4 Greek Islands to Visit Post-Cannes

8:00 AM 5/13/2017

by Mark Ellwood

Just three hours from Nice, party like a rock star (with Ariana Grande?) on Mykonos or keep it chic on Koufonisia (a la Cavalli) as each getaway offers its own unique glam for decompressing from the fest.

Andia/UIG via Getty Images

The challenge of planning a post-Cannes getaway is that "Europe is temperamental, weatherwise, at the end of May," says DDA PR veteran Dana Archer, a 10-time Cannes attendee who recalls 2014's heavy rains with a shiver. "The farther south you go, the better." This year she'll head post-fest to Greece, a reliably warm escape that has lured Hollywood for decades and, courtesy of years of financial troubles, currently offers luxury accommodations at welcoming prices. Fly from Nice to Athens in less than three hours for about $300 and hop a ferry (or two) to one of four industry-favored islands surveyed by THR, each with its own glam factor.

  • Mykonos: The Greek Answer to Ibiza

    Mykonos has a classic Cyclades landscape of sugar cube-like buildings and winding cobbled streets.
    Mykonos has a classic Cyclades landscape of sugar cube-like buildings and winding cobbled streets.
    Andia/UIG via Getty Images

    Hedonistic, high-octane Mykonos (also reachable by direct flight from Paris or London) nonetheless retains a small-town charm and day-to-night appeal that has drawn such execs as the Audience co-founder Oliver Luckett and stars including Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian and Sofia Vergara. Rent an ATV for a drive to Kiki's Tavern on Agios Sostis beach (Archer's pick, where lunch for two is around $80) or Nammos ($150) on Psarou beach; after a nap, start your night with a seafood supper at Sea Satin ($200) before hitting the bars and soaking up the excess with a macaroon or amigdalota from Venetis, the beloved bakery that opens just as the clubs wind down. Competing with such classic hotels as the Jackie O-endorsed Theoxenia (doubles from $235) and the Belvedere (from $490) is Branco (from $400), a quiet new perch on Platis Gialos beach. Rita Wilson, who with husband Tom Hanks has a home on the more sedate Antiparos, says any Mykonos trip should include a visit to the port of Delos across the water. "You'll find gorgeous ruins of houses with mosaic floors, ancient cisterns, temples to gods and a wonderful museum with artifacts excavated there," she says. "I love walking the small streets or sipping a coffee and watching the boats come in."

  • Koufonisia: Couture Crowd

    Ionathan Koufonisia Suites
    Ionathan Koufonisia Suites
    Courtesy of Mimis Nena

    A short ferry ride from Mykonos, Koufonisia is emerging as a top fashion hideaway: Roberto Cavalli and the Missonis are regulars. Indeed, the island's Italian influence is felt everywhere, from chic waterfront lounge Kalofego on Pori beach — where you can order a feta-smothered Cretan-style rusk (twice-baked bread) washed down with an aperol spritz — to the craveworthy design store on the winding, cobbled main drag by the harbor, Galleria Spigolo, that’s run by an expat couple from Ancona. That Dolce Vita influence is evident in the new luxury hotel Ionathan Koufonisia Suites (from $135). Opened last summer, it features eight suites that are named for the various trade winds in the Med — the best are the largest, Tramontana and Scirocco.

  • Antiparos: Hollywood Heavyweights

    Courtesy Photo

    Along with homeowners Hanks and Wilson, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen have been spotted on the streets of low-key Antiparos — the Boss was drinking at The Doors, where the owner gives free drinks to anyone who can recite the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Hurricane." Many beaches here are clothing-optional, including the sandy strip on the island opposite the main port, Agios Georgios. Linger there for a fresh-caught fish lunch at Captain Pipinos ($50 for two) — try kakavia, the island's signature take on classic fish stew. Preferred hotel: Beach House Antiparos (from $155), which sits on sheltered beach Apantima.

  • Hydra: Art World Hideaway

    Joannou’s yacht, embellished by artist Koons.
    Joannou’s yacht, embellished by artist Koons.
    ZUMAPRESS.com/Newscom

    Thanks to collector Pauline Karpidas, tiny (less than 20 square miles), car-free Hydra is a de facto summer camp for the art world — notably mogul Dakis Joannou with his Slaughterhouse space, where L.A.-based Doug Aitken recently showed (you'll know if Joannou is in town by his yacht, the Guilty, decorated in a bold pattern by artist Jeff Koons). National Association of Theatre Owners president John Fithian (whose wife, Maria Gagani, is Greek) visits "every chance we get," he says. "[There are] great restaurants, swimming holes and a truly authentic Greek atmosphere with cutting-edge fashion boutiques." Paddle at Four Seasons beach or sit poolside at the Bratsera hotel (from $170). And grab a drink at either the Pirate Bar on the port or the Rolo Cafe (also known as O Katsikas) both longtime haunts of the island’s most famous former resident, Leonard Cohen, who snapped up a Hydra home in the 1960s and went on to write his most famous song, “Bird on the Wire,” here.

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