If you are into healthy living, Nefeli Nine Retreat is seriously heaven on earth. Note how I said, “into healthy living”. This retreat is not only for the people who are already doing all the right things (eating correctly, daily yoga and fitness), but also for those who want to veer in that direction. People like me!
I spent one week living the Nefeli Nine way and didn’t want to leave. Simply put, it was living the best version of life I can imagine.
Obviously in my ‘best version of life’ there are no bills to pay, responsibilities or pesky things such as jobs. But that is the whole point of a retreat, to escape the previously mentioned annoyances. This is a vacation where you actually leave feeling refreshed and ready to go back and tackle ‘real life’. A real life where you will sit up straighter at your computer and opt for healthy snacks without even thinking twice.
I encourage you to check out the retreat program here > Nefeli Nine Program. I’m going to focus on my personal experience, not regurgitate what their super informative website can tell you. Let’s go with the super sophisticated journalistic style of the 5 Ws.
Who goes to Nefeli Nine Retreats?
When I was heading to Dikastika (which is about an hour drive from the airport), I was nervous. What was I getting myself into? What if these people are flippin’ weirdos? I’m going to have 3 meals a day at a table with people that might be horrible. What if they are mean to me? It was straight up summer camp jitters all over again.
Full disclosure, I had met Steph and Emilio once around 6 months ago, so I figured at least they would be nice to me.
Fast forward 6 days and true to summer camp protocol, the last day and the sad good-byes took me right back to the last day of camp. I even spent the whole car ride home jabbering to my
mom husband about the week.
The group dynamic of the retreat participants was AMAZING! Super diverse (I’m talking the characters out of Clue diverse) from different backgrounds and of all ages. And we got on splendidly. Basically what any retreat organizer dreams of, we were that.
There is no level of fitness required, we modify our program when needed, allowing everyone to work as a team and put the finishing touches in together.
Was it a lucky coincidence that we all meshed so well or was it the magic of Nefeli Nine that put us all into the same head space? Whatever it was, I honestly think each of these people are brilliant (and mostly British English speaking, which obviously rubbed off on me since I just used brilliant as a figurative adjective).
When going into a retreat like this, you have to figure that the people who are open minded enough to spend their holiday this way, are going to be cool cats.
We laughed, had deep(ish) conversations, laughed some more, joked at each other’s expense and enjoyed this wonderful experience together.
Our abilities varied when it came to the physical aspect as did our habits back at home. Some were vegetarians, others not. We all lived peacefully, co-habitating in a gorgeous villa, eating freshly prepared, natural meals.
What happens during this retreat?
That about sums it up! Each day does follow the same pattern as my giphy simply displays. Again, living the best life!
What do you eat?
All of the meals at Nefeli Nine are prepared with local ingredients, following the Blue Zone way of cooking.
Our diet plan consists of natural, fresh, local ingredients. We avoid all processed sugars, chemicals and additives. Our menu is largely vegetarian, supplemented by organic lean meat and fresh fish.
Every thing is planned out magnificently and very tasty. Let me tell you, not having to plan what I was going to eat for each meal, was a big treat all in itself! At home eating nutritiously takes planning and time for preparation. When traveling, the big ol’ questions of ‘where to go’ and ‘what to order’ can be a bit of an annoyance.
I’m not a big all-inclusive vacation package person. With all-inclusive resorts, you usually leave vacation 10 pounds heavier and feeling blah. I guess that holds true with most vacations actually. I usually feel run down and full after my typical trips. Not this one though!
This retreat is all-inclusive, but with all of the right things. Teas and fruit available at all times, three nutritious meals and snacks after the two main workouts. Wine was served with dinner -we can thank the Blue Zone communities for that!
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What are the workouts like?
Mornings start with mobility – stretching and a solid warm-up for the day ahead.
After breakfast we packed up and headed out for a hike each day. There was some serious thought put into these hikes and they were all so unique and different. Planning is like my thing, so I really appreciate a well thought out plan. A professional guide, Archelaos helped with planning the routes and joined us on three of the hikes. This dude knew his stuff. If shit went down on the mountain, he’d know how to handle the situation.
Fitness wise, the hikes were a total workout. Usually something like 2-3 hours of ups and downs. I loved it!
The afternoon workouts varied each day and we even had a few yoga sessions with Myrto of Myrtmigi Yoga in Athens. I hate to keep gushing about things, but she was also amazing!
On the non-yoga days we were doing fitness with Emilio. I was a bit nervous for these sessions as he is a seriously fit guy who takes fitness to another level, but it wasn’t bad at all. He is a great trainer who tailors the workout to each person and their level. So even though we were a group, he would have us doing different things at the same time based on what he thought would be best for us.
When are these retreats?
The retreat I attended was in late October/early November and we had fantastic weather. The Gods were smiling down at us! Sadly for all of you, there are no more retreats planned in 2018. You’ll have to wait until spring of 2019 to experience this magic.
Where is the retreat located?
This fitness boot-camp is located outside of Athens in Dikastika, Greece in a huge stone villa overlooking the Aegean Sea. The property is actually two self sufficient houses that are connected by an outdoor dining area where we enjoyed breakfast and lunch.
Why should I attend a Nefeli Nine Retreat?
For me, it was a great chance to hit refresh and get back on track. The summer months for me are full of visitors and traveling. All of which mean less exercising and more eating out (which is rarely healthy). This was exactly what I needed to get back into a healthy ‘off-season’ routine.
Learning to be healthier
Without realizing it, you are learning new things throughout the week about ways to live a better life. Whether it is tips from Emilio for better posture or Steph’s amazing recipes, you can take things from the week and implement them in your own daily routine.
Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and chilling out in a gorgeous villa is just what the doctor ordered! Waking up and doing morning stretches while over-looking the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Evia is absolutely priceless.
I was so in the zone that I had no interest in checking my phone or doing a few tasks for work that were pending. Oops!
And the hikes. Just wow. I loved the hikes so much. I am definitely inspired to get out there and explore more after the hikes that we went on. Sundays are now my hiking day. I can’t think of a better way to de-stress then to get out in nature and let that consume all of your senses.
The camaraderie that was formed between complete strangers was really something! I truly enjoyed getting to know each of the people and learning about their lives and where they come from. When was the last time you spent a good amount of time with a stranger and actually got to know them? (Tinder dates don’t count!)
Eating healthy and exercising every day for a week straight, do I need to explain why that is a good thing?
How do I sign up?
Bookings can be made on their website www.NefeliNine.com or email Steph@NefeliNine.com