28 Mar Explore the Greek Islands this Summer 🏝
For sun, sea, cuisine, history, friendliness of the locals, and sheer beauty of the landscapes, nothing really beats the Greek Islands. And the best way to enjoy these during a summer holiday is by doing a spot of island hoping. As you’d expect, there are plenty of options when planning a Greek Island cruise. You can begin your holiday in Athens, and then sail to Mykonos, Crete or Santorini. Or fly straight to an island and begin your cruise there.
We know island hoping can be a pricy treat, so have a read of our tips for visiting Greece on a budget. Or if you’ve never been on a cruise before, check out everything you need to know for your maiden cruise. And not forgetting travel insurance for Greece, read our post explaining why you may still need travel insurance even with the EHIC card.
We’ll start our tour of the Greek Islands with Lefkada. This Ionian Island is connected to the mainland via a causeway. But in spite of this, it remains relatively untouched by tourism, when compared to many other Greek Islands.
Here you’ll discover the jewel in its crown, Egremni Beach. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Following an earthquake in 2015, it’s now only possible to access the beach via boat, which you can catch from some of the nearby beaches.
Also called Thera, Santorini is located in the Aegean Sea, about 120 miles southeast of the Greek mainline. It’s the furthest south of the Cyclades group of islands. When arriving by boat, the cliffs formed from the island’s volcanic rock gradually moves into view, along with hundreds of whitewashed houses cascading towards the sea. It’s the quintessential Mediterranean scene.
Part of the village of Oia is located on the island. This is one of the most photogenic settlements to be found anywhere within the Greek Islands. Oia also boast some famed restaurants serving traditional Santorini cuisine. These include Ambrosia and 1800.
Also located in the Cyclades group of islands is Mykonos. This is a far livelier island compared to many of its neighbours, with vibrant nightlife and a flourishing LGBT scene. Its chic café, bar and nightclub culture definitely attracts a certain type of crowd. And that’s not to mention the prices on the island. So it’s not suited for those on a budget.
If you do visit Mykonos, it’s well located for exploring the nearby island of Delos and its UNESCO world heritage site. Here you can wander the incredible ruins and antiquities from the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. And mythology has it that the island is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. This island is living, breathing history.
Also in the Cyclades group of Islands is Milos, which is famed for being the place where the Venus de Milo was discovered. The island’s landscape is the result of thousands of years of volcanic activity, which has endowed it with some staggeringly beautiful scenery.
The island is a diver’s hotspot, thanks to the underwater caves in the triangle formed by Milos, and the other two islands of Kimolos and Polýegos. Then there are the beaches – there are more than 80 of them! Try the turquoise waters of Kléftiko or Sarakíniko, to name but two.
More firmly on the typical tourist trail is the island of Crete. It’s the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands. And with such a large island comes plenty of variety. The sun drenched beaches of the north give way to canyons, valleys and mountains in the interior. These then abruptly meet the cliff-lined southern coast.
It’s therefore an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. You can trek through gorges, caves and mountains in the morning, then go swimming or diving in the afternoon. And in the evening, refuel with delicious cretan cuisine in a local taverna, enjoying the fresh catch of the day. Then wash it all down with some local wine and a shot of raki.
Travel insurance for Greece
Of course, if you are planning on doing a spot of island hoping in Greece, don’t forget your travel insurance. Some travellers think that the EHIC card will cover them for everything when they holiday in Europe, unfortunately this isn’t the case.
So to make sure you’ve got the cover you need, make sure you buy travel insurance for Greece. At Coverontrip, our Greece travel insurance policies start from just £4.86 for 7 days of cover based on a 25 year old. Get a quote today and see how much you could save.