Let’s not beat around the bush… If you want a holiday filled with museum visits and architectural illuminations, we’d suggest you google for a destination in France, Italy or Spain. There’s definitely something to visit on the Greek Islands. But the main goal of your visit will be the sun, beach, blue sea and delicious food.
If there’s one country in Europe that can use the #islandlife, it must be Greece. There are around 6000 islands of which 227 are inhabited. Quite a wide choice if you just want to keep things simple. We haven’t visited all of them (we unfortunately still can’t teleport ourselves) but enough to name our 5 favorites. Hydra is still on our personal list, we’ll let you know how that went if we ever get there.
Rhodos is one of the most southern islands, located near the Turkish border. It only became part of modern Greece in 1948 after being conquered by the Turkish and Italians for centuries. This also explains why the locals are supporters of the army and are clear about defending their borders. They’re proud to be Greek and nobody takes that away from them. Which doesn’t mean they’re not warm and extremely kind. From all the Greeks that crossed our path, the people we met here were one the kindest.
Rhodos is, like all the Greek islands, perfect for a road or a boat trip. The two main cities on the island are Rhodos town and Lindos with its amphitheater. If you expect typical charming Greek villages we’ll have to disappoint you. Basically the only thing we saw were tourist shops and places to eat. So better stick to the boat trip and head straight to Anthony Quinn Bay which is a little paradise. And when you’re looking for a good restaurant: avoid the places that have pictures of the dishes all around. Just go local and you will eat a terrific meal.
Near the South Italian border you’ll find Corfu, one of the greenest islands in the Ionian sea. Its main city, Corfu town, is called castle city by the Greek government because it used to be fortified during the battles against the Ottomans. If you’ve ever been to Venice, you’ll also notice quite some similarities. Corfu was under Venetian rule for almost 4 centuries. The island became part of modern Greece since 1864.
As with all Greek islands, the main attractions remain food, beach and sea. But Corfu town and also Sisi’s palace are really worth a visit. Because of the Italian influences and presence of nature, Corfu might just be a little different than the other islands.
Paros & Antiparos
When tourists and crowded places aren’t your thing, you should head to Paros and Antiparos. We wouldn’t exactly define these islands as quiet but you won’t bump into the big mass like in Santorini.
The capital of Paros is Parikia with its typical white, pink and blue houses built upon the hills. Perfect to wonder around and take some Instagram worthy pictures (if you care at any point about social media). Paros’ most famous beach is Golden Beach where you can admire the tricks of many kite surfers or practice some water sports yourself.
Antiparos is a very small island located next to Paros, you can get there easily with the local ferry. Staying there is also an option but you’ll need to save some money first… Antiparos definitely isn’t the cheapest destination but rather a getaway for the rich (and famous).
Mykonos can be compared to St. Tropez in the South of France. There are the famous beaches, crazy parties and it’s the Greek island to be to enjoy the jetset life. Besides the beach, sunsets and nightlife, there isn’t that much to discover. History has never played an important role on Mykonos and that’s why it’s one of the least “authentic” Greek islands. Which doesn’t mean you won’t have fun though 😉
Santorini is probably the most famous Greek island since it’s basically the remainder of what used to be a volcano. At certain points the crater is still clearly visible. The main reason why we recommend you to visit Santorini is its aesthetic perfection. If this article would be a beauty contest, this island would definitely win. However, if you want to rest during the holidays, its designated to book a five star private resort or you might just be run over by drunk Australians. We can assure you, that’s not something you’d put on your holiday bucket list.
Photo credits: Easy Conferences, Sien Josephine Teijssen, ENFNTS TERRIBLES, Livvyland, Beyondspacesvillas, Magas Hotel Mykonos