GREEK ODYSSEY WORTH WANDERING
Santorini and Corfu charm with their whites and blues, wandering alleys and godly sunsets
The whitewashed walls and blue roofs and windows are the backgrounds of some of the most picturesque Instagram posts. Here in Santorini, her sunrise and sunset are the most stunning sights you will ever see as the sun looms over the Aegean Sea. The island is what remains of one of the largest recorded volcanic eruptions in the world. Embark on a leisurely hike from the island capital of Fira to the small village of Oia where you will be greeted with the most breathtaking view of the Nea Kameni volcano in the adjacent island.
We say leisurely because getting lost in Oia’s charming stairwells and alleys is a beautiful experience; there’s always a quaint restaurant or store that you will find playing hide and seek around the corner.
Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni are both volcanic islands, which means the waters surrounding them have higher temperature. Indeed, many locals and tourists take a dip in these volcanic hot springs and even cover themselves in mud that can be found underwater. Its soil called “aspa” allows a unique vine to grow that can only be found in Santorini, thus creating the fabulous Santorini wine.
The Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum in the middle of the island is an interesting stop for purveyors of this alcoholic drink. The Wine Museum is located in a cave eight metres underground, curated and preserved by the Koutsayannopoulos family. The entire cave is 300 metres long and mimics the shape of a labyrinth where guests can learn the arduous process of winemaking that dates back to the 1600s.
The uniqueness of the island extends to the accommodations within. The Windmill Villas offers individual three-storey luxury windmills for large parties in its 2-bedroom and 3-bathroom lodgings. Because seriously, who doesn’t want to sleep in a windmill?
Another legendary Greek vacation is located northwest of Santorini on the island of Corfu, facing the Ionian Sea. A property worth mentioning is the new Ikos Dassia, a five-star inclusive hotel and resort that will open its doors in May this year. All 411 rooms will have bewitching views of the panoramic Ionian Coast that can be enjoyed from the private balconies in all rooms. It is scheduled to house an Ikos Spa by Anne Semonin, a Paris-based skincare brand known for its pioneering work in anti-ageing skincare. Six à la carte restaurants and a Michelin-starred menu will also be available.
For a dose of the town’s interesting history, head over to Kerkyra Town’s archaeological museum or the Byzantine Museum in Mouragia where you can find icons from the 15th to 18th centuries. For an enchanting 360-degree view of the entire island, climb up to the Kaiser’s Throne, a viewing point at the top of Pelakas village. It isn’t really a throne, but it’s named after German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II who loved to summer in Corfu.
From left, Ikos Dassia’s two-bedroom bungalow suite; The beachfront; bungalow suite balcony