News and Updates

Brexit and how it affects your travel

2018 - for those of you already registered for summer 2018 and beyond please  be aware that the venue may increase their costs to us for next season due to exchange rate changes and if this happens we will, sadly, have to pass the increase on to you. We would expect the increases to be minimal.

Some prices have risen due to exchange rates - sorry!

Updates - flight delays


My flight has been delayed. Can I get compensation?

Check the Citizens advice website for detailed information by following this link

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/holiday-cancellations-and-compensation/if-your-flights-delayed-or-cancelled/

Also read the following

Airlines don't have to pay out for delays caused by snow because weather is classified as an "extraordinary circumstance" – though some airlines may issue a refund at their discretion. For those of you flying to India you are almost certainly on a non EU airline so contact them direct to see exactly what you are entitled to.

According to Which magazine you can challenge your airline if you don't agree there were extraordinary circumstances – for example, if you are told you can't fly due to the snow, but other flights are departing. "Airlines may stretch the definition of extraordinary circumstances further than they should."

Which Magazine  states:-

If the delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances you will be entitled to compensation under EU rules, but only if you are flying with an airline based in the EU or with a non-EU-based airline flying from an EU airport, and only if the delay is for two hours or more. If you are flying somewhere else or with a non-EU-based airline not flying from the EU you'll have to check that carrier's terms and conditions.

If you are delayed for two hours or more you are entitled to: two free phone calls, faxes or e-mails; free food and drinks; and free hotel accommodation if you need to stay overnight.

If your flight arrives at its destination three hours or more late you will receive compensation of between €250 and €600, depending on how far your flight takes you. So you'll get €250 if your three hour-delayed flight travels 1,500km or less (ie, London to Amsterdam), but €600 if your plane is delayed by four hours or more and travels at least 3,500km (ie, London to Sydney).

My flight has been cancelled. Will I get my money back?

If your flight is cancelled you should be offered either a refund or an alternative flight to your original destination.

For compensation you will have to look to the EU rules again, though if the delay is caused by snow – and thus an extraordinary circumstance – you might not get anything. If you are covered by EU regulations you will be entitled to travel assistance (such as help with rebooking for a later date) as well as meals and accommodation etc. Check the official EU website for more on your rights.

Call to book: 01273 564230

Welcome to Free Spirit Travel, UK's leading provider of yoga holidays

Casa Benedetto, Ischia

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  • 2018

    From £505

    An economical new venue on this beautiful island - new for 2017

This is our new venue on the beautiful thermal island of Ischia; we have chosen this venue specifically for its location, to allow you the delights of this part of the island at an affordable price.

A small family run guest house - expect simple en-suite rooms and home cooked food - chosen especially as our budget option for this expensive part of the island.

Whilst there is no swimming pool it is less than a 10 minute downhill walk from a volcanic sand beach with crystal clear waters, sunbeds and a small beach cafe.

  

Yoga takes place in the breakfast room which is fully equipped with bolsters, yoga mats and yoga bricks. 

We are the only guests

The venue will be for the exclusive use of the yoga group and will take a maximum of 12 participants in the yoga space.

This is true Italy and we know you will enjoy it.

Casa Benedetto is situated in a cobbled side street in charming Succhivo, a small village.  It is close to famous St'Angelo with its picturesque narrow streets and lanes and high-fashion boutiques - you may either walk there or take the bus from the nearby bus stop..

It is also close to the Thermal Gardens (5 - 10 minutes walk) where you can relax in the hot thermal springs and have beauty treatments and massages.

Casa Benedetto has a small garden with kiwi vines, flowers and  lemon trees. To one side is a small vineyard. The upstairs terrace looks out across the roof-tops to  the sea

Five minutes walk downhill is the small beach 'Cava Grado'. Like the majority of beaches on the island it is at the bottom of the cliff, with steps leading down. Please talk to us if you have mobility issues.

