Our story – The dream of peace

Our story begins in 2004. In a slightly different world, if we may define it like this, or a much different world as defined by others. Ourania Sideri’s (the owner of Urania Villas in Lefkada) first part of her dream was to escape the noise of the city of Athens, the fast paced rhythms of our modern lifestyle and everything that comes with it. The second part of her dream was to honor her fathers’ land. A great invaluable gift. One completely isolated piece of land, in the south-east part of the magnificent island of Lefkada. So remote at that time, that there has been no proper road, no water nor electricity to make that dream easy to implement.

And so her story began and she created six rare villas that kept all the traditional architectural patterns of the island of Lefkada. The true stone-built villas, with the old Byzantine bronze tile roofs, the striped patterned wooden ceilings, the wooden windows and shutters, all originate from the classical architecture of the island, also symbolizing the respect to the people who came before us.

A small parentheses to mention that whoever she shared her dream with; said “You are crazy”, “This is not going to work”, whilst banks and investors held the same opinion. Which is a lesson for me, that, when you have a dream, or a goal, or an idea of making something, just go for it and don’t let the fear of others get in your way.

A year later, in 2005 the whole dream started to receive form and by June of 2007 the five villas, Villa Helios (The Sun), Villa Iris (The rainbow goddess Iris), Villa Fos (The light), Villa Eos (the sister of the god Sun) and Villa Geofos (The earth-light) came to life. All five names have been related to the Sun and Light, to remind us of hope and positivity. 

The idea of sharing this place with others was to allow families and friends to come to our place, relax under the sun of the beautiful Greek weather and listen to the quiet melodies of the birds and leaves; rejuvenate their minds within the true essence of vacation and to create a memorable experience.

In 2012, we had our first Yoga and Meditation retreat by a German teacher, her name was Carmen. At the time, we did not have any infrastructure for practice and the practitioners used the terrace of villa Fos or Helios to meditate and do yoga. With a few pictures from Carmen’s retreat and the increasing demand of the Western world to engage healthier and peaceful habits, we kept receiving more requests for all types of Retreats, such as Yoga, Pilates, Dance and Mindfulness retreats.

That gave us the opportunity to expand and create the beautiful Retreat Shala in 2017 and also to complete our 6th villa, villa Rhea (the daughter of Sky and Earth). Now, we are blessed to run over 15 successful retreats every year and to connect with more people across the world that seek the same dream as Ourania, to relax and connect with nature and themselves.

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