Escape Into The Blue
Ladies Corfu, Greece Retreat
June 1 – 8, 2024
Blue Mind Theory states that spending time near, in, on or under water makes you happier, healthier, calm, peaceful, relaxed; more creative. Engaging with water releases stress and anxiety. Increases feel good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Your thinking and intuitive mind become clearer, sharper and more focused. Remember in the days of old when doctors prescribed to patients a visit to the sea to promote health?

Escape into the Blue with me, Esther Bartkiw, and enjoy an unforgettable sun, sea, fun filled adventure in Corfu, Greece Flourishing your Blue Mind.

Ref: Blue Mind Marine Biologist Dr. Wallace J Nichols

Signature Moments…

  • Swimming and Splashing in the most exquisite crystal clear turquoise and teal blue water. So magnificent it will make you want to stay forever.
  • Sailing into the Cave of Poseidon where the Sea King built a palace for his love Amphitrite. It’s a love story.
  • Canal d’Amour or the Love Canal is the most romantic spot in Corfu. The landscape carved out by wind and sea. A masterpiece of Nature.
  • Not one but two relaxing, sun and fun filled sailings on the Ionian Sea. Cruising along the coast of Corfu, including visits to the Jewels of Corfu, Paxos and AntiPaxos.
  • OPA! Greek Night Dinner with traditional music, costumes, food and plate smashing!
  • Corfu is known for its iconic sunsets and you’ll have beachfront views to watch the sun put on a show while it dips below the horizon.
  • Kumquat Liqueur and Ouzo Factory Tour with free samples. Yamas!
  • Five Nights at the Best Beachfront Deluxe Resort Hotel in Acharavi. Full Service, Stylish and Relaxed.

Ah the Delights of Corfu! Let me tell you more …

Corfu is a charming Greek island with a vibrant present, fascinating past and stunning natural beauty.

Influences from Venetian, French and English cultures are spotted in the superb architecture.

Gorgeous sand and pebble beaches, fantastic restaurants, memorable sunsets and a picturesque old town with cobble streets.

You’ll find tasty traditional Greek Tavernas, stylish bars and lots of cafes to drink espresso.

Corfu, Kerkyra in Greek, owes its name to the Water Nymph Korkyra the daughter of River God, Asopus. Greek mythology says, Poseidon, King of the Sea, fell in love with Korkyra, kidnapped her and brought her to the island.

You’ll go home with life long memories and breathtaking photos. Be camera ready and give us your best smile.

But wait there is more….

Corfu is the perfect place for sun, fun, swimming, relaxing
and dropping into the Blue Mind.

This unforgettable travel experience was specifically designed for YOU to dissolve away the worries and stressors of daily life and show you that being and holding the vibration of happy, creative, calm, peace, clear mind, sharp intuition +++ is who you are. When you get home and life gets wonky, bring to mind your time in Corfu and instantly the Blue Mind Energy floods back. This inner energetic transformation combined with a life expanding travel experience will be something you will remember for all time. It is my Big Pleasure to host and guide you on the adventure.

Accomodations

We’ll be spending our first two nights in a Quaint 4.5 Star, Boutique Hotel in the hub of Corfu Town. It’s a heritage hotel restored to its 19th-century splendour by the descendants of the original owner. The hotel vibrates with retro charm and at the same time, offers all the modern conveniences for a luxurious escape. Pillows and mattresses so comfortable that you’re basically cradled to sleep; top-drawer service; and a just a stone’s throw away from the old town where you will wander through narrow European cobblestone streets. Have fun with vendors selling their handicrafts, jewelry and souvenirs. Find plenty of restaurants to satisfy any appetite and visit the must see, St. Spyridon Church; the patron saint of potters. The hotel is a short walk from the beautiful marina where you can spot fancy yachts owned by famous people. Sit on a bench watching the sailboats glide by. Gaze at the Old Fortress of Corfu situated on top of the cliff. During our stay, be sure to venture to the residential area of Corfu Town where you will find lovely cafe bars on tree lined streets.

