Retreat (self directed)2024-03-24T10:20:22+00:00

Self directed, creative

Retreats are available from

October – June

you determine your dates with us.

Could you use some quiet and private time to focus, reflect, and reboot?

Our self directed/creative Retreats happen during the off season in our old house in the south of France. Retreats are ideal for individuals: designers, project curators, postgraduate students, researchers, or writers – anyone working on a plan, project, text, or thesis.

John will usually be available to cast fresh eyes on your project – or not. Those interactions are optional. It’s your call. For the most part you will be left alone to work.

Also important: you get to breathe clean air, shop at the market, walk in the Cévennes.

Our guiding principles as hosts are: simple, convivial, and affordable.

(we can host up to three individuals at a time)

What’s involved in a Retreat ?

The beauty of an off season retreat is that you can stay focused and take care of yourself without any pre-defined schedules. We provide all necessities to make coffee, tea and cook in the ground floor summer kitchen and/or the kitchen in the apartment on the second floor. Think cooker, refrigerator, oven, microwave, pots and pans etc.

Our surroundings are magnificent and can be enjoyed on foot. You can also rent bikes (regular and electric) from the rental service around the corner.

We’ll invite you eat with us occasionally, but you won’t be under any obligation to join. We will be living in the house like good neighbours: borrowing, sharing, chatting, eating and meeting when the need occurs.

How to apply

Tell us who you are, what you’re working on, why you want to come and what dates you’re applying for.

  • To apply you can fill out this form.
  • Or you can use our contact form on this website
  • Or you can drop us a short email and send it to:
    meeting [ at ] thackara [ dot ] com

    Subject Header: Thackara Retreat

When your application has been accepted, we will inform you within one week.


3 nights

3 nights

3 nights


1 week

1 week

7 nights


2 weeks

2 weeks

14 nights


Kitchen(-s), fridges, washing machine, dish washer, pantry basics and a hamper to get you started, your own bathroom, your own key, bedding, linnens, beach towels and more.

The pricing for the retreat is set on the above basis but we’re flexible so do get in touch with us if you want to stay longer or shorter.

Also included is exclusive time with John at the beginning and/or the end of your stay. It’s also possible to have more than one or 2 conversations (depending on his availability) at an agreed rate. Just talk to us!



How can I contact the organiser with any questions?2023-07-14T08:52:57+00:00


or send an email to meeting [@] thackara [dot] com

What are my transport options for getting to and from the event?2023-10-31T13:09:36+00:00
  • You can find a complete transportation page here
  • From Nimes or Montpellier Airport, there are buses going to Ganges (journey is about a hour). They are reliable and comfortable, but not frequent. If you decide to go for public transport, it’s best to email us at (meeting [@] thackara [dot] com) so we can guide you through it. (from Montpellier Occitanie: Ligne 608 direction Le Vigan. Nimes Gare Routiere: Ligne 140 direction Le Vigan)
  • From Marseille Airport get on a train to Nimes or Montpellier and there take a bus, or rent a car and drive 2 hours to get to us, or ask us to be picked up in Nimes or Montpellier.
  • At the airports you’ll find car rentals. We recommend to reserve a rental in advance (for example at rentalcars).
  • In Montpellier you can use public transport to the tram/bus hub at the edge of the city, the hub is called “Occitanie”. There you can hop on bus 608 (takes about a generous hour).
  • We can arrange to have someone pick you up. (4 passengers max, you can share the ride/cost if the arrival of an other MeetUpper can be ‘synchronised’).
    The prices are: Nimes (airport or station) 50€ | Montpellier (airport) 40€ | Montpellier tram hub ‘Occitanie’ 30€
  • parking: plenty of free street parking around (but not on the doorstep since we’re in a pedestrian street)

an extensive transportation page you can find here

What’s the refund policy?2023-07-14T08:47:03+00:00

Sorry, no refunds.
(but we are not monsters so if there’s a really good reason, we can discuss it)

Can we come as a group?2023-07-14T08:51:57+00:00

The MeetUp and the Retreat are for individuals, but we are happy to host a single group coming to an Offsite. (contact us)

All work and no play?2022-09-27T16:33:28+00:00

It would be a shame not to take time to explore the beautiful surroundings, go for a swim or a walk, or have a drink at one of the local bars. We even have a bike-rental around the corner (electric and regular bikes).

