Greece Adventure Retreat
September 22-29, 2021
Come visit the Poets Island of Lefkada with Women’s Quest for a week of rejuvenation, inspiration and pure magic…
Considered as the Caribbean of Greece, Lefkada is renowned for its sheltered waters, pristine beaches, emerald bays, sea caves, towering white limestone sea cliffs, lush green mountains, Venetian fortresses, age old monasteries, stone windmills, ancient ruins, history, mythology, and famous Greek hospitality
Fourth largest island in the Ionian Sea this magical landscape is the place to find your natural athlete. If your psyche has been kidnapped by the modern world this is the week where you will be invited to step out of the harshness of ‘Chronos’ time and enter ‘Kairos’ timelessness where beauty fills the eternal moment.
Our base- the lesser known lush green island of Lefkada, offers all of these amazing experiences in one place, and is perfectly located for easy island hopping by kayak, SUP, ferry and sailing It’s no mystery why people who are in the know keep coming back here year after year, some travelers never leave.
We will be escorted by local kayaking guide Joanna Dounias- a Greek Australian who is fluent in Greek and well connected on the island. She has been operating her own ecological kayaking tours in Lefkada for 15 years, and has worked as a local Greek guide and location scout for films and Australian travel shows. Colleen Cannon, owner of Women’s Quest will also be on hand plus Jacqueline Stanford who is our Chief Mermaid.
What to Expect:
We plan to begin our retreat with an afternoon of sightseeing in the magnificent ruins of Athens we will take our flight that evening to Lefkada, to wake the next morning to find ourselves in paradise. The tour is all dependent on if we are allowed to do a group tour and if the flights are running from Athens to Lefkada. If they are not we will take a bus. We are getting Plan B in place now. Check with the office of WQ.
With our Women’s Quest staff we will spend our week captivating our senses with a variety of delights:
*Kayaking, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Swimming, Snorkeling and/or Sailing on the calm clear waters of the Ionian Sea
*Hiking to the ancient spiritually-invigorating site of St George Monastery
*Eating scrumptious Greek feasts daily plus Greek cooking class
*Greek Night: Dancing, laughing and connecting with each other
* Sailboat day around the islands
And, of course, always time for shopping and sight-seeing
- Yoga and Stretching classes daily: At our beachside hotel and at unique natural settings. Inhale the serenity during our special yoga practice in the ethereal grounds of an abandoned mountain monastery.
- 2 days of paddling: Sea kayak /SUP. Stop for swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear water. Other stops include port town of Nidri and lunch in Vlyho.
- Swimming: Every day from the calm beach directly in front of our hotel. Swim at the island’s famous Porto Katsiki beach, and the pretty sheltered beach at Agias Nikitas seaside village.
- Snorkelling: inside Blue Grotto Cave and along layered limestone reefs.
- Hiking to St George Monastery, the coastal track to Milos beach, mountain trails and the perimeter of the bird sanctuary and island sandpit.
- Overland site-seeing drive Drive across the island’s mountainous interior, visit a traditional mountain town with cafes and shops selling local tapestry, rugs and olive wood products. Opportunity to try local goat dish in one of Lefkada’s best restaurants. Drive along Lefkada’s steep, winding west coastal cliff to one of the world’s top 10 beaches- Porto Katsiki (Bay of Goats). Famous for its soaring white limestone cliffs and dazzling azure water -so impossibly blue it looks photoshopped! The color of the Ionian Sea here can be seen from space.
- Exploring on Foot Get joyfully lost in the maize of narrow cobbled lanes of Lefkada’s charming old town, characterized by stone houses, colorful balconies, and its Orthodox churches with curious iron belltowers. Drink great coffee amongst locals in the town’s lively main square, and watch the people amble by. Visit the historical Venetian Fort guarding the bridge and entrance to the town.
- Maria’s home cooked Greek feast: An intimate dinner at Maria’s Taverna served in her traditional timber and stone home in the remote mountain village of Karya. Cooked slowly using freshly picked ingredients from Maria’s own garden- a truly special experience.
- Greek cooking class: Learn to cook gourmet Greek dishes based on traditional Greek cuisine –
considered to be the healthiest diet in the world. The best cooking class in the region.
- Greek Night: Kick up your leather sandals at a festive night of Greek dancing, music, great food and drink in a traditional Greek restaurant.
- Local Olive Oil and Lefkada’s famous Thyme Honey Tasting: Tastings direct from the growers and bee-keepers.
- 3 Islands Day Cruise: Visit fascinating off-the-beaten-track, sleepy land traditional Ionian islands by small day cruise boat. Sail past the late shipping Tycoon Aristotle Onasis’ private Island of Scorpio, see his former wife Jackie ‘O’s modest beach bungalow and private Chapel.
- Divine Shopping: Go crazy in Lefkada’s old town pedestrian mall, crammed with pretty little boutiques, shoe shops, and specialty shops with stylish European fashion, jewelry, and crafts at bargain prices.
