Yoga & Writing retreat with Hilary Brown and Geertje Couwenb

When: 28 Sep 2015 - 5 Oct 2015 (Mon - Mon, 7 nights)
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Huzur Vadisi Yoga Retreat

Huzur Vadisi is a venue for inspiring and relaxing yoga holiday retreats on Turkey’s spectacular 'Turquoise' coast. Established in 1993, it was the first centre of its kind in Turkey. Unlike hotel venues, it was created specifically as a yoga retreat and therefore can provide the perfect relaxed, warm and supportive ambience to get the most from your yoga practice and your holiday.

Huzur Vadisi's combination of world-class yoga instruction, stunning unspoiled location, welcoming experienced staff, and legendary food creates an experience for which guests return year after year.


Huzur Vadisi, which means “peaceful valley”, is the name of the olive-growing farmstead that has been restored and extended to provide the facilities you’ll find there today. Nestling at the foot of a mountain, ten minutes’ drive from the sea, it is surrounded by beautiful virgin pine forests. No other people live in the valley, so the peace is profound. At night the valley is dark, free of light pollution, revealing all the beauty of the night sky. At full moon it is truly magical to see the forest and valley bathed in moonlight. Huzur Vadisi’s setting brings a deep connection with the natural world that immeasurably enhances the benefits of yoga practice.

Staying at Huzur Vadisi is very much like being a houseguest – it's a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, particularly welcoming for people holidaying on their own. There is also plenty of space to be by yourself and be quiet if you wish. The maximum group size is 28, though 20 is more typical.


The accommodation is in lovely spacious yurts (yurt is actually the Turkish word for home), a circular domed structure with a canvas cover over a wooden trellis frame. An opening at the top, called the "Eye of Heaven," lets you gaze at the stars from your bed and allows cool ventilation in hot weather.

The yurts are spacious and comfortable, with twin or double beds, electricity, bedside lighting, wooden floors and bamboo storage shelves. Mosquito nets are provided, although rarely needed.

In addition to the twelve yurts, there is also a small studio cottage and a partially open-sided summerhouse.

Bathroom facilities with ample hot showers, toilets and washbasins are conveniently placed around the site.


The spacious shala, set amidst the olive trees and vines, has room for up to 28 to practice.

The yoga shala is fully equipped with mats, belts, blocks, bolsters and blankets.

The original farmhouse is the inspiration for the careful restoration and building at Huzur Vadisi. It houses our kitchen, and the office. Its shaded terrace and long communal table provide a lovely ambience for sharing meals.

Our traditional wooden Kösk, or summer house, is a favourite spot for siestas, and provides a sitting room with open log fire for cooler evenings at the beginning and end of the year.


The natural stone swimming pool is a beautiful place for comfortable lounging, as well as cooling off on hot days.


While many guests are simply happy to enjoy the nature and peace at Huzur Vadisi during their stay, the immediate region is full of interest for those wishing to explore further afield. The staff at Huzur Vadisi can provide information and advice on local travel, and can arrange day-trips for individuals or groups.

Huzur Vadisi is on the gorgeous 'Turquoise Coast' of southwest Turkey, with deep bays, unspoiled islands, dramatic limestone cliffs, and forested mountains rising from the sea.


Guests’ all-time favourite day trip is a cruise around the islands and bays of this stunning coastline on a traditional wooden sailing boat. A day's cruise provides plenty of time for swimming and sunbathing, and a delicious lunch is cooked and served on board. The comfortable boats have toilets and a changing cabin on board, and provide ample deck space to stretch out in the sun or under a shaded awning. The Bay of Gocek, described by the yachting fraternity as the most beautiful in the Mediterranean, offers lovely views as well as beautiful clear water.


Enjoying the beauty of the region doesn't require an elaborate excursion. You can leave the property on foot and walk unhindered in any direction through the pine forests. Trails provide spectacular views of the coast and islands, and also of the mountain ranges stretching inland to the north.


The small seaside town of Gocek is only a fifteen-minute taxi ride away. The town has a pretty palm-lined seafront with bars and restaurants, and still retains its laid-back and friendly village atmosphere despite being one of Turkey’s most up-market yachting centres. Shopping includes jewelry, carpets, ceramics, clothes, and spices. There are also banks and cash points. A favourite excursion is a visit to the Gocek Sunday morning market, followed by a lunch at a local cafe.

Fethiye is about 40 minutes away and is the nearest large town. Set on a beautiful bay, it features shops, bazaars, seafront cafes, Turkish baths and the ruins of the ancient city of Telmessos.


There are several nice beaches within a fifteen-minute taxi ride from Huzur Vadisi. One beach, with lovely views and slightly pebbly sand, is in the next bay along the coast. The other is at a five-star hotel in Gocek. Day-membership permits access to their private beach, and also reduced prices for lunch at their chic restaurant overlooking the bay. Another less-expensive but very nice private beach has opened on the other side of the bay in Gocek, and provides decking, sun loungers and a small sandy beach. There is also a lovely small beach on Gocek Island, a short boat trip away. For serious beach lovers there are two long beautiful sandy beaches, in protected nature preserves, within an hour's drive.


Another favourite is a visit to the Turkish Baths in Gocek. A delicious steam bath precedes a thorough scrubbing and exfoliation by attendants. Massage is also available. Relax and refresh Sultan-style!

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Geertje Couwenbergh

Geertje Couwenbergh is a writer, columnist, anthropologist and general innerpreneur. At Yoga Moves, she teaches workshops and intensives that combine writing, meditation and yoga practice. Never having been able to choose between one of those three paths, she set off on a search to integrate them. She, along with a growing number of students, discovered that ‘wroga’ is a perfect recipe to wake and shake up your life. Her workshops are dynamic, deep, fun and sure to move your body, mind and pen. You can expect to leave feeling a refreshed connection to writing -and hopefully, to life.

Geertje writes regularly for magazines such as Happinez, Ode/The Optimist, Yoga Magazine, Elephant Journal and Boeddha Magazine. She is the author of three books, including ZIN: Lust in je Leven door Schrijven (Lust for Life Through Writing) on which her workshops are based. Together with Yoga Moves founder Hilary Brown, she teaches an annual yoga and writing holiday retreat in Turkey. See more photos and other events by this presenter

Hilary Anne Brown

Hilary Anne Brown, American born and living in the Netherlands since 1997, is the founder of Yoga Moves, which she opened in Utrecht in summer of 2001. A native Californian, Hilary has studied and practiced many forms of yoga, healing arts, massage & bodywork and dance since the early 1980's. She began one of the first vinyasa teacher trainings in The Netherlands and has yoga teaching certificates in Iyengar, Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa (Prana) Flow, and is recognized as an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) since 2006. She has studied with numerous known and unknown yogis to whom she is ever grateful.

Hilary teaches a lyrical form of vinyasa yoga, a fluid but precise, dynamic yet relaxed method that incorporates the breath as a focus of moving meditation. She teaches with sensitivity and strength, letting you discover what yoga can bring to your life in a real and tangible ways. Breath is always a theme in her work, but equally understanding and feeling what you are doing. Alignment is a key ingredient and joy a natural outcome of her teaching. Sometimes you will laugh, cry or dance in her classes! Hilary is a committed yogi that will help you take a step closer to yourself. See more photos and other events by this presenter

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