Enjoy Life Fully – Istria learning Getaway throwback

"Enjoy Life Fully" Learning Getaway

A throwback to our 8 days of learning about mindfulness, while savouring good moments in the heart of Istria

This is how  Istria Getaway 202 on looked liked – if you are curious about the new Getaway plans for 2024 and considering joining us – check Istria Getaway happening in September 2024.

“Enjoy Life Fully” learning getaway by Happiness Academy was 8 days exploring topics of mindfulness and savouring, immersed in a stunning nature, in a company of 11 amazing co-explorers. 

It was highly indivisualised experience for participants with main goal for them to discover many valuable, practical, science-based tools in an immersive, engaging way – with the main focus of applying those tools to living (even) more enjoyable and fulfilled life. 

The week was all about learning about mindfulness, different tools, and techniques which can help us living our everyday life with more mindfulness, enjoyments, and satisfaction.

With 3 hours of engaging and insightful workshops in the morning, the program has been rich in learning and discovering tools from the science of positive psychology. 

Afternoons were reserved for a lot of new experiences and activities where we put learning to practice. 

Meeting new people, having meaningful conversations, renewing our energy and collecting  inspiration was the finishing touch to this amazing experience.

What did our days look like?

Day always started with “mindful moment” – a short, practical, enjoyable exercise, through which we learn a new tool, and get ready to fully experience the day.

It took only 5-10 minutes and  enable us getting quickly in more mindful state.

That mindful moment served to get us in the right state to immerse ourselves in workshops in more focused way.

3-houred workshops were filled with insightful and interesting tools. 

That tools helped us build more mindfulness, discuss ideas and perspectives about experiencing mindfulness with others, and engage in a bit of reflection on how could we apply these tools already today – and especially in our life after this getaway.

Workshops finished a bit before lunch, giving us a bit of free time to enjoy beautiful villa.

Lunches we had in villa were always nutritious, prepared for mindful experience of food.

After lunch, zen time started.

Depending on the mood we were going for a walk, take some time on our own for reflection, swim in the pool, grab a book, or have an interesting conversation.

In the late afternoon, we had different kinds of activities. We gathered memorable experiences during kayaking, hiking, cheese tasting, meaningful conversations, and savoured delicious foodie experiences. 

Needless to say, free time for reading, relaxing, swimming and alone time was included, as well as small mindful moments and time for reflection.


The design of the whole week (including learning program) was adjusted to the unique needs, wishes and preferences of the group, which is something we strive to do on every Getaway.

Six themes of the getaway

happiness-academy-learning getaway-flow-lastovo-retreat-food-mindfulness

Day 2: Mindful food & savouring


Day 3: Mindful body and senses


Day 4: Mindful breath

Mindfully closing 2020 mindfulness for deeper reflection and more connection

Day 5: Mindful of environment & beauty


Day 6: Mindful connections & conversations

Flow connects meaning with enjoyment

Day 7: Mindful life – life of excitement and enjoyment

Afternoon activities

1st day: city of Grožnjan

Located on a romantic hill in the middle of the gentle landscape of Istria, Grožnjan feels like a fairy tale.

It is a small, pictorial city with cobblestone streets and romantic atmosphere. Memorable sunset is our favourite experience taken from there.


2nd day: kayaking in Rovinj

We spent 2.5h kayaking around beautiful island in front of Rovinj.

After that we had picnic in gorgeous park in century old pine trees and evening walk in beautiful city of Rovinj.

3rd day: cheese tasting

We tasted 8 different kinds of local cheeses- from good old classics to innovative ones.


4th day: free day

We spent all day hiking in beautiful 7 waterfalls path. We had delicious, packed lunches that we ate at the picnic during this 6-hour hike. Route was long but not too difficult.

After hiking we had chilled dinner and evening of rest and recharging with some spontaneous meaningful conversations.

5th day: trip to Motovun

Motovun is surely the most famous and attractive Istrian medieval town.

It lies on the top of the hill, overlooking the Mirna River valley with amazing sunset views.

Except of geourgeus sunset, we had ther traditional Croatian dinner of peka.

Last day we had a bit of slowly pace, chilled by the pool and around the villa, caching the last moments for a reflection and recharge before going back to everyday life.

Focus of the last workshop was on how to apply all insights, learnings, and inspiration once we arrive back. Those who wanted excitement went to the adrenaline park.

