Why to Visit Porto Heli and When to Go

Tuscany in Greece

  1. Why visit Porto Heli & area- the Greek Riviera

Location – Location – Location

Well, it is both Beautiful and  Peaceful with so much to Do and See.

Porto Heli is used by <<GreekVillas>> as the general area name for Porto Heli bay and the lacy coastline that we call <<The Greek Riviera>>  including locations such as the little township of Ermioni,  Kosta (or Costa) where the water taxis ply between Spetses and Kosta, Porto Heli Township and environs, Hinitsa, St. Emiliano, Plepi, Thermissia, Kounoupi, Petrothalassa, etc.

The most expensive luxury villas in Greece are concentrated here, on this little known “Greek Riviera” of the Peloponnese, where Greek and foreign tycoons flock together, ‘like birds of a feather’,  fiercely guard their privacy and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the coastline without any maddening crowds of tourists.  This is where they anchor their super yachts for easy sailing around this astonishing area. Yes, that is the main reason why Porto Heli area is such a well-kept secret. It is not by chance that the ‘Aman Hotels’ chain chose Porto Heli area for the first Aman Hotel in Europe! The area is beautiful and reminds one of Tuscany in parts, with old olive groves producing extra virgin olive oil like liquid gold, fruit  orchards producing some of the best oranges and apricots in Greece, and the stunning scenery of the Argosaronic Gulf with the magnificent views across the bay to either Spetses, or Kounoupi, or Hydra etc.

You see, the best part is that  the tiny Costa Marina has a water taxi service as well as a boat shuttle service, and guests can hop on a water taxi or the shuttle boat  for the short enjoyable boat trip only a 8 minutes trip across the bay to Spetses, where there are  lots of cafes and restaurants for cosmopolitan evenings out. The water taxis also take visitors to Hydra or Ermioni etc. so the fact that if visitors don’t wish to drive around, they just take a boat to get around. The shuttle launch boat from Kosta to Spetses costs 2 euro per person and the water taxi launch costs 20 euro for up to 8 persons.

Why Visitors like to stay in Porto Heli area 

The beautiful Greek Riviera of the Peloponnese peninsula is favoured by those seeking restful holidays away from the maddening crowds. Many Greek tycoons have built their holiday mansions in this area and its ideal for sailing or yachting and making short tours by boat or by car.

What Kind of Villas you can expect to rent

Its possible to rent villas with 3 bedrooms with 400 euro a day up to astonishing grand mansions that cost many millions to build and probably to maintain also. That is why a potential high season price tag of 3000 to 5000 euro daily may be considered very reasonable for a top luxury seafront villa in the latter category. Of course, the sky is the limit, so there are some very exclusive private doors that open to a few elite clients.

Things to Do and See

– it’s the ideal base for day excursions by road or by boat,  to visit exciting archaeological sites and points of interest such as Mycenae, Epidaurus, the deserted medieval town of Monemvasia and the historical first Greek capital, Nauplion. If you wish to relax, remember to Pamper yourself at the nearby spa of the ‘Ammanzoe’ exclusive resort.

If you like an active holiday, take note that you will have one of the best water skiing nearby, as well as canoe or kayak, an excellent PADI diving school as well as a top-notch sailing school or windsurfing, etc.  Fisherman will certainly feel the itch to throw their rods into the sea

We have a whole ‘bucket list’ of Things To Do Whilst in Porto Heli area, so that will have to wait for next time you read my blog. Not to keep you waiting, I reveal one to you below:

 Private Kaiki Boat trip

The highlight of your trip could be the private ‘kaiki’ full day boat tour that we can arrange for the whole group , that will sail through clear emerald waters till you reach a magnificent secluded sandy bay and just ask us to pre-book a table at our secret taverna for an unforgettable fish lunch (meal not included). Early bookings recommended. Ask us for details.

 

Weather and When to Visit Porto Heli and Kosta area

Basically, due to the warm dry climate in Porto Heli its a true all_year_ round_ destination.

