Forget souvlaki and moussaka: here, chickpea croquettes and stewed capers are taverna staples.
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Greece's largest island, the birthplace of Zeus, Crete has ancient ruins, snow-capped peaks and beaches galore. White Key handles islannd beautiful rental properties, such as Villa Orelia, which comes with its own private open-air cinema. Foliage would trap moisture from the warm southeasterly winds that sweep continuously over, letting it drip down to ground level to assure a water supply for the troops.
Car-free and protected by a preservation order, Hydra has always been the artists' muse of the Greek Islands. Seriously reclusive types hop on a fishing boat from Patmos to Marathi population: 12 and play castaway at Pantelis, a divine taverna with modest rooms to let.
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They built a new village, a few miles inland from the sleepy capital, Georgetown - and planted a type of mesquite, known as Mexican thorn, to bind the dry soil. Gallery Grid.
As you head south, high-rise resorts give way to stretches of golden sand, such as Glystra, Tsambika, and Fourni. The largest land animal was fkr variety of land crab.
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The collection of suites at The Vasilicosthe former summer house of a larger-than-life art collector, still feels very much ufn home, due to charming staff and effortlessly classy interiors. Everything on the organic menu is grown, caught or reared locally. Find out more.
Less than two hours from Athens, Hydra fills up with chic Greeks at weekends. Gallery List.
Places To Stay The best Greek island hotels for Want to cool down or escape the summer crowds? The big draw is the medieval citadel in Rhodes Town: : stroll along the battlements and you'll spy Byzantine churches, Roman ruins, synagogues and minarets.
Villa hotels & resorts
A volcanic explosion blew out Santorini's heart 3, years ago, leaving black-sand beaches, vertiginous cliffs in psychedelic hues, and swirling rumours about Atlantis in its wake. Overlooking Fiskardo, Emelisse is a family-friendly hotel with a great Elemis spa. What he perhaps didn't realise was just how much havoc it would cause. The European Space Agency monitors rocket launches from here. Zakynthos, or Zante, lioking shrugged off its reputation as a destination for l on tour as long as you avoid Lagana and the built-up south coast by rebranding itself as Greece's greenest island.
Go for the views - and the sublime octopus ragout at Mavrikos restaurant. If the glitzy excess gets too much, escape to Fokos taverna for superfood sal and lamb chops, or Kiki's, an off-grid grill-shack overlooking Agios Sostis bay, where even Fkn Campbell has to queue for a table. It is roughly the size of Guernsey, and most of it is as hot and dry as a desert.
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Five Star Greece has a glorious selection of historic mansions, estates and smart villas to choose from. Amorgos Holiday Homes has two cute cottages for rent. For a perfect meal in perfect surroundings, go for cuttlefish risotto and octopus caramelised in grape must at Thalassaki, served on the jetty in Isternia bay, then watch dusk bleed into the horizon from Exomeria bar. Better still, rent a motor boat from the laidback harbour, Livada.
Eco Zante can arrange outdoor activities guided by insiders. Otherwise, the island is miraculously untouched. Ascension Island is a tiny dot of green in the tropical mid-Atlantic, a volcanic outpost of empire where it's hot and cold at the same time.
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Where to stay in Sifnos: With its cliff-top infinity pool and soft-focus sunsets, Verina Astra is effortlessly sexy. Tinos takes its food culture seriously: there are artichoke, caper and honey festivals.
Beaches are mostly small and pebbly, but the sea is as clear and refreshing as gin. Long thought extinct, it was rediscovered in clinging to an isolated crag on Green Mountain and after careful propagation at Kew is now being planted out into the wild again. Rather like Sifnos gun.
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Corfu is the It Girl of the Ionian islands. Where to stay on Ithaca: Five Star Greece is run by a native of Ithaca, so the company has access to all the best villas, including The Chapela secluded cottage for two with access to a private beach and wooden boat. They turned out to belong to Leendert Hasenbosch, a Dutch mariner who had been set ashore on Ascension the year before as punishment for homosexuality.
Inspiration The 10 best places to visit in Europe in It may still have been erupting as recently as the 16th Century. Just remote enough, The Detailor is a thoughtful modern villa with mellow vibes and views for miles. There's none of the complex interrelationships you'd expect in a real tropical cloud forest - and all rhe the species that were here are vanishing.
The best Greek island hotels. One sweltering afternoon I drove out past Wideawake Airfield, popularly believed to have been named for its role as a late-night refuelling stop for RAF planes flying between the UK and the Falklands.