LEMNOS: A SENSORY RETREAT
June 12 – 17, 2017 (6 day retreat)
In an isolated nook of the Aegean, Lemnos evokes an unassuming nature. Being of Lemnian decent, with a mother proudly showcasing her fondness for the land she grew up in through written poems and storytelling, I’ve had the good fortune of becoming deeply acquainted with the heart of the place since I was a child.
A Sensory Retreat means an opportunity to indulge the senses. To explore the vast rawness of the land and become lost in countless wanderings down rugged paths is the only way to truly immerse oneself in the spirit of this ancient land.
It’s a chance to partake in exchanges with the locals, to become acquainted with the origins of Lemnian food, culture and philosophy. Becoming immersed in the elements through treks, swimming at secluded beaches, time for oneself to reflect through journal writing and meanderings that will lead us to breathtaking views of rolling hills and vast blue waters for some stunning landscape photography. It’s allowing the scent of wild flowers, herbs and the waft of Mediterranean air to enrich you and delving into the heart of the land and finding out its story. There is no richer way to understand the essence of a place then by taking a deep dive into the delicate layers of its fabric.
With rare access to an original stonehouse as our private residential dwelling, this retreat invites us to share intimate exchanges with local producers and learn more about the artisan craft of cheesemaking, oil production, harvesting, wine and tahini making, the simple pleasure of being immersed in village life and meanderings that will lead you to exploring your own relationship with the land, leaving your imprint on its rugged earth as it too in return will leave its imprint on you.
Steeped in history, its clay-like soil is revered for its healing properties where countless pilgrims visit to remote areas on the island in an effort to treat chronic ailments. We will get to explore through slow wanderings untouched places that are seldom sought out. Take a morning trek at sunrise and welcome the day with a dawn meditation at the foot of a church set in the mountains, with rocky boulders as a backdrop. Learn about its historic significance and the monk who dedicated his life to building it.
A scenic boat tour takes our journey up one half of the island, a lunch feast awaits on board and we settle at a private beach, only accessible by boat for an afternoon swim.
Renowned for its wine production, we have an introduction to Lemnian winemaking and sampling at the award-winning and family run Chatzigeorgiou Wines.
Venture to Myrina, the islands capital. Get lost through its labyrinth-like streets and take the trek up to its historic castle built by two brothers. Settle for a cool frappe in one of the towns bustling cafes and be spoilt with Greek hospitality.
Learn about the traditional pasta making Flomaria and take part in a private pasta making session with our local guide. A traditional feast awaits later that night where appetites are sure to be spoilt.
We journey to the wild hills of the island, where remote scapes allow us the indulgence of taking in the breeze of the Aegean and scouring the earth, learning about the wild herbs coating the hills, renowned for their medicinal properties that double as tea tonics.
Dinner at sunset in the picturesque village of Sardes. The drive takes us through winding roads dotted with floral natives. We feast at a local favourite for the night.
A soak in the therapeutic hotspring waters is optional for those that feel like indulging in some additional restoration.
Adventure is available to those that are keen to explore via horseback, we take a trip through rugged terrain with a generation of horsemen. A unique chance to explore the landscape at your leisure, taking a moment to slow down, listen and be absorbed in the moving scenery.
The village of Lichna is the idyllic setting for our evening dinner. Under the extended branches of the majestic plane tree and a serenade by traditional musicians playing haunting melodies of songs that stir the senses and evoke nostalgia.
This is a retreat designed to venture off the beaten track. For those that wish to be immersed in a truly local experience and become acquainted with community, new friends and most importantly the art of slow living. a unique travel venture. It’s the chance to recharge, surrender to the elements, indulge and feed the senses while in the embrace of a rare jewel of the Aegean.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Meeting artisan makers of cheese, tahini and oil production
Learning about these age old traditions and the generation of producers proudly showcasing and up-keeping their craft
Visiting the award winning Lemnian producers of Chatzigeorgiou wines. Renowned for its rich, fertile land, we learn about the delicate intricacies of Lemnian wine and why they come to stand apart from their European competitors. Includes wine sampling and tour of winery.
Learning the art of making the traditional Lemnian pasta Flomaria. Used most for slow cooking, flomaria are light, easy to digest and a delicious accompaniment to slow cooked meats.
Private boat cruise with lunch. We depart from the port of Myrina and sail our way along the west coast of the island. We stop at a secluded nook for a swim and a Mediterranean feast on board our boat.
Hiking to Panagia Kakaviotissa. A morning meditation at the foothills of this remote church set-in to a rocky boulder. We learn about its historical significance and spend our moment in quiet solitude, surrounded by the rugged walls of parting mountain ranges.
Take your time strolling the labyrinth-like streets of the main town Myrina. A hike to the top of the castle is optional for those feeling curious to view the island from the top. Deer are known to roam the land up here and the wild beauty of the landscape is truly captivating.
Dinner in the village of Lichna. We partake in share plates and are spoilt with Greek hospitality in this quaint village.
Horseriding through the hillside. In the company of some of the best horsemen on the island, we take to the hills to enjoy the slow pace of island life.
Excursions to the historic village of Koutia, the grotto known as the Cave of Philoctetes, the sand dunes of Katalakos and a visit to one of Europe’s most ancient towns known as the village of Poliochne.