“I was born and raised in the Peloponnese, in a small village outside Gythio. I am probably more than 200 years old. Lived with my “brothers and sisters” forever, until sometimes in 2013 our “home” was chosen to become a new stadium. We were about to be cut and sold for fire wood. A friend of our new owner spoke to him about us. He loves nature and respected our history and honored our roots. He did not want us to die. He bought us, and put us in trucks and transported us somewhere far and different from what we knew. They cut our branches off to help us survive, and tend to our roots so we can live. I got a bit sea sick!!! It’s two months now, all 183 of us are alive, and have a chance to fight for our lives. Most of my brothers and sisters have new branches and new growth, some of us are doing better than others. We don’t live all together anymore, but birds transfer our news. We now face the Aegean and shyly learn to dance with the meltemi. The wife of our new owner, promised that each of us will have an ancient greek name. She comes sometimes and caresses our old bodies. Gives us a kiss or two. Our new owner is so happy that we made it, and so are we!!! Spring is beautiful in our country and we are still ALIVE.”
As of today we have planted well in excess of 55,000 trees. The most rewarding was saving and replanting more than 500 ancient (300+ year old) olive trees destined to become firewood. We bought them, professionally and carefully uprooted them, transferred them by trucks and boats from the mainland and lovingly tended to their old and beautiful trunks and roots, gave them a second life and a new home.
As a new generation of Greeks reclaim their heritage, they’re looking past overtouristed islands like Mykonos to quiet stunners such as Ios island. Reachable only by boat this 42-square-mile island in the Cyclades archipelago with its 32 sand beaches, outstands in beauty and authenticity.In the only town on the island, Chora (a hippie heaven during the 1970s), guests stay in laid-back lodgings ranging from the chic Agalia Suites, a 14-room boutique hotel that opened its doors in the summer of 2014, to family-run guesthouses on narrow stone walkways. Ios’s oldest archaeological site, Skarkos, dates from the third millennium B.C., and the 16th-century monastery of Pyrgos sits below the island’s highest peak. Dirt tracks lead to more than two dozen pristine beaches, which veteran philhellenes call some of the finest strands in the Aegean islands.
”We saw what happened to other Greek islands transformed by overdevelopment. We’re determined to save Ios from that fate,” says Vassiliki Petridou, president of Luxurios Island Experience, a local eco-resort company.
During the construction process all the materials we use, except wood, iron, glass and cement and some of the marbles, are produced locally. The uniqueness of this is that our venues are built out of materials that are extracted from the ground of the actual building site and we are fortunate that some of our sites are significant stone- marble quarries offering distinctively different color and quality of marble and even stone-granite.Local craftsmen manually cut and carve the extracted stones, while the lower quality ones are grinded by a stone-processing machine to produce sand, gravel and plaster tobe used as the building/finishing materials such as concrete, plaster, etc. They then lay by hand and construct each one of the venues, some requiring millions of the crafted stones, employing painstaking but authentic and traditional building techniques.The swimming pools, patios and open ground surfaces are also constructed in the same way by adding thousand of marble pieces crafted by hand and put together similar to a giant puzzle aimed to create a unique finished product in yet another painstaking building process.
Storm water management and harvesting is in the forefront of our land development philosophy.
Every venue of ours has very large (for a total of 8.500 cubic meters) underground water reservoirs to collect water during the rainy season and consume it in the summer tourist season. Some properties have additional water reservoirs built at high points for irrigation through gravity and fire protection in case of wild fires.
There is no exposed infrastructure anywhere on our properties. All electric or telephone wires and all cables are carefully dag underground to ensure that they do not visually pollute the environment.
We feel and hope that this very costly undertaking will serve as an example in protecting the environment.
In order to protect the marine life and the surrounding waters from illegal fishing and other activities we have donated the only boat the Coast Guard of Ios owns. To ensure safety for the local community and the tourists we have donated to the police a 4X4 car. To protect the island from wild fires we have donated a fire track to the municipality of Ios. We financially support the local medical center. When needed, we provided significant financial assistance to the Ios cooperative of shepherds.
LuxurIOS Island Experience is a Greek owned tourism project that develops, owns and operates hotels, beach estates, villas, lounges and organizes authentic life experiences in the island of Ios. This project was born out of love for our country with a vision to promote sustainable tourism in Greece and contribute our mental, emotional and financial resources to protect and promote the cultural and natural heritage of Ios. Following a long effort, a significant amount of land was purchased in the island creating one of the largest private holdings of still unspoiled beach front land in the Mediterranean. Our aim is to use a very low-impact, environmentally sensible approach to sustainably develop only a very small portion of the land that we own leaving 95% of it undeveloped, so that Ios’ natural beauty, unspoiled beaches, sense of place and Greek island cultural heritage continues to thrive for future generations of locals and visitors alike.
Only a small collection of villas, lounges and boutique hotels will be developed based upon environmentally-friendly design and construction, working closely with the local community thus providing direct economic benefits through responsible tourism development. An integral part of the project is the offering of authentic island life experiences designed to expose guests to IOS’s incredible beaches, stunning landscapes and local products in privacy, luxury and comfort.