With so many fantastic destinations to choose from, deciding where to go in Greece can be difficult. From Mainland Greece to the hundreds of Greek islands such as Corfu and Zante, you are always sure to experience beautiful beaches, spectacular views, plenty of historical sites, sunshine and delicious food.
So, which part of Greece is for you? A Guide to Greece should help you with your shortlist…
Halkidiki is a three-fingered peninsula which can be found in northern Greece. This area is part of mainland Greece and though lesser known than the islands is a wonderful place for a beach holiday. The three peninsulas are Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Atlas and all 3 have their own characteristics and charm. Throughout Halkadiki you’ll find many traditional Greek villages dotted around, where you can find traditional buildings and a small and friendly community which welcomes tourists.
Athitos in Kassandra is a perfect example, as it’s a small coastal village which has stuck to its roots and oozes authentic Greece. In typical Greek style the coastline of Halkadiki is covered in golden sand and bright blue seas which are postcard perfect. There is one thing different and that’s the fact that the beaches are much quieter which means you can have more scenery to yourself. The natural beauty doesn’t stop at the beach and if you’re feeling adventurous you can go hiking over rugged landscapes such as the Koutsoupia-Siviri trail.
Boasting a mixture of beaches, nature and architecture – Corfu is a wonderful destination. With its picturesque little villages fringing the island, tasty cuisine and a strong Venetian influence, there’s no doubt you’ll have a lovely time away here.
Located just off the north western coast of mainland Greece, it is known for its rich and multicultural heritage. Although there’s lots to do in Corfu, it is more relaxed and quiet than other Greek Islands, which makes it perfect if it’s a lazy week on the beach that you’re after. Visit Corfu Old Town with its pedestrian-only narrow streets that are lined with shops and popular restaurants, and a trip to the villages of Kassiopi and Paleokastritsa are also a must for your holiday here.
Corfu’s lively nightlife is fantastic too: it offers a variety of bars and cafes with music to suit any taste, and there are plenty of big nightclubs situated outside of Corfu Town. If a good night out is what you are looking for, head for a relaxing dinner at a tavern of your choice in one of the quiet bays and watch the sun go down as you spend a romantic evening together with a glass of wine in hand. Afterwards, dance the night away in the lively bars and mingle with other holiday goers and locals. For those of you who can’t go a week without a bit of shopping, there are a variety of shops and stores that sell quality and traditional Greek products and chic clothes.
As the largest Greek island in the Aegean Sea, Crete crams in more than 600 miles of coastline, vibrant towns and sleepy villages into its four main regions. There are bags of unspoilt scenery so families wanting a holiday of outdoor adventures are in luck, and with so many myths and legends to uncover there’s something truly mesmerizing about Crete. From the Minoan Palace of Knossos in Heraklion, to the many tombs and mosques in Rethymno, there’s a wealth of history here.
Throw in pair of water parks and a few museums, your days will be jam-packed. Plus, there’s the opportunity to go on day trips to nearby islands of Spinalonga and Santorini. With clear waters and secluded bays, the beaches are ideal for swimming and paddling in while being set among some breathtaking locations. Check out the pink-white sands of Elafonissi Beach near Chania, and the stunning Preveli Beach in Rethymno.
Despite being known as a party island, Zante has many draws for families – including the picturesque countryside, fun-filled attractions and choice of child-friendly beaches. Beyond the famous white sands of Shipwreck Beach, there’s Alykes, Gerakas, Agios Nikolaos, Kalamaki, Tsilivi and Spanzia. If you’re lucky, at night you’ll spot loggerhead turtles nesting. Up in the northern and western parts of the island, things are less crowded and offer a more peaceful atmosphere.
Zante Town is like many Greek towns, both charming and traditional. There’s an assortment of castles, churches and museums, plus a great choice of cocktail bars and restaurants for laidback lunches and al fresco dinners. From Zante, you can take a ferry crossing from neighbouring Killini and Kefalonia so it’s worth keeping a day aside for this or to explore the Blue Caves.
This is one of the most romantic destinations in the world, and an ideal place for an unforgettable holiday. Santorini is a breath-taking volcanic island that is hard not to fall in love with the minute you step off the plane, and its home to hundreds of romantic boutique hotels that will give you the perfect private and luxurious getaway.
With volcanic activity creating a beautiful landscape, you will have a memorable time enjoying the spectacular views and sunsets. You can stroll along those narrow alleys and enjoy the traditional villages of Fira and Oia. Foodies will love tasting all the locally made fresh dishes, while adventure seekers will enjoy long hiking trails, quad bike tours and many different diving opportunities. Culture vultures can also indulge themselves in historic sights and explore ancient ruins – so there’s something for even the trickiest-to-please couples.
There is an abundance of things you can do in Santorini, such as swimming in the sea at one of the many picturesque beaches (such as the red beach) or taking a romantic cruise around the island. Or for something a little more laid-back, simply visit Imerovigli – the perfect place to watch the sun set over the ocean before sitting down to dinner.
With miles of beaches, mountains, castles, fresco-covered churches, one of the finest medieval towns in all the Mediterranean (and eight sunny months a year), where else would you want to go for a Greek holiday but Rhodes?
A popular Greek island that has one 200 kilometres of coastline, it is the perfect spot for a quiet break. Rhodes keeps a fairly low profile with hotels, taverns and a selection of bars along the sandy beaches. But full of medieval treasures, Rhodes will have you knee-deep in history. One of its main attractions is Rhodes Town where you can visit the Medieval citadel with links to St John’s famous knights: it is said to be one of the best preserved in Europe.
Interested in something a little more energetic? Further north of the island is the clubbing capital, Faliraki, with a strip full of bars and clubs almost as long as the beach. But if you head south of this route it will take you to Lindos – a location that is peppered of whitewashed houses and beautiful cobbled streets.