Even before Greece announced on April 19 that it would be the first European country to welcome Americans, including the unvaccinated, demand for travel to the Aegean was growing.
“Greece is everyone’s plan,” says Skylark’s Paul Tumpowsky. “There is no doubt that by opening the first ones, they will capture summer tourism, because flights are not guaranteed everywhere else,” he explains. “If you want to organize a trip to France, in August, you can expect last minute changes. In the meantime, all the major airlines already fly to Athens.”
Airfares are not only plentiful, but also more affordable than before the pandemic. Although none of this means that planning a trip is easy. That’s why we bring you some of the most notable news from Greece this summer.
Glamorous new hotels can generally be expected in Mykonos and Santorini, markets that have high prices and equally high demand. This year, that’s still true, but there are notable openings in surprising places, from Athens, which has no boutique hotels, to less-visited islands like Antiparos.
Brown Acropolis Hotel, Athens: Israel-based designer hotel brand Brown has planted its first flag in Athens, where it has one of the largest rooftop terraces in the city. Its 165 modern rooms, close to Omonia Square and the Acropolis, feature locally quarried marble finishes, drinks carts, and vinyl record players.
Kalesma Mykonos: On two hectares in the main town of Mykonos, Kalesma, a completely modern version of the traditional white cube village has been built. Its 25 suites have private heated pools with ocean views and terraces large enough for private dining or spa treatments.
Hotel Calilo, Ios: The local owners of this quirky new hotel have pooled 400 hectares of land on this beloved island with the intention of preserving it almost entirely. They planted nearly 70,000 trees, started an organic garden and sourced some of the materials to build 15 eco-friendly suites and villas, some set in rock formations with natural pools and their own swim-up bars.
Blue Palace Resort, Crete: The most iconic luxury getaway is Crete, a family-friendly island considered a covid green zone for its low number of cases and excellent healthcare system. Here we find the luxurious The Haven Collection composed of villas and suites enveloped in jasmine with access to a private beach and a helipad. There is also a modernized traditional fishing boat which can be used for barbecues at sea and an open-air cinema on the shore.
Rooster, Antiparos: Open in June, Le Coq is the antidote to rowdy nights in Mykonos, with 17 villas and suites lining Livadia Beach on Antiparos’ quiet west coast. Chefs use the on-site organic farm to host beach picnics or serve dinners under the rope-lit secret garden, while adventurers can focus on the island’s natural attractions with caving tours and visits to ancient ruins.
OK, Kos: This island has it all: incredible nightlife, unspoiled ruins, a wide variety of sandy beaches and a claim to be the birthplace of Hippocrates. What it lacks is a wide range of five-star accommodations. The adults-only Oku is set to be the best option on the island when it opens this month, with its bungalow-style suites (many with private plunge pools and their own rooftop terraces), plus herbal and olive oil scrubs. hot tub.
Villas and apartments
White Key Villas has long cornered the luxury villa rental market on the Greek islands. For 2021, it presents five new projects, some in destinations that go unnoticed, such as the Cycladic capital of Syros and the luxurious northern coastal town of Halkidiki.
Villa Fania, in Syros, it is the original idea of a Greek architect who designed a five-bedroom house to blend into the lunar coast; in the bustling town of Paros, Villa Santhia The six-bedroom apartment is practically designed to capture the rays of sunshine that give Golden Beach its name and fame.
But White Key faces new competitors. A nice stay, best known as a collection of urban luxury rentals known for their impeccable design, is growing with 39 luxury homes, which can be booked by the night rather than the week (as is more common). They are mainly found in Mykonos and Santorini, but with prices starting from around €530 per night, with a room for eight or more people.
And don’t overlook the three traditionally designed houses that have recently constituted Residences Kastelli Blu, On the sleepy sponge-growing island of Kalymnos, they share access to a world-class culinary school, as well as world-class climbing routes.