This time last month we were meant to be packing our bags to head off Rhodes in Greece for our one year wedding anniversary. Sadly, and unsurprisingly, our holiday was cancelled because of the COVID19 pandemic. This was obviously really disappointing but it’s hard to feel too sorry for yourself when so many people are losing loved-ones and struggling as the economy collapses.
Greece will still be there when the Coronavirus is a distant memory. So, instead, I’ve decided to look towards the future and make a bucket list of things I want to do after lockdown. This includes little things I want to do like learning new skills, and things that are a little bit bigger like volunteering and travelling. What better way to kick off my new and improved bucket list than writing about places to go in Greece?!
Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a place instantly recognisable around the world, and it’s a hit with Instagram influencers. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, forever shaping its rugged landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. What’s not to love?
Icaria, also spelt Ikaria, is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos. According to tradition, it derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who was believed to have fallen into the sea nearby. It’s the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the sunshine.
Mykonos is an island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. It’s popularly known for its summer party atmosphere. Beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise have bars that blare thumping music. Massive dance clubs attract world-renowned DJs and typically stay open well past dawn. Iconic landmarks include a row of 16th-century windmills, which sit on a hill above Mykonos town.
Skopelos is one of several islands which comprise the Northern Sporades island group, which lies east of the Pelion peninsula on the mainland and north of the island of Euboea. It is part of the Thessaly region. The beautiful island is located between Skiathos and Alonissos. Its picture-perfect setting and its unspoiled charm make Skopelos a popular holiday destination.
Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, is defined by rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline. Its cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French and British rule before it was united with Greece in 1864. Corfu Town, flanked by 2 imposing Venetian fortresses, features winding medieval lanes, a French-style arcade and the grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Syros may lack the white-sand wonders of its more popular neighbours. But for a certain kind of in-the-know traveller, that’s precisely its appeal. It was refreshing to visit a place not overrun with tourism. There are more art and culture than one can wish for, you get to glimpse at authentic Greek island life, and you get so much more for your money. Hello, budget holidays!
Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea and a well-known summer resort. The harbour city of Zakynthos is the capital and major hub, centred around waterfront Solomos Square. Popular beaches like Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas and Tsilivi offer swimming and water sports in crystal clear water. Accessed by boat, Navagio beach is the site of a famed 1980 shipwreck resting in a sandy cove framed by cliffs (another spot you’ve probably seen on Instagram!).
Lefkada is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, connected to the mainland by a causeway. West coast beaches like Porto Katsiki and Egremni feature sheer cliffs and turquoise waters. The east coast is known for its traditional villages, including the seaside resort of Nydri. In the north, Lefkada town is the island’s gateway and capital. Vassiliki, in the south, attracts windsurfers.
Elafonisi, in the South-West of Crete, has become a very popular destination for day-trippers who flood to this corner of paradise by car, bus or boat. Elafonisi is actually an island, separated from the southwest coast of Crete, by a shallow, warm lagoon and a sandbar that is submerged under about one meter of water at most during high tide. The beach on the mainland and on the part of the sandbar that is never submerged is populated by hundreds of beach chairs and umbrellas and thousands of tourists in the high season.
The Greek Island of Milos, in the Western Cyclades Island chain, is a surprise for the traveller adventurous enough to take a detour from Santorini, Mykonos and the other popular islands. Milos, like Santorini, is an island that is not only rich in spectacular sunset views and minerals but also in the things that travellers come to Greece looking for: beautiful beaches, inspiring views, a rich history, white-washed Cycladic villages, excellent food and good-hearted people.
Still can’t figure out which Greek island is for you? Head over to The Works, they have a variety of travel guides that’ll help make sure you make the right decision and get the most out of your trip.