Stay the night: Drakothea, Greece

Set in a sleepy corner of party-loving Mykonos, this stylish villa looks out at the neighbouring islands, says James Litston

Mykonos may be a playground for the international jet set, but you'd never guess it from the sleepy seclusion enjoyed at Drakothea. This distinctive villa in the little-visited south-east of the island is remarkable for exclusivity and one-of-a-kind appeal.

Set within a protected zone that limits any further development, the property (whose name means Dragon's View) is one of just two rental homes in this part of the island. Everything else here is privately owned, the majority by familiar names – so don't be surprised to find fashion designers and Hollywood heavyweights among the scattering of neighbours.

The house, garden and infinity pool overlook unspoiled, coastal countryside. Beyond lies an island-studded Aegean seascape, framed by Ikaria to one side and Naxos, the other. Rocky little Dragonisi, whose form calls to mind a slumbering dragon, fills the foreground just offshore and lends this villa its name.

There's extra airlift this summer, too. British Airways' newly launched, seasonal service to Mykonos, operates twice-weekly from Heathrow.

Contemporary styling Contemporary styling The Rooms

There are hundreds of villas to rent in Mykonos, but none can match Drakothea's originality, location and style. Its immediate appearance is traditional Mykonian; all organic curves and whitewashed walls, with pea-green shutters and splashes of colour. Time-worn lintels, doors and beams add a pleasing air of antiquity, but they're all recycled: sourced by the owner from salvage yards across Greece. It may look old, but the house only dates from 2001.

The main entrance leads into a flowing, linear space split by muslin drapes and archways into kitchen, dining and living areas. There are lots more architectural antiques inside, plus a meticulously curated collection of religious icons and rustic furniture. It's a perfect pastiche of Greek country living – albeit one wired for contemporary tastes, with mood lighting, wi-fi and a serious sound system.

The house is partially built into the hillside, so it feels much larger than its proportions suggest. From the delightfully den-like living area, a stone staircase curves upwards to two large, en-suite bedrooms and a series of rooftop terraces. There's a third en-suite on the ground floor, with access to the pool deck through patio doors; plus a fourth guest suite in a separate cottage adjacent to the main house. There's plenty of outdoor living space, too, with a choice of shaded dining areas and a seemingly infinite selection of loungers, daybeds, nooks and terraces dotted all around.

Out and About

Mykonos is not large, so everything you'll need is within a 20-minute drive. The island's legendary party scene is centred on Chora (Mykonos Town) in the west. This makes Drakothea ideal for dipping into the action, but not if you're planning to party non-stop. The villa's owner provides a concierge service for restaurant and nightclub reservations – essential in mid-summer.

The island has a beach for every occasion. Family-friendly Lia Beach is just down the hill, but the watersports at Kalafatis, party scene at Paradise, gay beach at Elia and cosmopolitan edge of Kalo Livadi are all close by. Nearer still (within walking distance) is tiny Tigani. It may not be the prettiest beach, but when the others are swamped at peak season, this hard-to-reach strip of sand and pebbles comes into its own.

Further afield, make time to explore Chora's labyrinthine streets; or take a trip from the harbour to uninhabited Delos, whose well-preserved ruins comprise one of Greece's top archaeological sites. Greek mythology says that Apollo was born on this island, which was once a prosperous trading port.

The Food and Drink

Stock up with provisions on the way to the villa. A parade of shops in pint-sized Ano Mera includes greengrocer, mini-market and excellent bakery, plus a café serving breakfast and snacks. There's a larger supermarket behind the village's main square, while the square itself is lined with half a dozen charming tavernas. Try Apostolis (00 30 22 8907 1760) for authentic Greek home cooking; around €25/£20pp with wine. Another good bet is Flora's Taverna (00 30 22 8907 1430), near Kalafatis Beach. It's run by the island's only fisherwoman and serves that day's catch with coastal views (around €30pp with wine).

The essentials

Villa Drakothea, Mykonos, Greece ( week's rental costs from €4,500 (£3,664) for eight guests through Cool Rental Guide (

James Litston flew with British Airways (0844 493 0758; which offers flights from Heathrow to Mykonos and seven days' car hire from £289pp.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas