Looking for an October getaway and the secrets to living longer? Travel to a Blue Zone in Greece to discover keys to longevity. Blue Zones recently launched Adventure Travel Tours and will be offering two, 7-day trips to Ikaria, one of the five Blue Zones discovered by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow.
What Are Blue Zones?
Earlier this year I met Dan Buettner through volunteering with the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series and learned more about Blue Zones. (Let’s just forget I kinda lost him for a bit a few minutes before he took to the stage. Oh, I haven’t mentioned that? Well, carry on, then.) Basically, they are places where people are living the longest and enjoying a healthy life into their 90s and 100s.
Research was conducted by a team of researchers and Buettner to determine the commonalities of these areas which are called the Power 9® principles. Blue Zones is assisting 26 cities across the U.S. through its Blue Zones Project initiative. Naples, Fla., is one of those cities and during Buettner’s Sarasota visit, when asked during a press conference if that city has potential to be a Blue Zone, he said “yes,” and specifically named St. Armands Circle. Why? Because it’s pedestrian-friendly.
The National Geographic fellow also said in order to implement the Power 9 in cities, it’s not about making people change but making their environment change. For instance, rather than asking restaurants to put “healthy” items on the menu and designate them as healthy, simply put the items on the menu. Or, it’s making pedestrian-friendly places making it easier for people to walk and get exercise. The Power 9 principles are outlined in Buettner’s latest book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.
Let’s get back to the Blue Zones 7-day Adventure Travel Tours to Ikaria, Greece…
During the week, the group will travel with local guides through Ikaria while applying the Power 9 principles. They’ll learn why Buettner dubbed it “The island where people forget to die,” in his New York Times Magazine article (2012). “Time moves at a different pace; Ikarians are a passionate people more in tune with their environment and clearly taking pleasure in their unhurried lifestyle,” explains Buettner. “The daily activity required to harvest their own food pays dividends as they stay physically active into their 90s and live 10 years longer than people in the rest of the western world.”
Group participants will explore ancient ruins, fishing villages, olive groves, thermal pools, hidden beaches, dramatic coastlines and richly forested mountains. Of course, participants will be eating locally grown food while drinking wild herbal teas and homemade wines.
Trip Cost: $3,250 USD per person, double occupancy, and includes accommodations, ground transportation and group meals while on the island. Participants must be 18 years of age.
Learn more and to register for this journey to a Blue Zone, visit For more details or to register for the trip, visit: bluezones.com/services/adventure-travel or call Gwen Martin at 612-596-3600.
Bit of trivia: Why call them Blue Zones? Researchers and Buettner used blue Sharpie markers to map out the regions.
Advice I Learned from Dan Buettner: Learn one good bean recipe and eat beans at least once a day.