If you’re booking a timeshare holiday soon and are tempted by Greece, each of the country’s islands has something very different to offer. From magical, mystical Santorini to historical Delos, here are ten of the top islands to consider for your next Mediterranean escape, whether you’ve already fallen in love with Greece or will be visiting its sapphire shores for the very first time.
Santorini is perfect for those who want a romantic getaway, thanks to the plethora of pristine beaches. Culture vultures will enjoy historical sites like Ancient Thira, and Ancient Akrotiri, while the Santorini Bienniale, an art and culture event, runs until the end of September.
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.
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.
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.
The second-largest island in the Cyclades, Paros has 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 is the largest island of the Cyclades, plenty to offer holidaymakers. 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.
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.
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.