"The seven days of yoga retreat with Jo and her family in Varna were the highlight of my summer!"
"It was a perfect mix of relaxation, inspiration and warm reception in a beautiful environment. Right from the start, I felt most warmly welcomed; the house and the garden are beautiful and cosy; the garden invites to linger and enjoy nature; the swimming pool is perfect to refresh or just to lie in the water and enjoy the view of the lovely trees and flowers around. The Yoga Sessions were brilliant; twice a day on Jo's terrace with a view to the sky, wonderfully guided by Jo's warm and meditative voice. All meals were a feast, starting from self-made granola and many other things in the mornings to Mark's refreshing lunches and excellent dinners in the evening - a pleasure for the eyes and the gum, always including fresh ingredients from the garden. Altogether, I absolutely enjoyed my stay with Jo and her wonderful family and I can recommend this experience full-heartedly to anyone!"
Angelika , Belgium
"peace and renewed energy"
I really enjoyed my stay with Jo and her family. They were nice and friendly and respected their guest's need for space and stillness and were comfortable to be around. We had good talks and laughs. The pool was nice and the food delicious! The yoga was relaxing and well suited for the warm weather. I really feel like I got want I wanted and needed from my week in Tranquil Times Holistic Retreat. Stillness and peace and renewed energy.
Maja, Copenhagen, Denmark
"We are a group of 4 yoga friends who had a lovely one week holiday with Jo, Mark and the boys in July 2016. We stayed in the cottages which were beautifully done out - comfortable mattresses, blankets if needed, decent water pressure and plenty of hot water in the shower etc. Mark's food was wonderful, and Jo is a lovely, warm, friendly host and teacher. We had two sessions a day, mostly yoga but Jo was also very happy to throw in some Tai Chi for beginner’s sessions too. She also took us out on several excursions, which made a nice change. We had gorgeous weather, so the pool was much appreciated too. All in all we had a wonderful stay - highly recommended!"
Christine, Hilarie, Lesley & Tricia UK
I have just come back to the UK after having spent a fabulous week at the Tranquil Times Yoga retreat. I feel so calm, happy and content. I can’t thank Jo, Mark and their boys enough for having made me feel so welcome and comfortable there.
The place is set in rural Bulgaria, surrounded by trees, birds and nature and its best. There’s nothing quite like practising Yoga under the blue skies and with birds chirping around you. Jo’s Yoga classes are easy to follow and Jo is an excellent teacher, always so patient and understanding, and always ready to adapt the practice to your level of ability.
The food is absolutely DELICIOUS and it was definitely one of the highlights of my stay there. The rooms are clean, cosy and very quiet and they foster the best of sleeps.
Thank you so much for the wonderful time I had there. I will never forget you and I will definitely recommend you to all my friends and patients alike.
The location is in a quiet and peaceful place and driving there we passed many fields of gorgeous sunflowers. As we had our evening meal the sun went down and the garden felt quite magical, like a fairy tale. The surroundings immediately relax you and bring you peace. Practising our yoga and qigong on a daily basis, was bliss. So was the food and therapies. I learned so much on this holiday as Jo is a great teacher and I really deepened my understanding of energy work and also about myself.
Thanks to all of you for my amazing holiday in Sadovo. Thanks to Mark for the gorgeous food and thank you for everything else, including the wonderful yoga.
You made me feel like part of your family. See you again xxx
Izabela K, Poland
This is just a short note to thank you for the fabulous time I’ve spent at your wonderful oasis – THANK YOU! All the wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable days and all the fun we’ve had! I was enjoying myself a lot! Guess what: Since my return I’ve managed to start my day with a short yoga session every morning (not exactly 8ish though… ;-). Thanks for everything Kind regards and a big hug!
Tranquil Times is placed in a beautiful, warm, sunny, friendly and quiet spot. The house is surrounded with a paradise garden full of plants, flowers, comfortable sofas near the large swimming pool when you can relax. The accommodation is beautifully done up with all the facilities you may need. The food is delicious using local organic produce. The atmosphere is relaxed, very friendly with lots of laughs, talks and sometimes great live music delivered by Mark. You can improve your health and flexibility with well explained yoga positions and other treatments. Doing the yoga poses in the rising or setting warm sun is a very pleasurable experience. Jo is a very good and passion teacher. Every time I have a pleasure to meet with Jo and Mark in their retreat place I feel happy, relaxed and rejuvenated. I would recommend this place to everyone.
