10 Top Tourist Attractions in Greece

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10 Top Tourist Attractions in Greece

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Category : Europe , Greece

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With over sixty inhabited islands, historic sites that span four millennia, idyllic beaches and towering mountain ranges there is a wide variety of tourist attractions in Greece to explore. And despite the debt crisis with credit downgrades and protest by day, Greece as a travel destination is as popular as it has ever been.

10. Mount Athos

Mount Athos

 

Mount Athos is a mountain and a peninsula in northern Greece. The peninsula, the easternmost “leg” of the larger Halkidiki peninsula houses some 1,400 monks in 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries. An autonomous state under Greek sovereignty, entry into Mount Athos is strictly controlled and only males are allowed entrance.

9. Mystras

Mystras

 

Situated near ancient Sparta, Mystras served as the capital of the Peloponnesus in the 14th and 15th centuries, ruled by relatives of the Byzantine emperor. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period but was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape.

8. Lindos

Lindos

 

Lindos is a medieval village on the island of Rhodes that is made up of a network of cobbled streets amid whitewashed houses. Above the town rises the acropolis of Lindos, offering spectacular views of the surrounding harbors and coastline. Lindos beach and Saint Pauls beach are only a short distance from the town center.

7. Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

 

The Samariá Gorge is a 16 km (10 miles) long canyon in southwest Crete. Walking the Samariá Gorge is extremely popular and more than a quarter million tourists do so each year. The walk takes 4 to 7 hours and passes through forests of ancient cypresses and pines, then cuts between vertical cliffs through the mountains to emerge at Agia Roumeli on the Libyan sea.

6. Myrtos Beach

Myrtos Beach

 

Located in the north-west of Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach is world-famous for the magical colors of the water. The blue and turquoise colors of the sea contrast sharply with the bright white of the smooth marble pebbles of the beach. The steep mountains and tall cliffs behind Myrtos beach only add to its beauty. For all these reasons Myrtos has previously been voted 12 times as the best beach in Greece.

5. Delphi Theatre

Delphi Theatre

 

In ancient times Delphi was the most important site in ancient Greek religion, home to the sanctuary and oracle of Apollo. The ancient theatre of Delphi was built on a hill giving spectators a view of the entire sanctuary and the spectacular landscape below. It was originally built in the 4th and could seat 5,000 spectators. Today it is one of the top tourist attractions in Greece.

4. Meteora

Meteora

 

Metéora (“suspended in the air”) in central Greece is a collection of six monasteries spectacular situated on top of several rock pillars. The first monastery in Metéora was founded in the 14th century. Access to the monasteries was deliberately difficult, requiring either long ladders or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. This required quite a leap of faith – the ropes were replaced only “when the Lord let them break”.

 

3. Mykonos

Mykonos

 

Mykonos is famed as a cosmopolitan destination amongst the Greek islands and widely recognized as one of the best tourist attractions in Greece. Mykonos Town (Chora) is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets and whitewashed steps lanes. It is also known for its sandy beaches and diverse and intense nightlife as evidenced by a vast number of bars and nightclubs.

 

2. Parthenon, Acropolis 

Parthenon, Acropolis

 

The Parthenon on top of the Acropolis is one of the most famous Greece tourist attractions and a visit to Athens is not complete without visiting this temple. The construction of the Parthenon started in 447 BC, replacing and older temple that was destroyed by the Persians, and completed in 432 BC. During its long life the Parthenon has served as a temple, fortress, a church, a mosque and even as a powder magazine.

1. Santorini

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Greece

Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands. It is famous for its dramatic views, stunning sunsets, the white-washed houses, and its very own active volcano. Fira, the capital of Santorini, is a marriage of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, whose white cobblestone streets bustle with shops, tavernas, hotels and cafes, while clinging on the edge of the 400 meter (1,300 ft) high cliffs.

