Holistic Yoga on Hvar: The Suncokret Body and Soul Retreat
Away from the tourist beaches and party atmosphere of Hvar Town, a fresh, personal, organic and holistic centre of yoga is attracting visitors to Dol.
One of the attractions of the island of Hvar is its ability to cater to the varying needs of tourists, and while the beaches, historical stone towns and excellent night life grab most of the attention, there is much to discover away from the coast.
With its stunning views, healthy climate and limitless sun, many visitors come to Hvar to enjoy its special natural setting. The land is central to local life, with the majority of local residents somewhat involved in the fields of the island, producing olives, wine, lavender and healthy food.
Suncokret Body and Soul Retreat in Dol
An excellent way to get away from the stress of modern life with some wholesome meditation and communing with Hvar's nature is to book in to the Suncokret Body and Soul Retreat in the inland village of Dol,
Suncokret (pronounced soon-tso-kret) means 'sunflower' in Croatian, and the word embodies the main goal of the centre, to provide and organic and nourishing environment for personal development, enabling individuals to "blossom like a sunflower in the sun," according to the centre's co-owner and holistic programme leader, Evening Marie.
New York Meets Dol
Evening is a native New Yorker who came to the island in 2004 and met her partner Stipe one fateful evening in Hvar Town. Together, the couple decided to open a boutique holistic healing centre in Stipe's home village of Dol.
As Suncokret enters its eighth season, the results have been spectacular. Combining Stipe's local knowledge and Evening's spiritual energy, the couple have created a unique experience on Hvar, a holistic retreat with the chance to enjoy and engage in the island's nature. Suncokret was named one of the 23 Best Coastal Yoga Retreats by Coastal Living in 2010.
Organice Produce and Sunset Safaris
Stipe acts as local guide and chef, offering a delicious vegetarian menu of local produce, often produced by himself. Two of the most popular guiding tours he leads for guests are a trip to the family field, in the UNESCO-protected Stari Grad Plain, where guests can pick their own food and learn about traditional farming techniques, while the end of retreat hike to the peak of the island is a spectacular sunset safari, with panoramic views of the sea. Stipe expertly guides his visitors around the historically significant sites along the way.
Holistic Yoga and Well-Being Retreat
Evening became a certified Reiki Master in 2001, a Vinyasa Yoga Instructor in 2004, a certified Bioenergy Therapist in 2008 and a Holistic Yoga Therapist in 2010. She describes Suncrokret as "holistic yoga & well being retreat that specializes in offering tailored retreat programs for individuals on a journey of personal transformation." Her bespoke holistic progammes run from March to December, in which she offers, among other things, individual yoga therapy and tuition, bioenergy and reiki therapy treatments, and a Life Path Awakening workshop.
Accommodation is on-site, a delightfully rustic complex in the heart of the village, one of the six inland villages that comprise the less-visited hilltop villages of Hvar. Often overlooked in favour of its more fashionable coastal neighbours, the inland villages provide various hidden gems, such as Atelier Marinka, also in Dol.