Spring is usually sunny and warm from March until the end of May when almond trees and zillions of wildflowers of all colours, are blossoming and the countryside is green and sunny.  whereas our warm sunny autumn days from October onwards till end of December are also ideal for hiking, and cycling as its warm and dry but not too hot.  Usually, you can still enjoy swimming in the gentle sea of the bay which remains warm till late autumn. Jan till March can be cold and windy but may also be sunny and warm – you are always in for a pleasant surprise with our weather.

Summer starts from June till end September which is probably the best month of the year.

The warm Summer months are ideal for swimming and sea sports or yachting.  Summer can be hot and dry and relief is to be found in the crystal seas or your pool. It’s very good fun to rent a yacht and enjoy the sea breezes, and thereby discover secret bays with emerald green water. Yachting is very popular in the Saronic Gulf, so lots of boats of all sizes can be seen cruising the calm waters between the Saronic islands of Aegina, Hydra, Poros and Spetses, combined with the mainland of the Peloponnese with the lacy coastline.

Autumn is deliciously warm and dry, without winds and the sea remains warm and calm. For many regular visitors, the months from September till November may be the best months of the year to enjoy the area in peace.

Winter is hardly ever really cold, as Porto Heli seems to be a real sun trap, due to the protected coastline. It’s the ideal time of year for hiking, and also for touring around the historical towns and ancient sites that are mainly within a couple of hours driving.  There are always some good tavernas open all year round, as are the cafes and shops, due to a robust permanent population. Most villas have their log fireplace for the cool winter evenings, and some have to heat too. The sun is warm and comforting without the cold winds that torment residents on some of the other island groups.

sunrise at 06.00

Porto heli harbour

fishing boats

 


Is Winter a good time to visit Greece

Is Winter a good Time to Visit Greece ?

20 Nov. 2017 by Katia Zahartzi

The local taverna in Aristi

Dear readers,

Yes – I can vouch to you that winter is a very good time to visit Greece.  My intention with this article is to give you some insight into the real Greece, which you will not get to know from the usual tourist guides and tours to Greece. Did you know that Greece is a mountainous country with over 117 inhabited islands ?  each region has its own traditional custumes, dances, foods and recipes and folk-lore.  Imagine that Greece is a land of great contrast, with high mountains, hills and valleys with lush meadows, crystal clear rivers and streams, mountain villages,  islands with white cube houses, mules transporting produce like they have done for centuries, beautiful clear seas and sandy beaches. Oh yes, of course there are olive groves and vineyards as well as the best wheat fields in the Med.  But what better time to visit the mountains than the cool winter season ?

There is no ‘right time’ to visit Greece, so after the hot summer is finally over,  I just love the cool winter months in the rugged Greek highlands. The mountains stretch from the Pindos mountain range in the north west region of Epirus, up to the highlands of Mount Pelion, located above  the seaside town of Volos on the eastern coast. let me mention that if there is no mountain where you go, there will be at least hills, because the Greek terrain in general is hills and mountains.

stone tiled houses in the mountains

What is it that  I love ? – Well, to start with, I love the countryside and I love walking, which is usually delightful  when its cool although i am not implying that it will not be sunny, because Greece is famed for 360 days of sunshine.. Therefore, when I catch the acrid scent of the olive-wood smoke curling out of the villagers chimneys, combined with the crisp cool mountain air, I can think of no better incentive for a long walk on the country roads and trails. There are so many wild flowers, to be found all year round, and  Greece is blessed with a large number of wild medicinal herbs that can be found all over the country. Organised walks with a local expert can be arranged.

