IN YEARS PAST, travelers had few accommodation options when traveling. Choices included hotels, motels, or, depending on the location being visited, hostels. But in recent years, Couchsurfing and Airbnb have given travelers important new options, allowing them to feel more at home than a typical hotel stay would.

On some occasions, these new sorts of accommodations even provide opportunities for new friendships and meals with hosts. It’s hard to argue with the results considering the positive experiences so many travelers have had. As the service grows, it’s likely that the choices travelers have will continue to grow as well.

Decide for yourself — take a look at 12 of our favorite Airbnbs in Greece and compare them to your last hotel stay.

1

All white

Not the White House that normally comes to mind, this “White House” can be found on Thira (also known as Santorini). The villa contains three levels which can be separated, or used as one space for a large group, if desired. The top level contains a balcony, which overlooks the volcano and provides views of Oia. The space below is a cave house, which shows how the people of the islands utilized all available space within Santorini’s “cave” dwellings. A stay on the Greek island is incomplete without staying in one of the white homes. (See the listing)

2

Luxury villa

Found in the foothills of the Mainalo in the Peloponnese peninsula, this villa contains 8 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, making it the perfect spot for a large group navigating through Greece or for an individual looking to spend his or her life savings. The villa, which originally dates back to 1843, was renovated to provide visitors with the maximum amount of luxury, and it shows. The villa contains a spa and allows for ATV adventures, river rafting, and other experiences, making a stay here quite the alternative to staying in a hotel. (See the listing)

3

Modern mees traditional

Named 3Arches Traditional House, this island home in Santorini is a restored historic building. Each of the 3 bedrooms contains its own exterior entrance, allowing for a maximum amount of privacy. The home is rather bright and colorful. And if you’d rather go and enjoy the nice weather, there’s no shortage of outdoor space to take advantage of, and a traditional barbecue oven and wet bar. Actually, there seems to be little reason to head back inside other than for an afternoon nap. (See the listing)

4

Blue waters

Villa Roula measures in at 265 square meters and contains 4 bedrooms. The minimum stay is 7 days, allowing for ample time to take in all the surroundings, from Souda Bay’s blue waters to the olive trees nearby. Ideal for kicking back, the property contains a large pool as well as traditional barbecue ovens. And considering the typical weather in the region; dining al fresco isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. (See the listing)

5

Zen dream

A newly-built villa in Zakynthos on the Ionian Sea (famous for having some of the bluest waters on the planet), Cielo Villa is nothing short of what many people would call a dream home. With a large pool, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, an outdoor dining area, stunning sea views, all-new furniture and appliances, and most amenities that come to mind, you’d be surprised to find out you’re not in a five star hotel upon waking up in this villa. (See the listing)

6

Balcony views

This Kalyviani home is referred to as Villa Arhontariki. Built in the early 1900s and recently renovated, the villa stays true to its Cretan roots and utilizes much of the same architecture it originally possessed. With 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it’s meant for a large family – the same goes for the pool area, surrounded by lush greenery. Balconies and bay windows abound, so Villa Arhontariki also provides for views of the sea and peninsula. The pool will be nice to take a dip in if you decide to walk away from the balcony for a moment.

7

Poolside retreat

Sitting on a plot of 7,000 square meters, you’d better bring 23 friends to visit the Villa Grand Retreat. With all the makings for the ultimate pool party, the villa provides views of the Aegean Sea as well as Delos Island. Its interior is a mix of modern décor and traditional Greek stonework and architecture, making for an eclectic and impressive look. Hungry? A full-time chef is available upon request, as well. Oh, and you’d better bring 23 friends to help you pay for the stay, too. (See the listing)

8

Luxe suites

Walking distance from Spilia Beach, this home is appropriately named Porta del Mare, or “Gate to the Sea.” You’ll likely feel as if you’re staying in a resort with the daily housekeeping service ensuring your sheets are always fresh. With a terrace on which a hot tub can be found, you’ll probably find yourself doing less sightseeing than you’d originally imagined, too. No worries though – there are plenty of sights to take a look at from the terrace while you’re dining al fresco each evening. (See the listing)

9

Zante lifestyle

Situated in the tiny village of Vanato, this secluded villa can be found behind a gate and stone walls. The home’s living area utilizes an open floor plan, allowing for visitors to leisurely cook and kick back while conversing. Nearby doors lead visitors to the patio and pool area. Three bedrooms can be found within the villa, two of which contain king-size beds. Every detail in the home is paid attention to, allowing for travelers to enjoy their vacation within the small “castle” of their own. (See the listing)

10

By the sea

If you’ve yet to notice, many of the Airbnbs in Greece are referred to as villas – that description isn’t off base, and this home is no exception. A traditional Zakynthian stone house, Villa Purple contains a pool and your typical luxury amenities. But it has some extras that most accommodation’s don’t – included in the stay are kayaks, canoes, fishing and snorkeling equipment, mountain bikes, a wine bar, and homegrown vegetables and herbs. What better occasion to take up cooking? (See the listing)

11

Modern living

This modern home is about 50 kilometers from Athens and a short drive from the beach. Sitting high on a hill, the large bedroom and living room windows provide for panoramic views of the sea and mountains in the distance. A small outdoor area exists for those looking to dine outside without having to go too far. And as you likely expected, there’s a pool too, though smaller than the others you’ve come across thus far. (See the listing)

12

Mountain home

Located on the Peloponnese peninsula in the town of Mystras, this colorful home allows for large amounts of natural light, making the bright tones even brighter. A fireplace can be found in the living room for those looking to read a book near the chimney. Fresh vegetables are grown onsite – ask about them, as they might be included in a meal of yours. Daily breakfast is included, making you feel more like you’re spending the weekend at your parent’s house than at an Airbnb in Greece. And if you have a pet, well, they get their own mini-home too for a change. (See the listing)

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