If you’re booking a timeshare holiday soon for some springtime sun, each of the Greek islands has something quite unique to offer. Every island group is different from the other – from the architecture to the types of beaches, even the local food and customs can vary.
Mykonos’s white sugar cube and blue door homes contrast with the red roofs on other islands, for example, and whether you prefer a spot near a working village or somewhere more remote, Greece hits the sweet spot.
From magical, mystical Santorini to historical Delos, here are ten of the top islands to consider for your next escape, whether it’s Easter 2015 or a late break this autumn!
Just remember that flights open up directly from the UK to the main islands at the end of March, so if you’re travelling off-peak, you’ll need to fly to the mainland and catch a ferry.
Dramatic Santorini, the photographer’s favourite is perfect for those who want a romantic getaway, thanks to the plethora of pristine beaches and breathtaking views. Culture vultures will enjoy historical sites like Ancient Thira, and Ancient Akrotiri, and the tavernas have a reputation for particularly good food. Santorini is one of Greece’s most picturesque islands and its magical, mystical ambiance stays with you until you return…
Year-rounder timeshare favourite Crete has plenty to offer, whatever your holiday style. Explore the hard-to-reach and ruggedly beautiful Balos Lagoon, and pay a visit to the marine life at the Aquaworld Aquarium. Nature lovers will enjoy the Samaria Gorge National Park, which is said to be one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe.
Better, probably, for the younger crowd, Ios is known for its wild nightlife and party atmosphere, Ios calms down come September. The island is often credited as having some of Europe’s top beaches, so be sure to visit Maganari Beach where you can enjoy water sports until mid-October. Meanwhile, stop off at the Venetian castle of Paleocastro and see Homer’s Tomb, the resting place of the great Greek poet.
Another party island but in many ways that’s a myth, as Mykonos has plenty of quieter beaches and hillside getaways. One of the most glamorous Greek islands, this cosmopolitan destination gets super busy in summer but then quietens down a lot during the Autumn months. Tourists will love getting lost in winding streets and then sipping a cocktail in Little Venice, before visiting the spectacular Byzantine Church of Paraportiani.
Paros is the second-largest island in the Cyclades and it boasts some of the most exquisite beaches. Santa Maria has a Caribbean island feel, while Kolymbithres Beach is rugged, with its unique rock formations. Tourists should check out the Panayia Ekatondapiliani Cathedral, the old-world village of Lefkes and the Marathi Marble Quarries.
Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades has plenty to offer holidaymakers and it comes up often s a lot of people’s all time Greek island favourite. Not as developed as some other other islands the locals still rely a lot on agriculture here. The main port is an interesting place to spend an afternoon, sipping a chilled café frappe and just watching the boats come and go. The isolated Plaka Beach boasts fine white sand and turquoise waters, while the Agios Prokopios Beach is perfect for water sports – you can even take a diving trip to see marine life and shipwrecks. History buffs should visit Portara, while the old walled city of Castro offers excellent photo opportunities.
For a taste of something different, head to Delos. More a place for history lovers than families, Greek legend has it that the historical Delos was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Visitors to the island can see the three temples of Apollo, as well as the sacred lake where Apollo was born, while the Archeological Museum of Delos and the Avenue of Lions – a street from seventh century B.C. – are also must-visits.
Another timeshare favourite, Corfu! One of the most popular Greek islands, Corfu combines a rich history with pristine natural beauty. The village of Nymphes is full of waterfalls, while the traditional fishing village of Roda is also worth seeing. For quiet contemplation, head to the British Cemetery’s tranquil garden, or laze about on one of the many beaches.
Rhodes is one of the biggest Greek islands and offers tourists breathtaking sunsets, powdery white and volcanic beaches, a medieval town, and a rich history. There is plenty to do on Rhodes, but be sure to take in the Acropolis of Lindos and the winding streets of Rhodes Old Town, where you will find the former site of one of the Ancient Wonders of the World – the Colossus.
Skiathos is a perfect mix of luxury hotels and medieval history. The historical town of Kastro offers panoramic views of Skiathos and its surroundings, while the beach of Koukounaries is often touted as the “best in the Aegean.” Meanwhile, the beach of Lalaria is only accessible by boat, and features breathtaking rock formations and crystal clear seas.