Meditative melting pot
We expect hundreds of participants from different continents. This will be the perfect opportunity to build Acem communities across borders, a melting pot for meditators from various cultures.
You will be met at the airport in the capital Sofia and taken by bus to the retreat site at a minor extra cost. The younger part of the crowd partly follows their own program and stay at their own hotel.
We will have plenty of time for self-exploration in long meditations followed by guidance in small groups led by experienced meditation guides. There will be opportunities for doing yoga together every day, as well as other forms of bodily expression. We can choose from several parallel workshops. And the social dynamics will make it easy to feel at home, and to get to know people from widely different backgrounds.
The evening seminars will be held by Are Holen, who founded Acem in 1966 and who now serves as chief lecturer and training supervisor in Acem International. The seminars are based in part on questions and other input from retreat participants.
Five star luxury
We will be staying in luxurious hotels in the ski resort Pamporovo, at an altitude of 1650 meters: the recently renovated Hotel Perelik (five stars), Hotel Orlovetz (five stars), Hotel Orpheus (four stars), and Hotel Dafovska (three stars), all in close proximity to each other. We use double rooms with ensuite bathrooms as single rooms and multi-room apartments as double rooms, with plenty of space for yoga and meditation. We will be served high-class lacto-vegetarian food, partly based on local food traditions. The lecture hall and meeting rooms are of a very high standard and are very suitable for our purposes.
The retreat area is surrounded by roads and paths for afternoon and evening strolls. All hotels have full access to fitness equipment, and all participants have access to a 25-meter swimming pool in Hotel Perelik. A year-round lift can take us up to 2000 meters in altitude, with wide views of the area. A short kilometer from the hotels lies the local Orthodox Church.
Good holiday opportunities
The place offers countless opportunities for holiday stays before or after the retreat. You can choose well-known holiday destinations on the Black Sea coast or in Greece. But you can also choose to stay in southern Bulgaria. Just an hour's drive from the retreat is the country's second largest city Plovdiv, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2019 and is Europe's oldest city, dating back to the 6th millennium BC, full of historical memories of the Thracians, Romans, Byzantine Christianity, Ottoman Islam and modern times, including the communist era. The 2000-year old Roman amphitheatre still hosts concerts and other performances.
In addition to the Rhodope Mountains, southern Bulgaria also boasts two other beautiful mountain areas, the Pirin Mountains and the Rila Mountains. All three mountain areas have large historic monastery facilities and extremely beautiful scenery.