A Stretch in the Sun, Arosmari Village Hotel Greece, Crete

A week to treat yourself, from 20 to 27 September, 2016

This fantastic holiday experience has now sold out, but due to its popularity, we're now running the programme for a second week at the GK Beach Hotel, which offers one of the finest beachside locations in our Greece Collection.

Relax, shape up and rediscover your youthful vitality… That’s what A Stretch in the Sun, Arosmari is all about – a week long programme in a peaceful village hotel to teach you the body-changing, if not life changing techniques of Method Putkisto at a very special introductory price.

Suitable for couples, individuals, young and old, the Method, created by Marja Putkisto, is based on slow, deep stretching which allows the body to realign. The result is more flexibility and freedom of movement; relief from joint pain, a trimmer, more youthful body shape and a natural facelift, all from one simple exercise routine!

And to make it even more appealing, A Stretch In the Sun, Arosmari is being held in the lovely Arosmari Village Hotel, in the heart of Vamos – a peaceful oasis with accommodation in one of ten charming stone cottages. Breakfasts are home-cooked and organic and there’ll be plenty of time for massages, swimming in the pool, steam baths and country walks to help banish any lingering knots of tension and stress. You’ll also have the chance to explore your surroundings, visit the local tavernas or take a drive to historic Chania, just 25km away.

More about Marja, the creator of Method Putkisto

Born with a hip out of place, Marja Putkisto spent the first year of her life in a cast and, even after 15 years of ballet classes, she remained what she describes as an ‘ungifted mover’ with ongoing hip and postural problems.

However, when she was just 25, whilst working as a movement and dance teacher at the Sibelius Academy and Finnish National Opera, she took matters into her own hands. She’d had enough of waiting for doctors to diagnose what was going on with her body and had strong sense that her muscles were simply too short. If she could open them up, her bone structure would be able to fall back into optimum alignment. A little like pulling everything apart and putting it back together again, the right way.

And so Method Putkisto, a deep, dynamic, precise stretching process, was born and although it’s evolved in the 30 years since, and benefitted from the scientific input of one of the world’s leading physiologists, Professor Esko Mälkiä, the original premise remains intact.

Today, Marja, an international ambassador for the Method, is full of vitality, animation and humour – and the gift that she gave herself is a gift she now takes great pleasure in sharing:

“I love the change I see in people, the freedom they find in their body. People light up and become more confident. The less you trust your body, the more energy it takes away from you and your ability to interact fully with life. When you stop being afraid of the body and start understanding it, which is what Method Putkisto is about, everything changes. Rather than you dragging your body around, it holds you and getting older becomes much less of a challenge.”

Method Putkisto Institute, is now recognised as one of the leading bodywork and movement schools in Finland and includes ten studios in Helsinki, 70 full-time instructors and a studio in Richmond, London too.

What is Method Putkisto?

Muscle tightness and shortness force our body out of alignment. The Method Putkisto, created by Marja Putkisto, uses slow, precise exercises to stretch these tight, short muscles and, by simultaneously stabilising the core muscles and activating the breath, it realigns the body and helps it return to its neutral, balanced position.

There are a number of simple movements, such as walking, that form the basis for everything we do. The Method helps you analyse them and iron out any issues, giving you a firm foundation on which to build. With more self awareness, combined with increased inner strength and flexibility, you’ll be able to move more freely and in a way that’s much safer for the body.

What will you get out of it?

With regular practice, you can expect:
• Freedom of movement for life
• Improved flexibility and co-ordination
• Stronger core muscles
• Better posture and body alignment
• An uplifting face and body workout
• A trimmer, more youthful body shape
• More energy and vitality
• A deeper understanding of how your body works

The week at Arosmari will give you a toolkit of exercises that you can use to continue the practice independently when you get home (although classes are available if you’d like to delve deeper).

You’ll find all the details on Marja’s website at methodputkisto.com/uk.

Who's it for?

The beauty of the Method is that it can be tailored to fit, so you can expect young and old, men and women, from top athletes to those just starting a health and fitness routine. It’s also completely non-competitive. So come with an open mind – and a sense humour!

I've had an operation/bad back/injury. Can I take part?

Method Putkisto is great for rehabilitation after injury and operations and for alleviating back and joint pain. However, as with any new exercise, if you’re in any doubt, check with your doctor or physiotherapist before starting. You’ll also be sent a full medical questionnaire before the holiday.

Marja also has fully-qualified assistants who can offer you extra support if you need it.

What are the classes like?

The average class lasts 90 minutes and everyone can work at their own pace, as getting to know your body and how it works is a uniquely personal experience. However, Marja takes a hands-on approach, and is likely to make gentle adjustments to your body so you can get the full benefit of the exercises.

