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Diving, Yoga, and Cooking Vacation in Greece

Discover the depths of paradise both on land and in water with this Diving & Yoga Retreat. In the dazzling shades of the Ionian, learn to dive at some of the world’s safest dive sites and become certified to dive anywhere in the world with the widely recognized 4-day PADI® Open Water Diver course. Explore treasures underwater, before nurturing your body and mind on the island of Zakynthos with yoga, nourishing home-cooked food and the delights of the local culture.

Your hosts, the Vythoulkas family, will introduce you to healthy, local Mediterranean gastronomy, drawing upon natural and organic ingredients from local producers. Discover your inner calm, whether this is underwater, during a yoga session, or simply enjoying a meal with friends and family. It’s an experience you’ll carry with you for life - and you’ll be wanting to return for more!

Highlights

  • A Moussaka cooking lesson
  • PADI® Open Water Diver course certificate
  • 8 hours of diving with qualified expert divers
  • 14 meals included (7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 6 dinners)
  • 7 night stay in a comfortable self-catering studio
  • 60-minute full body massage
  • Greek Cookery book
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
Airport transfer included: Zakynthos International Airport (Dionysios SolomosAirport)
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Kitchen
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Free Wi-Fi

Villa Spiros in Laganas Resort (self-catering studios and apartments)

Join your welcoming hosts for your holiday on this gorgeous Greek isle, away from the workload and rush of the rest of the world. Stay at Villa Spiros, located on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, with access to lovely cafes, seaside tavernas, a great spa and beauty salon and just 300 meters from Laganas sandy beach.

Distinguished by the lure of its family-run and owned hospitality and extensive range of services, your villa excels with its warmth, hospitable ambiance, relaxing surroundings and friendly hosts who guarantee a pleasant, authentic Greek stay and will point you to the very best this wonderful island has to offer.

The villa offers studio rooms with ensuite bathrooms, fully functional kitchens, and spacious verandahs. You also have the option to upgrade into a self-catering apartment that accommodates 1-6 people.

The area pulses with the new and the old, and can be as lively or as calming as you would like it to be! In addition to the tuition, excursions and things you will see, there will be some free time to simply relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Aside from your chosen activity for the week, you will have a holiday full of amazing and memorable activities, from finding the sea turtles famed in the region to swimming in natural springs and at Shipwreck Bay, dancing and listening to music in traditional tavernas, and discovering the history and culture of Zakynthos.

Features

  • 4 km from Zakynthos Island airport and ferry
  • On the ocean and in walking distance to the lively town of Laganas
  • Surrounded by wine regions, as well as bays and beaches, shipwreck cove, and the picturesque, magical region of Bohali
  • Free transfers to and from Zakynthos Island airport and ferry terminal
  • Large verandahs off of your room to relax on
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Greek and English speaking hosts with a wealth of knowledge about the area
  • Delicious local food and wine
  • Each room is spacious and has a private bathroom with a hairdryer
  • AC, safe deposit box, television, hairdryer, and fully functional kitchens in each studio
  • BBQ and bar on the grounds
  • Beach towels provided

Upgrade to Villa Antonio in Romiri village (private villa with pool)

Perfect for those who seek privacy, Villa Antonio is tucked away in the peaceful and picturesque village of Romiri, set over 2000 square meters of private fenced olive grove land, with its own outdoor swimming pool and breathtaking views to the countryside.

This traditional style Greek villa comprises of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, a living room, and verandas. It is surrounded by flower gardens, fruit and olive trees, and benefits from the warmth of the sun all day long.

The villa is suitable for couples, a family with children or a group of friends or colleagues sharing. It accommodates from 1 to 7 people.

Features

  • 6 km from Zakynthos Island Airport and ferry
  • Free transfers to and from Zakynthos Island airport and ferry terminal
  • Free shopping trips upon request
  • 2 km from nearest bakery, supermarket, butchers and groceries store (they all deliver to the villa)
  • AC and safe deposit boxes in all rooms
  • TV set
  • 2 hairdryers
  • Comfortable lounge / dining room
  • Sun lounges and beach towels provided
  • Large garden with hobby farm
  • Selection of books
  • BBQ facilities

Program

Diving

To enrol in a PADI Open Water Diver course, you must be 10 years old or over, with adequate swimming skills and good physical health. No prior experience with scuba diving is required, and diving sites are chosen based on the weather conditions and the personal needs of the participants. The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of practicing in calm, shallow water in Laganas bay to learn the basic skills of scuba diving, four open water dives and an online multiple-choice exam, to gain the qualification. It’s an amazing opportunity to explore the wonders of the natural world, glimpsing creatures and sights from beyond your imagination.

