Sitting on a black, rocky outcrop at the heart of the Cycladic island of Sifnos and surrounded by gnarled olive trees, Mavro Vouni is an authentic island retreat overlooking the azure waters of the Aegean Sea.
The three-bedroom Greek villa was built in 2022 by architect Bernard Delacoste of Swiss firm MCBD, and takes its name from its terrain. It comprises two long buildings constructed with stone walls and bedded into a sunny slope overlooking the entire island. Its hand-formed exterior mimics the island’s traditional architecture, giving the impression that the house has always existed. However, its minimalist interiors are modern, with white-washed rooms and clay-plastered walls contrasted by brightly coloured furniture and natural materials.
Mavro Vouni is available for rent via Holiday Architecture and is surrounded by terraces, including shaded dining and seating areas built into the rock. There’s also a private swimming pool bordered by olive trees.
While Sifnos is less bustling than some of the more popular Cycladic islands like Mykonos or Santorini, it strikes a balance between tourism and preserving traditional ways of life. Travellers seeking a more authentic Greek island experience will find it on this smaller island, dotted with white-washed villages, blue-domed churches, and narrow winding streets.
Apollonia, the capital, is a short drive away (offering shops, bars, and restaurants), as is the medieval settlement of Kastro. Sifnos is nicknamed ‘the island of flavours’ and has a rich culinary heritage of regional cuisines – as well as pottery used to serve and cook the dishes.