Where to go to enjoy your luxury holidays in Greece this year
When it comes to planning your luxury summer getaway for 2019, there are few better destination choices than one of the many picturesque Greek islands – each with its own unique offering of history, culture and natural beauty. Popular amongst celebrities and the jet-setting elite alike, this slice of Aegean paradise offers endless possibilities for those in search of a luxurious retreat – from the white-washed villages of picture-postcard Santorini, to the vibrant nightlife and pristine beached of trendy Mykonos.
Two things all the islands have in common are the accommodating locals and an excellent choice of high-end accommodation options to choose from; friendly holidays in the Greek islands are a given, and luxury villas in Greece are certainly not hard to find. With a range of 5-star boutique hotels available everywhere you go, you’ll never have to compromise on style or service during your stay – and you’ll be guaranteed to be greeted with a big smile and a glass of Ouzo, everywhere you go.
There are few sights more breath-taking than the setting of the sun over the Aegean; it’s one you are unlikely to ever forget. And with quaint little houses lining rocky cliffs and immaculate beaches set away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Greece, the islands are the perfect place to get away from it all for a well-earned break.
But, with over 6,000 islands to choose from in total, deciding which is the one for you can seem an overwhelming task – so we’ve rounded up the luxury Greek islands to visit in 2019 to set you on the right track. Why not go island hopping and visit them all?
Perhaps the most iconic of all the Greek islands, tiny Santorini is renowned for its breath-taking white-washed buildings and midnight-blue sea. With the imposing sheer lava cliffs of the caldera lip greeting you as you arrive by boat, Santorini is truly a sight to behold – and should be top of any luxury island-hopper’s tour itinerary.
Best visited in late spring when the landscape is still lush and green, the sea is pleasantly warm for swimming and the crowds are still at a minimum, it’s a great time to start booking ahead for the new year.
Explore the pretty towns of Firá and Oía during your stay. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera, with its Minoan murals rescued from pre-cataclysm Akrotíri, is a must-see, while on a hot day, the volcanic-sand beaches of Perivólas and Vlyháda, in the far south of the island, are the best places to take a dip.
Meanwhile, hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the scenic walk from Períssa to Kamári, past post-eruption ancient Thera, and along the caldera edge from Imerovígli to Oía.
Mykonos has fast made a name for itself as one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world in recent years, owing largely to its glamorous reputation and its chic, bohemian vibe. Once amongst the poorest and barest of the Greek islands, the island is now a playground for the rich and famous, and visitors to can enjoy a choice of stylish and expensive luxury boutique hotels located along the coastline – some of them the most stylish boutique properties in the whole of Greece.
This central Cyclade was once the premier Mediterranean resort for gay travellers, though nowadays it appeals to a more varied clientele – with visitors flocking in from as far as South America to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, picturesque white-washed buildings and sheltered golden beaches.
Perhaps one of the lesser known Greek Islands, Sifnos might be thought of as ‘off the beaten track’ when compared with its more popular counterparts – but with a sizzling foodie scene, its plethora of trendy boutique hotels and a range of beautiful villages and swimming spots, it’s the perfect Greek getaway destination for those hoping to escape the summer crowds.
Reached easily via the Cycladic ferry route from Athens’ Piraeus port, there are plenty of things to see and do on Sifnos – from visiting one of its 366 churches, with their blue domes and white-washed walls, to hanging out in the lively port town of Kamares or the picturesque village of Apollonia – the island’s capital – which comes alive with young Athenians on weekend trips by night.
Located just off the west coast of mainland Greece in the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos has long been known as one of the country’s most picturesque islands. The third largest of all of the Ionian islands, it has a wealth of history and culture for visitors to immerse themselves in; once part of the Byzantine Empire, it was later ruled by the Ottomans and then the Venetians, and the influences of each are evident in its impressive towns and villages.
In Zakynthos, mountainous plateaus meet steep cliffs, with a key focal point being the beautiful Navagio beach – a cove on the southwest sure, isolated by high cliffs and accessible only by boat.
Whatever you’re looking for from your next luxury getaway, Greece has got it all. And with such a breath-taking selection of islands to choose from, you’ll want to work your way through each and every one of them.