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Trails to Tavernas: Food, Fitness & Fun for Singles & Friends under 40

May 15, 2023 - May 20, 2023



Food & Exercise: the ultimate power-couple.         – Anonymous



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Program Details

Trails-to-Tavernas is our signature retreat, providing a signature Cretan experience .  There are 5 and 10 day programs, with options to join other couples & families of all ages, or to join singles and friendship-groups whose ages are either under 40 or over 35.

Each day the program embodies a traditional island schedule of activity in natural settings, followed by a long, late-afternoon meal featuring healthy food, hospitality, and friendship.

Western Crete is a paradise for walking, filled with a network of interlocking trails, paths and olive roads, many of which can be accessed right from our lodging gates.  Each day we’ll hike a new trail, arrive at another great farm-to-table family-run taverna, and end a gorgeous walk with appetites piqued and ready for good food, good company, good times.

We’ve geared the program not only toward those who feel fit, but to those who are ready to start feeling that way, or to start feeling that way again.

Although all Trails to Tavernas programs have similar itineraries, we offer versions attended either by families and established couples, or by singles and single friendship-groups—and in the latter case two age ranges, above 35 years and below 40.  But whether you want to spend quality time within the circle of family and current friends, or expand that circle to include new friendships, the program’s perfect.  It will make joy your most important health partner and will let you leave behind the isolation of recent years, when Covid and a cubicled world seemed to corner us into inactivity and isolate us from friends and community.

The retreat will start with a pick-up at our local airport, a welcome dinner of introductions, and ample time for settling into rooms and resting from travel.  To ensure a similarly stress-free departure, we’ll end the program with a final celebration dinner, then provide everyone another night of good sleep at Villa Koukouvayia, making sure that folks have an easy departure the next day, with time for good-byes and a smooth airport drop-off.

For program days, mornings begin with a social breakfast on one of Villa Koukouvayia’s sunny verandas, complete with hot beverages, home-made granola, fresh-squeezed juices, and baked goods still warm from one of our village bakeries.  When everyone’s ready, we’ll either begin the day’s hike, or head for a swim at one of our nearby beaches and start the walk later.  Either way, we’ll typically arrive at our destination taverna mid to late afternoon for a luxurious meal.  After the meal we’ll head home (usually by motor transport) for a block of free time perfect for pool plunges, socializing, quiet independent reflection—or a combination of all of those.  Evenings we’ll host optional gatherings on the roof terrace for stargazing, wine or tea, and good conversations about the day’s events and the new paths planned for tomorrow.

One day will be devoted to “walking” the lovely alleys, waterfronts, and markets of Xania’s Venetian Old Town, with a chance to enjoy that evening’s meal along with some live Cretan music.  Within the longer programs, we’ll also leave at least one day unscheduled for individuals or small groups to independently explore the area or simply relax at Villa Koukouvayia.

If worried about your fitness level, don’t.  The walks may have inspirational beauty and views, but none are long, steep, or at the higher altitudes common to the larger mountains to our south.*  We’ll pace the trails to build stamina as the retreat progresses and our bodies and souls recharge.  And we’ll not only adjust the overall itinerary to group-needs and desires once everyone’s here, but in all cases will chose hikes easily trimmed by some participants without cutting the walk short for others.

In short, while over the past few years our bodies may have plumped, stiffened, and our moods grown grouchy, this retreat will be flexible, and fun, and will put the sound of “joy” back into our “joints!”

*Note: If you seek more challenging trail experiences, see our two higher-level hiking retreats, Coastal Treks for more avid hikers & Advanced Cretan White Mountain Trekking for elite, experienced mountain trekkers.



Program Length: 5 Days, 5 Nights

Minimum Participants (for program confirmation):  6 participants by March 1st.

Maximum Participants: 17

Lodging Venue: Villa Koukouvayia Farms, Kaloudiana Crete.

Lodging Options:

Review Accommodation Choices

Equipment Needed: At least 1 good pair of walking/hiking shoes.

Supplements & Discounts Available:

  • $40 Group Signup Discount.  (5% per person for every group of 3 or more who sign up together.)
  • $200 Independent Lodging Credit
  • $200 Non-Participating Guest Credit
  • Premium &/or Single-Room Supplements
  • Extra-Occupancy & Non-Standard-Room Credits

Payment Currency: $USD$


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May 15, 2023
May 20, 2023
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