The PADI course is combined with calming and rejuvenating yoga sessions, led by our experienced yoga teacher Andriana. All are welcome, regardless of age, health, fitness or yoga experience, and the sessions explore a variety of different practices. These include Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Thai chi and core fusion - all undertaken in the natural beauty and serene atmosphere of the Greek isle.

Itinerary

The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1: Arrival and welcome traditional dinner in Zakynthos town

Meet your host Antonio at Zakynthos airport or port, who will transfer you to your accommodation. Famed for being the home of the sea turtle Caretta-Caretta, the region of Laganas will be your base for this fabulous culinary experience.

Take your time to unpack and settle into your new surroundings. Later, meet your villa hosts Antonio and Effie, who will tell you about all the things to see and do in this diverse resort over drinks and a welcome snack.

This evening, enjoy a traditional welcome dinner in Zakynthos town, with magnificent views across the harbor and out to sea. Relax, with traditional singers providing tranquility and ambiance with their ‘kantades’. This is Zakynthos’ characteristic music, accompanied by the mandolin and guitar. Local islanders have used this beautiful tradition to express joy, grief and love for centuries. It’s an amazing way to start your “Diving & Yoga Retreat” feeling welcomed and relaxed on our beautiful island.

Day 2: Your diving experience begins

After breakfast, commence your diving experience with an introduction to the basics of scuba diving with theoretical knowledge, and practice the basic diving skills in shallow water with PADI-certified instructors. Then, it’s time to put your skills to the test with your first open water diving experience, off the coast of ‘Marathonisi Island’: an uninhabited slice of paradise lying in Laganas bay.

Descend 5m to discover a magnificent limestone reef, with sponges, soft corals and colourful sea life covering the seabed. Marvel at the crowd of sea creatures, swimming alongside octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, grouper, bream and parrotfish.

Continue your day by exploring and swimming in the famous sweeping bay of Laganas with its shallow water and sandy beach. As one of the most important nesting grounds of the sea turtle Caretta-Caretta, you’ll discover turtle nests, scattered across the golden sands.

This evening, enjoy a homemade meal in the garden of Spiros apartments with the company of your hosts, fellow guests and Antonio’s chilled house wine.

Day 3: Cave Diving and Seaside dinner in the evening

After consolidation of theory and first open dive practice, you’ll set sail to the breath-taking Keri peninsula for your second open water dive. Prepare for wondrous sights as you head down 8m to an octopus reef, before exploring the ethereal beauty of the sea caves.

Spend the rest of your day at leisure. In the evening, sample traditional local cuisine in a seaside restaurant, located at the edge of the mesmerizing Laganas bay.

Day 4: Marathia Cape Dive and Moussaka secrets revealed

Your open dive today, will take place at ‘Marathia Cape’, in the Keri Peninsula. This underwater paradise is home to a vast range of sea creatures, concealed within the intricate design of the reef.

Then, enjoy sailing through the gleaming turquoise waters and blue caves around Keri and Laganas bay.

In the afternoon, join our local chef Athina and master the techniques of making the Greek famous Moussaka. Learn step by step how to prepare and put together the three layers of vegetables, minced meat and creamy bechamel sauce. It is a recipe you’ll want to remember!

Later, indulge in your own incredible creation and enjoy the delicious Moussaka you helped to prepare with the company of fellow guests and your hosts.

Day 5: Diving exam and first certified dive; rejuvenating full body massage and Bochali by night

Complete your one-hour written exam for the PADI course, before heading off to celebrate with your first certified dive. Barracuda reef, in Keri peninsula, is a treasure trove, filled with secrets. Discover a kaleidoscope of vivid colours, with the reefs, shoals and coral teeming with local marine life.

In the afternoon, enjoy a 60-minute full-body massage at the Majestic Hotel & Spa. Let your stresses melt away during this hour of tranquility, with your therapists adapting their techniques to suit your personal needs and desires. With the wonderful benefits of gaining increased circulation and relieving muscle tension, the massage will introduce you to a world of calm.

