It's All Greek To Us
Exploring the beauty and history of the Greek Islands
Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Among the famous five isles - Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes and Corfu - there are over 200 inhabited islands to explore and thousands more untouched sites scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas.
The small distances between ports and coasts, and the sunny climate (21˚c + from May!) has made the Greek islands extremely popular to hop from A to B. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine, century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality.
Over the centuries, the islands have been the stepping stones between North Africa, Asia and Europe where warriors, tradesmen, conquerors and civilizations have travelled. Fifty centuries of history have eft their mark on the country’s picture- perfect landscape which is now home to impressive historical monuments and elegant architecture connecting modern life with the ancient past – a simple reminder that Greece has so much more to offer than its coastline of idyllic beaches, bays and coves.
Fifty centuries of history have left their mark on the country’s picture-perfect landscape which is now home to impressive historical monuments and elegant architecture connecting modern life with the ancient past – a simple reminder that Greece has so much more to offer than its coastline of idyllic beaches, bays and coves.
Adventure awaits at the heart of the Cyclades region with the most charming, cobbled streets to admire in Mykonos and Santorini and the traditional villages of Paros. Spend the day exploring these whitewashed paradises with beautiful blue skylines and buildings framed by splashes of vibrant, summer flowers. Each path leads to one of the island’s historic monuments, spectacular mountaintop views or the crystal-clear seafront – so whichever way you turn, there’s no doubt you’ll be truly spoilt.
Enter through the ‘Portara’ the striking marble gate of the temple of Apollo, to immerse in the art and rich history of Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades. Here locals’ parade in traditional dress and live off the fruits grown around them. Colourful villages are tiered on mountain tops where cube shaped houses and narrow stone paved alleys surround museums, churches and squares. Come evening, watch the sunset with a glass of Naxian wine in hand.
As for Milos, with its turquoise waters and rocky hills, the volcanic island has been a popular destination with locals for years. Home to the biggest natural harbour in Greece, Adámas, and over 80 beaches, the island is one of only two you will find small colourful houses lined up by the sea known as ‘sýrmata’. Renowned for its archaeology, you can discover Milos’ 11,000-year mining history at the Archaeology Museum and walk some of the islands ancient-old dirt paths.
The island of Syros is one of the most architecturally fascinating ports in the Mediterranean. Referred to as the ‘real Greece’, it’s home to a collection of beautiful old buildings which can be admired from the comfort of a café, ouzerie or restaurant.
Escape the crowds and venture to the southern edge of the Cyclades to Folegandros. This undiscovered island is home to the clifftop village of Hora, where a hike to the hilltop church of Panagia offers spectacular sunset views. Closed to cars and motorcycle traffic, Hora is one of the oldest traditional medieval towns where the buildings stand close and small squares shaded by trees are an idyllic spot to enjoy a drink or bite to eat.
Food of the Gods
For the most authentic foods and flavours visit the isles of Crete, Corfu, Santorini and Rhodes. Here you can indulge in the culinary delights Greece is famous for, experiencing a diet rich in delicious Mediterranean flavours - garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and tomatoes.
Restaurant menus are bursting with freshly-caught fish and seafood, tender grilled or barbequed
meats and cheese – lots of cheese! And as for the wine, we hear it’s on its way up with bottles just waiting to be uncorked.
Top Historical Spots to Visit
Crete - From Rethymnon take the road to Armeni to explore the Minoan cemetery, over 200 chambered passage graves in a grove of olive and oak trees.
Rhodes - Discover the ruins of the mighty Temple of Apollo, Acropolis of Lindos and the Temple of Lindian Athena.
Delos - Hop aboard the ferry to Delos, one of the best loved relics of the Ancient world. Amongst the ruins of the town, explore the well-preserved monuments of Apollo and Artemis.
Kos- Visit the ancient site of Asklepieion, a Greek and Roman sacred healing centre based on the teachings of Hippocrates, the father of medicine.
Delos - A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990, the island is dedicated to the god Apollo. It has never been inhabited but constituted in the antiquity as a holy island.