The BEST Greek Islands to visit
Posted on 13th June 2022 at 18:05
Always a favourite with British holiday makers, Greece has so many enchanting islands.
Greece has 6,000 islands and islets scattered throughout the eastern part of the Mediterranean. Only 227 islands are inhabited, and many can only be reached by ferry. So this is just a small list of some of the more notably islands.
But with 15 international airports, many are really easy to get to. So, here's my pick of the best Greek Islands to visit and why.
Why? It’s perfect for family-friendly breaks
Rhodes is by undoubtedly the best Greek island for a family break. Its shelving beaches and days out away from the sand, toghether with direct flights from the U.K. makes Rhodes a fabulous destination.
Also known as the “Knights’ island”, Rhodes has a rich historical past, which you can tell by its historical buildings and monuments.
And the atmosphere in the "Old Town" is unique, with strong walls, stone-paved alleys, elegant mansions, and a medieval castle.
The Romans to the Turks and the Italians all left their mark, especially in Rhodes Town, one of the most atmospheric in all of Greece.
The sun god Helios was said to rule Rhodes, which may explain why Rhodes enjoys more than 300 days a year of sunshine.
To find out more about Rhodes and all it has to offer, just click here.
Why? Because it has something for everyone, and has some of the best food.
Crete is not only the largest of the Greek Islands, (and the 5th largest island in the mediterranean), but also the most southerly. Crete is also the connoisseur’s choice for alternative accommodation outside of peak season, as the island is blessed with some of the warmest winters in Europe.
And like so many Greek islands, it has a rich historical and cultural background, with distinctive differences from the rest of the country in terms of customs, daily life, and nature. Add to that, there are myth-laden archaeological sites, including Knossos and the labyrinth of the Minotaur. Another distinctive custom of Crete is the vendetta, long-running fights between families that end with the killing of male members of each family.
Agios Nikolaos lies east of capital Heraklion and is arguably one of the best spots on the island with a curving turquoise-speckled bay, plenty of tavernas and low-key flare.
The most distinctive part of the Cretan culture is Mantinades. These are rhyming couplets concerning love, satire or other themes.
To find out more about Crete, just click here:
Why? It's a complete "time-warp."
Samothrace (or Samothraki) is a small island in the North Aegean nearer to Turkey than mainland Greece. It's major contribution to world culture is the magnificent sculpture of Nike (Victory) that gave its image to the Rolls Royce radiator cap and its name to the world's largest sneaker manufacturer.
Standing at nearly eleven feet tall, this winged, headless, and armless, the statue is a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture, summing up all the accomplishments of the Greeks at the very historical moment that their power was beginning to wane.
However, if you actually want to see Nike, you shouldn't go to Samothrace; the sculpture has been in the Louvre since shortly after its 1863 discovery by French amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau.
What should draw you to Samothrace is a chance to see a less commercialized Greek island that remains rich in natural wonders.
It has one of the highest mountain ranges in the Aegean, with clear streams of cascading waterfalls and rock pools for swimming, a landscape that stays green through late summer, and a coastline of secluded sand and pebble beaches.
There is a traditional dish of the island comprised of slowly roasted goat - not surprising, since there are 10 goats for every person on the the island.
If you want to know about Samothraki or Samothrace, just visit here
Why? You’ll find beautiful beaches galore.
The island of Skiathos sits in the northwest Aegean sea, in the heart of Sporades archipelago. It's known for its amazing beaches, natural ambience, cosmopolitan aura, and its nightlife. Infact this idyllic Aegean island ticks all the boxes of the perfect holiday.
But the highlight of Skiathos island is undoubtedly its beaches. With over 60 beaches in total, the best are located on the southern part of the island. Among the most beautiful ones are Koukounaries beach, Lalaria beach, and Banana beach. The last one is particularly popular with the young crowds, thanks to the water sports facilities and legendary beach parties.
But if you move away from the beaches and the clubs, you’ll discover the cultural side of Skiathos.
Bourtzi, a Venetian fortress in Skiathos town, is a must-visit. Other historical sites are the house of Alexandros Papadiamantis, the renowned Greek author, the medieval castle, as well as the monasteries of Evangelistria and Kounoupitsa.
If you want to know more about Skiathos, go here.
