Santorini! The Cavehouse Project.
Save a traditional Cavehouse in Santorini and enjoy an unforgettable stay and other unique perks!
In Santorini, in the Southeastern Mediterranean Sea, houses are not built with traditional bricks and walls. Instead, locals have been building their unique homes for centuries by drilling deep into the volcanic rock to create Cavehouses.
These Cavehouses were easier and cheaper to build, while also providing protection from the harsh winter winds and extreme rays of the sun in the summer heat. The natural insulation of the earthen walls regulated the interior temperature year-round, keeping inhabitants warm in the winters and cool in the summers. Built on the high volcanic cliff of Santorini’s caldera, Cavehouses also provided an ideal lookout position, as they helped inhabitants spot unwanted ship invasions by Mediterranean pirates. These Cavehouses are a fascinating glimpse into the history of the island, and also happen to provide some of the greatest views in the Mediterranean.
A local from Santorini building his Cavehouse by using a pickaxe
The interior of a typical traditional Cavehouse in Santorini
One of these Cavehouses was passed down to me by my great grandfather, a local fisherman who needed a low-budget house close to the spot of his profession – fishing. Located at the very edge of the volcanic cliff of Akrotiri village in Santorini, Greece, the Cavehouse is now more than 100 years old and has remained uninhabited and deserted for decades. Knowing what beauty and potential this Cavehouse holds, I’ve decided to share with the world my passion for restoring this Cavehouse and this part of Santorini’s history.
View of the Cavehouse captured with a Drone camera
Panoramic view of the Cavehouses’s interior, before restoration!
The purpose of this fundraising project is to save the Cavehouse from falling into ruin. My goal is to renovate this rare and spectacular structure with strict respect for local architecture, character, and style, transforming it into a modern bioclimatic rental residence. However, this project can’t be realized without your valuable and much needed support!
The Cavehouse’s location is truly one of a kind. It is literally hanging on the cliff of the caldera, offering a breathtaking view of the active volcano, the villages of Oia and Fira, the radiant blue of the Aegean Sea, and the world’s most famous sunset. The white walls of Santorini are the stuff of legend, and looking down from this Cavehouse on the edge of the caldera is awe inspiring.
View from the Cavehouse’s front door!
The Cavehouse’s location is truly one of a kind! View captured from a drone
The property consists of the existing ~50 sq m (540 sq ft) Cavehouse, which is currently an open space room carved entirely out of the hard volcanic rock, as well as a small piece of land of 70 sq m (753 sq ft).
The renovation plan has already been proposed to an architectural firm and a preliminary study has been conducted. The preliminary study includes a 3D architectural rendering and a study for the Cavehouse expansion plan.
A preliminary architectural study has already been conducted for the Cavehouse’s renovation
Once the renovation is complete, the existing Cavehouse will be expanded by drilling even further into the volcanic rock. The house’s total surface will increase to 80 sq m (860 sq ft), which will be enough for a spacious living room, a bedroom, an interior swimming pool, a kitchen and a WC. The current rooftop will be transformed into an entertainment area that will include a comfortable living room, a BBQ area, a swimming pool, a home cinema corner, and a spacious veranda for relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking view. These features bring the Cavehouse into the 21st century and make it an ideal destination for visitors to Santorini’s shores.
The new indoor swimming pool will make the Cavehouse one of a kind, offering to its residents unique moments of relaxation!
The WC will be entirely drilled into the volcanic rock
View of the Cavehouse after the completion of restoration
Part of our renovation goal is to create a Cavehouse that will be made with local materials and techniques, in addition to being energy efficient. The renovation and redesign effort will be done with strict respect for the local bioclimatic architecture to accomplish a nearly CO2 neutral residence.
This will be accomplished by:
- The use of a drainage system that will collect rainwater during the winter to supply the pool with water during the summer.
- The use of environmentally friendly and local construction materials.
- Avoiding traditional air conditioning systems. The use of black volcanic rock as the main building material will store heat in the winter and lock in coolness during the summer, making traditional air conditioning systems unnecessary.
- The use of solar panels for heating water.
Your support to save the Cavehouse will have the following impacts:
- Save a traditional Cavehouse in Santorini from falling into ruin.
