Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Photo: Bluegr Hotels & Resorts

You used to say, “there’s no place like home.” After traveling for an extended period of time, you couldn’t wait to return to your own bed and a normal schedule. It’s the opposite now. After being cooped up in your small apartment for weeks on end, you’d give anything for a change of scenery. You wish you could ride out COVID-19 somewhere else. You’d self-quarantine upon arrival, of course.

Crete sounds ideal right now. Greece’s largest island sits in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a mountainous island with three ranges, fertile plateaus, and deep gorges. Ancient ruins continue to be discovered. Golden-sand beaches and whitewashed villages line the coast. While mild climate—temperatures are currently in the 70s—makes it a year-round destination.

Your sights are set on Agios Nikolaos. The capital of Lasithi, Crete’s easternmost region, lies on Mirabello Bay’s western shore. It has everything you want in a small Greek city. Archaeological sites. A 13th-century church. A waterfront promenade. A beautiful lake. A fruit-and-vegetable market. Outdoor cafés. Lively nightlife. Long beaches. The only other thing you need is a chic hotel. Agios Nik has that covered, too.

Photo: Bluegr Hotels & Resorts

Minos Beach Art Hotel is a 15-minute walk from the center of town. That’s close enough that you can stroll in for the afternoon or stumble home late at night but with plenty of distance to maintain the feeling of a retreat. The waterfront hotel sits right on the bay with its own little beach. Its whitewashed buildings and stone jetties huddle against the edge of the water like a traditional fishing village. So does a sprawling garden filled with a modern art collection. One of its sculptures even lies beneath the azure water.

This open-air museum may attract you to the hotel, but it’s the minimalist rooms that’ll make you want to stay here. Seafront bungalows have gray accents, sleek bathrooms, and balconies with views of the water. Superior seafront bungalows add open-plan living rooms to its bedrooms. While superior seafront bungalows with pools include private pools. If you’re going to self-quarantine upon your arrival, you might as well do it in luxury. Thick yogurt and strong coffee, olive-oil-drenched mezzes and freshly caught fish, and wine, lots of Cretan wine, can certainly be delivered to your door. There may be no place like your new home.

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