Immerse Yourself in the Graceful Movement Retreat 

If you would like to start your summer drenched in sunshine, solace, and serenity, you may want to learn more about The Graceful Movement Retreat, where you can immerse yourself in five days of yoga and pilates classes taught by former classic New York ballet dancer Jennifer Dimitriou.

Realign Retreats has teamed up with The Graceful Movement to create the ultimate holistic getaway at Euphoria Retreats – a leading wellbeing resort tucked away in a lush hillside in the Peloponnese.  

In early June, guests are invited to experience a unique movement practice along with award-winning spa facilities, and authentic cuisine – making this retreat a complete haven for anyone in search of relaxation and self-discovery. 

We recently spoke with Jennifer Dimitriou and Elena Falida about their upcoming retreat that’s designed to cultivate a deep connection between the body, mind and spirit.  

Can you tell us a bit about your unique teaching style? 

Jennifer: It’s a fluid and elegant mix of yoga, pilates and ballet-inspired movement that’s especially focused on developing good posture, whole-body strength and mobility through graceful movements. My passion is to get as many people as I can to move well on and off the mat. I teach to my audience not to my agenda and I am a stickler for teaching good form because without that, the work is not effective; people get injured, and they won’t want to come back. Also, I never script anything, all of my classes are different and sometimes there’s more of a focus on one of the movement methods including yoga, pilates, or ballet barre. For me, the most important aspect of teaching is watching people transform. I believe in exchanging and creating good energy. Lastly, I’m a performer, so I love to move people – getting them out of their heads and into their bodies, which means a lot of laughing and fun. I want them to walk out feeling inspired and ready to take on their day spreading good energy.

What will be the main focus for your upcoming retreat? 

Jennifer: We all need different things, but retreats are a time to give back to yourself, to release stress, to move, to breathe, to eat well, to enjoy, to learn something new, to take away what you need, and to leave the rest. It will be a retreat with a community of like-minded people coming together yet finding their individual selves.

Do you recommend a certain level of yoga experience or is it suitable for all? 

All levels are welcome. 

Why did you choose Euphoria as the location for your retreat?

Elena: Euphoria was a natural choice as it represents the highest example of a holistic wellness experience in Greece. The unparalleled wellbeing centre of Euphoria, with its impeccable facilities, creates one of the world’s ultimate healthy gateways. On top of that, a sense of tranquillity permeates Euphoria’s Byzantine architecture and monastic interiors, which is ideal for our guest’s experience whereas the surrounding private forest offers a restorative role of nature at your fingertips. 

What can guests expect from the overall experience?

Elena: Fundamental to any stay at Euphoria is an exploration of their spa facilities, which is not just an architectural wonder but also the discovery of the most astonishing array of facilities – from swimming pools to exquisitely designed steams, saunas and much more awaits to introduce guests to the world of deep relaxation and self-exploration.

Then there’s Euphoria’s contemporary GAIA restaurant, which serves pure, authentic food that comes alive through the energy of the mineral-packed soil of the Peloponnese. Offering a blend of regionally inspired contemporary Greek and Mediterranean dishes, the emphasis is on simplicity, healthy living and full flavour.

In addition, guests will be immersed in The Graceful Movement method daily, where they will be guided (step by step) by Jennifer into the connection of the mind with the body. 

Overall guests should expect to find themselves unfurling into a natural new rhythm, in tune with everything around them. After just a few days at our retreat, they will notice how a healthy routine of moving your body, eating clean nourishing food, and sleeping deeply after basking in sunshine with a like-minded community begins to make a tangible difference.

Will there be time to explore nearby areas? 

Classes will be offered once or twice a day, so there is plenty of time to explore the beautiful resort and its top-notch spa, go hiking, or just sit by the pool and read.

What are you looking forward to most about hosting this retreat?

Jennifer: I absolutely love teaching smaller intimate groups such as retreats and workshops. It’s usually a great group that wants to be there and to practice. Also, I travel to Greece every summer, as my husband is Greek Australian, so it’s one of my favourite places to be in the world. I’m also really looking forward to staying at Euphoria – even though I’m working, it’s also a very inspiring time for me to take time for myself.

The Graceful Movement Retreat 2024 

Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022

Who doesn’t enjoy being pampered? Especially when it takes place in a stunning location where you can also enjoy the sea, luxurious amenities, beautiful sights, fine dining and customised services. Whether you’re planning to spoil yourself rotten or simply want to dream about it, here we’ve concocted a list of 2022’s Best Greek spas to visit.

