It’s summertime and the wanderlust has hit in full force. Whether you’re counting down the days until your own well-deserved holiday or just looking for a lunchtime escape, as they say: a picture (especially a really, really dreamy one) is worth all the words.
Emily Blake, one of our favorite photographers, recently visited Greece and is sharing her photo diary with us below. Get ready to add a roll of stops to what, we’re sure, is an ever-growing “Can I be there now?” list.
Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese Islands, is an enticing place with an ancient history and a tenacious influence from its Turkish neighbors. The emerald coasts and archaic towns make this Greek island well worth the visit. Rhodes can be easily accessed by plane or ferry in the summer months.
Don’t miss the romantic town of Linden or the gated Old City of Rhodes.
Chic and surprisingly modern, Casa Cook sits charmingly between the hillside and the sea. This 90-room hotel is thoughtfully decorated to create a laid back, bohemian atmosphere and the property is accented throughout with handmade objects and vintage pieces.
Fortunately for visitors, every room at the hotel has a private terrace that opens up to a shared pool. Guests will enjoy visiting The Kitchen Club, centrally located on the property and made up of the main pool, bar and restaurant – none of which should be missed.
Consider yourself fortunate if you find yourself at Casa Cook as a home base to explore the island of Rhodes or as an oasis to relax in and enjoy the sunshine.
Marco Polo Mansion
Staying at the converted 15th century Marco Polo Mansion is a trip back in time. Located in the middle of Rhodes Old Town and accessible only by foot via cobbled stone pathways, the 10-room guesthouse is both cozy and exotic.
Managers Efi and Spiros are warm hosts who instantly make you feel welcome and are full of fascinating knowledge about the history of the house and The Old City. Though they are happy to point you in the right direction, count on getting wonderfully lost while wandering the streets of The Old City from the doorstep of Marco Polo Mansion, because isn’t that half of the fun?
Sitting near the top of many daydreamers wanderlust lists, Santorini holds up to the hype. The whitewashed village of Oia sitting on the cliffside overlooking the unparalleled blues of the Aegean Sea is a site hard to forget. However, Santorini is no secret and travelers to the islands should be prepared to share their experience of the island with others.
Though the dazzling village of Oia sits a short 5-minute walk from Perivolas, it’s hard to find motivation to leave this magical retreat. The views from the pool alone are enough to keep you captive, but the luxury and detail of the rooms and service almost guarantee it.
The cave-carved, minimalist rooms have whitewashed walls and well-placed skylights which come together to create a calming and elegant space. Enjoy a glass of Santorini Vin Santo while watching the sunset from your room or the jacuzzi and don’t miss the locally sourced, modern Greek cuisine at Perivolas Restaurant in the converted wine cellar.
With great views and contending food, Petra Restaurant (above) is worth a visit. Go on Greek night for live music and a set nine-course menu to sample the flavors of Greece.
Situated in the quiet and breathtaking village of Imerovigli, Villa Erossea is an opulent escape from the often crowded Santorini. This pristine 5-bedroom private home is pure leisure with a large terrace, pool and jacuzzi overlooking the Aegean and with the ultimate luxury bedding provided by the owner’s linen company, Togas House of Textiles.
The morning views at Villa Erossea are especially enchanting and the expansive provided breakfast completes the experience. Svati, the property manager, is incredibly helpful in making sure that everything is taken care of throughout your stay.
Naxos is one of the more fertile landscapes of the Cyclades Islands, the fresh produce has made the island gain a reputation for having great food and wine. The island is not as visited as it’s neighbor, Mykonos, which makes it pleasantly authentic but also less convenient, especially when traveling before the busy season.
Visit the mountain village of Apiranthos (meaning plenty of flowers) graciously filled with marble houses and streets.
The Naxian Collection
Made up of luxury villas and suites, the Naxian Collection is a great choice for visitors to the island. The marble interiors and great views from the rooms coupled with the beautiful stonework and modern details in the lobby, bar and restaurant make the hotel a visually pleasing experience.
The hotel’s restaurant is a gastronomic delight deriving from Naxos’ rich crops and the impressive wine cellar is also worth a look.
The sun-soaked, glamorous island of Mykonos may be famed for celebrity visits and all night parties, but it’s rich history and beautiful landscapes provide a little bit of something for everyone. However, alluring accommodations and culinary pleasures are in no short supply here and its golden coasts are often filled with chic visitors.
Bill and Coo
Bill and Coo’s relaxed and effortlessly cool atmosphere makes it one of Mykonos top boutique hotels and a perfect place to spend the day lounging by the infinity pool and taking in the ocean views.
A 10-minute walk from the main town of Hora, Bill and Coo is also a great home base for exploring all the town has to offer. For a complete experience, make sure to sample the exquisite Mediterranean cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.
The property’s sister hotel, Bill and Coo Coast (above), is a short drive from the hotel (Bill and Coo provide complimentary transportation between the two properties) and guests can choose to have their breakfast in either location, as well as use the private beach and facilities at Bill and Coo Coast.
The 5-bedroom eclectic private home, Villa Drakothea (http://www.mykonosvilla-drakothea.com/), is an ideal hideaway for families and groups of friends. Located 20 minutes from Hora, the remote location provides a quiet space to truly relax with breathtaking, unhindered views of the sea and surrounding islands.
The home was built by the wonderful host and owner, Antonis, whose vision and passion for detail made the house a work of art. The antique details and exotic furniture give the traditional Myconian architecture a distinctive and stylish flare and the numerous balconies and sitting areas enhance the feeling of leisure. However, the salt water pool steals the show with is unique shape and vantage point.
Not far from the villa, the village of Ano Mera provides an excellent place to get traditional Greek food and enjoy the local culture.
Villa Drakothea provides an escape from reality that may leave you wanting more and keep you coming back.
Have you been to Greece or the Greek Islands? What was your experience like?
Images via Emily Blake