Naxos, Greece

Ayiopetra

Price per night from$261.86

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR245.69), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Hillside cornucopia

Setting

On Demeter’s doorstep

For us mere mortals, Ayiopetra might just be the closest we come to finding heaven in the Cyclades. As if sculpted by the gods, the tiered stone terraces – home to just five suites, a swimming pool, and farm-to-table restaurant – seem to blend into the olive-grove-sprinkled slopes. You’d be forgiven for thinking Ayiopetra had presided over this verdant valley for centuries, in the fertile heartland of Naxos blessed by Demeter, the ancient Greek goddess of the harvest. Ways to unwind come in abundance, whether it’s plucking figs from the tree on your private terrace, or listening to the chirruping cicadas from your poolside day-bed.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A light lunch and glass of wine; and GoldSmiths also get a bottle of either Ice Vin Mousseux or demi-sec champagne

Facilities

Photos Ayiopetra facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Five suites.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.

Prices

Double rooms from £243.84 (€285), including tax at 16 per cent.

More details

Rates include a seasonal breakfast spread of farm-fresh produce, such as just-gathered eggs, homemade jams and pastries, and local cheeses. A minimum three-night stay is required.

Also

Stone steps and steep terraces mean Ayiopetra isn’t wheelchair-accessible.

Hotel closed

The property closes during the winter months, and is open between May and October each year.

At the hotel

Vegetable garden, terraces, charged laundry service, and free WiFi. In rooms: kitchenette, gourmet minibar, herbal-tea-making kit, coffee machine, air-conditioning, TV, Bluetooth speaker, pool towels, and Olive Era bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each of Ayiopetra’s suites is rather heavenly, and promises a private terrace overlooking the gleaming-white marble columns of Demeter’s temple. Exposed stone walls, beamed ceilings and breezy linens set a stripped-back, neutral tone throughout the antique-filled suites. Sun-worshippers in need of a little extra space can stretch out in the Fantastic Four suite, which sleeps up to six guests and features multiple mountain-backed courtyards which seem to catch Naxian rays all day long.

Poolside

Blessed with (quite literally) divine views of the sacred Temple of Demeter and surrounding mountains – where Zeus himself is said to have resided during his childhood – the outdoor pool (open daily between 8am and 8pm) and panoramic terrace is a legendary lounging spot. A striking metal-framed day-bed and valley-facing sunloungers are fringed by Mediterranean herbs, with an earthy scent of olives drifting on the warm breezes from the rolling groves below.

Spa

There’s no spa onsite, but the wellness gods work their magic through massages, meditation, reflexology, and reiki healing sessions in the comfort of your suite. Couples treatments are also available on request.

Packing tips

Seeing as you’ll be sleeping opposite an ancient temple, it’s worth adding a few of the Greek myths to your holiday reading list – particularly those about Zeus’ upbringing on the island, and Demeter’s dark dealings with Hades.

Also

Architectural harmony sings from the local Sangri stone walls – Ayiopetra’s owners enlisted the same German architects behind the Temple of Demeter’s Giroulas Museum to build the hotel as a modern and mirror-like offering to this ancient valley.

Children

This stay is for grown-up gods and goddesses above the age of 15.

Sustainability efforts

Taking an all-natural approach to dining, breakfasts at Ayiopetra are a farm-to-table feast of homemade marmalades (using fresh fruit picked from the grounds), free-range eggs gathered from the hotel’s chickens, and a seasonal selection of local tarts, pies and pastries. Various energy-efficient technology and water-saving measures are in place, and the hotel follows a strict ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ ethos.

Food and Drink

Photos Ayiopetra food and drink

Top Table

Under the fragrant branches of the olive tree on the terrace, for some sun-dappled shade.

Dress Code

Look to the Olympian gods for some divine inspiration – mostly cooling whites and floaty fabrics.

Hotel restaurant

You'll need to give advance notice to dine in the evening here; although there are light bites served throughout the day. The hotel’s effervescent owner Tonia also happens to be an honorary member of the Hellenic Chef’s Club, which means every homemade dish (like fresh-out-the-oven tarts drizzled with local thyme honey) is cooked from the heart – and the ingredients are mostly gathered from the vegetable garden, orchards, and free-range chickens. The menu changes with the seasons, but remains agriculturally-inspired and true to traditional Naxian recipes while making full use of nature’s bounty (including fresh figs, watermelon, and tomatoes grown in the grounds). Demeter would indeed be proud. Thick stone walls and ever-open windows keep the whitewashed dining room refreshingly cool during the summer months, decorated with mismatched antique chairs and an oversized vintage drinks cabinet. There’s also an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining, with more of those unbelievably good valley views.

