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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 haven 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 andcement and some of the marbles, are produced locally.
The uniqueness of this is that our venues are built out of materials that are extractedfrom the ground of the actual building site and we are fortunate that some of oursites are significant stone- marble quarries offering distinctively different color andquality of marble and even stone-granite.Local craftsmen manually cut and carve the extracted stones, while the lower qualityones 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 layby hand and construct each one of the venues, some requiring millions of the craftedstones, employing painstaking but authentic and traditional building techniques.The swimming pools, patios and open ground surfaces are also constructed in thesame way by adding thousand of marble pieces crafted by hand and put togethersimilar to a giant puzzle aimed to create a unique finished product in yet anotherpainstaking building process.
We feel and hope that this very costly undertaking will serve as an example in protecting the environment.
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.
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.
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.
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