Cheap Flights to Athens

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Santorini

15.01.2018

28.01.2018

Tickets from 39

Thessaloniki

03.02.2018

10.02.2018

Tickets from 47

Sofia

13.04.2018

16.04.2018

Tickets from 48

Rome

25.01.2018

05.02.2018

Tickets from 49

Brussels

29.01.2018

31.01.2018

Tickets from 50

Warsaw

01.03.2018

12.03.2018

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Istanbul

30.08.2018

21.09.2018

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Heraklion

27.04.2018

29.04.2018

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Berlin

20.03.2018

24.03.2018

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Kiev

24.07.2018

06.08.2018

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Larnaca

26.02.2018

08.03.2018

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London

22.01.2018

25.01.2018

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Tel Aviv-Yafo

06.01.2018

10.01.2018

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Bologna

20.04.2018

20.05.2018

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Kerkyra

27.01.2018

03.02.2018

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Luqa

25.01.2018

27.01.2018

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Stockholm

15.01.2018

25.01.2018

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Chania

18.01.2018

25.01.2018

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Rhodes

27.12.2017

31.12.2017

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Ioannina

18.02.2018

21.02.2018

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Manchester

19.01.2018

28.01.2018

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Zakinthos

05.01.2018

09.01.2018

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Kutaisi

08.07.2018

19.07.2018

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Alexandroupolis

13.04.2018

20.04.2018

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Riga

07.03.2018

14.03.2018

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Frankfurt

01.04.2018

22.04.2018

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Vilnius

30.08.2018

02.09.2018

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Glasgow

23.04.2018

29.04.2018

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Chisinau

04.04.2018

11.04.2018

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Madrid

24.02.2018

27.02.2018

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Kavala

23.01.2018

30.01.2018

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Moscow

24.02.2018

06.03.2018

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Milan

05.08.2018

06.08.2018

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Munich

16.03.2018

23.03.2018

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Dusseldorf

15.02.2018

18.02.2018

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Paphos

02.03.2018

05.03.2018

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Geneva

13.05.2018

15.05.2018

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Budapest

05.01.2018

10.01.2018

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Beirut

02.02.2018

02.03.2018

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Belgrade

03.01.2018

12.01.2018

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Toulouse

30.06.2018

15.07.2018

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Billund

10.04.2018

17.04.2018

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Paris

06.03.2018

13.03.2018

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Barcelona

19.06.2018

26.06.2018

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Bari

01.09.2018

07.09.2018

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Saint Petersburg

13.05.2018

21.05.2018

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Tirana

17.02.2018

18.02.2018

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Strasbourg

12.09.2018

19.09.2018

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Hamburg

13.03.2018

20.03.2018

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Prague

17.02.2018

25.02.2018

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Vienna

05.02.2018

09.02.2018

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Helsinki

17.01.2018

26.01.2018

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Bordeaux

17.04.2018

02.05.2018

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Cairo

23.03.2018

30.03.2018

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Tbilisi

06.03.2018

13.03.2018

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Luxembourg

21.01.2018

23.01.2018

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Trieste

10.02.2018

12.02.2018

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Kharkiv

01.01.2018

12.01.2018

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Odessa

09.01.2018

12.01.2018

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Tallinn

19.02.2018

25.02.2018

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Copenhagen

04.08.2018

12.08.2018

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Chernovtsy

16.07.2018

01.08.2018

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Dnepropetrovsk

22.05.2018

04.06.2018

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Kherson

23.12.2017

25.12.2017

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Malaga

24.02.2018

27.02.2018

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Cologne

30.08.2018

01.09.2018

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Mineralnye Vody

18.06.2018

01.07.2018

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Amsterdam

04.08.2018

11.08.2018

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Podgorica

24.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Yerevan

08.07.2018

19.07.2018

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Dortmund

27.04.2018

02.05.2018

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Lappeenranta

18.07.2018

08.08.2018

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Dubai

19.01.2018

31.01.2018

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Venice

20.12.2017

10.01.2018

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Dubrovnik

03.08.2018

07.08.2018

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Granada

24.02.2018

27.02.2018

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Krasnodar

09.03.2018

16.03.2018

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Dublin

25.03.2018

07.04.2018

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Minsk

10.03.2018

13.03.2018

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Voronezh

25.05.2018

30.06.2018

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Bremen

08.01.2018

16.01.2018

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Kazan

08.02.2018

01.03.2018

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Stuttgart

03.01.2018

07.01.2018

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Riyadh

16.02.2018

23.02.2018

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Mulhouse

26.12.2017

31.12.2017

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Tunis

08.01.2018

13.01.2018

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Volgograd

11.01.2018

24.01.2018

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Rostov

03.02.2018

10.02.2018

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Zurich

02.01.2018

05.01.2018

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Alexandria

20.06.2018

24.06.2018

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Montpellier

03.06.2018

05.06.2018

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Ekaterinburg

23.02.2018

03.03.2018

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Samara

07.03.2018

13.03.2018

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Kuwait City

22.02.2018

26.02.2018

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Lugano

10.04.2018

15.04.2018

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Belgorod

02.03.2018

10.03.2018

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Amman

01.07.2018

08.07.2018

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Nizhniy Novgorod

07.01.2018

17.01.2018

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Stavropol

21.02.2018

25.02.2018

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Perm

08.09.2018

18.09.2018

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Somewhere Vouliagmeni

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Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel

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Holiday Suites

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King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel

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Hilton Athens

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Grecotel Pallas Athena

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Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso

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The Margi

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NJV Athens Plaza

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Theoxenia Residence

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The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort

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Wyndham Grand Athens

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Divani Caravel

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Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre

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Semiramis

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Theoxenia Palace

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Piraeus Theoxenia Hotel

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Divani Palace Acropolis

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134114

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10 Top Things to Do in Santorini

Category : Greece , Santorini

Breathtaking views from soaring cliffs, whitewashed churches topped with bright blue domes and archeological treasures from a lost civilization are just some of the reasons that the island of Santorini is routinely included in the lists of the best places to visit in the world. Officially named Thira, sunny Santorini is the largest and arguably the loveliest of the Cyclades group of islands located to the southeast of Greece’s mainland in the blue Aegean Sea.

