Quick Guide to Greek Islands
Steeped in ancient history as well as plenty of sunshine, Greece is a glorious summer getaway destination. The 1,400 islands dotted across its beautiful blue waters offer dazzling white beaches that range from lively to blissfully serene. With picturesque blue and white villages and ancient ruins set against spectacular sunsets, you'll feel like you're walking into a postcard.
Discover the lush green western islands like Kefalonia where Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed. Or let Santorini take your breath away with its dramatic cliffs and stunning volcanic landscape. The Cycladic islands attract a cosmopolitan crowd. If you want to splash out, head to Mykonos or try nearby Paros or Naxos for a cheaper alternative. Sample the delicious local dishes and then work off the calories with a range of watersports.
Try one of the larger islands like Corfu, Rhodes or Crete for great deals on all inclusive holidays. Or head off the beaten track for a more traditional experience where you could see prices drop by nearly a third. Camping resorts can also be a fun way to keep costs down. Each island has its own unique personality and many are close enough to hop on a ferry for a day trip. Whether you're after family fun, non-stop parties or a romantic setting to relax in, you'll be sure to find cheap holidays to the Greek islands.
Fab holidays for:
Summer sunshine, Beach escapes, Ancient wonders
Crete, Rhodes and Santorini
Did you know?
Olives from trees planted as far back as the 13th century could find their way into your scrumptious Greek salad.
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Top 5 beaches on the Greek Islands
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world can be found around the Greek islands. Here are a few to get you started.
- Shipwreck Bay, Zante
- The truly stunning Shipwreck Bay is not to be missed. Many hotels will provide tours to this magical beach hidden at the foot of a tremendous cliff. The main attraction is the washed up shipwreck perched on the white sands.
- Elafonisi, Crete
- You'll find the pristine Elafonisi beach on the far west coast of Crete. Natural and untouched, crystal clear turquoise waters gently lap against the shore. Explore the hidden coves where you might spot one of the protect bird species that have chosen this dreamy spot as their home.
- Plaka Beach, Naxos
- One of the most popular beaches on Naxos, its beautiful white sands are lined with tavernas where you can sample the local cuisine. It draws a mixed crowd of all ages and families too, but be aware that the South side is a haven for nude sunbathers.
- Perissa Beach, Santorini
- Unique black sands make this volcanic beach stand out. A huge rock known as Mesa Vouno rises majestically from the sea and is said to glow in the dark. Complete with beach facilities, this beautiful bay is a must-see.
- Mastichari Beach, Kos
- This lively family beach is nestled on the coast just south of Kos Town. It's lined with trees that provide welcome shade. Popular with windsurfers, there are plenty of other watersports to choose from too.
When to go to the Greek Islands
Make the most of Greece's 250 days of sunshine by booking your holiday package early for the best prices. Expect temperatures above 20°C between May to September and even through October if you're lucky. Airfares and accommodation prices tend to rise along with the temperatures during peak times in late July and August, so keep an eye out for deals. The Greek islands, especially the southern ones like Crete and Rhodes, are sometimes classified as mid-haul holiday destinations and make for a great bit of early or late sunshine.
Be aware that Greeks from the mainland often flock to the islands during national holidays like Easter and the weekend nearest to the 15th of August. This means that accommodation gets booked up early and prices are often hiked up too. Weekends can also be expensive to travel on so compare different days of the week to find the lowest price.