Aenaon Villas sits nestled against the side of a rugged cliff on Santorini’s spectacular caldera. Designed in traditional Cycladic architecture, Aenaon’s seven luxury villas boast breathtaking views of nearby Thirasia island (upper left) …
… as well as Imerovigli village and Skaros Rock (upper left), the Nea Kameni volcano island (top center) and of course the mesmerizing blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Click on the image to view a larger-size photo.
Perfect fit: Spectacular scenery and magnificent views are the top two natural attractions that always take my breath away on Santorini. But the island’s outstanding architecture can leave me almost as speechless — particularly some of the traditionally-designed homes and hotels perched precariously on the crests and sides of the precipitous caldera cliffs.
In fact, one of the things I enjoy most about walking the scenic clifftop path from Fira to Oia is admiring the architecture and design of buildings we pass along the way. I am absolutely fascinated by the sight of hotel suites, terraces and infinity swimming pools built into the sides of sheer cliff walls that rise hundreds of feet above the sea. I am also amazed to see villas and boutique hotels under construction on cliffside real estate I would have considered to be unlikely places for new building development.
Captivating views on the Fira to Oia cliff walk
We haven’t done a cliff walk since our last visit to Santorini in 2006, but I know I will blown away by the natural and man-made scenery whenever we return to take the hike again. The views of the caldera, the sea, the Nea Kameni volcano and nearby Thirasia island are timeless, and will eternally be captivating. The four cliffside villages (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia) will still be impressive, too. And some new (since our last visit) developments along the caldera — like Aenaon Villas near Imerovigli — will be waiting to “wow” me.
A complex of seven luxurious villas, Aenaon was built in 2009 and occupies a superb vantage point along the cliff path between Imerovigli and Oia. Its traditional Cycladic architecture, designed by Giorgos Zacharopoulos, features natural elements including boulders and stone walls that enable the villas to blend perfectly into their surroundings. Though they’re certainly eye-catching and beguiling, the brilliant white buildings don’t detract from the spectacular scenery or appear out of place — they actually complement the rocky, rugged terrain and add drama to the location’s imposing landscape.
Killer views from terraces and the infinity pool
But Aenaon isn’t just beautiful buildings with killer views from the villas, terraces, infinity pool and other points on the property. According to travellers who have reviewed the villas on sites like TripAdvisor.com, Aenaon is a “paradise” and a place “dreams are made of.” As of May 10, Aenaon was the #1 B&B and Inn property on the TripAdvisor chart for Imerovigli (out of 23 listings). It had 297 reviews, 293 of which rated it “excellent” and the other four “very good.”
Below is a series of photos of Aenaon Villas which proprietors Giorgos and Alexandra have kindly permitted me to republish on my blog. Check the Aenaon Villas website for further information about the villas as well as more stunning photos of the property, including the interiors of the suites. The website includes a chart listing rates for the four main travel seasons that Aenaon is open, and has a section where you can check availability and book online. Dozens more beautiful photos of the villas can be seen on the Aenaon Villas Facebook page, or by clicking on this link to the Aenaon Villas Pinterest profile.
An evening view of the villas from the terrace next to the infinity pool. Click the image to view a full-size photo.
A panoramic view from the infinity pool terrace at sunset
Villa view from the far side of the infinity pool
Villa Elidami, one of the seven luxury villas at Aenaon
I love the sharp colour contrasts between the brown volcanic landscape, the cobalt sky, the turquoise pool water and the stark white buildings and grounds
This photo by Vangelis Beltzenitis captures the infinity pool and terrace at sunset. The pool and deck offer jaw-dropping views of Imerovigli village and Skaros Rock (left) as well as the volcanic isles Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni (center).
Swimming pool and terrace view toward Thirasia island
I could admire the scenery from one of those lounge chairs for hours on end
The caldera cliffs loom large to the south of the infinity pool
This photo by Vangelis Beltzenitis shows two of the beautiful pools and a view of the marvellous caldera scenery
Photographer Louisa Nikolaidou captured this side view of Aenaon Villas with part of Oia village visible in the background.
The entrance to a quiet courtyard sitting area
Another view from the swimming pool
A Vangelis Beltzenitis photo capturing the sky, one of the villas, and some of the surrounding landscape
Twilight view from the seaview terrace
Twilight view of one of the villas
The villas and a large stone wall behind the swimming pool
A breathtaking view from the swimming pool at sunset
This photo of a surreal cloud formation passing above the infinity pool was posted on the Aenaon Villas Facebook page on May 3
Giorgos and Alexandra are the proprietors and hosts at Aenaon Villas
Succulent vegetation on the rugged landscape beside the villas
Just one of the many exhilarating views from Aenaon Villas
This is my favourite photo of Aenaon Villas because it highlights the buildings’ traditional Cycladic architecture while clouds provide a dramatic backdrop. The villa complex was designed by Giorgos Zacharopoulos.