International Writing Retreats

Methoni Castle

Wouldn’t you love to extend summer just a little longer? Together with beach time, easy yoga, writing friends, and ancient marvels, spending 10 days under the Grecian sun is the best way we can think of to make the sweetness last.
For the October 6 to 15, 2018 writing and yoga retreat near Koroni, Greece, we’ve planned one afternoon excursion and a day trip which are now included in the cost of the program.
On or about the third day of our retreat we’ll visit Methoni Castle. Continue reading

Radical Restoration Bursary

Our 10-day, 9-night voyage into words and movement is less than four months away.
If you long to join us on this unique yoga & writing retreat by the Ionian Sea but need some financial relief in order to commit, we have a limited number of bursaries to offer.
If Greece is calling along with the urge to deepen your craft by writing in community, please send me an email in which you share your hopes for the retreat.
We are all beginners every time we come to the page or stretch out on the mat. So, whether you are harbouring a secret desire to begin writing, rekindling an old love for writing, or have been at it for decades; published or unpublished, this offer is open to you.

Accommodations are varied in style and price, so they’ve been listed separately. The little villas are quirky and charming and the apartments are fully equipped and have balconies.
Once we are there, we will organize outings and dinners according to participants’ wishes.
Dinners can be prepared independently or together, or taken in local restaurants. The town of Koroni is only a 15-20 minute walk along the beach
Reserve Your Spot


We’ll help with travel arrangements.

We have a terrific travel agent who’s gotten us great flights at very reasonable prices, so let us know if you’d like her contact information. We’re also happy to pair people up if you’d like a travelling companion.

We’ve been deep in plans for this unique retreat and want to share some details and possibilities.
Currently, we’re exploring various travel arrangements with an agent to find the most convenient and least expensive options to arrive at Kalamata. So… if you’ve been dreaming of joining us but aren’t sure about travel, we’d be more than happy to help make that aspect as seamless as possible.
We’ll be arriving a day before the retreat begins to get settled and set up for your arrival, but if you’d feel more comfortable traveling with someone, we are happy to try to pair you with other participants.
There are still some lovely quirky villas available, but if you’d prefer a more private space, there are apartments available just steps away along the beach. Each one has two bedrooms and is 50 Euros/day for the entire apartment, plus a one-time 30 Euro cleaning fee. You can find details here:  Otherwise, you can choose from the funky little villas here: For the various prices of the available villas, click here:

We want everyone to have a richly inspiring experience, so we’ll be arranging afternoon/evening excursions to various sites of interest.
We’ve planned one afternoon excursion and a day trip which are now included in the cost of the program.
On or about the third day of our retreat we’ll visit Methoni Castle.
Built by the Venetians in the early 13th century on a rocky promontory, the castle is among the largest in the Mediterranean. Fourteen stone arches connect the castle to the shore. The symbol of Venice, The Lion of St Marc, dominates the castle gate.
At the south edge of the castle, floats a fortified isle, Bourtzi, built in 1500, which was a prison during the Turkish Occupation.
If weather permits, the beach near the castle is lovely for swimming.
We can stroll through the scenic town of Methoni to enjoy the well-preserved architecture. If there is time and interest we can also visit the catacombs of St Onoufrios (2km N of Methoni) and/or the Catholic monastery of St Leon.
This trip includes transportation and dinner.
On or about the 6th day of our retreat, we’ll take a day-trip to Pylos, Nestor’s Cave and Voidokilia Bay.
After stopping to browse shops and visit the harbour town of Pylos, we’ll drive about 12 kilometers for a hike to Nestor’s Cave which sits just below the ruins of the Paleo Kastro, the old Pylos castle.
As legend has it, this cave is where Hermes hid the 50 cattle he stole from Apollo.
In Greek mythology, Heracles slew all the sons of the King of Pylos except Nestor, who became king of Pylos himself. Nestor appears as a sage elder in both the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The hike is fairly rugged but worth it for the views alone – the higher you go, the more you’ll see, as the panorama takes in Voidokilia Bay, the Divari Lagoon of Gialova, and the olive tree-lined Peloponnesian Hills, the Bay of Navarino, and the city of Pylos.
After that, we can enjoy some beach time in Voidokilia Bay.
This trip includes transportation, lunch & dinner.

