Honeymoon Petra History
The desire of one man to save his village from extinction, after a destructive earthquaqe, led him to the sea. As a sailor he was building his dreams bit by bit. The biggest dream of all? On the dramatic cliffs of Santorini, in total harmony with the wild beauty of its surroundings, the Honeymoon Petra Villas. Built on the only spot of the Caldera where you have a view of the whole island and of the most amazing sunsets, this unique establishment has a lot more to offer than just accommodation.
My name is Renieris Yiannis. I was born in Imerovigli of Santorini in 1952. My first memory is after the destructive earthquake of 1956, with just a few houses left standing. Gradually people started leaving the village.
When I started going to school in 1958, we used to play hide and seek in the ruins. Until 1964 most of the people had left the island. Some of them moved to Athens, while others to Australia, until the village was left with a couple of families. It was then that I thought for the first time, that if I could build the village from the beginning, people would return to their homes. Tourism did not exist back then.
My family was unable to leave the island for financial reasons, so I had to finish high school here. When our professor asked us what we wanted to do with our lives, I asked him: “Which profession is more profitable? Seaman,” he said. Determined as I was, I came to Athens and went to college. I decided to embark from 1972 to 1982 sending money back home in order to rebuilt the village. From time to time I came to the village to check things out. So I made the world tour three times. I was in the only ship that survived the typhoon Nina – Ora – Viola, the biggest typhoon of 1978 between Fournara and China. The Japanese station referred us as the ghost ship.
My parents’ house as and the neighboring ones, after their repair, were the first 3 rooms to let in Imerovigli. The first tourists started coming in the island in 1980, while until 1985 the island was full of tourists. The Traditional Wing, which was completed in 1987 was created then.
I started constructing my biggest dream, Petra Wing, in 1993, but it is still not completed. I wanted to make something special in the place I spent most of my time as a child. With a lot of help from geologists and architects I started an effort to make something unique, something in total harmony with the wild beauty of the Caldera and safe in case of an earthquake. It took us 1 year and 55 workmen to complete each one of these unique apartments.
In my attempt to save my big love, my village, another big love was born, that towards the sea. It was the one that gave me the opportunity to make what I made. From gratitude to it I founded the Marine Club of Santorini in 1991. Since then I teach sailing to children and grown ups. And of course I couldn’t, but to teach it to my three sons, who were literally born on a boat and are sailors themselves now.
Now, as a 3 sailing boats and 1 craft owner, I want to give all visitors the chance to enjoy the beauty of the sea in combination to luxury and comfort.