Read our pocket guide to Greece
Greece: A pocket guide
Greece—the very stones breathe history. People come in search of ancient myths, timeless monuments, the famous light of Attica, the healthy Mediterranean food, the warmth, and the unmatched beauty of the landscape. Blue is the color of Greece—its waters and huge skies. Soak it up along with the history.
What visitors also find, which makes the trip more memorable than anything else, is the people. Greeks are the most genuinely hospitable people on earth; generous, funny, quarrelsome, life-loving, vital, natural, spontaneous, rule-breaking, quick-witted, hard-working, proud, and, above all, kind. Eternal shame on the Greek who fails to welcome a foreigner and make him feel like an honored guest!
The art of planning a trip to Greece is largely in the choosing of where to go; rather like a dating agency, you have to review the different islands and decide which one you are going to fall in love with. There are 227 of them, apart from the mainland and Athens, and each one is perfect for somebody. Find your island, fall in love with it, and become an islander, if just for the week.
Mykonos, with its world-class party scene and exquisite dining, is the undoubted Queen of the Islands, and you could end up staying in a modernist masterpiece villa there. Or perhaps a cliff-top retreat on spectacular Santorini, with your private take on the world-famous sunset views. Off the beaten track, your dream home could turn out to be a cane-roofed adobe house on craggy, barren Serifos, with its crumbling mountaintop village. It could be Milos, with its amazing colored beaches and surreal moonscapes, or a rambling seaside villa with a boat on a gentle Ionian island like Ithaca or Paxos, with their fading Venetian charms and lush hillsides.
Book well ahead for a sumptuous villa on Corfu’s fabled Gold Coast, or choose an active holiday with a base in the Peloponnese or historical Spetses, from where one can tour the magnificent historical sites of Greece. If you can’t decide which island to go for, be greedy and visit several: To charter a yacht with full crew and cruise through the magical islands strewn across the Aegean is one of the world’s great experiences and has no equal anywhere on earth.
Greece is home to some of the most spectacular luxury villas in the world, and our UltraVilla experts have handpicked the very best for you to enjoy. New to the Greek scene are some tiny hotels of charm and authenticity, so check in with UltraVilla as we uncover more of these gems. Wherever our experts guide you to, Greece is one of the must-see places in the world, and it cannot be packaged up and sanitized and turned into a bland international experience. Greece happens to you in unexpected ways and changes you. No one forgets their first visit to Greece, and those who become hooked by the beauty of Greek nature, the simple charm of the people, and find their happiness there, return year after year.