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About Us

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

The Balkan Retreat is a unique space for creative processes of small groups.


Our charming rural accommodation and work spaces immersed in nature create the ambience needed for focus and inspiration. Our values of cultivating space, time and freedom were there from the beginning and have been integrated into the location and facilities. As creatives ourselves and experienced hosts, we understand from first hand the needs of our guests. 

The Balkan Retreat honours the intrinsic value of our natural environment and aims to be sustainable - working with nature, not against it. This includes our inner nature too. Retreating is not running away from but towards the resilient and creative futures we need to build together.

Our Story

The Balkan Retreat is itself a creative process. 


Founders and theatre-makers Vivien von Abendorff (UK) and Tim Zweije (NL) moved from London to Bešenovački Prnjavor in 2017. As they slowly renovated the old farm buildings and engaged in permaculture gardening, a vision started organically to emerge. 


Positive experiences of early visitors who were enchanted by the place and experienced memorable encounters with other guests and the local community, affirmed they were on to something special. The Balkan Retreat started to grow into a place where creative endeavours, intercultural dialogue, homesteading practices and environmental awareness and care intersect and reinforce one another. 

After 7 years of hard work, the Balkan Retreat is bearing the fruits of its labour. Exciting new projects have come to the door. It has been an unexpected and extraordinary journey - as all creative processes should be!



we have worked with

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