Imagine: a stunning infinity pool overlooking the steep drop-offs of Santorini, or a roof top bar on the shores of Crete. All this and more can be found when seeking a unique hotel on one of the many varied and stunning Greek Islands. From Mykonos to Kos, you can find your dream vacation in the heart of the Aegean, complete with all the Grecian history and local culture you’d expect from this richly diverse part of Europe. From romantic getaways to family vacations, the Greek Islands conjure images of ancient history, incredible natural landscapes and extreme luxury.
The Greek Islands: Our top destinations for the dream vacation
Santorini: Vacation on the edge of the world
The blissful Greek Island of Santorini needs no introduction. Its volcanic landscape and rich culture have attracted vacationers to this slice of paradise for generations. With a hotel on the Greek Island of Santorini, you can explore the gorgeous towns of Fira and Oia, both perched high on the steep cliffs over-looking the ocean. Both towns are known for their iconic Cycladic architecture, characterized by rich blue rooves and whitewashed walls. Travelers will delight in losing themselves in the cobbled streets of these ancient towns, stopping in the relaxed local cafes and bars along the way. The submerged volcanic crater at the heart of the island erupted in the 16th century, creating the topography we see today. It’s easy to explore via boat or hiking routes, which offer adventurous individuals exquisite views over the surrounding Aegean Sea.
Mykonos: Beautiful beaches and a party atmosphere
The Greek Island of Mykonos is perfect for those looking to let loose in opulent surroundings, but this destination has so much more to offer than just its VIP atmosphere. Situated just north of the island of Naxos, Mykonos is littered with beautiful landmarks and sites to explore. Mikri Venetia (or Little Venice) is a stunning fishing town jutting out into the sea, while the Mykonos windmills are a defining feature of the island’s landscape, and serve as an insight into its maritime history. By day, the principle village of Chora Mykonos offers a pedestrian town center filled with boutique stores, seafood restaurants and quaint cafes, all situated within classic sugar cube-shaped Cycladic buildings. By night, the bars and clubs which dot the island’s capital and coastline open their doors, bringing Mykonos’ famed nightlife into being. The best way to reach Mykonos is by boat, which affords sea-faring individuals beautiful introductory views of the island, its fishing traditions and the impressive luxury yachts moored in its harbor.
Crete: Explore Greece’s largest island
You would be hard-pressed to visit any of the Greek Islands without encountering ancient Grecian history along the way, but the island of Crete rivals Athens for its rich mythology. The island is the setting of the famous ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’ myth, as well as the supposed birthplace of Zeus. Just outside Heraklion – Crete’s largest city – you will find Knossos, where the Theseus myth supposedly took place. There you will find the impressive ruins of the palace complex, built somewhere between 1700 and 1400 BC. Not only does Crete provide unrivaled access to Greek mythology, but its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the archipelago. Hotels in the north of Crete will offer access to Balos, a stunning stretch of sand in the Chania region. Surrounded by turquoise water on three sides, Balos is breathtaking, and allows for exploration, sunbathing and swimming. Not far from Balos is Falassarna, a picturesque beach perfect for families thanks to its soft white sand and facilities. To the south of the island is Preveli, the site where the Kourtaliotiko River runs into the sea, creating a lagoon-like delta and a wealth of flora and fauna.