Jackie sought refuge and safety by marrying Onassis in 1968 after Bobby's death. She gained a husband and a new nation (Greece), much to the dismay of many of her loyal American subjects. Jackie O was born.
Anchored in the amazingly clear waters near Skorpios, it's easy to imagine
what life in the '70s and '80s was like for those privileged enough to enjoy
this idyllic spot.
Jackie would enjoy endless daytime summer parties in front of the whitewashed pavilions on the
water's edge, afternoons spent sailing, swimming or perhaps a gentle game of
Her evenings would begin with a stroll through the immaculately manicured
grounds, followed by drinks on the grape- and bougainvillea-entwined terraces of
one of the three sprawling villas nestled on the island.
Dinner would perhaps be on board Christina, the massive motoryacht, which was kept anchored in the bay when the Greek
shipping magnate was in residence.
Skorpios is a 13-acre paradise situated in the Ionian Islands to the west
of the Greek mainland, beneath Corfu and above Kefallonia.
Onassis bought the barren island in 1963 for $15 million and spared no
expense turning it into the lush, green oasis it is today complete with numerous
modern buildings and sealed roads.
Besides the three main villas for Onassis and guests there is a staff
accommodation block, a power generation plant, a small farm complete with
outbuildings and several wharves, jetties and beach houses.
Locals say that when Aristotle was in residence he insisted on fresh produce
and the farm was home to cows, sheep, goats and chickens supplying fresh meat,
Jackie spent time and lot's of cash decorating the "pink house" on the island. Something Ari and Jack would have been able to compare notes on.
The island's huge power plant and employees' houses are in a complex on the eastern
All around the island are private sandy coves, several complete with large
changing sheds, showers and terraced areas perfect for watching the sun set.
The island is planted with an assortment of exotic and native trees, olive
groves, vineyards and orchards as well as large park-like grassy areas.
Today the beautifully maintained island is rumoured to be on the market for
about $900 million, put up for sale by sole heiress, Athena Onassis, who
apparently has no interest in it. (2008)
It's many years since Onassis and his rich, famous and powerful friends
fraternised on the island, but today it remains a magnet for tourists
Numerous tourist boats from nearby Lefkas make regular pilgrimages.
Each day hundreds of pairs of eyes, binoculars and cameras are focused on the
island which remains as a memorial to the Onassis family.
Aristotle, his sister Artemis, daughter Christina and son Alexander are all
buried on the island, their graves visible near the white chapel on the
Jackie married Onassis in that chapel in 1968 and she is reputed
to have loved spending time there.
Despite Skorpios' relative isolation, Jackie the media darling of the '60s
and '70s ran the gauntlet of paparazzi cameras. She was snapped nude during her
daily swimming ritual, the photos being published in a high-profile gossip
Another who enjoyed sojourns on Skorpios was Aristotle's long-time mistress
Aristotle is a legend in these parts his statue dominates the waterfront at
nearby Nidri on Lefkas and bookshops there sell dozens of books about his life
and times on Skorpios.
Skorpios remains off limits to the public today, with landing anywhere on the
The only real way for outsiders to enjoy Skorpios is by boat.
Christina's daughter Athina has supposedly sold the island (Fall 2010) to fashion designer Armani. One condition of the sale: Ari and his children's graves will remain in the family plot on the island.