Walk over the famous arch bridges and cross the river without fear, as the locals have been doing for over 200 years. Epirus has the most of these famous bridges, that stand as silent momunments to past times. Here is the ideal place to try your hand at fly flishing, but remember that trout are wily and its not an easy sport. These mountain rivers have icy cold water all year round. in the forests, mushroom experts may find their favorite mushrooms in the autumn, but beware if you are not an expert.

bridges on the boidomati river

The wonderful Boidomati river has trout fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zitsa village in Zagori area

Greek villages remain steadfast to their century old traditions  and todays visitors can enjoy  the sight of their cozy stone cottages  with handmade lace curtains hanging at the windows and colorful pots of scented gardenia and begonia  on their front yards.  On sunny days the matrons sit on their front porch crocheting knick-knacks and will greet the passer by, in fact, some are so pleased to see a ‘xenos’  or foreigner, they may invite you in for a cup of Greek coffee, lovingly served on a little silver tray with w a crochet mat. A glass of cold water will always accompany it.

Visitors know when they have reached the central town square known as the  ‘Plateia’ when  they catch the  the scent of greek coffees being prepared  in the ‘kafeneio’ or local cafe. The coffee is placed to boil on the ‘hovoly’ , meaning hot sand is used for slowly heating the coffee to boiling point, in order  to preserve the aroma and help make a thick foam on top of the Greek coffee. If you prefer, all the cafes can also serve a good cappuccino . The Plateia  will also have the inevitable’ tourist shop’s selling jams and fruit preserves made by the local women’s’  guild, along with hand-painted pottery and wines from small local producers.  Don’t hesitate to try them and thereby support the local economy. My favorite preserve is the ‘Pergamont’ , as the citrus combine so well with the sweet sirop, and I suggest that you buy a small vase to take home with you,  but if you don’t find it, then I suggest you try the ‘Citron’, Grapefruit or Lemoni.

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The local taverna in Aristi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Greeks are foodies, and food is at the core of the many Greek traditions and their life style, whether it’s a Feast day or a meal with friends. Walking is the best way to work off a rich farmhouse breakfast, in order to make  room for the inevitable farmhouse lunch.  Food is cooked fresh from the kitchen garden or the local market produce, and lovingly prepared using the ‘slow methods’ to bring out the aromas of hearty legumes such as fleshy haricot beans simmered with onion and tomato sauce till tender and juicy. The Greek diet includes regular consumption of legumes such as beans, chick-peas, lentils, etc which are dried and eaten in hot soups laced with virgin olive oil,  that get them through the winter months .

GR Cyclades Myconos taverna by the windmills

even if your island destination seems quiet in the winter months of your visit, beleive me you will have the joy of talking to the locals and learniing more about them and their life on the islands in winter time.The taverna owners have time to pay more attention to their guests and will give better service.  its quite different to the tourist season and some will enjoy it more in the off-season, so dont worry if a lot of the chairs are empty at lunch time.

zagori area has activiteis

Although I am totally against the ‘sport’ of hunting, I feel I must make mention that the local taverns may serve venison and wild boar during the hunting season. Don’t forget to taste the excellent red wines produced by small local producers, and sometimes served as open wine by the taverns – you may be pleasantly surprised. Greek wines are the ideal accompaniment to an aromatic symphony of flavors  at a typical Greek tavern, whether tender lamb chops grilled to perfection on a charcoal grill or a piping hot ‘fasolada’ ( a traditional white bean soup)

Zagori suites living room

Visitors can find wonderful accommodation in such charming boutique hotels, some of which resemble an English country club with their elegant couches and arm chairs near to a blazing fire in large stone fireplaces. Such charming country hotels make the ideal weekend getaway for all ages, and visitors can be surprised by the elegant furnishings and high quality bedding provided by ‘small’ boutique hotels. Another surprise in store for visitors is the spa and inside heated swimming pool that may be found in some of these little bijoux called Boutique Hotels. Prices in Greece are actually quite low in the mountains, and are therefore very good value for money. We can only encourage visitors to come to Greece in the winter, and to venture beyond Athens. All you need is a good travel advisor who can tell you where to go and how to get there.

