Ionian Islands : Lefkada and Scorpios

Scorpios island

Life in Lefkada is strongly associated with Scorpios. Scorpios is a small island of 800 km2, very close to the east of Lefkada island, which was owned by the Onassis family till May 2013. While organizing the Greek course on the island of Lefkada, students regularly ask about Scorpios, its history and who has bought the island. Therefore, some information for all of you!

Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, bought Scorpios in 1963 and transformed it into an earthly heaven by planting thousands of plants and trees from all over the world. He built villas, a church and a private cemetery. The island has a heliport and a private marina. Since the island was too dry, he also managed to supply Scorpios with water, by submarine pipelines. To thank the residents of Lefkada for their help, he invited Maria Callas to sing at the Lefkada festival in 1966.

The island was used as a summer residence for his family. Scorpios lived many years of great glory. Onassis organized parties and glamorous receptions, inviting famous people from all over the world. On Scorpios, Onassis got married to Jacky Kennedy in 1968. No need to say, the paparazzi were every day somewhere “around the island”.
After Onassis and his daughter, Christina, died, his granddaughter, Athena, became the owner of the island. Athena has a French father and was raised in France.

In May 2013, Athena sold the island to the Russian billionaire businessman, Dmitry Rybolovlev. He bought the island for 110.000.000 Euros, a gift for his daughter Katrina! Nevertheless, according to Onassis’ will, the island cannot be sold (*). Therefore the island was “rented for long operation” to the Russian tycoon. In any case, now it is Katrina Rybolovlev who enjoys the island. There will be most likely new investments and new jobs will be created. The legend about the island is going on…

(*) 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’ time, still under the belonging of Athina Onassis Rousel.