Island Hopping in Greece

It has been said that travelers go to Greece for the first time for Athens but return for the Greek Islands. From the Cyclades island chain in the eastern Aegean to the south island of Crete, to western Corfu, Greek islands are a chance for the traveler to experience lands where ancient cultures began to advance into the modern ages. Pristine beaches, blue waters, coastal cliffs and caves, ancient temples, and luxurious stays — the islands of Greece are always a popular getaway.

  • Santorini


    Santorini (Thera in Greek) is the name of the main island of a circular archipelago. The archipelago was one island until the Minoan eruption 3,600 years ago, when most of the center was blown out by one of the largest volcanic explosions in recorded history and which may have contributed to the legend of Atlantis. Santorini’s whitewashed buildings arranged along cliffs are one of the most iconic sights of any of the islands. The volcanic-sand beaches and dramatic scenery are a pleasure for the eyes. Vineyards and traditional villages can be found further inland. The capital of Fira is full of cafes, restaurants, and bars for the traveler.

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  • Mykonos


    The Greek island of Mykonos is known for its parties during the summer. With dance clubs accommodating massive crowds and music on beaches purely for partying. But there’s more to the island, like the familiar whitewashed houses of the Aegean and stone alleyways to wander. Luxury shopping is available for the traveler. The villages are calm reminders of Greece’s past, while the 16 windmills of Chora still turn atop a hill nearby — some even made into a museum.

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  • Naxos


    Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and more green than other Greek islands. In the center of the island is Mt Zeus, the largest peak in the Cyclades islands. Hora, aka Naxos Town, is the island’s main city. Within Hora is the Old Town, broken up into two districts: Kastro the 13th-century neighborhood of fortified Venetian mansions atop the hill. The Temple of Apollo is a massive marble gate that is all that’s left of an unfinished temple from 530 BC — and not only a peaceful moment but a great photo opportunity.

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  • Crete


    The largest of all the Greek Islands, Crete sits at the southernmost border of the Aegean Sea. Crete was the central site of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, making it full of rich historical sites. One of these sites is the Palace of Knossos, the ancient location of the mythical Minotaur trapped in a labyrinth. The Ideon and Diteon caves both claim the birthplace of the mighty Zeus, each with tours through magical caverns. The capital of Crete is Heraklion, located on the north shore, where beaches stretch along the coast. The southern coast also has beaches, along with cliffs looking over the sea.

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  • Corfu


    A Greek island far away from others, Corfu is located on the northwestern side of Greece. This island has a different look than the eastern islands, with more greenery and a more subdued architecture to the buildings. The Old fortress is a Venetian fortress built for defense and features the Saint George Church, which has the look of classic Greek architecture. Agni Bay is a gem in the northeast, a quaint fishing village with delicious chances for fresh seafood. Cape Drastis is worth a visit for its sheer, white cliffs.

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  • Syros


    Syros is a Greek island in the northern center of the Cyclades. It has a bit more calm atmosphere than other islands in the area, it is known as the Lady of the Cyclades. The city of Anos, Syros is a Venetian fortress town with classic whitewashed buildings. The town of Ermoupoli hosts a more colorful array of buildings and is built on a hill overlooking a port. Add in the neoclassical mansions in the eastern part of Ermoupoli that are now boutique hotels, and the traveler gets a pleasant experience in the Vaporia, the most picturesque area of Ermoupolis.

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  • Milos


    Milos is an island that represents the perfect example of pale cliffs and caves along the coast, with over 70 beaches on which to relax. This island is where the legendary Venus de Milo statue was found (created in 100 BC), a sign that the culture and attitude of this island has deep roots in beautiful aesthetics. Luxury stays are plentiful in the many modern hotels and boutiques, some even built into the white limestone that makes up the surrounding cliffs. Beaches like Sarakino and Kleftiko offer up an even better look at the white stone coasts and turquoise waters.

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  • Sifnos


    The food scene in Sifnos is considered the best of the Greek islands. Located in the Cyclades, Sifnos is a smaller island with small, charming port towns. One of these towns is Kamares, a port town where ferries to the island arrive. In the center of the island is the bigger city of Apollonia, which sprawls across the hills. Wherever the traveler goes on Sifnos, they will experience the best of Greek cuisine fresh from the sea in the tavernas and restaurants.

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  • Kefalonia


    An island on the west coast of Greece, Kefalonia is the 6th largest island in Greece. The beaches are ranked at the top among the Greek islands. Myrtos Beach is the most popular, as the verdant hills rise just beyond inland. Antisamos Beach is surrounded by more lush hills than Myrtos. Skala Beach’s water is so clear that the rise of the ocean floor is evident to the eye and is located at the small fishing village of the same name, Skala.

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