                                                                                                                                                             Each village is more beautiful than the next, and Greek stone masons were famous  . Sadly, many villages have only a few permanent residents, and that is why they are joyous to see visitors.
Zagoria villages - you will love them allmountain villages of Zagori in the springime

Aristis and the Archontiko Hotel zagoria is ideal for walking The meteora will not fail to impress you Boutiqe hotels in tradional stone The meteora and its villages Vikos gorge and the river below   Alas many  holiday villas remain closed during the winter months, although certaniy not all.

The mountains have some wonderful boutique hotels that are unique in Europe and visitors are amazed by the style and good service. However, i felt the need to impress the picture of ‘the other Greece’, and there are not many villas on the mountains. However, you must not deprive yourself and your fellow travelers from the memorable experience of winter in Greece and on the Greek mountain villages. Winter in Greece is usually so mild that it is common to see the locals sitting outdoors enjoying the warm morning sunshine at the cafes,  passing time until the sunset. In the mountains a roaring fireplace awaits the evening diners in the taverns, so the foodies get to work again.

There are so many wondrous places to see and even more activities waiting for you to  discover. You may ask what they are – well I cannot reveal all now, but I am happy to give you some hints

  • Thermal Spas with natural hot springs coming direct from the earth are dotted around the country and well organized spa centers flourish. The cost is not necessarily expensive, it just depends whether you visit a municipal spa or a luxury hotel spa. The spa waters are famed for their healing properties since antiquity, and Greek healers were amongst the first to understand and use water in healing.

trekking in the mountainous regions

  • Nature walks can reveal the rich treasure of wild herbs and wild flowers, ranging from sage to chamomile.
  • zagori area is good for biking
  • Biking is great with some organised companies or bring your own bike.

rafting in Epirus

  • rafting is well organised with licensed sports activites companies and is good fun for visitors.
  • riding in Konitsa
  • Riding tours and Hiking tours are gaining in popularity and old trails have been mapped. Visitors may join an riding or hiking tour or arrange for a private hiking guide. This service is available in certain areas, mountains or islands, and must be pre-arranged to avoid disappointment, but surely the cool winter and spring months from November till May are the most enjoyable .

spinach pie

  • Cooking Lessons are gaining in popularity, and the winter months are the best to partake in these cooking courses, with expert local cooks showing their culinary secrets. My favorite cooking lesson is the one teaching a class how to make an authentic Greek spinach pie, with home-made pastry. Do i need to say that olive oil is one of the most important ingredients ?

 

  • The scent of the wood smoke curling from the cottage chimneys in the mountain villages is surely tickling your nose already …
  • 04-Apr-16 7-09-44 PMsounio_sunset
  • the Greek monuments are still standing in winter, so dont wait until  summer to visit them.
  • if you are still looking for things to do in winter, well then, pilgrims can follow in The Footsteps of St. Paul’ touring from Athens up till Salonica ., and what better time than winter for a tour

i hope that i have persuaded you that  winter is a very good time to visit Greece !

 

 

 

 


Why We Love Greek Villas

Why we Love Greek Villas

Since the start of our GreekVillas.com brand in 2013, we have gained insights into so many wonderful private villa rentals with our regular and strident inspection trips. We love Greece and so we love our job, which gives us the never-ending joy of visiting some of the most authentic and trendy islands in  Europe as well as beautiful mainland resorts.  I must not forget to make mention of nearby villages, with the peaceful olive groves and docile donkeys transporting their burden as if time has stood still in the Greek countryside.

Our confidence that we are on the right track with our choice of villas and destinations, is enhanced  from the delighted feed-back of our clients. It has given us great pleasure to have served so many charming guests, some of whom travelled  across an ocean just to spend a week or more in Greece, giving us the heavy responsibility of their precious holiday time. These guests we call our Ambassadors to Greece,  who surely have great memories of their stay in Greece, and will portray their Greek holiday experience first hand to their friends and family.

Our team of villa experts has carefully chosen a large selection of wonderful holiday villas in certain special areas of Greece, with a choice between our “Exclusive Luxury Villas” for those who want Only the Best, and our charming selection of “Mid-Budget Villas and Homes” for the average visitors keeping to a budget, with criteria of charm, quality and value for money.

