With over 90 Greek islands to choose between, it can be overwhelming knowing which island is right for you. As well as the big players on the mainland and with luxurious villas in Greece such as these from Oliver’s Travels, you can enjoy a truly relaxing holiday. Below, you’ll find a list of the popular Greek destinations that will help you organise your perfect trip away.
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Paros and Naxos
Paros and Naxos are two separate islands that are often grouped together as these neighbours share similar traditions and feature some of the best beaches in the Cyclades. With secluded villages, beautiful coastlines and Byzantine monuments, Paros is a relaxing retreat that also offers a laid back nightlife scene. Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and is brimming with ancient historic sites. With loads of hiking trails through the island’s stunning nature, you’ll come across rocky mountains, green valleys and sandy coves.
Known for being one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Santorini is a real delight. Interestingly, the island was formed from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, which is why the landscape is so rugged and interesting. Enjoy unbelievable sunsets across the endless blue and dine on traditional Greek cuisine. Take a boat tour, go scuba diving and take in the beauty of the architecture.
Rhodes is the most popular and largest island in the Dodecanese with a rich historical past, which can be seen through the Old Town. With a medieval castle at its core and ancient town walls, Rhodes is perfect for a relaxing break. Explore the history and visit the beautiful beaches. The island is also home to a number of fantastic family-friendly resorts with water parks and activities to enjoy. One unique site is the Valley of Butterflies. In spring and autumn, butterflies emerge from their cocoons and fill up the lush valley – a truly spectacular sight to witness.
The second largest in the Dodecanese Islands, Kos is a vibrant blend of rugged nature, nightlife and historic sites. With a large number of cultural, political and religious influences, the cityscape is unique. Marvel over Ottoman Mosques and the Hellenistic ruins, or explore what’s left of the 14th-century Neratzia Castles. As well as these monuments, watersports are popular here with regular windsurfing events and diving opportunities just off of the shore.
Essentially the party island of the Cyclades, Mykonos offers a vibrant atmosphere both day and night. However, this does not mean that traditions have been lost through tourist development. In fact, the island still holds its tradition at its core. Enjoy sunsets from Little Venice, views of the iconic windmills above Chora and discover ancient Greek artefacts in the Archaeological Museum. Dine on the coastline, enjoy the beach bars and dance the night away in Mykonos.
Said to inspire Saint John the Divine to write the Book of Apocalypse, Patmos is a peaceful place. Enjoy the picturesque retreat from the hustle and bustle of the many other resorts in the Dodecanese. With alleyways that maze around the whitewashed buildings as well as cobble-stoned beaches and crystal clear waters; Patmos has a lot to offer. Pay your respects in the hilltop fortress, Monastery of Saint John and the famous UNESCO Apocalypse Cave also known as the Holy Grotto. There’s a lot to discover here and the island is said to have a spiritual atmosphere you can soak up.