Retreat (self directed)2023-11-27T11:59:53+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!

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

Ann, UK

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

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



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)

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