Porto Heli is a little known area to outsiders even though it’s just a couple of hours drive from Athens or a few hours by yacht. Exclusiveness is its hallmark and, although on first sight it looks just like any other small Greek coastal town, if you dig a little deeper you will discover that it is actually an area full of stately hillside mansions and very private beaches that usually come with their own super yacht jetties.
Known endearingly as the Riviera of the Peloponnese, it’s not difficult to understand why. The former King of Greece, Constantine II, has an impressive palm-shaded property there, with neighbours including Sean Connery, Roman Abramovic and several wealthy Greek magnates, amongst others. It’s stunning natural harbour and protected cove offers crystalline waters, lovely pine-clad hillsides and pretty fishing boat vistas. The small hamlets of Aghios Aimilianos, Ververontas and Costa are the privé playgrounds of the kind of mega rich who don’t need to draw attention to themselves. Luxury resorts sit in the wings, such as Amanzoe in Kranidi, a fabulous escape for jet setters seeking solace for all the senses, while the trendy Nikki Beach offers Miami style vacations to affluent European sun seekers with Mediterranean trimmings.
You can jump on a water taxi to the cosmopolitan island of Spetses which sits just opposite, and step back in time to the elegant past of the belle époque, with its horse-drawn carriages, captain’s mansions and French Riviera feel. Otherwise, speed over to the charismatic island of Hydra, where artists like Leonard Cohen found their creative juices running and so decided to take up permanent residence there! It’s all oh-so-Positano and the beauty of it is that you can zip from one stunning location to another and still be back home for dinner, whether that be a selection of the finest seafood on a waterfront taverna or a discreet dinner on your moored pleasure yacht.