A trip to the Greek Islands doesn’t have to be like a scene from 2010’s widely panned Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos – although it can be, if that’s what you’re into.
There are allegedly 6000 Greek Islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas – 227 of which are inhabited. That’s 227 options for you, the discerning traveller, to pick the perfect route through an always beautiful, sun-drenched part of the world. So how on earth does one choose? With adequate information on hand, of course.
The obvious place to start is with Mykonos, the party place, described by some as Greece‘s Ibiza. If you want the nightlife – I like to boogie – this is your go-to. The main streets of Mykonos Town are absolutely rammed with revellers to keep the good times going, which should keep you and your energetic mates going all night. Definitely the pick for someone who likes to sleep in, and start their evening off late, perhaps with a cheeky tipple at sunset.
If you’re the curious type, you could channel Lara Croft in Santorini and uncover the rich cultural history of the island – remember, in The Cradle of Life, Croft uncovered the lost treasures of Alexander the Great. And something not made up is the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, replete with rescued Minoan murals. Santorini’s iconic crescent shape is the result of a volcano erupting in approx 1620 BC, collapsing the centre of the island into the sea, and leaving behind incred views of the sunset and hot springs.
If you want an escape from the trials of modern tech, maybe the environmentally friendly Hydra is more up your speed – the entire island is an architectural reserve, so all new construction is banned, and there are literally no cars in town, aside from a couple bebé fire trucks and mini rubbish trucks. Certainly a tranquil getaway, a romantic, cobblestoned place to relax and regenerate.
The gluttons amongst us will not be able to look further than Crete, known for their olive oil, cheese and wine, all three major food groups. They’re also known for having the best fresh fruit and veg in the country: we’re talking tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, strawberries, watermelon, the list goes on. Crete is where you can spoil yourself with food – some recommend munching on heaps of appetisers to share, rather than ‘spenno mains.
A trip to the Greek Islands – and in particular Skopelos – is an excellent excuse to loudly warble the hits of Abba and wish Meryl Streep was your all-singing, all-dancing mum Mamma Mia!-style. Or you can just enjoy the quiet beaches and dozens of peaceful monasteries (but then who could resist a visit to the picturesque site of the film’s climactic wedding scene: the chapel of Agios Ioannis).
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Finally Naxos is for the committed ‘Grammers amongst us: it’s known as an island of traditional Greek villages, the kinds you can’t help but imagine when planning your odyssey. The main town, while ideal to get lost in – its narrow streets wind like a maze! – boasts a Venetian castle, while if you head up the coast of the island, you can explore the majestic Rina Cave.
Suddenly feeling like you MUST take a trip to the Greek Islands? Well, Topdeck and Flight Centre have a value-for-money dealio for you: the ten-day Greek Island Hopper for $1801, saving you a cool $318.
On this sailing trip, you’ll have the freedom to explore new cultures, the Acropolis and Parthenon; nosh on delicious food including free brekkie (and mouth-watering souvlaki); form lasting friendships with your tour-mates as you watch the sunset over Oia; and be guaranteed a totally unique experience on your visit to Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini.
Now that you know your final destination, why not check out the latest deals on international travel with a hand from the passion and expertise of our buds at Flight Centre HERE.Image: Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos