You have read or heard about retreats before. They seem to completely change your life in a week. You've been googling for a few evenings for a retreat that's right for you, but you can't find anything that's right for you. You don't want to go on a lonely silent retreat in a Buddhist monastery, you don't want to come to your senses with a large group on a yoga retreat.
No, you want on an active no-nonsense retreat where you are not only challenged, but where there is also a lot of room for reflection under professional guidance and relaxation. Do you want to know more? Then read on!
The focus is on you
The retreat lasts from Saturday to Saturday for a week and takes place in Gran Canaria. On an island completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, you completely disconnect from your normal activities and focus on yourself. In the intake interview prior to the retreat, we discuss exactly what you want to work on during the retreat. For example, regaining your peace of mind, creating an overview or making an important decision.
The first day is a day of arriving, getting acquainted and acclimatizing. The small group of maximum 9 people gathers at the airport on Saturdays. From there we leave with a van to the house where we stay for a week. Along the way you get a nice impression of the mountains and you will get to know each other a little.
We stay for a week in the beautiful Finca Oasis with a view of an orchard and the mountains. In between activities you can relax on one of the three terraces or in your comfortable room, apartment or penthouse. You can of course also relax in the swimming pool and for a good conversation you can always go to the cozy living room. The large eat-in kitchen offers many possibilities for cooking and meals can be eaten together both inside and on the terrace.
Every day of the retreat we take a walk. Two walks are quite tough, the rest is easy to do or average. But why do we actually go for a walk every day? To walk has a special effect on the brain. It calms your brain and neutralizes stress because walking uses those parts of the brain that produce stress hormones. Because of walking they are no longer able to do this. The pure mountain air ensures that your brain functions optimally. By walking in nature for a few days, your intellectual capacity can improve up to 50%. And it also has a very positive effect on your mood.
Sunday: to the origins of Gran Canaria
On the first day of hiking, we will do two short walks to get used to the temperature, altitude and pace of the group. For the first hike we will return to the origin of the island. We walk on the edge of the largest volcano crater on the island; the Bandama. We alternately walk over bare rocks and volcanic grit. Always with the view on one side of the crater and on the other side of the sea and the mountains. You can see the attraction of Las Palmas to the ocean ships, the infinity of the seawater and the seeming inaccessibility of the mountain ridges in the center of the island. If we have enough time, we descend into the crater to the sheltered oasis with palms and olive trees.
Then we leave for the rock fortress on the sacred mountain Humiaga. It is hardly visible from the outside, but during the walk you will discover the imposing fortress that the original inhabitants built here. Caves formed in the rocks with impressive views of the ocean and the island. With our thoughts still on the long forgotten inhabitants of the island, we return home.
Monday: the highest peak on the island
On the second day, we take on our biggest challenge by climbing the highest mountain on the island. The top of the Pico de las Nieves, or Snow Peak, is at an altitude of 1,950 meters. Our hike starts at an altitude of about 750 meters in the village of Santa Lucia de Tirajana. We quickly ascend via steep winding mountain paths and at every bend we see the village disappear further into the depth. On the mountain slopes bare mountain slopes with impressive views alternate with sporadic forests. After lunch on the way on a rock with a 4-star view, we let ourselves be misled by the viewpoint on Pico de Gorra. No, unfortunately this is not the end yet, we have one last steep climb to go before we reach the end goal. I can assure you from my own experience that you will reach a euphoric peak at the top. And the view doesn't make it any less. You have an overview of the entire island and on clear days you can even see Tenerife. From the top we descend a bit back down the mountain. And you will see how light you suddenly walk! Our loyal driver is waiting for us in the parking lot with snacks and drinks. He will then bring us home safely.
Tuesday: follow the water
To give the legs some rest after the climb on Monday, we do a simple but no less impressive hike on Tuesday. We explore the Barranco de los Cercícalos, the gorge of the kestrels. In a seemingly deserted valley we start our hike in a dusty parking lot. Most rivers and waterfalls in Gran Canaria are dry unless it has rained the day before. Because it hasn't really rained on the island for 2 years, it is so special that water flows in this valley all year round. Through a jungle of olive trees, willows, impressive holm oaks and bamboo we follow the water through the valley. First it is an irrigation canal and later on it changes into a stream. Eventually we discover several waterfalls. It is a hidden walking route that is mainly known to local hikers. The walk is not long and follows the same route both back and forth.