Why? It’s a short-haul package holiday favourite for summer.
Forever associated with Gerald Durrell - a British naturalist, and with his book, "My Family and Other Animals", Corfu is one of the most beautiful and romantic islands of the Ionian island group.
From lush green hills to noble mansions, idyllic Corfu beaches, and fascinating museums, this island has long been a favourite with British holidaymakers.
The island has been strongly influenced by the Venetians, the French and the English, throughout its history. Corfu Town is an ideal base for exploration. You can lose yourself in the narrow cobblestone alleys, of the “kandounia”, or visit museums, take a walk down the famous Liston promenade, or stroll around the huge Spianada square.
You’ll see the glorious past of Corfu on imposing palaces, noble mansions, beautiful museums, and charming squares. Away from Corfu Town, you’ll chance upon picturesque seaside villages, tiny lush islets, and luxurious and wild natural landscapes.
The top places to visit in Corfu are Achillion Palace, the former retreat of princess Sissi of Austria, and of course, Mon Repos Palace, where the late Prince Phillip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II was born.
If you want to know more, go here.
Why? For model good looks and romantic appeal.
There's nothing quite like the vertiginous views, that Santorini offers, with its tumbling white villages and bubble-domed churches high above the deep-blue Aegean Sea. Santorini is the most popular Greek destination and a worldwide famous island!
And once you set your foot on the island, you feel like you're entering a different world. A world where all the shades of red create unreal sunsets.
The 'caldera' offers the most dramatic sea views you’ve ever seen and enormous cliffs are dotted with dreamy Cycladic whitewashed houses! Nothing will prepare you for the beauty you’ll face here. It is a unique Greek island.
The island boasts a unique landscape: the famous caldera, amazing red and black volcanic beaches, and, of course, the volcano’s crater in Nea Kameni, all remind you of the origins of the island.
What's more, the accommodation is unforgettable too. With Infinity pools, luxury whitewashed villas, and 5 stars service promise to make your stay unforgettable.
If you want to learn more about Santorini, just go here.
Why? For chic parties and summer hedonism.
With its concentration of sand, sea and sun; a gold-pink light that makes everyone more beautiful and an irresistible laid-back vibe, this tiny speck in the Cyclades has been the island for A-listers to let their hair down on ever since Jackie Onassis and Brigitte Bardot holidayed here.
However, it's probably best known for its beautiful traditional windmills in front of 'Little Venice', where you can also enjoy the magical sunset and capture the colourful light washing up the island’s main town (Chora).
Located in the centre of the Cyclades island group, Mykonos is one of the most famous Greek islands for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and vivid nightlife, widely known as the “Ibiza of Greece”.
With luxurious hotels it is a top Greek destination, where all the fun happens! You can dance the day away at epic beach parties and swim at exotic beaches. And with emerald, azure or deep blue waters, pebbly or sandy, the island has beaches for every taste. To name a few, Super Paradise, Paradise, Platis Gialos and Lia are some of the best beaches. The best part? You can enjoy lots of water sports activities, such as kitesurfing.
And when the sun goes down, join the nightlife scene of the island and party all night long at the legendary clubs!
Want to know more about Mykonos, just click here.
Why? For white sandy beaches.
Kefalonia is home to the famous Myrtos Beach and has to be one of the best Greek islands to visit. Whitewashed villages are paired with stunning beaches home to loggerhead turtles, lapped by the gin-clear Aegean sea. Ideally located in the heart of the Ionian sea, the island has inspired many with its beauty.
It was the location of the famous film, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” and wherever you look, you’ll see nature at its best! It is not only the largest Ionian island, but also one of the most beautiful!
It boasts a breathtaking landscape, exotic beaches, picturesque fishing villages and magical underground caves.
Famous the world over for its scenic beaches (such as Myrtos, Antisamos, Lourdas, Skala), its dramatic landscapes and delicious food, the island attracts thousands of visitors.
Indigo bays, enchanting villages (Fiscardo, Argostoli, Sami, Assos), white dazzling sand, exciting activities, mysterious caves, and lively atmosphere create an exotic holiday paradise.
If you want to to know more as to what Kefalonia offers, just click here.
With so many beautiful islands to visit, this sadly, is just a snap shot of what awaits you.
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