Greece enchants many visitors with effortless timeless charm. Picture yourself wandering pretty villages where whitewashed houses neighbour ancient sites from the earliest civilisations. Take your pick of countless idyllic beaches. All the ingredients for awe-inspiring sightseeing and blissful relaxation.
Basking in the glow of long Mediterranean summers and warm waters are thousands of islands, ripe for seafaring exploration. So where to begin your next adventure?
Within a short sailing distance from Athens are the Argo-Saronic Islands. Distinctive pistachio orchards characterise the island of Aegina and its pine hill-topped Temple of Aphaea, offering stunning views of Athens, Cape Soúnio, the Peloponnese and Ýdhra. Escape it all at the car-free Hydra Island, largely a wild landscape, where you can enjoy hiking and its natural springs. Then perhaps continue your memorable jaunt to Spidauros with its well-preserved amphitheatre plus jaw-dropping snorkelling trips among underwater ancient city ruins.
Made up of 220 picture-postcard islands the Cyclades is Greece’s highlights in mesmerising miniature. The rocky islands are dotted with archaeological sites, pristine beaches and authentic gleaming white villages with blue-domed churches. Hora (Naxos island’s main city) attracts many with its scenic seafront and cobbled lanes lined with shops. Meanwhile Mykonos fits the bill for sophisticated dining or up-tempo nightlife. If immersing yourself in nature is more your scene, you could take the hiking trails of Andros and Amorgos. At dusk, be sure to head to Oia, Santorini for the most spectacular sunsets.
Breathtakingly verdant, the Ionians are simply divine. Hills covered with olive groves, pine trees and wildflowers roll gently down to an azure coastline of secluded bays and coves. With colourful Venetian style houses thrown into the mix, the islands have a certain Italianesque look. Making the most cosmopolitan splash of them all is Corfu town, a port city, epitomised by expansive avenues and Venetian arcades of shops and international restaurants.
Kefalonia, the largest Ionian island, is a paradise of dense forests and traditional fishing villages like Fiskardo which attracts glamorous yachts each summer. Then there’s the lush green and mountainous Lefkada, boasting windsurfing and other water sports on stunning turquoise beaches to rival the Caribbean.
The Dodecanese islands offer the perfect destination for bespoke sailing trips. Whether you’re in pursuit of culture, relaxation, tranquillity or thrill-seeking adventure, the islands cater for all tastes. A rich tapestry of eclectic ancient monuments and settlements tempt culture seekers. And the islands’ truly beautiful natural environment offers wonderful swimming, mountain climbing, diving and wind surfing.
Go from the contrasts of medieval walled Rhodes town and its energetic nightlife to the quiet seclusion of unspoilt heaven in Leros and Pserimos.
Vibrant emerald green landscapes convene with royal blue waters, making every view here a sight to behold. Discover Greece at its most authentic. For historic churches and monasteries make for Skiathos or Skopolos. World-class beaches are plentiful, including Lalaria (only accessible by boat) and the crystal-clear waters of Alonissos provide unforgettable glimpses of Monk seals. The village of Chora with spectacular views of the Aegean Sea is another unmissable photogenic stop.