Planning a holiday fit for a God or Goddess? Whether you want to laze on a beach drinking rosé, or play Indiana Jones and explore some ancient ruins, Greece is officially at your fingertips. Even the pickiest of Mount Olympus dwellers will not have a single complaint about any of the homes in our exclusive collection here at Plum Guide, for (as always) each one has been carefully vetted by our fastidious home critics. From the white rooftops of Santorini to the azure waters of Kefalonia, the sunsets in Crete and the clubbing in Mykonos (beware of the hangover though), we’ve got your vacation covered. All you have to do is down an ouzo, smash a plate, and enjoy yourself.
Take a trip to Santorini
View over the Santorini Coastline, Greece
A travel guide to Greece wouldn’t be complete without including Santorini. One of the famous Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, there’s fascinating geological history here - the island was devastated by a volcano in the 16th century BC, which dramatically shaped its landscape. Most impressively perhaps is the caldera or underwater crater. Beautiful yet eerie, the caldera measures 12 by 7km (7.5 by 4.3mi), and is flanked by 300m (980ft) high cliffs on three sides.
An iconic image of Santorini is its whitewashed, cubiform houses - mainly located on the island’s two main towns, Fira and Oia. Famous for its unforgettable sunsets, Oia can be touristy, but is definitely worth it for the views. Days on the island are best spent on the beaches, which boast black, red, and white lava pebbles. For the best (and most upscale) experience, head over to Seaside Santorini, perched on the Perivolos black sand beach. There you can rent loungers, sip fruity cocktails (we won’t tell your work colleagues you strayed from your usual whisky, don’t worry), and enjoy an elegant lunch at the beach club’s own restaurant.
You’ll need a car to get around here, although if you’re travelling without the little ones in tow, have some fun and go for a quad or scooter instead. It will be romantic, and easier to find parking - a win-win. Don’t miss drinks at local outdoor bar Franco’s, where sweeping views of the sea and cliffs are only outshone by the tantalizing cocktails. Getting hungry? Try Dimitri’s in Amoudi Bay for some of the best seafood of your life. Catch and Melitini, both in Oia, are also great spots to dig into some wonderful local cuisine. For souvlaki, don’t miss Pitagyros.
Make the most of Mykonos
A white house with blue windows in Mykonos, Greece
Another glorious Cyclades island, Mykonos is famous worldwide for its summer season, when beaching and clubbing combine to create the ultimate party atmosphere - in beautiful and contrastingly serene surroundings. Local beach clubs, such as Paradise and Super Paradise, boast bars blaring electronic beats, as well as droves of groovy humans. Scorpios beach, meanwhile, attracts a chicer crowd, and stays more relaxed during the day before transforming into a party scene at roughly 6pm. We recommend booking loungers here and seeing where the day takes you.
As with Santorini, you will need a vehicle to adequately explore the island - there is so much to see and do. For the best lunch of your holiday, make the rugged drive to Kiki’s. Perched above a tiny beach, you’ll put your name down on the owner’s list and splash around in the water below until your table is ready. Once called back up, dine on a multitude of fresh salads and simply barbecued fish, seafood, chicken, and lamb. Don’t miss checking out the 16th-century windmills in Mykonos town either, which are sure to fascinate the kids if you brought them along.
Dinner on the island is all about Sea Satin Market, a true Mykonos institution. Bring your friends and take over a long table for dinner (followed by dancing on said table). Live music and entertainment will keep you happy all night long - or at least until you decide if you’re brave enough to try one of Mykonos’s nightclubs. These massive spaces host world-renowned DJs and stay open long after sunrise. Ok, so we know you’re not as young as you used to be, but one night out surely won’t hurt (famous last words if we ever heard them).
Enjoy exploring Kefalonia
An aerial view of mountains and a beach in Kefalonia, Greece
If you’ve read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, you’ll know all about Kefalonia, where the novel is set. We can assure you it’s even more beautiful in real life, so is definitely a must on a travel guide to Greece. This island on the Ionian Sea is located west of mainland Greece and will wow you with its peaceful sandy coves and romantically rugged landscape. Spend your days exploring Kefalonia’s secluded beaches, underground lakes, gorges, and quaint villages. Stop for lunch in the picturesque garden at Captain Nikolas, where everything is handmade - it also all originates from the farm in the back of the property. For a meal with a view, try Phaedra Restaurant in Lassi, where you’ll feast on fresh and delicious Kefalonian specialities.
