Which Greek isle is for you? The blinding white vistas with cobalt blue roofs of Santorini, the secluded beach of viral fame in Zakythnos or the raging nightlife of Mykonos? But those locations although sublime are only just a scratch upon the surface. With 6,000 islands on offer, you could spend a lifetime hopping from shore to shore. And oh what a sun drenched, cocktail laden life it would be. Alas, if you haven’t got the time nor cash to pursue such a lifestyle, here’s the islands that demand your attention.
A transport hub, this island in the Aegean sea is a mixture of all things you hope to see in a Greek isles adventure. There’s Byzantine cobbled walkways, a church from ancient times, and hiking trails to explore every corner of the little paradise. Stark white cubic houses dust the coast and glassy clear blue seas surround, it’s a local’s haunt.
Named as TripAdvisor’s destinations not to miss for 2017, this vibrant hued landscape is sure to be a hit come European summer. A mythological wonder, you can visit the temple of Apollo before taking a dip in the turquoise abyss. There’s even a waterfall tucked behind the olive trees for you to discover.
Dream like scenes are the norm in Halkidiki, with untouched beaches hidden along the coastline. An undiscovered gem in the sea near Thessaloniki. Skim the rocks, roam the hillside or sit beachside in absolute silence, no matter your vacation style you’ll be settled here in no time. It’s a little hard to get to, but that’s why it’s a locals only stop.
The largest island in Greece does not disappoint. From mythical tales, where you can take a journey back years to the birthplace of Zeus, or back piece by piece at the archaeological museum. You’ll find yourself seaside in the morning and mountain high by lunch, to say it’s diverse is an understatement.
If it’s summer sun you seek Rhodes is the place for you, with 300 days of summer weather a year. What bliss right?! Wander the Old Town for your taste of history and quality local fare. Our pick of the beaches on offer, Traganou, to escape at least some of the tourists. It’s also home to stellar nightlife with a bunch of bars filling the streets with revellers in the summer months, well all year round really.
It’s where Europeans travel to escape their native country, so it’s certified idyllic. Where the locals go, we shall follow and Skiathos is a true Aegean wonder. Have dinner nestled by an olive grove or peering over the yachting hub, just know it will be delicious either way. No sign of EasyJet or RyanAir as yet, so expect only the well travelled set making the journey. Not one for those in search of backpacker companionship.
For the party animals and sun bakers, Corfu offers wondrous beauty and beaming nightlife. Head to the cascade of parties in Kavos come sunset for a night to remember. Or more likely one to totally forget. Then cure that pounding head by walking the lush green pathways to a more private swim spot. Nothing here is hidden, but you can share in the spectacle with new found friends as you explore.
Known for it’s hill top church which featured in the film Mamma Mia, Skopelos is even better off screen. Thriving village lifestyle, endless spots to wander and a rocky coastline that begs to be your launchpad into the deep blue yonder. Warning, the hike to the church for a photo op is steep but worth it. A charming alternative to the tourist bustle of other islands.
Debunking the mantra it’s not about the destination but the journey, any adventure to Zakythnos is all about the end game. Familiar thanks to a vitriol of drone shots capturing the shipwreck and sandy enclave from above, it’s worth the trek out to see for yourself. Make sure to catch the early boat and be one of the first to set foot on the island.
Quieter than it’s neighbour Mykonos, Delos is all old world charm and theatrical beauty. The ancient theatre pictured above is a world heritage wonder, deserving at least a passing marvel. A day trip worth making, go on and enjoy some culture in between beverages.
A place where holidaying is taken to new heights, Mykonos is a real charmer. It’s packed with tourists and local Greeks wouldn’t dare visit come Summer, but if it’s the party you seek there’s beach clubs a plenty. Due to it’s popularity with foreigners it’s incredibly well serviced and the luxury options for a cheeky one night splurge – expansive.
A postcard picture come to life, Santorini is an island carved from the earth with incredible beauty. The houses seem to blend into the island making you feel even closer to the ocean. Head to Oia for a taste of something a little less commercialised. Santorini although packed in summer months is still worth a visit, perhaps just for the photo as you weave the village streets.
Swap your Ios holiday for a more authentic visit to Amorgos, it’s one of the last unspoilt spots across the isles. It’s steep scape makes for a hikers paradise, you can roam in the morning and cool off as the sun reaches it’s peak. Who knew there was a lush wilderness just around the corner from Ios? Perhaps we should’ve kept this one to ourselves.
An island so large you’ll feel like a solo traveller, Kefalonia is a scene whisked by a painter’s brush. Rocky waterways, fragrant fuchsia flowers and a light layer of leafy green for shade. Dive into caves, peruse the quaint villages and eat like a mythical king on fresh seafood. Kefalonia is a magic escape from the well worn tourist path.
Image source: The Telegraph, Hotel Lavra, Leto Halkidiki, Our World Travel Selfies, Savvaidis, My Skiathos Villas, Corfu Holiday Palace, Greek Boston, Voyage Virtuel, Greece Turkey Tours, Lonely Planet, Moco Choco, Greek Travel Pages, Argo Travel, Discover Greece,