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CRETAN VILLAS HAVE 1-3 BEDROOMS; YOGA VACATIONS AVAILABLE IN U.S.

SHARE CRETAN VILLAS HAVE 1-3 BEDROOMS; YOGA VACATIONS AVAILABLE IN U.S.

QUESTION: I am interested in renting a villa with four or five bedrooms on Crete.

ANSWER: Agencies that rent villas on Crete say there are no villas there of the size you seek, so you will need to find more than one villa on the same grounds.One such place is the Rock Garden, at the southeast port town of Haghios Nikolaos, with a main house with three bedrooms and three one-bedroom apartments on the grounds.

Two agencies represent the villa. One, Villas International (71 West 23rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10010; (800) 221-2260 and (212) 929-7585) rents the large house for $2,250 a week, the minimum rental period, in July and August (prices are lower the rest of the year), and the one-bedroom apartments for $850 a week in July and August.

Another agency handling the villas is Twelve Islands and Beyond (445 MacArthur Boulevard, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007; (800) 345-8236 and (202) 342-1248), which has a three-night minimum and charges $350 a night for the house in July and August. The two-bedroom house is $230 in high season and the one-bedroom units are $130 a night.

Twelve Islands and beyond has a similar set-up with another three-bedroom villa, Villa Philipou in Vrisses, for $185 a night in July and August. On the grounds are a one-bedroom unit for $125 a night and a two-bedroom house for $150. There is a three-night minimum rental.

QUESTION: Do you know of vacations that allow the traveler to meditate, do yoga or are otherwise spritually focused?

ANSWER: Esalen Institute (Big Sur, Calif. 93920; (408) 667-3000), founded in the 1960s, offers more than 500 workshops a year in a dramatic setting on the California coast.

One workshop, "Experiencing Esalen," is popular with first-time visitors. It combines gestalt techniques, sensory awareness, guided fantasy, meditation and massage and includes explorations of Big Sur.

The cost for five-day workshops is $630 and for weekends, $325, which include meals and shared rooms.

The Omega Institute (Lake Drive, R.D. 2, Box 377, Rhinebeck, N.Y. 12572; (914) 338-6030), on an 80-acre campus north of New York, describes itself as a learning and vacation center.

Entering its 13th summer, the institute offers more than 200 courses that deal with health and healing, movement, personal development, family and relationships and spiritual practice. Yoga, meditation and tai chi classes are offered to everyone daily. Tuition is $125 to $225 for two-day classes and $230 to $265 for five days. Accommodations and meals range from $66 for camping for two days and $132 for five days, to a private room for $137 and $274.

The Feathered Pipe Foundation (Post Office Box 1682, Helena, Mont. 59624; (406) 442-8196), is set in a valley in the Rockies. It offers programs in health, an astrology program and eight yoga programs.

The weeklong yoga programs are $799, which covers accommodations in log cabins or tents and meals. The season opens in June and ends with a course from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 in Vipassana meditation, which is based on Buddhist tradition. The charge for the course is $100, plus a voluntary contribution.

The Ojai Foundation (Post Office Box 1620, Ojai, Calif. 93023; (805) 646-8343) is two hours north of Los Angeles on 40 acres in the Ojai Valley, surrounded by mountains.

The foundation offers weekend meditation workshops and - at a cost of $25 a day, including room and meals - admits guests who wish to meditate on their own.

Visitors can get instruction in Taoist, Buddhist or Christian meditation. The cost of the weekend workshops is $160 to $190.

Hollyhock Farm (Post Office Box 127, Manson's Landing, Cortes Island, British Columbia V0P 1K0; (604) 935-6465) operates May 5 to Oct. 20 on 48 acres of forest, garden and beach on Cortes Island, 100 miles north of Vancouver.

Guests may take a "retreat," for $58 a day (in U.S. dollars), which includes meals, room and daily yoga and meditation classes and nature walks.

There are also workshops, generally five days long and averaging $515, in various healing arts, visual arts and spiritual paths, which include Vipassana meditation and tai chi. Discounts are available for those who do work around the grounds.

QUESTION:. I would like to attend the Henley Regatta. How do you get tickets?

ANSWER: The Henley Regatta, which will take place July 4 to 8 this year, is held along the Thames 35 miles west of London.

Tickets for the regatta enclosure go on sale May 1 and must be applied for in writing from Secretary, Henley Royal Regatta Headquarters, Regatta House, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2LY; telephone 011 491 572153 from the United States.

Requests must be accompanied by a check and a self-addressed envelope; credit cards cannot be used. Tickets are 4 pounds ($6.90) for Wednesday and Thursday and 5 pounds ($8.60) for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you send a check in dollars, add the dollar equivalent of 7 pounds ($12).

QUESTION: Are females allowed to participate in the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain? What kind of inns or hotels are available?

ANSWER: Local laws forbid women to take part in the running of the bulls during the San Fermin festival, held July 6 to 14 in Pamplona (the running begins the morning of the 7th), and the police used to pull out women who tried to run.

But in the past 15 years, according to those familiar with the festival, no one has stopped women who have been brave - or foolish - enough to take part.

Anyone interested, male or female, need only dress in white, wear a red sash and be on the streets by the corral near the Plaza Santo Domingo before 8 a.m. each day, when the bulls are released.

Be prepared to sprint for the next three minutes until you reach the bullring, preferably before the bulls get there.

Here are some hotels in Pamplona, with rates for the festival week, much higher than during the rest of the year. It is advisable to reserve rooms for San Fermin as soon as possible. The area code for Pamplona is 948.

Los Tres Reyes (Jardines de la Taconera; telephone 22.66.00) charges $233 a person a day.

La Perla (Plaza del Castillo; 22.77.06), a small hotel, charges $233 for a double room. The Nuevo Hotel Maisonnave (20 Nueva; 22.26.00;) charges $173 for a room, including breakfast.

Orhi (7 Leyre; 22.85.00) charges $165 for a double room.

Hostal Europa (off Plaza del Castillo on Espoz Y Mina; 22.18.00) charges $145.