Even away from its orange sun loungers, Medusa offers a tranquil relaxation in the Cyclades with incredibly fresh local produce.
Plaka – formerly known as a nudist beach – is now a getaway gem for a different kind of discretion. Those who find ourselves either suntanning on orange loungers or dipping our bronzed bodies in the warm waters of southern Aegean Sea, have arrived in a paradise known to the selected few. Those who find ourselves far more relaxed in Naxos rather than fumbling through Santorini’s touristic shuffles prefer a different type of vacation – the kind that delivers an organic calmness which can only be further enhanced if we call Medusa our own private beach or better yet, our home away from mainstream marketplace.
The beauty of traveling to Greece is that every city or island exudes a distinct experience, catering to any or every stream of traveler. One should head to Athens for an immersed understanding of history, politics and chaos. While Santorini captivates the commercialized dreamer, or rather, the sunset chaser. Naxos, on the other hand, piques the interest of a foodie traveler since the largest island in the Cyclades is also known for its fertile soil. Just wait until you wake up every morning as the staff at Medusa serves up fresh plates of complimentary cheese, potatoes, meats and juices that are just as natural they were meant to be indulged.
The well-preserved island is also where Zeus grew up, according to Greek mythology. On Naxos, Zeus was hid away from his father Cronus and his son, Dionysus – the God of Wine – who adored Naxos so much that he made the land astonishingly rich. Today, locals not only honor their appreciation at the temple of Dionysus, they also reap the majority of their revenues from an abundant agriculture rather than tourism. This unique component which differs from other Cyclades Islands including: Santorini and Paros, is something that Mariangela Karlovitch, owner of Medusa Beach Resorts & Suites, saw as an opportunity.
Mariangela started Medusa as a family-run business, while managing an expanding private-beach hotel brand with her husband. She witnessed travelers grew evermore exhausted from an exacerbated approach to commercial travel on other Greek islands that she wanted the “Medusa experience” to be comprehensive yet organic. There is, for example, a massive pool as well as a private beach. On the menu, there’s smoked salmon pasta for an international flair and traditional Naxian potatoes and cheese. Along with group yoga classes that visitors can participate in, there are also private jacuzzis on top of larger suites. The aim was to offer an authentic getaway experience for travelers looking to either spend all day at the resort or to use it as a cozy temporary home at the end of an adventure on the island.
The Cyclades Islands may differ in style and mythology, but they’re harmonized by a signature constructive palette in white and blue. Even to this day, it seems that this region of the Mediterranean world was meticulously painted by the same artist. Medusa’s apartment-style suites are certainly not an anomaly with white-washed cube exterior and smooth-edged corners. While the twenty-one bedroom resort boasts a sense of architectural freedom and space, in the trend of ancient Cyclades design meant to protect island houses from heightened solar exposure during summertime and bold winter winds that continue to carve their smooth-edge corners even more round every year. The gravel pathways accompanied by lush gardens connect the quieter residential area to the entryway of Medusa’s private beach.
To fully experience Medusa requires more than one night of stay by enjoying an entire day at the resort: lounge on the beach with a good book, walk along an endless Plaka that stretches upon soft sands, order a few cocktails and dive into hearty plate of Greek delights. The next day, take a drive to the nearby village of Halki (or Chalki) to uncover Naxos’ past wealth and power via several well-preserved Venetian Towers and Byzantine churches. Chalki also features the Vallindras Kitron Distillery where the Naxian liqueur made from citron tree can be tasted in a sweet variety of colors: green (sweet with less alcohol), yellow (strongest with the least sugar,) and clear (the middle ground.) Continue the afternoon in Apiranthos, or a village referring to “plenty of flowers,” where marble houses embellish a hilltop with spotted taverns and cafés. Polish the evening with dinner and drinks in Old Town Chora – Naxos’ capital – where bustling shops animate tiny alleys selling high quality artisanal goods, including: jars of olive oil and homemade jams.
At the end of the night, Medusa once again becomes the peaceful grounds of rebound. Heat up a rooftop jacuzzi with a glass of Dionysus’ blessed gift while gazing at the bewitched, noiseless dusk that vastly differs from the typical crowd favorite in Santorini. You’ll instantly discover that this secluded Naxian sunset might just be the kind that you can truly get with.