Time to relax and reflect
Sharing in the garden
Swimming in the River Loup
Cascades and plunge pools
Walking and sitting Mindfully in the Forest
Fresh Simple Meals
Tomatoes and Wild Strawberries from Anna’s Garden
Yoga for all levels
Sharing with pictures
Hiking Down From Gourdon with Views of the Sea
5 Day Mindfulness and Walking Retreats in the
Beautiful Gorges du Loup S.France
September 7th to 12th, 2018
May 3rd to 8th 2019
June 7th to 12th 2019
From €890 with a 10% discount before July 31st.
Immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of our Five Day Retreat in Pont du Loup
The River House, bordering the tumbling river Loup, is surrounded by greenery, cliffs and nature. Yet just 30 mins from Nice international airport.
Between the river and mountains, a small group of 4 or 5 will start or refresh their Mindfulness practice. In this attractive family home we will enjoy periods of silence, guided meditation, yoga and walking with an un-rushed schedule. Alison brings many years of experience and training and provides wise guidance suitable for all levels. She loves the cascades, plunge pools and stunning views of this valley and is keen to share their beauty with you. Such an environment lends itself wonderfully to mindfulness practice. With few distractions and much inspiration we have a chance to slow down and engage in some shorter and longer meditations with discipline and kindness. A good recipe to enhance well-being and wisdom.
What to Expect
- We will explore a different theme each day and balance walking and formal practice with free time to write, read, sleep and simply “Be”. This retreat is suitable for those with or without experience of Mindfulness.
- Our daily routine of meditation will establish good habits and will support on-going formal mindfulness at home.
- Silence and companionship will enable us to go deeper into our practice.
- We will expand on the attitudes that can help establish the conditions within which present moment awareness arises,
- We will look at the role of kindness and at the power and pleasure of being present.
- We will uncover the barriers or misconceptions that can block us or hold us back.
- Walking in awareness will give us an opportunity to bring mindfulness into our day to day lives at home, as we move around, work and play.
- For the experienced, the practice will build on what you have already learned.
- For the novice the practices will be simple and gentle with a chance to lie down instead of sit for long periods and participants will be encouraged to gently explore their limits without forcing anything.
- The overall tone of the retreat is one of self-nurturing, yet with enough challenge to develop mastery and go home with greater skill and commitment.
- For the brave there is chilly swimming in the sparkling river at the edge of the garden.
- Massage is available in the afternoons for some deeper de-stressing, advance booking is encouraged for this.
- Everyone will be invited to participate in domestic tasks such as setting tables, washing up, tidying bathrooms. One small job each, taking about 20 mins per day. Offering service in this way helps to gel our small community.
- A moderate level of fitness is required for the walks as some of them are uphill on uneven paths.
MBSR graduates from the area will be invited to join a weekend walk or meditation, an opportunity to “meet the locals” and benefit from a broader sharing, insight and experience.
A Typical Day which would be adapted to the weather.
Theme – Noticing Positive Events.
- Wake up – warm lemon juice / fruit juice / tea / coffee / fruit / yoghurts in silence until the first session starts.
- 9am mindful movement or hatha yoga followed by body scan or sitting meditation.
- 10h30 Brunch made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Mostly organic and often eaten in silence. We can cater for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free tastes. Just let us know.
- Hike up to Gourdon, a loop of about 3 hours with stunning views, or a 90 minute stroll up the river and back with cascades and cliff views, or a walk to Bar sur Loup through the forest.
- 14h30 tea and snacks at home.
- 15h mindfulness sitting practice or body scan.
- 16h personal time, journaling, massage, reading.
- 18h supper – mindful eating of delicious vegetarian or fish dishes with gentle discussion.
- Evening circle – sharing on the theme of the day.
- Recorded lecture on Mindfulness from one of the experts in the field.
- Sitting meditation or movement.
- 9pm silence
- Early to bed.
Accommodation and Prices
Master with en suite bathroom €1,430 ( shared at €1,180 each person)
Double room with shared shower room €1,220 single occupancy
Cabin in the garden with double bed, kitchenette, outside shower, no loo but lots of magic €990 single occupancy
Single room with shared shower room €890
Massage booked in advance at €90 for an hour €100 for 75 minutes
Prices include 5 nights accommodation, workshops, walks and all meals from Friday supper to Wednesday brunch.
A 10% discount is offered for bookings completed before July 31st.
A comfortable stay in a private villa with a small group and thus personalised attention from your experienced and qualified host and facilitator. The villa has three bedrooms and one guest cabin: One master with en suite bathroom, one double with shared shower room, one single with shared shower room, one separate WC and one guest cabin in the garden with double bed, kitchenette, outside shower and no WC. In the main house there is an open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area and the decor is that of an attractive, cozy home. A shady terrace offers a leafy environment for meals al fresco. The terraced gardens lead down to the river and multiple sitting areas provide enchanting spaces to relax by the water or under the trees.
Friday arrival after 3pm. Opening circle at 7pm
Wednesday closing circle in the morning, “bon voyage!” before 12 noon.
The number 500 bus from Nice airport takes 90 mins, it costs €1.50 and comes by a slightly circuitous route, but requires no changes. On the Friday Alison can pick you up before 3.30pm in Chateauneuf Pré du Lac from the 500 bus stop called Chateauneuf and can deliver you back there on the Wednesday.
Taxi from the airport costs about 80 euros and takes 30 mins. Book in advance with Marie- Josée Guillen. I will put guests in touch for the purposes of taxi sharing where convenient.
+33 (0)4 93 09 40 64
or +33(0)6 62 15 41 39
If you are a small group wishing to do a retreat at a time not scheduled, then let me know and I will create one for you !
What to Bring and Miscellaneous Information
Clothes in which you can move, breathe easily and relax, including a shawl.
Warmer and cooler layers as temperatures can vary considerably
Sun hat and sun protection
Sturdy walking shoes or boots and a daypack and water bottle
Slippers for inside
Shoes that slip on and off easily for transitions between garden and house
A journal to write in
Toiletries and medications
There are 20 steps down to the house (and back up!) so packing light is a bonus
Bathing suit (and sarong possibly)
Leave i Pads and laptops at home if you can.
Mats and cushions are provided but if you have a favourite one then feel free to bring it.
There is no cash machine in the village.
No phone or electronic devise will be heard or seen during the retreat. If you can manage to not use your phone at all this will make a huge difference. Maybe adjust your message to say “In an emergency call Alison on (french country code 33) 06 17 05 82 41” and then you are really on retreat! My phone will be on silent but I will check it for calls.