Santorini marks the spot of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in written history. The explosion created an archipelago out a single island and left behind the geological feature that attracts visitors to Santorini today: a giant sea-filled caldera. In addition to enjoying awe-inspiring views of the half-submerged volcanic crater, other things to do in Santorini include exploring Minoan artifacts and ruins buried by the ancient eruption. Famous for its dry white wines, picturesque beaches and vibrant nightlife, Santorini is a popular destination for visitors who just want to relax and unwind too.

10. Ancient Thera

Ancient Thera

 

Situated on high cliffs jutting out into the sea between the beaches of Kamari and Perissa, Ancient Thera features ruins that were excavated in the early 1900s. The ancient tombs, monuments and remnants of homes, churches and fortifications represent a broad range of post-Minoan periods. Standout features include Roman baths, 4th-century Hellenistic structures and a shrine to Apollo marked with 8th-century graffiti. Visitors can climb to the site from the beaches below or can reach the ruins by tour bus, taxi or private car.

9. Therasia (Thirassia)

Therasia

 

The island of Therasia makes an ideal destination for visitors who want to enjoy the sunny ambiance of Santorini, minus the crowds. The largest of the five small villages, also called Therasia, has only around 150 inhabitants. It’s reachable on the caldera side by a long flight of steps up the cliff. The smaller isle boasts the same picturesque architecture as Santorini, and the population shares the same traditions and customs. Whether enjoyed as a day trip or a weekend getaway, Therasia offers visitors an authentic Greek island experience.

8. Pyrgos

Pyrgos

 

Once the capital of Santorini, the inland city of Pyrgos sits atop a hill that offers stunning views of the island from every direction. The remains of a Venetian castle perches on the hill’s summit. Within the castle walls is a church believed to have been constructed in the 10th century. Relatively unspoiled by tourism, Pyrgos features some of the finest examples of medieval architecture on the island. The village is surrounded by wineries, many of which offer tours and tastings. The dessert wine known as vinsanto produced here is considered one of Greece’s best.

7. Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Museum of Prehistoric Thera

 

Located in the capital city of Fira, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera is one of Santorini’s most important cultural attractions. Opened in 2000, the museum features treasures unearthed at the Akrotiri dig, including an extensive collection of colorful frescoes. A depiction of women gathering saffron from crocus flowers offers insight into the daily lives of the island’s early inhabitants. While frescoes of swallows are easy to understand, as swallows still roost on the cliffs of the caldera, a depiction of blue monkeys has scholars baffled. Historians have found no evidence that monkeys ever lived on Santorini.

6. Kamari Beach

Kamari Beach

 

The largest beach on Santorini and the most popular, Kamari is located along the seashore of the village of the same name. The town and beach get their name from the small arch or “kamara” wedged into the cliffs at the southern end of the beach, the remains of a shrine dedicated to Poseidon. Notable for its black sand and pebbled shoreline, Kamari is the most developed beach on the island, and the beach is lined with hotels, bars and nightclubs. Next to sunbathing and people watching, snorkeling and scuba diving are popular activities.

5. Akrotiri Excavations

Akrotiri Excavations

 

Known as the “Minoan Pompeii”, the flourishing town of Akrotiri was at once destroyed and preserved around 1500 BC by a volcanic eruption. The town wasn’t discovered until the 1860s when workers collecting dirt for the construction of the Suez Canal stumbled upon the site. An outpost of Crete, Akrotiri was settled by Minoans as early as 3000 BC and reached its peak after 2000 BC, when it developed trade and agriculture and settled the present town. Some of the structures are three stories high with stone staircases and stores of large ceramic jars and pottery. Recently reopened to the public, Akrotiri offers visitors a unique glimpse of what life in Santorini was like during the Bronze Age.

4. Perissa Beach

Perissa Beach

 

Perissa Beach is almost a mirror image of Kamari Beach, which is located on the northern side of the rocky headland separating the two stretches of black sand. With fewer restaurants, bars and clubs, Perissa is slightly less developed than Kamari and a bit less crowded. The sand is of a finer grain too, which makes it preferable for long strolls on the beach. Water taxis are available that make it easy for travelers to visit both beaches. A dive center located in Perissa village offers snorkeling and scuba diving trips.

3. Nea Kameni

Nea Kameni

 

The Santorini volcano’s grand eruption occurred nearly 3,700 years ago, blowing the top off the original island. Sea water rushed into the caldera, forming a massive lagoon that’s so deep that all but the largest cruise ships can anchor in the harbor. There are two small volcanic islands at the center of the caldera, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni (New & Old Kameni). Nea Kameni is a barren island, visited daily by dozens of tourist boats throughout the summer. Visitors climb a gravel path to reach the top of the 130-meter (430-foot) high volcanic crater, where it is possible to complete a full circuit of the rim.

2. Fira

Fira

 

The capital of Santorini, Fira boasts one of the most spectacular locations of all the island’s towns and villages. Perched along the edge of the sky-high caldera, the city’s white sugar-cube-shaped buildings offer incredible views of the shoreline and the Aegean Sea, especially at sunset when the entire town is bathed in golden light. The central streets of Fira are filled with all kind of shops, jewelries, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs and get very crowded in the high season. Visitors who arrive by sea can reach Fira by climbing the zigzagging staircase up the face of cliff. Less adventurous travelers can whiz to the top in a cable car.