Euphoria Retreat (Mystras)

Just the pool area of Euphoria, with a skylight, a light in the bottom, aquatic creature sounds when you dive under and numerous amazing massage jets in all of its corners is a great reason to visit Euphoria. Add to that four floors of spa therapy rooms offering everything from the hammam, a wide range of massages and floatation therapy, as well as a restaurant serving up truly healthy and delicious food, and you’ll understand why it’s rated so highly. Euphoria also collaborates with leading exercise and nutrition specialists to create a tailor-made diet and/or exercise programmes to meet your personal needs. 

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022


Amanzoe (Kranidi, Argolida)

Like all the Aman hotels around the world, Amanzoe lives up to high expectations by offering a soothing blend of understated, yet undeniable luxury combined with a scenic location and offering great spa services. Guests can try programmes like Detox & Cleansing, Mindfulness & Stress Management or Weight Management & Transformation or simply opt for individual (and individualized) treatments and therapies, as recommended by their in-house experts.

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022

Out of the Blue, Capsis Elite Resort (Crete)

From sophisticated spa therapies for the face & body to well-run yoga retreats and special programmes designed to target your greatest detox, anti-ageing or weight-loss goals, this is a good place to experience innovative wellness. Combine your luxurious indoor or outdoor treatments with high-grade organic food and plush surroundings, including seven restaurants, a large beach and pool and many more large-resort perks, if that’s your kind of thing.

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022


Pomegranate Wellness Spa (Halkidiki)

One of the best spa hotels in Halkidiki, the Pomegranate Spa combines modern, polished facilities with incredible sea views, well-reputed services and gourmet food made from local ingredients. It has an indoor pool, hammam, sauna and jacuzzis, and offers a range of beauty and relaxation treatments.

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022


Canaves Oia (Santorini)

Located inside a natural cave and with a soothing, embryonic ambience, this spa with a sauna and both indoor and outdoor pools helps you combine your awe for Santorini’s most unforgettable views with deep, sophisticated pampering. Apart from several options for couples to enjoy together, the hotel offers therapies such as the Bali Paradise Rasul ceremony and numerous facials.

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022

Andronis Concept Wellness Resort (Santorini)

Promising (and delivering) five-star personalized services combined with a picturesque location blessed with dizzyingly beautiful sunsets, Andronis’ Kallos Spa also doesn’t fail to please. Apart from several indulgent therapies, it offers the exclusive Hair Profiling Test, a unique screening programme supervised by Dr Zulia Frost that they claim provides a full wellness profile following a “non-invasive bio-energy approach”. Using a strand of your hair and waiting 20 minutes, this spa promises its guests a full wellness profile that comes with a nutritional and wellness programme.

Insights Greece - Best Spas in Greece to Visit in 2022


Visiting Mystras, the Former Byzantine Capital 

Situated at the foot of Mount Taygetos, Mystras is a truly spectacular place to visit. Spread over a steep mountainside and surrounded by olive and orange trees, this former Byzantine capital city is home to the single most compelling set of medieval ruins in Greece.


The Byzantine Castle of Mystras is located on the southern side of the Peloponnese, close to Sparti Town. The Castle is surrounded by Byzantine walls and boasts an imposing palace on top of the hill. This area is famous for its Byzantine churches with impressive frescoes inside. At the foot of the hill is the modern village of Mystras, featuring traditional architecture and wonderful platies (town squares). A visit to this area can be combined with trips to nearby Monemvasia and Gythio.

Insights Greece - Visiting Mystras, the Former Byzantine Capital 
Mystras Tower @comeandiscovermani

History of the area

The Castle Town of Mystras was very strong during the Byzantine times and in the last decades of the Byzantine period, it said that it was the second most important town after Constantinople. Mystras, the ‘Wonder of the Morea’, was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249, by the Prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the stunning medieval ruins, surrounded by breathtaking landscape. It’s also been named as one of the most important historical sites in the Peloponnese. 

What you will find here

Explore the well-preserved Byzantine churches, the remains of the Palace, and strong walls. On top of the castle hill is the Palace of the Despots, as well as the many sacred Byzantine chapels with fascinating architecture and valuable frescoes. Below the Medieval Castle is a new village that has been constructed, here is where you will find many traditional hotels. This destination is also great for those who enjoy trekking, as the paths lead to many breathtaking spots.

