Although summer has come long ago together with the usual thoughts and plans about travel and vacation, there may be still someone who has no idea where to go after a month or two…
Here is our selection of top 5 islands in Greece with their authentic atmosphere for beach, sun and swim during the day and for having a glass of Ouzo with a fresh Greek salad amidst the smell of grilled seafood in the warm evenings 🙂 And here they come:
Crete is the southernmost of all Greek islands and perhaps endowed with the most significant historical heritage, that of the Minoan civilization, often referred to as the first European civilization. The palace of King Minos and everything related to the ancient Greek legends of the Minotaur’s labyrinth is located on Crete island – in Knossos, close to Heraklion, the main town of the island.
The island is the largest of all islands in Greece, so the coastline is vast and thus the choice of beach resorts and villages for spending the summer vacation is extremely large. Heraklion, Chania, Rethymno, Agia Nikolaos, Hersonissos – all on the northern coast, are among the largest settlements and resort areas. If you choose to travel by ferry, these are also the main ports, and most flights land at Heraklion. International flights also land in Chania and Sitia airoirts.
The most popular among the Cyclades Islands and the most visited by the cruise ships because of the depth of coastal waters, Santorini is extremely picturesque, sunny and romantic. The volcanic origin of the island “stained” the sand on Santorini beaches in dark, almost black color. The steep cliffs with white houses, blue-domed churches and charming windmills are the typical landscape of this Aegean land.
The main city (seaport and airport) is Fira town, while in Oia town on the island’s north crowds of people gather every day to watch the most beautiful sunset across all Cyclades. Many couples from all over the world choose that scenery for their wedding and it is really an amazing idea! What to see and what to do in Santorini, as well as where the best beaches and places are, you can read in more details in our travel article for Santorini here.
Kos belongs to the group of 12 islands, the Dodecanese, also called Southern Sporades and is quite close to the coast of the Turkish resort of Bodrum. If you do not arrive by plane, perhaps the ferry line Bodrum – Kos is the most comfortable way for reaching the island, as the boats overcome distance of not more than 20 km in between. Larger settlements and resort areas on the island except Kos town are Kardamena, Kefalos, Tigaki, Mastichari, etc.
Kos boasts a marina, opened in 2001 near the old harbor, which is considered the center of the yacht cruise tourism in the Aegean Sea. The history of the island is linked to the father of medicine, Hippocrates, who lived there in the fifth century BC. Same as in many places throughout Greece, Kos is also full of archaeological sites and monuments.
Rhodes is another island of the Dodecanese group, actually the largest of them and is also easily accessible from the Turkish coast, that from Marmaris and Ichmeler. Home of the already ruined Colossus of Rhodes, one of the 7 world wonders in the past, Rhodes offers many opportunities for those who seek to combine a beach holiday with cultural tourism, especially for lovers of the ancient Greek civilization.
Rhodes town medieval city is listed by UNESCO as a World heritage site, as well as Lindos and Ialyssos possess some of the most precious archaeological heritage of Rhodes such as the Acropolis of Lindos, the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and the Byzantine fortress in Ialyssos and many others. There are plenty of beaches and resort villages in Rhodes. The most developped beach holiday areas are located on the northeast, such as Faliraki, Kalifeya, Afandou, Kolimbia, Lindos and many other villages. The west soast is very windy and is a preferred destination by the windsurfing lovers.
We came back again to the Cycladic islands, but they are really so irresistibly charming! Mykonos is commonly known as relatively expensive and luxurious destination with exciting nightlife. The views of the port in Mykonos town (Chora) and of the seafront with fishing houses, called Little Venice, are widely popular and captured by millions photographies in diverse light options – in the evening, in the morning, in a bright daylight, etc.
Mykonos is also a frequent stop for the cruise ships, whose curious passengers crowd the narrow streets of Chora for several hours and during these times it is better to be at the beach and leave the walk along the stone streets for later in the evening. The most famous beaches and resort areas across the island are Megali Amos – near Mykonos town, Elia, Platis Yialos, Kalo Livadi, Agios Ioannis, etc. The landscape of Mykonos is quite similar to that of Santorini island – windmills, blue-domed churches, white houses and the same amazing blooming bougainvillea, and as a difference from Santorini, the cliffs are not so steep and high 🙂