1. Oia

#1 of Things To Do In Santorini

 

Famed for its stunning sunsets, Oia is a little bit less hectic than Fira and a top tourist attraction in Santorini. The village is also situated on top of an impressive cliff and features charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. One of the most beautiful villages on the island, Oia was once home to a prosperous merchant fleet that traded with countries on Mediterranean Sea during the 1800s and early 1900s. Although part of the city was destroyed by earthquake in 1956, remnants of its seafaring past endure. Elegant sea captain’s houses occupy the best part of town and offer the most impressive views of the caldera.

Cheap Flights to Santorini

Origin Departure date Return date Find Ticket

Athens

05.04.2018

09.04.2018

Tickets from 54

Thessaloniki

01.07.2018

04.07.2018

Tickets from 133

Moscow

15.03.2018

20.03.2018

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Tel Aviv-Yafo

03.05.2018

10.05.2018

Tickets from 165

Larnaca

02.06.2018

06.06.2018

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London

17.09.2018

24.09.2018

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Madrid

06.06.2018

10.06.2018

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Saint Petersburg

25.07.2018

04.08.2018

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Kiev

01.06.2018

08.06.2018

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Heraklion

24.05.2018

25.05.2018

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Kerkyra

01.09.2018

04.09.2018

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Cologne

26.05.2018

02.06.2018

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Helsinki

13.07.2018

27.07.2018

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Stockholm

01.04.2018

04.04.2018

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Geneva

30.03.2018

02.04.2018

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Pristina

15.07.2018

20.07.2018

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Abu Dhabi

01.03.2018

08.03.2018

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New York

30.04.2018

05.05.2018

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Novosibirsk

01.10.2018

08.10.2018

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Ekaterinburg

26.05.2018

05.06.2018

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Tyumen

09.08.2018

12.08.2018

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New Delhi

09.05.2018

18.05.2018

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Perm

15.04.2018

26.04.2018

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Beijing

07.03.2018

17.03.2018

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Los Angeles

25.04.2018

02.05.2018

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Simferopol

07.05.2018

11.05.2018

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Tashkent

18.07.2018

25.07.2018

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Omsk

01.01.2018

07.01.2018

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Bangkok

15.01.2018

20.01.2018

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Montreal

02.07.2018

07.07.2018

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Melbourne

05.03.2018

15.03.2018

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Houston

06.07.2018

14.07.2018

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Singapore

01.04.2018

04.04.2018

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San Jose

17.09.2018

20.09.2018

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Springfield

10.06.2018

19.06.2018

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Dhaka

12.01.2018

19.01.2018

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Seattle

06.07.2018

14.07.2018

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Antalya

29.12.2017

31.12.2017

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Odessa

25.12.2017

30.12.2017

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Cairns

27.09.2018

30.09.2018

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Fort Lauderdale

03.04.2018

06.04.2018

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Albany

01.04.2018

04.04.2018

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Anchorage

01.04.2018

04.04.2018

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Hotels in Santorini Island: 5 stars

Hotel Stars Discount Price per night, from Choose dates

De Sol Hotel & Spa

★★★★★

-13%

135118

View Hotel


  • -

Finest Greek Islands To Visit This Summer

Category : Greece , Visit Europe

Your Complete Guide To The Finest Greek Islands To Visit This Summer

It is no secret that WE LOVE Greece! The climate, the food, the people, the culture and of-course, the natural beauty. Greece is a diverse country thats main landmass is part of the European continent… but… and its a whole ‘lotta but’, there are hundreds of little islands that surround the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas that are just calling to visit. 

Take a look at our complete list of Greek Islands that are our travel lust for the summer, some are more readily know, but hopefully we have found quite a few that you have never thought of visiting…

1. Santorini

A beautiful volcanic Island situated in the heart of the Aegan Sea.

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (30)

2. Skiathos

A relatively small island that hugs the east coast of the mainland. Beautifully small with the most delicious olives you have ever tasted! YUM!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (10)

3. Corfu

Situated off the west coast of the mainland, Corfu is a perfect place for beautifully blue seas and dramatic landscapes.

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer

4. Serifos

A mountainous island that has very little development. Steeped in history… and lots of steps!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (28)

5. Ios

Sunsets don’t get any better than Ios… easily on-par with Santorini for the best sunset!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (24)

6. Zakynthos

A Picture perfect island that will being out all the travel lust in you! Just look at that beach! I’m in love!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (31)

7. Poros

A small island that is actually two… confused? Well, Poros consists of Sphairia and  Kalaureia – both of which make this wonderfully unique landscape!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (22)

8. Skyros

A hikers dream… this island is not only picturesque, the mountains will work your calfs harder than any rowing machine at the gym!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (17)

9. Mykonos

An Island that is truly unique in its architecture and a perfect place to devour some local sea-food.

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (36)

10. Folegandros

Dramatic rock formations really bring this island alive in a rich diversity of mountains and flat plains

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (20)

11. Kasterollizo

Experience traditional Greek life, it’s not heavily discovered by mass tourism, so it’s a great place to experience a true, very Greek way of life.