"This was my first trip to Bulgaria and the first time going to a yoga retreat by myself. I arranged that Jo collect me from the airport, reducing the stress of travelling by myself either on public transport or by taxi. Even though my flight was delayed for an hour making my arrival time 2:00 am, I had a lovely welcome and a relaxing journey to the retreat. On arrival, I was shown around my room and facilities, not feeling rushed even though the early hour. The yoga classes have been fantastic, even though a relative beginner, time has been taken to ensure poses and alignment are correct and carried out at a wonderful relaxing pace and the improvement I have made in a week is astonishing. I’m far more supple, have enjoyed every session and felt so very calm especially at the end of the day. While here I’ve had two treatments – Indian Head massage and Aromatherapy massage with Reiki healing, both truly wonderful leaving me a dribbling, serene person not remembering when I have ever felt this way. The accommodation is clean, well equipped and the showers are wonderful! There is a good sized swimming pool and plenty of areas to sit in the shade or sun yourself. The food is cooked so it’s both a pleasure to the eye and also the palate. I have some allergies which have been catered for and I wish Mark would come and live with me so he can cook for me every day! The hosts Jo, Mark and the boys Alex and Jake and their friend Lesley who helps are all very welcoming, friendly without being intrusive and I’ve enjoyed all company. One evening we went to Varna for a stroll and a meal which was a wonderful experience. Highlights – Arriving Low times - Leaving"
Shelia, Wales, UK
Thank you for a lovely stay at your retreat. We both had such a good break and timeout from work and really enjoyed our introduction to Bulgaria.
Looking for a place to take time out and practice yoga we stumbled across Tranquil Times. Set in a beautiful humble surroundings of the Bulgarian countryside Jo and her family have made a small haven away from the busy city world where you will find roaming chickens and some young kittens (if you are lucky) playing in the garden. Nothing was better than waking up in the morning sun a slowly warming up into our yoga poses, then grabbing some ripe and ready hazelnuts from the tree by the terrace for a quick snack. The treatments available help to fully wind down and relax, we recommend the Indian head massage in particular. As well as restful days by the pool we also enjoyed a couple of day trips around Bulgaria taking in a flavour of the local culture. It was like staying with a friend at Jo's and we left feeling rejuvenated and ready to face our home lives. Thank you Jo and the boys, we hope to keep in touch,
Shanta & Fern x London UK
I spent a very nice relaxing week at Tranquil Times resort in July 2014. The family was very welcoming and hospitable. The room was nice & neat and all the food was fresh, local and delicious. I felt like I was eating in a restaurant all week and I enjoyed especially as the kids helped to set up the dinner table in the garden every evening.
Jo's yoga lessons were absolutely amazing. I felt so much better after a week and I have continued to do some of the stretching techniques and relaxing movements at home . Jo also did couple of meditation sessions which I found very relaxing.
Jo and myself both share a passion and interest for healthy nutrition and we had nice chats about it together. I learned from Jo to add tofu into berry smoothie and I have continued to do so at home. I also learned a lot about Bulgarian life & culture and had a chance to visit Varna.
I highly recommend Tranguil Times resort to anyone who is looking for a nice, relaxing and neat yoga resort. I am sure I will be back one day.
Johanna, Helsinki, Finland
My stay at Tranquil Times was wonderful and it felt more like staying with a relative/friend than in a retreat. Jo and her family were super welcoming from the very first sight. The place itself is amazing - my room (I booked a private) was spacious including a modern bathroom with a wonderful rain shower. I absolutely enjoyed sleeping with open window, watching the huge pool and listening to the sounds of nature- jackals, dogs, birds, chickens, cats - HEAVEN! This sound underlined the Yoga outside the terrace. Jo is a very good teacher and made sure that we get the relaxation and flexibility needed. My highlight was the guided meditation which revealed a lot of interesting insights. The food made by Jo's husband Mark was always fresh cooked with healthy ingredients and always super, super tasty. My stay was overall absolutely enjoyable and I would highly recommend this place if you are looking for relaxation, good company with very few people in a family surrounding and a less developed country!
