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5 Greek experiences to transform you

In 2016 and 2017, we noticed the rise of experiential travel as the leading trend across countries and generations, where vacationers were looking for ways to blend in with native cultures, interact with the locals, become insiders and feel much more than a tourist. This year, industry leaders are pointing towards a new shift, that of transformational travel.  This new trend has a lot to borrow from experiential travel as such but at the same time is looking for ways travel can assist travellers develop, shift in perspective and come back different.  Personal growth on the road is what is all about. Greece has all the ingredients to assist transformational escapes, while you can dig into history, culture, local communities and generations. Our perspective defines the experiences, our connection with what is going on matters, and by setting intention, being mindful and reflective back home, travel then becomes transformational. From spiritual transformation to changing perspectives please find below 5 locations and ideas to cultivate your mind and soul. Meditation and yoga retreats Your connection with nature, under the warm sun, and the bright sunset colors can meet no match in the world. Pick a remote location away from residential and crowd popular destinations to connect with the best that the Mediterranean landscape has to offer to strengthen your body and search your soul. From private islands dedicated to Yoga to mountain farms, there is a wide selection of remote location for some soul searching while at the same time you meet the originals, the unrefined villages and islanders in touch with nature for their survival and evolution. Active travel: A hero’s run – Athens classical marathon In 490 BC a giant Persian army invaded the small village of Marathon, which is located near the coast of Attica in Greece. However in the Battle of Marathon that ensued, the Greek army victoriously defeated the Persians, and a young messenger named Pheidippides was sent to Athens to bring the great news of the victory. The young Greek ran the 42 km from the battlefield to the capital as fast as he could, announced his joyous message, and then died. And according to folklore, this is the inspiration for the marathon race we know today. Today the run, follow his steps, his journey to find inner strength and courage to reach his destination. Meet the insider for a thought-provoking interaction While visiting the main historical sites is an experience most travellers rarely forget, nothing can compare with a relaxed wine sipping dinner with the best scholars and historians in town who can challenge your knowledge while enriching your perspective in the takings.  From mythology to recent politics and history spending quality time with the researchers and challengers especially of the modern history and philosophy is mind blowing in certain instances. Fishing trip Once the sea cast its spell is difficult to break away, something that the Greek fishermen feel under their skin. They spend endless hours in the blue waters, fighting with nature most of the time to catch the fish of the day primarily for financial reasons but at the same time for the glory and the joy of winning the game of the sea. They grow up with salt graving on their faces, breaking their skin but nourishing their soul and make them wiser. As every day, the sea has something new to tell, totally unforeseen. Follow some of the routes on board of a Greek fishing boat, meet the elderly, hear more stories and fight with sea. When you return your shifted perspective will tell you more. Climbing Dangling from cliffs trying to climb to the top is only for those who seek adventure and who strive for thrilling holiday fun. Tap into your inner strength and courageously yet safely mount those rocks. If you want to be on top of your own world, where you are able to define your own meaning of clarity, a number of Greek islands are your haven. Maria Nikolakaki is Managing Partner at Beyond Spaces Villas. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Maria Nikolakaki

Maria Nikolakaki is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Beyond Spaces Villas. Beyond Spaces Villas is one of the leading luxury villa specialist in Greece, going beyond finding the perfect Greek Island luxury villa and design a sophisticated and branded villa experience seeped in luxury, exclusivity and bespoke service from start to finish. Prior to her involvement in the luxury hospitality Industry, she spend 20 years in the capital markets in various senior executive positions based in various countries. She has lived in London, New York and Moscow and has travelled extensively to almost 35 countries with a travel attitude of finding the non guides guides.

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  1. Enjoyed your explanation of how the marathon came to be. Not sure I’d be up for such extreme climbing, but running a marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do. And what better one to do than the one in Athens? Or is there one still running in Marathon itself?

  2. The rise of visiting other countries for a retreat like a yoga holiday really appeals to me especially somewhere as beautiful as Greece. I love mythology and exploring ruins when I am away so that also sounds amazing too. When I worked in turkey we went on retreats in caves and went to dinner with locals and that was so much more rewarding than usual holidays. You find out so much more about the culture and the country that way. Do you have any advice for yoga retreats?

  3. Exactly. Increasingly I think we travel for change. I don’t want to be too controversial but nowadays a lot of our jobs are very limited. We get stuck in our ways at work, trapped in front of a screen for 8, 9 or 10 hours a day. Also we are stuck with the sample people day in, day out. Travel gives us the chance to experience new things, to find out who we are – and perhaps more importantly who we could become. There are certainly some great opportunities here for change and growth.

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