The Gorgeous Greek Islands

Evening sky over Mykonos

Europe has a famous paradise known as the Greek islands!  Greece inherited the lion’s part of  the islands that are located in the Mediterranean Sea.  The Greek islands are in fact a huge puzzle with 1200 and 6000 islands depending on various criteria.  Each has its own atmosphere and unique charm.  Which island is the most interesting and unique?  That is tough question!!  Let’s have a look…

Crete is nestled midway between the two continents of Europe and Africa.  It is the largest Greek island, an emblematic representative and a sample of the country’s culture, landscape, gastronomy and hospitality.  An impressive mix of hectic waters, gorgeous beaches as Frangokastelo or like the unique pink sand Elafonissi, Venetian style towns like Rethymnon and Chania, reminiscences of magnificent civilizations as the palace of Knossos and extravagant mountain views. Don’t forget to take a ride to some of the wineries spread all over or visit the home of Zorba the Greek.  There is nothing more appealing than enjoying the sunset on the seafront, while indulging in Cretan cuisine dish and a glass of fine Cretan wine.

Among the most beloved vacation destinations in Greece are the Cyclades Islands, an archipelago of 24 islands in the Aegean Sea.  Its two most famous islands are Santorini and Mykonos. The dramatic blue and white architecture, folk music, traditional villages connected by singular Byzantine footpaths, scenic landscape with pristine beaches and surrounded by an emerald sea contribute to the magic of this area. Mykonos is popular because of its amazing beaches and vibrant nightlife.  The island of Milos is known for its rocky coastline and wild picturesque beaches.  The island of Delos has an astounding collection mosaics and monuments and is also a world heritage site of UNESCO.  Kea is a magnet for those that enjoy bird-watching and exploring the largest oak forest.  Santorini  is preferred by honeymooners in search of romance and luxury.  And don’t forget about the food, a real delight: pitarakia cheese pies in Milos, capers and fava in Santorini, and kopanisti cheese in Mykonos, taste the wine – an absolute must in Santorini.

Sprinkled over the Saronic Gulf, near the region of Athens, a series of islands very popular among Europeans and local visitors.  They are Aegina, Hydra, Poros, Spetses and Agistri.  Visitors will experience a splendid nature, traditional local architecture, historical treasures and glamorous atmosphere. Aegina is the host of the temple of Athena Aphaia, a spectacular Doric temple and a Byzantine village now in ruins.  The small island of Agistri has ancient scenic villages and inviting turquoise waters.  Poros is called paradise by the sailing fans and also hides some ancient ruins – the Temple of Poseidon.  Hydra has a historical harbor, with plenty of stylish boutiques, well preserved ancient stone dwellings and flavored tavernas.   Spetses a pine scented Eden, dotted with myriad of aqua creeks and a nautical history.

Luxuriant and ever green, the Ionian Islands bear the mark of their turbulent history, resulting a unique cultural heritage, architecture and gastronomy. The Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO monument site, is the perfect symbol of the historical influences, with its Italian style buildings alleys, varnish palaces and imposing squares arranged around churches. Also, pay a visit to Achilleion, the summer palace of Empress Sissy and Kaiser Wilhelm of Austria.  The masterpiece of mother nature around here is indubitable Kefalonia with its impressive Mount Aenos National Park  where you will find waterfalls and gigantic caves. In terms of seclusion and sumptuous beaches Shipwreck Beach of Zakynthos is the place to visit and is accessible via boat.  Plus do not forget these beautiful beaches:  Porto Katsiki in Lefkada or Myrtos in Kefalonia.

The Sporades Islands are  an archipelago of 24 islands, but with only 5 inhabited: Skiathos, Alonissos, Skopelos and Skyros. The main attraction of the Sporades are the gold sand fine beaches, but supplementary offers are present too like sea kayak, sailing boat, mountain bike, wind surfing, hiking trails or scuba diving. Skiathos means particularly nightlife and beaches, like the splendid Ambelakia and also impressive trekking routs thorough the Koukounariés forest, around Lake Strofilia or Kanapitsa Peninsula. Skopelos, is a natural green paradise, covered with oak forests, traditional villages and monasteries and together with Alonissos are hosting a National Marine Park, great place for spotting endangered Mediterranean species like the monk seal, fishing or birds watching.

The Northeast Aegean Islands, are a set of 13 islands and located near Asia Minor.  The most notable are Chios, Limnos, Samos and Lesvos.  Again, it is a region that is known for exquisite beaches and natural treasures. In Lesvos you will find a petrified forest Ikaria has warm thermal springs.  Limnos landscape is dotted with sand dunes and volcanic rocks.   Archaeological tours of the Temple of Hera are popular in Samos.  The ancient city of Ifestia can be found in Limnos.   The medieval fortress  found in the village of Mesta on the island of Chios.   There is an ancient acropolis in Kastro, Thasos.   If you like to indulge in sport activities:  wind surfing on Keros Beach, Limnos (the best location in Europe), swimming at sparkling Seitani coves in Samos, or relaxation in thermal springs of Ikaria and Lesvos.

Plan your Greece Vacation now! View our vacation rentals and boutique hotels in Greece. 

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