The groups are small and depending on numbers, Marja will have assistants with her – qualified MP teachers to be her extra eyes and ears, answer any questions and ensure everyone is happy.

What should I wear?

Bring comfortable loose clothing that you can move easily in. You won’t need shoes for mat-work classes.

How does it differ from Pilates?

Pilates works FROM the core, the ‘powerhouse’ of the body, and co-ordinates movement through it. Method Putkisto’s primary focus is stretching and elongating the muscles allowing the bone structure to fall back to its neutral position. Whereas Pilates offers a structure for movement, MP relates to your own unique structure and helps you understand why you move the way you do and how to do it more effectively and with less stress on the body. However, it is a beautiful complement to Pilates and many MP teachers are also Pilates teachers.

How does it differ from yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice based on harmonising mind, body and spirit – a system using breathing, postures and meditation. Method Putkisto has a different starting point, promoting freedom of movement and increased awareness and understanding of how the body works best for each individual. For yoga practitioners, it offers a deeper understanding of the structure of the body, going back to the basics of movement, which applies to everything you do in life, on and off the yoga mat.

Is the Method easy to do on my own, outside of classes?

Yes – if you can’t make the classes and workshops in London, there’s a 30-day programme you can follow by yourself, available on DVD and in a book.


Your programme for the week, 20-27 September

A Stretch in the Sun is about feeling good in body, mind and spirit, and we’ve created a week that nurtures all three. It’s a chance to eat well, sleep well and relax completely between classes, as well as getting to know this lovely corner of Western Crete and making it your own.

20 Sept

Departure from London Gatwick
Arrival in Chania, Crete
  You’ll be greeted by the Simpson Travel team and taken to the Arosmari Village Hotel, where there'll be light refreshments to welcome you. The afternoon is free for you to unwind, unpack and explore your new surroundings.
  18:00 onwards Welcome Dinner:
A chance to meet Marja Putkisto and your host at Arosmari, Nikos, and our Simpson Travel representatives, Susan and Mike.
21 Sept
07:00 - 09:00 Method Putkisto Session
09:30 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 12:00 Vamos Walking Tour
12:00 - 17:00 Free
17:00 - 19:00 Method Putkisto Session
19:00 onwards Free Evening
22 Sept
07:00 - 09:00 Method Putkisto Session
09:30 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 17:00 Free
17:00 - 19:00 Method Putkisto Session
19:00 onwards Free Evening
23 Sept
07:00 - 09:00 Method Putkisto Session
09:30 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 17:00 Free
17:00 - 19:00 Method Putkisto Session
19:00 onwards Free Evening
24 Sept
07:00 - 09:30 Breakfast
09:30 - 16:00 Free
16:00 - 19:00 Chania City Tour
19:00 - 22:00 Hosted Dinner
25 Sept
07:00 - 09:00 Method Putkisto Session
09:30 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 17:00 Free
17:00 - 19:00 Method Putkisto Session
19:00 onwards Free Evening
26 Sept
07:00 - 09:00 Method Putkisto Session
09:30 - 10:30 Breakfast
10:30 - 17:00 Free
17:00 - 19:00 Method Putkisto Session
19:00 onwards Free Evening
27 Sept 08:00 - 09:30 Breakfast
11:15 - 12:15 Departure from Chania Airport – UK guests
14:40 Flights departing Chania Airport
16:35 Flights arrive at London Gatwick

* We reserve the right to make changes to any part of this programme should it be required for any reason.


Arosmari Village Hotel

With each of its ten stone cottages named after a fragrant herb, the Arosmari Village Hotel has its roots planted firmly in the traditions of rural Crete. Surrounded by trees offering welcome shade in the heat of summer, it’s a peaceful oasis with village streets passing through it and the occasional goat wandering by. The communal area, at the heart of hotel life, is paved around the pool and chillout area and, down a level, there’s a spacious grassy area with an original stone threshing circle, a little chapel, an original shepherd’s hut and an amphitheatre, built by Nikos, the warm-hearted owner – a testament to his passion for music. There are concerts once a week from June to September.

Walking, eating and relaxing are the order of the day and with its reading room, homemade organic breakfasts, massages and steam baths, if you’re seeking blissful switch off, you need go no further. Vamos has tavernas, coffee bars and a patisserie – in fact everything you need. There’s even a cocktail bar, and it’s as pleasingly far from flashy as you can imagine. However if you have a car and the inclination, there’s a winery nearby for wine tasting and the Venetian harbour and Old Town of Chania just 25km away.

