I honestly don’t think there is anywhere in the world as blue as Greece. There is something so pure about the colours of the sea and sky, which you just don’t get in other parts of the world. What’s not to love about this simply stunning part of the world. With its pretty paved streets lined with pink flowers and cobalt blue front doors. All that prettiness that makes your heart skip a little beat. The people are warm and welcoming, the food is delicious, and yes I am wishing myself back there as I type. Oh to be sat on the beach in my swimwear looking out to sea with the sun on my face. Ok maybe a cocktail in hand too. And is it too much to ask to maybe have a great book too?
But there is so much more to Greece and the Greek Islands than beautiful blue skies. There are so many more reasons to visit.
I have enlisted the help of a few friends to share a few tips and a little inspiration on which Greek Islands you have to visit.
I have often thought Island Hopping would be the perfect Geek adventure. Taking the opportunity to soak up as much of the culture as possible. Explore as many winding streets on as many islands as we can and really get to see the real Greece. A great way to do this is by booking a Sailing Holiday In Greece. Giving you the opportunity to explore new islands and beaches every day, but without the grief of unpacking and packing your cases. Taking your accommodation with you is the perfect solution for a chilled out island hopping holiday in Greece.
Head to Zakynthos and go turtle spotting
Ting from My Travel Monkey says that Zakynthos is home to the largest nesting site of the endangered loggerhead turtles. She told me that the chances of seeing them during the months from May-October are high. And there are many organisations including the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. who concentrate on educating visitors on turtle preservation and breeding programmes. Ting and her family chose an eco-friendly tour, not a glass-bottomed boat, which confuses turtles below the surface. And were able to witness over 50 baby turtles hatching and making their way to the sea on Gerakas beach. A magical moment her family will never forget and was only witnessed by around 15 people who made it before sunrise that day.
Simi promises to wow you with its Instagramable streets and pretty harbour
Whilst Cathy from Mummy Travels promises the Island of Simi will woo you with its pretty blue and white colours, buildings glinting in the sunshine. And the deep blue sea below, blue domes above and perhaps a splash of vibrant bougainvillea for contrast. Sounds heavenly doesn’t it?
But she tells me that’s only the start! “Symi was a magnificent explosion of colours, from muted ochre’s to pastel yellow and dusky pink along with a deep cornflower. With houses rising up from the harbour where equally colourful boats bobbed on the waves. Sporting bright yellow nets, splashes of green and sky blue on the boats.”
Check out the greenery in Kefalonia, on the Ionian Islands.
Clare from Suitcases and Sandcastles believes this is the greenest Greek island her family have ever visited. Additionally it also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches. And you’ve got more than a good chance of seeing sea turtles here too. She told me, “you’ll want to spend time in the picturesque harbour of Fiskardo which feels like a miniature version of St-Tropez. Also Myrtos Beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.”
But if you’re after laid-back and unspoiled Greece then you should stay in Assos. Claire said Assos is the perfect Greek village. Where small boats are moored in the horseshoe-shaped harbour, colourfully painted houses and tavernas overlook the water, there’s a little beach, a castle on the hill. With the loveliest walks through the cypress and pine trees into the surrounding countryside.
Visit Crete and explore the hills and villages
And if you like to explore, go inland a little and hire a car for the day? Then Carrie From Flying With A Baby recommends exploring the hills and local villages of Crete where you will really get to feel the essence of the island. She recommends hiring a small car something that will expertly navigate the narrow winding streets. She said “Some of the views are just breath-taking and you almost feel like you are as high up as the Grecian Gods. The hills above Hersonissos are easily and quickly accessible and doable with young kids.”
Her family opted to visit a small local village Avdou Chersonissos. Their first stop was a small olive oil factory called Assargiotakisisyannis followed by a wander around a living traditional village. Kids will enjoy tasting the oil and stretching their legs as they explore the village. Many of the old historic building are now no longer in use, however signs tell you what they used to be used for. The atmosphere is such that you instantly feel as if you have been transported back in time to a slower pace of life.
Explore the streets and then enjoy the Sunset in Kardamena in Kos
A huge part of travel for us is getting to see local areas. And Kardamena is such a beautiful little harbour town with streets lined with pretty flowers, paved floors, tiled walls, and taverna’s. It is one of those towns that are brimming with pretty shops. Bicycles with flowers in baskets are just propped up against walls, and colourful tavernas entice you in offering delicious dishes caught fresh in the sea that day. We ate Mezze at the most gorgeous restaurant and browsed the shops, stopping for the occasional glass of wine as we enjoyed the pinky sunset until it got dark. The boys loving the atmosphere as we people watched and chatted.
And don’t discount the Mainland. Mainland Greece has so much to offer
There are many beautiful coastal towns and perfect beaches to explore on the mainland. A family favourite for us is Thessaloniki with its sprawling open countryside. And if you visit during the spring check out the glorious sunflower and lavender fields. Which are breathtaking and seem to go on for miles. I felt I could have stood and enjoyed the view forever. And the historic churches that seem to be dotted about everywhere.
Check out the stunning coastal town of Afitos. Offering spectacular views out to sea for a great viewing point wind up through the village to the highest point. There is a bench there for you to take a little time to appreciate those views. The town is dotted with tavernas, perfect for taking the time to soak up the atmosphere and spend a long chilled out evening over local delicacies.
I feel I want to rush off and book and island hopping holiday now, I have totally fallen in love with Greece. And fortunately for me there is an awful lot of it to explore.
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