Island hopping in Greece
From the turquoise tides to the cavernous cliffs, The Greek Islands are the ideal Mediterranean getaway. Whether it’s clubbing in Crete, exploring ancient artefacts in Paros, or gazing at the sunsets in Santorini, each island has an individual twist, so hop around.
Renowned for the breath-taking sunsets and quiet atmosphere, Santorini is the ultimate romantic retreat. Although it appears to be remote, it’s easily accessible with direct flights regularly leaving Heathrow. Feast your eyes on the panoramic views from the authentic Greece hotels overlooking the steep coastal cliffs.
If you’re looking for a similar setting with a little more going on, Los is the ideal escape. Just a short ferry ride from Santorini, this island paradise balances a bustling bar scene with hilltop views looking onto the Mediterranean. Inquisitive visitors can also hire a moped and explore the white-sand beaches throughout this small island.
For those craving the clubs, Crete is perfect for partygoers. Being the largest island, there are plenty of places to let loose with the liveliest hubs including Malia and Hersonisos. Those seeking a more serene setting might want to try the quieter Plakias instead.
Paros is filled with early Cycladic culture. The island is home to historic landmarks including the Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (built from the local marble), and the Archaeological Museum of Parikia featuring artefacts dating back to 3200 B.C.
For a variety of aquatic activities from wind surfing and water skiing to scuba diving and sailing, stop by Rhodes. In the evening, sample the local wine, home grown in the island’s vineyards since the 7th century. With one of the lushest landscapes in Greece, Rhodes is also known for its vast olive production and offers regular jeep tours. Visit the island’s Medieval City in Dodekanesos to explore sights like the Palace of the Grand Masters. With lots of Rhodes hotels surrounding the Old Town, you can stay nearby this impressive 14th-century castle.
Keep in mind the best beach weather is between May and mid-September with June and July being the hottest months.
With hundreds of islands to choose from, the restless needn’t worry, and wherever you find yourself, each part has its own recipe for a retreat to remember.
Skiathos is the largest island in the Sporades chain. It has some of the best sandy beaches found in Greece. When tourism developed in Greece during the 1960s, Skiathos has been a well-liked vacation center. The first visitors were the rich and famous who were drawn to the beaches and the charming town. While Skiathos is a destination because of the beaches and party atmosphere, it also an idyllic location for a family vacation.
Skiathos is small and it is easy to travel on the island by either car or public transportation. Boats can transport visitors from the harbour to the many beaches.
While on Skiathos, there are many attractions for the family.
Hire a boat in the harbour to take a boat trip around the island. Most of the boats offer similar tours stopping at the identical spots such as Kastro, Lalaria Beach and the Blue Caves. View all the beaches on the island including the ones that visitors can only touch down at by walking or by boat. Also, stop at the tiny and stunning island with isolated beaches. Lalria is a scenic beach with white pebbles and turquoise-colored water. At one time Kastro was the largest town, but only a monastery and ruins remain.
Visit a dog shelter located on the top of a hill in Skiathos. There are boxes for donations in the town. The path proceeding up the hill has a view over the coast. People can volunteer by walking or petting the dogs or petting them. In addition, the children can learn to participate in volunteering.
The beach at Koukonaries is reliable for children as the beach is sandy and the water is clear. The beach has provisions for water sports.
For those who like sports, the island has a riding school located in Koukanouries. The school provides on hours trips that go through the Mandraki Woods and along the coast and a longer outing has scenic views over Koukounaries, Trolous, and Assenlinos by traveling along the high mountain roads. The horses are raised there and are tame. The school is suited to handle all level of horseback riding skill. Children can participate in all rides based on their level of riding experience. Young children can ride ponies and donkeys.
For a little bit of history, visit Kastro while on the boat tour. Kastro, built as a fort on in the 14th century when pirates were invading Skiathos, is now a deserted city on the cliffs on the northern tip of the island. The only way to reach the fort is to climb a path up the hill, though it is best to be in fit shape to make the climb. The path has no guardrails and the sun can be unbearable. Part of the town has been restored.