If you have been dreaming of a holiday surrounded by lush palm trees and greenery, just a few steps from the beach and still within walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars and local attractions, your dream will come true when we arrive in Acharavi and stay for five nights at one of the top resort hotels in North Corfu. It’s a beachfront resort hotel with both a sandy and pebble beach that stretches for 7 kms, and crystal clear blue sea for swimming. Every night you can watch a spectacular sunset on the beach or at the hotel’s cocktail bar. If you feel like venturing off the property, which I highly encourage, beach bars, town life, shopping and delicious sweet treats are all within walking distance.

Our Acharavi hotel was personally chosen by me, Esther because, well frankly, it is fantastic. It’s contemporary, elegant and comfortable. There are two gorgeous swimming pools, a tennis and pingpong court. Comfortable sun loungers and beach umbrellas. Library, gym and massage service. There’s a dining hall, a la carte restaurant, cocktail and cafe bar.

North Corfu is known for its iconic sunsets and you’ll be in perfect position to watch the most spectacular display of colours, as the sun goes down. Our home in Acharavi is the perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate after a day of sun, fun and swimming.

Both accommodations were specially selected to offer you a fabulous authentic Corfiot experience, teeming with ambience, comfort, nurturing, indulgence and charm.

The Cuisine

Greek food is “nostimo,” that means delicious in Greek – perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The foodies will be enthralled, the healthy conscious delighted and the adventure eater eager to tuck in.

The cuisine changes with the seasons and in June, we are positioned for the very best selection of fruits, vegetables, meats and traditional offerings.

Some of the must try local favourites are: Sofrito, the most popular dish in Corfu, tender cuts of beef or veal made into a stew. Moussaka, a creamy delicious dish made of spiced meat and eggplant. Gyros one of the Greeks most popular foods worldwide. Cheese pie.The famous orange and lemon cakes.

You might want to start off your day with thick and creamy Greek yogurt drizzled with local honey or freshly baked loukoumades which are Greek donuts served with honey, walnuts and cinnamon. Or a variety of seasonal fruits, cold cuts and other dishes made with local products and the finest ingredients.

Acharavi Beach Hotel breakfasts and dinners are served buffet style. The choice is yours. The restaurant presents a mouth watering array of dishes that blend unique flavours, Greek tastes and a Mediterranean twist. Grill options. Cooking demonstrations while you peruse. A culinary journey.

On Greek Night, in additional to traditional music and plate smashing, feast on perfectly grilled souvlaki, Greek salad, tzatziki, olive oil; bread and dips.

You might get a chance to experience the Fructa Man who drives up and down the beach strip selling his Corfu Vitamins (fruits).

Don’t leave the island without trying their most famous drink Kumquat Liqueur or the must have Ouzo.

Do you know that the Greeks created the frappe, freddo cappuccino and freddo espresso?

Please let Ales and I know at the time of your booking any dietary requirements. We will do our best to accommodate. Flexibility is appreciated.

Itinerary

The itinerary was carefully crafted to offer you the best experiences to dive into the Blue Mind, and for fun and adventure. With plenty of free time for sunbathing, relaxing and exploring on your own.

*itinerary is subject to change

Day One June 1: Welcome to Corfu, Greece

Fly into Corfu airport. A private chauffeur for the group will be waiting to whisk you away to your boutique hotel. Drop your bag in the room and start exploring Corfu Town on your own. Everything is within a short walking distance. We officially start our Escape Into The Blue Corfu Adventure with a Welcome Dinner of traditional Greek Food and Drink. Please make sure your flight arrives by 4 pm.

Meals: Dinner

Day Two June 2: Sailing The Ionian Sea to the Jewels of Corfu, Paxos and AntiPaxos

After our first delicious breakfast together we will head to Corfu Port and board our sailing vessel for a fantastic day at sea.

