I went on a Greek Island adventure this past summer where I worked with refugees, explored hidden beaches, and of course taught yoga along the way!
In this blog post you will find:
♦My FAVORITE Greek Islands
♦Best places to yoga
♦And learn about the amazing refugee community!
Let’s get started!
My FAVORITE Greek Islands:
Imagine gorgeous blue water meets dark green forested mountains with hidden beaches around every corner! Welcome to Skopelos, better know as the island where the famous “Mamma Mia” was filmed in 2008. Skopelos is this mysterious island that I still can’t believe exists! There are monasteries on the tops of mountains and beaches hidden by beautiful pine trees. It is truly a mystery around every bend and corner that you cannot miss out on!
Chios has a bit of everything. A port that’s the downtown of the island, a hot desert, and MAGICAL sea caves. They’re so still and peaceful that every time I think back, my breath deepens and my heart opens. It’s everything. Chios is also the “home” for some of the 172,000 refugees who made the journey to Greece for a better life. You can read more about their story HERE. The best part about Chios is they still have the historic Greek windmills on the island AND while walking the boardwalk you can see Turkey across the water. Two countries in one!
A tiny island just two hours south of Athens that you can’t miss out on. It’s the only Greek island that doesn’t have cars. So you get around by water taxi, walking, and donkeys! It’s awesome! And if you have an evening/night here you MUST watch the life changing sunsets and wish on every shooting star you see! I once counted 17 in one night on this island! So don’t miss out on all this magic!
Greek Food. Need I say more?
The BEST places to yoga while Greek Island hopping:
♦Island ports in the early mornings and evenings
♦The balcony of your Airbnb or Hotel
♦The forever long ferries that take you to and from the islands. There are smaller decks that typically no one knows about where YOU can pull out your mat and experience that glorious Aegean sea.
Most magical experience ever? YES.
Will you become a mermaid after this? YES.
♦Flat rocky beaches, especially in Skiathos. The rocks are SO big and flat that it’s easy to yoga on them!
The AMAZING Refugee Community:
I recently had the opportunity to volunteer and teach yoga to the refugees in Chios, Greece. It was a life changing experience, but not in the magical expected way. In the realistic I can’t believe this is happening to human beings way.
There are currently 172,000+ refugees living throughout the EU. Majority of them live on the Greek islands. And when I say live, I mean surviving. Thankfully there are lightworkers (as I call them) who travel to these islands to volunteer and help. The organization I volunteered with is the FEOX Rescue Team. They’re an organization who help refugees get clothing, host fun entertainment evenings, and bring volunteers to the camps to help in anyway possible. They were also just nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize. The refugees are truly the kindest people I’ve ever met. Anytime I was in the camp, my spirit was lifted immediately. These people have every reason to give up hope and yet they don’t. Everyday they choose to live the better life and continue fighting for the life they deserve. How humbling is that?
Hacks to Greek Travel:
♦Triple check your itinerary times as flights and ferries are only once a day from the mainland. And buy your ferry tickets in person NOT online.
♦Greece is HOT in the summer. Stay hydrated and take breaks from the sun. And have lots of coconut oil and aloe handy if you’re out too long.
♦Eat HEALTHY. Your body will need it from all the sun, desert walking, and swimming. Greece is known for their fruit so eat up!
♦Most historic venues accept student ID’s for discounts. Especially in Athens!
Other great Greek islands/towns to explore:
♦Alonissos ♦Skiathos ♦Epidaurus ♦Gytheio ♦Sparti
If there is one lesson I learned while in Greece it was this:
Be the light in negative situations. Some people aren’t a fan of light, because they’re too stuck in their own darkness. Be light anyway.
If you found this guide helpful then share it with a friend! If something about the refugees spoke to you then share this with a friend. And if you’re planning a Greek Adventure then share this with all the friends you’ll meet along the way! Namaste. ♥
Brytta is a traveling yogi who loves glitter, climbing waterfalls and SUP Yoga. When she’s not adventuring around the world and practicing yoga, you can find her in Chicago finishing her degree and probably eating vegetarian pizza. And when she’s not doing any of that, she’s outside studying constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. ♥