A tale of two islands: Tempus explores the Greek islands still inspiring the Epics
We explore the Greek islands of Mykonos and Paros to discover all this island has to offer
It surely can’t be put down to pure coincidence that, thousands of years ago, it was sitting on Mt Kynthos and overlooking the captivating landscape of Mykonos that Apollo first decided to enroll as the Greek god of sunshine, music and dance. These three muses continue to make this part of the world so very special.
We were invited by The Greek Villas to enjoy the island from the paramount comfort of Villa Lopez, one of the largest residential estates on the island, situated between Elia and the eminent ‘Super Paradise’ beach. I find it hard to recount a more impressive residential architectural success than this villa, which can sleep 11, spread out across five visually stunning suites. Each suite is accessible by personal golf buggy, and each boasts the most delectable views across the Athenian Sea.
A mere 30-second drive from the estate’s private helipad is where you will find the real star of the show - ‘The Playhouse’. A communal area that boasts an infinity pool, hot tub, fully equipped gymnasium, private cinema, table-tennis, a basketball court and ample space to unwind. To give you an idea of the power and respect this villa manifests on the island, the private chef during our stay was none other than Irene Lagoy, Greece’s most renowned and respected celebrity chef – there with a spatula in hand.
After a light breakfast on the terrace basked in the morning sunshine, we headed out to Ornos port to board our private charter boat. This will take us on an excursion to enjoy the archaeological delights of Delos, before spending the afternoon unwinding in the crystal clear waters of Rhenia. >>
Delos is a magnificent beast in its own right, once the cultural capital of the ancient world, playing host to such landmarks as The Temple of the Delians and The Terrace of The Lions (600 BCE). I can’t think of another place so compact, which boasts so many important archaeological sites.
Absorbed in the culture of Delos, in the early evening we head to Scorpios the most exclusive bar on the island, owned by Soho House. The added thrill at Scorpios is witnessing the sunset, which rivals that of Rio’s Ipanema Beach. We stayed long into the night enjoying the club's famous atmosphere, only to return to the villa to be spoilt once again by a never-ending carousel of fresh seafood.
If you’re looking for a quieter Greek Odyssey then fear not, as the island of Paros – famous for its stunning beaches and delicious seafood – is only an hour’s ferry ride away. We stayed at Villa Senna, a secluded mansion, which also sleeps up to eleven; overlooking Tripiti, a secluded cove of fine sand and azure blue waters, situated on Paros’s southern coast.
If one wanted to escape from civilization whilst being able to indulge in excessive opulence, this quaint villa bares the colours and features one might expect of a large house on a rustic island overlooking the Athenian Sea. >>
After lunch, feeling like an adventure, I head down the stone footbath, through the luscious olive field and onto Tripiti beach where, apart from the odd swooping sparrow, I am completely alone. How this area has remained such a well-kept secret is baffling, but I feel honoured to be privy to it.
For supper my friends and I take a short ride into the beautiful coastal village of Alyki, where at port-side the superb Mouragious taverna boasts the freshest fish on the island.
The next day Zlata and Eleni our private chefs, invite us to a cookery class, in the villa’s state-of-the-art kitchen. In an hour we have mastered such culinary creations as Gemista (Greek stuffed peppers), Kolokithokeftedes (courgette fritters), Spanakopita (feta and spinach puff pastry rolls) and, of course, the fabled Greek Salad.
If one were to try to summarise all that makes Mykonos & Paros such incredibly special islands to visit, be assured it wouldn’t take long before you ran out of superlatives.