Steeped in mythology and imbued with a peaceful purity, Greece combines a mountainous beauty with a myriad of world-class beach resorts. A luxury holiday to Greece will take you to the cradle of Western civilisation, a destination that both stimulates the mind and soothes the senses. The sensuality and serenity of a lifestyle spun out in the warmth of the southern sun pervades. On a luxury Greece holiday, traditions hold firm and the pace of life is slower and unaltered by the pressures of the modern world. From the dramatic lunar beauty of the Cyclades to the pine-covered mountains and sandy beaches of Halkidiki, the sheer geographical variety of the mainland and the infinite scattering of Greek islands is intoxicating.
Marvel at the treasures of Athens with its dazzling Acropolis temples of Zeus and Venus, before sailing out to a host of enchanting islets on a Greek island hopping itnerary. Mykonos with its colourful harbour; Crete’s wildflowers, white-washed villages, dramatic gorges and rugged scenery and in Santorini, blue-domed churches contrast vibrantly against sugar-hued buildings. The clear waters and temptingly quiet coves of the Costa Navarino and Halkidiki are a triumph for families. Everywhere delicious Greek cuisine is to be savoured in convivial style, mezes of feta salads, spicy souvlaki and tangy moist stuffed vine leaves complemented by fish plucked freshly from crystalline seas. Whether in search of the quiet simplicity of village life or the classical elegance of city hotels, each resort has its own separate identity and distinctive spirit. No wonder the Gods of old mythology, so enchanted by what they saw, made Greece their heaven on earth.
Annabelle Harrison, Editor of The Kensington & Chelsea Magazine, travelled to Mykonos, Greece with Carrier last year, staying at Santa Marina Resort & Villas.
Greece is blessed with a Mediterranean climate. From mid May to mid June and mid September to October the climate is pleasant and sunshine is plentiful. July and August are hot with temperatures reaching 37°C. Winters tend to be mild in the south but much cooler in the north with an increased chance of rain.
Our team travel extensively, getting under the skin of every destination and hotel that we feature while building key connections and relationships along the way. In-depth knowledge of a destination is only part of what is required to curate a couture holiday experience; we also get to know you and what matters to you, meaning you receive genuine recommendations and a truly individual travel experience, and our Carrier Masterclasses ensure our travel experts are the best in the industry at tailoring bespoke and unique holidays.
Carrier has been tailoring holidays worldwide for over 35 years and has firmly established its reputation as one of the leaders in the luxury holiday market. We have been voted ‘Favourite Tour Operator’ by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine more times than any other company in the past decade, and have been featured in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine’s Top 10 Tour Operators for 2016. Carrier has also won several national travel industry accolades, including ‘Luxury Tour Operator of the Year’ from TTG Luxury and Advantage Travel Centres.
Why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? The best suites in some of the world’s plushest hotels, the first choice of flight seats, attention to detail, no restrictions or limitations - how luxury holidays should be. Your holiday desires are well taken care of, whether you wish to learn new life skills while training with a Bodyism expert, or uncovering centuries-old bushmen secrets in Botswana with expert safari guides. Children can follow the life of a panda keeper one day and cook dinner with a Beijing housewife the next. Carrier can make it happen.
The cradle of Western civilisation and the capital of Greece, Athens is splendidly located on twelve hills overlooking the Saronic Gulf - take the funicular to the summit of Lycabettus Hill for unforgettable views. The city is dominated by the Acropolis with its iconic temples including the Parthenon, while within a short distance of Athens lies the Temple of Poseidon. Explore the triangle of historic districts – Thission, Psyrri and Plaka where picturesque cobbled streets are lined with nineteenth century neoclassical homes. Enjoy a fun evening in traditional style at the renowned live bouzoukia.
Blessed with olive groves, pine forests, little-discovered beaches and well-preserved archaeological treasures, the Peloponnese present the perfect blend of leisure and culture. Historic Nafplion boasts neoclassical architecture, a vista dominated by Palamidi Castle, a second castle in the harbour and a cornucopia of congenial tavernas. Enjoy breathtaking treks past Byzantine chapels, watermills and Mycenaean tombs, or gentler strolls to Vythismata and the Bisti Forest at Ermioni. Take an airborne tour or join a sailing excursion around uninhabited islets to swim in secluded coves. On the cosmopolitan island of Spetses, horse-drawn carriages pass Venetian mansions while Hydra is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. Costa Navarino delights with its Neolithic ruins, Mycenaenean palaces, Byzantine churches and medieval castles. On the slopes of Mount Ithomi, Messene’s circuit walls run for 9km, interspersed with entry gates and vast theatre arenas, while Olympia was the birthplace of the Olympic Games around the eighth century BC. The Polylimnio lakes and waterfalls provide cool respite, or escape the heat in the magnificent chambers of the Diros Cave.
Remnants of ancient cultures mixed with upmarket resorts and charming towns. The luxury hotels of Elounda attract aficionados of the Aegean with picturesque beaches and views across to the popular day escape of Spinalonga Island. Or visit Kritsa, a traditional mountain village, famed for its Kritsa Champagne – the ultra pure local spring water. Agios Nikolaos, by the largest bay on Crete, offers an attractive waterfront culture and marina, a place to relax.
Sailing into the crescent-shaped, steep-sided volcanic caldera of Santorini is simply breathtaking. High up on the cliff face lie the traditional villages of Oia, from where 286 steps lead down to the beach of Ammoudi, and Imerovigli with its houses built amphitheatrically around the crater rim.
The trident-like peninsulas of Halkidiki are lapped by turquoise seas and backed by lush forests interlaced with paths for mountain biking and walking, the Koutsoupia-Siviri hiking trail being particularly spectacular. Visit the 700,000 year old caves of Petralona OR strike out into the less-populated Sithonia peninsula with its remote sandy beaches. Picturesque villages abound – Athitos having cobblestone alleys, relaxing beach bars and mesmerising ocean views, while bustling Thessaloniki offers museums and colourful shopping. Boat tours of the Athos peninsula brings vistas of Mount Athos and isolated monasteries.
Cosmopolitan and lively, picture-perfect Mykonos is famed for the white-washed windmills which overlook Mykonos Town, and the lively nightlife which centres around the harbour. Meander through a maze of tiny lanes peppered with boutiques, galleries and convivial bars, stopping off in Little Venice where two-storey Venetian houses and trendy cafes line the seafront. Also worth seeing in the town is the church complex of Panagia Paraportiani, located close to the old Venetian castle in Kastro.