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Minoan Group Plc’s operations in Greece currently centre on the development and subsequent operation of what we plan to be a new landmark for tourism in Greece. The project will include a number of small to medium sized hotels of extremely high standards, both in terms of the service offered and environmental credentials.
It is the Group’s intention that the development and operation of the Project will be undertaken with financial and other partners of substance. These partners will include Hotel Operators who are capable of enhancing the Group’s vision of a very high quality, environmentally impeccable tourist destination with long term sustainability built in to the design and operating procedures.
The site for the Project is the Cavo Sidero peninsula, a spectacular location extending into the Mediterranean from the North Eastern coast of Crete in the prefecture of Lasithi. The site, in the locality of Itanos, will be held on a long lease granted by the Ecclesiastical Foundation, Panagia Akrotiriani and comprises 25,000 stremmata (over 6,000 acres). It has 28 kilometres of coastline, numerous secluded bays and inlets as well as an interior with rolling hills where herbs such as thyme and marjoram are part of the natural vegetation.
With a built footprint of less than 0.5% of the site the Project aims to preserve the landscape and leave more than 90% in its natural state and create conditions for the regeneration of vegetation.
The history of Itanos began 5.000 years ago and the broader area is rich in archeological sites. These include ancient palaces and towns, including the partially submerged ruins of Itanos itself. Together with old tales and traditions they form a unique cultural heritage. .
In the North East of the area we have designed a project to blend in with and complement the landscape. It will be a new destination for Crete and Greece.
Our architects have been inspired by the past whilst using the best of modern technology to create a sustainable whole. Inspiration has been taken from the ancient palaces and the Holy Monastery of Toplou, which sits just to the South of the Project site. We have designed hotels offering 5 and 6 star service in a resort that embraces the highest environmental credentials and is a prime example of sustainability.
The Project will be self sufficient in water and energy resources, 650 rooms and individual suites will cater for the more sophisticated needs of today’s travelers.
The amenities of the Project will include a multitude of land based and water sports. A heathland golf course designed around the natural contours of the land will include the latest techniques to encourage the regeneration of eco-systems and their wildlife. Together with a number of spas and wellness centres, cultural and environmental activities will ensure the successful year round operation of the resort. All of these will be supported by internationally branded hotels of the highest quality. Six Senses Resorts and Spas intend to join the Project and will operate one of the two ‘flagship’ hotels.
Less than 2.000 beds will be divided between rooms, suites and studios within the hotels, all in the form of small clusters spread in an area of 25.000 stremmata, fully harmonized in the natural landscape.
The essence of this soft development lies with the uniqueness of the Site and the Project’s sustainability. Minoan Group has been in consultation with major sustainability consultants and, in addition to its Greek team, will commission world renowned architects to design what will be a landmark of sustainable architecture in the hotel industry.
It is the Group’s intention that, when complete, the Project will be one of the most environmentally friendly developments in Europe.
The project has evolved out of the old Cavo Sidero Project which was about 7.000 beds. The old project, approved in 2007, was annulled by the Conseil d’ Etat on planning grounds in December 2010. The new project is designed to be in line with the ruling of the Court and with the subsequent changes in Greek planning Laws. This meant that the final design had to undergo a number of iterations as new laws were introduced piecemeal during 2011..
The construction cost of the new project is estimated over 250 m. Euro and will be undertaken through one or more Joint Ventures with appropriate partners.
It will contribute a significant number of jobs and economic benefits to the local area and Greece in terms of tourism and competitiveness.
The ‘Lonely Planet’ describes Crete as being more like a small country, as well as Greece’s most fascinating and diverse island. “Its remarkable history is evident across the island, from the ruins of Minoan palaces to Venetian fortresses, from old mosques and Byzantine monasteries to the cave that is the legendary birthplace of Zeus”.
As if written for the project area, Eastern Crete has it all: Minoan palaces, venetian fortress and villas, the birthplace of Zeus and Patriarchate Monasteries. It has the only palm forest in Europe and a unique coastline. A rich folklore tradition is complemented by an agricultural history which developed the products that made the Cretan diet famous for its health benefits.