by Lara Scott
Greece and romance go hand in hand. In fact, the country’s romantic heritage dates way back to Ancient Greece and some of its most famous figures. Take Orpheus, the Thracian musician and poet who travelled down to the underworld, encountering Hades and a three-headed dog, to rescue his wife, Eurydice.
The story might not end well (she is trapped there forever while he is later murdered), but the passion is undeniably still there. A similar lust for love runs through the country today and is encountered by amour-struck couples taking romantic getaways to Greece.
Anyone who has read Louis de Bernières ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ will have already fallen in love with Kefalonia over the pages, but the romance of the largest Ionian island isn’t just fictional. Culture loving couples can wander through the markets, discover historical monuments and once that’s done, kick back with a glass (or two…) of locally produced wine. Why not pick up an extras bottle and enjoy it from your holiday rental?
Skala is a quaint village located near the island’s southernmost tip. It’s just as popular with newlyweds as it is with seasoned couples who’ve been through many decades together, known for its whitewashed beaches and pale waters. On top of that, it’s driving distance from a number of other top romantic attractions, like Melissani Cave.
An hour north of here by car you can find Melissani Cave. This lacustrine structure was created with the natural chemical dissolution of rocks, which has resulted in a clear rooftop hole filtering sunlight onto a placid pool. Drive out here for a day of aimlessly dipping in and out of the lake or simply rowing your way around under the Ionian sun.
Corfu’s rugged mountains and beautiful beachscapes make for the perfect romantic honeymoon in Greece. Sunsets here are at their finest in the summer months, but with the Ionian Sea as their backdrop are equally spectacular during other times of year. The village of Kalami sits on the north-eastern tip of the island and is home to a plethora of beaches and bars overlooking the surrounding bay. Spend your days here scuba diving the local waters before an evening of fine meze platters.
Take a trip to the island’s capital, Corfu and its ancient town centre. It’s made up of old fortresses, museums and sacred temples great for long days of exploration and immersing yourself within ancient Greek culture.
With more than 30 beaches boasting Blue Flag status, the Dodecanese island of Rhodes is a favourite for couples in search of sheer relaxation. Lindos, a town on the eastern side of the island, is renowned for its clifftop architecture. There’s a selection of gates and walls dating back to around 280 B.C. which are just as impressive today as they were all those years ago. Scout them out – they could be the ultimate picturesque backdrop for next year’s Christmas card.
A few kilometres south of here is the idyllic resort town of Pefkos. You can actually get a glass-bottomed boat over to Lindos from here showing you the best of the local marine life. Once you’ve sailed on one of these you’ll return back to your villa feeling pampered and cleansed from the fresh Mediterranean breeze.
Ready to add a touch of Greek romance to your relationship? Take a look at Villa Plus rentals across these islands.
A former executive at a major hotel chain, Lara Scott is a freelance travel writer and journalist. She says her previous career gives her extra insight into both sides of the tourism industry.