Go within on Ananda retreats and pilgrimage.

Go within

Ananda pilgrimage & retreats

Pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy and Segovia, Spain

FALL 2022: September 29 – October 16, 2022

It has been said that Italy is the heart of Europe, and Assisi is the heart of Italy.

Join devotees from the greater Washington Sangha in on a pilgrimage to Italy to visit holy sites blessed by its great saints, and enjoy some of the greatest art and architecture in the West. And then continue on for the extension to Spain to visit the places of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. This pilgrimage is designed to focus less on the culture and more on the places made holy by the great Christian mystics Paramhansa Yogananda described as some of those who lived truly yogic lives.

The pilgrimage will visit Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo where Padre Pio resided, La Verna and Assisi – renowned as the birthplace of St. Francis, whom Paramhansa Yogananda called “his patron saint.” While in Assisi, pilgrims will be hosted by the Ananda Assisi international community, and we will meditate together daily in the beautiful “Temple of Light,” and in the bedroom where Swami Kriyananda left his body.

Basilica of St. Francis – Upper Church
Ananda’s Temple of Light, Assisi
St. Francis Basilica

The Blue Lotus Temple in Bothell is modeled after Ananda’s Temple in Assisi!

Your Pilgrimage leaders will be Zach and Hailey Abbey, inspired leaders of the Ananda Farm on Camano Island, and Nayaswamis Anand and Kirtani, along with Arudra and Mahiya from Ananda Assisi. The pilgrimage also includes our professional tour guide (and Kriyaban!) Daniela Mugavera, and the overall travel coordinator is Nayaswami Arjuna. All have years of experience in meditation and leading pilgrimages, as well as a gift for friendship. Their warmth, humor, and deep appreciation of Italy’s rich spiritual heritage will infuse the pilgrimage with joyful adventure.

This pilgrimage will be an unforgettable journey within and without.


Hailey & Zach Abbey, Nayaswamis Anand and Kirtani, Mahiya & Arudra, and Nayaswami Arjuna


(Please note: your international flight is NOT included in the price of your pilgrimage, and you will need to arrange your own flights, so please let us know if you have any questions that we can assist you with on this aspect!)

Most pilgrims will depart the USA on Wednesday September 28, 2022, and arrive at the Rome (Fiumicino—FCO) Airport on Thursday September 29, 2022. (As soon as possible, we will recommend flights that fit this itinerary best. Although you are welcome to use other airlines/flights if it is better for you).

Thu, Sept 29: Arrival in Rome, check-in at Casa per Ferie Vialar. Brief orientation.

Fri, Sept 30: Walking tour of the Vatican and sights in Rome.

Sat, Oct 1: Rome – San Giovanni Rotondo

Sun, Oct 2: San Giovanni Rotondo. Visiting the tomb of Padre Pio.

Mon, Oct 3: Pietrelcina – Monte Sant’angelo

Tue, Oct 4: San Giovanni – Ancona- Ananda Assisi

Wed, Oct 5: At Ananda in Assisi. Visiting new temple site, farm, academy.

Thu, Oct 6: Visit to the town of Assisi: San Damiano, Eremo and Porziuncola

Fri, Oct 7: Assisi: Basilica, Saint Clare

Sat, Oct 8: Frasassi Caves or visit sacred places of San Giuseppe (levitating saint)

Sun, Oct 9: Free day at Ananda Assisi

Mon, Oct 10: Ananda – La Verna. See sights at La Verna. Optional walk to the chapel at the top of Mount Penna.

Tue, Oct 11: La Verna. Retreat day in silence.

Wed, Oct 12: La Verna – Segovia. Leaving for Segovia, Spain (or for flight back to the U.S. from Bologna if Italy only).

Thu, Oct 13: Segovia. Guided tour of the Roman Aqueduct, Cathedral of Segovia and Alcazar Castle and other sights.

Fri, Oct 14: Avila. See the Monasterio de la Encarnacion and Cathedral of Avila.

Sat, Oct 15: Segovia – Madrid. After lunch, bus to Madrid where check-in at the airport hotel.

Sun, Oct 16: Madrid – USA. Departures back home from the Madrid airport.