Byzantine Churches

Insights Greece - Visiting Mystras, the Former Byzantine Capital 
Palace of Despots

The most famous churches are Agios Dimitrios, where Konstantinos Paleologos, the last Byzantine Emperor was crowned, and Agioi Theodoroi, which boasts beautiful frescoes. In the courtyard of Agios Dimitrios, you can visit the Archaeological Museum which is home to many Byzantine and ecclesiastical exhibits. In 1989, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.

The entire Castle of Mystras is filled with amazing churches of Byzantine style but only a few of them now remain open to visitors. Our recommendations are the impressive Monasteries of Our Lady Pantanassa, and of Οur Lady Perivleptos. 

Also noteworthy is the Holy Monastery of Vrontochion and its inner church of Odigitria, which features unique architecture. And although it is quite gothic-like, it’s combined with many elements of Byzantine designs. You can also view the rich frescoes that depict the miracle of Christ, produced by the talented painters of their time in Constantinople.

Where to eat and drink

Stroll through the square of the charming villages nearby and you will come across a variety of cafes and tavernas where locals and visitors gather and catch up for a coffee, late lunch, or dinner. Some of our picks for the best traditional eateries are Chromata and Pikoulianika, where you will taste local dishes and products that are the focus of their flavourful dishes. We also recommend Ktima Skreka, Palaiologos, and O Ellinas, who use vegetables from their own farm and also produce their own variety of olive oil. 

Insights Greece - Visiting Mystras, the Former Byzantine Capital 
Chromata @greeka

For a more modern setting try Palataki and Elia, which are located at Mystras Grand Palace Resort, or make a reservation at the Gaia Restaurant, which is found at Euphoria Retreat; here you can also grab a casual bite at the Chef’s Grill, which serves high-quality meats cooked to perfection. 

What to eat

The traditional dish of the region is bouzopoula, which is roasted pork. Lakonia is also known for its pasto (cured smoked pork) and orange flavoured sausages. For some traditional sweets try the Halvas Farsallon, pasteli and you can’t leave before trying some locally grown oranges and olives, as the area is filled with both! 

Where to stay 

Insights Greece - Visiting Mystras, the Former Byzantine Capital 

Mystras Grand Palace Resort & Spa seeks to blend harmoniously with the Laconian landscape through its stone-built lodgings interspersed with olive trees. This resort has a focus on wellbeing.

Kyniska Palace is a serene hideaway at the foothills of mountain Taygetos where nature, discreet luxury, and local myths are in perfect harmony.

Euphoria Retreat is one of Greece’s most loved hotels in the region as it’s the perfect place to relax, unwind and allow your mind and body some time to rejuvenate. 

Insider Tip: A visit here involves moderate amounts of hiking. We should also mention that the site has two entrances, one at the base of the site and another at the top (near the fortress). If you arrive by taxi from Sparta, you should ask the driver to take you to the upper entrance and from there you can walk down, rather than entering below and climbing up. Public buses travel to the site from Sparta on a daily basis. 

To get there

It is roughly a three-hour drive from Athens and there is about 50€ worth of tolls in a one-way trip. You can also drive from Kalamata in just over an hour and just under an hour from Tripoli.  

Cover image @discovergreece

Euphoria Retreat: An Awarded Healing Destination

Upon arriving at Euphoria Retreat, I felt an immediate sense of calm and relief. Idyllically located above the picturesque medieval village of Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and just beneath the snow-capped Mt Taygetyos, the resort is surrounded by a dreamily pastoral landscape and a pine and cypress forest.

And then there’s the heart of Euphoria, it’s incredible four-story spa, like a magical tower of healing lit by natural light.

Euphoria Retreat is the result of a magnificent vision experienced by its creator, Marina Efraimoglou, who left the stress-ridden world of banking when she faced and battled cancer, consequently entering her own fascinating journey into the holistic wellness world. Awards received by Euphoria Retreat since it opened include the Conde Nast Traveller Spa and Reader’s Choice Awards, a World Luxury Spa Award and a National Geographic Traveller Big Sleep Award.


Insights Greece - Euphoria Retreat: An Awarded Healing Destination

Known as the ‘wonder of the Morea’, Mystras in the southeastern Peloponnese is a fortified town that was amphitheatrically built around a Frankish castle. Mystras was under the rule of the Franks, Byzantines, Ottomans and Venetians and was abandoned in 1834. The mystical medieval ruins of Mystras are situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain, above the modern village of Mystras and Sparta.


