Luxury Villas In Greece
Sun-seekers flock south for Greek villa holidays, chasing a vision of cobalt seas, blue-and-white island dwellings, orange and lemon groves, and leisurely meals that continue deep into the night.
Greece Villa Holiday Guide
Sun-seekers flock south for Greek villa holidays, chasing a vision of cobalt seas, blue-and-white island dwellings, orange and lemon groves, and leisurely meals that continue deep into the night. Visitors raised on the history of ancient Athens and Sparta, stories of Thermopylae and Marathon, Greek philosophy and poetry and art, can see where it all happened. Crete, cradle of Europe’s first civilization; the Cycladic Santorini with its whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches; well-watered Corfu and its sister Ionian islands — all grip our imaginations.
Ride its metro, explore its squares and public gardens, participate in its café society, and you will have no doubt that Athens is a modern capital city. Yet climb up to the Acropolis and visit its museums, and you are at the heart of the ancient city-state that, virtually single-handed, created ‘Western civilization’. Greece’s other major cities—the ports of Thessaloniki and Patras—are workaday by comparison, but Ali Pasha’s Ottoman capital, Ioannina, on a lake high in the north-western mountains, can claim its own individual stamp
The Greek Countryside
With villas in Greece available on over 3,000 islands and 750,000 square kilometres of the eastern Mediterranean, you'll never be far from beautiful countryside to explore. The Ionian Islands and the north-west mainland mountains are green and well-watered. Fishermen ply the rod on rushing streams, clouds get snared in the branches of high-altitude trees, and hikers roam the pine-scented mountains. The Cyclades and the Peloponnese, on the other hand, are dry and rocky. Holiday makers are attracted by its picturesque beaches and crystal seas - making our beach villas a perfect choice. Everywhere, however, the relaxed Greek lifestyle is king. If the beach isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the beautiful Grecian weather in peace from your very own private pool.
Eating and drinking in Greece
The delights of moussak (layered aubergine and lamb), souvlakia (lamb or pork kebabs, grilled over charcoal), and other Greek dishes are well-known, as are those of Greek retsina (a resin-flavoured wine), Metaxa brandy, and fiery Tsipouro spirit. But they do not tell the whole story. Eating sweetcorn cobs dripping with butter, kebabs wrapped in pittas, or flaky tiropittes (cheese pasties) as you take part in the Sunday evening volta (communal stroll) are just as Greek. Enjoy evening ice-cream, honey cakes or preserved fruits, fresh watermelon or grapes, and you will do so with the natives. At Easter, lamb roasted over an open pit is not only delicious, but also a community ritual. Whether you're picking up fresh ingredients from the local market to cook in your villa, or eating out with the locals, the cuisine here is sure to leave you satisfied.
The Greek Coastline
With its serrated mainland coast, and that of each of its myriad islands, Greece has one of the longest shorelines in Europe—and Greeks from Jason to Aristotle Onassis have made great seafarers. Most of the country’s major cities—Athens, Patras, Thessaloniki, Iraklion—are ports, and the mainland is ringed by defensive fortresses designed to keep out sea-borne invaders. In Greece’s archipelagos, from the Cyclades to the Dodecanese, the Ionian to the Argo-Saronic Islands, the Sporades to Crete, the capital of each island is without fail a harbour town. With a plethora of beach villas to choose from, you can tailor your stay to experience all that the beautiful Greek coast has to offer.
History in Greece
You can see what is left of Homer’s Greece in Mycenae, high above the sea in Nestor’s Palace, and elsewhere. Relics of its 5th century BC golden age lie at Olympia, the great theatre of Epidaurus, wall-less Sparta, and many other places. But Greece is not only ancient history. Explore Byzantine Mithras, the gargantuan Venetian castle at Methoni, the fortress town of Monemvasia, passed from hand to hand since Byzantine times. Visit Mesolongi, where British poet Lord Byron gave his life for Greek independence, or rattle upwards on the little Italian-built Diakofto–Kalavryta railway. Opt for one of our more traditional island villas for the most authentic experience.
The Greek summer heat makes you slow down, as does the lapping of the sea and the constant electric dissonance of the cicadas. Do what the Greeks do: make the most of the coolness of the morning, and after lunch enjoy a siesta in the cool retreat of your pretty Greek villa. There are few pleasures greater than a long, wine-lubricated late-night meal, an evening dip in your villa’s pool under the stars or a feature film at an outdoor cinema. For sandy beaches head for the Mani or Pilion peninsulas, or the north-west coast, or any of a thousand islands. Potter around Knossos in Crete, the Parthenon in Athens. Watch ancient drama at Epidaurus, then head back for a well-deserved sleep in your luxurious villa.
So well-spread-out is Greece that the seasons take months to roll across it. Spring starts in Rhodes in early March, doesn’t get to Corfu until two months later. So mountainous is Greece that habitats lie one above the other, with meadow flowers and farmland giving way to hillside orchards, orchids, and maquis (coastal scrub). Higher still, and rock plants and alpines rule. You will see eagles around Mount Olympus, and all manner of waders in Navarino Bay, or Corfu’s Korission Lagoon.
Shopping in Greece
Bargain-hunters in Greece should focus on the stuff that globalization forgot. Woollen peasant bags, diminutive Greek coffee sets and pots, or heavy brass mortars-and-pestles; decorative lace, shawls, tray cloths, and the like. In Athens, there are many small shops in the area below the Acropolis—Plaka and Monastiraki—with more, and market stalls, in the city’s bazaar around Athinas Street. Reproductions of classical Greek statues and pots are available, but watch out for cheap copies made in the Far East. Check out long heavy Cretan boots traditional musical instruments like the louto, inlaid tavli (backgammon) boards, or intricate hookahs in Iraklion.