By Stefania Souki
A house dug in the rock with a histor…250 years in Oia, Santorini is the most desired home of Airbnb in Greece, based on the data of the popular housing rental platform. Its world list of the most desirable accommodation by country, whether it be castles, for villas or apartments based on their visitors’ wish list in their webpage account.
For our country, based on that particular list, “Hector Cave House” came first, located on Santorini’s Caldera, which was originally used as a wine cellar. “The traditional wine cellar turned into a family summer house, which opened its doors to Santorini tourists and can accommodate up to 5 guests”.
The space, 60 sq.m. has a private rooftop-balcony with a small two-person swimming pool unlimited view of the volcano and the island of Thirassia. The cave is rented from 2013 with an Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) seal, while its owners have been renting two more neighboring residences with similar characteristics since last year.
A house with history
“Oia was always the village of the captains and the shipowners who had the financial ability to build large and spacious two floor houses on its top hill, not necessarily overlooking the Caldera. These rich families often used openings of rocks as cellars or storage places or donated them to their sailors and their families. The cave had originally only one room, however, if the needs were for larger spaces, they were digging deeper into the rock and they created a second room. That’s exactly the story behind “Hector Cave House”. The house, after the earthquake of 1954, along with most houses of Oia were almost completely destroyed and most of them residents left the village, which remained in 1962 with just…50 inhabitants.
EOT, in an attempt to give life again to the village, decided to choose 60 traditional residences for renovation, and that house was among them”. EOT rented the house for a period of 20 years as a compensation for its expenses reconstruction and after twenty years, the cave was returned to its owners. In 2000 the heirs sold the house to its current owners, who may have had no relationship until then with the island, but they spent a significant period of their holidays there.
From 2013 and with Santorini constantly rising to the list of the most popular destinations of the world, “Hector Cave House” is rented with his EOT seal for the period from April to October at prices which start from 330 euros a day to 600 euros on August 15, while its owners already operate since last year two neighboring studios of 18 and 35 sqm. with private rooftop-balconies.