Greece is set to take its star on the Hollywood walk of fame
The likes of Corfu and Crete are well known Greek islands, famous for their inimitable blend of fantastic summer sunshine, exquisite cuisine, beautiful natural landscapes, history, culture and the warm azure sea-waters which lap their spectacular beaches. But there is another side to Greece, a hidden side to the nation and in particular to its beautiful islands, and this side represents peace, seclusion, tranquillity…and for the Hollywood stars who prefer these hideaways, there is great privacy to be prized too.
It was back in 2004 that Tom Hanks, his wife Rita Wilson and their family first made themselves at home on the Greek island of Antiparos; staying in the town of Soros, they enjoyed a long summertime vacation before returning to America and sharing their secret with other Hollywood families. Famous names since associated with this lesser known island include Jennifer Anniston, Prince Albert of Monaco and Brad Pitt – so what’s the appeal of Antiparos?
Well, the appeal for the famous names who arrive each year is the relative seclusion and solitude achievable on the island which is only reachable by ferry from the neighbouring island of Paros for example. But the greater appeal of the destination lies in the almost unrivalled beauty of the place. The sea around the island is jade green rather than the indigo blue usually associated with the seas around Greece, and on the island itself the striking landscape is a picture perfect backdrop to the sleepy villages and communities dotted across this perfect paradise.
Now that the name of Antiparos has become associated with big name Hollywood stars, interest has been sparked on the island with holidaymakers and holiday-home hunters alike, and who can say what the future holds for the financial fortunes of those who are buying beautiful property on Antiparos today? They could just rival those of the people who have already bought on Skopelos… Skopelos was another lesser-known Greek island that has suddenly become popular with the Hollywood set. In fact, it’s Tom Hanks again who’s made the island famous as he’s a producer behind one of the biggest and most hotly anticipated summer 2008 movie releases, namely ‘MAMMA MIA!’ staring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Pierce Brosnan…and the movie was filmed on Skopelos!
Once the film hits the big screen this July and moviegoers the world over see for themselves how stunningly beautiful and perfect the island is with its pristine beaches, pretty white washed houses, ancient cobbled streets, blue waters and blue, blue skies, Skopelos can expect an invasion of holidaymakers and holiday-home buyers too!
Property on this beautiful island doesn’t yet come with a Hollywood price tag though. Within 5 minutes walk from the island capital of Skopelos town and only 500m from the beach is the Skopelos Village Apartments project. Created in the grounds of the Skopelos Village Hotel, one of the island’s finest, the apartments will offer discerning buyers the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds – the personal character of your own home and the luxury of hotel services and facilities. The project is on target to be ready for occupation by the end of this year. The apartments are beautifully situated on the bay opposite the capital town/port of Skopelos. Owners can walk into the town in under 10 minutes. The new properties range in price from €97,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to €149,000 for a two-bedroom maisonette.
According to Irini Tzortzoglou, Deputy Branch Manager of Piraeus Bank UK, the local branch of Greece’s major financial institution, Piraeus Bank S.A.: “if you want to beat the crowds now’s the time to discover hidden Greece, explore the lesser known islands such as Skopelos and Antiparos and perhaps even buy yourself your own Greek island villa in the glorious sunshine”.
If you’re specifically investment minded you can take great delight in Euromonitor International´s Travel And Tourism in Greece report which backs up the strongly held local belief that Hollywood’s love affair with the nation is pushing up tourism arrivals. The report states that “tourism demand is experiencing an upwards trend.”
Irini Tzortzoglou goes on to comment, “Piraeus Bank UK is perfectly placed to assist the British, Irish and expatriate buyer looking to finance property in Greece with its range of competitive euro denominated mortgage products as well as its hugely popular ‘High Value Invest Product for Greece.’ This product is designed for those with minimum income levels of £75,000 who require financing or refinancing for property in Greece valued at over €500,000.”