I was recently commissioned to shoot the amazing Silver Island in Greece: www.silverislandyoga.com.
Silver Island is 60 acres of gently rolling hills, small idyllic coves, ancient old olive groves, cypress trees and wild flowers, the rhythmic sound of cicadas all surrounded by the crystal blue Mediterranean with glorious views every way you turn.
The Island hosts yoga retreats for up to 10 people (plus instructors) at a time, offering a peaceful, tranquil experience different to the regular holiday.
To reach the island you have to travel via coach and ferry to a village called Oreoi. We were clearly going into uncharted territory for regular tourists, particularly out of season. Although even in season Oreoi is a destination for the Greeks and not the tourists.
The front of the village is line with bars and restaurants however all of them are Greek and do not offer an English menu. This isn’t something I would expect them to do, however when you are in France, Spain or Germany for example you can do some reasonable detective work as to what the words mean. In Greece, it’s an entirely different alphabet. We guessed blindly at some words we could not read and ended up with one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. There were incredible bowls of prawns and a meat platter covered in… something. It was amazing. I’ll never know what we had that night but it was incredible.
The next morning we were met by the islands residents and owners (along with her sister Claire) Lissa & Corne. We were met by a local fisherman, threw our bags in his tiny boat and made our way to paradise.
Corne & Lissa:
The island is focused around one main house; which hosts a lounge, two of the guest rooms & bathrooms and most importantly the kitchen & dining areas. It’s here that Corne & Lissa cook up some incredible feasts. Normally when there is a retreat the menu is very health conscious but still very tasty. It is also for that reason vegetarian. As we were guests when there was no retreat we were lucky to enjoy a South African Bry (a wood barbecue) a couple of nights, devouring chicken and lamb.
The rest of the accommodation is in a separate house a couple of minutes walk away. This house has three rooms sleeping six in total and overlooking the sea.
The island has a working lighthouse which is unmanned but powered by solar panels. It is a military building but has been without visits for many years.
Retreats operate with two yoga sessions a day, one in the morning before breakfast and one in the late afternoon as the sun is setting. It all takes place on an outdoor platform adjacent to the sea.
Lissa, Corne & the retreats guests aren't the islands only inhabitants. They have an on site handyman Earnest who is regularly away pruning the islands many Olive Trees or keeping the place in check. The island also homes Chickens, Pheasants, A Tortoise and a few snakes.