Unpretentious luxury in a paradise setting
Rambling white Greek-influenced buildings with lush gardens, island views and buckets of personality
Dusk is approaching in a tiny whitewashed village perched high above the dramatic and remote African shore. The inky blue ocean hues become dark and mysterious as the sun sinks to kiss the horizon, lingering long enough for you to enjoy another glass of wine on your private terrace. Palm trees rustle gently in the cooling sea breeze, and tantalizing aromas of fresh crab and smokey pizza lure you from your hideaway towards a candlelit dinner under the stars, which have just begun to twinkle high up above. It's been the best few days you've ever had on a holiday, which is perhaps being overly gushing, but that's just how this place makes you feel. You'd never been sailing on a dhow before but you can't wait to go out again, and the feel of sand flying up from beneath the pounding hooves of your horse as you cantered along the beach is something you'll be dreaming about for weeks. The tour of Vilanculos town was fun and it was interesting to learn about the history of the area - you hadn't realised Vilanculos was actually one of Mozambique's first ever tourist destinations, although given the beauty of the coast here it's easy to see why. The children enjoyed learning to bake local goodies with the chef, and had a go at some of the local arts and crafts, and everyone was excited about seeing their first ever scorpion on the night hunt. That's certainly a story to tell the folks back home.
Yet your adventures today surpassed everything that came before. Today you chartered Aphrodite, the exclusive boat at Villa Santorini, and went exploring the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. The morning was all about snorkelling over the colourful reefs and seeing who could spot the most sea turtles, as well as having a go at stand up paddle boarding. You weren't very confident to start with, but that didn't matter as falling into the welcoming waters of the Indian Ocean was more like a warm embrace than the usual cold shock you'd get back home. Before long however you had the hang of it, and worked up an appetite for lunch, which just happened to be a private picnic on a deserted white sand beach. Later, whilst those with energy remaining tried their hands at kite boarding and sand biking, you slipped away for some me time at the Villa Santorini spa. A veritable heaven scented with lemongrass, lavender and mint, where expert hands worked their magic and left you feeling serene and more relaxed than you've ever felt before.
Even bedtime is a delight here at Villa Santorini, and you love padding down the path at night to your private villa, which has been designed as a chapel. It has old wooden church doors and high domed ceilings, so cool. As you pass your stunning rim flow pool you decide that a dip before breakfast the next morning would be the perfect start to your final day, and try not to get over-excited about the scenic helicopter flight over the islands that you have planned. You drift off to sleep with visions of African sunsets, endless beaches and tropical fish floating through your dreams, and smile to yourself in the darkness.
This is just how a holiday should be.
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