Find out more about the Arosmari Village Hotel.

The people who'll be looking after you

Marja Putkisto, the creator of Method Putkisto

"I was lucky enough to be brought up surrounded by forests with views of the sea, and being in a natural environment is very important to me. Over the last ten years in particular, I've seen a change, with more and more of us leading a 'two dimensional' life, through phones, televisions and computers. The Method Putkisto, which I created 30 years ago, is fantastic at helping people connect with their environment and their bodies again  and, in the process, learn how to move more freely and easily, ease physical aches and pains and rediscover their vitality." Find out more about Marja.




Mike Scott, our local representative

"I first came to Crete in 1999 with my wife, Trish, and stayed in Vamos. We returned every year until, in 2003 we both took a break from our stressful jobs and never went back. I love the kaleidoscopic landscape of the White Mountains, so when a plot of land came up for sale in neighbouring Kaina, we snapped it up, selling our home in Twickenham and building a new one here. This is a place where people have time for each other. Everyone knows where their food come from, in part because they grow and tend to their own. It’s a healthier lifestyle. People come home from work and milk their goats or prune their olive trees or clip back their grape vines."

"I do the gardening at Arosmari. I’m particularly proud of the herb garden I’ve created outside the massage room – a herbaceous waiting room for people to enjoy before their treatment! I’m also the one behind Arosmari’s recycling initiative – I pick up the bags from each of the cottages and make sure that all the bottles of wine we buy from the local winery are returned. It’s a small community, so we all help to support it."


Susan Johnson, Concierge at Arosmari Village Hotel

"I settled in Crete more than 25 years ago and have been living in Vamos for the last five. I love this friendly village and with so many guests returning to Arosmari year after year, it feels like extended family coming back to visit! If you’ve been away, it takes minutes for the relaxation to set in again and for anyone with a more spiritual approach to life, you’ll find something to connect with here, whether that’s in the peaceful natural environment or the 50 little candles that we light at twilight which twinkle in the darkness. And then of course there’s the food – organic and homemade. It’s the perfect place for a group to come together and enjoy the classes, our massage room and the traditional domed steam bath, and whether you stay in the local area or go further afield into Chania and Rethymnon, you can set the pace."


Nikos, the owner of Arosmari Village Hotel

This shy, quiet man will do anything for his guests and he and his mother are never short of a warm smile and friendly welcome. Once a week, you can also see him playing the keyboards in the amphitheatre he built himself. Vamos has a history of music going back to the 1960s and, together with his band, Nikos keeps the local tradition of Greek blues and folksongs alive with concerts that make the most of the warm summer evenings.

In the mid 1990s, Nikos set up a business dedicated to bringing new life to the village he loved. The young people were leaving Vamos for Athens and Chania and he wanted to give them a reason to return by encouraging its renovation. Leading by example, he transformed two cottages opposite his family home and then another two – and Arosmari was born. And today, it’s the tourists who come here that keep it alive, and the local shops, tavernas and local producers thriving.


Details & Prices

We’ve made the sun-filled path to a fitter, healthier body easy with a package that allows you to make the most of your beautifully peaceful West Crete destination – and Marja Putkisto’s 30 years of body wisdom and experience.

And as A Stretch in the Sun is a Simpson Travel first, we're offering it at a very special introductory price, making it excellent value too.

The holiday includes

  • Flights with Easyjet from London Gatwick to Chania
    Outbound: Tue 20 Sept, 8.00 - 13.55 (Gatwick to Chania)
    Return: Tue 27 Sept, 14.40 - 16.35 (Chania to Gatwick)
  • Seven nights' accommodation at the Arosmari Village Hotel
  • Transfers to and from the Arosmari Village Hotel
  • Refreshments and snacks on arrival
  • Ten 90-minute Method Putkisto sessions
  • A copy of Marja's book, The Body Lean & Lifted
  • All breakfasts
  • Two hosted dinners with wine
  • Chania tour and dinner
  • Vamos tour

Prices for guests travelling from the UK

Property Price Capacity
Bay Cottage  SOLD £995 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Basil Cottage  SOLD £995 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Oregano Cottage  SOLD £995 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Fennel Cottage  SOLD £1,095 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Mint Cottage  SOLD £1,095 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Lavender Cottage SOLD £1,095 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Camomile Cottage  SOLD £1,195 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2-3
Thyme Cottage  SOLD £1,195 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Rosemary Cottage  SOLD £1,195 per person (based on 2 sharing) Sleeps 2
Arugula Cottage  SOLD £1,500 / £1,317 per person (based on 2 / 4 sharing) Sleeps 2-4

There is a single person supplement of £300.