We have focused our villa rentals to specific destinations that are dear to our heart. Our villas are located in the Cyclades Islands of Paros, Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, Ios, Kea (Tzia), Andros, as well as mainland Greece with emphasis on the Athenian Riviera and the lacy coastline of the  so called ‘Greek Riviera’ on the Peloponnese, placed from Spetses and the little port of Kosta until Porto Heli, Ermioni and Plepi  l All these destinations are served by an airport, as well as daily regular fast ferry services.  Getting there can be done by helicopter also.

We love Greece and our greatest satisfaction is to show visitors how beautiful Greece is. We delight in introducing our guests to our favorite places so that we can reveal our unique local insights for the area they visit. Let us teach you to enjoy the authentic Greek Lifestyle – with a twist on the old saying, “When in Greece, do as the Greeks  Do”.  We don’t like ‘tourist traps’ and just as we avoid them for ourselves, we certaiKelia_Pool-04PortoHeli2oneandonly_Mykonos_GreekVillas_1100_720drz-myconian-6751 (1)nly avoid recommending them for our guests. Greece is a small country is full of so many fascinating places, there is not enough space to describe them here. In a nutshell, let me say that we have some wonderful places near to the seaside and on the mountains, and we can’t wait to share them with you.  What are they ? you may well  ask, but allow us to reveal them gradually.

We take pleasure to help guests arrange a private celebration or special event in absolute confidence, and can assist you in any way. We also take care of celebrities and top VIP guests who need absolute privacy and ensure they get an offer from our ” Closed Doors” properties which are available for only a very few select clients. Send an email with your telephone number, and country code, to welcome@greekvillas.com and we shall contact you at the preferred time you may indicate to us.

 

 


Travel notes from beautiful Ermioni on the Greek Riviera

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For our April blog we visited the picturesque olive growing area of Ermioni and the neighbouring areas. On our itinerary: Porto Heli, Kosta and Ververonda where we fell in love with the Tuscany-like countryside and the wonderful villas on the beachfront, watching the sunset on the lagoon like bay of Porto Cheli and the sunrise through the reeds on the lagoon listening to the wild-fowl at Ververonda.
Between early mornings holding onto a mug of ice cold Café Freddo in one hand and our camera in the other and working all through the day until our well earned evening dinners in the Maistrali taverna savoring a grilled Grouper (Sfyrida) & boiled Octopus with a glass of chilled Moschofilero wine at this typical seafront restaurant, we spent the whole day searching for the ideal villas for our readers. Well, we are thrilled to let you know that we found them and photographed them so that we can proudly present them to our visitors .

HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Athens International Airport and grab a Rent a Car and leave by the fast motor-way towards Corinth via Elefsina), and turn towards Epidaurus, site of the famous ancient amphitheatre ( stop for a visit if you have time). If you need a caffeine boost before you begin exploring, drop into a Flocafe an ever-growing chain of coffee shops..the drive is 187 kms. Through undulating hills and olive groves with the sapphire blue of the Saronic Gulf gleaming in the valleys, the trip is a pleasure.

WHERE TO STAY
Well, just visit our site and look under the general destination name of Porto Cheli.
We found some really beautiful villas and wish you the great pleasure of spending at least a week in one of them, some time soon.

WHERE TO GO
Hail a water taxi and do some serious Shopping in Spetses chic boutiques, then go and dine at the “Nero tis Agapis” ( don’t worry, we shall whisper all our ‘insiders secrets before your arrival),

PLACES TO SEE
Take the tour boat to Monemvasia the well preserved medieval Byzantine city that is still inhabited, and enjoy a whole days tour; or take a water taxi and spend the day on the nearby Island of Hydra, a painters paradise with only donkeys for transportation, or drive to Nauplia and spend the day on the seaside town that was once the capital of Greece after the revolution in 1821 and do a winetasting tour in the famous Nemea vineyards before tucking into a delicious home cooked lunch in the Sirtaki Taverna

WHERE TO STAY
The million dollar question is actually quite simple – and it all depends on your budget.
families on a budget will love the Porto heli villa with a pool and 3 bedrooms
but for those who can splurge I seriously recommend our Art Villa right on a white beach with crystal-clear turquoise sea and the biggest pool I have ever seen.