The island’s capital of Argostoli overlooks a narrow harbour. Most of its beaches are only accessible by foot or by driving around some exceptionally winding roads. Flanked by limestone cliffs, you’ll feel as though you're in an alien landscape as you dip into the water, and thank God you kept working in that job you hate so you can stay in places like this.
Combine comfort with culture in Crete
A view of a small mountain from the clear blue water at Balos Beach, Crete, Greece
Greece’s largest island, Crete is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from powdery sand beaches to the mountainous Ideon Cave - where Zeus was born (according to Greek mythology). Crete’s capital, Heraklion, will get our resident scholars excited, as it's home to both the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and Bronze Age settlement, Knossos. You can split your time between relaxing on the beaches and soaking in culture at whichever ratio makes you happy.
You won’t want to miss a meal at local eatery Elia, located in the southern village of Sellia. The owners here cook using only regional products and local virgin olive oil. Family-owned tavern Ferryman Taverna is another good shout to get your mouth watering. This intimate spot on the waters of Elounda bay boasts incredible views, as well as chef Yiannis Baxevanis' gourmet Greek fare. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Greece and visit all these beautiful islands. If you're thinking of travelling by sea, you can visit Ferries in Greece to book your tickets.
Embark on a visit to Rhodes
People exploring the Lindos Acropolis in front of the sea in Rhodes, Greece
It would almost be irresponsible for us to omit Rhodes from this travel guide to greece, with such an abundance of unforgettable sights and sites. For a beach vacation spent tanning your days away with a selection of books, you won’t need to look much further than this popular holiday hotspot - there are almost too many luscious sandy strips. Settle down with the family at the kid-friendly Tsambika Beach (don’t forget the bucket and spade), or dive into the crystalline waves on Ialyssos Beach before retiring to one of the coastal bars or restaurants. Pefkos Beach, Traonou Beach, and Faliraki Beach are just a handful of other excellent options for your sunbathing, as is Lindos Beach - perfect for those of you looking for a combination of leisure and exploration.
Lindos Beach is overlooked by the famous Lindos Acropolis - something that should be on every Rhodes itinerary. Take a wander up to the ancient ruins, with parts dating back as far as the 4th century, and discover the historic aura that accompanies the grand structures. Admire the pillars dotted around the grounds, and marvel at what remains of the temple built in devotion to Athena, where sacrifices and offerings were common practice (who is particularly irritating you today?). Look out across the Aegean Sea, experiencing true serenity as the sun glistens on the water - this is exactly what holidays are for, right? Alternatively, make your way into Rhodes Old Town for another slice of history accompanied by unforgettable views, experiences, and food. And once you’ve explored to your heart’s content, head back to that trusted sun lounger - we don’t want you working too hard, after all.
Take it easy in Thesprotia
Parasols and sun loungers on a sandy beach looking out to a small island in Thesprotia, Greece
Heading back to mainland Greece, allow us to present a slightly lesser-known holiday destination for you to enjoy this year - the region of Thesprotia. Right next to the holiday hub of Corfu, this is the perfect place for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of more renowned Greek vacation spots. Like most locations in this part of the world, Thesprotia’s main appeal is its beaches, with a huge array of sandy strips for the whole family to enjoy. Find yourself a sun lounger at Bella Vraka Beach or Mega Ammos Beach, or cool off in the blue waves of Pisina Beach or Karavostasi Beach. Feel the sand between your toes at Zeri Beach or Mega Drafi Beach, or work on your tan (or sunburn) at Karvouno Beach or Zavia Beach (see, we told you there are a lot of great beaches in these parts).
Away from the small stretches of paradise, Thesprotia also offers a great selection of more adventurous activities, for those of you vehemently against wasting your time away in the sun. Head back in time with an eye-opening trip to the Archaeological Museum of Igoumenitsa, where you’ll discover artefacts and exhibitions that lead you through the story of Thesprotia’s past. Alternatively, take a trip to Souli Watermills for a romantic stroll, or venture out to the Monastery of St. Athanasius for a taste of the region’s culture. Thesprotia also boasts such sites as Acheron, Dala’s Bridges, Spileou Agiou Arseniou, and the Settlement of Elea, all of which offer unforgettable views to add to your growing Greek memory bank.