by Greek Houses Online

1. Santorini

Thira Town Island of Santorini

Thira, Santorini

Possibly the most photographed Greek island, Santorini is a glorious mix of stunning steep cliffs rising out of a sparkling deep blue Cyclades sea and whitewashed houses, black sand beaches and bijou designer hotels featuring luxury rooms and plunge pools.  The views over the caldera and sunsets from the west coast are magnificent.

You can travel by boat from Santorini to Crete and Rhodes.

Top tip: go out of season when prices are not so hiked.

2. Crete

Elounda_Causeway

Elounda, Crete

The largest and most southerly of all the Greek Islands, Crete has everything the visitor could possibly want. The majestic white mountains are snow-covered even in the height of summer and the north eastern coast of Crete is a paradise for tourists looking for stunning beaches and excellent snorkelling. The Cretan people are even more hospitable than anywhere else in Greece and their cuisine is said to be the healthiest in the world as Crete produces mega amounts of olive oil, some of which is exported to Italy.

Top tip: Crete is lovely in October and the sea is still beautifully warm.

3. Mykonos

Mykonos is a popular island, particularly with young people as it is packed with bars and nightclubs and has become quite expensive in recent years. Nevertheless it is worth a visit even if only to sit and watch its vibrant nightlife at one of the cafes or bars situated in one of the cobbled streets in the town centre.

Top tip: take a boat out to Santorini

4. Hydra

The quiet island with no cars or motorbikes!  Hydra is a paradise for those wanting to really get away from it all and yet still be close to Athens which is one and a half hours away by ferry. Mules board the boats at the harbour as they arrive to carry supplies up through Hydra’s tiny streets to the shops, restaurants and tavernas.  Hydra has a couple of lovely beaches and the most stunning architecture.  Hydra is the former home of Leonard Cohen and one of the old stomping grounds for Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Pink Floyd.

5. Kefalonia

Host to the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Myrtos is the most famous of its beaches.

Argostoli and Lixouri are the two (rival) main towns, while Fiscardo and Sami (the village where the film was set) are well worth visiting if only to watch the arrival of the many charter yachts which come in to spend the night and whose crews eat at some of the marvellous tavernas.

Top tip: Head to Ithaka, the home of Odysseus, less than an hour from Kefalonia by boat.

6. Paros

Paros features amazing sugar-cube style Greek houses and is a great jumping off ground for the rest of the Cyclades islands due to its proximity.   The  lovely old town of Parikia is the is the capital and is also home to the port of Paros.  Most nightlife is to be found in Naousa. International windsurfing competitions are held at Chrysi Akti beach which can get crowded and noisy, but if you are looking for a quiet holiday,  Antiparos is the island for you and is just minutes away by boat.

7. Corfu

Corfu in the northern Ionian has probably been the most attractive island for the British to visit. Its centre is attractive with Venetian and French influences and  has to be the only place in Greece where the locals play cricket !  In the north of the island is Paleokastritsa, which, with its lovely green pine-scented hills seems a world away from the noisy resorts of Benitses and others further south.

8. Skiathos

Skiathos features pine trees which reach the sea and surround its lovely sandy beaches. Koukounaries is one of the prettiest and from here you can travel to the rest of the Sporades, Skopelos, Skyros and Alonissos,

Rhodes town

Castle Rhodes Town

9. Rhodes has a  wonderful harbour the entrance of which was straddled by the Colossus of Rhodes.  The Medieval old town, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is a mix of interesting shops, tavernas and bars.  Although second in size to Crete, Rhodes has some popular villages located close to its airport and of course Lindos is well known as a summer tourist resort.

10. Ios

With its whitewashed houses and frenetic nightlife Hora Ios’s main village is still attractive to young people who want to do little else than party.  Its beaches are amongst the best in Cyclades.  The isolated beach of Manganari is where you should head if you tire of the nightlife on Ios!

Top tip: Ios is only a short ferry crossing to Santorini

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