Thanks a lot for this amazing week! Hope to be back soon! Heike, Germany
"helpful and very hospitable"
This was a very relaxing holiday in peaceful countryside but with opportunities to explore the area, particularly the coast, so was ideal for me. Jo and Mark were extremely helpful and very hospitable hosts. I felt very welcome and enjoyed sharing meals with them and their two boys. The fresh produce, home cooking and plentiful breakfasts were great. Although visiting alone I never felt lonely. The pool was lovely for swimming! Jo and Mark speak Bulgarian fluently which was very helpful. They are very knowledgeable about Bulgarian life and culture and this helped me to understand more about the country in the time I was there. Overall I found this a refreshing, relaxing, enjoyable and very interesting holiday.
Jenny, Bristol, UK
We're back... in Berlin. We had two nice days in Varna and Sofia. I miss Sadovo and your little paradise! Thanks a lot for all. We'll send you the pics in the next days.
I wish you a great day, And don't forget ... "deep and nicely" ;)
Best Kinds to all of you Marinka and Thomas, Berlin, Germany
"just what I needed"
Thanks again for making my week at your place so relaxing and special.
My journey home went very smoothly and I had some time to reflect on my week. It was just what I needed :)
So here is my little review for your website:
My week at Tranquil Times Yoga Retreat was wonderful! So relaxing and special, just what I needed! Jo is an excellent Yoga teacher and was very attentive to my special needs during practise and meditation. Every single meal was absolutely tasty and after two yoga classes and swimming in the pool I was always looking forward to the yummy dinners Mark prepared. The whole place was created with great care. My little apartment by the pool had a lovely charm and I felt very much at home there. I also enjoyed the trips down to the beach and to Varna. I wanted to learn a bit about Bulgarian culture and Jo has lots of knowledge that she was happy to share. Overall I can highly recommend staying here! All the best, Isabell
"relaxing yet fulfilling"
A big thank you to you and your family, and Lesley of course, for my week. It was truly a blessing to have such a relaxing yet fulfilling week. I feel I have improved my yoga practice so much (even doing neck rotations on the train!) and really appreciated the personalised advice you gave us. I will miss the food and conversation especially :)Who knows, maybe I shall return next year and see the new barn. : All the best now,
Jennifer, Aberdeen, Scotland
"definitely book again"
I booked to stay at Tranquil Times in May half term this year. Although my flight was delayed 3hrs, Mark was there to bring me to the retreat. My week was just wonderful!!. The food superb & organic as most of the veg came fresh from Jo's garden. The weather very warm mostly 28 - 30c,so I made use of the pool every day. We had a great trip into Varna to the market & a walk in a city sea gardens, to a beach & swam in the Black Sea. The yoga & meditation made me feel healthy & strong again after having a shoulder operation earlier in the year. The accommodation is clean & roomy, I will definitely book again as I loved it!.
I had the most fantastic time at Tranquil Times Retreat. Jo is amazing and a fantastic yoga teacher, no pressure and puts you at your ease.
The whole family are awesome hosts and you really feel part of the family. Mark is also a fantastic chef- you will not go hungry!
After hours of research we chose Tranquil Times because it is a non-corporate retreat run by a family using local resource.The accommodation was excellent - very modern with great facilities. Jo and Mark managed to achieve a great balance of making you feel part of the family but without encroaching on your personal space. Mark prepared most of the meals which were delicious and used local fresh ingredients, many home grown. Jo ran the excellent yoga/tai chi sessions which were tailored to our needs and abilities. Jo and Mark have superb knowledge of Bulgaria and the local areas of interest. One day we walked through beautiful Bulgarian country side, past local goat farmers and their flocks, to a local lake at the Eco Park, where Mark and the boys met us for lunch. We spent another day at a thermal spring at St Constantine known locally for their healing qualities.
I strongly recommend Tranquil Times and Bulgaria as the perfect yoga retreat, in a beautiful country.
Jacalyn M, Edinburgh
"wonderful calming space"
Our accommodation was brilliant and we really enjoyed our stay. Jo & Mark have created a wonderful calming space with a fantastic pool in a beautiful garden. Altogether, a very homely experience with great rooms and spacious facilities.
G.Hall, Sussex, UK
This was a really excellent holiday and the activities and accommodation were a big part of the reason we enjoyed it so much. The weather, food, beaches etc were all fantastic but the personal touch and excellent hospitality offered by Jo and her family made it really special.