Plato’s account of Atlantis; “rocks of white, black and red were extracted from the hills and used to construct a great island city” holds a striking resemblance to the whitewashed abodes, cobalt-domed churches, and the black and red sand beaches which mark the isle of Santorini, an alluring Mediterranean oasis mired in mythology. Some believe the Caldera Island may have been one of the possible locations of the fabled island of Atlantis.
Another legend has it, Euphemus, son of Poseidon, created the island following a dream where he made love to a nymph. Certainly explaining the island’s tendency of a romantic nature; one does not find a more beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea than from this Greek island, and the sunsets are the most photographed in the world.
Ikies Traditional Houses is a special type of boutique hotel; a five-star complex of dug-out cave houses, it’s elegant design comprising of honeymoon suites, maisonettes, and studios located at the edge and facing the picturesque village of Oia, which guests can watch as the sun rises and sets on the private terrace. The staff are incredibly helpful – attentive but inconspicuous, which only adds to the privacy of the hotel.
The minimalist troglodyte-style interiors include 11 dwellings or fisherman’s warehouses which have been artfully converted into delightful rooms descending in tiers at the caldera’s edge, each one with its own distinctive personality and name. We were lucky enough to stay in the Captain’s House – one of the luxury suites with a private hot tub accessed through the large bedroom windows, looking onto a secluded terrace where breakfast or room service is served. The living room has two comfortable traditional sofas, which can be turned into single beds if needs be, and a dining table. There is a lot of disused space through the suite’s curved interior which could have been used to build a bigger bathroom, but apart from that it was a complete and utter delight to stay in.
Ikies is a handy walking distance to Oia’s best dining and attractions, while remaining tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist core, which is great if you fancy an evening in. While there’s a medium-sized plunge-pool at the lowest terrace, overlooking the Caldera and the town which makes for fun photo opportunities, only light snacks and drinks are served to the pool area (or your room), but a continental breakfast is brought to your room terrace. The staff are also happy to make quality restaurant recommendations, we even ordered a takeout one evening to sit and watch the sunset.