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7 Days Yoga and Cooking Holidays in Crete, Greece

Cooking and Yoga Retreat in Greece

Join Hand Picked Greece for a break full of yoga and healthy eating on the island of Crete. Indulge in daily yoga practices and a series of cooking classes, both designed to revive your body, mind, and soul. Observe your breath, your thoughts, your body, and the wonderful scenery by practicing yoga surrounded by olive trees and free range hens. Everyone is free to participate, regardless of age or physical condition.

Meet the instructors

Frini & Marilou
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  • Daily yoga sessions
  • Healthy cooking workshops
  • Walking meditation practices in the olive grove
  • Get an insight into the local cuisine and sustainable eating
  • Excursions to Preveli, Skafia, and Rethymno
  • Healthy meals based on the Cretan diet
  • All transfers to and from excursions
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 15
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Accommodation options are carefully selected and usually come in the form of a small local hotel, villa, or house with traditional architecture. All are of exceptional quality as Hand Picked Greece pays close attention to every detail in order to ensure the highest standards.

All accommodations are certified by the local tourist authorities and you can expect the hosts to be friendly and welcoming. Lodgings will be located within a short distance of the holiday base and will usually have wonderful gardens and swimming pools.

Your accommodation can range from small traditional cottages to larger luxury villas. All accommodation is located in and around the village of Litsarda, close to the Olive Farm. When you get in touch with Hand Picked Greece to plan your holiday, you will also discuss your specific accommodation requirements. They will provide a range of options for your particular tour, including photos, before you book the holiday.


During this vegetarian cooking yoga retreat, you will learn how to combine the health benefits of yoga with wholesome delicious vegetarian meals, prepared using fresh, artisan produce. Every day, you will aim for clarity and serenity when practicing postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in the olive grove, all followed by a nutritious breakfast. By the end of this retreat, you will obtain body awareness, get in touch with your inner self, reconnect with the environment, and be more present in every moment.

Day 1

At 16:00, you will be picked up from the city center of Chania and transferred to your accommodation in the area of Apokoronas, a leafy region in the Northern coast of Crete with numerous villages between the olive groves and vineyards.

There will be a small reception with drinks and meze, as well as information on the planned schedule for the week. The evening will be free to explore the village. Bikes available upon request. Today, snacks are included.

Day 2

  • 08:00 Yoga
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Free time
  • 18:00 Cooking workshop
  • 21:00 Dinner

Day 3

  • 08:00 Yoga
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Excursion to Preveli, in southern Crete
  • 21:00 Dinner

Day 4

  • 08:00 Yoga
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Free time
  • 18:00 Cooking workshop
  • 21:00 Dinner

Day 5

  • 08:00 Yoga
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Excursion to Sfakia, in southern Crete
  • 21:00 Dinner

Day 6

  • 08:00 Yoga
  • 10:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Excursion to Rethymno
  • 18:00 Cooking workshop
  • 21:00 Dinner

Day 7

  • Departure

Included excursions

During this holiday, you will go on excursions to Preveli, Skafia, and Rethym.


Frini grew up in a family where everybody cooks. Her first teacher was her grandmother, who immigrated to Crete form Asia Minor and carried along a significant gastronomic heritage. She taught her how to make multiple traditional dishes and filled her memories with flavors, tastes, and skills. As she grew up, he realized that most people eat to live but there are some who live to eat. Happily, she belonged to the second group. Frini studied in Cyprus the Art and Science of culinary preparation and has worked as a gastronomy consultant and instructor of the Greek and Cretan cuisine ever since.
Marilou Nikolaou
Sivananda Vedanta Centre Yoga Alliance RYT 200 (Sivananda Yoga)
Ghyta Yoga School Yoga Alliance RYT 500 (Sivananda Yoga)
Following her studies in management and communications and after working in related fields for over ten years, Marilou decided to search for a more fulfilling and creative way of life. She founded LU Creative Studio, an artistic multiplex where creative seminars, retreats, and special events are organized. This quest for creativity also lead her to the path of yoga. She enjoys teaching small groups, especially close to nature. She finds that it is easier for students to understand their inner potential through the practice, away from the noise and distractions of city life.


This holiday will take place in Crete, Greece. Crete is the fifth biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and lies on the southern frontier of Europe, combining wonderful seaside sceneries alongside a mountainous terrain.

With a strategic geographical position, Crete has always been a cultural crossroads with many Venetian, Arabic, and Turkish influences. It is a culinary haven for anyone looking to discover authentic cooking and eating. It is also a magnificent island with dramatic scenery and thousands of years of history.


The traditional Cretan diet is very much alive, especially in the villages and rural areas. It includes large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals like wheat and barley, legumes, nuts, olives and olive oil, and numerous endemic wild herbs and aromatic plants. Refusing an offer for a meal is really not an option and visitors share in meals that might last two to three hours.

Greek cuisine is a combination between the Italian and the Arabic cuisines. The people still eat what their ancestors ate hundreds of years back. They eat wild edible greens collected during long walks, snails, and different bean varieties. They use barley rusks instead of bread with their meals and make kalitsounia, which are little pies made with dough rather than filo pastry and fry them. They prefer the local cheeses and herbs, avoid veal, and celebrate with lamb or goat.

Cretans eat cheese with honey and put olive oil everywhere, even in desserts. Of course, they also continue to cook at home in the same simple way their great grandmothers did. The result is a naturally sustainable way of life.

In Crete, the diet consists of mainly pulses, vegetables, and fruits. Dairy comes next; fish, chicken, and eggs follow; and red meat is eaten only occasionally. Traditionally, Greeks used to eat meat only a few times each month, most likely on a Sunday and usually in the form of a stew or casserole with plenty of vegetables, accompanied by handmade pasta or rice.

Grilled or roast meat was served during celebrations and elaborate desserts were only prepared during festive periods as well. Food is not only a mean of survival here; it is the foundation of the entire Greek culture. People are truly dedicated to eating and drinking and will spend long hours preparing and even longer sitting with family and friends to enjoy a meal.

Recognized as one of the healthiest diets, the Cretan diet holds all those elements that shape a healthy nutrition. Since nutrition is such an important element in yoga, you will be keeping it light and vegetarian. You will discover the secrets of the local diet that go back thousands of years to the Minoan times and cook with ingredients which complement and balance each other and give more to the body than they take away from it. Meals adapted to specific allergies and dietary needs are available upon request.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Attend local village events
  • Converse with the locals
  • Explore the nature and wildlife
  • Go hiking or cycling
  • Guided visit to archaeological sites
  • Pick fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm
  • Practice windsurfing
  • Visit the coast and relax on the beach

What's included

  • 3 cooking workshops
  • 3 dinners
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All transfers to and from excursions
  • Daily yoga sessions

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Chania International Airport (CHQ).

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.
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