Stepping out of my room into the velvet waters of the Aegean sea, catching the crisp sunrise over the horizon.
In a nutshell
No. of rooms
20 standard and eco-deluxe rooms and four luxury apartments.
The design aesthetic is...
Grecian-inspired, simple, rustic and purposefully minimal, with a big emphasis on natural light.
The typical guest is...
yogis, solo travelers, or small groups looking to unwind.
The sustainability features (ie. plastic free, recycling, green wall, garden) are...
intertwined into every aspect of this eco-retreat. The more recent buildings are constructed out of earth and local, reclaimed materials, including the Yoga Shala floor which is made from recycled car tyres (perfectly buoyant!). Biodegradable soaps are supplied in the rooms and shower water is recycled to feed the surrounding trees. Supporting the local community and minimising footprint is core here - Okreblue’s organic garden supplies fresh ingredients to the kitchen, with produce sourced locally from Paros or wider Greece when necessary. The kitchen composts to minimise food waste, and guests are provided with filtered water and discouraged from using single-use plastics.
The location is...
accessible but secluded, on the relatively untouched peninsular of Santa Marta on Paros Island.
Interaction is encouraged by....
the centrally located and open layout of the restaurant, surrounded by lounges and couches with seaside views. The guests shared experience is enhanced by the offering of group Yoga classes and daily brunch.
You should stay here because
you’ll unwind in the peace and tranquility that this retreat offers, and have the opportunity to experience the purest sunrise and sunset… in the same day!
Great social vibe... most people welcoming interactions, very easy to meet people, a bar or meeting place/lobby to hangout in.
What took you there?
I signed up to attend a Yoga Teacher Training with two renowned international teachers who regularly host retreats at Okreblue.
What was your room like?
I opted for a single Standard Room, one of the original rooms of Okreblue. My room was awesome – very simple, uncluttered, with a private patio that stepped onto the pathway that led to the beach. I would literally roll out of bed and take a few steps into the sea for my early morning sunrise swim.
As to be expected, being around over 13 years and so close to the salty sea, the Standard Rooms have a fair amount of wear and tear even with the recent renovation. Typical seaside problems such as creaky doors, rusty handles and taps, are apparent here.
During my stay I checked out some of the newer eco-deluxe rooms, these are slightly less rustic however still refreshingly minimalist. The higher rooms boasted some seriously epic views – east facing for sunrise, west facing for sunset – absolutely stunning.
Overall, the accommodations at Okreblue are minimalist, centred around essential comfort with an emphasis on natural lighting. The simplicity of the rooms cultivates the process of unwinding, decluttering and a sense of connection to the natural elements.
What about the venue
Okreblue is built by Yogis, for Yogis. Local foundersSassy and Angelo are deeply committed to sustainability and enjoy the clean and simple Yogi way-of-life. Okreblue is their lovechild, a manifestation of their dream to be able to share their ethos with guests from around the world. The greatest thing about this venue is the genuine care and consideration that has influenced every aspect of the design, build and management of this eco-retreat.
A bumpy ride over a stone-filled path on arrival and alfresco communal spaces set the scene for the experience at Okreblue, which is quite raw and in synchronicity with nature. I loved the early morning practice in the open Yoga Shala with the tickle of the morning breeze on my skin. Brunch and dinner was enjoyed on the communal couches, with sweet views over the fields of wild grass and the blue waters of the Aegan Sea.
The food served at Okreblue is a highlight, and is very unique, fusing exotic Indian flavours with traditional Greek cuisine. Plant-based with lots of gluten and dairy-free options, some of my favourites included Spanakopita with hand-made filo, Massala Dosha, and Gemista (Greek stuffed vegetables.) The food philosophy is based on the ancient healing science of Ayurveda, grounded on nourishing the body.
Tell us about the destination
Okreblue is set on Filizpi Beach, on the relatively quiet and unspoiled coastline of the Santa Marta Peninsula on the Greek Island of Paros. I hadn’t heard much about Paros before my trip, but discovered it sits in the heart of the Aegan Sea, smack-bang in between Greece and Turkey, and easily accessible by boat from Athens and the more popular Island of Santorini. The quaint little towns filled with the traditional Greek blue and white architecture and the secret coves and beaches of Paros really add to its charm!
Okreblue is well outside of the tourist buzz, and feels quite remote, with a lot of space between the properties that line the Santa Marta Peninsula. With the sea on one side and fields of wild grass on the other, the experience on the Peninsula is calm and tranquil.
Who did you meet there?
Lots of Yogis, from around the world, and who could forget the lovely couple Sassy and Angelo, the owners of Okreblue who are incredibly hospitable, passionate, and have many interesting stories to tell.