When it comes to popular vacation spots amongst the social elite, there are certain parts of the world that have remained a consistent favourite for years.
Mykonos, St. Tropez, Ibiza, Miami and Dubai are just a few of the destinations associated with the rich and famous, each attracting thousands of wealthy visitors from across the world every year. When it comes to those in high society, however, the whole world is a playground – so where are the jet set headed to next?
In a world with an ever-changing tourism landscape, there are always up and coming destinations, including those set to become firm favourites amongst the social elite. Three such vacation spots on the rise in 2021 are the Greek islands of Patmos and Corfu, as well as the jewel in the Mediterranean crown, the Italian isle of Sicily.
Of the three, Patmos is likely the destination that you stand the least familiar with right now – but we can almost guarantee you’re set to hear plenty more about it in the next few years. Previously most recognised as a site of religious significance, Patmos is mentioned within the Book of Revelations, the last book in the Bible – its writer, John of Patmos, recorded a vision of Armageddon whilst living on the island. For that reason, Patmos has long been something of a pilgrimage spot, though it’s certainly taken on new life in recent years.
This religious significance is still clear across the island, particularly within its famous Cave of the Apocalypse and with the imposing Monastery of St. John, though these religious sites now provide the backdrop for a vibrant range of fine dining and cocktail spots and a bustling nightlife scene.
These nightclubs, bars and eateries – the majority of which are nothing short of exceptional – are balanced out perfectly by the tranquility of the nearby beaches and winding streets of traditional Greek villas. It’s this marriage of peace and relaxation with parties and recreation that have turned so many of the world’s wealthiest onto Patmos as a firm favourite for summer vacations.
High-end designer Alex Eagle of Alex Eagle Studio is amongst those who consider themselves fans of the island, having described Patmos as ‘a heavenly place’.
“Patmos has a vibe like no other place. There is an energy there that is compelling,” she told Evening Standard.
“You can relax and recharge but the island also gives you energy back. I stay with friends and it is always so social. It’s such a fun place to be young.”
Journey across Greece from Patmos and you’ll soon find yourself in Corfu. Corfu, of course, has been a popular vacation spot for travellers across the world for many years, though its ever-changing nightlife scene and the consistent opening of new, high-end bars, boutiques and restaurants have seen its popularity amongst the rich and famous soar in recent years.
Immediately recognisable for its unmistakable natural beauty – magnificent jagged cliff tops and vast, golden beaches – Corfu has long been considered one of Greece’s most incredible spots. Like Patmos, there’s a side to Corfu to suit all travellers. Streets are lined with grand, ornate buildings, each one a perfect example of the charm of traditional Greek architecture. Many of the buildings house quaint cafes and restaurants serving the finest local cuisine, making this an ideal destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the customs and culture of the area.
Of course, those amongst the jet set are often looking for something a little more high energy, too – and Corfu is only too happy to provide. The island is home to several resorts that have become famous over the years for the high-energy nightlife scene in the area, with destinations such as Dasia, Ipsos, Acharavi and Moraitika each boasting a range of vibrant nightclubs and bars.
It’s easy to see why the allure of Corfu has captured the attention of the upper class. The island was allegedly a favourite spot of Roger Moore following the filming of several scenes from the James Bond franchise in the area. It’s also a much-loved vacation spot for Sabine Getty, wife of hedge fund billionaire Joseph Getty and contributing editor of Tatler, who recently celebrated her birthday with a glittering party during a stay in Corfu.
Both Corfu and Patmos are contenders for the title of ultimate jet set vacation spot when it comes to Greece, whilst this title in Italy has been most often associated with the cities of Venice and Rome – however, there’s another famous destination rising even further in prominence.
The isle of Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island, with miles of vast coastline leading into its beautiful city streets. The area has become increasingly popular with the wealthy and the social elite over the last few decades, with no shortage of high-end designers opening stores to serve its affluent visitors – the city of Palermo, in particular, has become a hotspot for the island’s most fashionable tourists.
Of course, the Mediterranean is synonymous with fine dining – and Sicily’s restaurants don’t disappoint. The island boasts sixteen Michelin-star establishments, each delighting thousands of diners a year with vibrant menus, carefully curated to showcase the talents of Sicily’s many dedicated chefs. Markets across the island offer the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, many later presented within delicious dishes to the wealthiest Sicilian diners.
Nightlife in Sicily, of course, is in no short supply, either. The city of Palermo, once visitors are done frequenting the area’s luxury boutiques, is lit until the early hours by the welcoming atmosphere of the city’s many nightclubs. Elsewhere on Sicily, there’s Banascher Discoteca, perhaps the favourite spot of the island’s glitterati – this vibrant poolside dance club is rarely without a crowd.
The island has long been a favourite of the rich and famous looking for a tranquil Mediterranean getaway, though it’s certainly earned a reputation amongst the young and beautiful in society in recent years – where else might you encounter Harry Styles, Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom in one place?
Passports at the ready, everyone.
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