Featured in a book, the photos were taken by photographer and travel aficionado Katerina Katopis-Lykiardopulo.
Venturing on an Odyssey of their own, Chrysanthos Panas and photographer Katerina Katopis-Lykiardopulo boarded a traditional greek sailboat and set out to capture the calming atmosphere, quintessential characters and breathtaking architecture of the islands of the Aegean.
Their spectacular journey is re-created on the pages of Greek Islands, the latest book by Assouline.
Panas, a businessman, art collector and philanthropist from Athens, is certainly well-versed in the wonders that the islands can offer.
He is in the hospitality industry and co-owner, with his brother Spyros, of several well-known clubs and restaurants in Greece, such as Island, Athénée and Salon de Bricolage. He is an expert in destination management and one of the first to use the term “Athens Riviera.”
Katerina Katopis-Lykiardopulo, on the other hand, is a photographer, hospitality consultant, travel writer, marathon-runner, aviator, and travel aficionado.
Her adventures have taken her to more than 110 countries around the globe, but to her, there is no place like Greece. As a member of the team behind some of the country’s premier luxury destinations, she has been instrumental in introducing the concept of branded residences in Greece.
An endless expanse of shimmering waters paired with unmatched Greek hospitality awaits visitors to the islands of the Aegean Sea.
“The mystical beauty of the land, and the way a geographic microcosm of the entire planet seems to be concentrated within a relatively small area of longitude and latitude, have conspired to form a civilization that, to this day, continues to astound both the staunch scholar and the mere observer,” writes Panas in the introduction.
Each island is home to a unique spirit and mythology. From Patmos (a favorite of Aga Khan) to Hydra (which captivated Henry Miller, Leonard Cohen and Sophia Loren), the islands are imbued with a seductive sense of history, tradition and adventure.
Several films over the decades have been filmed on them, including Boy on a Dolphin (1957) on Hydra, The Big Blue (1988) on Amorgos and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) on Santorini. Sources of inspiration for millennia, the ancient ruins, cliffside monasteries and volcanic rims are all can’t-miss sights.
“I am honored to call this land my country,” Panas writes. “There is something so special about the way we can jump aboard a boat of any size and be transported to an island paradise in less than an hour.”
Eugenia Chandris, the author and hospitality veteran who describes the islands as an “Infinity of Wonders” in the book’s foreword, echoes many of Panas’ thoughts.
“It is hard to write a prologue to an infinity of wonders. Lauded by Byron (among other poets), zealously solicited by travel writers and at the pinnacle of frenzied social media, these islands resist any attempt at a preface,” she writes. “It’s as futile as grasping the wild sea, which in turn thrashes and embraces them.”
Photos by KATERINA KATOPIS-LYKIARDOPULO, courtesy of Assouline
Banner: Azure waters of the Aegean Sea