The Greek Islands are an impression of paradise in the Mediterranean Sea, and interest visitors with sun-kissed scenery and a balmy Mediterranean climate. Serene stretches of peaceful, azure waters that surround the islands, appear dotted with historic villages and quaint fishing ports. Most tourists focus on the beaches during the summertime, however, the countryside offers an abundance of treasures: Byzantine chapels, secluded medieval monasteries, and archaeological ruins. The sights are spectacularly photogenic because of the vibrant, saturated colours.
You can see small white cubic houses feature red, green, and blue-painted shutters with outdoor terraces. These houses have draped canopies of bright purple bougainvillaea. Hilltop churches with blue domes mirror the indigo waves in the background.
Santorini is the most reminiscent island because of its spectacular volcanic landscape and cliff-clinging towns with breathtaking sea views. Famous beach-vacation destinations include Mykonos and Corfu. Crete and Rhodes are ancient islands that boast fascinating cultural attractions, while idyllic Naxos and Samos are blessed with natural wonders.
1. Santorini Island
This spectacular island has a surreal beauty and enchantment. Some scholars believe, this legendary island of Atlantis formed, by a sudden volcanic eruption around 4,000 years ago. The volcano has an enormous peak, creating the island’s dramatic hillsides of dark volcanic rock plunge into the massive caldera (the world’s largest), where the sea is so tranquil that it appears to be a gigantic lake. The most exciting way to arrive in Santorini is by boat and then a bus ride up the steep switchback road to the capital city of Fira. Not only the unremarkable modern centre but also, the historic section of Fira perched on the cliff tops makes it unforgettable.
Whitewashed houses cling to the steep hillsides, and many hotels, restaurants, and cafés have terraces with panoramic views. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera displays objects uncovered at Akrotiri, an archaeological site known as the “Greek Pompeii” because the ruins were hidden under volcanic ash for several centuries.
Santorini’s iconic village, Oia is nuzzled along the volcano’s rim. Nearly any spot in Oia looks like the image of a postcard or painting. Humble whitewashed houses clustered together on the hillsides, above the Aegean Sea together becomes a treat to your eyes. You can also see blue-domed churches that overlook the caldera’s mesmerizing deep blue waters.
Instead of roads, the village has steep pedestrian staircases and cobblestone lanes lined with restaurants and boutiques. Beautiful sunsets make Oia a special place. Many tourists try to dine on an outdoor terrace or wait at a viewpoint just before sundown. Near Fira, other small villages surround the rim of the caldera on the way to Oia.
Tourists can take a scenic walk from Firá to Imerovigli, a sleepy village with blue-shuttered white houses trimmed in bougainvillaea. Other top tourist attractions in Santorini are Kamari Beach with volcanic black-sand shores and Ammoudi Port, the scenic old harbour with wonderful waterfront taverns that serve fresh local seafood.
2. Mykonos Island
If you’re looking for a fun-loving, sun-worshipping region then, Mykonos is the place to be. This beautiful island in the Aegean Sea offers a happening vacation scene complete with trendy restaurants, atmospheric tavernas, and live entertainment venues. Most tourists head to Mykonos for the beaches and sunshine from July through October.
Mykonos is famous for its beach clubs at Paradise Beach and nearby Super Paradise Beach. The island’s longest beach, Elia Beach, has a fantastic seafront hotel called the Elia Beach Hotel. The Mediterranean restaurant here serves local specialities on a sheltered terrace right next to the sandy shore.
Another top tourist attraction of Mykonos is the Chora Mykonos – historic town. This delightful labyrinth of winding cobblestone lanes is a traffic-free pedestrian area brimming with whitewashed houses, lovely old churches, and narrow alleyways draped in bright fuchsia bougainvillaea. Terraced cafes and little tavernas, hidden away in narrow side streets and quiet squares have to be visited! Discoveries of local clothing boutiques, jewellery shops, and artisan stores reward tourists who spend time wandering around.
Must-see attractions within the Chora Mykonos are the Little Venice area with balcony buildings that resemble Venetian edifices because of their waterfront facades and the Church of Panagia Paraportiani with its Cycladic whitewashed stucco architecture. On a hillside overlooking the town of Mykonos stand the emblematic windmills, once used to supply power to grind grain and now a favourite spot for tourist photo-ops.