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (35)

12. Spetses

A sailors paradise!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (9)

13. Symi

Colourful towns mark the waterfront, which sparkle like jewels in the warm haze of sunset!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (1)

14. Kythira

Cave exploring at its best!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (26)

15. Kefalonia

Another Sea kayaking paradise! Beautiful

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (8)

16. Anafi

Idyllic, unspoilt wilderness awaits you at Anafi

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (3)

17. Samos

Only a few miles off the coast of Turkey, I felt as though I could swim across a continent! A beautiful island with great food!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (13)

18. Ithica

A small Greek island that lends itself to a quieter way of life. Perfect to relax!

A Complete List Of Greek Islands To Visit This Summer (21)


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Exploring Greece: on the trail of Alexander the Great

Category : Greece , Visit Europe

Stretching from Greece through the Middle East to India and along to Egypt and northeast Africa, Alexander III of Macedon (also known as Alexander the Great) created one of the largest empires ever to exist. Succeeding his father, Philip II, to rule Greece and Macedonia (today northern Greece), Alexander conquered numerous empires and many powerful kingdoms. Many important Alexander the Great sites, cities and ancient battlefields from his formative years are located in modern-day Greece. As a former archaeologist who has long been fascinated by Alexander III and the impact he and his father made on history, no trip to Greece was complete without a road trip along the trail of Alexander the Great.

Bust of Alexander the Great in his classic head tilt pose from The British Museum.
Bust of Alexander the Great in his classic head tilt pose from The British Museum.

Ancient Thebes: Alexander’s history-making moments

Loading up our rental car with everything we would need — plenty of hiking gear, good road maps (pre-smartphone era), a giant stack of Alexander the Great tomes, and a bottle or two of ouzo (the local Greek liquor) — my travel partner and I headed out of Athens in search of Alexander and what defined him as “The Great.”

From Athens, we headed north to the ancient city of Thebes. In 335 BC a fierce battle between Alexander’s forces and the Thebans was fought in and around the city. In the end, the Macedonian forces were victorious and razed ancient Thebes to the ground. This was the fall of the last powerful Greek city state and was a key victory for Alexander in controlling the Greek mainland. All that is left today of ancient Thebes is a handful of broken stones scattered on the once mighty acropolis.

The tides turned at Chaeronea

From the modern-day city that has grown up around ancient Thebes, we wound our way through the rugged, olive tree-lined hills of central Greece on a hunt for the famous ancient battle site of Chaeronea. The vast, arid land is a reminder of how hard it was to move an army quickly and efficiently through central Greece. After a few wrong turns and plenty of “Do you think this is the field where the battle took place?” we found what we were looking for — the colossal stone lion marking the burial of the Sacred Theban Band. The solitary stone sentry stood guard over the tombs of famous warriors and is the site where one of the most important ancient battles occurred.

The colossal stone lion marking the burial of the Sacred Theban Band, and the site of the battle of Chaeronea.
The colossal stone lion marking the burial of the Sacred Theban Band, and the site of the battle of Chaeronea.

In 338 BC, on a warm August morning, the combined forces of Thebes and Athens met the Macedonian army led by Alexander III and his father, King Philip II. Alexander and Philip’s forces won a sound victory. The Battle of Chaeronea marked the end of the powerful Greek city states and the beginning of rule over Greece by Philip II, and later, his son, Alexander. The Sacred Theban band was considered the premier fighting force, and to honour their prowess in battle (even for the losing side), Alexander buried the soldiers under the giant stone lion, which still stands to this day. Less than three years later, Thebes would fall for good to Alexander the Great.

View over the plains where the ancient battle of Chaeronea took place.
View over the plains where the ancient battle of Chaeronea took place.

Our journey on the path of Alexander continued through the mountainous region of central Greece to Mount Parnassus and the ancient ruins of the sacred site of Delphi, where the famous oracle proclaimed that Alexander was invincible. This prediction proved nearly true; Alexander survived many near mortal wounds, until his death (possibly from poison) in 323 BC.

The Temple of Delphi under the shadow of Mount Parnassus.
The Temple of Delphi under the shadow of Mount Parnassus.

Up close and personal with Philip II

From Delphi, we continued north into the ancient Macedonian region of Greece, driving past the legendary mountain of Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods, and continuing to the original Macedonian capital of Aigai (known today as Vergina). Here, there is a large burial mound containing four tombs, including the sealed burial mounds of Philip II and Alexander the Great’s son, Alexander IV. Ancient Aigai was the original Macedonian capital before it was moved to Pella, and it’s also the burial place for the Argead dynasty. Archaeologists preserved the tombs inside the burial mound with a state-of-the-art subterranean museum. Wandering amongst the treasures Philip II intended to take to the afterlife, the opulent gifts Alexander III buried with his son, and the gigantic interior of the tombs, left us with a feeling of awe and wonder. Located at the heart of this massive mound burial site is a gold cask containing Philip II’s ashes. Aigai’s history does not stop there; with wide, sweeping stone boulevards and mosaic floors still intact, it is the location of both Philip’s assassination and Alexander’s coronation as king.