Our destination is the islands of Paxos and AntiPaxos considered to be the JEWELS of Corfu. We will be joining other travelers from around the world for this day long adventure.The sailing trip to Paxos is my favourite adventure in Corfu. A must!

We cruise along the east coast of Corfu. During the journey, the boat’s activity director points out interesting sights on land. But be sure to watch the sea, because you might spot a dolphin. I saw a dolphin jumping through the water on my last trip to Paxos.

Our first stop is the island of Paxos and a small traditional Greek village teeming with cafes, restaurants, shops and a small beach for swimming. You will have time to browse for souvenirs, enjoy lunch, jump into the sea and cool off, before returning to the ship for the next leg of our journey.

Next stop is AntiPaxos where we anchor in a lagoon with blue, blue, crystal clear water. You can jump off the boat into the sea or climb in with a ladder. The sea beckons you to leap in and be a mermaid.

Once we climb back on board, the boat sails us around the other side of AntiPaxos to Poiseden’s Cave where he built a palace for his love Amphitrite. The boat just fits inside the cave, giving you a wide eyed peek and spectacular photo opportunities.

The sailing back to Corfu Town offers you more caves, natural formations and sea to enjoy. You can close your eyes and rest in the sun or there just might be some music for dancing.

Back at our hotel in Corfu Town the evening is yours for dining, poking around the old town, sipping Greek Wine and walking the cobbled streets soaking in the atmosphere.

Meals: Breakfast

Day Three June 3: Hello Acharavi
After breakfast a private driver will pick us up and take us to Acharavi in North Corfu, our home for rest of the trip.

The drive to Acharavi is spectacular. Amazing green nature. Views of the sea in the distance. Narrow winding roads through small Greek villages.

After checking in, put your swimsuit on and head to the beach for more blue mind therapy. Sunshine and relaxing, or lounge by one of the hotel’s amazing two pools. Maybe you fancy a walk along the beach that stretches for 7 kms or a stroll up and down main street Acharavi checking out cafes, restaurants, boutiques and bakeries. The choice is yours.

Early evening we will gather as a group for dinner together at the hotel served buffet style with offerings for every taste.

Be sure to catch the gorgeous sunsets as often as possible during your stay and if you want a nightcap, there are plenty of beach bars that will serve you up something wonderful.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Four June 4: Canal d'Amour, The Love Canal

Enjoy a hearty breakfast because today we head off to Sidari located in northwest Corfu and one of the most beautiful and well known spots on Corfu Island. Canal d’Amour or the Love Canal is known throughout Europe as the most romantic spot in Corfu.

Local legend says, couples who swim the length of the canal will stay in love forever, and if you are single, swim to its furthest tip and you are sure to find the love of your life in the near future.

Love is not the only highlight here, the nature is breathtaking. Unique formations have been sculpted by the wind and sea, creating small lagoons, exquisite caves and a natural fjord like canal. It’s hot spot for tourists, celebrities and many film crews over the years.

You’ll have to time to explore the area. Take heaps of photos. Swim in the canal and if you wish sunbathe on the long sandy beach. Enjoy a cocktail, cappucinno or ice cream. Lunch at one of Sidari’s many tasty restaurants. There is always a Greek Taverna ready to serve.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Five June 5: Escape Into The Blue Ionian Sea Sailing

How could I call our trip Escape Into the Blue and not book us on a sailing with the same name?

Today we join Captain Cristos and fellow adventure travelers for a day of sailing, sun, fun and relaxation. You’ll view beautiful bays. The famous Durrell White House at Kalami. There will be plenty of opportunities to dip into the blue sea from the boat. And also beach time at Nisaki.

Captain Cristos will BBQ on our vessel, a light snack of Greek Bruschetta and local sausage on a bun. At Nisaki Beach you will find the lively Yiannias Taverna where you can enjoy more snacks, ice cream, cocktails or whatever is your pleasure.

