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Solidarity Portrayed in Children’s Smiles

The General High-School of Santorini is supported by Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa and the NGO Agoni Grammi Gonimi through the innovative “WeAreTheEnviRonment” Program.

The first year of the innovative environmental program “WeAreTheEnvironment” has successfully been completed proving that the joint private and public initiatives aiming for the common good, can substantially contribute to local communities.

The program “WeAreTheEnvironment” came to life in July 2018 and inaugurated by the award-winning Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa hotel in Santorini, member of Metaxas Group of Companies, and the Greek Non-Profit Organization Agoni Grammi Gonimi.  Based on the pillars of Education and Social Service, the main focus of the Program is to raise awareness of the importance of the environmental protection against the improvident use of plastic. This program also succeeds in bringing entities and companies together, realizing thus the UN’s Seventeenth Sustainable Development Goal on “the partnerships for the common goals”.

Initially, the students of the three High-Schools of Santorini attended a series of environmental workshops under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and with the participation of the environmental organizations “Archipelagos – Institute of Marine Conversation”, “Hellenic Oceanographers Association”, “Aegean Rebreath”, “iSea” and “Greenest”. The second phase of the program included the design of the ecofriendly cloth bag ‘’WaterBag’’, which was distributed at specific selling points and supporters of the program, not only in Santorini island but all over Greece.

In 2018, 300 eco-friendly “WaterBags” bags were sold. The sales revenue supplied the General High-School of Santorini with necessary equipment. Some indicative equipment that students now have at their disposal are air-conditions, sports equipment, projector for presentations, refrigerator as well as equipment for the sports tournament. The donation took place in a gathering at the courtyard of the school in which the Teachers Association of the General High-School, representatives of Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa and the Supporters of the program were present. The genuine advocates of the program, however, were the children smiles and their happily shaped faces.

“We wish to thank everyone that has contributed to this program, so that we can stand here today. We are delighted to embrace environmentally focused actions, while both the students and the Teachers’ Association are delighted with the aims that this program fulfills.”, Mr. Antonis Karamolegos, Manager of General High-School of Santorini stated.

The General Manager of Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, Mr. Manos Borboudakis, addressing to the students, said: “The hope of this beautiful island depends on you, your generation and your willing to make the white the dominant color of your everyday life, by simply doing today your best for a better and sustainable tomorrow. Through this program, we did the least possible aiming to contribute to your environmental education. Besides, in all the hotels of Metaxas Group the support of the local communities, in which we operate, is the basis of our philosophy.”

During the delivery of the donation, Mr. Stefanos Nollas, the President of the N.P.O Agoni Grammi Gonimi, said: “We create solidarity branches through the partnership of the public and private sectors involving schools, shops, wineries, hotels, and consumers across the world. We are greatly joyous for this action. Now, we focus on the environment through our actions. The past generations have created the phenomenon of the tourism bloom in the island of Santorini, the next generations though are called to find solutions for its sustainable development.”

The innovative program “WeAreTheEnvironment” renews its promise and continues its actions the forthcoming year through the sale of the eco-friendly “WaterBag” and new actions.

The selling points and valuable supporters who participated and embraced the Program for 2018 are: the Ammos Stores, the Brusco Restaurant, the Domaine Sigalas, the Estate Argyros, the Mediterranean Dive Club, the Oia Vineyart restaurant, the Poniros Jewellery, the Santorini Arts Factory and the Tomato Industrial Museum “D. Nomikos“,  the Santorini Nautical Club, the Santo Wines – Union of Santorini Cooperatives, and the hotels of the Metaxas Group of Companies – Santo Maris Oia in Santorini, Candia Maris and Creta Maris in Crete. The program is also supported by selling points across Greece, such as the Benaki Museum Shops, the Gallerie Marneri in Athens, and the Idea Café and Emporium in Skopelos. Official transport supporter is the Blue Star Ferries.

If you wish to learn more information and support the “WeAreTheEnvironment” program and the “WaterBags”, you can visit the website waterbags.gr, follow the WaterBags on Instagram @Water_Bags or just send us an email to info@waterbags.gr

 To download high-resolution photos from the donation event please follow the following link: https://goo.gl/wEhw5q

 

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa is crowned as the “Best Resort Spa” in Greece and Europe

Santorini’s newly-built all-suite hotel, Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa was honored in the esteemed “World Spa Awards” institution, by being awarded for a second consecutive year as the “Greece’s Best Resort Spa” and also receiving the “Europe’s Best Resort Spa” award.

Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa in its only third year of operation responds to the demanding standards of a world-class award institution, which stands as a flagship for the wellness tourism, continuing this way to be acknowledged among the leading hotels and resorts in Greece and Europe. Having at the core of its philosophy a combination of high-quality services and personalized hospitality, the special designed facilities of the Santo Maris Oia Luxury SPA, focus on the balance of human body, mind and soul offering an experience of holistic relaxation and rejuvenation. Moreover, its well-rounded wellness programs are inspired by Greek elements and products.