Both of these trips will provide us with unique opportunities for our writing practice.

AND… Right at Zaga Beach, there is a surf school where you can rent windsurfing equipment, catamarans, dinghies, sup, kayaks, and mountain bikes.


7:00 – 8:30 am: Gently ease into the day with Esana’s restorative yoga practice
8:45: Breakfast
10:00- 12:30  Guided writing practice with Deepam
Afternoons are free time
Every other evening we’ll gather for an artists’ salon around 8:00 pm


The slideshow will take a few moments to load. Please use the navigation links at the top to advance through the articles. Enjoy!


Our retreat in Valfabbricia, Italy was such a wild success we have already booked our time there for next year.
Radical Restoration will be returning to Le Torrace in Umbria April 11 to 21, 2015.
  Continue reading


It’s not the rise

nor the fall of

slope, or the sweet

trill of new birds,

not the melt of

truffle on the tongue,

nor the kindness of

our host, his wife

or his helpers, but Continue reading


We rave every day about the tastes on our tongues. Giorgio, Leela and their helpers succeed in evoking moans of pleasure as table music at each breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the surprise of a crunchy cheese muffin-like thing at lunch, to a vellutata di Zucchine (soup) to a brioche with red cabbage, aubergine and cheese, roasted lamb with garden rosemary, Farro Perlato with porcini mushroom, to home-cured prosciutto and Caciotta cheese slices with truffles, all the way to Crema Catalana and Colomba Pasquale, every mouthful a surprise and a bit of a swoon. Our plates are always spanking clean after each meal.

The meals have served as inspiration for our writing as well as being the marker for the passage between activities. Many have remarked that although each repast is a veritable feast of taste and choice, none of the foods are too rich or too sweet, and we often leave almost directly from the groaning board of lunch for a long walk up and down or down and up these beautiful country roads, or book a taxi to take us to nearby Gubbio, Assisi or Perugia. Continue reading

Gubbio Gubbio wherefore art thou Gubbio?

I knew nothing of Gubbio prior to this trip, aside from some vague connection to Francis of Assisi. My loss, apparently. Gubbio is a wonder of terraces, cathedrals, palaces, palazzos, ancient stone, a surprising treasure in the form of a golden fountain spigot in the shape of a duck head, Roman ruins, and sweeping views into a broad green valley.

After our morning of yoga, breakfast, and a shift in perspective with James leading the writing practice, we ate yet another exquisite lunch and climbed into taxis with the enthusiastic (and handsome) Marco and Stefano. The ride was quicker than we imagined and full of swoops and dodges, as we careened through the Umbrian hills to Gubbio. Continue reading

2014-04-19 13.53.19The early evening sun bathes the grounds in a golden green light. Birdsong layers the air with happy music. The soft chattering of participants waiting for the dinner gong wafts up to my window. It’s day two of being here; day one of Radical Restoration at Le Torracce in Valfabbrica, Italy.   Continue reading

It’s a Beautiful World

Meditating on the beach

Move the body,

then move the pen

Radical Restoration Retreats are for those who want to write, who love to write, even for those who believe they ‘can’t’ write. These getaway retreats combine exotic and nurturing environments with skillfully facilitated yoga and writing practice.

Esana Lotfy’s deeply respectful Kripalu yoga begins each retreat day, followed by Sue Reynolds’ guided writing facilitation. Afternoons and evenings are open for exploration, creative endeavours or rest.

No previous experience required.


Costa Rica WriterHatillo, Costa Rica: February 20 to March 6, 2014 – one week or two

Valfabbricia, Italy: April 19 – 29, 2014

In 2009 the first Radical Restoration Retreat was held at the private estate of Alberge de Hatillonear Dominical, Costa Rica, featuring jungle mornings of easy waking-up kind of yoga with Esana Lotfy. Each February since, we have returned to not only stretch into morning amid the quickening of bird song and the brilliance of green, but also to write with Sue Reynolds, an unparalleled writing teacher with the remarkable gift of being able to draw out the poem, the story, the image from even the most uncertain writer.

In February 2014 we will host our fifth Radical Restoration retreat in Costa Rica, and in April 2014, we will host our first retreat at the beautiful Le Torracce in Italy.