Kea, one of the Cycladic islands’ most laid-back destinations, has just got even more zen for yogis and lovers of slow living and nature-conscious traveling. Nestled amid rolling hills sloping down to Kea’s Psathi beach, Kea Retreat is as much a spiritual retreat as it is a celebration of the island’s natural landscape and cultural heritage. Seamlessly blending into the rocky landscape, a series of existing 400-year-old stone-built structures (a traditional type of Cycladic farmhouse called “kathikies”) have been transformed into austere yet elegant guest rooms, complete with sea views, private verandas, and outdoor showers. A muted palette of earthy tones and natural materials imbues the rooms with calmness and warmth. Local artisans’ works furnish the rooms with bespoke pieces.
Underpinned by slow living and sustainable development values, Kea Retreat offers guests holistic, immersive, and all-inclusive week-long yoga retreats. Their roster consists of both Greek and international facilitators, true farm-to-table culinary offerings, and an impeccably elegant and traditional aesthetic.
The retreat is a family affair from conception to day-to-day operations. The brainchild of Israeli restaurateur Zviki Eshet and his wife Anat, came to life while the creative duo was looking for the perfect way to combine their search for meaning and healing with their lifelong passion for Greek culture in a single project. The couple’s son Yoni is the hotel’s operating manager and in-house meditative facilitator, while Yoni’s brother Uriel, an experienced Chef with Michelin star experience, is in charge of the kitchen as well as the estate’s farm. Uriel combines innovative techniques with a farm-to-table philosophy, offering guests dishes exclusively based on seasonal and local ingredients, a lot of which grow on the property’s olive groves, fruit orchards, vegetable and herb gardens, and vineyards. Anat, a therapist specializing in body-centered psychotherapy, lends her expertise in support of the healing and therapy work. A typical week is filled with a mix of yoga, meditation, and dance along with alternative activities to connect with nature, such as hiking ancient trails across the island’s virgin farmlands, visiting Kea’s ancient capital, and kayaking to more isolated sandy beaches.