Crete tops the Greek Island Top 10

With its picturesque white and turquoise village houses and clear water beaches, it’s little wonder that a record 12.7 million tourists touched down in Greece last year.

The Greek islands in particular saw visitor numbers soar by a staggering 10.8% in 2013 as holidaymakers returned to their favourite family resorts.

Top of the Greek hotspots list last year was the island of Crete, a popular destination for young couples and families which welcomed more tourists than any other region anywhere in the country.

Two of the island’s most picturesque towns Heraklion and Chania also did well, welcoming more than 3.3 million visitors combined.

The impressive figures, released by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, also revealed that Athens also saw a significant rise in the influx of tourists to the vibrant, historic capital.

Up-and-coming Greek destinations include Kalamata, home of the famous black kalamata olives, in the southwest Peloponnese.  With its own airport and access to the region opening up, it’s fast becoming a new favourite and the statistics speak for themselves – Kalamata airport recorded a staggering increase of 61.3% in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Some of the most popular holiday spots last year included the picturesque islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Kefalonia, Kos, Zakynthos, while perennial timeshare favourite Rhodes also reported double-digit growth.

Timeshare owners planning a Greek escape this year will want to check out te stunning new website DiscoverGreece.com which is packed with information and stats on more than 110 Greek destinations and 2,000 photographs.

And there’s more good news for Greece lovers.  Several airlines have announced plans to introduce new routes from the UK to Greece in 2014, including British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Aegean Airlines.

We’ll have more details on the dates, increased services and new routes from the UK to various Greek destinations in early spring.

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