The Greek isles are the epitome of romance and luxury. Whitewashed cliffside suites, charming cobblestoned alleys, blue window shutters—and of course a slew of celebrity beach houses. From Brad Pitt to Elizabeth Taylor, celebrities have always looked to Greece for their glam getaway.
Hollywood Celebrities in Greece
Elizabeth Taylor: In the 1960s, Taylor purchased (and apparently owned until her death) a home on the coast of the Greek island of Hydra.
Its coastal spot right on the shore makes it most visible from a small boat tour around the island.
Leonard Cohen: Long before his greatest successes, Cohen bought a home on the Greek island of Hydra for a mere $1,500. It's in the heart of Hydra Town and almost anyone can point it out to you.
Anthony Quinn: In a post-Zorba (or post "Guns of Navarone") passion for Greece, Quinn was allowed to purchase a small beach on the Greek island of Rhodes. At the time, it was nearly impossible for non-Greeks to purchase property, especially oceanfront property. Promises were supposedly made by him about developing a local movie studio, but these never came to pass. The original name of the bay was "Vagies Bay," but it is now known and signed as "Anthony Quinn Bay."
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: This power couple who produced "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (among a few other notable accomplishments) have a home on the Greek island of Antiparos, just across the channel to Paros.
Rita also was in Nia Vardalos' second Greek-themed movie, "My Life in Ruins."
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: The former First Lady was known to frequent the Onassis family island of Skorpios.
Famous Greeks Stars
Yanni: This native of Kalamata still retreats to his family home in the Peloponnese.
Nicholas Gage: The author of "Eleni," the story of his brave mother's sacrifice for her children, enabled his daughter Eleni Gage to rebuild their destroyed family home in the village of Lia.
She chronicled her experiences doing so in "North of Ithaka," a must-read for anyone considering renovating a house in Greece.
Temporary Celebrity Tourists
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes spent part of a summer docked off the Greek island of Skiathos, which is also the famous filming location for Mamma Mia the movie.
Many musicians spent a summer during the 1960s living in the caves at Matala, Crete. The most famous of them is probably Joni Mitchell, who mentioned the charming village in her song "Carey." Supposedly, Beatle George Harrison visited, along with Cat Stevens and many, many others.