Be sure to learn the lyrics to the song Mama Mia! Because you are sure to hear it at least once during our journey.

Before and after our sailing you will have an opportunity to explore Kassiopi. It’s a charming traditional Greek fisherman’s village with heaps of cafes, restaurants, small shops and pebble beaches.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner, Light Snacks at Sea

Day Six June 6: Acharavi Free Day

Today is yours to do what brings you pleasure. Swim in the Sea. Lounge in the Sun. Walk the beach looking for special rocks. Relax by the pool. Give your body some extra love with a massage at the hotel. Stroll main street Acharavi and mingle with the locals.

If you feel up to it, walk the promenade into the neighbouring village Roda. It offers a sandy beach, plenty of cafe bars and restaurants. There’s a spot called Pirates that is quite lively. If you want to return to Sidari or Kassiopi on your own, the Green Bus will get you there and back. Have fun, relax and boost yourself with more Blue Mind Therapy.

Whatever you get up to be sure to be back at the hotel late afternoon because tonight it’s Greek Night. As a group we will visit a Greek Taverna for traditional foods like souvlaki, moussaka, tzatziki and ouzo. While dining we will be entertained with Greek music, dancing and plate smashing. It will be a night to remember. Yamas!

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Seven June 7: Paleokastritsa Road Trip!

After breakfast we hit the road for an excursion to East Corfu and Paleokastristsa. The drive is just as entertaining as our day will be, offering you opportunities to see Corfu’s lush green vegetation, tiny Greek Villages and more narrow winding roads.

Along the way we stop at Corfu’s most famous Kumquat Liqueur and Ouzo Factory, where we will learn more about the trademark of Corfu and enjoy FREE SAMPLES. OPA!

Our first stop in Paleokastritsa is the hill top for fantastic views of the sea and natural formations, olive groves and the Monastery of Virgin Mary built in 1225.

Paleokastritsa has six beautiful beaches, two peninsulas and five small bays. We will visit the main beach of Agios Spiridon with beautiful teal waters and a unique U shape shore. The area is known for Blue Caves and we will get a peek inside via a small boat ride. After our water adventure, it’s beach time, lunch time or both! Your choice.

Our drive back to Acharavi takes a different route so you will have a chance to see even more olive groves and huge eucalyptus trees.

The visit to Paleokastritsa is a perfect way to wrap up our Corfu Escape Into The Blue travel retreat.

But wait!!! That’s not all. After dinner we will gather for one more gorgeous sunset and a Cocktail Party to celebrate!

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner, Cocktail Party

Day Eight June 8: Avtio Corfu And Friends!

While your journey in Corfu has come to an end, the memories you hold will last a life time. Over the last seven days you have been in, under, on and near BLUE SEA every day developing your BLUE MIND energy and vibration. You will carry that energy home with you and with focus and intention, it will continue to blossom and bless you every day.

Avtio is Farewell in Greek. Have an enjoyable trip back home or onward. We’ll see each other on the next travel retreat.

Group transfer back to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

  • 5 nights at a 4.5 Star deluxe, beachfront hotel in Acharavi. Handpicked for comfort, style, beach access and full service amenities like two pools, tennis and ping pong court, buffet restaurant, cafe, beach bar, fitness center etc. Standard room.
  • 2 nights at a 4.5 Star boutique hotel located in the center of Corfu Town. A restored 19th century mansion and heritage hotel with all of the modern comforts. Steps from everything. Standard room.
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners including Welcome Dinner and Greek Night with plate smashing
  • BBQ snacks while sailing with Captain Cristos
  • Kumquat Liqueur and Ouzo sampling event
  • Farewell Cocktail Party
  • Alcoholic Beverage Wine or Beer, at Welcome Dinner and Greek Night
  • Sailing excursion to Paxos AntiPaxos
  • Escape Into The Blue Sailing
  • Blue Caves boat ride Paleokastritsa
  • Group Transfer from Corfu Airport to Corfu Town Hotel
  • Group Transfer from Acharavi Hotel to Corfu Airport
  • Drivers and transport to all sights and excursions
  • Tips for most guides, drivers and service providers