Subterranean entrance to Philip II’s tomb at Vergina.
Subterranean entrance to Philip II’s tomb at Vergina.

Where It All Began: Pella

From the site of Philip II’s death and Alexander’s kingship, we headed to where it all began — ancient Pella, the birth city of Alexander the Great. Pella was the capital city of Philip II and Alexander III’s Macedonian kingdom. Walking amongst the columned, stone boulevards of the ancient agora where merchants sold their goods, taking in the well-preserved palace walls and studying the beautiful mosaics that remain, I could imagine what life would have been like for the young prince, and future ruler of empires, as he grew up and learned the art of strategy, governance and philosophy — as well as the ambitions of a conqueror.

Walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great’s youth on the boulevards, palace steps and ancient agora at Pella.
Walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great’s youth on the boulevards, palace steps and ancient agora at Pella.


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How to eat your way through the Greek Islands

Category : Europe , Greece

The Greek Islands evoke a sense of seafaring adventure and postcard perfect landscapes. They’re the stuff of travel legend—the talcum beaches and ancient ruins adorn the covers of many dog-eared travel guides. But you already know that.

So, I’m not here to tell you about the water (yes, it looks like glass), and how each of the Greek Islands is unique or the otherworldly landscapes that are only accessible by small yacht. Nope—you’ve likely heard all that before.

Pori Beach, Koufonisia.
Pori Beach, Koufonisia.

Instead, what I’d like to share with you is how the islands made us feel—and how we ate! Oh, how we ate.

We—a few close friends and I—along with our fellow G Adventures travellers, were absolutely blown away by every meal, and more so by every encounter we had with the people of the islands. When preparing for this trip I thought to myself: “Well I suppose the food should be good. I do like Greek food; it’s not my favorite but I’m sure we’ll like it.” So it wasn’t exactly with a fevered anticipation for a culinary adventure that I set off for Greece. I was so woefully underprepared for what I discovered!

Boats on Koufonisia.
Boats on Koufonisia.

Step 1: Start with the salad

It all started on Mykonos. I wasn’t expecting to see ‘Greek Salad’ on the menu here (we were, after all, in Greece). Wouldn’t that make it simply a ‘salad’? However, it was on every menu—and I’m pretty sure I didn’t let a day go by without ordering it. You can thank the fresh feta.

Hidden Beach & rock formations on Koufonisia.
Hidden Beach & rock formations on Koufonisia.

Step 2: Grandmothers know best

One day on Naxos Island (after a hike up to Mt Zeus and a climb down hundreds of steps into a tiny village we never would have found on our own), we were treated to a lunch made by—I kid you not—a group of ladies that looked like a gaggle of grandmothers whose singular goal in life was to make people smile. There was no menu here—just dish upon dish of family-style, fresh deliciousness. The grilled eggplant melted at each bite. Lamb? I wasn’t a fan before—but, simply, “wow”. Greek Salad? There was a whole block of soft, creamy feta adorning each plate. Too delicious. And the tzatziki. Oh man, the tzatziki! We had it at every meal—we couldn’t get enough! Surrounded by the sweetest, oliv-iest olive oil you’ve ever tasted. I’m sorry—I’m not given to hyperbole (generally).

Fresh Feta & Tzatziki at hidden village restaurant on Naxos.
Fresh Feta & Tzatziki at hidden village restaurant on Naxos.

Step 3: Eating honey is a very good thing to do

Have I mentioned the honey? I like trying different kinds of honey at home—especially raw. Well even the honey in Greece tasted better. When bees have access to large areas of one kind of plant—they produce honey with a flavor and color typical of that particular region. And here the flowers had a taste all their own. It was generously drizzled over the thickest, freshest, yogurt you’ve ever had. It just doesn’t get better.

Fresh Spinach Pie on Paros.
Fresh Spinach Pie on Paros.

Step 4: Find Anna and George

But every meal did keep getting better. Our most memorable night was at Anna & George’s Restaurant on Paros—one of the Small Cyclades Islands. It’s a bit out of the way—you have to ask a local where to find it and walk about 20 minutes from where your yacht is moored at the marina. But it was worth every step. Anna cooks and George serves. Here, they make everything from scratch and from ingredients from their nearby farm. There were even olives on the table from their own orchard. Here, the food was just unreal. Including feta grilled in a balsamic glaze and honey, and lamb that was impossibly soft and flavourful

Anna and George were not your typical restaurant owners. After we were finished, George offered to drive us—all six of us, mind you—back to the marina in his car. We piled in and then later after he and his wife had closed up, they joined us at the bar into the wee hours! They even had a hand in introducing one of our friends to a local woman; they claimed she was a good catch: “Her family has an olive orchard!”

None of us had experienced hospitality like this before. After every meal we were served a round of Raki—the local liquor. Similar to ouzo and grappa, the non-sweet, aniseed-flavoured drink is made (I soon learned) from a variety of fruits and makes an especially good complement to fish, feta and cold hors d’oeuvres.

The G Adventures crew.
The G Adventures crew.

Step 5: Raki it up!

