Greece is made up of over 6,000 Greek islands, of those, only 227 are actually inhabited. They differ a fair bit in what they offer, meaning that there is a Greek island to suit almost everyone’s vacation needs. They all have white sandy beaches, friendly locals and some great food. If you are looking for a romantic getaway then Milos is the island for you. If you want to boast to all your followers on Instagram and indulge in a luxurious vacation then Santorini is the perfect choice. Corfu for families and Mykonos for the party animals.
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The Greek isles have always been a fairly popular vacation spot, more so after the hit movie, Mamma Mia. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the best for adventure seekers. It is also a popular choice for the solo traveler. One of the most stand-out things about the Greek islands is the white buildings with blue roofs and doors. Their buildings are white because they were whitewashed using limestone. Limestone is a powerful disinfectant and they believed that this would sanitize their homes to prevent the spread of Cholera. Now, about the blue doors and roofs, the locals will tell you that it is a practice to ward off evil spirits.
When in fact between the years of 1967 to 1974, there was a military government in power in Greece. They told the citizens of Greece that they must paint their houses blue and white to reflect the Greek Flag and show uniform loyalty. To be honest, most of the houses were already this color.
The best way to get around the Greek islands is by fast ferry and hiring a bicycle or walking when you’re on the islands themselves. The weather on the Greek Isles is pretty great all year, the hottest month is July with temperatures topping 92°F. January is the coldest month with temperatures dropping to a low of 50°F.
The Blue Domed Churches are the most photographed place in Santorini. This is the Instagrammers spot, that iconic picture to say that you’ve been to the Greek Islands. These churches are located in Oia, Santorini. There are two of them, one is the church of Agios Spiridonas (Saint Spyridon) and the other, Anasteseos (the Church of the Resurrection). They are both located right on the cliff’s edge. They were built in 1827 and have been iconic ever since. The churches themselves are closed, however, it is that iconic picture from the outside that is what is so desired. Be prepared to line up for it though. It is definitely worth the wait cause it just makes for a stunning photograph that you’ll cherish forever.
Zakynthos is the Greek island with the best beaches. That is a pretty big claim but wait till you see them. The island is not only famous for its beaches but also its summer resorts and for a particular shipwreck. Zakynthos is a harbor city which is centered around waterfront Solomos Square. This island has several fantastic beaches such as Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas and Tsilivi. To get to the famed shipwreck beach, you will have to hop on a boat. It is called Navagio beach. The beach itself has beautiful white sand and sits in a picturesque alcove that is adorned by limestone cliffs. The shipwreck that can be seen here today washed up in 1983 after it came into some trouble at sea. It was transporting illegal cigarettes. If you are a beach goer, why not add this beach to your custom itinerary on the Tripio App.
Crete is the largest Greek Island and is the home of the adventure seeker. They have 50 foot cliffs overhanging deep water that makes it perfect for cliff jumping. This island also offers hikes and other fun, adrenaline filled outdoor activities like paragliding, canyoning, canoeing and deep sea diving. If an outdoor adventure vacation is what you are after then get the Tripio app and start planning your custom itinerary. Once you have selected your preferences, the Tripio app will generate a custom top 10 to suit you.
If you are an adventure lover then you can select what level of intensity you prefer your adventures to be. Paleokastro beach is not the sandiest beach and it is not the prettiest beach. You don’t come here to enjoy the beach, you come here to jump off 50 foot rocks. It is a thrill seekers dream. Jump at your own risk.
Archontoula is a traditional Greek restaurant that is a travelers choice and comes highly recommended by the locals. It offers fresh seasonal food with a good Greek wine list. The fried calamari comes highly recommended. It is set in a picturesque cobble-stone street with window flower boxes and overhanging trees. It is incredibly romantic, especially at sunset. Dining places like these make it easy to understand why the island of Milos is the most romantic. This is the place to bring sparks back to any relationship. Add this one to your itinerary if you’d like to fall in love all over again, even if it is just with food.
