Crete Retreat - Summer 2024
How much is it?
2024 Course Fees:
1 class = $1200
2 classes = $2250 (save $150)
3 classes = $3150 (save $450)
4 classes = $3900 (save $900)
To help pay for the classroom space, break room, snacks, etc).
All students pay an additional €5 per class-day facilities fee.
Campers pay €10/all-days per person facilities fee. See more about camping here.
This year we will be including lunches for every student, during every class-day, for an additional €15/lunch per class-day.
All other meals are on your own. See the below for more food info.
Upon registration we will let you know how much your total is, including course, facilities and class-day lunches.
Lodging will be factored in separately.
Lodging and food are extra:
Lodging at Akrimios: €40-95/night, per room/apartment.
You can share a room and split the cost. Fee will be €5/night more per shared room as there will be more people using that apartment's utilities.
Payable in euros cash to CNTI upon arrival.
CONTACT US to reserve.
If/when Akrimios fills up, we will refer you to other accommodations close by. Pricing varies.
Lunch: €15/day only on class days. This will be incorporated into everyone's flat rate fee for courses/lunches/facilites.
Breakfast: Available at Akrimios (around €10?). Students arrange and pay for breakfasts directly with Akrimios.
Non-class day lunches, and all dinners are also extra, depends on where (and what!) you eat.
Payable in euros cash to Akrimios, or wherever directly (cash/card)
Rooms at Akrimios have kitchenettes for use. There are some grocery shops nearby.
More info on lodging and food below.
Please note to expect additional costs for car rides, taxis, tips, local excursions, and that sort of stuff.
Where is it?
Orizon Center for Life & Creation is a beautiful, peaceful location near the town of Megala Chorafia (Aptera) on the island of Crete in Greece. It is reached by a 30-minute drive on the main highway from Chania International Airport, and two-hours drive from Heraklion. map
When is it?
June 18-19: Arrivals*
June 20-24: TaoTouch Chi Kung Incubation Practices
June 25-26: Break
June 27-July 1: Fundamentals of Chi Nei Tsang
July 2-3: Break
July 4-8: Global Body CNT
July 9-10: Break
July 11-15: Advanced CNT
July 16: Departure
*Arrival/departure listed is for the whole retreat. You are welcome to join for just a portion thereof.
*If you'd like to arrive earlier to acclimate to the new time zone, climate, etc - let us know and we'll help you book lodging directly with Akrimios.
What time is it?
8:15am: Breakfast (optional)
9:00am: Chi Kung/Buddha Palms warmup
9:45am-1:00pm: Morning class session
1:00-4:00pm: Lunch and siesta
4:00-4:30: Sleeping/Dreaming Chi Kung
4:30-7:00pm: Afternoon class session
Daily schedule subject to change.
How do I get there?
Fly in to and out from the Chania airport.
We recommend this great taxi company: Taxi24Chania
How many people will be in the class?
Around 20 or so students each class.
What can I expect from my experience?
The Crete Retreat is not simply a training retreat. It is equally, if not moreso, a personal experience where the conditions and practices set the environment for an inner healing journey. The retreat begins with 5 days of TaoTouch Chi Kung Incubation Practices, a combination of classical Taoist and ancient Greek internal philosophy and functional practices. From here, we then dive into the hands-on Chi Nei Tsang training, with internal Chi Kung woven in throughout the month as well.
Are there prerequistes?
We encourage all participants to start with the first class on June 20th. If you have not taken classes with Gilles before, this is mandatory before taking Fundamentals or any hands-on class. We also expect you to be familiar with Gilles' books and the Healing Buddha Palms practice.
You must take Fundamentals before Global Body, and Global Body before Advanced CNT. Even beginners are welcome to stay for all classes- the whole retreat- but they must start at the beginning on June 20th.
All students are required to pay €5 per class-day for facilities. (Campers pay €10/day for facilities- to help offset Ingrid's office space that is for your use.) This will be incorporated into your total balance due.
Which nights can we sleep at the retreat center?
The nights of June 18-July 15. Contact Ingrid to arrive earlier or stay longer.
You can stay on-site in a sea-view apartment at Akrimos.
If that fills up, there are other nice accommodations nearby that we can help guide you to.
Who gets priority for the rooms?
The earlier you register, the higher up on the list you are for on-site rooms. Those who are staying for the whole retreat get priority for the rooms at Akrimios, for simplicity sake.
