Situated on the east coast of the Peloponnese and right on the edge of the Saronic Gulf, the Greek Riviera has been a popular destination for upper-crust Athenians since the 1950’s —not only because of its proximity to the capital, but also because of its cultural heritage, aura of elegance and unspoiled natural beauty. Look on one side, and you see a ravishing coastline, daintily fringed with secluded coves and turquoise waters; turn on the other, and your eye soars across the undulating hills covered with deep-green olive groves and ancient pine. From the small fishing-village-turned-resort-town of Porto Heli to the historic islands of Spetses and Hydra, the Greek Riviera is a yachter’s paradise, and the place to be when it comes to laying back and unwinding in the company of joyous jet-setters, royals and the who-is-who of the local social scene.
Tucked away in a verdant estate a mere 10 minutes away from Porto Heli is the exclusive resort of Amanzoe Villas: a constellation of private pavilion residences that offer seclusion, bespoke hospitality and uninterrupted views of the countryside all around. Surrounded by its own garden, each villa is staffed by a housekeeper and a chef, who will attend to all your needs and make your stay as hassle-free and enjoyable as you can dream of. Once you have established Amanzoe as your base, you can then conveniently explore the surrounding area, which is filled with natural wonders, historical sites and authentic local culture. Escape to Mt. Mainalo via helicopter for a skiing or hiking excursion, and explore the Riviera by boat from Amanzoe’s own Sea Club to discover the hidden gems scattered around the area at your leisure.
As soon as you’re on board, you must set sail to Hydra, a unique island where time seems to have stopped in its marble-cobbled lanes. Once the base of a powerful sea-trade fleet, the entire island is now a protected national heritage site, and for that reason cars are not allowed here. Hydra’s main town impresses with its picturesque harbour, exquisitely preserved stone mansions and its cosmopolitan flair: a favourite holiday spot for personalities of the likes of Aristotle Onassis, Sofia Loren and Melina Merkouri, the island is now populated by celebrities, socialites and yachters throughout the season, and even Leonard Cohen has bought a house here. Meanwhile, in June the island is crawling with art collectors and the rest of the international art-world crowd, during the annual opening of DESTE Foundation’s Slaughterhouse Project: an initiative that promotes and supports the work of young, established international artists.
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