- Create local jobs for more than 15 people during the 4-month restoration period and another 2 permanent part-time jobs (housekeeper and maintenance tradesman) during the operation of the Cavehouse as a rental residence. These jobs are highly desired by the local community, especially due to the current harsh economic situation in Greece.
- Contribute to the preservation of Santorini’s unique local architecture and long tradition of unique world-class masonry.
- Establish an almost zero CO2 emission residence.
$5 – The Decorator
Participate in a Facebook game and be part of the restoration process. Vote for the Cavehouse’s wall colors, choose among different furniture options, select the type of electrical appliances, and more. The most-voted-for options listed on this Facebook app will be selected, giving you the chance to put your personal touch on the Cavehouse’s final restoration effort! You will also receive our newsletter with updates throughout our journey of renovating the Cavehouse.
$7 – Fridge Magnet
Get a beautiful Santorini fridge magnet to remind you of your valuable contribution and that Santorini should be at the top of your future travel destinations!
$12 – Korres Santorini Vine Shower Gel (200ml)
Let Santorini’s breeze flood your shower with this unique soft moisturizing shower gel made from local wine essences and natural ingredients. The dark, mineral-rich local volcanic soil adds to the grapes’ powerful properties. This shower gel features a distinct, naturally sweet aroma, inspired by the volcanic soil and the fresh sea air of Santorini.
$20 – Your name will live forever in Santorini!
Your name, your company’s name, your girlfriend’s name, or even your email or domain name will live forever on the house’s front external wall. Your name will first be carved on the Cavehouse’s outside wall and then each letter will be painted with the traditional light blue color that can only be found on Santorini.
+ After the completion of the restoration, we will email you 2 photos. One will show the house’s wall covered with all the funders’ names and a second detailed photo will show your name.
+ 15% lifetime discount on any future stay at the Cavehouse
$23 – Santorini on your smartphone case
Keep Santorini in your hand and on your mind! Select any of the 6 available case designs for your smartphone. These cases combine a shatter-proof, scratch-resistant hard shell with a cushioned rubber insert to provide superior protection for your phone. Cases are available for ALL Apple and Samsung phones. Don’t forget to select your style and specify your exact phone model when you choose this perk.
+ 15% lifetime discount on any future stay at the Cavehouse
$25 – Bottle of Santorini wine
Earn a voucher for a bottle of local Santorini wine known as Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is a dry, full-bodied white wine with citrus aromas combined with a pleasing mineral character derived from the volcanic soil in which this variety is grown.
+ 15% lifetime discount on any future stay at the renovated Cavehouse
+ Tickets for 2 for wine tastings at a local winery in Santorini
$39 – The Renovator
Roll your sleeves up and physically help us with the house’s actual renovation. This level of support grants you a 3-night stay at the Cavehouse during the restoration process. You’ll sleep in your sleeping bag or in one of the available beds and you will help us as much as you want with the ongoing restoration activities, including painting, plumbing, decorating, and drilling into the volcanic rock. Choose this perk and join our effort to save a beautiful living example of Santorini’s traditional architecture, while having the chance to meet us, discover the beauty of the island, and have plenty of fun!
+ includes free continental breakfast and free pickup from Santorini’s seaport or airport.
+ 30% lifetime discount on any future stay at the Cavehouse
$59 – The Cavehouse Visitor
Choose this level of support and earn a two-day stay at the renovated Cavehouse to enjoy the breathtaking view of the volcano and the stunning blue sea from the verge of the cliff, all while swimming in the pool! This perk is our way to thank you for your valuable help to back the Cavehouse’s renovation.
+ includes free pickup from Santorini’s seaport or airport
This perk is valid for 2 people or small family and can be redeemed any time within the next 5 years.
$89 – Santorini real volcano stone set on sterling silver ring
Get this unique ring made of 925 solid silver and real lava stone produced from volcanic eruptions in Santorini and handcrafted by local jewelers. This ring can become the perfect gift for someone really special!