Naxos is a foodie’s dream! Oniro Wine Bar Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants on Naxos Island. That is a huge accomplishment in itself as Naxos is the food and wine capital of the Greek islands. Oniro Wine Bar Restaurant is only open in the evening and offers a spectacular view from its rooftop terrace at sunset. Their menu offers fresh and seasonal Greek food and wine. Be sure to ask the waiters which wine they recommend pairing with your meal of choice.
Lefkada is an all-round great vacation destination choice. It offers fabulous beaches, great food and wine, excellent snorkeling and a couple of picturesque hikes with amazing view points.
Agiofili beach is one of the best beaches on Lefkada island. Parking costs a few bucks and so does hiring a sunbed and umbrella. This beach is the perfect all-rounder as well as it has the sun loungers for relaxing, the bar for the drinkers, cliffs to jump off for the adventure seekers and great crystal clear water to go snorkeling.
Corfu is the best Greek island for a family vacation. There are plenty of family-friendly beaches offering activities like snorkeling and jet-skiing. But what do kids really love? A massive water park! How about one of the biggest in the world!
A family’s itinerary isn’t complete without a trip to Aqualand Corfu. What kid doesn’t like an epic waterpark? Don’t worry adults, this waterpark is like no other, it features an on-site spa. So you can be pampered while the kids play all day. This water park is the largest in Greece and features over 50 slides. This water park in fact is ranked as the best in Europe and is one of the biggest in the world. There are plenty of food options here as well to keep you fueled all day. When you are building your custom top 10 on the Tripio app, you can ensure to only be recommended kid friendly places by selecting that option when creating your custom itinerary.
Mykonos is famous for its nightlife, being the party destination. People travel from all over the world to party in Mykonos. Quite often, hens and stag parties would be held in Mykonos while the destination wedding took place over in Santorini. One of the absolute must-visit places while on vacation in Mykonos is the 180º Sunset Bar.
The 180º Sunset Bar offers uninterrupted 180º views over the sea and Mykonos town. Their menu offers fresh cheeses, seafood and salads with a sensational wine and cocktail list. Soak up the incredible view while sipping on a fresh delicious cocktail. Let the sound of the live house musicians fill your soul and even get up and dance if you like. This is what the nightlife on the Greek Islands is all about.
You don’t have to go to Athens to experience Greek history, there is an Acropolis on the island of Rhodes called Lindos Acropolis. Just like the Acropolis in Athens, this one features temples and a theater. Of course, it is much smaller than its Athens counterpart. Lindos Acropolis sits at 380 feet above the sea below. At the summit are the ruins of several temples such as to the goddess Athena, A Propylaea and the Byzantine chapel of Saint John. It is estimated that the main structure was constructed in the 9th century BC.
There is a café and restroom facilities at the top for your convenience. This one is sure to please the history buff so make sure to add it to your custom itinerary on the Tripio app if it catches your fancy. The Greek islands should be on more people’s bucket lists and not just those looking for a beach getaway. These islands have so much to offer.
Lemnos is one of the islands in Greece that gets forgotten. Well, when there are so many, it is easy to see how some great places might get missed. Lemnos has fabulous beaches, restaurants, bars and even some history too. Myrina Castle is a Byzantine fortress that was built in the 13th century. It is the largest castle in the Agean. Built atop a rocky peninsula overlooking the sea by the Venetians. It takes about 30 minutes to get up to the top of the castle. The steps are narrow and steep so take your time. The Island of Lemnos is an absolute gem with stunning beaches, great fortresses like this one and it is much quieter than some of the other better known islands.
I hope you have enjoyed this insight into which Greek island will suit your next vacation getaway. There is bound to be something to tick off everyone’s bucket list and maybe even inspire your own custom top 10. Get planning your vacation on the Greek Islands now!
Looking for more Instagrammable spots, check out: Instagrammers Highlights Of Curacao
-Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru