Roughly 6,000 islands make up the Greek archipelago. Emily Eastman looks at the ones to head for if you are after a luxury getaway
The capital of the Dodecanese has been an important location since ancient times, thanks to its strategic position, but these days it is the perfect place for a luxury getaway. The coastline is peppered with upscale hotels and villas, many with a focus on spas and wellness. History and beauty is everywhere: the medieval city of Rhodes was named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1988, but away from the cobbled Street of the Knights, there are magnificent Venetian, neoclassical and modern buildings.
A list of luxurious Greek islands would be incomplete without Santorini. Up and down the volcanic island five-star accommodations abound within the whitewashed, cliff-side buildings for which Santorini is so well known. Opt for a private pool in one of the island’s cave hotels, bask in a Jacuzzi overlooking the westerly islands of the Aegean Sea, and catch a famous Santorini sunset from one of many award-winning restaurants.
Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. There are numerous five-star hotels and villas from where you can admire the remnants of ancient civilisations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountains, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich gastronomic culture. In Chania, you can explore the 14th century Venetian harbour and sample Cretan cuisine, much of which is sourced from the Med.
Favoured by the well-heeled and famous, the sophisticated island of Mykonos offers world-class hotels, postcard-perfect land and seascapes and an exclusive menu of activities. Beyond the beaches – where visitors can sunbathe, snorkel and party ’til dawn – are Chora, the island’s labyrinthine and beautiful capital; Little Venice, a charming quarter replete with quaint buildings, galleries and exhibitions; and the ultra-luxury boutique properties of Psarou, Ornos, Elia and Agios Stefanos.