words by MARIA MOTA

Three private villas, each a self-contained haven, are carefully carved into the very essence of Santorini. On the edge of the Caldera, overlooking the glittering Aegean sea, Vòra beckons travelers to enter a realm where time slows and senses come alive.

How would you describe Vòra in three words?

Elegant, private and fresh.

Yiannis Bellonias, founder

Seated within the embrace of our villa, a place that once was but an abandoned cave, founder Yiannis Bellonias transports me to the beginnings of Vòra. Sharing a tale of heritage and history, island childhood memories, the colors, the smells, the flavors, and an unyielding commitment to preserving Santorini’s soul. 

The sandy beaches that once served as building materials – in tones of red, black, grey, and beige – would eventually serve as inspiration for the villas that emerged years later, mirroring the ‘island’s authentic hues’. With a welcoming smile, we approached one of the walls. “Let me show you something”, his fingers brushed against the textured surface, against the ashes of a volcano that had erupted and settled here. “The handcraft is obvious; you can still perceive the movements of the hands”. The techniques used in the houses of Mr. Bellonias’s parents and grandparents applied to Vòra, enriched with new elements—a fusion of past and future.

What inspired the choice of the name Vòra?

“In Catalan, ‘Vòra’ translates to ‘the end,’ which resonates with our location at the edge of the caldera. I always want my project’s name to symbolize something. So I thought, when at Vòra, wherever you are—whether at the reception, the rooms, or the balconies—you are literally at the edge.

Then I discovered that the word ‘Vòra’ in Spanish songs was used to symbolize where the end of the eye sees the connection of the sky and the sea, at the end of the horizon. That did it for me!”

Each villa cradles its own secluded oasis. Driven by the local ways and the nature of the island, craftsmanship reverberates through the rooms, where local artists’ creations find a home. Every detail, a labor of patience and love. With every stay, the hospitality experience leaves an indelible mark, reminding each guest of their singular importance. The privacy offered by the villas emerges as another standout feature, ensuring a tranquil retreat amid exceptional surroundings.

Representing the blend between the island’s history and its forward trajectory, to stay at Vòra is to become part of Santorini’s true narrative.