Greece – the land of mythology, sapphire coasts and gyros. Its reputation as a prime travel destination is well-established, and it has the holiday rental network to match the bustling tourism trade. Villas, apartments and the odd cave house are dotted across the country’s popular islands – such as Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos – many well-infused with the kind of beauty and imagination that Greece copyrighted sometime around 700BCE. Here’s our pick of the best villas in Greece, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Seaview rooms and a short walk to Agios Georgios Beach are only two of the perks Nikos Verikokos Studios has to offer. More unrivalled views of the sea and castle can be found on the terrace and in the garden. Fresh coffee and, equally important, fresh gelato surround this Greek vacation rental. Whether you have something strong or something sweet in hand, the leisurely stroll from your studio room to the port will be your favourite part of every day.
After one stay at Depis Sea Side Villas, it’ll be difficult not to compare every other vacation to its very high standard. Greek luxury villas, some with private pools and others with private hot tubs, offer sea views, barbecue grills and a concierge service that’ll arrange everything from airport transfers to island tours. Did we mention that these two-, three- and four-bedroom villas are 400m from Mikri Vigla Beach? We won’t blame you if your private furnished patio gets neglected.
On the island of Naxos, home to magnificent beaches and prime windsurfing and kiteboarding, Iliada has 11 villas, ranging from the one-bedroom executive suite to the grand villa, which sleeps eight across four bedrooms. It lies just 500m from Agios Prokopios, the most famous beach on the island. But, if you decide that’s too much of a trek, the complex has a pool, massage treatments and a private chef service by request – while the largest villas also have hot tubs.
Stoa Cave on Santorini has three “cave houses” – a modern take on traditional Greek dwellings carved into the hillside stone. The all-white walls, steps and arches give Stoa plenty of character, and the plunge pools, furnished terraces and well-outfitted kitchens in each of the two-bedroom villas only add to the appeal. It’s all located in a fairly central part of Fira, the main city of Santorini, with the Wine Museum a short walk away.
On Naxos, aparthotel Valena Mare has eight apartments, sleeping from two to eight people. These vacation rentals in Greece all blend traditional white-walled architecture with modern twists, such as fully stocked minibars, plus grapes, wine and other treats upon arrival. It’s fitting for an island once thought to be the home of Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine and revelry. The closest beach is Plaka, a golden strip with plenty of lounge space, plus kayaking and diving opportunities aplenty.
Michaela Residence is a five-bedroom villa on the south side of Santorini, a short drive from the eye-popping Kokkinopetra volcano and the beach that lies in its midst. A classic Greek villa with a pool, it also features a spa tub, a spacious outdoor lounge and a huge, flat-screen TV in the living room – making it easy to unwind after a long day of exploring the island. The property is lavishly decorated in whites, creams and light woods, giving the place a dream-like feel. The pool offers an incredible view of the ocean, as well as the Venetian castle of Akrotiri, which is a short walk away.
Maroulis Studios can be found in the tiny Naxos village of Mikri Vigla, Greek for Little Lookout. Accordingly, it neighbours some of the best beaches on the island, including the kitesurfing haven, Parthena. Back at the complex, there are eight apartments, sleeping between two and four people. All the furnishings are made from the same handsomely blue-stained wood, and the kitchens come ready-stocked with fresh fruit on arrival.
Caves 1880 sits on the northern tip of Santorini in the town of Finikia. There are two studios and two larger traditional suites, which can sleep four. There’s also a communal patio garden overlooking the sea, an ideal perch for an evening glass of wine. Speaking of which, Finikia is flanked on all sides by vineyards – so when the beach walks and cliff hikes start to get too tiring, there are plenty of winery tours and tavernas to punctuate the day’s activity.
Panasea sits on the southern tip of Naxos, peering out towards the neighbouring islands of Iraklia and Schinoussa. The five-bedroom beach villa in Greece can sleep up to 10 people in serene isolation. It also has a near-private beach, accessed via a rocky coastal path. If you’re keen on a swim but not the walk, the lit pool offers panoramic views across the Aegean Sea, and comes with a spacious lounge area for resting between lengths or for just sipping a cool drink. Housekeeping, catering and massage therapy are all available on request.
If you’re looking to explore some of the best – and most LGBTQ-friendly – nightlife in Greece, Mykonos should be your destination of choice. Stay at Senses, where villas, apartments and duplexes sleep between two and nine people across 10 different lodgings. The more luxurious ones have kitchens with espresso makers, while all have furnishings made of locally sourced materials. There’s also an on-site pool with a bar, and a private chef available on request.
Dreambox is a north-facing villa retreat in Ornos on the western side of Mykonos. The complex has three villas, two that sleep four and one that sleeps six. All have private pools, sunbeds and impressively well-equipped kitchens with handmade crockery. Private chefs, catering, car rental, massages and even butlers are available by request, enabling you to choose your level of luxury. Mykonos Town, home to windmills and the charming Little Venice district, is a short drive away.