5 popular Greek island getaways and a lesser known alternative!

Travel Tony

Greek island getaways are amongst the top holiday destinations for 2024 and there is also a noticeable increase in holidays to some of the lesser-known islands. From the cosmopolitan streets of Corfu to the coves of Rhodes, we take a look at five perennially popular Greek islands getaways and a lesser-known alternative. We can only provide a snapshot of what each of these wonderful islands has to offer, but each is special in its own unique way.

Experience the sunsets in Santorini

This popular volcanic island is a firm favourite amongst the Greek islands with visitors wanting to experience the magnificent sunsets, particularly from the vantage point of Oia. Blue-domed churches and stout whitewashed homes cascading down volcanic cliffs, against the backdrop of the azure Aegean Sea make this island a picture postcard destination. But just a word of warning, both Oia and Fira can be extremely busy during the summer season. So, if you want a calmer experience consider a hotel on the outskirts of which there are many.

Santorini is also famous for its wines. You can taste and enjoy some amazing premium quality wine at one of its finest wineries in the lovely village of Pyrgos where you can taste wonderful wines and listen to lovely music while overlooking the volcano Caldera, and of course the beautiful Aegean Sea. An evening here doesn’t get much more romantic if that’s what you’re aiming for in your holiday.


Rhodes – the island of the knights

Rhodes is the largest and most-populated island in the Dodecanese archipelago. It’s known as the ‘island of the knights’, as it was occupied by the Knights of St John from 1309 to 1523. So, you can imagine that the island combines a rich history and architecture, such as Byzantine churches and the beautiful buildings of the Old Town.

Once you have explored the Old Town, there are plenty of other ‘must see’ parts of the island such as Lindos with beautiful beaches and picturesque whitewashed houses. The most popular sight here is the Acropolis of Lindos, which towers above the namesake village.

If you are a nature lover, you might want to visit the Valley of the Butterflies near Theologos or there is Prasonisi in the south which is ideal for adventure seekers to enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing. For more information read my earlier blog following my last visit to Rhodes.

Symi – a lesser known gem

Symi is one of the lesser-known islands and has, in the past, been most famous for its ancient shipbuilding and sea-sponge industries. This beautiful little island is only a 45-minute boat hop from Rhodes, and well worth adding in as a day trip or longer to your itinerary. It’s a lovely and truly memorable place to visit. Vibrant red, yellow, orange and blue neoclassical mansions fringe the quayside, while traditional fishing boats bob around in the water. For one of the best views of the bay, take a stroll up the steps of ‘Kali Strata’ (literally ‘good street’) to Chorio hilltop and enjoy the colourful old doorways and scent of bougainvillea as you make your way to the summit.

Perhaps the lesser-known nature of this island is the reason why the spirit of the island remains intact, with hidden beaches and welcoming hospitality awaiting its visitors


Mykonos – here we come

Mykonos offers some breath-taking beaches and of course is renowned for its nightlife and luxurious hotels. This Cycladic Island is a magnet for honeymooners and couples looking for luxury and entertainment. The bustling streets of Mykonos Town are lined with chic boutiques and gourmet restaurants making it a foodie paradise for those that enjoy traditional Greek mezes or fine dining.

Little Venice is one of the most scenic areas of Mykonos. Here, whitewashed buildings dangle over the edge of the island, seemingly built on rocks sitting right above the sea. For those wondering how such a place came to be, Little Venice’s style was inspired by Venetian architecture and practicalities. Pirates were a real threat then, so residents built balconies overhanging the water as an easy way to quickly load goods on and off ships without them getting stolen.

The sunset views here will take your breath away. Be sure to secure a sea-facing spot at a cocktail bar in the evening to soak them in. So, if ‘the beach by day and a lively party scene in the evening’ is your thing, then Mykonos is for you. Find out more by reading my post following my last visit.


Corfu – a Greek island paradise

Corfu boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. From the golden sands of Glyfada Beach to the secluded coves of Paleokastritsa, there is a beach for every type of traveller.

The island is steeped in history and culture, with influences from the Venetians, French, and British evident in its architecture and cuisine. Explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Corfu, with its narrow cobblestone streets, ancient fortresses, and charming squares and don’t miss the Achilleion Palace, a stunning neoclassical mansion once owned by Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Foodies will delight in the culinary offerings of Corfu. Sample traditional dishes such as Sofrito (beef cooked in a garlic wine sauce), Pastitsada (pasta with meat sauce), and Bourdeto (spicy fish stew). Wash it all down with a glass of kumquat liqueur, a local specialty made from the island’s citrus fruit.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Corfu has plenty to offer. Hike to the top of Mount Pantokrator for panoramic views of the island, or rent a boat and explore the hidden coves along the coastline. Water sports enthusiasts can try their hand at windsurfing, paddleboarding, or scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters.


Kos – welcomes you with open arms

Whether you prefer sandy shores or pebbly coves, you’ll find the perfect spot to soak up the Mediterranean sun on Kos.

There are some really lovely beaches on Kos. Tigaki is known for beautiful white sand beaches and nearby you’ll find the crystal-clear waters of Paradise Beach.

If history is your thing, you will be in awe of Kos’s rich heritage and archaeological sites. The ancient ruins of Asklepion, an ancient healing centre dedicated to the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios is a fascinating trip to take on a day off from the beach. Or you might choose to wander through the streets of Kos Town and discover the impressive Castle of the Knights, a medieval fortress overlooking the harbour. There is so much to take in but don’t miss the Tree of Hippocrates, a centuries-old plane tree where the famous physician is said to have taught his students.

Like all of Greece and the Greek islands, the food on Kos does not disappoint. There is of course the customary Greek moussaka but also wonderful seafood caught daily from the Aegean Sea. Wash it all down with a glass of ouzo, an anise-flavoured spirit popular in Greece.

Nature lovers will appreciate Kos’s diverse landscapes and natural beauty. You might like to explore the lush valleys of Zia, a charming mountain village known for its stunning sunsets and panoramic views of the island. Or if you are feeling energetic why not hike to the top of Mount Dikeos for breathtaking vistas of the surrounding islands and the Turkish coastline. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of avian species at the Aliki Salt Flats, a protected wetland habitat.

The people of Kos are known for their warm hospitality. Whether you’re exploring a traditional village, relaxing on the beach, or dining at a local taverna, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and treated like family.


Contact me to talk more about what you are looking for and which of these might be perfect for you; or perhaps island hopping would be a great way to see and experience more than one!


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