There are legends of kings and fairies, wars and treaties, monsters and kind princes that have lived on this earth. This time, I had the honour and luck to travel to such a secretive destination that took me through time. It actually sent my back to the Byzantine epoch, as soon as I entered its gate. Almost a four hours drive from Athens, in the heart of picturesque Monemvasia, next to the castle in Peloponese, I found Kinsterna. An impressive mansion meticulously restored with an air of discreet luxury.
Cradled in idyllic vineyards, olive and fruit orchards, with an impeccable view of the southern Aegean Sea, Kinsterna hotel, has been restored in such a nice way that paid tribute to its original meaning. Agrotourism is a word that also came to my mind while there. We had the chance to create our own soap from natural spices, herbs and flowers. We were taken a stroll around the estate on an old but totally refurbished white Egyptian carriage that used to belong to a King in Cairo. We made bread in the garden, the old fashioned way, under the guidance of a local lady. We stepped on grapes and participated in the way wine is made, local wine, from vineyards that are cultivated without any preservatives. We went hiking and the next day they took us horse back riding, which was a mere oxygen treat.
Our breakfast and dinner were beyond delight. During breakfast, a local apiarist came and showed us how we separate honey from the honeycomb. Trust me, we did take some home with us – you can even eat that part and its so good for your body. Local jelly, fruit, slices, and bread gave us a “spasm” in our mouth when we tasted them – one like no other!
Our room at Kinsterna hotel, was an old house re-made with all the amenities that a modern traveler needs. We even had speakers on the rooftop, like the ones I have in my New York city apartment – hard to find them in Greece. Nespresso coffee machines and Cocomat pillow and mattresses were another little surprise for our tired bodies after all those activities we took part at. And then Tsipouro, the magic word. A greek alcoholic drink made from pure grape leftovers, like the ones we stepped on to make our wine. Tsipouro was first created by the monks in Mount Athos, in the northern part of Greece and is so healthy and strong that you can easily start singing in no time!
Then there was the pool, with the amazing view and the nice vibes. Have I mentioned there were two pools, one for the younger friends of the estate, children, with a smaller depth for maximum safety. One, night we had the chance to have dinner at “Linos”, a specially made terrace where a wooden oven is build. I just want to say that our food had been cooked in the old wooden oven for six hours before it was served to us, and trust me it was delicious – melting in our mouth from the very first second.
Kinsterna hotel is a totally different spot in this world. One you should not miss!
Photos: Courtesy of the hotel