The day the Beatles nearly bought an entire Greek island


In 1967, when the band was at the peak of their success, they travelled to Greece in July and almost bought an island on the spot. Surreal as it may sound, the band was in the phase in which they dabbled in hallucinogenics and other psychedelic modes of exploration. Besides, they weren’t broke like teenagers and in truth, they could actually afford an island.

Beatles in Greece at AirportIn his autobiography, Paul McCartney says they arrived to Greece on a mission to buy an island and turn it into a hippie commune where nobody would interfere with their lifestyle.

“I suppose the main motivation for that would probably be that no one could stop you smoking,” McCartney writes in his book, titled Many Years From Now.

The singer-songwriter goes on to explain in more detail:

“Drugs was probably the main reason for getting some island, and then all the other community things that were around then… it was 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 Beatles left for Greece July 23, 1967, chartering a yacht to spend a few days island hopping and traveling along the coast of the mainland — where they visited villages such as Arahova — on their way to Delphi.

According to various sources, three days later they arrived at the perfect place — an 80-acre island reportedly called Leslo (although no island of that name appears to exist). It had a small fishing village, four beaches and a large olive grove. All sources and biographies refer to it by this name, however.

The Fabulous Four decided to buy the island there and then. It would have been theirs today had it not been for the bureaucracy involved in wiring £90,000 to Greece.

By the time they were permitted to move their British money to a Greek bank, they had all but forgotten about their Greek island dream and were onto their next great adventure.