Since ancient times, sailors have been lured to Greece and its magnificent islands, tempted by so much more than just the echo of siren songs. Between fascinating ancient ruins, beautiful whitewashed architecture and glistening beaches that wash against the Aegean and Ionian Seas, the Greek Islands spark the imagination in more ways than one. It’s not hard to see why superstars such as Santorini, Ios and Mykonos tend to grab all the headlines, but Greece boasts more than 6,000 islands and islets in total, each with their own sheltered bays, sandy beaches, coastal caves and ancient history waiting to be explored. Across the Greek archipelago, there’s truly an unlimited amount of exquisite cultural experiences, captivating mythology and mouthwatering cuisine that’s waiting to enchant you at every move.
Where to Stay
There are few hotels in the world that are as awe-inspiring as the Katikies Hotel. Set 300ft above sea level in the clifftop village of Oia along the northern tip of Santorini, the property is built into the hills, surrounded by glistening white rooftops and overlooking the exceptional natural environment below. The cubist-style cottages hold 34 rooms that cascade down the hillside and are interlinked by a series of bridges and steps. Inside, the cave-like rooms feature arched ceilings, rocky whitewashed walls and delicate furnishings, each equipped with an expansive balcony that opens up to the blue sky and sea that sits right outside. The Master Suites have a lounge and plunge pool built into the rock, while the Honeymoon Suites have a outdoor whirlpool tub to enjoy. Life at Katikies centers around the three crystal-blue infinity swimming pools, rounding out the experience with an indoor jacuzzi, sunbathing deck, poolside bar and holistic wellness spa. The brand’s chic and elegant vibe incorporates unmistakable Santorini touches, making for a dreamy escape for honeymooners and couples alike.
Simply put, it would be a crime to come all the way to Greece and limit yourself to just one place. Majestically moving from one island to the next upon your private yacht is the perfect way to soak in the magic of the Greek Islands. This way, you’ll be able to creep to hidden corners of ancient civilization, drop anchor in your own pristine slice of paradise and watch those famous Santorini sunsets – all in the span of a single day. The 202.43ft (61m) Mary-Jean II from Italian based ISA Yachts offers an inviting home-away-home vibe, smart design and generous open air spaces, making for the ideal choice for an extended charter experience getting up close and personal with this little corner of paradise. As well as carrying two elegant Novurania Chase tenders, Mary-Jean II comes equipped with a generous and varied selection of water-toys, a generous sea level swim platform and a gym which make her ideal a fun-filled island charter experience. Guests will also love her expansive outdoor lounge areas like the large sundeck with a Jacuzzi, barbecue area and attractive al fresco dining area which is ideal for families or groups of friends. Read our Charter Guide for the Mary Jean II for a detailed review of what to expect onboard.
Where to Dine
Celebrating traditional Greek cuisine with a contemporary spin, Baos Mykonos brings out the very best in local flavors with a menu that specializes in freshly-caught seafood and seasonal farm produce. Led by Executive Chef Panagiotis Tsoukatos, Baos reaches achieves new heights in haute cuisine with experimental dishes that are interpreted with an international twist. The local ingredients are central to his vision, with a rotating menu that’s dictated by the time of year and ingredients available. The outstanding gastronomic creations are almost outdone by the beautiful dining space and setting of Baos. The restaurant is perched upon a hillside that gently slopes towards the windmills of Little Venice, with sweeping views over the Aegean, as well as an elegant ambiance to enjoy your company.
What to Do
When it comes to the liveliest island in Greece, all heads and hearts turn towards the glamorous spot of Mykonos. Fabulous for so many reasons, you’ll want to see the famous windmills, the Paraportiani Church, and Paradise Beach. Days are best spent lounging vicariously on its epic beaches, as you navigate some of the most beautiful waters imaginable, before the world-famous nightspots begin to heat up across the island. Santorini, on the other hand, blends history, landscape and luxury and serves as one of the most popular destinations throughout the Cyclades. Dramatic 300m cliffs, a clifftop caldera, the 1700 B.C. Minoan city of Akrotiri, and an incredibly beautiful skyline against the stunning turqouise water make Santorini a visual, as well as a cultural, delight. Fabulous sunsets are common, so insure you’re either cruising to your advantage, or climbing up to the castle at Oia
As the cradle of Western civilization, much of your time in Greece will also be spent exploring some of the most magnificent archaeological ruins and cultural treasures that the world has to offer. Delos stretches its roots back to the third millennium B.C., showing off a wealth of ruins from several eras of civilization. The birthplace of Apollo in Greek mythology, the island remains a Pan-Hellenic sanctuary. Tremendously important for its history, the island still boasts that no mortal will be born or will die on Delos, continuing the sacred traditions from the Archaic, through the Classic and Hellenistic eras. The island of Milos offers incredible diving, with many sites accommodating all levels of experience. On shore, there are Christian catacombs, and a very old Minoan city, Filakopi, which flourished from 3300 to 1100 B.C. Beaches all around the island are stunning, but Sarakiniko’s massive white monoliths and white sand contrast nicely with the deep blue of the sea. Agathia is great for peace and tranquility, and Adamas for lively tavernas along the coastline.
Where to Unwind
For those in search of true bliss, the sensational Euphoria Retreat in the ancient town of Mystras is an unmissable spot. The holistic well-being spa draws its philosophy from the five elements – water, wood, fire, earth and metal – and allows you to rejuvenated your mind, body and soul. This is done through a personalized list of therapies, treatments and retrearevival of ancient Hellenic healing practices, combined with traditional Chinese medicine and the expert application through a personalized list of therapies, treatments and retreats. There’s an otherworldly calm throughout Euphoria Retreat and its spa facilities, which includes a magnificent domed Sphere Pool, Tepidarium, Finnish Sauna, Watsu Pool and more. Read out Spa Guide to Euphoria Retreat for a detailed breakdown of what makes this place special.
What to Pack
When packing your bags for these sun-kissed islands, it helps to keep it easy breezy, relaxed, playful and just a pinch of glamorous. Whether you find a secluded pebble beach or prefer to swim aboard, this Haight Marcella Bikini was designed to maximize both comfort and flexibility. Carefully adapting to the figure, the flattering fit comes in a rich amber hue that’s sure to give you just the right amount of pop. When you’re breezing along and enjoying the view, toss on this lightweight Asceno Oversized Linen-Poplin Shirt, which keeps you effortlessly cool and snug. Check out our Style Sheet to the Greek Islands for the complete fashion low-down ahead of your trip.