Close by is the famous Sorgeto Bay, with its thermal hot springs coming from the seabed at a temperature of 90c degrees. 

A bus pass for the island is less than 15 euros per week and the buses are very frequent, circling the coast in both directions until late in the evening. Perfect for those of you who love to get out and about.

Please note that this is a family run guest house, not a purpose built yoga venue.

 

 

 

This year our yoga classes will take place in the converted breakfast room in the house.

All yoga equipment is provided.

All bedrooms are en-suite

There are six rooms each with a double bed - sold as single rooms unless requested by a couple

and three rooms with both a double bed and a single bed - normally sold as shared rooms.

Two of the rooms do not have views as they are situated in the hotel alley, these are sold last. All the rooms are different.

Food is home cooked and vegetarian.  A fish option will be offered on some evenings providing the yoga teacher agrees. Dinner is normally a salad/soup followed by risotto/pasta and then a vegetarian dish. The vegetables and salad are grown on the owners small-holding nearby.

If you have a special diet please talk to us before booking as these can be difficult to cater for because items we are used to in the UK are not always easily available. We may ask you take some items with you, or suggest an alternative venue.

Includes

Accommodation, breakfast, 6 evening meals and 10 yoga classes

Not Included

Flights, transfers, treatments, lunch and snacks, all bottled water, teas and coffee, treatments and excursions

 

Flights

You will need a flight to Naples, from there you will be met and transferred to the venue.

For the arrival flight:  do not book a flight that arrives after 20.00 as the last ferry is at 22.00  and you need half an hour to reach the port by taxi.

For the return flight:  book flights after 11 am as the first ferry off the island is at 06.30

 

Transfers

Group transfers are 40 euros per person each way (including the ferry) payable locally.

Private transfers are from 70 euros each way (including the ferry) payable locally

The transfer, including the ferry, will take between two and two and a half hours.

Please Note: It is sometimes possible to arrange taxi collection from Naples Train Station. We can also arrange taxi collection from one of the Ischia ports providing you know in advance which ferry and port you are arriving at - useful for those coming from Sorrento or Capri

 

Arrival

Departure Yoga Teacher Sharing Single
2019          
18 May 25 May Hatha Flow & Restorative Yoga Catherine Gallagher £500 £600
25 May 1 Jun Iyengar Yoga Jenny Furby £490 £590
1 Jun 8 Jun Hatha Yoga Andrea Cook £480 £580
8 Jun 15 Jun Flowing Yoga Kathryn Banks £490 £590
15 Jun 22 Jun Iyengar Yoga Margaret Rawlinson £520 £620
22 Jun 29 Jun Vinyasa Flow & Hatha Yoga Emma Conally-Barklem £500 £600
29 Jun 6 Jul Hatha Yoga Suzanna Brander £480 £580
7 Sep 14 Sep Hatha Yoga Helen Barker £525 £625
14 Sep 21 Sep Iyengar Yoga Adrienne Riel £480 £580
21 Sep 28 Sep Soul Connecting Yoga Laurie Blair £480 £580
28 Sep 5 Oct Hatha Flow Yoga Lorna Chapman £490 £590

 

Hello Jilly and Debbie, Wow what a week  Catherine was truly Amazing and I have never ever gone away on a yoga retreat on my own.. the most amazing experience of my life .. Please can I book again for the above date .. and let me know how much the deposit will be and I will pay right away .. please can I have a double room with Balcony and sun beds .. I think it might be Room one if not already booked .. Thank you so much for all your support and Catherine being such an amazing Teacher ..

Lastly ... Pina , Michele and his brother were so accommodating with everything.. you could not ask for such a beautiful family who equally made this holiday to be amazing! Everything you need and wanted was no trouble... Hence why I want to go back .. so please please book my room .. I wanted to send you this Video just to let you know how lovely Michele was ...

