Here’s a universal truth as certain as death and taxes; we all have a friend who has posted honeymoon snaps rendered in the instantly recognisable blues and whites of Santorini. And we’ve all felt a little pang of jealousy at just how special the place looks. Are we right?
Indeed, in research conducted in 2020 by Statista, it was reported that Southeast Asia, Italy and Greece were the three most popular destinations for Brits to honeymoon (after the UK itself). In total, 6% of all British honeymooning holidaymakers choose Greece, with the country’s reputation for idyllic landscapes, sophisticated cuisine and a laid-back pace to life all appealing to newlyweds seeking to celebrate romance.
But with popularity and ubiquity comes crowds, and in high season, Greece certainly sees its fair share of them. Good reason, then, to make sure your honeymoon is as luxurious, indulgent and exclusive as your budget allows. In doing so, you’ll gain access to private, untroubled corners of Greece perfectly suited to lovebirds seeking seclusion.
With that in mind, here are 5 of the best luxury honeymoon ideas in Greece for 2022.
SAIL THE IONIAN ISLANDS ON YOUR OWN PRIVATE BOAT
Hey, we promised privacy, after all, and what symbolises luxury and seclusion better than a holiday anchored by private boat? Whether it’s a sprawling yacht or something a little more compact, Greece is the perfect destination for lovebirds seeking romantic private coves and exclusive beaches, many of which are only accessible via the boat.
Yacht charters in Greece offer both with-skipper and bareboat (without-skipper) options for renting yachts. Skippered charters involve you paying a skipper to sail the boat for you. They’ll have extensive local knowledge so can plan your itinerary to your requirements, making this option ideal for lovebirds more fixated on their partners than maps and the ship’s wheel.
You could, in theory, rent the boat and sail it yourself. However, you’ll need a qualification like the RYA Day Skipper International Certificate of Competence (ICC).
It should be noted that such sailing holidays aren’t a year-round luxury. Greece’s sailing season starts in mid-April and ends around late September or, in some cases, October, when temperatures are still as high as 20 degrees. Plan your honeymoon accordingly.
The Ionian Islands – Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Kythira – are perhaps the most accessible and romantic destination in Greece for a holiday of this kind.
Sitting to the west of Greece and separated from Italy by the Ionian Sea, the cluster of islands has a decidedly Italian influence in its architecture, culture and cuisine, having been under both Venetian and Ottoman rule. The calm harbours of Lefkas and Meganissi are beautiful places to lay anchor and luxuriate a while.
And while you’re in Corfu…
BATHE IN THE CHANNEL OF LOVE, CORFU
Regardless of whether you sailed here on your own private yacht or you took a more conventional route to Corfu, there’s one place on this famous island that honeymooners would be crazy to miss; the Channel of Love.
Also known as the Canal d’Amour, and situated between the villages Sidari and Peroulades, the channel is actually an incredibly picturesque beach whose waters are framed by two towering, sculpted sandstone rocks, forming a fjord-like canal that leads out into the Ionian sea proper.
But why should lovers visit? Well, legend has it that every couple who swims here together is guaranteed to be together for eternity. And what more fitting way to spend a honeymoon is there than that.
Being a popular stop on luxury Greek tours, it does, admittedly, get a little crowded. While we can’t promise you’ll live happily ever after following a visit here, we can be sure that you’ll fall head over heels for the beauty of this place.
And even if you don’t buy into the particular mythology of the Channel of Love, the waters around this corner of Corfu are thought to have detoxifying and healing properties from the rich deposits of clay which form the rocks. Your own private spa experience in the ocean? Yes please!
A FINE DINING FLING IN ATHENS
If you’re the kind of couple that prefers to be in amongst the action, then Athens is where you should base your honeymoon.
The Greek capital is a mesmerising mix of ancient Greece and a contemporary, cosmopolitan vibe, with plenty of luxury experiences to be found, particularly in the city’s sophisticated restaurant and bar scene.
Seafood lovers will be in seventh heaven here, with aphrodisiacal oysters, seductive sea urchin and alluring razor clams all abundant on menus across the city.
If you’re keen on cutting-edge fine-dining in luxurious surrounds, then the obvious starting point is 2 Michelin-starred Spondi. With its low-lit, vaulted stone dining room and a courtyard that basks in the glow of the nearby Parthenon, it’s a supremely intimate, elegant place to spend an evening. Expect premium seafood and decadent desserts aplenty.
Or, you could try to snag a seat at the hottest table in town, at Feedel Urban Gastronomy. Famed as much for its exquisite cocktails as chef Leonidas Koutsopoulos’s unique interpretations of traditional Greek dishes, it’s a hidden-gem of a place and well worth a visit.
But perhaps our favourite restaurant in all of Athens, and another which speaks of luxury by celebrating the sea’s bounty, is Varoulko. Boasting gorgeous, evocative views of the Mikrolimano Marina, here the seafood is squeaky clean, the service faultless and the romance of the place undeniable.
GET HOT & STEAMY IN THE SPRINGS OF SANTORINI
Sure, you could follow in the footsteps of every honeymoon-holidaymaker that came before you, and take a raft of Santorini selfies in front of the island’s iconic domed rooftops. But you’re here for exclusivity, so we’re going to abandon the stereotypes, cliches and crowds, and seek an altogther different experience.
Instead, we’re going to direct you to the island of Nea Kameni, known as the Santorini Volcano, to indulge in what the locals call ‘nature’s spa’. Surrounded by naturally therapeutic hot springs and healing mineral waters, the island was created by volcanic eruptions and is, essentially, a formation of black lava.
Nea Kameni is only accessible by boat, with daily trips departing from Santorini’s two old ports, Athinios and Gialos, the latter of which is in the capital, Fira. Once there, nature lovers should head to the island’s small cove, Agios Nikolaos, to bathe, frolic and get healed.
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY IN MYKONOS
We know we promised privacy, but for some couples, there’s no better thrill than spending the night on the dancefloor, in the throng of sweaty strangers all lost to the rhythm.
So famed for its nightlife that it’s earned the nickname as ‘the new Ibiza’, Mykonos will satisfy even the wildest of couples. Paradise Beach is the main party beach and after sunset, the place loses all its inhibitions. Open-air Cavo Paradiso is regularly ranked in the top ten nightclubs in the world and its legendary status is well deserved.
Alternatively, in Mykonos Old Town, Skandinavian Bar and Club adopts a more sophisticated stance, but still gets pretty lively later on in the evening. If you’re the kind of couple who loves to dance the night away, you’ll find much to love about Mykonos.
And while you’re here, check out these 6 IDEAL things to do in Mykonos. We hope you have a beautiful honeymoon and a wonderful marriage!