The Blue Zone Approach

Ikaria, Greece. The island where people forget to die.

This tiny island’s long history has been as rocky as its topography. The outcropping in the Aegean Sea has been the target of invasions by Persians, Romans and Turks, forcing its residents inland from the coasts. The result: An isolated culture rich in tradition, family values – and longevity.

Today, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and some of the chronic diseases that plague Australians; one in three make it to their 90s. A combination of factors explain it, including geography, culture, diet, lifestyle and outlook. They enjoy strong red wine, late-night backgammon and domino games and a relaxed pace of life that ignores clocks. Clean air, warm breezes and rugged terrain draw them outdoors into an active lifestyle.

Aetherius Retreats Kardamyli is using the Ikarian way of life as the basis for our guests experience. Kardamyli has a similar terrain to our island cousins – a beautiful fusion of pristine beaches and dramatic mountainous landscape. Clean air, a gentle, sunny almost sub- tropical climate and locally grown food - not to mention it’s where the world famous Kalamata Olives and Olive oil come from. Aetherius Retreats Kardamyli has all the ingredients for you to experience a week of scientifically proven methods of dramatically improving your overall quality of life

Ikarians have woven the recipe for longevity into their culture and lifestyle. These common practices have taught us some key fundamentals things that we have incorporated in our retreats.

The Blue Zone Approach Broken Down
The longest-lived Ikarians tended to be poor people living in the island’s highlands. They exercised mindlessly by just gardening, walking to their neighbours house or doing their own yard work. The lesson to us: We’ve engineered more incidental movement into your Aetherius Retreats experience
Ikarians eat a variation of the Mediterranean diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes and olive oil. You’ll enjoy daily feasts on locally grown food, enriched with world famous Kalamata Olive Oil.
People in Ikaria enjoy drinking herbal teas with family and friends, and scientists have found that they pack an antioxidant punch. Wild rosemary, sage and oregano teas also act as a diuretic, which can keep blood pressure in check by ridding the body of excess sodium and water. Locally sourced and wild herbal teas will be available for you every day.

Take a cue from Ikarians and take a midafternoon break. People who nap regularly have up to 35 percent lower chances of dying from heart disease. It may be because napping lowers stress hormones or rests the heart. You will enjoy plenty of midday “free time” where you can indulge in a relaxing massage, take a dip in the beautiful beach or enjoy an afternoon nap.
Ikarians have traditionally been fierce Greek Orthodox Christians. Their religious calendar called for fasting almost half the year. Caloric restriction – a type of fasting that cuts about 30 percent of calories out of the normal diet – is the only proven way to slow the aging process in mammals. We’ve carefully chosen breakfast and dinner times to incorporate a mild form of intermittent fasting.
Ikarians foster social connections, which have been shown to benefit overall health and longevity. So get out there and make some plans. You will LOVE the locals. You will make some amazing new friends during your stay in our retreats, plus meet some truly beautiful locals – who happen to also be family.
Instead of cow’s milk, Ikarians use grass-fed goat’s milk. It provides potassium and the stress-relieving hormone tryptophan. It’s also hypoallergenic and can usually be tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant. You will have the option of enjoying goats cheese and goats milk during your stay. Our intention is for you to walk away with some life changing / improving tips which you can incorporate in your everyday life. You WILL look and feel some much better by the end of your Aetherius Kardamyli Retreat.