Hotel bar

Wine tastings and cooking classes are hosted out of an adorable street-style kiosk (painted in the traditional sunshine yellow of periptero, Greece’s answer to the corner shop) tucked to the side of the outdoor terrace. Tonia and her son Dimitri can often be found here mingling with guests over cocktails infused with garden-grown herbs.

Last orders

Breakfast runs from 9am till a lazy noon. Dining is private and must be booked in advance, but starts around 7pm.

Room service

There’s no in-suite dining menu, but all the more reason to devour the ambrosial scenery from the main terrace.

Location

Photos Ayiopetra location
Address
Ayiopetra
Demeter's Temple Area Sangri
Naxos
84300
Greece

Nuzzled into the rugged hills and olive groves of rural Naxos, Ayiopetra overlooks the ancient Temple of Demeter and mystical Mount Zas.

Planes

Naxos Island National Airport is 20 minutes from the hotel by car, and the hotel is happy to organise private transfers (from €40 one-way).

Automobiles

As an inland stay on the largest island in the Cyclades, Ayiopetra demands a set of wheels – especially if you’d like to swap the countryside for the Naxian coast. There are various rentals to choose from at the airport, and the hotel comes with free, secure parking in a tree-shaded grove.

Other

Naxos is well-connected to other Cycladic islands by ferry (including Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete), and the hotel can organise private helicopter transfers on request.

Worth getting out of bed for

You can practically sightsee from your bedroom window at Ayiopetra, but it’s worth wandering down the valley to get a closer look at the Temple of Demeter on the outskirts of Sangri, a tiny mountain village encircled by farmland sprinkled with olive trees. The temple dates back to the sixth century BC, built using Naxian marble in Doric style which is said to have inspired the Athenian Parthenon itself. Ask the hotel about guided tours and temple opening times, or just sit back and take in the history from your private terrace. Should you wish to continue your classical holiday education, there are ancient sites aplenty around the island – perhaps the most striking of all is Portara, an unfinished yet resplendent temple dedicated to Apollo which faces the sacred island of Delos (said to be the sun god’s birthplace). History lessons aside, there are hiking trails to explore, and sandy, sun-baked stretches within easy reach (including cedar-forest-shaded Alyko Beach, a 20-minute drive away; or Plaka Beach on the golden west coast, under 30 minutes away by car).

Local restaurants

For authentic Naxian flavours in a whitewashed, stone setting with sea views, Antamoma is just off Chora’s beach promenade. Ingredients are mostly sourced from the family’s farm, and cooked up in traditional recipes like the homemade herb-encrusted cheese pie. Stylish Barozzi also remains faithful to Naxos’ agricultural roots, but takes an elevated farm-to-table approach through various Aegean tasting menus with Cycladic wine pairings – we’re still dreaming about the slow-roasted, wood-fired goat smothered in smoked artichoke cream and wild fennel pesto. Try family-owned Lefteris for a proper taverna experience and a menu of local meats which draws carnivores from all corners of the island (and beyond).

Local bars

Fronting the picturesque port of Naxos, the Naxos Apothecary is the go-to golden-hour hangout to watch boats bobbing in the waves, with a glass of chilled wine in hand. True to its name, you can also pick up some all-natural fragrances, candles, and lotions from the beautifully curated boutique. Tucked away in the Old Town, Belman is a small but swanky spot for craft cocktails served with homemade pickled fruit.

Reviews

Photos Ayiopetra reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this heaven-sent hotel in Naxos and unpacked their organic olive oil and Arseniko cheese, a full account of their idyllic island break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Ayiopetra in Greece…

As Greek island getaways go, Ayiopetra is just about as restful – and rural – as they come. Not too far from Naxos’ golden coastline – but tucked away from the crowds – this inland retreat is where true island devotees seek refuge in the myth-steeped mountains. Time is spent most fruitfully here doing very little at all – the serene, sloping setting of hills peppered with olive trees, Byzantine churches, and whitewashed windmills (along with the sweltering summer heat) lull cheese-plied visitors into a slow-paced, sun-kissed haze. And the protagonists doing most of the lulling and plying are veritable Greek legends in their own right. As the former editor-in-chief of the Greek editions of Harper’s Bazaar and Elle Decoration, Naxian-born Tonia Agiopetritou knows a thing or two about styling a space – something which clearly runs in the family, with her son Dimitri (a stage director and set designer) lending his creative talents to the valley-cradled venture. The pair could not have dreamed of a more dramatic backdrop, which they let (for the most part) do the talking – wine, cheese and storytelling nights aside.

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Price per night from $261.86