What’s Not Included

  • Return airfare to and from Corfu, Greece
  • Personal Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary (lunches and one dinner)
  • Corfu Tourist Tax 4 euro per night paid directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone calls, sun needs, laundry services, souvenir shopping
  • Extra snacks, water etc
  • Alcohol at the hotels or on excursion (the price of wine and beer is very reasonable in Corfu)
  • Hotel Spa Treatments
  • Any additional tours (IE on your free day)
  • Tips to room cleaners, bell boys
  • Anything not specifically noted in the what’s included section
  • Cost of accommodation and associated services for overnights en route, caused by weather, flight schedules and other events.
  • If you are unable to make the group airport transfers, Ales will help you to make arrangements at an additional cost
  • Cost of Visa if applicable.
  • Cost of ETIAS (see below).

Flights

Arrive into Corfu Airport (CFU) on Saturday June 1 before 4 pm so we can pick you up and get you settled in your room before our Welcome Dinner. Depart June 8th. We’ll have group airport pick-ups on June 1st arranged after we receive everyone’s flight times. If you are not arriving in time to be on that transport we can help you arrange your own taxi to the hotel (at your cost). Same arrangements going home.

June is considered the start of high season in Corfu and there are many direct flights to Corfu Town. If you are unable to access a direct flight, fly into Athens and then take a short flight to Corfu. There may also be other options for a connecting airport.

Feel free to make your own flight arrangements or reach out to my Travel Coordinator Ales Struna for assistance with flights and travel insurance. If you do book your own flight please notify Ales with your flight information.

We ask that you wait to book your flight until we give the go ahead knowing the required number of people for the journey has been met. Ales (Al esh) contact via email at ales@journeysofthespirit.com.

Your Hostess

Hello I’m Esther Bartkiw. help people create and live their most desired outcomes and dreams. For over 19 years I have been known and lauded as a holistic core belief change therapist, retreat leader, spiritual/energy mentor, up-lifter and intuitive reader. I use a number of methods and techniques with my clients including experiences like travel and retreats to facilitate change quickly and deeply.

Dream Come True: For the last eight plus years, I have been living my dream of a traveling lifestyle, nomading around the world. I love sunshine, nature, the cosmos, sailing, swimming, creating, exploring, being a mermaid and a good cappuccino.

A Personal Note from Esther

“My first taste of guiding a Sacred Spirit Journey was to the Bosnian Pyramids in 2015. The retreat offered participants an exciting adventure, plus an opportunity to be a part of world history and facilitate personal change at a deep level.It also stirred up within me a desire to offer more unique journeys.

The Spirit Journey to Iceland was fun, powerful and transformative as we played in amazing Vortex’s of Energy! Then back to Bosnia working with Pyramid Energy and exploring other mysteries. In Spain a group of us gals walked The Pilgrim’s Way along the El Camino. And we were about to head to Magical Morocco when covid struck. It’s been some time and NOW feels right to get travel retreats with Esther back into motion. Where better than beautiful, tranquil, blue Corfu where I have spent much time over the last year and half. I can’t wait to show you all my favourite spots.

I believe that experiential travel is not only fun, it’s soul stirring, inspiring, heart opening and above all life changing. It allows for personal growth through connections with other cultures, people, cuisine and visitation to special sites; energetic hot spots.

Please join me on the next amazing adventure, Escape Into The Blue in Corfu, Greece.”

~ Love, Esther

Escape Into The Blue, Ladies Corfu Retreat
June 1 – 8, 2024.

Double Occupancy
Shared Room, Two People
$4195 US

Single Occupancy
One Person
$5115 US

Do you have questions about the trip?
Let’s chat click here.

To Join Us:

  • $1000 US deposit is required to hold your spot.
  • Balance Due April 1st, 2024.

