Despite opinions on the number of inhabited Greek Islands varying significantly between 166 and 227, depending on who you are talking to, the one thing everyone agrees on is that it simply is not possible to experience the many wonders of this scintillating region in one trip. (Unless of course you take a year’s career break to do so – and even then you will still struggle).
If you are thinking of visiting the area and would like some advice on where to go this selection of 5 Greek Island Getaways You Simply Gotta Do is something you should definitely consider. Listed in no particular order, you probably still won’t be able to go to them all on one holiday but they should at least be able to give you a good shortlist to work with.
The one Greek island everyone should visit in their lifetime Santorini is championed for its exceptional views of the surrounding caldera as well as the gorgeous sunsets you can see in Oia. Rightly and consistently topping most lists of the best Greek islands to visit, the island features those iconic whitewashed houses with deep blue domed roofs, red hot beaches made of black and red volcanic sand and a lively dining and nightlife scene in its capital of Fira. The kind of place where a week could easily fly past, Santorini has a certain magic which no other island can replicate.
The most sizeable of all the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is located on Greece’s western coast. Located between Lefkada and Zakynthos it enjoys pleasant temperatures for most of the year. Made famous by the Nicholas Cage movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin the island is renowned for its many fabulous beaches which feature fine powder like sand and turquoise waters, scenic hamlets and it stunning National Park.
Featured in the Luc Besson’s film ‘The Big Blue’ Amorgos lies on the easternmost edge of the Cyclades group of islands. The closest inhabited island to the neighbouring Dodecanese chain Amorgos is for most of the year a sleepy island which makes a perfect romantic getaway or tranquil escape. Best known for its spectacular monastery, the Panagia Hozoviotissa, which is the side of a cliff the island offers great food and spectacular panoramic views which can be best seen by hiring a scooter and riding round it.
The second biggest island in the Cyclades, Paros is well regarded for its excellent beaches, great nightlife and overall high standard of accommodation. Possessing a charming first century cathedral (Panayia Ekatondapiliani)as well as the lovely village of Lefkes, Paros is perhaps best known for its fine white marble which comes from the local Marathi Marble Quarries. Beautiful in places with unique rock formations and colorful water the island also features the wonderful getaway of Antiparos. A small and tranquil get-away-from-it-all retreat just minutes away on a local boat.
Possessing one of the most picturesque harbours in the world Symi is part of the Dodecanese island chain. Situated some 41km from Rhodes it actually lies within the geographical embrace of Turkey, which lends it a different feel to other Greek Islands. Possessing numerous small bays with secluded beaches and a picturesque bosky interior , its port town, Gialos also contains a fascinating labyrinthine of narrow streets and dilapidate archways which makes it one of the more absorbing Greek Islands to explore.