Six retreats overseas

by
26 January 2018

Alison MacTier takes her pick of overseas retreat houses

Haakan Berg

Johanneskirken (the Church of John the Baptist) stave church, one of several chapels in the grounds of Lia Gård, Norway, and its labyrinth

Johanneskirken (the Church of John the Baptist) stave church, one of several chapels in the grounds of Lia Gård, Norway, and its labyrinth

Cortijo Carranque

Where: Partido Carranque 4, Coín 29100, Málaga, Spain

THIS small family-run retreat house, a haven in unspoilt Andalusian countryside, specialises in offering rest-and-refreshment retreats. It welcomes people from all denominations, and there are discounts for those in full-time Christian ministry. Themed retreats and quiet days are available, and personal retreats start in March. Accommodation is in double or twin rooms, all with en-suite bath or shower, and all with ground-floor access. Full/half-board or self-catering options are available. Some rooms interconnect for families or friends visiting together. Cots, high chairs, and toys are available for visitors with young children. The courtyards, swimming pool, gardens, and orchards offer plenty of space to relax in, with river walks and trails into the hills for the more active.

Costs: €30 B&B; €40 half board; €50 full board per person per night. Bursaries are available.

Contact: 020 3598 9699 (UK line rings in main house) / 00 34 635 716868 (mobile); email info@cortijocarranque.com; or visit www.cortijocarranque.com.

 

Hacienda Los Olivos

Where: Lecrín, Granada, Spain 18656

LOS OLIVOS is a beautifully restored Andalucian hacienda (farmhouse) set in the stunning Sierra Nevada National Park of southern Spain, near the city of Granada. This eco-retreat centre offers personal and group retreats, and its location makes it an ideal base for those interested in hiking or walking, bird watching, flower spotting, and landscape painting and photography (a prayer walk through the 14 acres of olive grove contains creative prayer-stations with breathtaking mountain views). Accommodation is in single, twin, and double rooms, and all bedrooms are located around the hacienda’s inner courtyard. Communal spaces include a comfortable lounge with open fire, dining room and bar, Trinity Chapel, library, terraces with mature gardens, swimming pool, and spa-jacuzzi. There is daily worship in the chapel, and spiritual accompaniment is available. See the website for its programme of retreats by visiting speakers.

Costs: €495 shared occupancy (€545 single occupancy) for a five-day retreat.

Contact: 01865 600698 / 00 34 958 068001; email haciendalosolivos@outlook.com; or visit www.haciendalosolivos.org.

 

Katafiyio Retreat House

Where: PO Box 22075, Nicosia 1517, Cyprus

KATAFIYIO (“place of refuge”) is the retreat house of the Anglican diocese of Cyprus & the Gulf. It is ideally situated for those living in the Middle East and Europe who want time to relax, reflect, and pray, and is open all year round. The house is in the village of Kapedes (complete with taverna and small supermarket), on the edge of the Machairas Forest, and offers excellent walking opportunities. Guided retreats are available for individuals and groups, and the staff team is trained ecumenically. The accommodation is self-catering and has a double and twin room, prayer room, and meeting room suitable for groups of up to 20. There is a large veranda with a dining table overlooking a courtyard and garden, a library, and art materials.

Costs: Suggested donation €25 per person, per 24-hour stay.

Contact: 00 357 99 155092 (mobile), 00 357 22 671220 (landline); email retreats@cypgulf.org; or visit www.cypgulf.org/retreats.

Los Olivos, in the surrounds of the Sierra Nevada National Park, southern Spain

Lia Gård

Where: Postbox 106, 2481 Koppang, Norway

LIA GÅRD is a retreat and conference centre, set high up in the mountains above a lake. It offers private and group retreats for churches, individuals, and families, individually guided retreats (IGRs), individual accompaniment (in English), and a place of refuge for those in need of peace and relaxation. Originally an old farm dating from the Middle Ages, Lia Gård’s private estate offers many walkways, and a variety of chapels to visit for private prayer, as well as a hermitage and a labyrinth. Lia Gård is two hours 30 minutes from Oslo Gardermoen airport by train to Koppang. Accommodation is in single or twin rooms, full board. There is also a library, lounge, art room, and sauna. A number of their retreats are in English and Norwegian.

Costs: (for IGRs) NOK 2800 (three days), NOK 4200 (five days), NOK 5000 (six days), NOK 6700 (eight days) per person.

Contact: 00 47 62 46 65 00; email retreat@liagard.no; or visit www.liagard.no

 

Te Deum

Where: Christian’s Acre, Landsvägen 1022, 23195 Trelleborg, Sweden

TE DEUM is a small guest house in southern Sweden, set among beautiful rolling countryside. Yet its location is very accessible: it is just a 15-minute walk to the nearest railway station, and close to Malmö, Lund, and Copenhagen (an hour by train to the airport). The centre wishes to develop contacts between the Church of England and Christians in Sweden, and to be a place “just to be” — for prayer and reflection, study, rest, and recreation. Groups, families, and individuals are all welcome, and full-board or self-catering accommodation is available, mainly in twin-room accommodation. The house offers a regular programme of quiet days and retreats. A special programme, including visits and contacts with local churches, can be arranged for groups as required.

Costs: £70 per person for 24 hours full board.

Contact: 00 46 40 487059 (landline) / 00 46 708 743994 (mobile); email tedeum@telia.com; or visit www.tedeum.se.

 

Umbrian Retreats

Where: 184 Via Petricci, Montecastelli, Umbertide (PG), Umbria, Italy 06019

THIS ecumenical holiday-retreat centre, in a typically Umbrian country house in an idyllic location (looking down the Tiber Valley towards Assisi and Perugia), makes for a stunning destination for a holiday and/or retreat. Casa Roberto holiday house (sleeping eight to ten) has four twin-bedded rooms, a spacious and well-equipped kitchen, dining room, living room, and small chapel. Sopra and Terra apartments (situated within an Italian farmhouse) each have a well-equipped kitchen, sitting room, and bathroom. The house and apartments share lovely gardens, including a labyrinth, swimming pools, fig trees, and vines. A regular programme of retreats is available.

Costs: One week full-board costs £660 per person.

Contact: 01733 552535 / 07702 341041; email florence.morton1@btinternet.com; or visit www.umbrianretreats.com.

Alison MacTier is the executive director of the Retreat Association. For more information call 01494 569056; email info@retreats.org.uk; or visit www.retreats.org.uk.

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