This evening, we will visit the historic region of Bochali. The panoramic views over the twinkling lights of the town below and out to sea guarantee another amazing evening spent on Zakynthos island. Toast the experience with a drink and enjoy a light dinner in the magical atmosphere - an experience you’ll never want to end!

Day 6: Shipwreck Bay, Blue Caves and a sensational farm to fork culinary experience

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime sailing experience, towards the captivating northwest coast of Zakynthos. Sailing past secluded coves, crystal clear water and dramatic sea caves, you’ll arrive at the mesmerizing Shipwreck Bay and the Blue caves - some of the most famous sights of the island.

Later, at a family-run mountain taverna in Orthonies village, take your place beneath the shadows of an ancient oak tree and enjoy a “farm to fork” meal with free-range organic chicken on the grill, traditional aubergines in garlic sauce, local bread, homemade cheese and wine. An authentic culinary experience you will never forget.

Back at the villa, enjoy your evening at leisure.

Day 7: Morning yoga and a Farewell Greek BBQ feast to remember

Start your day with a light breakfast before you meet Andriana, your yoga instructor for a relaxing yoga class in the yoga studio of Spiros family apartments.

Next, enjoy swimming and relaxing at Agios Sostis bay. Here, discover this little oasis of calm, with sunbeds on the grass and a rustic beach bar, providing stunning views of the islands across the sea.

In the evening, dress up for our night out at “Alexis” tavern. This is your chance to enjoy a traditional Greek BBQ, with a great variety of appetizers and local wine. A grand finale to a great week!

Day 8: Departure Day

This morning, make the most of your final moments to do a little last-minute shopping on Laganas Main Street, or head to Laganas beach, to feel the softness of the water, one final time. You will be taken to the airport or port in plenty of time for your departure.

After an incredible week stuffed with rich, local and authentic experiences and cuisine, you’ll feel Zakynthian through and through - and definitely a member of our family! We’ll miss you, as you go!

Location

This diving and culinary holiday takes place in the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos.

Distances

  • Zakynthos Island airport ZTH, 4 kilometers away
  • Kefalonia Island airport EFL - 10 minutes' flight to Zakynthos
  • Athens airport ATH - 45 minutes' flight to Zakynthos

Food

Daily breakfast, two lunches, and five dinners are included. You will also enjoy cooking lessons, olive oil tasting, and an olive press visit.

Sample menu is as follows:

  • "Gemista" stuffed vegetables
  • "Giouvetsi" orzo pasta with lamb or beef
  • Mousaka
  • Barbecue (mixed grill)
  • Beef Stifado or Lamp Kleftiko
  • Souvlaki
  • Tzatziki
  • Village bread
  • Greek salad with Feta cheese

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

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

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
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)

Extra activities

  • Group yoga / Pilates session
  • Private yoga / Pilates session
  • Transports to extra sights and activities
  • Private tours
  • Massage therapy
  • Handmade creations workshop
  • Cooking lessons including meal

The following activities are priced seasonally, but your hosts will get you the best prices while you’re there:

  • Horse riding through a pine forest and Kalamaki sand dunes
  • Sailing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • SUP
  • Diving

What's included

  • 7 night stay in a comfortable self-catering studio
  • Airport transfers
  • PADI® Open Water Diver course certificate
  • 8 hours of diving with qualified expert divers
  • 1 yoga class
  • 60-minute full body massage
  • A Moussaka cooking lesson
  • 14 meals included (7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners)
  • Greek Cookery book
  • Daily excursions with your EN speaking hosts
  • All boat trips and tours as described in itinerary

What's not included

  • Flight tickets
  • Visas when required
  • Anything not described in itinerary

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Zakynthos International Airport (ZTH). All transfers are included from Zakynthos airport or from the Zakynthos ferry terminal to the villa. Full, detailed directions will be shown on your booking confirmation voucher.

Airport: Zakynthos International Airport (Dionysios SolomosAirport) Airport transfer included: Zakynthos International Airport (Dionysios SolomosAirport) No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

This holiday is available from May to October. Please select your arrival day below:

Low Season
  • May
  • October
Mid Season
  • June
  • September
High Season
  • July
  • August

 

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