Brochures of the week

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The Independent Travel
ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAY promotional material certainly makes a change from the bog-standard holiday brochure. The Skyros Centre's brochure may have a sunny Mediterranean on its cover, but inside it contains more novel concepts than generations of brochure-speak have ever produced.

First of all we are presented with a long list of facilitators, that is to say (for the emotionally incorrect) teachers. These are the faces of the people who will heal us, join us, uplift us, massage us and possibly teach us to windsurf on the Greek island of Skyros - faces such as Toyah Wilcox, Sue Townsend and D M Thomas, whose fees perhaps explain the course costs of between pounds 600 to pounds 800 for a week (excluding flights) which may mean that the people whose inner torment concerns finance will not be attending.

But at least there are no threateningly beautiful bodies on sizzling beaches. Instead we get assurances of safety and mutual trust in the community. Then we get on to the courses that you can attend. Are you really unaware of how to access your own internal wisdom? Is something genuinely preventing you from taking control of your life?

If this kind of language turns you off then you must be scared of something, which probably means that you ought to be attending one of the courses. If this is the kind of language you already use, you possibly don't need to go to Skyros, but will want to anyway. But what of that. By the way, Skyros may be the best-known centre of its type, but there is now a newer, rival centre in Turkey called Huzur Vadisi. The brochure here is an unambitious little thing, notable for a lack of high-profile facilitators, but not without its novelty value (how about a spot of cranio-sacral massage? Or kinesiology?). And with prices at about half those of Skyros the financially challenged are in with the chance of a cure as well.

Skyros '98, tel: 0171 267 4424

Huzur Vadisi, tel: 01545 570742