Skorpios Island, is a private island in the Ionian Sea. It is just off the western coast of Greece, to the east of the island of Lefkada. Deep Blue Yachting’s home port is in Lefkada. Skorpios is only a few miles south of us, therefore we visit the island regularly. Onassis bought the barren island in 1963. At the time it was believed to have cost just 3.5 million drachmas, the equivalent of about £10,000.
The Beautiful Skorpios Island.
From barren rock to a Beautiful Island, spanning 74 acres. Aristotle Onassis, the shipping scion piped in utilities, imported sand, planted over 200 varieties of trees. He also built a family compound that includes three residences, a helicopter pad and a boat quay. He built harbour facilities in the bay on the north side for his beloved yacht “Christina”.
Aristotle never slept on Skorpios Island at night, even though there are living quarters ashore for quest. He preferred to stay aboard Christina. The island boasts some sandy beaches, most notably east Beach. Onassis brought sand from Salamis Islands for this purpose. (Salamis is the largest Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, about 1 nautical mile off-coast from Piraeus and about 16 kilometers west of Athens.) Skorpios island, water supply, comes from a mountain bought by Aristotle Onassis on a nearby island. It was said that anyone who bought the island would need to buy the mountain also, which he estimated would cost upwards of 100 million euros.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s life on Skorpios Island
On the 20th October 1968 Aristotle married the former US first Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy on the island. Jacqueline is the widow of the late President John F Kennedy. Since he was assassinated in 1963. The island hosted many parties during the time of Aristotle Onassis. On the south side of the island, at the edge of a tiny beach, in an idyllic setting. There is a small Cyclades-style house which Jackie had built so that she could get away from it all. Also she used to swim in the beautifully clear water of the cove. Jackie Onassis was infamously photographed nude here by a Greek paparazzo. The shipping scion, Christina his daughter and his son Alexander, are all buried on the island. The small chapel and graves are on the NW corner of the island.
After his death in 1975
After his death in 1975 the private island passed down through the family. Therefore in 1988 after her mother Christina died of a heart attack aged 37, the property passed to Athina Onassis Roussel. Aristotle’s 28-year old granddaughter and sole living heir. Ms Onassis Roussel was born in France, and is the only child of Christina Onassis and her fourth husband, Thierry Roussel. Ms Roussel is married to Brazilian Olympic show jumper, Alvaro de Miranda Neto, and lives in Sao Paulo.
Giorgio Armani, Bill Gates and Madonna have all shown interest in buying the tiny island. Swiss-educated, Athina Onassis Roussel sold the island in April 2013 to Ekaterina Rybolovlev. She is the 24-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. In fact, Athina had little Interest in spending time on the island, or in Greece. The sale price is unknown, though several Greek news outlets have reported a price tag in the $150 million range. Whatever the final number, Rybolovlev can afford it. Or more aptly, her father can. Dmitry Rybolovlev is worth an estimated $9.1 billion. As a result, making him the 79th richest person in the world. His wealth is largely derived from his former ownership stake in Uralkali, Russia’s largest producer of potassium fertilizer, which he sold out of in 2010 for $6.5 billion.
The Island’s Future
Ekaterina Rybolovlev is acquiring Skorpios for business as well as pleasure. In fact, she has plans to create an island retreat for the worlds rich and powerful. Sparti islet close by was also included in the sale. From the time Scorpios Island was sold to Rybolovlev, the whole area has become a forbidden zone for tourists. Specially trained French and American bodyguards, with special high-tech equipment, guard the island 24 hours a day.
The Greek Government however, has now investigated the legality of the purchase by the Russian oligarch. Giannis Mihelakis (New Democracy MP) raised the question of its legality, in the Greek parliament. Specifically, Onassis stated in his will that the island would remain in the family as long as they could afford to cover its maintenance expenses. According to the will, if his descendants could not cover the expenses. The island would be donated either to Olympic Airways or to the state. Therefore the island is now leased to the heiress for 100 years.
Although it is not possible to land on Skorpios. On a yacht charter with us, we will pass close by so that you can see this beautiful Ionian Island, play ground of the rich and famous.
If you want to check out all of these stunning locations, book a trip aboard the Glaros, and we’ll take you to all these places and more.
I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I will also be pleased to hear any of your comments, so please feel free to leave them.