I have never been away from my Husband in all our years of Marriage.. and he was the one that wanted me to go .. truly Magical!!Catherine ... worked so so hard to make everything happen and the yoga practices were truly out of this world.. and as for the other people on the group.. well we all connected.. I will never forget this amazing journey that I have been on !! Thank you so so much

Laura - Catherine Gallagher September 2018

 

Dear Debbie,   Returned last weekend from a fabulous week at Casa Benedetto in Ischia. I confess I have had serious post holiday blues since then. Ischia is so so beautiful and there is more to do and see there than we could fit into one week. The venue is simple and perfectly lovely - rooms are basic but comfortable and clean, and the hosts are friendly and keen to help with anything they can. Food was fresh, local (often Home grown by the hosts) and absolutely delicious.  All in all you do feel like you are experiencing proper Italy.  Lorna Chapman is a lovely, patient and brilliant yoga teacher who adapted the classes to be suitable for all levels at once. She is so encouraging and supportive (literally supportive when helping me do my first ever headstand!).  The whole group were lovely and all bonded and got on brilliantly and we've come away sun kissed and relaxed with new friends, a love of Ischia and a desire to go back.  Thank you.

Annabel Smith xx - Lorna Chapman July 2018

 

Hi Debbie, We are back from a wonderful yoga holiday at Casa Benedetta with Lorna Chapman. The venue was lovely and the food was home cooked and delicious. Michaela and his family were so friendly and helpful. Lorna was a skillful and inspiring teacher and we loved her yoga. We think it would be a good idea to advise people to take wet suit shoes to protect feet getting in and out of the water and to take midge spray. Thank you for facilitating an amazing and unforgettable experience! We have come home sunkissed and relaxed with new friends and wonderful memories.

 Lucy - Lorna Chapman July 2018

 

We had a wonderful week. The yoga was great, just the right level for us all with lots of options for different levels. Lorna is a fantastic teacher and also great fun. The mornings were more dynamic and in the evenings we had a relaxing practice. Each day was different and Lorna had put a lot of thought into each class. The yoga equipment is very good and clean too.

The venue was perfect. Rooms were clean and simple. The rooftop terrace and shower were amazing. Fabulous views over the bay as you shower! Food was delicious and plentiful, magical sitting outside under the kiwi vines. San Angelo is a lovely little place with lots of great ice cream!

We found a brillliant snorkelling spot from the big rock in San Angelo. It was just like being in an aquarium. It would be a good idea to suggest people bring shoes for getting in and out of the water on the rocks if they enjoy swimming and snorkelling. We also had a great walk up the mountain and a beautiful boat trip around the island, swimming from the boat, arranged by Michele. A couple of people did stand up paddle boarding which was fun. Sorgetto beach with the hot springs made a great day out too.

We all got on so well and were very sad to leave all our new friends. I feel rejuvenated and relaxed after the week.

Thanks for a great holiday! We will be back!

Catherine - Lorna Chapman July 2018

 

Dear Jilly, it was a great week which I would highly recommend.  I was very worried about going in case there were too many heights involved but I was fine with the steps to the beaches and really glad I decided to go

Best wishes, Gabrielle - Bella Somerville September 2017

 

Dear Bella I just wanted to take the time to write a proper thank you for our wonderful trip. It's been the best holiday tonic and I can truly say I've experienced some of the best yoga ever. Needless to say, it was more than a pleasure to meet both you and Gabby. For now, back to the Monday blues (!) and to say I hope to see you again in the not too distant future.

Lots of love and namaste Michelle - Bella Somerville September 2017

 

I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful Yoga holiday I had with Bella in Ischia.   Her yoga as always was inventive, stimulating and sensitive to all the Yogi's on the holiday. Her passion to make the holiday (we call it a holiday rather than a retreat!) a wonderful experience for all of us, was embraced by open arms by the Yogi's.  The group bonded extremely well and we spent most of the time in each other's company.  The hotel with Michele as our main point of contact was perfect for this week - he looked after us very well. The food (delicious), accommodation (simple but clean) and surrounds ...breath taking ... were a delight

Thank you! Lisa Baderoon - September 2017

 

 

I recently came back from the yoga holiday to the stunning Italian island Ischia. Our teacher Helen Barker guided us through a gentle Hatha yoga session including guided meditation twice daily, which was very suitable for the hot weather.

