February 26, 2024

The Art of Slowing Down: Photographer Nicola Sevitt Shares Her Travel Diary From Greece

Photography: Nicola Sevitt

Photographer Nicola Sevitt transports you to the Greek island of Milos, where time stands still.

In the Aegean’s heart lies Milos, where time flows slowly, reminiscent of a bygone Greece. Milos shares its stories like an old album, each corner of the island reminiscent of a time when life moved at a leisurely pace. The air carries echoes of an era where connections were savoured beneath the Mediterranean sun.

In this timeless setting, Skinopi Lodge stands as a haven, weaving the island’s past into its present. This dream-stay destination had been on my wishlist since its opening in July 2016. Seven years later, I found myself on the island of Milos, pinching myself as though it was all a figment of my imagination.

Upon arriving at Skinopi, I spoke over the phone with Nausika Georgiadou, the visionary behind Skinopi Lodge, and she warmly welcomed me into the heart of this special part of the world. Unfortunately she was on the mainland for business meetings at the time, so sadly we couldn’t meet in person, but I felt at peace knowing deep down, we’d cross paths one day in the future.

After my trip, as we exchanged emails, she painted a vivid picture of the inspiration, unique ambiance, and commitment to sustainability that define this unique stay—a place that encompasses beauty, where minimalism meets nature. A place that captured my heart, and became my inspiration on Milos. 

Join me in conversation with Nausika Georgiadou, as she shares her vision of the hotel, and urges us to embrace the enduring charm of a slow island life.

Georgiadou’s journey began with a rundown property, evolving into a thriving guesthouse, and ultimately materialising as Skinopi Lodge—a seafront haven bathed in the hues of Milos’s breathtaking sunsets.

“Milos has been my muse since my teenage years. I dreamed of spending every summer in this undiscovered paradise,” she reflects, her memories echoing my sentiments.

Skinopi Lodge boasts seven villas set within a vast nine-acre property, providing an unparalleled sense of intimacy. Positioned within the protected archaeological area of the ancient city of Milos, the lodge offers a unique cultural touch. “Even in the peak of summer, Skinopi feels totally private and serene,” Nausika says.

Gritty Pretty (GP): Can you describe the special ambiance that sets your hotel apart and makes it feel like a secret hideaway on the island?

Nausika Georgiadou (NG): Skinopi Lodge comprises seven villas, set within a very large privately owned nine-acre property, right on the water, with a private deck on the sea. It is this particularly magical, private spot, facing the sunset, totally protected by the northerly winds prevalent in the Cyclades that sets us apart. 


GP: The architecture and design of Skinopi Lodge feels unique and intentional. How does Skinopi Lodge let guests become one with Milos’s natural beauty while embracing sustainability? 

NG: The architectural and design concept of Skinopi centred around the idea of creating an unpretentious, humble, yet luxurious shelter that would not compete with the beauty of the landscape surrounding it. The minimal aesthetics are intended to give nature the leading role. This is also achieved by creating indoor-outdoor spaces that serve as our guests’ introduction to the Greek island lifestyle which is mostly spent outdoors. These breezy forms utilise natural cross-ventilation techniques as well as state-of-the-art insulation materials to create spaces that are cooled naturally.


GP: Milos is known for its stunning landscapes and beaches. Do you have a favourite hidden gem or secret spot on the island? 

NG: Milos is a haven for sea lovers. I have been sailing around its shores most of my life and I still discover new coves. My favourite swim spot of all has to be our private deck in Skinopi in the early morning when the sea is completely still.


GP: What sort of traveller do you consider yourself? Do you feel the hotel attracts like-minded travellers? 

NG: I am a passionate traveller and that is very much the reason behind my dream to be a hotelier: creating a space for like-minded travellers. When I travel, I like to be totally independent and flexible and I seek unique, design-conscious places that are deeply entwined in their surroundings both aesthetically and culturally. When I find them, I like to let them guide me, very much like we guide our guests every step of the way into the essence of Milos.


GP: How does your hotel blend eco-friendliness with comfort and charm?

NG: We pride ourselves on our eco-credentials. Skinopi’s cool breezy spaces have been specifically designed in order to minimise the need for air-conditioning, which is in any case set to a minimum of 23 degrees Celsius, the international guideline for energy conservation. We have also eliminated single use plastic and kept waste to a minimum. Our breakfasts are fully organic using only local and homemade produce. To minimise water waste, our gardens have only indigenous dry Mediterranean plants, and of course we have no pools as our guests have direct access to the sea.

GP: Slow travel is all about taking time to savour the moment. Can you share an example about how your guests connect during their stay? 

NG: Skinopi Lodge’s guests connect deeply with Milos, especially during the mesmerising sunsets. The strategically placed deck chairs have become a symbol of shared memories, with past guests often expressing the emotional impact of those twilight moments.


GP: Milos is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Did you consider this when designing the interiors of your hotel?

NG: Our villas are built from local volcanic stone, the gardens are all indigenous plants and the design was inspired by the local fishing houses, known as Syrma, which have large openings and wooden shutters. In the interiors, the grey and white colour scheme, minimalist aesthetic and natural fabrics (pure linen and cotton) are all typical of the Cyclades and give our hotel a true and very distinct sense of place.


GP: Slow travel often emphasises authentic experiences, and I feel this is something that Skinopi Lodge lives and breathes. How do you ensure that your guests have a truly immersive and culturally enriching stay at Skinopi?

NG: Our guests feel a sense of place the moment they arrive. There can be no mistake for a guest in Skinopi that this is the Cyclades, in terms of the design, but also in terms of the indoor-outdoor island lifestyle that the villas evoke. The kitchens are outdoors, so that is where cooking and dining takes place, as it does in households throughout the Greek Islands. The outdoor showers are blissful and the sea is just a few steps away, so spending a great part of the day swimming is the norm here. 

Hiking to the top of our hill to the ancient obsidian mines is a favourite morning exercise and sunset hiking through the ancient city is another. My staff, my family and I are also always here and very much part of the day for our guests. We are here to be the bridge between them and the island’s culture and history.


GP: Where to next? Do you have any plans for future projects?

NG: We plan to include a yoga deck facing the sunset, an outdoor spa and an outdoor common kitchen where guests can mingle. We also plan to hold retreats mostly centred on Greek themes. A villa for my family that’s open to all guests is also in the works!

You can book a stay at Skinopi Lodge here.


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