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Greece kickstarts summer season. Here’s where tourists can stay | Travel

Last summer, everyone from Elon Musk to footballer Mo Salah was seen on Mykonos, enjoying the sun, the Aegean sea and the island’s famous nightlife. Greece’s tourism industry, which accounts for 25% of the country’s gross domestic product, is booming, with a peak season that’s gradually doubled, or even tripled, in length. “Now when we talk about holidays we are not only referring to the three months of summer,” tourism minister Vassilis Kikilias recently said on on Greek television. “This year travellers started arriving on direct flights from the beginning of March—Americans, Canadians, Australians, Chinese, those from the Middle East and all the Europeans of course—and this will continue until the end of the year.” It’s a trend that started with a Covid recovery strategy in 2022.

Greece kickstarts summer season. Here’s where tourists can stay (Unsplash)
Greece kickstarts summer season. Here’s where tourists can stay (Unsplash)

With the longer season come more and more fantastic luxury hotels and resorts catering to visitors, from hidden island getaways to seaside retreats a short drive from the historic center of Athens. Here are some of the most exciting recent openings and buzzy hotels set to open their doors this year.

Domes Noruz Kassandra, Halkidiki Opens April 28

Looking to party the night away? This 182-room adults-only beach club can be your base for exploring the lively nightlife of this coastal region of northern Greece. Noruz has a swimming pool flanked by fire pits that stays open late for a midnight swim. A canteen on the beach specializes in pita sandwiches, where psistes (grill masters) prepare gyros, souvlaki and other favorites. After partying into the early hours, you can visit the hotel’s open-air gym, which offers sunrise yoga sessions. Rooms from €182 ($202)

Eliamos Villa Hotel and Spa, Kefalonia Opens May 1

On the southern shores of Kefalonia, an island known for its turquoise-blue waters, Eliamos is a family-friend retreat with 12 villas and maisonettes, all looking out at the sparkling sea or a neighboring olive grove. Wellness offerings include professional yoga, Pilates sessions at an outdoor gym and nutritious meals made with local ingredients. A secluded beach is a short walk from the property and a 20-minute drive away, the island capital of Argostli has seaside shops and restaurants.

Elsewhere, Ainos National Park is worth a visit to gaze at the stars without light pollution. Snorkelers can also spot the island’s famous loggerhead turtles in their natural habitat, and you won’t want to miss the famous Melissani Cave. If you don’t feel up for adventure, the hotel’s saltwater infinity pool is perfect for lazing away a sunny day. Rooms from €430

Cali Mykonos, Mykonos Opens May 10

Located on one of the most secluded parts of the island, 8 miles away from the old port, the Cali Mykonos resort sits above its own private beach. There’s also a 110-meter-long cliffside infinity pool with stellar views. Getting to the party-heavy side of Mykonos—or neighboring islands like Tinos and Paros—is easy and glamorous, thanks to a private fleet of boats and yachts available for charter.

Some of the hotel’s unique features are things you don’t see at all: a self-sustaining water system that doesn’t strain the island’s local water supply and an array of solar panels that make your stay more environmentally friendly. Rooms from €900

Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino, Messinia Opening August 15

Mandarin Oriental’s hotly anticipated Greek debut will offer rugged coastal landscapes in a less-crowded part of the country. The beachfront resort Costa Navarino will have 99 rooms, including 48 pool villas, some with two or three bedrooms perfect for families. Built into the hilly terrain, the villas offer a sense of seclusion in addition to private plunges. All the rooms have outdoor terraces and sea views, plus decor that nods to nearby historical sites of the Peloponnese.

Five restaurants and bars, an indoor-outdoor pool with views of the bay, access to four golf courses and a top-class spa round out the amenities. Walking distance from the sprawling resort is contemporary village that has a food market and open-air movie theater. Room rates to be announced.

Santo Mine Oia Suites, Santorini Opens Summer 2023

This adults-only retreat on Santorini has 37 standalone suites, each with its own private pool or jacuzzi where you can watch the island’s famous sunsets. The hotel is carved into the cliffs just an 11-minute walk to the heart of the picturesque town of Oia, with its blue-domed buildings. The minimalist interiors nod to rugged Cycladic landscapes, with warm color tones and raw stone from local suppliers—the property gets its name from the former mine it sits atop. Rooms from $895

One&Only Aesthesis, Athens Opens Early Autumn

The One&Only luxury brand is launching its first property in Greece on the chic Athenian Riviera just a 30-minute drive from the Acropolis. With equal access to seaside and city, guests can start their day with a dip in the Aegean or the natural springs of nearby Lake Vouliagmeni and then head to the ancient Agora before lunch. The resort is built on roughly a mile of private seafront—one of two beaches is designated adults-only. There will also be a bar and beach club with poolside cabanas for chilling out by the Saronic Gulf. Rooms from €1,800

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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