Athenian Riviera the place to eat, drink or enjoy the beaches

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Hydra island fishing boats

Hydra island fishing boats

A different world awaits you if you drive the short distance out of Athens centre to Glyfada, which is the throbbing center of the Athenian Riviera. If you love fashionable shops and delicious food, then come and join the Glyfada cafe society. On the other hand, if you love beaches, the Athenian Riviera offers calm seas and many well organised beaches as well as some unspoilt open beaches. If you love to watch the world go by, then do go to Glyfada, you will find lots of outdoor cafes where you can sit, relax and watch the world go by as you sip your coffee.

Foodies will love Glyfada for the huge selection of eating places, whether for trendy restaurants with a large selection to choose from, and not to forget the Greek street food.

Restaurants range from Greek tavernas serving traditional cooking such as succulent moussaka, or tavernas specialised in fresh Greek Fish and seafood to Italian trattoria and Sushi or Chinese food, as well as some elegant restaurants with a select wine card.
One of my personal favorites is the ‘Maridaki” – an unassuming little ouzeri where the local fisherman drink their morning ouzo after returning with the days catch, so as you can imagine its down on the wharf where the fishing boats are anchored in Glyfada ( Tram station name is “Dimarcheio Glyfadas”). I like the freshly fried marida, which is a tiny fish like sardine, or the ‘aitherina’ which is fried anchovies, fresh from the sea, served with a Greek salad and my favorite dip called Taramosalata, eaten with crusty Greek bread.

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Think you’ve seen all of Europe’s top highlights? Think again.

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wine drinkingLonely Planet have highlighted ten stunning European destinations that should be on travellers’ radars this summer

Top of the list is Peloponnese, Greece, which is often forgotten as travellers flock to marvel at the iconic iAcropolis

By BECKY PEMBERTON FOR MAILONLINE

Think you’ve seen all of Europe’s top highlights? Think again.
From the pre-historic Peloponnese peninsula which featured in Greek mythology to Denmark’s young and hip second-largest city,
Lonely Planet has revealed its b, to shine a light on the destinations not to miss

Well, we are very pleased to see that Lonely Planet has awarded nr.1 position to Greece and we totally agree with the choice
1. Peloponnese, Greece
Forget Athens or the Greek islands, journey to the prehistoric peninsula of Peloponnese to discover spellbinding scenery, rugged mountains and a land steeped in myth. Pictured is a traditional village with towers built with stone

Peloponnese is featured in Homer’s epic ancient poem, The Iliad as the spot where Paris of Troy eloped with Helen, and in The Odyssey where Odysseus’s son Telemachus set out in search of his father and as the area where myths say Hercules fought the Nemean lion.
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Proving its timeless appeal, it’s clear to see why the destination which boasts vast gorges, sumptuous food and wine and azure waters to take a dip in, has claimed the top spot on this year’s prestigious list from Lonely Planet.
LONELY PLANET’S BEST IN EUROPE 2016
1. Peloponnese, Greece

followed up by:
2. Aarhus, Denmark
3. Venice, Italy
4. The Dordogne, France
5. Lviv, Ukraine
6. Warwickshire, England
7. Extremadura, Spain
8. East Coast Tenerife, Canary Islands


Deciding on hotel versus villa in Greece

⋅Deciding on where to go may be the biggest challenge for a visitor to Greece. The glossy travel agent brochures promote big hotels promising lots of inclusions such as meals,, as well as activities for the family, and lots of organised facilities, such as big pools and restaurants.

