Immersed in spring, we already have to think of slightly bigger getaways, and perhaps our idea is to get lost on a paradisiacal island without having to cross an entire ocean. The perfect destination then is in the Mediterranean, with seven Greek islands for visitors of all kinds, with plenty to see and do.
Because if it has always been a special destination, lately Greece is booming and not only the continent deserves a visit, but the islands are waiting for us with open arms. Let’s go there.
The largest of the Greek Islands and birthplace of Zeus offers something for all visitors. Its offer for those seeking ruins and history is one of the most important in the Mediterranean, with the Palaces of Knossos or the ruins of Milia or Gournia. But there are also pure and simple beach areas such as Plakias, Agia Marina, Kissamos or Stavros, where Anthony Quinn danced in ‘Zorba, the Greek’
Drive through its winding roads in search of Orthodox monasteries, looking at the small temples that are on the roadsides (tribute to the deceased) or enjoy contemplating valleys full of olive trees… And finish in Chania, the beautiful Venetian port that you like to all the world.
From a “huge” island we go to a small one known for its party and its beaches: Mykonos. A cruise ship docking destination, it is also well known for its lavish beach parties. In Skorpios you can find celebrities if you have a little luck (and money to go to exclusive places). They call it the Ibiza of Greece and it has that well deserved fame.
In its 90 square kilometers there are whitewashed houses, five-star hotels and exclusive clubs.
Another of the classic stopover islands for large cruise ships: let your jaw drop when a huge ship makes a stopover on such a small island. Santorini owes its special orography to a volcanic eruption, since its round bay is actually the crater of a volcano. And if in Mykonos the beaches are of white sand, in Santorini they are of black volcanic sand.
It is the island where newlyweds (or couples getting married) go to take photos with the sunset in the background. Beyond taking a short boat trip to the smoking crater of nea kameni and to the thermal baths of palea kamenthere is not much else to do, but it is perfect to rest in paradise.
Corfu is, without a doubt, the star of the Ionian Islands. Its capital is a melting pot of influences Venetian, British and French colonial and even a part of the island is reminiscent of Tuscany. Ulysses stopped in its capital when he returned from the Trojan War, Cervantes also had El Greco among its inhabitants and there is the Achilleion, the summer refuge of the Empress Sissi.
Moving away from it, you have to explore the fishing villages, eat fish fresh from the sea in the typical taverns. And if the interior is reminiscent of Tuscany, the northwest part is called Kensington-on-sea, because it is the favorite place for the British jet-set.
If you like quiet life and mythology then your island is ithaca. Because as strange as it seems the island of Ulysses, the protagonist of ‘The Odyssey’, doesn’t get too many hits. The most famous of the Ionian Islands is different, rugged and perfect for romantics. They are actually two islands joined by an isthmus.
If you are one of those who love mythology, you should go to the Odysseus Palace ruins from the 8th century BC, or climb the steep path that leads to the Anogi Church which, once you get the key in the village cafeteria, will amaze you with some Byzantine frescoes.
Of its towns, you can visit the small Assoseverything Italian-style cream and ocher with a crescent-shaped cove and that it is sheltered by a wooded peninsula.
We go now to the Kos Island, one of the Dodecanese, and that does not leave anyone indifferent either. As in the previous ones, ruins and history always welcome. Here is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, the ancient Agora and the portico and There is also another excavation with Roman baths, a gym, the Roman house and the Odeon.
On this island is the ancient treeaccording to local tradition, Hippocrates himself plantedthe father of modern medicine, and below the one who taught his classes.
But in Kos there are also wonderful beaches with white sand and very rich in vegetation. The most famous are Paradise, Ayios Stefanos, Camel, Crazy Beach and the entire Kefalu region. In the north, Ai Ioani and Tigaki stand out.
We finish our tour in Rhodes, the island of the famous (and disappeared) Colossus of Rhodes, an imposing statue of the god Heliosdestroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC and which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. What we know about her is thanks to people like Pliny the Elder.
One of its most beautiful places is the medieval citadel in the city of Rhodes, which along with its beacons will give us Byzantine churches, Roman ruins, synagogues and minarets. Perhaps lost in its streets you can find the Marco Polo, a 15th century guest house decorated like the harem of an Ottoman general and with a restaurant in the garden.
Have sandy beaches for all tastes. Of clear and fine sand and large and with all the comforts, or small, secluded and with pebbles. One of the most prominent of Anthony Quinn, which is named after the actor.
Pictures | pixabay
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