3. Rhodes Island
Rhodes surprises visitors with its beautiful coastline and amazing sights. The UNESCO-listed Old Town of Rhodes was a base for the Order of Saint John Knights who defended against invading Turks. Within the Old Town’s fortified walls is a medieval maze of pedestrian alleyways and quiet squares. Visitors can tour the Palace of the Grand Master (now a museum) and saunter down the cobblestone Street of the Knights, which appears not to have changed since the Middle Ages.
The typical Greek village of Lindos is a perfect seaside getaway. Whitewashed houses, cobblestone streets, and old Byzantine churches give this village a special charm. Tourists will find plenty to discover in terms of restaurants, cafés, and boutiques. There are also marvellous ancient ruins to admire. At the hilltop Acropolis, the small 4th-century temple of Athena Lindia keeps watching over the coastline. The sandy beaches and water sports at Saint Paul’s Bay are other attractions you can go for.
From Rhodes, tourists have many island-hopping possibilities. The Island of Symi is an easy journey, about an hour away by ferry. Symi, well known for the natural environment, yacht harbour, and aristocratic architecture. Rhodes is well connected by ferry lines to the Greek Islands of Kos, Patmos, Santorini, and Mykonos, as well as to other destinations in the Mediterranean. Rhodes is only 18 km from Asia Minor; ferries go to the coastal cities of Bodrum and Marmaris in Turkey.
Visitors’ first stopping point is the capital city, Naxos Town, which is well worth exploring for a few days. This colourful seaport is distinguished by its whitewashed cubic houses; Venetian mansions; Catholic churches; and imposing 13th-century fortress (Kastro), which houses the Byzantine Museum. Other must-see attractions are the Portara, gate of an ancient temple and the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, with a collection of objects from the Late Neolithic to the Early Christian periods. Just outside of Naxos Town you can spot sandy beaches here.
For an off-the-beaten-path experience, visitors should travel to the rural villages that are built along Naxos’ mountainsides. These small communities keep centuries-old customs and offer the feel of a bygone era. Apeiranthos, built on the hillsides of Mount Fanari, is a dreamy little town with whitewashed cubic houses, calm squares, narrow alleys, and sensational views of the countryside. Built on the slopes of Mount Zas, Filoti has the biggest Byzantine church of Naxos.
Must-Do Activities in Naxos
Awe-inspiring nature sites abound on Naxos. Don’t miss out the scenic hiking trail that goes from Apeiranthos to Moutsouna, with just two sandy beaches. For a more challenging hike, the slopes of Mount Zas await those up for a vigorous workout. Reaching an altitude of 1,000 meters, this mountain is the tallest in the Cyclades. It’s a great place for bird-watching and admiring the panoramic views.
One of the most memorable things to do while visiting Naxos Island is to attend one of the summertime village festivals. In June, the village of Apollonas hosts the Fisherman’s Feast with a church service, live musical entertainment, dancing, and a seafood feast. The Feast Day of the Virgin Mary celebrated in mid-August, throughout all villages across Naxos with especially exuberant events in Filoti and Apeiranthos.
5. Lefkada Island
This gloriously unspoiled island in the Ionian Sea of Western Greece offers a pleasant, mild climate to its visitors. This rural island has placid seaside villages like Vassiliki and Agios Nikitas. The island’s spectacular coastline features alluring beaches tucked away behind steep cliffs or in sheltered coves. The Porto Katsiki has a breathtaking stretch of golden sand with some of the best beaches in Europe. Egremni Beach is the longest beach on Lefkáda, renowned for its deep turquoise-blue waters.
Authentic local culture is found in the island’s traditional villages here. Poros is perched on a hillside above the sea. Sivota – the traditional fishing village has authentic seafood tavernas and Ligia. Interested in fishing? Visit the beautiful beaches which boast fishing ports. The restaurants here serve fresh seafood straight from the sea with regional specialities like Savoro, fish seasoned with vinegar and raisins, and Bourdeto, fish cooked in a savoury tomato sauce. Lefkada is also a paradise for hiking through the green, rolling hills and rocky limestone mountains. A magnificent nature site is Dimosari Waterfalls.
Reasons outnumbered for you to kick-start your bookings. Greece will be filled with delightful experience for you filled with adventure, luxury and tasteful experiences. We at Pickyourtrail make sure our best travel experience is put into planning your Greece vacation package with lots of excitement. Start planning and Happy travelling!
Europe Dreams: Stay in Eastern Europe and wander around for 8 night stay
- Flights included
- 3 star accommodations
- 9 activities
- Shared transfer
Get ready to witness the best of Europe in this 10 night itinerary
- Flights included
- 3 star accommodations
- 9 activities
- Shared transfer