The 4th Annual World Spa Awards Ceremony took place on a glamorous celebration on Friday, October 26th in the Maldives, at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

The CEO and Group General Manager of Metaxas Group of Companies, Mr. Andreas Metaxas, stated after the reception of the awards:

“This double-winning makes us feel both proud and honored. I wish to heartfeltly thank our guests. The trust and preference they have shown on us during our three-year presence on the magnificent island of Santorini, motivate us to constantly enhance the quality of the services we offer. The excellence of the Santo Maris Oia Luxury SPA constitutes the best promotion for the wellness tourism in Santorini and Greece.”

10 Things to Do in Oia, Santorini

A delicious combination of volcanic cliffs, bright bougainvillea in bloom, and sparkling white clifftop cave-style houses with blue rooftops, against the turquoise of the Mediterranean, Oia is the very symbol of Santorini, and the most photographed destination on the island. But there’s more to this village than meets the eye in travel brochures and postcards. It’s a special place, with mystic charm, favored by people from all over the world, who come here to take in the breathtaking views over the Caldera. It’s heavily touristic, and yet, paradoxically, an oasis of peace, the perfect spot on earth to come and recharge your batteries. Here are the things we think you should do during your stay, to make your experience truly memorable:

1. See the Famous Sunset

Our own hotel, the Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, offers a perfect location for watching the sunset: right next to the famous cliffs of the Sunset Seranade point. So you can take in the spectacular colors and the breeze without leaving our premises, secluded from the tourist crowds. Many tourists prefer the vantage point at the Castle of Oia to see the sunset.

santo_maris_oia_sunset

2. Take a Donkey Ride from Ammoudie Bay to Oia

Donkey rides are the favored transportation means for the locals, and they are becoming increasingly popular among tourists too, despite concerns by animal welfare organizations that the trips could exhaust the animals, and that some owners are mishandling them. It’s hard to make a fair assessment whether an animal is mishandled by its owner or not, so if you have a problem with this, you can always hike. It’s good to stay in shape.

oia mules
Donkey rides in Oia By User: Bgabel at wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0

3. Hike from Oia to Fira

It may not be as spectacular as Oia, but Fira has its special charm too – and it is also the capital of the island. The path is not marked, but it is pretty obvious: just follow the edge of the caldera and walk south. It may take you up to five hours to reach Fira if you don’t rush your pace, so leave early if you don’t want to spend the night there. The views along the way are glorious, so don’t forget your camera.

Fira

4. Explore Oia’s Stairways and Hidden Paths

Oia is never boring: just explore its pathways to discover something rewarding every time, including see-for-miles viewpoints with out-of-this-world vistas.

oia walks

5. Take a Sailing Tour Across the Caldera

There are several boats and catamarans offering tours on the caldera from the Ammoudi Bay. It’s a romantic experience if you visit Oia as a couple, but it can also be a fun experience when you are joined by cheerful friends. You will see Santorini’s finest: the volcano, the hot springs, the lighthouse, the Indian Rock, the beaches, Mesa Pigadia, and much more. The sunset cruises with dinner offered by Santorini Sailing are the most popular.

sunset santorini

6. Go for a Swim in the Ammoudi Bay

This is one of the most famous spots for swimming in Santorini, mainly favored by adrenaline junkies, who like to take a plunge from the massive boulder in the waters of the Ammoudi Bay.

Ammoudi
Ammoudi Bay By Klearchos Kapoutsis from Santorini, Greece (Ammoudi) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

7. Go Shopping for Local Crafts

It would be a pity to leave Oia without a souvenir, and while many shops cater to the general crowds, offering overpriced trinkets, there are also many stores selling gorgeous pottery, and local crafts. Explore Oia enough to find them.

Tourists in Oia

8. Visit Oia’s Charming Churches

For a few moments of hard-earned downtime, step inside one of Oia’s beautiful little churches. They are peaceful most of the times, except for when a traditional “panigyri” (village party) is organized, with food and drinks, and welcoming smiles for foreigners who want to join. But even if you don’t catch a “panigyri”, go to admire outstanding, valuable iconography and other objects of Greek Orthodox religious art.

church oia

9. Sunbathe at Baxedes Beach

Baxedes is a quiet black pebbly beach, just 3 km away from Oia. It is peaceful and less touristy than others, and close to other, more popular beaches, like Paradise or Cape Columbo. This is the beach to experience what Oia used to be before the tourist invasion.

Baxedes beach - Santorini, Photo by: Feel Greece
Baxedes beach – Santorini, Photo by: Feel Greece

10. Enjoy Local Wines

What would your stay in Oia be without the delicate taste of local wines? You can always book a wine tasting tour, or visit Domaine Sigalas on Oia’s Baxedes plain for wine tastings with views of Santorini’s amazing sunsets.

Domaine Sigalas