It’s easy to be tempted by a holiday in the Greek islands, but deciding where to go is tricky when there are hundreds of them! The best idea is to pick one place, then hop over to the neighbouring islands which are most accessible. With such a great variety of islands, each will offer something different to the holiday visitor. To get you started here’s a break-down of the best islands to plan around, depending on what you want from your holiday in Greece.
Best for romance: Santorini
The volcanic moon-shaped island of Santorini is perfectly designed for romance; one side is lined with beaches, the other features magnificent cliffs overlooking the caldera. Sipping cocktails whilst relaxing on a double lounger with your beloved is a great way to spend the day whilst enjoying the black sands of Perissa beach. Evenings can be spent strolling through Oia’s white cobbled streets, and taking in those famous views of the blue-domed churches perched on the cliff side. Don’t miss the chance to watch the island’s renowned sunsets with a plate of meze and bottle of wine – there’s a reason so many people pop the question in romantic Santorini!
Best for nightlife: Mykonos
The style and glamour of Mykonos makes it the best place for a night out. The Little Venice area is a hit with visitors looking to relax with a cocktail among the designer boutiques and luxurious Greece hotels. It’s also home to some of the most stylish bars and restaurants, including Nobu’s new venture, Matsuhisa Mykonos. For late night revellers there are plenty of discos and clubs across the island opening their doors to party people – a favourite is the cliff-top nightclub Cava Paradiso, welcoming visitors to let their hair down on the dance floor until the wee hours.
Best for adventure: Crete
The largest of the Greek islands and one of the most mountainous, Crete has plenty of space for hiking. There are many paths one can walk across the island, as well as hundreds of natural caves to be explored. Of course, the Samaria Gorge is the island’s most desirable natural feature, providing a breath-taking setting for a full day’s walking. Most people set out early to start the 16km hike along this passageway through the White Mountains, of which its narrowest point (known as The Iron Gates) is only 4 metres wide. Once at the end, walkers can take a boat back round to Hora Sfakion.
Best for beaches: Corfu
When most people think of Greek beach holidays, they think Corfu. The island covers 237 square miles so there’s a lot of quality coastline to go around. From the golden sands and lush surrounds of Paleokastritsa to the naturist’s beach of Myrtiotissa, every kind of visitor can find their ideal place to swim and sunbathe. There are great sandy stretches near Glyfada and Agios Georgios North; and Nissaki and Kaminaki are perfect if you’re after some seaside charm. You won’t have to go far to find a good beach; in fact, many Corfu hotels have their own private beaches, so you won’t be jostling with everyone else on the island for a sun lounger.