We got married in August 2014 and the Saturday we chose was the only day in the entire month (that is supposed to be one of the driest months) that it poured with rain.. “a rain event” the news stations called it. But nothing could have taken away one ounce of happiness that that day brought us, plus rain on your wedding day is meant to be a sign good fortune. I guess we’ve been blessed with bucket loads! We jetted off a few days after our nuptials and made our way up to Europe with a few pit stops on the way. Destination 3 was the stunning Greek Island of Santorini. We opted to spend our whole stay here in Oia, home town of the famous sunset point.
where to stay:
A LITTLE Slice of Paradise
Ikies Traditional Houses
Let me start you off with the story of the lost city of Atlantis.
Atlantis was an island located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that was populated by a powerful and noble race. Poseidon ‘God of the Sea’, was the ruler of this land. He created a dwelling at the highest point of the island for his love, a mortal woman named Cleito. They had five sets of twin boys who became the rulers of Atlantis. For generations, the people of Atlantis lived simple, virtuous lives with prosperous harvests twice a year – they wanted for nothing. Over time things began to change; power and greed corrupted the Atlanteans. Zeus gathered the gods and determined their fate. Swiftly, in one violent surge, the island of Atlantis, its people and stories, were engulfed by the sea… or so the story goes.
Many people believe that the recently unearthed town of Akrotiri (lost beneath volcanic ash) located on the southern end of Santorini, to be what once was the lost city of Atlantis. Ikies Traditional Houses are located at the entrance to the town of Oia. It’s set back from the intense crowds that block the walkway running through the town’s centre (created by the hundreds of curious cruise liner patrons that make the daily trudge from one end of town to the other, and back again).
This place is a slice of paradise within paradise.
Santorini itself is breathtaking – whitewashed cave houses sit effortlessly atop a cliff face, peering down into crystal clear sapphire blue waters. Just when you think (like many before you) that Santorini has to be the most beautiful place on earth… you step inside Ikies Traditional Houses.
Ikies is a smaller, boutique-style hotel that offers a limited amount of cave houses. Now, what is it they say? It’s not the size that matters; it’s all about what you do with it? Ikies might not offer quantity, but they most certainly offer quality!
Each room comes with a personal plunge pool. The size is perfect for two and comes with all the extras of a spa (bubbles and heat) to be enjoyed whenever you like, with cocktail in hand!
Also included, is a patio with dual sun lounges and a dining setting that’s set out on the cliff’s edge so you can take in the stunning view over breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Inside boasts a sitting area, large cloud-like bed and a fully functioning kitchen. The kitchen is beautifully presented with creature comforts included like tea and coffee, along with a complimentary bottle of local wine to celebrate your arrival. The bathroom is stocked with all natural, vegan products that leave you feeling absolutely divine and unconsciously channelling your inner Greek goddess! Aphrodite eat your heart out.
The staff are exceptionally attentive and before you know you want something, you have it. Breakfast is ordered the night before and served to you on your patio each morning at your preferred dining time. If you’re thinking of heading here on your honeymoon (I highly recommend it; we scheduled a two-night stay as a part of our honeymoon) then prepare to be spoilt a little more than the guests on a regular stay. Newlyweds get to start their day, every day, with a Champagne breakfast. Ikies loves love, and the bubbles are a daily treat on them (I’ll toast to that)!
Ikies Traditional Houses, 84702 Cyclades, Oia, Santorini, Greece, +30 22 860 71 311
what to do:
Oia (pronounced “EE-AH”) is the smaller, more romantic of the two popular towns on Santorini. Here you will find an array of classy boutique shops filled to the brim with local designer garments, jewellery, leather goods and shoes. It is well known for its price tag and slower pace and tends to attract honeymooners and those looking to sit back and relax in a little luxury. Shopping, eating and relaxing will take up most of your time here. Cam bought me some beautiful gold chain bracelets here each adorned with a traditional charm, one with the infinity sign and the other with the evil eye – believed to ward off bad spirits. They are so fragile with tiny links in the chain (easily broken) so be careful when wearing them if you choose to purchase one!
If you forgot to pack a novel for by the pool swing by Atlanis Books located on the main drag. It is an independent book store founded in 2004 by a group of friends from Cyprus, England and the United States. They play home to backpackers working for the season and even have a spot for you post a written note to a loved one! (because everyone loves getting something in the mail!)
Another must see is Mnemosyne Gallery, named after the mother of the seven muses, it displays unique works of art, typography prints and jewellery.
If you’re looking for something to fill in that blank space of day between breakfast and tanning then head out of your hotel and wander down through the town to Ammoudi Bay.
Famous for its traditional Greek taverns serving up fresh caught fish and seafood daily. Ammoudi Bay is tremendously popular for sunset so if you’re thinking about enjoying an early dinner and watching the romantic sunset make sure you book a table in advance.
My favourite spot on the island is the little bay nestled just around the corner from Ammoudi. Hidden from most tourists and only accessible by foot (or boat) is where we spent a few lazy hours swimming in the crystal clear waters with hundreds of fish and warming up in the sun on the rocks. It’s a bit of a hike on the way back up, we never took anything other than towels but I would definitely recommend take some small change so you can take a ride on a donkey for the trip back up!
Fira town is located a short bus trip away (approx 20 minutes and costs around €2.50) and is home to the main port of Santorini. If you arrive by boat or are stopping by as a part of a cruise, Fira will be your landing point. Hostels, quad bikes and cocktail bars are friendly neighbours in Fira. Cam and I swung by for a night out and loved it! Will post more on that later.
HUGE Thank you to the wonderful team at Ikies Traditional Houses for making our stay better than we could have ever imagined.
All imagery; copyright Jenna Milne; Chronicles of Us.
Swimwear worn throughout; Island State Swimwear
Underwater imagery taken using; GoPro Hero
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