Do we live in with you?2023-07-14T08:49:53+00:00

No. No need to worry. All spaces are independent of our part of the house. John and Kristi live on the first floor, the rest of the spaces are on the ground floor or on the second floor. There is a communal front door to the house, and a central staircase with doors to the other spaces.

You can come and go as you please.

Can the family come along?2023-07-14T08:48:58+00:00

I’m sorry but they can’t. But, we can point you to other rooms or apartments for rent in the area (i.e. there’s a lovely airbnb 20 meters from the house). Just drop us an email if you need our help.

On this subject, I hope you understand we can’t welcome your friends who want to come for a visit. Naturally we can make an exception, but do ask us beforehand.

Food, drink etc.2022-09-28T14:23:19+00:00

We are not heavy on service, we provide a comfortable space in an historical building and quality time with each other and with John – but we don’t cook for you. There are two kitchens at your disposal. And there are various affordable restaurants nearby.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-intollerant2023-07-14T08:47:42+00:00

The good news is that since there are kitchens in the house, you will not starve. Our organic shop is well stocked, our food market is great, but eating out might be a challenge for you.

More and more restaurants offer a vegetarian choice. Vegan dishes are rare in local restaurants however. Gluten-free only recently appeared on the shelves in the supermarkets and hasn’t inspired the local restaurant business yet.
(we are flexitarians ourselves)

John and Kristi, your house is an absolute dream! I felt so welcomed and comfortable. You allowed us to take everything at our own paces, and gave us access to some beautiful places around Ganges. The mixture of one-to-ones and group conversations provided an effective framework to help push my design practice forward. I’m coming away feeling refreshed, excited to work, and with a whole new set of amazing friends!
George, UK

What a joyous week of indulging by doing the project closest to my heart, with support and company and a beautiful environment.

Ann, UK

This was my second Thackara meetup and it was magnificent;
a great way to meet people, relax, swim in the glorious river and move projects on to the next step.
Thank you – I hope to come back!

Jenny, UK

I was working on my first book and it was amazingly helpful to
have the space (both mentally and physically) to concentrate
on this whilst getting constructive input and advice from JT
and other participants.

Anne, Germany / UK

For me, the meet-up was truly life-changing; brilliant content, group company, accommodation, food and the waterfalls were to die for! John gave me the boost I needed and input from the group kickstarted a project so dear to my heart — thank you John!

Jenny, UK
Dear John and Kristi, you’ve created an amazing place, filled with peace and unique energy. A place that adjusts to the pace of the visitor, and inspires on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, for the walks in nature, and for the hospitality that created a feeling of home. It was a great and unforgettable experience.
Dominika, Ålborg, Denmark

Thanks John and Kristi for such a wonderful week. I got to reflect on a lot, help set priorities and direction in my project, as well as have a lot interested, organic conversations with people that give me a lot of new perspectives to draw on. Plus good food, wine, swimming and lots of laughs!

Rich, Barcelona

I genuinely enjoyed every single moment! Thanks to not only the fantabulous Thackara team but also amazing talents from diverse backgrounds who all were absolutely lovely, I had a very productive week. The right balance of fun & work in an absolutely gorgeous environment, which contributed to great creativity/ satisfaction

Go, Japan / UK

Dear Kristi and John, thank you for hosting us for our annual Holis retreat. We enjoyed our stay in your beautiful house. The nearby market is a festival for any food lover. The walks in the surroundings gave us an opportunity to have deep talks. Your hospitality made us feel at home. I’m grateful for that experience. Hope to be there again soon.

Maxim, Hungary

Such a treat to meet one of your favorites… then spend a week in retreat. Thank you John and Kristi for the Meetup – the conversation, such loving guidance and deep listening. One of my favorite weeks.

Elias, Mexico

the perfect place to hide out and finish writing
that thesis, project proposal, or book

Gill, UK

The Meetup was a wonderful experience and a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of my personal-professional practice. After spending time with John and Kristi and the other meetupers in Ganges, in nature and on my own, I was able to develop a more cohesive story to define my personal-professional practice and goals. I’m forever grateful for this opportunity.

Arely , Mexico/Miami
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