Wednesday: from rock fortress to hippie village
Today we return to Santa Lucia de Tirajana. Not for nothing, because this village is located in the middle of the largest walking area. Today we walk from this town to the rock fortress of La Fortaleza. Tradition has it that this is the last bastion where the original inhabitants of the island were defeated by the Spanish in 1483. We walk along country roads to this impressive rock formation and visit the last cave where the primeval inhabitants stayed. Like everywhere on this island, we are amazed at the view. We then walk along La Sorruade. Once a romantic emerald green lake, now an increasingly dry reservoir. The abundance of palm trees in this valley is a reminder of the once abundant water. We descend to the riverbed and at the village of El Ingenio meet a community of hippies who have found their home here as unlikely as they are picturesque. We continue the walk through a dry river bed dotted with withered palm branches until we choose the way back to Santa Lucia at a lonely house.
Thursday: high ridges deep valleys
After 2 relatively easy hikes, we are back on the challenge today. We walk around Barranco del Juncal, the valley in which the hamlet of El Juncal is located. The difference in height between the lowest point at 1,100 meters and the highest point at 1,500 meters may not be very big, but the climb is sometimes very tough. The tour starts on a deserted asphalt road to a village with few visitors, then descends to the depth of the valley and climbs steadily through a cooling pine forest. Much of it is about deserted, bare mountain ridges. With views over the valley on one side and the reservoir on the other. The way back focuses on the huge volcanic mountain Al Aserrador which marks the end of the route.
Friday: sand to the other side
The closing walk is unlike any other walk you have taken this week. We visit the las Dunas de Maspalomas, a huge dune area on the southernmost tip of the island. This vast Sahara has a life of its own. The wind shifts the dunes, which are sometimes 15 meters high, in a different direction every day. We walk through the loose sand of this area and climb several dunes. We cross a camel ranch and the dry river that once drained mountain water to the sea. Finally we reach Laguna La Charca, a lake with brackish water where migratory birds rest on their way from Europe to the south. From the Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse, our feet get a deserved cool off from the ocean water, as we follow the coastline back to Playa del Ingles. Back in this coastal town, there's time to relax, buy back home memories and have some drinks at the infamous Yumbo Center. And then we go out for dinner at my favorite restaurant.
reflection and relaxation
The program when you return to the house looks about the same every day. Above all, there is a lot of free time. We cook together and during dinner we discuss the impressions of the day and the daily photo assignment. And when you have chosen this, you have the individual coaching interview.
On the first day you will receive a small camera on which you can record all impressions throughout the week. Every morning you receive an assignment or theme that you let out to the world in a different way look. At the end of the day, choose the photo that you think best suits that theme and your experience and we print it out. During dinner we discuss the photos and accompanying impressions and insights. After the retreat you will of course receive all your photos by e-mail as a reminder.
If you have opted for individual coaching, there is time for a 1-on-1 session of 30 minutes every day. During this intensive course of 3.5 hours of coaching, we work on the theme you have chosen and discuss the insights from that day. This is how we arrive at a fast change. You keep a record of your progress, insights and ideas in a diary that you receive at the start of the retreat. Your printed photos of the day and the associated insights and discussions will also have a place there. At the end of the retreat, I also add my reflection of the week to your travelogue of this week. This way you will keep a lasting memory of this week and the insights it brought you.
Cooking and eating together
We cook together every evening under the guidance of a local chef who introduces us to authentic dishes such as paella or Rancho Canario. This is how you get to know the flavors of Gran Canaria. During the first meal we get to know each other extensively. During the other meals we discuss the results of the daily photo assignment and each other's experiences while walking. This can of course be done while enjoying a good glass of Spanish wine
The program offers a lot of space for free time. Here you decide whether you want to withdraw with a good book or whether you want to enjoy the social life of group members.
After a week on the second Saturday it is time to say goodbye. We do this with a joint lunch on the terrace. Then we leave for the airport.
Come earlier or stay longer?
The retreat starts and ends together at the airport. But you arrange your own trip, so you decide when you arrive and when you leave Gran Canaria.
What exactly do you get?
Walk to insight November 2020€899,00 – €1.399,00View products
Go on a hiking retreat in Gran Canaria from Saturday, October 31 to Saturday, November 7. The price includes accommodation, food & drinks, guided walks and group activities, but excludes flights and insurance. 1-on-1 coaching is optional.
Is it right for me?
The retreat is suitable for anyone who wants to and can be active with himself. If you can answer yes to the questions below, this retreat is right for you!
- Are you ready for rest, are you looking for focus, do you want to make a difficult decision or do you want to work on, for example, your self-confidence?
- Do you want to take on the challenge with yourself?
- Do you have a reasonable condition?
- Do you have hiking experience?
- Do you want to work on a specific part or a specific question?
- Do you dare to expose yourself in the group?