however, savvy travellers now know that the reality is different from the photos in many ways, and one of the biggest challenges is finding a big family room that lets parents sleep alone and children in a connecting room, without grief while waiting to enter the bathroom. couch beds which are offered by most hotels seem to be fairly satisfactory while children are still under 6 years of age, then it really doesnt work any longer. When ‘dhildren’ are over 12 the space needed is greater, and they do appreciate their own space. What happens when you dont want to leave a lonely parent grand-parent behind ? – well more rooms are needed again !

next drawback, is finding an umbrella and sunbeds at the  pool, because in some magic manner everyone turned up before 07.00 am to ‘bag’ theirs, by leaving shoes and bags with books on any available sunbed.  Queues in the breakfast  mean waiting long for hot fresh coffee, and late sleepers dont get any.

the above are some of the reasons that sophisticated families are  now more  interested in finding a  villa or cottage depending on their budget, and it obviously offers quality time for the family to be together and enjoying their holidays. Let the boys do some cooking, even if its a simple spaghetti  – they love it, and noone minds grilling on the BBQ in cool summer evenings with a magnificent Greek sunset painting he sky pink and red and mauve.

so villa or hotel ? -the conclusion is yours.greekvillas_naxos_780



Best Luxury Travel Destinations in Greece

Some of our favorite places with lots of luxury villas

Greece is one of the best luxury travel destinations in the world.

Its pristine climate, warm weather, beautiful scenery, and lively nightlife make it an ideal place to travel in style. Spend your days shopping and sightseeing and sitting at one of the world famous beaches.

At night, be sure to visit one of Greece’s world-class restaurants or bars.

No matter where you go, Greek hospitality will make you feel like a valued guest. However, some destinations are better than others when it comes to luxury. Here is a list of all the best places to visit in Greece for a luxury vacation.

Corfu, Greece

Homer called Corfu a “beautiful and rich land”. While there, you’ll understand exactly what he means. This is an island known for its lush countryside, beautiful beaches, and serene views of the sea. It is also known as a great destination for the wealthy. Corfu is the first island in Greece to advertise for tourists. As a result, they attracted an international crowd filled with people who had a lot of money to spend. It’s been known as a luxury destination ever since.

Athens, Greece

When looking for a luxury destination, Athens, Greece’s capital city has plenty to offer. First, you can stay in one of the many five star hotels Athens has to offer, such as the NJV Athens Plaza Hotel, which is considered to be one of the best. If you would like to stay outside the city, consider Glyfada, which is a suburb. Glyfada is where most of Athens’ wealthy people live and as a result, there are plenty of luxury amenities. There are also some beautiful beaches here, as well as a nightlife scene.

Mykonos, Greece

Though Mykonos is most known for its hopping nightlife, it is also a popular destination for luxury travelers. The island has several luxury villas, some of which boast sunning views of the Aegean Sea,  and the ‘diva’ is The Alegria Villa Estate with 13 bedrooms and 400 acres of private estate.  Another less expensive and popular villa is the Villa Esmeralda and the island also has some of the best sunsets, which you can enjoy from some of the better restaurants and bars on the island. For a unique outing, rent a motorbike to explore the main part of the island, or charter a sailboat to explore the island by sea.

Crete, Greece

Crete is an island that has something for everyone. From large cities like Heraklion to small villages tucked away in the mountains, Crete gives you a glimpse of what life is like in modern Greece, as well as what life was like a hundred years ago. For the luxury traveler, there are also a number of opportunities. You can base your stay in one of the top resorts on the island, such as the Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa in Chania, which has one of the best spas on the island.

Kea island, (also called Tzia) Greece

Some of our most prestigous and luxury villas , such as the Sycammore Villa are located in Kea island, which is just one hour from Athens with a ferry twice a day. Its a hot favorite with visitors who want to avoid the maddining crowds, and love the traditional tavernas and picturesque villages. The crystal clear sea is an emerald green and offers some quiet sandy beaches.