Raki certainly made every meal a celebration. People were always quick to share their frustrations with the government and how they were contending with the economy—and it seemed to make them more welcoming and appreciative of their guests, as there was no shortage of generosity showed to us wherever we went.

Our last night in Santorini, the most beautiful place in the world. Or at least one of them!
Our last night in Santorini, the most beautiful place in the world. Or at least one of them!

You’ll never forget that feeling!

Of course we reveled in the gorgeous beaches and scenery, and had a blast during our sailing time from island to island. There’s truly no better way to see the islands. Sailing combines the convenience of a cruise (unpack once) but keeps it small enough to allow you to such places as Koufonissia (which was an absolute paradise). Our friends loved that island so much they named their new dog “Nissi” after it!

So, if you’re thinking of going to the Greek Islands, don’t hesitate. Memories of talcum beaches and ancient ruins might fade but you’ll never forget how they made you feel. And the answer is full! And never happier!


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Island hopping in the Cyclades of the Adriatic Sea

Category : Europe , Greece

Arts, culture, and offer glamour and mythology in the Greek islands.

Over the course of a week, we managed to hop through three different Greek islands in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea. There are dozens of Greek islands to choose from, each of which have their own personality. And they are much unlike the mainland — there is a serene calm to perusing the cobblestone streets, the sky is a potent cobalt blue, and there is, for the most part, an overwhelming sense of quiet. The three islands of Mykonos, Paros, and Delos could be compared to certain neighbourhoods in New York City. Mykonos is the glamourous Manhattan, lined with Gucci shops and high-end restaurants; Paros, is like Brooklyn, and has more grit and less pomp; while Delos, an ancient archaeological site, is simply a stride through Central Park. Here are the must-sees, all without taking the L-train.

Evening takes hold in the Greek islands.
Evening takes hold in the Greek islands.

Mykonos: Jet set nightlife and glamour

Mykonos is known as a floating party island — a close second to Ibiza, which some say has lost its magic. It’s been a jet-set escape since Jackie Onassis first visited in the 1960s, where she met the famed island mascot, the pelican. But it’s more than just a haven for yachts and champagne. There are some low-key hotspots outside of the loud tourist crowd, including the Alchemist concept shop, which looks like a scene out of Star Wars with its sleek, modular interior design and racks lined with European designers, like Sandrine Philippe from Paris. A quick stroll into the Kastro district reveals the picturesque 17th-century architectural icon, the Panagia Paraportiani church. The Super Paradise Beach is the perfect place to watch the waves, dive in, and order a pizza from one of the nearby restaurants. For something quieter, the beach at the JackieO’ bar has sunbeds, Wi-Fi, and a private garden; they also recently opened a new pop-up shop by British designer Neil Barrett.

Mykonos is known for having amazing nightlife, but there's a softer side to this famous island, too.
Mykonos is known for having amazing nightlife, but there’s a softer side to this famous island, too.

For eats, Ling Ling by Hakkasan in the Old Town fuses Asian treats with local cuisine in a minimal chic den, offering steamed dim sum with lobster and seabass dumplings. The classic Remezzo restaurant serves traditional Mediterranean, like Greek moussaka. For those looking to dance the night away, Cavo Paradiso is the ultimate booming techno nightclub perched atop a rocky cliff with two bars and an outdoor swimming public pool. Expect music until sunrise (it closes at 10 a.m.) with DJ sets by Nina Kraviz, Tiesto, and Richie Hawtin, and don’t miss the promoters on the streets offering free guest list spots, it saves you €30.00.

Paros: An overlooked paradise

Paros is less touristy than Mykonos, and very chill. And its luscious landscape never fails to impress nature seekers. There’s lots of adventure on this island, as much of it is still untouched. The Valley of the Butterflies features hundreds of butterflies settled in the trees. The best part is watching the red, orange, and brown butterflies flock, which creates a fiery rainbow in the sky. If you rent a scooter, it’s a fun ride to the top of the mountain points, which have various monasteries and stunning views of the island. For a day trip, the neighbouring island of Antiparos has a sea cave that was a site of worship in ancient times.

Antiparos is just a ferry ride away from Paros. Photo courtesy Experience Greece.
Antiparos is just a ferry ride away from Paros. Photo courtesy Experience Greece.

With an altar covered in gold, and a stunning courtyard covered with foliage, the Church of 100 Doors set in Pairika, the island’s main village, is said to be the oldest church of the Cyclades (it’s from the 6th century). A walk up the hill shows the Frankish Castle, a 12th century stone castle built by the Venetians. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset dip into the other nearby islands. A hidden gem is the Archaeological Museum of Paros, which offers a look into classical history with pottery and sculpture from the Neolithic era. Its courtyard has dozens of ancient architectural ruins, including a mosaic floor from the Roman era. A common favourite for dining is the Albatros restaurant — a stroll from the main port — which specializes in the traditional Greek spinach pie, spanakopita and a fresh Greek salad made with the local Paros goat cheese called mizithra. For a more indulgent dinner, the Ephessus restaurant features Greek and Anatolian cuisine under a charming set of trees that face the ocean. The district of Naoussa is home to the island’s nightlife, with clubs and bars like The Beer House, which is set in a cavernous 16th-century building, which serves 50 Greek beers, including the local Paros beer, “56.”

