Dreaming of the magnificent Greek islands? Well, there’s never been a better time to plan a visit!
With Greece still reeling from economic instability, there are many deals to be had. Plus, tourism money is a big help to the struggling Greek economy. Greece has 1,400 islands however only 230 are inhabited. Many islands are famous such as picturesque Santorini and party-heavy Mykonos. With so many islands to chose from, travellers can find their perfect island.
A simple and convenient way for first time travellers to explore the islands is via a cruise ship. There are regular departures from the port of Piraeus, located just a few kilometres from Athens and very easily connected to the city by public transportation options. While big name cruise companies are an option for your Greek cruise, also look into smaller, local companies that focus only on the islands. Your experience could be more personal and offer a better insight to island life.
If you prefer to do-it-yourself, use the Greek ferry system to get from point to point. You will want to pay special attention to arrival and departure times as well as docking destinations. Not all ferries operate year-round – pay special attention to the low season (winter and spring) where there may be reduced schedules.
If boats aren’t your preferred method of travel, you can also fly to many of the islands. Crete, Rhodes, Milos, Santorini, and Lemmos are just a few of the islands that have their own airport. Flights may be irregular, but offer a quick option. There are many hotels and rental properties available on each island. If you’re wanting to simply go somewhere to relax, visiting in the shoulder seasons, such as September/October and April/May may have the best deals. You won’t find all the restaurants open and the weather may not be ideal for swimming at the beach, but the temperatures are lovely and you won’t face thousands of tourists clamouring for the one remaining sun parasol.
Take note of the five islands that rank best for families: Crete, Rhodes, Paros, Corfu, and Naxos. Crete is a favourite because of its large size and variety of options. From kid-friendly beaches to water parks and historical city life there is plenty to do. A visit to Rhodes in summer can have your child surrounded by butterflies at Petaloudes or the Valley of the Butterflies! If you have older children, Paros is a great choice for a variety of swimming and water options. For some of the best beaches in the islands, Naxos is where to go. Clear water, sandy beaches and plenty of space, all make Naxos’ beaches an easy sell.
The truth is, most people yearn to visit Greece for the profound history. If you are planning on going for Athens, look into staying a bit longer in order to check out the Greek island beaches. It’s well worth the extra leg of a fantastic journey!
Have you been to the Greek islands before?
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