This is a wonderful time to fully immerse yourself in the forest, hills and rivers of this beautiful part of Northern Croatia. It will be cold and the trees will be bare of leaves. This is a time of clarity, a time to begin the process of waking up. There are less distractions in the woods at this time of year, many animals are hibernating and the birds are fairly quiet, however the air will be crisp and the sound of our boots on the frozen ground will be our companion as we walk deep into the woods. It is a time of anticipation, a good time to shake off your day to day worries and concerns and to see what is really important to you.
We will be based in snug and cosy Pansion Bernarda in the small town of Varaždinske Toplice, surrounded by densely forested hills and renowned for millennia for the healing property of the hot thermal waters, which still rise in the ruins of the Roman Temple to Minerva.
Starting after breakfast, we will take the minibus to three different locations, where we will connect with the healing energies of nature. We will walk under tall majestic trees, we will meditate with the water of the deep flowing rivers, and we will give ourselves the time to connect with our own inner voice. For three magic days we will be present with the sights and sensations of nature, reflecting and being mindful as we journey day by day deeper into ourselves.
Thursday February 3rd 2022: Arriving at Varaždinske Toplice, a delightful ancient town situated 75 km from Zagreb and a 40-minute drive from the airport. We are around three hours drive from Vienna and Budapest, and two hours from Ljubljana.
Arrive in time to take a walk around this beautiful old town and join us for dinner and an informal meeting in the evening.
Friday February 4th: Being present in nature
We will start our spiritual walks in nature with a day of forest bathing. Leaving as a group after breakfast, we will take the minibus to the Kalnik Mountain. Here we will take the time to connect with the forest, the trees, the rocks, the sounds and the smells of nature. This will be an opportunity to really immerse ourselves in the healing energy of the trees.
We will explore what this feels like, leaving behind any expectations or purpose. We will just be present. This will not be a time for talking, it will be a time to become grounded. To introduce ourselves to this magic land and to start building a relationship that we will deepen over the coming days.
Later, on our return to the Pansion, there will be an opportunity to share our experiences.
Saturday February 5th: Day of the rivers
Today we will go to the neighbouring county of Međimurje. This triangular shaped region is enclosed on two sides by the rivers Mura and Drava. These beautiful watercourses have both flowed down through Slovenia from the Austrian and Italian Alps. We will walk by both rivers and also go to the point of confluence near the small town of Legrad, at the very tip of Međimurje. This is a very special place where these two great rivers join to continue their journey as one, flowing down the border with Hungary to eventually meet up with the Danube near Osijek.
Today we will also flow, connecting with the water, the rivers and the rhythm of all living things. Many of us seek to be adaptable as a way of achieving more peace and harmony in our lives. Connecting with the movement and energy of the water in the rivers is a very good way to do this. Water is the spiritual communicator with its ability to purify, protect and heal. It is also incredibly powerful. So today we will be present with the water, the rivers and the flow of life.
Sunday February 6th: Finding harmony with nature
Today we will walk up, through the beech forest to the Dragon’s seat, combining this with a walk to a forest meadow with streams and waterfalls on the Ivančica mountain. Our purpose will be to align ourselves with the sounds of nature, seeking balance and harmony with them.
The healing power of sound is recognised within ancient wisdom, and the opportunity to take the time to give and receive sound is a sacred gift that is profoundly transformational. Here in this beautiful place of nature we will make a Sacred Sound Healing Circle. We will use our voices to create a Mandala of Sound which will cleanse and balance our individual chakras, as well as bringing healing for those we love and Mother Earth. Together we will give and receive blessings with each other, the mountains, nature, and the Elementals.
Evening session to reflect on the learning of our time in nature.
Monday February 7th: Time to leave…
We will breakfast together and then go our own separate ways……
(NOTE: this itinerary may be subject to change based on factors such as the weather and maximising the quality of walking experience. Our goal in this journey is to take you to natural environments of Northern Croatia that are the most conducive for immersion into nature and oneself.)
Pansion Bernarda is 75 km from Zagreb and a 40-minute drive from the airport https://www.bernarda-tourism.eu/en/
A shuttle to and from the airport, bus/train station can be arranged.
Please bring warm and waterproof clothes for walking, Pansion Bernarda will be warm in the evenings but we will be outside for much of the days. Scarves, hats and gloves will be essential. It will be cold but it will also be so good in the forests to be in the forests at this time of the year.
Getting to Varaždinske Toplice by car: junction 5 of the autoroute E65 leads directly into the old town and there is free parking next to the Pansion Bernarda. The E65 connects directly with the motorway systems of Slovenia, Austria and Hungary and we are not too far away from Italy and Slovakia. As we meet for dinner on the first day and leave after breakfast on the last day, this means you can drive in daylight at any time of the year.
Getting to Varaždinske Toplice by bus or train: there are regular buses and trains to both Zagreb and Varazdin and we can arrange for you to be picked up from the bus/train station.
Getting to Varaždinske Toplice by air: Zagreb has a new airport and a growing number of routes. For example from this year Ryanair has direct flights to the Zagreb from the UK, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Norway, France and Italy. From the airport it is a 40 minute drive to Varaždinske Toplice.
For more information please see our Three Day Walking Retreat Page.