SOUTHERN BOHEMIA, LIPNO LAKE,
23 – 30 June 2023
It’s been a while since our last holiday — I had one planned and ready to go in 2020 but Covid threw a little spanner into the works… so I’m excited to invite you to join me this year!
In spite of its popularity among continental Europeans, southern Bohemia, and the Czech Republic as a whole (perhaps with the exception of Prague) remain a bit of an unexplored territory for the British. Because I love to share the beauty and culture of my homeland with others, I am organising our fourth BraveBodies holiday in this fabulous region, but this time in a brand-new location, a four-star resort right by the Lipno lake. Those of you who have come on previous holidays with me will remember a day spent at the lake, and as the area is getting more developed and more interesting by the year while offering access to stunning nature around, I thought it would make the perfect place for a wholesome holiday experience. I am confident that you will fall in love with Lipno, and with Southern Bohemia, at first sight!
Wait, why is it called a holiday? Aren’t you running a retreat?
Technically, a retreat is a place you go to “hide” to practice, practice and practice some more. The main focus of retreats is improving your skills and deepening your knowledge of a particular discipline. You don’t usually leave the residence during this time. Many retreats offer 4 or more hours of exercise per day, morning and evening, with time to relax in between, and not too much more.
I, too, want you to improve your practice, self awareness and become stronger and fitter, but I also want you to have a lot of fun! Especially considering you will have travelled a considerable distance and there is so much to see and do here. I don’t really want you to retreat, I want you to have a great time! Make new friends, drink some great beer, eat something a bit naughty and walk it off among pines and mossy boulders… just make the most of it. Moreover, if you normally only do an hour of yoga or Pilates per week (which tends to be the case for many), putting your body through four or six hours a day is a bit of a shock to the system. Two hours is plenty, and that’s what we will do. Yoga and Pilates in the mornings, followed by thirty or forty minutes of meditation and pranayama… and then, off we go! A holiday it is.
Tell me more about the yoga and Pilates stuff.
Two hours give us some time to spend on things we couldn’t fit into a typical class. We will learn more about anatomy, try different techniques to achieve more ambitious poses, explore pranayama (yogic breathing) and brush up on principles of correct movement and alignment. There will be some partner work, too. We will play around more! This year I will also spend time teaching hypopressives, a breathing practice with roots in yoga which aims to restore function to the pelvic floor and the abdominal wall. It is certainly a great skill to acquire and a very beneficial exercise to do on a daily basis – it has the potential to sort out not only your pelvic floor, but also your posture, through vigorous work with the diaphragm. I look forward to sharing this simple and effective technique with you.
In addition, we will be spending about 30 minutes a day in meditation, something we also do not have time to do in a regular class.
So, what else will we do?
At Lipno, we are truly spoilt for choice. Apart from a swimming costume, pack some sturdy boots as we will be walking and hiking. There are hundreds of trails around the lake, castles to visit nearby, and lots of water-related attractions. For those of you who like to cycle, there are many brand-new cycling paths, too. I tested them last summer and it was a fantastic experience — two hours on the bike just flew by. We will of course also do a day trip to Český Krumlov, the second most popular destination after Prague — for a good reason! It’s a beautifully preserved medieval town governed by a large castle, with cobbled streets and countless taverns and restaurants, perfect for a chilled day of enjoying Bohemia’s best. There will also be an option to do rafting down the Vltava river — this has been, for many, a highlight of the whole stay, so something not to be missed!
I’m not sure I want to do so much running around, do I have other options?
You don’t have to take part in anything you don’t want to do, and if you feel you just want to put your feet up and chill out at the resort or stroll into Frymburk town for a coffee and a piece of cake, you are completely free to do that. I always plan a full timetable for everyone to help you get the most out of your stay, so I hope you will join in on everything, but I’m not going to micromanage your time. No offense taken if you make other plans! We will have a day off, too.
Where are we going to stay?
Our resort is called Lakeside Village which is right by the lake and has great access to it. We will stay in a combination of two houses (8 people and 5 people) and potentially also their apartments (depending on numbers). Each type of accommodation has wi-fi, TV. a fully equipped kitchen, a dishwasher, and the houses also have a wood-burner should we want to warm up in the evenings.
Please visit their website for photos and more information! The accommodation is very modern and comfortable.
What will a typical day look like?
The timetable will look something like this:
8:00 am — lemon water (good for cleansing your system), fruit and snacks, mini-walk or a quick swim (if you’re up for it!)
8:30-10:00am — yoga, Pilates, or both
10:00-10:30am — hypopressives, meditation (we may change location)
11:00am-12:00pm — brunch
12:00 – 1:30pm — siesta time
2:00pm — a trip somewhere amazing!
7:00-8:00 pm — return
9:00-10:00pm — social time, if we still have energy (games, TED talks, etc).
10pm — bedtime
This is just to give you a rough idea, we don’t have to be always this rigid. Some changes may be necessary depending on the weather, but the summer in the Czech Republic is usually reliably warm and sunny, so fingers crossed and we’ll have sunshine the whole week.
