Cheers for the post Giorgio…
It’s generally accepted that people will arrive for their holidays on paradisaical islands by plane these days. The concept of arriving from the sea itself seems quaint and out of the ordinary – and therein lays its charm.
The Greek Islands are many and varied, and some even remain uninhabited. They are often grouped into clusters, including the Saronics, the Cyclades, the North Aegean, the Dodecanese and the Sporades, among others. What they all have in common are gorgeous beaches lapped at by azure waters, lush foliage and fresh seafood. Your best bet it to fly to a chosen destination, such as Crete, and take a hydrofoil or ferry from there to your chosen island and beyond. To get the ball rolling, check out Cheap holidays to Crete, before reading on for a few suggestions as to which islands are really worth your leisure time.
This Saronic island is quaint without being twee and is generally very popular with moneyed mainlanders. You can see why: the place is so non-commercial and relaxed, that it only has one main town – the port of Hydra. This place has winding, cobbled streets, museums, galleries and restaurants serving fresh, locally-caught seafood delights. Uniquely, there are no cars or motorcycles allowed on the island and where you cannot walk, you can take a donkey ride or a catamaran along the coast to one of the little villages or swimming spots and coves.
This Cyclonic Island is famous for its terrain. Made up of various coloured rock formations, you could be on another planet; even the beaches come in shades of platinum, rose-red and silvery grey.
You must visit Tripiti while here – it’s a fascinating place, with an amphitheatre and catacombs. It is also the place where the Venus de Milo was discovered.
This minuscule island is a haven of great natural beauty and also features an array of charming, candy-coloured traditional Greek houses (though it is closer to Turkey than Athens). It’s rightly famed for its underwater grotto, which is a thing of wonder to behold when the sunlight rests upon it. You can visit it by boat. As to other aquatic adventures, there’s even a bay restaurant which offers diners a ladder down into the crystal clear waters for a swim– certainly one way to work off your dinner.
Set in the Docdecanese cluster, this unique place is a haven for the more environmental-minded island-hopper, with valleys chock-full of flowering almond trees and fascinating historical curios, such as castles dating back to the Crusades, as well as monasteries and a ghost village. There are also many, many beaches here.
The Greek Islands, like the Greek mainland, have a history that’s second to none. By hopping from one to another, you can explore that rich past while also taking time out to relax on the beauteous beaches and dine on the freshest and most delicious food, while basking in the eternal sunshine.