What if the apartments at Akrimios fill up?
There are other local lodging options for you, including Nectarios' hotel in nearby Aptera. We may hold some units for us there. If necessary, Ingrid will also be helping find additional options in the area.
What's the room situation?
There are multiple apartments that are mostly shared, with your own private room. You can share a bedroom with family/friend and split the cost. There are a couple private apartments as well.
Each apartment has its own entrance and a large, private balcony with view of Souda Bay and its beautiful sunrises. All mini kitchens are equipped with a fridge, coffee machine, kettle, and all the dishes and utensils you need for a quick and easy meal.
Do prices vary depending on room/bed?
Yes, there are varying room and apartment options, priced out accordingly, ranging from €40-€90/night. We will offer you the options, if available, upon your registration.
Is there air conditioning in the apartments?
Yes there is A/C available, for a fee. It is €15/hour. You will probably only need it for cooling off for nap time or right before bed at night. With windows cracked open, you shouldn't need it all that much.
Can I stay in the classroom space or camp?
Yes you can! The cost is €25/night total per person: €15 for camping/floor space, plus €10 facilities fee. You'll have access to amenities including a kitchen and bathroom. You can sleep in the classroom space, Ingrid's office break room, or you can set your tent up in the yard beside the center.
To whom should I ask questions, and reserve my bed/room with?
Please email David email@example.com
What should I bring, lodging-wise?
Earplugs (road noise and cicadas can be loud in the rooms), eye mask, flashlight, extra towel for beach, notebook and pen for dream journaling.
Is food included in the price?
No, yes and no. Huh?
Breakfast can be available if requested with Ingrid in advance, and paid directly to them.
Lunch (€15) for all class-days will be included in the registration fee for all students. It's great to enjoy lunch together!
Lunches on non-class-days are on your own.
What's up with dinner then?
Dinner, everybody is on their own, but it's no big thang: Akrimios (the name of the hotel that the Orizon Center sits in) is a proper restaurant at night. Occasionally, there might be a wedding, baptism or christening at Akrimios, which you will be welcomed at and have an unforgettable dinner there!
Or go to Aptera, the nearby village a 10 minute walk up the hill, which has a few wonderful tavernas, especially Cretan Corner. There are also fantastic restaurants all over within a 15 minute drive, especially in the cute beach town of Kalyves.
Also, if staying at Akrimios you'll have your own kitchen, so you can always cook for yourself. There is kitchen for use for those camping too. There are small grocery stores nearby.
There are also restaurants, cafes and grocery stores in the area.
What's on the menu?
Akrimos has a full service restaurant with organic, local food, much which is grown on their Kokotsakis family farm! They offer pasture-raised sheep, milk and cheese, and a variety of organic vegetables served in traditional Crete dishes.
Can I cook for myself?
Yes! If you are staying at Akrimios, there are simple kitchen facilities in each suite. There are grocery stores in nearby Kalyves.
WHO DO I PAY?
Euros cash is required or preferred for most everything. You can get euros from ATMs on Crete. That said, withdrawals may be limited to a certain amount per transaction or per day, plus ATM fees on both ends. So if you can bring euros cash with you, that will be helpful.
Breakfasts/Dinners/Lunches on non-class days: Pay Akrimios/Ingrid directly for meals, in euros cash only.
Lunches on class days: Payable to CNTI as part of the course/facilities fee.
Accommodations at Akrimios: Pay us, CNTI, in euros cash upon arrival.
If staying elsewhere, pay your host of course.
Course fees: Payable to CNTI online before the retreat.
We will have a small rental car for our time there.
Airport rides: We recommend this great taxi company: Taxi24Chania. You can reserve a ride beforehand on their easy to use website. They are very responsive and dependable. The ride should be around €36.
Trips to town: We will have a dedicated rental car for retreat purposes, which will be driven by CNTI staff. We will have a sign up sheet, to make sure everyone gets chances to hop a ride to Kalyves, which is the nearest big town with banks, restaurants, shops and nice sandy beaches. We ask for a couple euros per trip to town.
You can always get the retreat center's taxi friend or another taxi anytime. Again, please be prepared with cash for petrol, taxi drivers/tips.
You can rent a car on your own. Get an international drivers permit (at AAA or wherever you can in your location, maybe online).
Are there Covid restrictions?
