Euphoria Retreat's founder Marina Efraimoglou was inspired by her travels to wellness spas around the world, but the answers to her philosophical questions lay close to home.

Euphoria Retreat represents my personal journey of transformation. It is a vision which has been a lifetime in the making, made possible not only by many opportunities and challenges experienced on the way, but also by the support of those who have shared my dream. Now including you.

The road that led to my first visit to a destination spa was a long one. Overcoming cancer in my late 20s, I was driven to success but ultimately also exhaustion in the world of investment banking. It was only then that I sought to bring much-needed balance back to my life.

Being introduced to the fascinating world of Chinese medicine and the five elements was such an eye-opening experience that, when I returned, I took home not only my yoga and meditation practice but also a decision for my future. I would create a place where people with similar needs could feel at home, and be nurtured and guided on their own personal journey to a more holistic, socially aware and spiritually satisfying way of life.

A question of balance

I retrained in various modalities of Chinese medicine and, as my understanding grew, so did my curiosity. How and why do the energies of the five elements affect us as they do? Why did I become ill and how did I overcome a 25% survival rate? Why is achieving balance so elusive?

So as well as beginning my work in transformational healing by leading workshops and retreats, I visited many healing places and spas around the world. 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. Too often, the process of transformation was linked to sacrifice and denial, key features of Eastern philosophies.

Celebrating life

I discovered that the answer lay in my Greek heritage. For Ancient Greek philosophers, individual freedom of choice was a cornerstone of their world view. So, too, responsibility, not only to the state but also to yourself. Most of all, they viewed life as joyful, sensual, full of exciting potential for growth and discovery.

I found it particularly fascinating that the five elements have a strong emotional and physical application, with the power to transform. They describe natural forms of energy, like the seasons, but also refer to personality types that are better understood with the help of archetypes.

Archetypes are role models that transcend time and place, and therefore have a therapeutic use. Take the power of myths such as the 12 Labours of Hercules and famed heroes and demigods (Ulysses and Leonidas), or the protagonists of ancient tragedies (Antigone and Oedipus). Through the stories of the 12 Olympian gods, people were educated and motivated to find in themselves a higher ethos.

It took me a decade to find a suitable location, and only a second to make my decision. The UNESCO-protected town of Mystras, in the mythical Peloponnese, encapsulates all of this – 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.

My vision now has a name, Euphoria Retreat: a place that uniquely blends ancient Hellenic and Chinese healing philosophies and practices, allowing you to reconnect with your inner self and achieve meaningful life change at every level – physical, emotional and spiritual. Ultimately, to become your own healer.

This is what inspires our healing philosophy.

Your life, your journey.

Marina Efraimoglou