Silver Island Yoga Retreat, Greece

Silver Island Yoga Retreat, Greece

term “yoga retreat” is bandied about a lot these days and
can mean anything from a weekend in Ibiza
“on the quiet side of the island”, to seven days of raw-vegan
silent meditation. I’ve experienced both in my time, but I think I
might have finally found the Goldilocks sweet spot of yoga retreats
– it’s called Silver Island and it’s in Greece.

This 60-acre speck in the
Aegean Sea
was inherited by two Greek-South African sisters –
Claire and Lissa Christie – in 2007. Unsure what to do with their
unusual bequest, they eventually set about wrestling the overgrown
olive trees and dilapidated villa into a charming and chic yoga
retreat, where 10 guests at a time practise for four hours a day,
and have the run of the entire island. If “hell is other people”,
then nothing beats stumbling upon a totally deserted beach, or
napping on a swing bed underneath a giant oak tree for the whole
afternoon, with only the sounds of trilling birds and grasshoppers
for company.

Unlike a lot of places which just pay lip service to their
” credentials, Silver Island takes being environmentally
sensitive seriously. What you lose in daily fresh sheets and towels
you gain in locally sourced biodegradable toiletries in your
bathroom. The island is also completely off-grid, which means
solar-powered electricity for two hours a night and no wi-fi. This
is getting away from it all and then some.


Guests sleep in two villas which are the epitome of a
white-washed, blue-shuttered, bougainvillea-draped fantasy. This is
low-key luxury – you’re more likely to find a gecko in your room
than you are a hairdryer, but little touches like COCO-MAT
slippers, solar lamps, a personalised welcome letter on your pillow
and hammam beach towels more than make up for it. Every room is
different, whether it has a Grecian bust in the fireplace or a
hand-whittled artwork spelling out “Love”. But the best of the
bunch has to be Hemera, which has its own private terrace, two
day-beds and unbroken views of a sea so blue it should have its own
Instagram account.

What’s for breakfast?

An ever-changing smorgasbord of Lissa’s homemade granola, fresh
fruit, wild honey and banana pancakes. Breakfast is served family
style after your morning yoga class, on a white wrought-iron table
with incredible views over the cypress trees and that show-stealing
ocean again.

How about lunch and dinner?

The food is all vegetarian, locally sourced and unbelievably
delicious – Lissa and her husband Corne recently published a
cookbook due to constant demand from guests for their recipes.
Bright salads – such as red quinoa with roasted tomato and
beetroot, fig syrup and parmesan shavings – come piled high and
beautifully presented in huge ceramic bowls. There’s also
freshly-baked walnut bread, cauliflower mash with almond milk and
honey-roasted pumpkin with feta, and “healthy” desserts including
cacao nib truffles and olive oil polenta cake. I embarrassed myself
by asking for thirds at every single meal.

Is there a bar?

Not as such, but unlike other abstemious retreats, here everyone
enjoys a glass or two around a fire pit in the evening. The red and
white wine they serve is made in the mountains of Evia from one of
the oldest vineyards in the region.


Yoga classes are held twice daily on a circular outdoor shala
and teachers change on a weekly basis but are all invited by
recommendation only. There’s a meditation platform to watch the
sunrise from, as well as kayaks and a restored 1970s pedalo if you
fancy cruising around the island. If you’re lucky you might spot
the resident monk-seal Rob. There’s also a rustic but relaxing
therapy room where I soothed my yoga-stretched limbs with an
aromatherapy massage.

Things you should know

All rooms are shared (worth bearing in mind if you’re coming

and feel weird about bunking up with strangers). Don’t
forget to bring cash if you want to stock up on Greek produce and
items from your room, like the organic shower gel and bottles of
the island’s own olive oil as the nearest ATM is a speedboat

Within a short walk you can find…

Not much, what with it being a deserted island and all. But it’s
worth hiking up to the abandoned lighthouse which is like a 1970s
time warp inside – just make sure you stomp pretty heavily to scare
away any of the island’s snakes. On the mainland, the pretty
fishing town of Oreoi is worth a wander around on your way back to

Silver Island retreats run from April to October, with
different teachers each week. Rates start at £1,150 per week, full
board, with two daily yoga classes and return transfers from the

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