Delos: A sacred island

Delos is known as an important archaeological site filled with archaic, Hellenistic, and classical ruins. In mythology, this is also where the twin gods Apollo and Artemis were born. The real highlight is the climb to the top of Mount Kynthos, which takes less than half an hour, and features a great view of the island. Upon arrival, a guide offers a map outlining the ruins, and visitors group together with tour guides. Some of the ruins include a 6,000-seat amphitheatre, the Pool of the Minoan Fountain, and the Lion Terrace, where nine lion sculptures guard the island’s sacred entranceway. A former religious centre during 1 B.C., there are several Doric temples and the Archaeological Museum of Delos, which houses tapestries, paintings, and ancient jewellery. The smallest island of the Cyclades, it remains uninhabited and nobody is ever allowed to stay overnight here, according to instructions from the ancient Gods, which they still obey today.

The highlight is the climb to the top of Mount Kynthos. Photo courtesy Harvey B.

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6 hidden spots in the Greek Island

Category : Europe , Greece

Hoist the sails and come with us to the Aegean Sea, where our skippers spill their secrets on the best places to chill.

The Greek Islands are far more than just sunsets and whitewashed villages. Exploring Greece by sea puts you in touch with a side of this country you’d otherwise miss, giving you the chance to see where history (and myth) happened, meet the present-day inhabitants and, of course, soak up as much sun as you can get.

From popular spots to hidden secrets, nobody knows the local lore better than our Sailing Operations Manager, Dave Hunter, and Vince Donnelly, our Global Sailing Manager. Together, they’ve logged more than 60,000 nautical miles. Extremely knowledgeable about Europe’s coastal waters and particularly adept at uncovering the region’s hidden gems, they’ve discovered some of the best that the Greek Islands have to offer by plying the waters between Athens and Mykonos — a journey that Dave counts as his all-time favourite.

Climb onboard as they take us through six of their favourite stops.

Image result for Levitha greece

1. Levitha

With a grand population of three and boasting a single restaurant, the only way to secure a reservation for dinner is by boat. The food that’s served here is locally grown and sourced from the sea. The owners even make their own local Rakomelo (a digestive spirit), but watch out — it’s got a kick that will leave you wanting more!

Come to Amorgos for the Monastery of Hozoviotissa. Photo courtesy Henrik B.

2. Amorgos

The easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades is Amorgos. It boasts a history of pirates, shipwrecks and medieval monasteries. Head to the southeast coast for a sight of the extraordinary Monastery of Hozoviotissa, which is built into the base of a soaring cliff. With a rich history and remains of ancient civilizations scattered throughout, Amorgos is much more about looking back at the past than a day at the beach; nevertheless, there’s great walking, diving and rock climbing here.

The mighty protector of Kea. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

3. Kea

Kea’s landscape bursts with natural beauty. Walk the olive tree-lined trail from one end of the island to the other and visit the stone Lion of Kea; carved into the rock face prior to 600 BCE, the lion is employed as protector of the island.

The mighty protector of Kea. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Rent a bike to get further afield and explore the island’s charms: rocky hillsides, and lush valleys filled with orchards, olive groves and oak trees. Make sure you leave a few hours to visit the hidden bay of Kathraia, where you can step back in time to the ancient world and visit an ongoing archaeology site.

The night awaits in Naxos.

4. Naxos

The largest of the Cyclades offers fertile valleys and gorges, stunning seascapes and traditional villages perched high on mountaintops.

Don’t miss the Latinas Taverna, a restaurant so well hidden some locals don’t even know about it! You’ll have to take a winding road through the mountains and then traverse a labyrinth of narrow walkways to find it, but this will make the mouth-watering food all the more worthwhile. Plus, you’ll walk off the mountains of delicious cuisine you’ll consume while there.

Image result for Rineia greece

5. Rineia

Craving a digital detox? This is the island for you. Those with access to their own boat will find beautiful, secluded beaches on this islet of Rineia.

Though it supported a small population until the 1980s, today it’s pretty much deserted, excepting a few donkeys and goats. Still, you can explore its old farmhouses, country churches and the traces of its history. With turquoise waters and beaches of white sand, you’ll be beautifully isolated from the world and can revel in the sheer bliss.

On Koufonisia you come for the food and stay for the beach. Photo courtesy Luca C.

6. Kato Koufonisia

Locals call Koufonisia, “the Mykonos of the Small Cyclades,” In-the-know visitors flock here for its superb beaches, picturesque hotels and excellent restaurants. Swim the day away in the island’s cerulean bay then indulge your taste buds at the Venetsanos Tavern, which serves a wealth of traditional local specialties made from the wild goats of Keros. Don’t forget to wash it down liberally with plenty of Rakomelo!

The most postcard-perfect imagery can’t compare to seeing the white-sand of the beaches, the azure-coloured waters and the spectacular sunsets of the Greek Islands. Set sail and see a side of Greece you’ll remember forever.


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