Assisi – Porziuncola
La Verna Church
Images of Segovia


Accommodations, Meals, Transportation:

All hotels, restaurants, and menus have been personally inspected by our Ananda Assisi pilgrimage coordinators.

Costs: Total costs are shown below; they vary according to your choice of accommodations.

Special note: If you book a shared room and you or your roommate decides to change to private accommodations or make other changes, BOTH of you will need to pay the single occupancy rate (provided another room is available, of course). Also, if you request a shared accommodation but there is no one to share with you, you’ll need to pay the single occupancy rate.

Please note: The prices quoted below do NOT include your international air, which you will want to book on your own. The minimum required for this pilgrimage is 20 registered pilgrims (not including leaders). Please register (you are considered registered once your registration form has been completed and submitted along with your deposit (or payment in full) as soon as possible.

VERY IMPORTANT: The prices below are stated in USA dollars based on the exchange rate of $1.15 USA to 1 Euro. As international currencies can vary more frequently in recent years, your price WILL be adjusted, for current exchange rates on the date we receive your payment in FULL.  Accordingly, we will notify you of your payment due (based on that day’s rate) when you let us know you are ready to pay in full. Checks or cash only please. For credit cards an extra bank fee applies. Please contact Heidi in the Sangha office with questions (425.806.3700).

Main Italy Segment – double occupancy$3,780.00
Spain Extension – double occupancy$1,475.00
Complete Pilgrimage – double occupancy$5,255.00
Single Occupancy – Italy$250.00
Single Occupancy – Spain$125.00


In order to reserve your space with the regular price, please submit a deposit payment of $1000 with your reservation form. Your balance is due no later than July 31, 2022.

Cancellation Policy:

If you cancel by June 30, 2022, your payment will be refunded, less a $300 cancellation fee. If we have purchased your internal lodging, meals and transportation, any applicable cancellation fees will also be subtracted from your refund.

After June 30, 2022, sorry but no refunds are possible.

Price Includes:

  • All ground and air transportation inside Italy and Spain, within the itinerary
  • Accommodations in each destination
  • Three meals per day while at Ananda Assisi and La Verna (not in Assisi town)
  • Two meals per day, usually breakfast and dinner all other places
  • Lodging at the Ananda Retreat complex, all rooms with bath and shower.
  • Shuttle from Ananda Retreat to main areas provided daily
  • Assisi transportation by vans.
  • All required tips and taxes
  • Professional local guides, and tour leaders from Ananda

Price does NOT include:

  • Flight to and from USA to Italy/Spain; passport; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; most lunches; items of a personal nature – laundry, snacks, beverages other than those included with meals, room service, any transportation outside of group activities, hotel telephone or internet, medical care should you need it.
  • Any donations you may wish to make at shrines etc.


You will need a passport that is valid until April 17, 2023. If yours expires before April 17, 2023, you must renew it. If you need a new passport, or need to renew one, do so immediately by going to iafdb.travel.state.gov. You will find instructions there.


Retreats to the Heart of Silence

Ananda MEDITATION Retreat – November 13 – 15, 2020

Ananda YOGA Retreat – March 12 – 14, 2021

Our popular Retreats to the Heart of Silence each include BOTH yoga AND meditation, with the emphasis and amount of time in each differing: yoga retreat emphasizes Ananda Yoga, and meditation retreat emphasizes Meditation as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda.  Each retreat makes allowance for beginners and intermediate levels (whether in yoga or meditation).

Both retreats are held at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island (visit www.Islandwood.org),which is an environmentally conscious facility that offers the opportunity for us to be all together in one large lodge with sleeping and large meeting room all under one roof.  It is nestled on 255 wooded acres with walking trails that wind through a variety of natural habitats. 

In our lodge each room has a private bath and offers several bed combinations from one to four people.  Meals are served in a large, lovely dining room with tables reserved for our group and served family style. Meals are “chef’s choice” and are prepared with local, organic and sustainably sourced vegetarian ingredients. Many special diet restrictions can be accommodated if stated in advance. Coffee and tea are always available.

Each weekend retreat begins at 4pm on Friday and goes until noon on Sunday. Silence is maintained from after the Friday night orientation until later on Sunday.

Prices will include meals and an early bird special – To Be Announced When Available. 

Please contact nivritti@anandawa.org who will be happy to answer your questions.