Owing to its crystalline waters and sultry summers, the Greek islands are a favoured holiday destination in the Mediterranean. With stunning shores, ancient relics and picturesque coastal towns, there is a plethora of activities and sites to explore.
One of the best ways to navigate the islands and make the most of this inimitable location is by boat. Greek islands yacht charter allows you to combine the treats to be found on land with the unrivalled excitement and drama the sea has to offer.
Here is our useful guide to help you decide how best to spend your trip in Greece.
The Dodecanese island of Symi is mountainous and almost untouched by the modern developments that have beset so many other destinations. With a relaxed pace, beautiful 19th-century neoclassical architecture and secluded beaches, it offers an inviting retreat for travelers. Known for its bright splash of colourful buildings, the port of Symi is made up of little houses of blue, peach, orange and more.
While there is no need to hire a car during your stay, be prepared to get your walking boots on. There are around 500 steps that take you up the Kali Strata and the winding side streets can carry you away, but at the top you can choose from several restaurants that give panoramic views over the town and harbour. Not to mention the hidden rewards of the pine and cypress forests, beaches and monasteries far outweigh the effort it takes to reach them.
As the largest of the Cyclades, Naxos is also the most fertile island. It combines high mountains with beautiful central valleys dotted with Venetian towers and mansions. An ideal setting for young families with children, the sandy beaches and shallow waters of Naxos provide a haven for all. Parents can relax by the seaside, while the kids can seek out sea creatures in the shallows.
Those who prefer a more raw beauty will enjoy the spectacular north coast which boasts a number of attractive coves and magnificent views. Naxos might not be high on the international jet set’s radar, but it’s happy with its reputation as a beautiful island rich in agriculture, tradition, and home to some of the finest beaches in the Cyclades.
Between September and June, the island of Corfu is showered with rains that contribute to its luscious green blanket of olive trees. When the sun does peer through, however, island hoppers can bask on its secluded beaches that ribbon round the coastline. This Ionian island offers the best variety to suit all tastes, from its blend of ethnic cultures to its array of attractions.
Culture aficionados will enjoy Corfu’s Byzantine history and Greek mythology which combined with the various international architectural styles make it feel both traditional and cosmopolitan. The nightlife is vibrant and there is a diverse collection of bars and nightclubs in the capital Kerkyra Town and beyond. The quieter areas of Corfu are home to some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches, which remain remarkably unspoiled considering their popularity.
A dream for avid Instagrammers and honeymooners alike, Santorini has dazzled tourists for many years with its whitewashed houses and bright blue rooftops. The sun-drenched island has pockets of cool shade that offer refuge, and there is a whole feast of restaurants and cafes run by locals to choose from. In fact, watching the sunset from one of Fira’s cliff-hugging terraces is one of the most magical experiences a person could have.
However, the island is perhaps most famous for the uniquely dark sand beaches of Perissa and Kamari, a result of the island’s position as a partially submerged volcanic caldera poking above the Aegean. Whether you go there for the volcanic beaches or the stunning views, Santorini and its supreme beauty is a must-see on your trip to Greece.
A slightly quieter (but still strikingly beautiful) version of Santorini, Mykonos has become more popular in recent years. It is the archetypal Greek island with its dazzling white sugar-cube buildings stacked around fishing villages and the iconic windmills of Hora looming over the shoreline.
There’s no shortage of dining options and you can sample everything from traditional dishes to upmarket international cuisine at the restaurants lining the coast or sheltered within Mykonos Town’s labyrinthine centre. With celebrities such as Katy Perry taking sumptuous summer breaks on the island, it is extremely desirable among younger travellers. Its bohemian vibe means it is a great party destination.