Celebrity Homes in Greece

Leonard Cohen in the kitchen of his Greek house in 1981.
Leonard Cohen in the kitchen of his Greek house in 1981.

 Bruce Brown/Leonard Cohen Forum

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. Stars from Brad Pitt to Elizabeth Taylor have flocked to the Greek Islands for a glam getaway. Although you may not actually be able to step foot on the properties, you can definitely still explore the islands and areas where these A-listers vacationed.

Elizabeth Taylor

In the 1960s, actress Elizabeth 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, singer Leonard 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 any local can point it out to you.

Anthony Quinn

In a post-Zorba (or post The Guns of Navarone) passion for Greece, actor Anthony 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. Supposedly, he promised to develop the land as a local movie studio, but that never came to pass. Although the original name of the bay was Vagies Bay, it is now known as Anthony Quinn Bay.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

This Hollywood 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

Five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (known as Jackie O) married her long-time friend Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek tycoon. The wedding took place on Skorpios, Aristotle's private Greek island in the Ionian Sea. For years following, Jackie O and her family spent summers holidaying on Skorpios.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

This former power couple spent their summer in 2010 docked off the Greek island of Skiathos, which is also the famous filming location for Mamma Mia the movie.

Joni Mitchell

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 among others.

Nicholas Gage

Nicholas Gage (not to be confused with American actor Nicolas Cage) is a famous Greek author. He is known for writing Eleni, the story of his mother's brave sacrifice for her children, which enabled his daughter Eleni Gage to rebuild their destroyed family home in the village of Lia. She chronicled her experiences in North of Ithaka, a must-read for anyone considering renovating a house in Greece.