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Greece Retreats


One of Greece’s Cyclades islands, sun-drenched Mykonos combines a glamorous party scene with oodles of quiet charm. The island’s hotspot is its capital, Mykonos Town, known as Chora, whose paved lanes are trimmed with sugar-cube houses, designer boutiques, antique shops, museums, chapels, and a crumbled castle.


The waterfront tavernas of its Little Venice district are a favourite lunch and supper spot, with diners enjoying classic Greek cuisine just inches from the Aegean and under rows of prettily painted merchants’ houses. Night owls, meanwhile, make tracks for Mykonos’ legendary beach clubs and bars, which serve as all-night party spots during the summer season.


Elsewhere, the island’s beaches steal the spotlight, offering soft sands, clear seas, watersports, and chilled-out cruises. Beyond the beaches, the arid interior rolls out traditional towns like Ano Mera, alongside sleepy villages, whitewashed windmills, and endless vineyards. Frequent boat trips run to the nearby uninhabited island of Delos, which offers the timeworn ruins of what was once a powerful Greco-Roman settlement. 


Backed by Mount Taygetos in Greece’s sun-baked Peloponnese region, buzzing Kalamata sits at the northern tip of the Mani peninsula and makes a gorgeous seaside spot. This largely modern city is famous for its black olives, juicy treats served at every restaurant, exported far and wide, and sold in spades at its popular farmers’ markets. Yet Kalamata is about much more than these delicious fruits.


At its heart is a small, cobbled old town, which houses a 13th-century castle, cathedral, churches, tavernas, museums, and artisanal shops. Along the seafront, a marina and promenade are skirted by al-fresco cafes, restaurants, bars, and a lovely Blue Flag beach. Sand-and-pebble beaches spool south from here along the Mani’s western coast, accompanied by coastal villages like Stoupa, Kitries, and Kardamili, and backed by rugged landscapes of olive groves, stone towers, and villages.


Visitors here spend time relaxing in beautiful coves, soaking up the traditional atmosphere, and exploring attractions like the spectacular Diros Caves and ancient ruins at nearby Messene and Sparta.  

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