The A–Z Of Greek Island-hopping
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Why holiday on one Greek island when you can plan a trip that includes visits to many? Getting around takes a bit of planning, but you can choose from cruise ships, ferries, yacht charters or air travel. Accommodation options include rental villas, hotels, guest houses and home stays. Listed here by region are 20 of the most popular Greek island destinations.
Rugged Amorgos, the most easterly of the Cyclades islands, has beautiful sandy beaches, a precipitous coastline, peaceful and serene bays and the magnificent Monastery of Hozoviotissa. Tourism infrastructure is rudimentary which this makes for a laid-back charm.
First inhabited in 3000 BC, this small island was the religious and commercial centre of ancient Greece. There are no towns or accommodation here, just quietness and a sense of history in the archaeological ruins.
This small, beautiful island has plenty of accommodation. Its busy port of Karavostassi has an extensive selection of restaurants and hotels, while Cars and motorcycles are banned in the cliff’s edge village of Hora.
This cosmopolitan island, an expensive travel mecca, with unique cycladic architecture, bare hills, narrow alleyways and streets and red-roofed churches, is everything that Greek islands are famed for.
Mount Zeus towers over this relatively quiet and charming island which is green and fertile. Pretty agricultural villages are perfect for experiencing island life sampling fresh produce including wines and olive oils.
On the main ferry run and popular with all types of travellers, Paros has picturesque inland villages, a busy port main town and some pretty beaches, particularly in the north around the fishing village of Naoussa.
The most popular of Greek Islands. From the archaeological wonder of Akrotiri, a town preserved in volcanic ash, to its rocky outcrops and charming white-washed domestic architecture, Santorini is one of the world’s most spectacular islands.
This mountainous island, a 3-hour ferry trip from Pireaus, has enchanting fertile valleys and medieval architecture, a fine archaeological museum and tranquil sandy beaches. A wide range of hotels, tavernas and shops cater for island visitors.
The administrative centre of the Cyclades, Syros has a busy harbour and shipyard, lovely beaches, attractive architecture and many churches and museums. The interior of the island has many fruit and vegetable farms.
The third largest of the Cycladic Island group, a 30-minute ferry ride from Mykonos, Tinos is an important destination for religious pilgrims. The inland villages, nestled into the mountain slopes, are connected by a network of walking paths.
The largest of the Greek islands, mountainous Crete has it all, including bustling towns, idyllic rural villages, fields of olives, fruits and vegetable crops, sandy beaches, stunning ancient ruins and a world-class archealogical museum.
Green and mountainous, Rhodes is renown for its natural beauty, fine architecture, and its cosmopolitan charm. It is the most popular of the Dodecanese islands, and its superb variety of architectural treasures and top museums bring visitors year round.
This fascinating island is rich in Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian archaeology and the agricultural interior is perfect for bicycle riding. There are daily ferries to and from Pireaus, and Turkey is just a short boat trip away.
Popular Corfu, the greenest of the Greek islands, has ancient ruins, castles and distinctive Italianate architecture in Corfu town. The old fort (Paleo Frourio) is the location for a Sound-and-Light show in summer.
Known as the location for filming of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, this rocky island, with its pine forests and many species of wildflowers and herbs, is becoming a popular destination. Loggerhead turtles nest on Kefalonian beaches.
North East Aegean
Just a few kilometres from the coast of Turkey, in the Aegean Sea, Chios has many churches and monasteries, medieval villages and ancient monuments, which date from times under Macedonian, Roman, Turkish and Greek rule. From beautiful beaches and coves to mountains and traditional villages, the island is a delight to explore.
The third-largest Greek Island is a good budget destination with idyllic beaches, fascinating villages, hot water springs and a variety of flora and fauna. Mainly agricultural, the provincial economy is based on olive oil and ouzo.
A great beginner’s Greek island experience, Aegina is a perfect day trip by ferry from Athens. A city state in ancient times, be sure to visit the ruins of Paleohora, one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples.
Intimate sandy beaches are the trademark of this small island near Aegina. But there is also an interesting farming and fishing side of the island that is off the beaten tourist track.
Head for the waterfront restaurants and cafes of Hydra Town on this famed maritime destination for great Greek ambience. Wander around and view the old sea captain mansions, and check out some of the hundreds of old churches.
Handy to Athens, the busy town of Poros is an island joined to the island of Poros by a causeway. The island is home to the scant remains of the Temple of Poseidon but the beaches are not so good.
Famous for its great beaches and nightlife, Spetses also has a harbour known for its wooden boat building industry. The main square in the town, the Dapia, has lots of interesting restaurants, while on the busy waterfront you can watch the boatbuilders at work.