April 26-May 2, 2020
7d/6n working retreat $695
Reserve with a $200 deposit or make 7 payments of $99.28 if you sign up by September 30
Includes lodging, all activities, ground transportation from Antalya, admissions to museums and attractions, yoga classes and daily breakfast
Excludes airfare, travel insurance, restaurant meals, souvenirs and gratuities
A while back, I was musing aloud on Facebook that I’d love to host a working retreat for women at my favorite place on the Mediterranean in Southern Turkey, a sort of “glampsite” built in the woods by my friend Diana. I imagined us in this rugged paradise between the mountains and the sea, working on our own unique projects: perhaps a book, a choreography, a work of art, a website, or a business plan. Maybe someone just wants to work on relaxation, reading, or journaling all week. To each her own.
I could see us doing yoga in the mornings, enjoying a leisurely breakfast together, and then having free time all day to work on our own individual projects. People could tuck themselves away in cozy spaces around the lodging (it has wifi), or they could take their laptop into town and work in a cafe, or just take a notebook to the beach. We’d all gather at a restaurant on the beach for dinner ($10-12 buys a nice dinner with wine) and then back at the lodging we might have a bonfire and an optional chance to share our works in progress. Some days we’d go together to the beach, or to explore the nearby ancient ruins or to roast marshmallows over the eternal flames of the chimera — fires that have been burning since ancient times, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.
The rustic lodging
I wasn’t sure many people would be interested in such rustic lodging — Diana offers tents, a teepee, a cabin, and a treehouse. The site has modern flush toilets and even a washing machine, but they are in outhouses. There is no heating, no air conditioning. The town and beach are a 20-minute walk away (or a shorter bike ride), and part of that walk is in the woods.
I was very surprised by the reactions to this idea on Facebook — it seems many women are drawn to this! Personally, I think there’s no better way to get the creative juices flowing than to be in nature, living at the edge of your comfort zone and far from anything familiar. Apparently many women feel the same!
Cirali is a sweet beach town on the Turquoise Coast (aka Turkish Riviera) where Turkish families like to relax in the summer. It also attracts German and Russian tourists, but I don’t think most North Americans have heard of it.
People here leave their doors unlocked and hitch rides with each other. I’ve had strangers hand me fruit or invite me to sit down and eat with their families here. There are no chain hotels, and none of the restaurants have walls.
The area has ruins from the Lycian, Greek, and Roman dynasties, among others. We’ll explore the ancient city of Olympos nearby in the woods. We’ll also hike up to visit the flames of the Chimera, which have been burning from the earth for thousands of years and appear in ancient Greek texts.
The food here is delicious and very healthy. Fresh grilled fish, kebabs, and salads made from fresh or grilled vegetables are the focus of the meals. The fresh-baked breads are irresistible (they make pizzas from them too) and we’ll try some local delicacies like gozleme (a flaky, stuffed flatbread) and stuffed grape leaves. Food is very affordable, even in fine restaurants.
Arrival: The nearest airport is at Antalya, Turkey. Cirali is about 90 minutes from there; we’ll meet in Antalya and I’ll arrange transportation for us.
Lodging: The base price covers a tent (provided) with a mattress. Once the group is organized, I’ll offer the opportunity to upgrade your lodging to the tepee, cabin, or treehouse for those who want it.
Safety: In my opinion, this part of Turkey is incredibly safe — I was just there and welcomed with open arms by the locals. I saw no sign of protests, political unrest, or the struggle at the Syrian border in this part of the country at all.
Cash needs: Your admission to the ruins and the flames are included, your only cash need would be for lunches and dinners. $50-100 will cover that for the week, depending on how frugal you choose to be. There are ATMs in Cirali.
Other activities: You’re in control of your own schedule and you can opt for boat tours, scuba diving, and other activities in the area if you want. Diana has bikes available for those who want to ride, also.
Weather: This time of year will be cool, with highs around 70˚ and overnight lows around 50˚. It’ll be too cold to swim, but the beach will be deserted and peaceful for walking. Some restaurants may not be open during the off-season.
Adding this on to Istanbul: If you are doing the Women’s Adventure in Istanbul with its add-on trip, I can arrange for you to go straight to Antalya from Cappadocia instead of returning to Istanbul, and I know a very lovely and safe guest house in Antalya for $30 a night where you can enjoy yourself for the few days in between.
Hi, I’m Lauren Haas, the founder of Indie Travel Guru.
In May of 2013 I sold everything I owned and started traveling the world with all my possessions in a backpack. It’s been an incredible journey, and now I’m beginning to share the world with small groups of women who want to see it the way I do.
I love to walk, hike, take local transportation, get involved in local life, and learn about cultures from the inside out, through arts, food, music, dance, and culture. Come join me for an unforgettable adventure!
Testimonials from past trips
Lauren, our host, was a charming ambassador for Morocco; I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience than she did for our group consisting of eight strangers (soon to become friends).
Thank you, Lauren, for planning such a wonderful trip and sharing so many fabulous experiences. Looking forward to your future retreats. Read more “I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience”
Lauren was a fantastic host —wonderful, full of life, giving, trustworthy and a ton of fun! Even though the stay was only a week long, we got such a beautiful, well-rounded immersion in the culture…
What this is not: your standard trip. We saved money along the way and got a fantastic cultural voyage. I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and I will most definitely be joining Lauren again in the near future. Read more “A well-rounded immersion in culture”
Lauren made me feel comfortable and safe traveling to a part of the world I had never been to previously. The personal experiences she shares regarding being a smart traveler and her cultural knowledge are valuable.
She is friendly, a good problem solver, respectful of personal space/time, and fun. I would definitely travel with her again. Read more “Safe, comfortable, and fun!”
Secure your spot with a $200 deposit
Send your deposit now to secure your space. Balance will be due 30 days before your trip begins.
Pay in monthly installments
Start your installment payments by September 30, 2019 and pay just $99.28 a month for 7 months.
$200 deposit is nonrefundable
30 days before the trip the full balance becomes due and nonrefundable
I strongly recommend buying travel insurance well ahead of your trip. It will refund you in the event you need to cancel at the last minute, and will also cover lost luggage, medical emergencies, stolen telephone, and so much more.
Other Important Information:
This trip is being offered subject to a minimum number of travelers registering. In the event the trip needs to be canceled by Indie Travel Guru, LLC, you will be notified as early as possible and your deposit and/or payments will be refunded in full.