We are an English couple that decided to quit the "rat-race" some years ago in order to create our own off grid mountain oasis in Greece, based on the principles of alternative and eco-friendly living. We currently have two yurts on-site which were hand built in Somerset, England, by Woodland Yurts. They afford a low-impact and unique living experience, minimising the disturbance to other animals and the local ecosystem.
Both yurts are on a platform of recycled car tyres rammed with course gravel with beams and wooden floors. View the construction process of a foundation and floor in the slideshow below. We live in our yurt permanently and have a wood burning stove to keep us cosy and warm in the winter. The solar-powered lights provide a lovely relaxed ambiance inside the yurts and from the outside they look wonderful lit up at night.
Yurt living enables you to form a more intimate relationship with nature compared to traditional buildings made of stone. The soundscape is fantastic in a fabric yurt, from water rushing down the gorge to the distant mating calls of foxes. You can feel the year moving through the seasons and notice the phases of the moon. In the summer you can remove the crown cover and look at the starry sky from the comfort of your bed.
There are some challenges in the winter such as strong gales but the aerodynamic shape of yurts means the wind flows around them rather than pushing on flat walls. The natural strength of the basic yurt design is remarkable. Heavy rain is loud in a yurt, which is one of the downsides to yurt living. Extreme cold is another downside but it's possible to maintain a comfortable living environment. The Pros definitely outweigh the Cons.
Our yurts are not houses and we have a caravan for preparing meals and other facilities on-site such as a compost toilet and unique shower room. We grow as many vegetables as we can in order to eat more healthily, become more self-sufficient, and support our mostly vegetarian lifestyle. Yurt living and sustainable living go hand-in-hand. We care for the land our yurts sit-on and have tried to keep disturbance to an absolute minimum.
If there was a Greek word that describes what we are trying to achieve it is Eudaimonia, which can be translated as "human flourishing or prosperity". The ancient Greek philosophy of Eudaimonia was founded by Aristotle and is based on a self-realization theory - that the source of happiness is internal and cultivated by living a worthwhile life. According to the philosopher and scientist Aristotle “happiness belongs to the self sufficient".
If you love camping, being close to nature, and want to live a more simplistic off-the-grid life, the relaxed vibe of a yurt might just be for you. Nowadays they are a popular accommodation for "glampers” but they make super affordable and versatile full-time homes. The roundness and circular skylight of a yurt makes it feel almost sacred. If you have any questions or would like to experience a yurt yourself, get in touch via email.