My partner doesn’t do yoga or Pilates, can I still bring him/her?
Yes! They are welcome to spend the morning as they please, and will still have plenty to do with us for the rest of the day. If they are fans of water sports (or beer :)), even better! You may still want to secretly pack some stretchy clothes and challenge them to have a go at least once! They may find they are missing out.
So how many meals a day are we having?
This time, it will be a light breakfast, lunch and snacks. During our last holiday we also had dinner, but that tied us to our hotel too much and we found it a bit restricting. There are so many places to eat in the area that it would be a pity not to take advantage of the local cuisine. We will also be out and about and may choose to stay away past dinner time.
I am a vegetarian, will I have veggie options?
Both vegetarians and meat eaters will be catered for. If you are vegan or have any other dietary restrictions or food allergies, please let me know in advance and I will make arrangements with the restaurant.
And how do I get there?
There is a one-hour time zone difference (CZ is ahead) so keep this in mind when planning your journey. As I write this (13 Feb 2023), the most sensible travel option is flying with EasyJet to Prague from Luton. This is currently very affordable (about £110 round trip). The hours are also sociable, with the flight arriving in Prague at 16:30. The returning flight arrives in Luton at 18:00 so again, an ok time to get home, and a comfortable time to fly out of Prague. In the past, a shuttle was organised for everyone going to the airport here in the UK, and it worked out really well. Especially with Luton being harder to get to by train, it’s a good idea to use the shuttle — it will save everyone time and money.
There will be a shuttle arranged to collect everyone from Prague airport coming on this flight. It is a roughly 3-hour drive to get from Prague airport to Lipno, so you will still be able to have your dinner upon arrival.
There are also flights from Gatwick but the arrival time is much later (9:30pm), so it’s not nearly as convenient. There is also the option to fly to Salzburg or to Vienna, but if you do, you will have to arrange your own transport to the resort. Some of you may choose to travel sooner to spend a few days in Prague, and make your way to the resort on your own. If that’s the case, let me know and I will help you find the best connection. There is a good website for figuring out how to get around the country by public transport, unfortunately only in Czech… most of it is self-explanatory but let me know if you need help.
So, how much do I need to save up?
Early bird: £760 double room, £1,020 single room
if booked by 15 March 2020 (a deposit will count, too)
Late bird: £820 double room, £1,080 single room
A non-refundable deposit of £300 must be paid at the latest by 31 April 2023, with the rest payable no later than 1 June 2023. I wouldn’t advise to wait until then though, last time the retreat sold out within a month. If you are thinking of coming and need some more time to decide, at least get in touch so that I have you on my list.
What is included:
- Shuttle from and to Prague Airport (cca 3 hours)
- 4* accommodation for 7 nights
- Breakfast, lunch, snacks and water during the day
- Exercise classes, hypopressive workshop
- Rafting trip
I would also like to add that you can approach me with any personal musculo-skeletal issues or queries, or if you want to improve your technique in anything that we do, and I will give you some extra attention in our free time (within reason) to help you as best as I can.
And what is not included :
- Local transport — but buses and trains are very inexpensive
- Local activities and sight-seeing costs
How much extra money will I need?
As of 16 February 2023, the exchange rate is 1 GBP to 26.7 CZK. You can check the current rate at www.xe.com.
If you budget £15 per day for your dinner (with a drink), that should be just fine.
There are many good restaurants in Frymburk and around Lipno in general. Lots of nice traditional food as well. The Czech cuisine is a bit like the German one: lots of pork, beef, duck but here at the Lipno lake also local fish, potatoes of all kinds, cabbage and sauerkraut, dumplings and sauces, and lots of desserts with poppy seeds, curd cheese etc. A bit on the heavy side but very tasty. If you are veggie, all restaurants should have decent options for you. Czechs are well known for picking wild mushrooms, and Southern Bohemia has lots of them in the summer, so local fungi will definitely be on the menu in many places as well! Also, our beer is excellent and cheaper than water!
Travelling by public transport is pleasantly cheap. For example, a trip by bus from Frymburk to Krumlov (40 mins) costs around 38 crowns, about £1.50. Trains are similarly inexpensive. Budget about £30 for local transport for the week, maximum. You may want to budget a bit more if you want to use taxis to get around locally on your own.
If you are thinking of spending a few days in Prague before or after our holiday, you may want to make arrangements to get to Prague by yourself. There is a good coach company which runs coach trips between Český Krumlov and Prague for less than £10 (for a three-hour journey), and you get refreshments, newspapers and a selection of movies on board! I love it. You can look them up here: https://www.www.regiojet.cz
We may want to hire bicycles on some days, and there are also options to rent kayaks, pedalos etc., all pretty affordable. You may want to bring some money for souvenirs and gallery/castle visits in Český Krumlov and Rožmberk, and when out and about.
Here are some slideshows to show you what else is waiting for you — no subtitles unfortunately but you can enjoy the scenery:
And here are a few slideshows from my previous retreats:
Please call me or email me to book or ask any questions:
0798 223 6118 (+44 798 223 6118 if calling from abroad)
I can’t wait to see you there!