On our end, participants do not need to show vaccination status or test results. That said, we do request that you be mindful and follow all the recommended procedures about personal hygiene: frequent hand washing, coughing/sneezing into the crook of the elbow, etc. In general we recommend boosting your immune system with good things like vitamin C, reishi mushroom tea, dark leafy greens, good sleep and practicing Buddha Palms! If you feel ill at all, especially sore throat, fever or persistent cough, please do not come to class- we will credit you accordingly.
We run an essential oil diffuser in the classroom and keep it as ventilated as possible. The space we create is an alkaline healing environment.
As for travel into Greece, that depends on the national and local policies at the time. As of December 2022, it appears that there are no restrictions for travelers coming into Greece. However it is your responsibility to stay updated: https://travel.gov.gr/
What's the weather like?
In June-July it is hot, but not unbearably hot. Chance of rain is unlikely.
What are the lifestyle conditions of Crete?
Please keep in mind that Crete can be quite rustic- some first world elements with some third world conditions as well. Akrimios/Orizon is not a "luxury resort" kind of place. However it does have all you need, and the beauty, culture and environment more than make up for it. Also note that, as with traveling anywhere internationally, there can be challenges with cultural and language differences. But that is part of the magic of travel, right? Your hosts, Ingrid Margarita, Petros and Maria are the most welcoming, sweet, and fun family :)
Is drinking water provided?
There will be a 5 liter jugs for drinking in each kitchen and the classroom space, filled throughout the week. We take trips every few days nearby towns that have natural spring water fountains. The water is so fresh and refreshing! We will ask for a volunteer to assist with this task of refilling our water bottles.
How can I lend a helping hand while there?
Thanks for asking! There are some chores necessary to help keep our space organized, tidy, clean and running smoothly. We will have a "dharma" list and will ask participants to help out with these items. Don't worry, nothing is too challenging, energy-sapping or time consuming. Just a little bit here and there: sweeping the classroom space, bringing cups back upstairs, bussing tables at the restaurant... things like that. Thanks for your understanding! It is a team effort, and not exactly a luxury vacation ;)
What clothes should I pack?
- Comfort: We will be sitting, doing not-so-physical chi kung, trading abdominal work, etc. So just be comfy and cozy.
- CNT Classes: We will be working directly on the abdominal area, so wear clothing that can reveal your belly. ie no dresses, unitards, leotards, onesies, jumpsuits, wetsuits, snowsuits or Winnie the Pooh footie jammies.
- Shoes are not allowed in the indoor spaces, so make sure to bring slip-on shoes or sandals easy to remove at the entrances.
- Closed toed shoes for the walk down to the sea. The 10-minute trail is scenic but a bit treacherous.
- Bring a swimsuit for the pool and sea!
Is there cell phone service and wifi?
Yes, don't freak out, you can stay connected. There is wifi and all cell phone connectivity possible. Though don't expect the best of either! Wifi is best in the restaurant area.
Check your cell phone provider for international plans.
Are there laundry facilities there?
For those staying at Akrimios for a longer time, there are laundry facilities there at the retreat center. At least washing machines. From them: "There are 2 washing machines in Orizon Center. For sure the customers can use them after speaking with our cleaning lady! They can give their laundry to her... The charge for that is €5."
Who's in charge?
Ingrid: Owner/manager of the Akrimos/Orizon Center. Ingrid will collect your payments for food, in euros cash.
David Sloves: Organizer/administrator handling registration, payments, communications and miscellaneous.
Tiffiny Fyans: Organizer and Assistant Teacher with tons of experience and wonderful approach.
Gilles Marin: Your Master Instructor Extraordinaire!
Kentaro: Assistant to the teachers, and general retreat helper.
What should I not forget to pack?
Plug adapters for Europe
Closed toed shoes for hikes
Slip on/off footwear for around the retreat center
Reusable water bottle
Class notebook and personal journal: While you may video/audio record some demos on your devices, please no audible typing, tapping or clicking for note taking.
Will this be recorded?
We will be video recording Gilles' demonstrations in class, and audio recording guided meditations and some Q&A sessions. This material will be available to students of this retreat only.
Please note: Some photos and non-personal video/audio will be shared with our larger community via newsletter, email and social media.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
Tread lightly: Please keep the property and all furnishings in good order.
Housekeeping: There is no daily housekeeping service. While linens and bath towels are included in the unit, daily maid service is not included.
Euros Cash: Again, just to chisel it in, rooms and food at Akrimios are payable IN EUROS CASH ONLY - as with other expenses mentioned above.