Shipwreck Beach and will finish at Kalotaritissa. SWIM, SUP or Kayak
Oct 3: ‘Chapel Hopping’ Katapola Port & The 4 Chapels Swim. SWIM, SUP or Kayak
Oct 4th: ‘Big Blue Swim’ Lady Anna Beach and Hazoviotissa Monastery. SWIM, SUP, or kayak
Oct 5th: Goats & Dolphins. Hiking, Tholaria Village & Bay Swim (out and back swim) and 3 hour hike (from Tholaria -Village hopping: Tholaria, Stroumbos, Lagada, Firo.
Oct 6th: ‘Island Hopping’ Nikouria Island with Cruise & Swim. West side of Island. Swim snorkel & island hopping via private cruise
Oct 7th: ‘Beach Hopping’ Remote Beaches Swim & explore Hora Town South East side of Island. Swim: Out and back swim. Start: Mourous Beach. Swim to Naya’s Beach, Amoudi Beach, Return Mourous Beach. This day is a day to swim as far as you like or sit and relax on the beach
Oct 9th, local swim, early October is traditionally a great time of the year to swim and kayak since the summer breezes have calmed. Still, all swims and sea activities will be dependent on the conditions of the day and could change.
What is the weather like?
Weather is ideal for swimming and paddling throughout October. It will be quite warm during the day but cooler than mid-summer temperatures. Daytime temperatures typically range from 73F to 90F, with evenings cooling off to 63F to 68F and water temps typically between 73F and 78F. The island is usually dry in October but there is always a chance of rain. All accommodations have air conditioning.
What is the average age on this retreat?
We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young.
What if I am coming alone?
The majority of the women who attend our retreats come by themselves. Greece is a safe and easy country to travel as a single female. English is spoken in most tourist areas and we are here to answer any questions about travel that you may have. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!
Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?
No! All activities and outings are optional. This is YOUR retreat. We encourage you to do what feels most nurturing and right for you. You will be fully supported in doing as much or as little as you choose. All of our activities will be guided by expert staff, and instruction and support will be offered for every activity according to your experience level.
Am I in good enough shape to do this retreat?
This is a retreat that everyone can do. We will be swimming, kayaking and hiking during the retreat, so make sure you get out and do some similar activities at home to get your prepared.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. Women’s Quest requires travel insurance for this retreat. We all know things happen. Whether it’s before your trip, in transit, or during your retreat so Women’s Quest requires you take out travel insurance. Travel insurance policies can vary on their coverage so please make sure you understand their coverage if you have to cancel, travel delays and cancellations, medical coverage, emergency situations and other areas of interest to you. If you have any questions, please contact the travel insurance company directly.
Cancellation policy for international camps:
- If you must cancel, a $1000 deposit is NOT REFUNDABLE*
- Full refund, less deposit, will be given with at least 91 days notice *
- Within 90 days of your camp, sorry but absolutely no refund will be given
Due to our commitments on Amorgos no exceptions will be granted to the above policy. And please note, we are sorry but injury and illness do not disqualify you from any of the above cancellation policies. We are UNABLE to transfer deposits or any payments from one year to the next.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest, in which case all money paid to Women’s Quest will be refunded. Women’s Quest CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.
As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, the Women’s Quest policy for Coronoavirus cancelations is to apply all payments to next year’s retreat or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of 2022. Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.
For all 2021 retreats, a 3% fee will be added to full and balance due payments made using Paypal. Retreat deposits will not have the additional charge applied.