The Centre's main building is a small hotel or large guest house (Xenonas, in Greek) located at the edge of the village of Kissos in the Pelion Mountains of Greece where, according to ancient Greek mythology, dwelled the fabulous Centaurs, half-man half-horse.
Pension Martiou is built upon a two floor stone house of Pelion traditional architecture, dated about 150 years old and restored by the present owner's father.
The house is surrounded by a magical garden which includes rosebushes, hydrangeas, jasmine and other species planted and tended with love and affection by the Martiou family for many decades. The the climbing vines offer a natural cooling environment. The view looking over the Aegean from the balcony is spectacular.
Kissos Village & Environs
Kissos is a village of fruit trees, flowers and greenery, carved out of the forest above the seaside resort of St Yiannis, about 25 minutes from the county seat of Tsangarada.
Set in a charming position in a lovely hillside area overlooking the sea, Kissos is 25 miles/35 km (an hour and a half by local bus or Taxi) from the city and port of Volos. At an altitude of 1600 feet (515 m) Kissos village is never oppressively hot, even in August. The village is notable for its 17th Century ornate Church
and its fine tavernas specialising in regional dishes.
The hotel we use has seven rooms: one single, two ensuite twins, two non-ensuite twins, a triple and an ensuite quad.
We also block book rooms in village guest houses, 5-8 min walk from the Centre, if required. Accommodation supplements, which may vary with the season, apply for these village rooms and usually also for singles and twins in the Centre hotel.
A typical twin bedded room in the hotel is shown above.
The basic workshop costs given for each workshop are for shared accommodation which may be in the triple or quad room. If you want to ensure that you get one of the double/twins, a £62.50/€75 per person supplement guarantees it.
If you require a single room, please specify this when booking by including the single room supplement of £135/€150 with your deposit.
When requesting a particular room please refer to the Kissos campus houseplan. Log in as a guest to see the bed availability
for any particular week.
Centre's Daily Rhythm
(may vary with certain workshop weeks
- 0730 Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi (on selected weeks)
- 0800 Morning sanctuary meditation
- 0830 Breakfast
- 0915 Breakfast cleanup
- 0930 Staff Work Attunement / Community meeting
- 1000 Staff Work / Workshop Session 1
- 1330 Staff lunch / beach picnic for participants
- 1430 Beach / free time
- 1800 Kitchen and garden teams attune/second work period (Some workshop leaders offer 1-1's at this time to guests not on rota work shifts)
- 2030 Dinner
- 2115 Dinner cleanup (KP rota)
- 2145 Healing Circle / Sharing / Individual Ad hoc Offerings
A few meters further left of the hotel there is a shaded patio where our vegetarian meals are served, and which is set up for art workshops out of eating hours. A separate building, just to the side of the patio, houses the fully equipped restaurant grade kitchen and two solar heated showers combined with toilets which serve the tents and yurts sited in the terraced grounds.
We have a half dozen tents and tent spaces located on the upper extended terrace. Provided that you bring your own sleeping bag, towel and pillow (if required) we offer a discount for tent occupancy: 5% to use one of our tents, 8% if you bring your own tent. We provide comfortable foam mattresses for our tents.
Please first before booking to be sure space is available.
Tent occupancy is not recommended in May or September as thunderstorms are possible during those months.
Yurt and Blue Saloon
The photo shows our 14 foot yurt, which is used for group space for our small (less than 14 people) workshops and retreats. One folding massage table lives here.
A couple of staff volunteers are decorating feta cans which provide excellent pots for the many flowers found on the estate. This area of Greece is renown for its gardenias, hydrangias and other varieties of flowers. Nearly every villager cultivates hundreds of flowers in their gardens, roofs and balconies as a cottage industry. Periodically these are trucked to the cities for sale.
This 4 meter diameter yurt which is used for staff meetings and 1-1 treatment sessions in the daytime, becomes the blue saloon at night and can be booked for overnight intimacy by participants in shared accommodation.
There are seven available guest rooms in the venue hotel: one single (A), two ensuite twins (B and C), two first floor tiwns (G and H), a triple (E) and an ensuite quad (F). Room J is the office and Room D is the workshop/toolroom.
Outside of eating hours the patio becomes a very functional art studio. Here is Yvonne Fuchs demonstrating to students in her Art of Knowing Yourself
workshop given in 2011.
The universal sanctuary, overlooking the sea on the upper terrace, is open 24 hr to all for quiet contemplation. There is a led meditation every morning from 8:05 until the 8:30 breakfast bell.
Sunrise as seen from the sanctuary.
Horse Riding at Tsangarada
A half hours drive from us at Tsangarada there is horse riding. €30 per hour-long ride on forest trails.
On the eastern side of the peninsula at Kali Nera you can ride right down to the sea.
Taverna Night Out
Traditionally Tuesday night we eat out at one of the local tavernas. Cost of that meal (€13-15) is not included in the basic weekly workshop/retreat price.
For those of you who are not vegetarians, this is your chance!
Mt Pelion is a walker's paradise. The mountain is criss crossed with ancient donkey tracks (kaldarini), there are incredible sea overlooks, icy waterfalls and, as you approach sea level, olive groves. Higher up into the forest, the trails meander through magnificant chestnut, beach and cherry trees.
We have two guided walking weeks every season, the first in June
and the second in September
. Generally the walks start after breakfast and often end with a picnic lunch on the beach.
Roundhouse Group Room
Our seven meter diameter (20') waterproof reciprocal frame roundhouse is used for workshops or retreat meetings and for small dance or yoga workshops. With its shade covering and bamboo screen sides it has both the intimacy of a room and the open airy feeling of an outdoor space.