For many people, the beach is the whole point of a holiday. And now more than ever we are dreaming of days spent wriggling our toes in the sand and wallowing in salty water. While we wait to be able to travel again, we can
plan and book the once-in-a-lifetime adventures we’ll take as soon as we can. It’s worth planning a trip in advance, an opportunity to give yourself something to get excited about now, and a dream trip to embark on later.
Mykonos: decadent parties and luxurious living
Mykonos had gay clubs and sunrise parties long before rave culture was even invented. Its bohemian allure hasn’t faded since the 1960s, although the once naked beaches now have nail bars, personal trainers and house music pumping out all hours. The hippest place to be is Scorpios, a louche beach bar for sunset watching and endless hours of dancing to the beat. After hours, it’s always Astra. The gay crowd has dwindled, but drag queens and oiled bodybuilders make a splash at Jackie O, overlooking Super Paradise bay.
If the glitzy excess gets too much, escape to Fokos taverna for superfood salads and lamb chops, or Kiki’s, an off-grid grill-shack overlooking Agios Sostis bay. Or cruise over to the tiny island of Delos, an archaeological sanctuary that once thronged with 30,000 sun worshippers (the temple is dedicated to Apollo, the Greek god of light).
Tinos: traditional villages and amazing tavernas
Tinos has more than 50 villages, each vying to be fairest of them all. In Pyrgos, famous for its marble craftsmen, sculpted birds and flowers decorate every doorway. In Volax, basket weavers squat outside cottages carved from giant boulders, seemingly flung from the heavens by Zeus in a fit of pique. There’s even a village called ‘love’, Agapi, where you can tuck into wild-fennel fritters at the only taverna. For a perfect meal in perfect surroundings, go for cuttlefish risotto and octopus caramelised in grape must at Thalassaki, served on the jetty in Isternia bay, then watch dusk bleed into the horizon from Exomeria bar.
Paros: from dazzling white-washed Cycladic villages to the best seafood tavernas
Paros is one of Greece’s more well-trodden, though no less delightful islands. The port capital Parikia has always been a buzzy stopover for island hoppers. Pretty Naoussa morphed from fishing village into fashionable seaside scene long ago. And the golden dunes and choppy meltemi winds of the south-east coast have lured windsurfers for decades. But the expansion of Paros’ toytown airport to accommodate more flights in 2016 brought a new wave of upmarket hotels, hip, independently wired boutiques, and refined restaurants.