The Greek Islands
Mykonos and Santorini are Greece’s two most popular holiday destinations and most people will include at least one of the islands on a tour through the Cyclades. The two main characters in this video — Brian and Mariana — are uhm, interesting. But the video does a great job of capturing the feel of Greek island hopping — a crazy whimsical escapade of the unique and the beautiful.
Naxos is my favorite island out of all the Greek Islands. It, better than any other island combines the new and the old, the inland beauty of its towns and mountains with the coastal glory of its beaches — and does it all with an easy-going charm that enchants most visitors. ( Nearby Paros is another great island that’s an easy day-trip away.)
A fun — and stunning — video of all the sights and attractions that western Crete has for holiday makers. The wonderful town of Chania is the highlight, but many great day trips lie within a few hours drive.
A nice slideshow of Rhodes and that island’s great beaches, fun hotels and top holiday attractions.
If getting away from the crowds is your goal then Karpathos might be your island. It’s far from deserted but unlike some other islands it has managed to hang on to its heritage and culture. The island is situated between Rhodes and Crete and regular ferries connect it to both its neighbors.
Skiathos is another great island if you’d like a quieter and relaxing vacation. This video does a good job of capturing the islands charms.
Corfu is one of Greece’s post popular islands — and for good reason. Beauty, history and culture mix easily in a near perfect Mediterranean setting. It does get very busy during the high season of July and August, but the island is big enough — with a lush and attractive interior — to accomodate the crowds without getting completely overwhelmed.
A wonderful introduction to the island of Samos, just a few miles from the coast of Turkey and a short ferry ride to the Turkish port of Kusadasi (Ephesus).
Hydra is a just a couple of hours from Athens and is very popular with Athenians looking to get away for the weekend. But it’s much more than just a daytrip island. There are no cars — only donkeys — making it a perfect island to wander and explore on foot.
Athens and the main cities of Greece
Athens has a reputation for being ugly and unappealing. And while it certainly isn’t Europe’s most beautiful city its energy and craziness will make it a memorable visit if nothing else. Athens is the gatekeeper and hub of Greek culture and offers the curious traveler a weeks worth of great tourist sights, attractions and daytrips. And if get to the point where you’ve seen one too many temples or ancient sites then wander down a deserted street away from the central tourist district and witness everyday life as it unfolds for the citizens of Greece’s largest city. This video is a great guide to the city’s top tourist attractions.
Thessaloniki is 2nd to Athens in size, influence and stature but is a fascinating city nonetheless. Steeped in history and filled with sights and nearby day trips it can be a good alternative for travelers who want to experience a modern Greek city but find Athens to busy, crowded and expensive. Thessaloniki (or Salonika to many Greeks) has good ferry connections to the Greek Islands of the north Aegean and is a short drive from the splendors of the Halkidiki. The magical city of Istanbul is about 12 hours away by bus or train.
Heraklion is somewhat reminiscent of Athens. A city with a great history that now shows the scars of hasty 20th century growth. But dig beneath the surface, spend a few days or a week touring the sights, shopping at the local shops, sampling the great food and the true magic of the city reveals itself. The video below is in Greek but offers a great visual of what the city holds for the visitor that take the time to explore it.