Melograno Villas

Astypalaia, Greece Book from

Reviewed by Rachel Howard
A trio of classy, hillside villas with Jacuzzis overlooking one of Greece’s loveliest island towns (self catering)
Astypalaia is one of those remote Greek islands most people have never heard of - but those who have keep coming back. Savvy travellers have snapped up holiday houses beneath Castro, the 13th-century castle that crowns the hilltop town of Chora. A handful of smart little hotels have cropped up to cater for the rest of us. But until Melograno opened in 2013, there were no luxury villas for rent. Thankfully, Michalis Savvas - a local entrepreneur, who also runs a bar, supermarket and souvlaki joint - spotted a gap in the market.

First, Michalis found the site: a steep hill on the outskirts of Chora, with stunning views of its whitewashed houses tumbling down to the old harbour. Then, he and his charming wife Maria travelled to 5-star hotels all over Greece for inspiration, before building the 3 adjoining villas. Each is subtly different, but all share a feeling of laid-back luxury. With huge living/dining areas, great kitchens, designer bathrooms and sea-view terraces, they are ideal for couples, families or a gang of friends. Plush beds and outdoor Jacuzzis are a big draw, too; we found it hard to leave and explore this beautifully rugged island.


  • Spectacular views of the Castro, harbour and sea
  • Utter convenience: a 24-hour concierge, meals can be delivered and there’s an honesty fridge for snacks/drinks
  • Masses of space, both indoors and out on the terraces
  • Good value for a luxe rental, especially since rates include breakfast
  • Astypalaia itself; a hidden gem with wild landscapes and welcoming locals, beautiful beaches and historical charm


  • Tricky to get to (a hopper flight or 9-hour ferry from Athens), but the island's remoteness is its appeal
  • One 'bedroom' in each villa is a cushioned platform in the living area. Best suited to 2 guests (Ble/Verde) or 4 guests (Bianca)
  • You'll want a car; it's a 15-minute walk to Chora's shops and restaurants
  • No pools and Chora's beach is a 10-minute drive, but each villa has an outdoor Jacuzzi to cool off in
  • Your neighbours may feel too close when you're all out on the terraces

Best time to go

In August, Astypalaia is inundated with (mostly Greek and Italian) visitors and availability is limited. June and September are ideal - though many local establishments don’t open until late June and close by September 15. With fireplaces and proper kitchens, the villas would also make a cosy base in spring and autumn, especially for keen walkers.

Our top tips

Bring walking shoes - most of the best beaches are accessible only by boat or on foot. Ayios Ioannis (St John) beach, on the barren northwest coast, is a fairly stiff 1-hour hike down a dramatic valley watered by rock pools. The secluded pebble beach is often deserted. Watching sunset from the cliff-top monastery of the same name after climbing back up the hill is unforgettable.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villas
  • 3 villas for 2-6
  • Breakfast + other meals on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Jacuzzi


The villas are split-level and adjoining, with large, breezy bedrooms and light living spaces. Bianca (sleeping 4-6) sits in the middle, Ble and Verde (sleeping 2-4) are either side . On the top floor are the master bedrooms, which open onto a sea-view balcony. Ble and Verde's heated Jacuzzi is on this balcony; Bianca has a second bedroom upstairs, too, and its Jacuzzi is on the downstairs terrace. The other 'bedroom' in each villa is in the open-plan living area on the ground floor; a platform bed, strewn with cushions - better suited to daytime naps, perhaps.

Each villa has 2 shower bathrooms (one on each level), dressed in natural textures - pebble floors, stone walls, beaten marble sinks. Greek Apivita bath products are a treat and various essentials are provided at cost price (toothbrushes, make-up remover etc). Huge wooden wardrobes and dressing tables come with shoe boxes, proper hairdryers, even straighteners. There are fluffy bathrobes and slippers (though brushed concrete floors are lovely for padding about barefoot), and snazzy flat-screen TVs. The only downside is that sunlight filters through to the bedrooms.

Downstairs are sofas, the sleeping platform, a dining table and a home-style kitchen. Glass doors lead onto a terrace, where you'll find a dining and seating area, with great views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Covered parking space
  • Dishwasher
  • Fireplace
  • Full kitchen
  • Hair straighteners
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is included in your stay; pre-choose from a menu, decide what time you want it delivered, and get set for a relaxing morning. An unlimited supply of free Nespresso pods is a perfect accompaniment, as is the sea view from your terrace dining area.

For other meals, fully-equipped kitchens are designed for cooks, with real ovens and proper hardware. There are grocery shops in Chora or you can request a shopping service in advance of your stay. But if you're feeling lazy, there's a whole menu of meals that can be delivered or cooked in-house for you. The lobster spaghetti, an expensive local delicacy, is well worth it. There are also various snacks, drinks and local treats like thyme honey in the Smeg for very reasonable prices - better than your average hotel minibar!

It’s a 15-minute walk to the cafes, tavernas and bars up in Chora or down at the harbour at Pera Yialos. By the windmills, Meltemi does delicious breakfasts (especially omelettes), and Ilias and Irene, on the waterfront at Maltzena, is an old-time taverna with the freshest fish and a friendly family vibe. Be sure to taste traditional wild saffron and goat’s cheese rusks during your stay, at Iliana or Maroulio bakery in Chora.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Meal delivery service
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster


  • Wander the tangle of whitewashed alleys encircling Chora's Castro - especially magical at sunset or sunrise
  • Drive to Chora's beach (3km) or take a boat trip to the castaway isles of Koutsomiti and Kounoupes, where the sea is bright green and turquoise
  • Rent a motorboat at Livadi and putter along the coast to find your own secret cove
  • Marvel at the riches on display in Chora's tiny Archaeological Museum, which contains only a fraction of the island’s buried treasure
  • At Kaminakia beach, feast on roast goat, grilled fish and fried aubergine at Linda’s taverna, where everything is grown, produced or caught by the owners
  • Explore the ruins at Vathy, a secluded lagoon where archaeologists recently uncovered some of the world’s oldest rock engravings
  • Light a candle at Panagia Portraitissa, an ornate 18th-century church with an impressive iconostasis and miracle-working icon!
  • See our other local tips for the island

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife


The owners are extremely welcoming and accommodating to families. The villas are best suited to babes in arms, or older children who can enjoy the Jacuzzis (under supervision), giant day beds, and ample space to spread out. Not ideal for toddlers due to all the steep steps

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Villas Ble and Verde each have a master bedroom with space for a baby cot, and a sleeping platform in their living room which older kids will love. Villa Bianca has 2 upstairs double bedrooms and a sleeping platform in the living room


On request

Baby equipment:

Travel cots, high chairs, and car seats available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Special foods for babies and fussy eaters can be pre-ordered

Families Should Know:

Not suitable for toddlers due to steep steps and high sleeping platforms. No baths.

Kid Friendly:

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