Holidays to the Greek Islands
The all-round appeal of a holiday to Greece is difficult to beat with something for everyone from the drowsy warmth of a tiny, off-the-beaten-track island to international dining and sailing around the islands.
Strewn across the Aegean like glittering jewels, each island exudes its own unique character and charm from the dark volcanic mystery of Santorini to the luscious olive groves and thyme-scented trails of Corfu.
There’s a corner of Crete to suit everyone’s taste; from sleepy harbour front villages to bustling cosmopolitan resorts and stylish nightlife to traditional fish tavernas. Rich in history and beautiful beaches, Crete’s dramatic mountains and gorges shelter pretty harbours, golden sandy beaches and almost hidden villages. The birthplace of Zeus and the Minoan empire, holiday makers to the island should not miss Knossos, the largest and most impressive of the Minoan palaces.
Holidays on the Greek Island of Corfu are always popular with British holiday makers where golden sandy beaches awash with watersports sit alongside secret, secluded coves, just big enough for tiny boats. Amidst the sun drenched tranquillity of stately cypresses and citrus groves, new bars, restaurants and clubs continue to appear to keep holidaymakers entertained plus there’s an 18-hole golf course and Aqualand waterpark just outside Corfu Town.
Holidays to Greece include Rhodes amongst the most popular of island destinations. Rhodes is one of the southernmost Greek islands and an entrancing mix of medieval antiquities and lively, sophisticated resorts. There’s really something for everyone here from the familiar vision of Lindos, crowned by the ancient Acropolis to stunning sunsets, superb traditional Greek restaurants all over the islands and many tiny villages off the beaten track to relax and explore
Holidays in Greece’s famous upmarket island of Santorini are renowned; the blue domes, cool white churches and cloudless skies the images that most aptly depict the drama of the sun-drenched Greek Islands. Vast swathes of coarse black or red sands shelve quickly into deep blue seas and romantic hideaway retreats cling to the sheer cliffs of the impressive volcanic caldera from where there are truly magnificent sunsets. Santorini is easily accessible via a full day cruise from Crete.
Holidays to Greece’s lesser known and traditional Ionian island of Lefkada start from the mainland, access to the island gained by way of a narrow causeway. Lefkada has retained much traditional Greek character with picturesque villages, a verdant green interior and takes its name from the creamy white chalk cliffs towering over clear turquoise waters. Long beaches of golden sands are cooled by fresh summer breezes – perfect conditions for windsurfing and sailing holidays, especially popular in the main resorts of Vassiliki and Nidri.
Take a holiday to Greece’s unspoilt Ionian island paradise of Paxos – a dreamily quaint island that time appears to have passed by. Left to bask as a truly unspoilt paradise of dense olive groves, clear water bays and just 3 picturesque fishing villages, the pace of life is distinctly unhurried. Friendly waterfront tavernas offer authentic Greek cuisine and boats bob gently in the water although in July and August the island becomes a magnet for the exclusive yacht and boat crowd.
Try a holiday in Greece’s lovely port town of Parga, one of the Greek mainland’s most picturesque resorts, ranged around a beautiful bay against a backdrop of wooded mountains and flanked by small coves, tiny inlets and fantastic swathes of sandy beach such as those at Valtos and Lichnos. Parga is brimming with whitewashed houses, narrow streets, souvenir shops, bars, traditional kafeneions and waterfront tavernas and from the Turkish Venetian castle on top of the hill there are amazing views over the Ionian Sea and the mosaic rooftops below.
For a beach lovers’ holiday to Greece, Skiathos is the place to go. Lying just off the eastern coast of Greece, the most cosmopolitan of the Sporadic Islands is the perfect choice for sun worshippers boasting over 60 beaches along its golden shores. Contrasting coastlines are a mix of Byzantine monasteries and secluded craggy bays in the north whilst along the more accessible southern shoreline, pine-clad slopes overlook the superb crescent beach of Koukounaries, one of Greece’s most famous stretches of sands.