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Vacation with the stars: American celebrities who own real estate in Greece

Updated: May 2

It is not surprising that with its historically rich cities, charming villages, and dreamy islands, Greece is a favorite playground for the rich and famous. Celebrities’ love affair with Greece began back in the 1960s when Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, and many others first discovered a paradise untouched by tourism.

In 1956, Sophia Loren starred in the first movie filmed in Greece, Boy on a Dolphin, shot in Hydra. The following year, the island was visited by thousands of tourists. Since then, American celebrities and those from many other countries still visit Greece. This very fact attracts numerous visitors who wish for nothing more than to rub shoulders with the stars.

While some American celebrities are drawn by the bright lights and unique character of Athens or other famous Greek cities, many more have chosen quiet little corners on the mainland and on various islands. Some have even bought land and property in Greece, so they can enjoy their little piece of Greek heaven.

Many American celebs regularly vacation in Greece

The popular actor and film producer Brad Pitt regularly visits Greece often, as do Leonardo di Caprio and Johnny Depp. Other famous people to have spent their vacation in Greece recently include actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, the singer, Rihanna, the Kardashians and so many more.

Those drawn by the splendor of Athens usually stay in the gorgeous and pampering surroundings of the five-star resort Grand Lagonissi.

Mykonos has also long been a favorite destination for the rich and famous, ever since it was popularized by Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s. The former first lady loved Mykonos, where she met Petros, the Mykonian pelican. When she heard a few years later that the pelican had been killed, she sent the islands a beautiful replacement pelican named Irini. From then onwards, the island has earned the nickname of “VIP destination”.

Some A-list celebrities were so charmed by this beautiful country, they decided to buy property in Greece:

Actor Tom Hanks fell in love with Antiparos

Antiparos is a tiny island with rugged terrain that is situated a short ferry trip from Paros. Tom Hanks visited the island with his wife, Rita Wilson, more than ten years ago. The couple was spending time exploring Greece as Rita has a Greek mother. They found a lovely 500-square-foot (45-square-meter) stone villa house standing on six acres of land between the tiny villages of Glypha and Chora.

In 2018, the couple bought a second house, this time on Patmos, and to his delight, Tom Hanks was given honorary Greek citizenship.

Interestingly, in the last couple of years, both Bruce Springsteen and Madonna have been spotted on the island with rumors that they are both house hunting.

Patmos is a special island for two Hollywood greats

Academy award-winning actress Julia Roberts and her close friend Richard Gere both own real estate on the tiny 13-square-mile (34-square-kilometer) island of Patmos. They find the island the perfect retreat as Buddhist beliefs and meditation are an important part of their lives.

Patmos is a sacred UNESCO-listed island that lies in the clear azure waters of the Aegean Sea. It was on this island that St John is said to have had visions that prompted him to write the Book of Revelation.

The island is a place of pilgrimage and is considered a very important religious destination. Julia Roberts owns a stunning million-dollar house, built on two levels that overlook the monastery of St John the Theologian.

Bruce Willis has land in Corfu

The popular Die Hard actor Bruce Willis who is also well known for the series Moonlighting, had been hoping to spend more time on the island of Corfu, now that he has retired. Willis bought land on the island some years ago, but sadly since his recent medical diagnosis of dementia, he may not be able to fulfil his plans.

Goldie Hawn loves Skiathos

Situated in the Aegean Sea, Skiathos is one of the islands in the Sporadic archipelago and is known for its lovely beaches and colorful nightlife. Some years ago, actress and producer Goldie Hawn and her partner, Kurt Russell, fell in love with the island and bought a holiday home there.

In the last few years, they have been enjoying increasingly frequent trips to the island. Goldie Hawn regularly publishes photos on social media dancing and splashing in the sea. The couple is regularly spotted at the Golden Café enjoying a leisurely breakfast.

Anthony Quinn remembered in Rhodes

Anthony Quinn was another of the early American celebrities to really enjoy the Greek Islands. He spent time on Rhodes where the movie Guns of Navarone was filmed in 1961. The movie was based on the popular novel by Alistair McLean.

Anthony Quinn found the island and its rich history absolutely enchanting and bought land there during his first visit and returned to Rhodes many times. He died in 2001, but his memory lives on as both a bay and beach near the resort of Faliraki (on the island’s east coast) were named in his honor.

The magic of Greece and her islands is very appealing and the best news is that property there is still very affordable and that you don’t need to have celebrity status to afford your own beautiful piece of Greece. So whether you enjoy the color and culture of the Greek cities or the peace and tranquility of the islands and their villages, there is a myriad of properties to buy and to rent to suit everyone, so that you can start living your dream.

By: Chrissie Stephen

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