PHOTOS AND WORDS Dook
If you were to walk north along the beach out of the small town of Vilankulo and into the next bay, you might be fooled into thinking you have developed sunstroke when you spot what looks like a Greek fishing village gleaming in the tropical light, sitting high on a deep-orange dune ridge among coconut trees.
You’ll certainly clutch at your water bottle when you see the bright-blue domed roofs of the buildings disappear into the azure-blue sky in the shimmer of the heat.
This vision certainly doesn’t seem out of place, glowing in the dazzling sea of Mediterranean blues. It’s these vivid Aegean hues that inspired the name and look of Santorini. Armed with only simple concept drawings, the builders had to build the five-bedroomed villa one manual bucket of cement at a time… not an easy feat on sand and without sophisticated equipment!
A large honeymoon villa was added soon after – called The Chapel, as the design is a dead ringer for one. That was followed by the three-bedroomed Villa da Praia. Now, they’re busy building a spa.
This cluster of detached buildings has contributed to making the property look like an authentic Greek fishing village, only grander… but not intimidatingly so. The Santorini Mozambique villas are comfortably homely yet luxurious. The airy, lavish bedrooms and vaulted public spaces give a sense of generous spaciousness.
For a spot of shade during the day, there are built-in benches with plenty of puffed-up cushions where you can put your feet up and, with a cold drink in the hand, gaze at the vista of the Indian Ocean dotted with the uttering sails of hand-built dhows.
Through the large wooden doors of The Chapel villa is a long double-volume vaulted open-plan space with a good-sized kitchen, dining area and lounge. Sets of double doors lead to a covered veranda and private pool.
Managers Heidi Rabbets and Wynand van der Watt may not be Greek but they have the souls of Greeks and a generosity of spirit that will make you feel like family. They’ll pamper you; tactfully leave you to catch up on your reading; take you on a trip to the market, bars and restaurants in town; or whisk you on their luxury catamaran and cast anchor at one of the sand spits that dot the sea to enjoy activities around the islands.
Chefs are on hand to cook meals in your villa kitchen if you so wish. They are masters of their craft and can draw on a wealth of fresh produce harvested in the Santorini gardens and procured from locals who ply their trade around the islands.
And in the spirit of the Greek fishing village atmosphere you may feel the pull to enter the water and catch something fresh for your newly extended family.
For more information about this space, visit santorinimozambique.com.