For the final dinner we enjoyed delicious barbecue in the villa and said goodbye to each other.

Mindfulness - the key to a life of wellbeing & enjoyment

Presence and mindfulness are the foundations for all other aspects of wellbeing – foundations of happiness, enjoyment, positive emotions, resilience, flow and even sense of meaning in life!

You are mindful when you are fully present in the moment – in the here and now – enjoying every moment for its own sake, without judging it as good or bad.

When you are mindful, you are in a perceptive state – perceiving attentively what is going on inside of you and in your environment.


Yet mindfulness is much more than being present in the moment – it is the key skill for life of wellbeing, meaning and enjoyment.

What do the participants say?

Here are a couple of words from our previous participants on Enjoy Life Fully Istria Getaway. 

I’m truly happy to have joined this 2nd Getaway.
In last year’s event, I explored the concept of flow, and I noticed how, giving enough time and space for a whole week, it could truly help me make it a part of my life in the following months. 
I couldn’t therefore avoid joining the 2nd one about mindfulness, which is one of the aspects that I believe can bring the most improvements in my life. 
While this was a topic I have been familiar with, as I have been practicing related meditations in past years, during the event, I had a chance to reflect and gain interesting insights, and I started to develop certain habits that I plan to bring into my daily life, like mindful eating. 
Besides the learning part, all the side activities like hiking and kayaking in a beautiful and relaxing location made this the perfect mix I was looking for. Thanks Mirna for your hard work which has a meaningful impact in all of us!
Francesco Portoso, Italy/Luxembourg
It has been the perfect occasion to slow down, notice and savor the beauty that comes my way every day, but also to focus on myself, my needs, to learn, and grow.
The beautiful villa in the heart of Istria, the surrounding nature, the delicious food were the ideal setting, in big harmony with the main learning topic, mindfulness.
The strong points I would recommend this getaway for: good workshop-free time, learning – relaxing balance, very well structured, gradually built up learning process, practical tools to build in mindfulness in my everyday life on personal level and at the workplace, small group, new connections, new perspectives on the topic.
Mirna has a lot of experience as trainer, masters her field on a high level, and has a special talent to melt the learning, relaxing, logistics and having fun in a smooth flow, so that everyone gets the most out of the experience.
Réka Puskás, Romania
I highly recommend the week-long mindfulness course. The program offers a perfect blend of learning and self-discovery in a relaxed setting. Participants can expect to deepen their mindfulness practice, learn how to introduce mindfulness in our busy lives and have fun while exploring the stunning landscapes of Croatia. It’s a  wonderful escape for self-discovery and self-care
Marijana Balabanic, Croatia/Luxembourg
The 8-day mindfulness retreat was just what I needed. I came back refreshed mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Rose Hook, english teacher & teaching company founder, Netherlands/USA

About the location - Istrian peninsula and villa which was the home of this Getaway


Istria is the largest peninsula of the Adriatic Sea and is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. 

Istria is incredibly diverse. It offers the picturesque coastline as well as the natural beauties of the green inland. At this magical place you will find white-topped mountains, vineyards and olive groves on hillsides, plateaux, valleys, and naturally the sea.

The rich culture, a delicious high-quality cuisine and the variety of potential activities make Istria exceptional. 


The village in which our villa is located is simply a super small village with pretty much nothing going on. Really.

While we will have a wonderful, quiet and spacious oasis of the villa to savour and enjoy, that means that out of educational program, meaningful conversations, foodie moments at the villa, pool time and enjoying beautiful setting, we will also be doing quite some short trips to enjoy diverse experiences and explore Istria. 

Our venue was a magnificent villa, beautifully designed, surrounded by untouched nature and with it’s own swimming pool. It is a beautiful, spacious protected oasis perfect for full immersion into the experience. 

A combination of modern industrial style and rustic elements creates a unique atmosphere. 

Four modern, spacious bedrooms can accommodate up to 8 people, each with its own charm and an attached bathroom. Most of the rooms are shared rooms, with double beds. 

Join us for this journey!

“Enjoy life fully” learning getaway is an opportunity to learn in a deep, engaging, enjoyable and practical way and develop skills that are truly life-changing. 

Allow the Getaway to become a foundation for your unique and authentic journey of exploring and building life rich in mindfulness, meaning and joy.

Do not miss the chance to join us for this inspiring learning getaway again – click to join:

No Comments Found

Monthly newsletter!