$149 – The Cavevouse Bon Vivant
Enjoy a five-day stay at the renovated Santorini Cavehouse. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of the volcano and the stunning blue sea from the verge of the cliff, all while swimming in the pool, or simply enjoy your cocktail while you gaze at the world’s most breathtaking sunset.
+ Complimentary welcome gift of a chilled bottle of local Santorini wine upon arrival
+ Your name carved and painted onto the house’s external wall
+ 2 tickets for Santorini’s Archaeological Museum
This perk is valid for 2 people or small family and can be redeemed any time within the next 10 years.
$349 – Santorini Honeymooners Party
Spend a full week of your honeymoon trip at the renovated Cavehouse on the world’s most romantic island!
Upon your arrival, you will find the Cavehouse decorated in a honeymoon style just for you.
This perk also includes:
+ Complimentary welcome gift of a chilled bottle of Champagne upon arrival
+ Your name carved and colored on the house’s external wall and circled in a carved heart
+ Scuba diving lesson for 2 at Santorini’s volcano reef. Enjoy this unique experience guided by a certified, professional diver.
+ 2 tickets for Santorini’s Archaeological Museum
+ 2 tickets for a wine tasting at a local winery
+ Romantic dinner for 2 at a local restaurant. Enjoy your Greek dinner on a scenic balcony that will offer you a magnificent panoramic view of the caldera and Santorini’s legendary sunset
This perk is valid for 2 people and can be redeemed any time within the next 10 years.
$4,000 – Cavehouse Resident
At this level of support, you earn the right to stay at the Cavehouse for 2 weeks, every year, for the next 10 years!
+ Your name will be carved and painted onto the house’s external wall
$7,000 – Cavehouse Godfather & Resident
This top level of support will make you the grand supporter of our renovation effort of Santorini Cavehouse. If you choose this reward level, you secure the right to become the Cavehouse’s Godfather. You can select any name and we will have it carved above the entrance to the main house. The name that you select will also appear on the house’s website. You will also earn the right to stay at the Cavehouse for one month, every year, for the next 15 years, on the days of your preference.
Other Ways You Can Help – Spread the word
We know that not all of you have the ability to help monetarily – and that’s okay! There are other ways that you can contribute to the Santorini Cavehouse Project.
Please help us by spreading the word!
Tweet your support and share our FB page
Q: When will I receive my perk?
A: All perks will be dispatched immediately after the end of the fundraising. All perks related to the stay at the Cavehouse will be delivered after the completion of the renovation. It’s estimated that the Cavehouse will be ready to welcome its first supporters approximately 4 months after the end of the fundraising period. All supporters will be notified and updated throughout the process.
Q: I decided to support you by staying at the Cavehouse. What’s next?
A: First, we’ll ask you which dates you want to spend at the Cavehouse. Then, we’ll send you a voucher for your stay and clear instructions on how to get to the Cavehouse, as well as other useful information.
Q: What if the targeted budget goal is not reached?
A: In the unlikely event that we don’t manage to raise the money we need, we’ll do everything necessary to find an alternative method of financing our vision and have the Cavehouse saved and renovated. We will most likely proceed by securing a small bank loan. We refuse to give up on this dream. All perks are 100% secured and will be granted to our generous funders. For those funders who select the option to stay at the Cavehouse after the renovation is complete, we‘ll do our best to find them alternative residences in Santorini in the unlikely event that the project’s targeted budget is not reached or a bank loan is not secured.
Q: Is shipping included for my perk?
A: Shipping cost is not included and depends on your shipping address. Please contact us for detailed shipping rates. We ship using Greek National Postal Services, so you can expect the shipping cost to be relatively low.
He believes that the revival of the Greek economy can only be accomplished through the passion, the new ideas and the hard work of young Greek entrepreneurs. He has a hard time saying no in doing things that are fun and trigger his creativity.
When Antonis doesn’t sail the Mediterranean, he uses his passion and enthuasiam in start-up companies and new ideas. He spends most of his free time with his beloved golden retriever and riding his bicycle.
Although she is a graduate hygienist, you will be surprised by her unique skills in interior decoration and design. She loves to spend time with her adorable 2-year old daughter.
Santorini – The Cavehouse Project
Be part of our effort to save a traditional Cavehouse in Santorini!