Okreblue is a yoga retreat located off the beaten path on Paros Island, Greece. How we ended up at Okreblue – you can call it destiny, fate or whatever.. A plan made only a couple of days before we left for our journey to the Greek islands. We were hoping they had room availability, and they did! Read all about our experience in this blog post.
Location and Getting There
You will find Okreblue about 4km from the town of Naousa, in the Filizi-Santa Maria area in Paros. It is sort of a hidden getaway in one corner of the island, by the seaside – which makes it perfect for a retreat. We arrived to Greece via Santorini island so we first took a ferry (Golden Star Ferries). The Santorini [THIRA] – Paros [PAS] ferry takes about 2 1/2 hrs and costs 40€ per person. It makes stops on Ios and Naxos before heading to Paros. We took a ferry on the return journey as well (via Ios and then to Santorini). You can also book Seajets, which has routes from most other Cyclades islands to Paros. They are a bit more expensive but better, I think. Book directly from their websites for the best rates.
Once we reached Paros, it was evening and we stayed the night in Krios beach area (not far from the port at Parikia), before checking in to Okreblue the following day. It was impossible to reach a taxi when we tried calling several numbers (either busy or not picking up). So we called up Okreblue reception and they booked a transfer for us. The taxi arrived in 30mins and it took about 30mins to get to the retreat. I’ll make a detailed post on Paros island and things to do there next on the blog :). Now let me tell you about the Okreblue experience.
”Located on the Greek Island of Paros, this seaside eco-retreat centre overlooks the Aegean. You can easily walk to secret sandy beaches with private coves. The tastefully decorated accommodations are located on the same campus as the two, large, open-air yoga shalas. There’s a large, outdoor, community area that overlooks the sea for dining, journaling, or just resting in comfort of the ocean breeze. Enjoy food that is grown in Okreblue’s organic gardens. Spending quality time here with us is an investment in your health and overall wellbeing. This retreat centre was created for those who want to take the journey of self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-care.” – Okreblue
Okreblue probably because of the colours of the environment there – Okre, the color of the rocks and sands, blue – the colour of the water and ocean. This is not a hotel. It’s a retreat and yoga centre. So be prepared for:
- High quality and vibe yoga lessons.
- Authentic real people and interactions.
- Wholesome food that satisfies, detoxes the body and nourishes the soul.
- Total relaxation and healing.
Their Website: okreblue.com
Retreat & Suite
The superior room was included in the package, it was spacious, simple and rustic like other suites and we had a private bathroom. Basic but aesthetic. We loved it plus the cosy patio area, a good spot to relax, read a book and have a cup. Our accommodation was surrounded by vegetation and grasses giving a wonderful countryside feeling. You can see an introduction to the suite and Okreblue in our YouTube video below:
Our 4-day package included:
- 3-nights accommodation in a double-room
- Daily organic buffet brunch after morning yoga
- All day coffee and tea
- Daily group yoga classes
- A massage session with Okreblue’s massage therapist
- Daily organic buffet dinner (vegetarian by default, we requested vegan)
- Bio soap
- Filtered water
- Friendly supportive staff
- Reception can call the taxi for you! They will connect you with a local driver to get you from the port/ airport or if you would like to explore the island (Luxury Transfer Services)
- Room fan. No a/c no tv in room – live sustainably off the grid!
In high season (July & August) A standard double room rate is 150€ per night. 160€ per night for a superior double room. They also offer rooms for singles and apartment accommodation for more people. Check out the room and rates here. Booking is done directly, by contacting them via email.
Yoga & Wellness
This is the best yoga studio I have ever been to. Spacious, open, with large glass windows through which a calming Mediterranean breeze blows. It was a joy to practise here – all the sessions were well guided and effective. Resident yoga teacher, Sasy Chasomeri and a team of selected teachers guide the classes everyday. Staying at Okreblue, you can take part in daily yoga in one of these spacious shalas. We went for all the Hatha- Vinyasa yoga sessions during the week. They also have Air Yoga sessions which I’m sad to have missed as I practise it myself. In addition, they have mediation sessions and we had the chance to attend a group beach sunrise meditation. Waking up at 6AM to catch the sun rise over the Aegean – not to miss!
Included in our package was one massage session with Okreblue’s therapists. We just agreed on a time and showed up for the massage. Mine was 1-hour in a single hut behind the main building. It was the middle of a hot afternoon and I felt myself drifting to sleep although the massage was very intense and effective. Calming almond oil was used for the massage – which was a mix of Ayurvedic, and Swedish massage techniques. Afterwards, I felt energised yet relaxed and after days of yoga, it felt like the body was renewed completely. We definitely recommend a massage while here!
You don’t need to be staying overnight at Okreblue to enjoy their wellness services and can drop-in for a yoga class or book a massage session. More info and weekly schedule here: https://okreblue.com/drop-in/
The food here is part of the experience in itself. Produce from their own organic gardens make it to the buffet table. You really feel the difference when you eat fresh, whole plant foods. We tasted local Greek veggie dishes, wild greens and a variety of salads, fruits and other treats. There were Indian cuisine inspired dishes too. The masala dosa and chutney in the brunch was just so good. I always took two servings!
The food is vegetarian by default.. as in line with the yogic principles. Since this is Greece, a lot of cheese, yoghurt and eggs are used. We didn’t find alternatives for those but it’s unnecessary anyway. On a purely plant-based diet, I feel healthier than ever. The eggs are obtained from their own free roaming chickens (which is probably as ethical as eggs can be, I guess). As for dairy products, I don’t know where they source it from and as far as I know there are no ethical dairy products. We had coconut milk.
Brunch is served after morning yoga, around 9AM and the dinner buffet is ~7PM. Honestly, the food was so satisfying that we didn’t need to eat anywhere else while we stayed here. Coffee & a selections of teas are available around the clock. In case you want something more, you can order something from the Caretta restaurant on site – there’s salads, sandwiches and veggie burger (that can be made vegan). They also stock local natural wines – we tried a bottle of white and some Rose wine during our stay – lovely.
The beach at Okreblue is one of the best things ever. The retreat isn’t exactly on the shore but within walking distance, just a couple hundred metres, you will find small private coves to enjoy. It might as well be Okreblue’s beach! The larger beach of Santa Maria is a bit further away and is popular with locals. We mostly hung out at the secluded coves with crystal waters, clean sands and good swimming areas. The waves are mild, water temperature cool and you can go snorkelling to spot many fishes.
Okreblue Paros experience
It was indeed a beautiful beginning to our journey and stay in the Greek islands.. The retreat, the ocean, the sunrise meditation, the high quality yoga sessions, the people and the nourishing + satisfying whole organic fruit and veggie meals. Slow living, complete mind & body healing. Could have stayed longer! Definitely thinking about going back. Okreblue retreat in Paros is something we definitely recommend.
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