Updated: Jan 8, 2022
Greece is the type of destination that once you visit you can't get it out of your thoughts. It stays in your heart as somewhere you vow to return to. I have been to Greece more than once and given the opportunity would return in a heartbeat. And I have friends who travel almost annually. A standard itinerary for a first visit to Greece is often Athens, Santorini and Mykonos. These beautiful destinations are enough to captivate you, leaving you with a desire to return and explore further.
But with over 1,400 islands (230 inhabited), it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. Hopefully, these eight guidelines will assist with your decision.
Best traditional village life: The island, Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and has a little over 6,500 inhabitants and a bit over 20 small villages. Naxos has ancient towers, paved streets, and has maintained its unique Venetian architecture.
Best kiteboarding and windsurfing: With gusty winds that can be seen from a mile away, Paros island is best known for kiteboarding and windsurfing sports goers. Santa Maria, Prassonisi, and Pounda are the main beaches where the sport is practiced. The Thalasea Sports Center is the bay of Mikli Vigla and is a popular hub for the game.
Best beaches: Located in the Aegean Sea, Milos is a beautiful volcanic island that is rich in minerals as well as rich history. Firopotamos, Kastanas, and Paliorema are some top beach destinations in Milos. The white-washed Cycladic villages and black sands are picturesque backdrops. Although some may be only accessible by boat, there are over 80 mini beaches throughout Milos that you can explore.
Best for nature lovers: Ikaria has some of the World's most pristine and untouched nature territories. It has been identified as a place that promotes life longevity and better overall health.
Best Robinson Crusoe destination: Koufonisia is comprised of two islands, Pano (upper) and Kato (lower). The preferred way to navigate the area is by foot or cycling, as everything is within walking distance. The island has a museum and many sightseeing options.
Best couples getaway: Folegandros does not get the crowded tourist scene as most Greek towns do. They have a broad selection of restaurants and cafes. Chora is the main village and has been preserved well, noting open landscapes and clifftop housing.
Best food: Cretan cuisine focuses on all-natural ingredients and can be enjoyed at any local tavern throughout the islands. Some dishes include Dakos, Gamopilafo, Mizithropita, and Apaki.
Best nightlife: Mykonos, also known as 'The Island of the Winds,' is world-renowned for their vibrant nightlife. July and August are the primary months for tourism and the wildest parties.
Now you're all set! With a myriad of beautiful architecture, scenic waterfronts, and rich history there is much to enjoy. All that is left is to contact me to begin planning your vacation to the mesmerizing islands of Greece.