Included in the Price:
- 7 nights lodging 8 full days of play (single rooms add $850)
- Tour of Athens TBD
- Yoga, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming, SUP
- Traditional meals with locals and a beautiful hike where we end with local Maria’s home cooked lunch
- Wine, Olive Oil, Honey and Cheese tastings
- Traditional Greek cooking class
- Greek night with authentic food and dancing
- Overland sight seeing and swimming tour. Stopping for a swim and hike at Porto Katsiki Beach -rated among the top 5 beaches in the world
- Sailboat day to private islands
What is NOT Included in the Price:
- Airfare to and from Lefkada or we may choose the bus
- two lunches and two dinners
- Travel insurance – required
- All personal expenses (e.g., shopping, laundry, telephone)
- Tips for guides, drivers
What are the accommodations?
Agni Studios http://www.agni-studios.gr/
Enjoy harmony and calmness at our beautiful apartment/hotel Agni. Agni is a family owned, meticulously clean, newly renovated apartment/hotel located right next to the beautiful Ionian Sea. Every room has a big balcony with an incredible view of the Sea, air conditioning, TV, Grecian bath personal care products (shampoo, bath foam/ shower gel), fireplace, wireless internet in all common areas, and more. Each apartment provides modern conveniences such as an elegantly decorated spacious living room, comfortable sofas, and a breakfast nook with stools that connects to a fully equipped kitchen with access to a large private veranda.
Single Rooms are available at an additional cost of $850.
What will the food be like?
Greek diet is considered the healthiest diet in the world!
AMAZING!! FRESH FISH, CHICKEN AND VEGGIES, SAVORY PIES, OLIVE OIL, OLIVES, GREEK SALADS AND GOOD WINE. (Plus fresh figs)
We will have breakfast and a dinner at Porto Nikiana, which is a traditional taverna or restaurant on site of our hotel with an incredible and unique dining experience. At our taverna we will enjoy the flavors of traditional Lefkadian cuisine, fresh fish, and homemade dishes hand-prepared by Agni, herself. We will be delighted by the tasty Greek island fare, as we dine right next to the gently breaking waves of the enchanting Ionian Sea.
We have a traditional Greek cooking class one evening. After the warm welcome while enjoying your Greek coffee or organic tea with fresh homemade cookies, your introduction to the Lefkadas local agricultural products and mountainous herbs begins. You will learn the story and secrets of olive oil & Benjami wine and tips about how to distinguish the top qualities. You will try, taste and smell different varieties of best Lefkadas wine, olive oil, honey and organic herbal teas.
Right after, the open garden kitchen is waiting for you to start our cooking class. The menu includes local varieties of vegetables, meat, cheese, organic eggs and dairy products from local producers, all prepared with the top quality Greek olive oil.
Our last night is THE GREEK NIGHT!!!
Greek night is a super fun experience on Meganisi island with authentic Greek food and traditional dancing. We will enjoy the best chicken and tzatziki in the Ionian, together with an amazing Greek experience. Lake and his family prepare a meal you will never forget. The chicken is to die for and their tzatziki is the strongest (and most delicious!) in the Ionian. The walk up to the village is rewarded with a spectacular view over Lefkada & Scorpios.
Lunches are different every day depending on if we are hiking or kayaking. One day we hike to Marias Taverna for a home cooked lunch made especially for our group.
When kayaking we have picnic lunches which will be made of fresh local ingredients, Greek salad, rustic bread, local cheese, olive oil, olives and wholesome spinach pie from traditional bakery OR we will pull up to a fishing village for a spectacular lunch where we pull up and eat on the water.
We will also enjoy the savory pies of Lefkada. We have several kinds on the island, including, the vegetable pie with aromatic wild greens, and my favorite are the rice pie (rizopita), pasta pie (macaronopita) made with eggs and milk, olive oil and cheese, as well as the ‘briani’, pie made with thick green zucchinis.
2 lunches and 2 dinners are on your own
What about the yoga?
We begin each adventure-filled Women’s Quest day with Colleen’s unique “Awakening the Senses” Yoga. This gentle but powerful practice draws inspiration from Gyrokinesis, Qigong, and Tai Chi, and is a perfect way to prepare the mind, body and senses for the activities of the day.
What about the hiking?
Have you ever wondered what a real-life fairy-land that’s magical enough to enchant Greece’s most brilliant poets might look like? We found it in Lefkada, which is why we chose this island in the Ionian Sea for hiking, with moss-covered oak trees bent over crystal-clear waterfalls, a forest rumored to have fairies and elves, stone-built mountain-top villages huddled in early-morning fog and white-rock cliffs that plunge into blue-green waves.
Lefkada’s pine and cypress trees are a world of their own, with their own history, since once upon a time the land was intensively cultivated. From Nydri to Vassiliki lemon and orange trees shade large expanses. Of course the olive tree reigns supreme, olive oil being the main produce of the island.
What about the kayaking?
Kayaking around the Ionian Island of Greece is spectacular and listed in the top 10 kayaking destinations by National Geographic Magazine. Paddle around Lefkada’s sheltered turquoise bays and fishing villages. Hop across short distances to pristine islands nearby. Swim off small emerald bays, and paddle inside the hidden entrance of Blue Grotto Cave. Quality, sturdy double sea kayaks or Stand Up Paddleboards & paddling equipment will be provided.
What is the weather like?
Weather is ideal for swimming and paddling throughout September. 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 September but there is always a chance of rain in late September. 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. Click on the company name below to learn more and get your travel insurance purchased. 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
*no exceptions will be granted to the above policy.*
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.