George Halaris was only sixteen in the early 1970s when he was working on a cruise ship in the Aegean touring the Cycladic islands, admiring their beauty, but acknowledging that in his mind nothing could compare to his beloved Santorini. Tourism had not blossomed as yet, but the young man recognized that the natural beauty he saw as he sailed from island to island had enormous potential as a tourist destination. . One of ten children, Mr. Halaris worked long and hard hours from 1973 to 1982 on the cruise ship Stella Oceanis, with a break for compulsory National Service in the Navy. All this time he dreamed of his roots in the volcanic soil of his village. “I was constantly homesick,” he explains.
“My dream was born on the ocean waves,” he says proudly. About a decade later he bought his first piece of land in Karterados with the goal of building a pension in the quaint village of his birth. After many years of careful planning and hard work, Pension George became a reality and opened with ten rooms in 1989. Today, three of his brothers also own pensions.
Mr. Halaris bought land and in 1986 built a three-story structure, one floor at a time. The following year he met his English wife, Helen, they married in 1990 and have two daughters. Working together, they managed a successful business and in 2000 purchased land next to Pension George, built another ten rooms, and installed a swimming pool. Today they can accommodate fifty guests in the pension and another twenty-five in self-catering beach houses and two traditional cave houses in a quiet, secluded area less than 100 meters from Karterados beach.
There is a swimming pool and a barbecue area and each house has a fully fitted kitchen. The black beach is located 2.5 km outside of the village of Karterados, on the flat east coast. Guests wishing to tour the island may choose to rent a car, scooter or quad bike. There are two traditional tavernas close-by, but no local bus passes that way. This is a peaceful, relaxing location, and the drive into the busy capital town of Fira takes 5 minutes.
If your dream is to enjoy a holiday exploring beautiful Santorini, while relaxing far from the tourists in a quaint and quiet village, choose Pension George, an idea born on ocean waves and nurtured on the volcanic soil of Karterados Village