We stayed at Casa Bennedeto with Michele and his team looking after us. They went out of their way to make it the most enjoyable and positive stay with them. Nothing was too much trouble and each night a four course vegetarian meal was served - the food was amazing! Michele and his assistant Daniel took us up a volcano one day, such a great day out for us all.

Michele also organised a day trip to Capri for 5 of us - a day I will cherish forever.

The thermal spa just down the road from the hotel is well worth a visit - I personally went there three times, it was that good.

I can highly recommend this trip and venue - you will simply love it

Best regards Inga - July 2017 with Helen Barker

 

Absolutely Brilliant!

Pam - July 2017 with Helen Barker

 

Wonderful in all respects, but in more detail:

Transfers - excellent, minimum delay, 2 taxis and the ferry crossing each way.  The drivers did all they could for guests and managed the ferry connections extremely well

Hotel - ideal location, quiet and up to standard as a simple family run business. 

Manager/owner Michele couldn't have done more to ensure that all requests were met.  Also he was particularly sensitive to the needs of a yoga group - never put us under time pressure, put the yoga sessions first and enabled us to focus on classes.  His assistant Danielli was a (modest) star particularly in assisting one of the guests down from the volcano summit.  Rooms well furnished and clean; public areas were shady and cool in conditions of intense heat.

Food - splendid, fresh, well-cooked, prepared and good variety.  Too generous, but we could have said no - we didn't!

Yoga Classes:  excellent venue (again, cool in extreme heat), excellent equipment, especially the bolsters which we'd never seen before.  Shakti Bhakti: excellent as ever, gave free oil treatments.

General Location: as good as any we've experienced for a yoga holiday, peaceful, yet close enough to beaches, buses, taxis and villages, with good general facilities.

Excursions:  Only did the trip to volcano (Mt Epomeo) - exceptionally good value, spectacular scenery and professionally led by Michele, supported by Danielli.  Michelle assisted in organising a group trip to Capri which half a dozen other guests really enjoyed. 

Overall, this was a well organised tour, in a good location at an ideal, family run hotel.  Well done,    

Ros and Dave Wrightson -  July 2017 Helen Barker

 

Dear Jilly, just to let you know.... I attended the above with Marnie recently. It was a fabulous week of yoga coupled with a great group of people. Although there were different personalities and abilities in the group Marnie held us together beautifully. She displayed super professional behaviour and really strong leadership. She managed to create a balance between achievement and fun which is not an easy task. Her classes were both challenging and accommodating of different levels of experience which made the whole week a really positive and uplifting experience for me.I'm first on the list for her next retreat.
Regards June - May 2017 with Marnie Sullivan

 

This was a truly fabulous retreat, set in a  beautiful loction where there are lots of options for things to do . Michaela and family  are lovely hosts and the place has a very relaxed atmosphere, he was very accommodating providing a fun film night, suggestions for days out and organising a really lovely mountain walk and meal.

Both the morning and afternoon  yoga sessions  were amazing, Marnie (Sullivan)  is a marvelous teacher who delivers sessions which work fabulously  for those
new to yoga and for the more experienced. I felt incredibly energised at the end of the week.  A hearty healthy post yoga breakfast is provided which was lovely. There was also an evening meal served each night after the afternoon yoga, the pasta options at these meals were particularly delicious.  We all really enjoyed vistiing the nearby beaches and exploring the lovely town of Sant Angelo. The accommodation at Casa Benedetto was quite basic, which we expected but certainly adequate and
comfortable and very good value for money.
This was a truly wonderful yoga holiday will excellent yoga sessions and a lovely location, I will certainly be booking another yoga retreat with Marnie.

Janet  - May 2017 with Marnie Sulivan