San­torini and Corfu charm with their whites and blues, wan­der­ing al­leys and godly sun­sets

World Travel Magazine - - Just In -

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

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