In this exclusive interview, Citywealth speaks to Marina Efraimoglou, the found of Euphoria Retreat about her journey from investment banker to entrepreneur, and her personal battles which inspired her spa philosophy. Euphoria Retreat is located in the UNESCO-protected town of Mystras, in the mythical Peloponnese, a 2.5 hour drive from Athens or less than an hour from Kalamata. Read on to find out what makes the retreat unique.
You have a very personal story behind the development of the Euphoria Retreat, can you share your journey from investment banker to entrepreneur?
I come from an entrepreneurial family and had a successful career in the financial sector. In my late 20s, I was driven to success but ultimately also exhaustion in the world of investment banking, and overcame cancer twice.
After this pivotal experience, I shifted my attention from finance to the world of wellbeing, holistic medicine and self actualisation. I sought to bring much-needed balance back to my life and a visit to a destination spa inspired me to start my meditation and yoga practice. I promised myself, that one day I would create a place in Greece, where people would feel totally nurtured and guided to start their own personal journey.
I dedicated myself to a holistic and spiritual approach to life, studied in depth with very well-known pioneers in the field and travelled all over the world sourcing knowledge and experience in their most authentic form. I retrained in various modalities and completed studies in Chinese medicine.
On my research journey to create Euphoria, I visited at least 25 wellbeing retreats to understand a range of healing modalities, as well as working on my personal spiritual development. Each time I was filled with ideas and inspiration, but also the feeling that something was missing. Not so much in the amenities and treatments, but in the soul of the place.
I have taught self-awareness workshops and retreats based on the five elements and Ancient Greek Philosophy, also including other healing modalities - which has since become the basis of Euphoria Methodos.
Euphoria Retreat represents my personal journey of transformation and is a vision which has been a lifetime in the making.
Describe your philosophy
The healing philosophy at Euphoria is very unusual, blending ancient Hellenic and Chinese healing practices to help bring balance and transformation. The idea is to reconnect with your inner self and achieve meaningful life change at every level – physical, emotional and spiritual. Ultimately, to become your own healer.
Programmes are centred around the five elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal, and their related energies and emotions. All treatments address the three levels of existence: emotional, physical and spiritual. The signature seven-day retreat ‘Physical and Emotional Transformation’ is designed to achieve a truly transformational experience. Using in tandem, physical and energetic treatments together with group work and meditation techniques to unblock emotions and free the body from stress and pain.
In one sentence, describe why someone should attend your retreat
The Euphoria experience brings physical wellbeing, harmony and emotional transformation through an enjoyable and unforgettable luxurious holiday.
Tell us a bit more about the location of the retreat
It took me a decade to find a suitable location for Euphoria, which is in the UNESCO-protected town of Mystras, in the mythical Peloponnese. It is a 2.5 hour drive south from Athens or less than an hour from Kalamata.
The location encapsulates everything we are trying to achieve at Euphoria. The balance and power that inspired the Spartans in the 5th century BC, the energy and mysticism that allowed Byzantine intellectualism and art to take root a millennium later, and an incredible life-force that continues to allow nature to flourish.
Situated in the foothills of Mount Taygetus, Euphoria enjoys a backdrop of mountains, citrus and orange groves. 78.000sqm of private and national forest features tracks leading to the archaeological site and provides space for biking, trekking and outdoor classes. The beautiful beach of Gytheion is also only 40 minutes by car.
What type of person benefits most from the retreat?
Euphoria offers a very personalised, transformational experience, so is very different for every individual. However, those seeking emotional healing and self-development will certainly find happiness here. A visit to Euphoria Retreat would also benefit those who are looking to relax, destress, and take a break from the busy every-day life, as well as those who desire to enjoy the advantages of a detox or a fitness programme.
If someone is taking their first steps in considering a retreat, what advice would you give
Every person is unique and has to choose their own path of self-discovery and transformation and every one of us has different type of needs, desires and personal goals. As a result, when someone is about to choose a retreat, they should consider not only undertaking extensive market research and rich acquirement of information about their available choices, but also a look deep inside, in order to truly understand their own very personal features and needs.
Does their journey end when they return home?
Not at all. We provide two to three months of personal support to every guest on our Advanced programmes - so that’s the Advanced Weight Loss (two months follow up) and Nutrigenomics (three months follow up) - helping them to incorporate their learnings into their everyday life.
Many guests once leaving Euphoria Retreat keep in contact with our Nutritionist and our Chef who are available to provide suggestions and recipes as required, to support them with their progress. Additionally, they can have follow-up Skype sessions with Mrs Mary Vandorou (our transformation consultation) which is pre-booked before their departure, to help them maintain the results they experienced at Euphoria.
Additionally, every guest is provided with a Euphoria Retreat Spa handbook, containing all the details of their progress and personalised experience, during their stay. Everyone also has the opportunity to bring a little piece of Euphoria home with them, by purchasing one of our 100 per cent natural Euphoria products.
For more information visit: https://www.euphoriaretreat.com/en/