The Water Journey
Galicia: Water, Walking, Well-Being
With my (Nancy's) experience as a seasoned walking guide, year-round ocean swimmer and certified breathwork instructor and open water coach, I am excited to share with you an incredible week of disconnection I call The Water Journey. This carefully designed retreat experience will help cultivate a deep sense of connection with yourself, nature and the larger world. The three pillars underlying the tour combine the generative, flowing powers of water, movement and breath - move your body, move your mind, move your spirit.
Joining the Galicia: Water, Walking & Well-Being retreat is bound to be a life changing, life affirming experience. Combining cutting edge science on the therapeutic powers of connecting with nature, breathwork and cold water immersion, we’ve created a unique, small-group, 7-day experience to immerse yourself in the healing and energizing benefits of exposure to water through all of your senses while walking through gorgeous Galicia. The formula is simple: Well-Being = water + nature + walking + breathing + good company + good food!
Life-changing; so much to enjoy in the moments and to take away for always.
Annie, East Brunswick, Australia, June 2023
Water is life, movement and transformation. River, lake, waterfall, ocean, natural spring, tidepool, estuary… Along Galicia’s abundant flowing waterways, we’ll enjoy daily walks while exploring and interacting with different types of water flow. Walking in nature has well-established health benefits for body, mind and spirit as you immerse yourself in the beauty of season, foliage, flowing patterns and healthy air. Exposure to water (or blue spaces) and walking along waterways both increase those benefits for vitality, mood and well-being.
You will also be exposed to the exciting therapeutic powers of cold water immersion in beautiful, natural settings (aka, wild swimming/dipping). Cold water often provokes a very normal knee-jerk “not for me” reaction! Keep in mind that this is not a screaming, stressful, jump in the water swimming holiday but rather a new, gentle, deliberate, healing way to interact with the water through guided, thoughtful immersions at each person’s pace. You may just want to dip your toes. Learning to overcome an initial resistance to “cold water” can be a very powerful tool to carry with you into your daily life that promotes resilience, mental and physical health & well-being and strengthens the nervous, vascular and immune systems.
In daily stretching and breathwork sessions, we’ll learn about the many health benefits associated with becoming ‘conscious breathers’ and you will take home easy, useful, life-long tools for self-healing all of your vital systems. The breath can be a powerful vehicle between mind and body to energize, reset, recover and impact your state of mind. Your breath will come to be like a valued friend and, perhaps even, a trusted helmsman upon whom you can rely when life feels a bit off course or you just would like to pause and re-center.
Location & Dates: Ribeira, Galicia, Spain - 2024: 20-26 May, 18-24 June (7 nights inclusive)
Closest Airport: Santiago de Compostela (airport code: SCQ).
Start Time: 2pm on Day 1: 2024 - 20 May, 18 June
End Time: After breakfast on Day 8: 2024: 27 May, 25 June (7 nights inclusive)
Custom Tours & Groups: Galicia: Water, Walking & Well-Being is available for private group bookings. There is also a specific version designed for women called: The Water Journey: Finding Your Flow. If you have a group of women who would like to share a very special journey together, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tour duration: 7 days & 7 nights
Walking Distance: Around 8km/day
Walking Level: Easy. We will be walking around 8km/4.8mi per day on a daily basis on well-marked trails. Walking surfaces vary considerably from asphalt to sandy beach, to forest track and stone and dirt country lanes to pebbled tractor track. Some of the trails have loose cobblestones on the tracks that can be difficult to navigate and require concentration while walking. The countryside is mostly rural, coastal and forested. Expect rolling hills with some brief ascents/descents of five to ten minutes in length. Walking poles are recommended for the uneven sections.
Each day we'll explore a different type of water, walk around 8km and enjoy sessions of breathwork, stretching and a cold water immersion.
Walking Days: 7 total
Accommodation: Hotel Norat, Ribeira. Situated on the beautiful Rio Azor beach, the hotel will be our base for the week and ideal for our daily dawn immersions in the calm waters of the Ria de Arousa estuary. Within walking distance of town, the hotel also has a pool, restaurant and other services. Web: http://hotelnoratpalmeiraplaya.com/
Group Size: The tour will be limited to a total of 7 people
Weather: In June expect sunny temperate weather with the chance of coastal fog and rain showers during the week. Temperatures range from 15-23C/60-75F.
Water Temperatures & Immersions
Ocean temperatures in June range from 15-18C. River, waterfalls and lagoons can range from 14-20C. Our immersions will range normally from 2-3 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the comfort level of each person. Each person’s body reacts differently to cold water based on many factors: body type, immersion experience, cycle, health. Staying in the water for ‘long periods of time’ is not the goal of the immersions but rather to engage with these different waters on a full sensorial level in order to listen to and feel their wisdom. Breath work practices will be integrated into the cold water immersions to enhance awareness, work through layers of resistance that can be present when faced with the cold and to make the engagement a very conscious practice, like a form of meditation.