If you would like a room-mate to take advantage of double occupancy pricing, please let us know at the time of sign up. If we cannot match you with a room-mate, we will switch you to single occupancy.

We will confirm the Corfu Trip once the required number of participants is reached. At that time Esther will give you the go ahead to book flights, travel insurance, etc. and provide valuable pre trip information.

Our Cancellation Policy:

Please read carefully:

  • Your $1000 US deposit is non-refundable.
  • Any cancellation made after the balance is due April 1 and May 1st, 2024, will result in a loss of 50% of the balance paid.
  • Any cancellation made between May 1st and the trip departure will result in a total loss of funds.

We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum, but your funds are fully refundable if this occurs. Because our prepayments to vendors and service providers are not refundable, our cancellation policy must be firm and we strongly recommend the purchase of adequate travel insurance.

Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended when making travel plans. You can use our suggested Travel Guard Insurance online and choose from several policy options or contact Ales my travel coordinator and he will be able to assist you with arranging travel insurance.

Additional Information:

Passport

Please make sure your passport is valid and does not expire for at least six months. Also check to ensure it has several empty pages for stamping purposes.

Visa Requirements

Check with your embassy to see if a Visa is required. Passport holders of Canada, The United States of America, UK, European Union, Australia do not require a Visa when entering Greece. A 90 day tourist visa is automatically granted. For all other passport nationals, please check with your government and Greek Embassy.

ETIAS

Travelers visiting Europe from 2024 onwards will be required to obtain an approved ETIAS online prior to their departure. Any traveller who fails to obtain an ETIAS will not be permitted to board a plane or cruise ship to an ETIAS member country. Cost 7 euros. Info: https://etias.com

Weather

June is one of the best times to visit Greece. It’s sunny and warm but not yet scorching hot. Temperature highs and lows are around 29C/17C. Corfu is a green island, humidity is factor. Little chance of rain.

Itinerary Changes

Tour excursion dates, timing, accommodations, meal venues etc are subject to change at any time, though such changes are not anticipated. Water activities are subject to weather and sea conditions.

Retreat Activities

This retreat includes activities and excursions to various places of interest as set out in the information page. The participant accepts that these activities involve varying degrees of risk and takes part in these activities at his/her own risk. The participant accepts that Esther Bartkiw and/or Journeys Of The Spirit, are not responsible for any personal injury or death sustained in these recreational activities.

Responsibility

Journeys of the Spirit Luxury Travel and Esther Bartkiw act only as agents in securing hotels, transportation and other travel services and will not be liable in the event of any failure by any person or company to render said services. All hotels, transportation and other travel services are provided subject to all terms and conditions under which they are offered to the public generally.

Journeys of the Spirit Luxury Travel and Esther Bartkiw shall not be liable for any personal injury, property loss or other damage arising out of, or incident to, the tour or otherwise. Airlines are not responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not aboard their aircraft. Passenger tickets, in use by the airlines, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between airline and purchaser and/or passenger.

Furthermore, Journeys of the Spirit Luxury Travel and Esther Bartkiw are not responsible for inclement weather, political acts, or any “acts of God” or the shortening of a trip due to these occurrences. Nor are they responsible for airline or ground operator defaults or repayment of monies lost due to default. Nor are they responsible for lost luggage. Flight schedules and accommodations are subject to change at any time, though such changes are not anticipated. Activities are subject to weather and sea conditions. No refunds will be made for changes beyond the control of Journeys of the Spirit Luxury Travel and Esther Bartkiw.

The Right to Exclude Participants

Esther Bartkiw and/or Journeys Of The Spirit reserve the right to refuse a participant to commence or continue on the retreat, if in their opinion, the participant is incapable of looking after herself or if the participant becomes objectionable to other participants, or a hazard to herself or other participants. Esther Bartkiw and/or Journeys of The Spirit will not be under any liability to that person for any loss or expense arising from this action.

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