Euphoria Retreat is not a Spa Hotel, it is a healing resort where one can go to rebalance, connect with or re-activate the source of wellbeing and discover new, even life-changing ways to experience personalised mind-body-soul health. Apart from its spectacular spa, which is based on the Five Elements, a combination of ancient Greek and Chinese ‘iatrosophy’ principles, other communal areas are Euphoria’s restaurant and sprawling lush grounds. A tailor-made contemporarily scientific as well as ancient spiritual wellness approach extends to the resort’s Signature Retreats designed for guests according to their personal needs. Whether guests book a customized retreat or not they can enjoy everything from outdoor exercise in the newly constructed Forest Gym and a daily schedule including yoga, Pilates and other classes, to sophisticated spa treatments that include assisted floatation and a fantastic array of luxury therapies.

Style and Character

Insights Greece - Euphoria Retreat: An Awarded Healing Destination

The overall style is rural-modern, with touches of Byzantine culture and design, and circular objects, representing eternity, femininity and wholeness are noticeably present. The spa experience here is exquisite. With a spiraling staircase topped by a skylight and with a well in its centre, the spa’s tranquilising ambience, intoxicating aromas of essential oils and sounds of running water make it easy to relish hours of healing. Designed by DECA Architecture together with Natalia Efraimoglou & Partners, the 3000 m2 building is carved into the base of a mountain between Mystras town and a lush forest that leads to a river. Designed according to the principles of the Five Elements, the four-storey spa experience starts at the ground floor with the element of water (birth), next of water combined with fire (action), then wood (earth) and finally metal (release, or letting go of things that weigh us down). On the ground floor there is a water-well with warm water that one walks in before then walking into a strip of cold water and experiencing Kneipp Therapy. On the water-fire level is the beautiful Tepidarium, a large steam area with two double and one single mosaic beds; this is surrounded by an Ottoman-style Hammam, sauna, steam room, ice cold water plunge pool, an aroma shower and an ice fountain.

Ideal for…

Euphoria is an ideal place to visit alone, with a partner or a few friends when you truly want to unwind and experience what the resort describes as ‘a unique cleansing process’. Its location is unique for not being the usual seafront spa type – indeed, being nestled under a mountain and next to Mystras archaeological site it is imbued with a special alpine charge. Visitors ideally come here to experience a Signature Retreat for a week or more, yet even a weekend offers a curative boost.

Insights Greece - Euphoria Retreat: An Awarded Healing Destination


Euphoria has modern, unique, yet traditionally-inspired facilities and treatments on its every level, but its unparalleled ‘magic spot’ is the exemplary sphere-like pool, envisioned by Marina Efraimoglou and co-designed by the acclaimed and awarded DECA Architecture, who perfectly describe as such: “At the center of the interior pool is a sphere. Floating in the center of this dark orb there is a sense of being suspended in the void of a platonic volume but also a sense of womb-like calmness. Around this sphere are several coves with water jet treatments.”


Decked out with luxurious contemporary amenities, including a large screen, the rooms have a cosy, soothing and minimal feel. The warm yellows, beiges, browns, golds and reds of the region’s Byzantine iconography inspired the colours and lavish textiles in furnishings and décor, offering a sense of plush comfort and warmth. A Zen minimal-style design is combined with modern comforts like bio-climatization and a home automation system, as well as a luxurious pillow and bedding menu, with mattresses and fabrics that are produced using olive oil for extra softness. Guests who prefer to retreat from the world can also enjoy breakfast and other meals in-room. For a family or group of friends there is also the artfully renovated Leoncini Mansion, built in 1830, which has six rooms and a private dining room.

Insights Greece - Euphoria Retreat: An Awarded Healing Destination

Food & drinks

Gaia restaurant, with monastic-style benches designed to bring guests together, serves highly nutritious, meticulously prepared and appetizing cuisine based on seasonal,
organic and local ingredients. When it comes to food, Euphoria takes a science-based and expertly designed approach, offering custom-made programmes that address physical as much as emotional/mental needs; these involve specially-designed menus that address particular conditions and requirements, which are designed upon after the guest taking various forms of tests carried out using innovative and sophisticated methods. Guests are treated to herb and fruit-infused water but can also enjoy quality organic wines to accompany meals that are simple yet creative, traditional (using Greek and Mediterranean concepts and ingredients) as well as modern.

Euphoria Retreat