Due to weather conditions or other unexpected situations that could arise, it may be necessary to change or adapt the itinerary to the current reality.
What Tour is Not
The Water, Walking & Well-Being tour is not swimming instruction nor is it a swimming holiday where swimming distances is the focus of the experience. We will be immersing our bodies in the water, floating and doing light swimming in safe conditions.
*It is a basic requirement of participation to know how to swim before the tour begins.
*It is not necessary to have experience swimming/immersing in any of these bodies of water before coming.
*It is important to be prepared mentally and physically for the normal risks, adversity and hazards of accessing wild swimming spots such as hiking on uneven trails (maximum 8km) with bushes and brambles, sand getting in everything, rain, and slippery rocks around rivers, waterfalls and tide pools.
*Being aware that we will be immersing in cold ocean and fresh water wild swim spots.
What is and isn’t included: Accommodations (double occupancy), all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) each day, except 3 dinners (Days 2, 4 and 6) and one lunch, all entry fees, pre-departure information, experienced guides, and support vehicle. Jose and Nancy will accompany the group. All transport is included from start to finish as outlined in the itinerary. Daily breathwork and stretching sessions, walks, and cold water immersion sessions are included
Tour does not include: Airfare to Spain is not included nor is insurance or transportation to and from the start/end point Ribeira, Spain. Personal amenities such as drinks and snacks at end of walks or in free time are not included.
Price: May - Single occupancy in sea view room - 2150E
Double occupancy in sea view room - 1950E
June - Single occupancy in sea view room - 2350E
Double occupancy in sea view room - 2150E
Non-participating companion in double room: 450E - May 600E - June
Water, Walking & Well-Being: Finding Your Flow
Days 1-7 we will be taking a ‘water journey’ following the water cycle exploring and immersing ourselves in different types of water, opening up all of our senses to the water, experiencing its many different states of being, and reflecting on the vast wisdom, moods and lessons it offers. Experiencing how water flows and changes can also be an access point to our own inner sense of flow and/or blockage/stagnation and this experience can be a healing, soothing, opening, joyful and transformative journey. It’s both an individual and group experience as we enjoy the marvelous benefits that the water offers us in body and mind within ourselves while at the same time the joy of sharing the beauty, thrill and wonder of water with others. The three pillars underlying the tour combine the generative, flowing powers of water, movement and breath - move your body, move your mind, move your spirit.
Each day we will be walking (around 8km/5mi) along waterways (river, estuary, coast) and incorporate the daily immersions into the walks. As we walk along the water, expect to stop to do a breathwork session with a guided visualization reflecting on some aspect of that particular water source. Time for journaling about your experiences will also be incorporated into our daily walks and immersions as well as later in your free time, as you wish. It is not necessary to have previous experience in breathwork or cold water immersion to benefit from the well-being.
Days 2-7 will start with a cold water immersion at dawn in the beautiful bay adjacent to the hotel to greet the new day accompanied by stretching, movement and breathwork as part of the process of developing a deliberate, healing way to interact with the water through guided, thoughtful entries at each person’s pace. After the immersion breakfast on your own will follow.
After each day’s walk and immersion you will have afternoon free time to explore, rest, journal, etc. Some evenings we meet for dinner and some you have on your own.
Day 8 – Departures on your own after breakfast
Meals: Days 2-8 all breakfast and healthy picnic lunches sourced locally (except one lunch on your own, mid-walk in coastal village). Dinners are included as a group on nights 1, 3, 5, 7 and you’re free to explore on your own the other evenings at the hotel or local restaurants within walking distance. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies.
The preparation, knowledge and effectiveness was magical. You took so much care, and provided so much of yourselves that it was very humbling. I felt supported, backed up, respected, protected and holistically strengthened and enhanced. You generously shared your knowledge about the flora and fauna, the local neighbourhood and I am very appreciative. I felt my best self xx
Diane, Melbourne, Australia, June 2023
I score the total experience a robust and hearty 10+. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and caring went beyond the best expectations. The planning, timing, support, flexibility and food were all excellent. The river was my favorite until the cascada which thrilled me beyond anything I would have imagined. I returned home from this journey with a heightened sense of well being. A great gift!
Cori, Malibu, California, USA, June 2023
If anyone knew the absolute dread and fear I felt at even the mention of "cold water immersion," they would never believe my beaming smile, elation and sense of accomplishment after Nancy guided me through my first, exhilarating cold water swim.
Susan, Nov 22, Tenerife
[Nancy] your breathwork sessions nourished my soul, were healing and enriched me and my trip. You are a very caring, supportive and kind person. Thank you.
Maggie, Sept 22, Camino de Santiago