Kea’s highlight is scuba diving. For every level. From novice to demanding technical divers. The Steamer Patris, sunk in 1868, the French ocean liner Burdigala, sunk 1916, the world wide famous Britannic, sunk also 1916, the German military airplane Junkers 52 and so many other breathtaking dive sites for reef, drift or wall diving. For those who don’t know how to dive, there is a perfect chance to take a scuba course in a safe environment, with crystal clear transparent water. There is also a chance to do other watersports , like waterski or wakeboarding, or  take a speedboat to discover the remoted beaches of the island.

At the end of the day, delicious local fish recipes, cocktails and bars will chill you out

Stay tuned, summer time is coming!

When on vacation, it is nice to feel pampered. The Greek people value hospitality and go out of their way to make sure their guests are comfortable. These destinations in Greece will definitely please the luxury traveler. see some of our wonderful  sea-front estates or just sen ud an email with your priorities and let us guide you.


Don’t Trust Your Vacation to a Stranger: Survey Reveals What Travelers Need to Know Before Booking a Summer Vacation Rental

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The arrival of spring kicks summer vacation planning into high gear – for many that means finding a vacation rental. Before booking that dream vacation home, travelers need to think twice about who they rent from as it makes a big difference when it comes to safety, service and peace-of-mind according to a new survey.
Nearly 90 percent of do-it-yourself hosts secretly dread doing the things needed to deliver a great vacation experience – dealing with guests, handling inspections and cleaning the house. As a result, nearly 70 percent of travelers who have tried both would prefer to rent from a professional management company as opposed to an owner during their next stay.

Stranger Danger: Rental Guests Book with Caution

The private space and home-like amenities of vacation rentals have strong appeal – 89 percent of those who never tried a rental would consider doing so – but tales of vacation rentals gone bad when booking directly with a homeowner weigh on renters’ minds.

  • Unmet expectations. 62 percent of all vacationers worry about not being able to get problems solved quickly and nearly half (46 percent) are not confident that they’ll get what they anticipate when renting directly from an owner.
  • Unsafe rentals. Nearly half (45 percent) of all vacationers worry about the safety of an owner-managed property.
  • Guests want to vacation with confidence. Nearly half (49 percent) of all vacationers look for a name they can trust when booking accommodations.

“The survey underscores that travelers want to know their vacation is in the hands of someone they can trust,” . “Being a homeowner doesn’t necessarily make you qualified nor interested in running a bed and breakfast. The reality is most homeowners don’t have the time to adequately meet guest expectations when it comes to safety, cleanliness and assistance, and as a result they find the tasks daunting.”

Who You Rent From Matters

Nearly seven in 10 guests (68 percent) who have stayed in a professionally managed vacation rental and one managed by the owner prefer the managed option.

  • No Complaints. Virtually all guests (99 percent) who stayed in a professionally managed home had a positive experience during their last visit.
  • At Your Service. 95 percent of vacationers can think of at least one reason why they would choose to rent from a management company over the owner. Top reasons included the company resolving issues quickly and providing a 24/7 contact.
  • Peace of Mind. Nearly half of all vacationers would choose a professionally managed rental over owner-managed because it provides greater peace of mind.
  • Safety. Guests who have experience with both options are two and half times as likely to feel extremely confident in the safety of a home rented through a management company as opposed to one rented directly from the owner.

While peer-to-peer listings may dominate the headlines, professionally managed properties account for nearly half of all transactions annually in the U.S. In fact, many of today’s most popular vacation rental listings are peppered with professionally managed properties.

Unlike direct-from-homeowner rentals, vacation rental managers oversee the process from start to finish ensuring a great guest experience. Vacation rental managers have established standards for quality, service and security for their properties whereas peer-to-peer rentals leave the standards up to each individual homeowner.

Mandel adds, “Guests should know they do not have to go it alone. But if they do, they should keep in mind important tips, like renting from a reputable source, watching for signs of fraud and only using secure payment methods. If they have any hesitations at all, they should consider a professional manager who will keep their concerns top of mind.”