John Lennon and Paul McCartney travel to Greece

Saturday, July 22, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
Athens, Greece

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On this day, Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher joined John Lennon, his wife Cynthia and son Julian, Pattie Harrison’s 16-year-old sister Paula Boyd, Mal Evans, and NEMS employee Alistair Taylor on a trip to Greece to explore a group of Greek islands that The Beatles were interested in purchasing to live on.

George and Pattie Harrison, Ringo Starr and Neil Aspinall had travelled to Greece two days before.

To reach the islands, they had arranged for a luxurious yacht named MV Arvi, but it was delayed due to a storm off Crete, and they stayed at the residence of Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas in Athens until it arrived on July 25, 1967.

Alex invited John on a boat holiday in Greece, and we were all then invited. There was some story of buying a Greek island or something. It was all so sort of abstract but the first thing we had to do is go to Greece and see if we even liked it out there. The idea was get an island where you can just do what you want, a sort of hippie commune where nobody’d interfere with your lifestyle. I suppose the main motivation for that would probably be no one could stop you smoking. Drugs was probably the main reason for getting some island, and then all the other community things that were around then – ‘Oh, we’ll paint together. We’ll do this. I’ll chop wood.

I think that if you’re going to write a great symphony or you’re going to rehearse the greatest string quartet in the world, it’s fair enough to cut yourself off. It’s just a practical matter; give yourself lots of time and if you’re going to do that, then why shouldn’t it be in Greece? It was a drug-induced ambition, we’d just be sitting around: ‘Wouldn’t it be great? The lapping water, sunshine, we’d be playing. We’d get a studio there. Well, it’s possible these days with mobiles and …’ We had lots of ideas like that. The whole Apple enterprise was the result of those ideas.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

From 22 July 1967 – John and Paul travel to Greece – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (
From Meet the Beatles for Real: Greece


In all our holiday party numbered twelve people. Four flew to Athens on the Thursday —George and Pattie, Ringo and Neil. The remaining eight followed two days later — John, Cynthia and Julian, Paul and Jane, Pattie’s 16-year-old sister Paula, Alistair Taylor from the NEMS office and Mal.

Apparently the photographers at the airport in Athens hadn’t a clue who Paula was. One newspaper back home in London decided to identify her very vaguely, but they had an idea she was Cynthia Lennon!

There was a 13th man in our group — in fact the whole trip was his idea in the first place. His name is Alexis, a young and very clever electronics man, a Greek who became a close personal friend of the Beatles in London a few months ago. Alex took care of us all in Greece, translating when it was necessary, and we stayed at his house in a suburban part of Athens.


The plan was to move onto a big white motor yacht at the weekend as soon as everyone had settled in. But the rented boat was delayed on another cruise, stuck somewhere near Crete in high winds which prevented her sailing. In the end the boat — named the m.v. Arvi — arrived at Athens on the Monday and we went on board on the Tuesday. Minus Ringo who headed home with Neil that day.

Maureen hadn’t been able to join us because the baby was nearly due so Ringo didn’t want to be away from her too long. […]

From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1967
From The Beatles Monthly Book, September 1967

Greeks Say The Beatles Are On ‘Secret Mission’

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police barred newsmen from the airport tarmac Saturday to keep them from talking to Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney on arrival in Athens.

Although there was not a single fan to greet the two British pop singers, Athens Airport commander C. Farkakoris said he had government orders not to let reporters in to see them because he said it concerned a “secret mission.”

The two Beatles came to Athens on a British airliner to join Ringo Starr and George Harrison, the other two Beatles, who came here incognito Thursday.

Lennon and McCartney alighted from the plane and were rushed to the Athens Airport VIP lounge as police officers kept newsmen behind a fence surrounding the area.

Starr and Harrison did not show up at the airport.

There were unconfirmed reports in the Greek press that the Liverpool quartet came to Greece to buy or visit a tiny Aegean island they allegedly bought for $400,000.

As they left the airport, Lennon and McCartney tried to stop and talk to newsmen but police prevented it.

From The San Francisco Bee – July 23, 1967
From The San Francisco Bee – July 23, 1967

Last updated on May 24, 2023

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