In ancient times Greece was famous for its stories of gods and heroes lending itself to a vivid culture full of art, philosophy and mythology. Adding exquisite cuisine, music and sports to its roster, along with one of the tenth longest coastlines in the world, present-day Greece has staked claim in the top-ten list for tourist destinations countless times as droves of people hope to attest to its legend.
Situated in the southeastern tip of Europe just to the east of Italy, mainland Greece, along with its 6,000 islands, embraces the Mediterranean Sea. Only 227 are inhabited and a mere 78 have more than 100 inhabitants. Of those, its three most famous include: Crete, Mykonos and Santorini. Located in the Aegean Sea is the largest of the Greek islands, Crete, and one of the smallest, Mykonos, both of which offer some of the most epicurean getaways, perfect for your first trip as husband and wife.
Crete is known for its mountainous landscape, beautiful beaches and rocky coves, as well as Knossos, which was the birthplace of the Minoan civilization. Famous for its food and nightlife, Elounda, in the northeastern part of the island, bestows some of the most affluent resorts in the country.
The Blue Palace Resort & Spa has stone pathways carving through its 251 bungalows and suites, including four private villas along the shore. Boasting the award-winning Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy, 142 infinity pools, a private helipad, traditional caique (or fishing boat) to enjoy sunset boating complete with champagne and canapés, PADI diving center, motor yacht and sail yacht excursions, five restaurants, boutique shopping and more, the resort is complete with a romance department to fulfill all of your honeymoon needs.
Located a few miles south are neighboring properties: Domes of Elounda and Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites. Inspired by the medieval monument, Spinaloga, the Domes of Elounda consists of 80 suites, eight private residences, three villas and a royal villa. Its Milfey Spa is known for its modernity coupled with its practice of procedures that are more than 3000-years old. There are also three restaurants, bars with live music, tennis courts and water sports, as well as four lush acres leading up to a private beach.
The Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites is set on the hillside overlooking the Gulf of Mirabello. Equipped with 18 villas (each with its own pool) and 10 luxury suites (some of which have their own sauna, steam bath and gym) it is a more boutique-style resort. Amenities include two restaurants, a bar and the Elixir Spa Gallery outfitted with a full gym.
Part of the cluster of islands known as The Cyclades, Mykonos is notable for its mountainous landscape, cosmopolitan lifestyle, nightlife and rich history, including Delos, which is said to be the birthplace of Apollo (God of Music, Light and Truth) and his twin sister Artemis (Goddess of Hunting).
Located in the southwestern part of the island is the Belvedere Hotel, which officially re-opened this summer. Renovated by the same architects as its sister property in New York, the Belvedere presents a cutting-edge hotel experience with its New Generation rooms intended to promote a living experience. There are eight different versions amongst the 23 rooms, all of which are dressed in Mykonian white and are equipped with the most advanced technology. With two restaurants directed by celebrity chefs, a bar with Dale de Groff originals, residents’ lounge and pool, the Belvedere is a self-contained oasis.
Just over a mile to the east is the Cavo Tagoo. Built into the cliffside, its mantra is barefoot chic with minimalist décor. There are 80 rooms and suites, some of which are appointed with private pools and Jacuzzis. Facing Delos, the spa is immersed in Cycladean light prompting an indigenous experience intended on awakening the six senses. There is one restaurant, two bars and a 38-meter infinity pool with dedicated oversized day beds.
The farthest southwest is the boutique-style Kivotos Hotel. Paths wind their way through the lush grounds and gardens from the rooms, suites and villas down to the pool. The Kivotos has three restaurants, two bars and a spa famous for its Hammam (or steam baths). Kivotos also has its own private yacht, the Prince de Neufchatel, which is available for day cruises or week-long cruises for up to 40 guests.
One of the most exceptional things about each of these properties is how they try to remain harmonious with the surrounding environment, staying true to Greek aesthetic and culture. Visiting any of these distinguished resorts can be a profound experience as you dabble in your first days of matrimony and think about all of the lores that occurred on that same land so many years ago.