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Find Your Perfect Greek Island

Updated on October 6, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Eileen loves to travel as much as possible both at home in the U.K. and abroad with local places of interest high on her to visit list.

Breathtaking Views If You Want Them

Looking from Lefkas to other Greek islands and mainland Greece
Looking from Lefkas to other Greek islands and mainland Greece | Source

The Greek Islands Offer Visitors A Diversity Of Attractions

With around 1400 Greek Islands you will find that there is something for everyone and at least one island that is perfect for you.

There are small uninhabited Islands, ones where the traditional Greek lifestyle is still followed, brash, commercial Islands and stunningly beautiful islands where you can leave the world behind.

Before you consider booking a vacation or holiday on any Greek Island however you need to do your research.

If you just book the first Greek Island, that takes your fancy, you could be sorely disappointed.

So, let's see if we can unravel a few of the possible problems that you may encounter, when trying to book the perfect Greek Island holiday, for you.

What Will Be Your Perfect Destination?

Winter, tends to be the best time to start planning a Summer vacation. Researching a sunny summer island vacation destination can be good for your soul as winter bites.

If you book early the prices may be reasonable and there should still be a wide choice of destinations and accommodation available. Book your vacation last minute and you may get a cheap deal but it may be cheap in all the wrong ways too.

If you have a specific destination in mind don’t chance a late booking.

But before you grab your debit or credit card to seal the deal, consider what type of holiday you are looking for.

Does your ideal dream Greek Island vacation include:-

  • Sun
  • Good beaches
  • Modern facilities
  • History
  • A great night-life
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Hot dry weather
  • Cooler weather
  • Shopping
  • Sporting activities
  • Culture

People are individuals and often have specific ideas of what makes a great vacation.

Write your “must-have” and “also desired” lists and write them honestly. This will help you choose the perfect island for you.

We all enjoy slightly different activities, scenery and weather. With this in mind it is obvious that you need to assess your holiday requirements before you book.

Accommodation

You need to bear in mind that hotel and accommodation ratings for the Greek Islands are often a little misleading. If the local tourist board has classified a Greek Island hotel 4 star the odds are it will in reality be more like a 3 or even 2 star.

There are still many lovely places to stay but you just need to exercise caution, when reading details in holiday brochures.

Having said that a lot of holiday accommodation on the Greek Islands is cheap and cheerful and if you book with that in mind you should not be disappointed.

If you require, or demand, at least a certain standard of vacation accommodation make sure the travel company is aware of this.

Not all Greek Island hotels have their own swimming pools. Some hotels share one swimming pool between a few hotels.

Remember though that some of the seas around the Greek Islands offer great swimming with beautiful beaches to capture the suns rays.

Boating holidays are also available when you visit the Greek Islands.

Vacation Catering Basis

Vacations are often booked on either a bed and breakfast, self catering, half-board, full-board or all inclusive basis.

The choice is yours.

If you want to stay around the hotel most of the time All Inclusive could be for you.

Remember though that, often, it is only local food and drink which is included in the All-Inclusive price.

If you are not a flexible foodie you could end up paying extra to dine out.

This could make the overall price of your vacation expensive.

On some Greek Islands it is so cheap to eat out every evening at local Tavernas or Restaurants that a self-catering booking offers the best option. You will usually have a fridge to store items such as milk but will probably never cook, and so have an inexpensive but relaxing holiday.

If you want to fully explore the Greek Islands fully you avoid half or full board bookings which tie you to set meal times.

Go Greek Or Go Commercial?

There are still many traditional Greek Islands where the pace of life is slow, people are respectful and certain behaviour is frowned upon. It is still not appropriate to get drunk, or for women to go topless, on some Greek Islands.

If you want a lively nightlife, with an anything goes mentality, try Laganas Bay on Zante in high season. Similarly, you can try Faliraki on the Greek Island of Rhodes, Kardamena on Kos, Malia on Cyprus, Aghios Nikolas on Crete or Gouvaia on Corfu.

In recent years the Greek authorities have cleaned up some of these resorts, so be up to date with current trends.

Possibly on all Greek Islands women must cover their shoulders when entering a church and men their knees. This means that women must stay clear of strapless tops and men of shorts at least for such a visit.

Monasteries and churches often have a basket of clothes outside so that you can select something appropriate to wear during your visit.

Vacation Memories

Returning to Lefkas by boat after a day trip
Returning to Lefkas by boat after a day trip
Ag Nik Crete
Ag Nik Crete

Time Of Year To Visit

Although the Greek Islands enjoy a lovely warm climate some islands experience more rain than others, cold weather in Spring or Autumn, or even summers that are too hot and dry to enjoy your visit fully.

If you look at a map of the Greek Islands you should be able to work out which Islands have the best climate for you.

Islands further south, and east, tend to be warmer and drier, whereas Islands in the west like the Ionians have wet weather at times.

Price

One of the main considerations when booking your Greek Island vacation may be the price.

If you book early, that is at least the Summer before, you should be able to bag a bargain. Spring and Autumn breaks in the Greek Islands can be snapped up on a two-weeks for the price of one basis.

A word of caution however. Make sure that your holiday is not cheap simply because the accommodation or resort are not good or the weather is usually dreadful.

Watch out for added taxes and supplements, as the total price of your holiday may be more than you realized.

The local currency is the Euro so check the exchange rate too.

Direct Flights Or Not?

Most of the Greek Islands have good airports these days but not all do.

Some Islands are still only accessible by Ferry which can mean flying to one Island, or the Greek mainland, and then taking a Ferry.

This adds travel time.

The timing of the ferry may vary if the weather is inclement and you could end up delayed a few hours or longer.

Ferry crossings may not be perfect if you have children travelling with you or someone in your party has mobility issues.

And One Island Will Be Perfect For You!

Visiting More Than One Island During One Vacation?

Twin centre holidays offer a vacation divided between two resorts.

A two-week stay with one week on the Greek Island of Lefkas and one week at Parga is a popular choice.

These two-centre holidays can offer the best of both worlds with one active week and one relaxing one.

Island hopping is still popular in the Greek Islands

It is possible to work out an itinerary before your visit and even book the Ferry tickets in advance. If you prefer you can go with the flow and island hop as the fancy takes you.

Recommended

Having visited a fair few Greek Islands I cannot recommend them enough. Each island has its own charm.

However the Greek people who occupy these islands are warm and friendly, if you treat them with the respect which they deserve.

© 2018 Ethel Smith

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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      5 weeks ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      We have visited Cyprus but also Zante, Lefkas, Rhodes and Thassos. I do have a yen to visit again Liz

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      I visited Corfu many years ago and would love to return there and also visit other Greek islands. We once considered a cruise round some of the islands, but it was quite pricey, so we opted to stay in Cyprus instead.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      6 weeks ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Lindacee. It is a beautiful part of the world.

    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      6 weeks ago from Arizona

      I would love to take a trip to the Greek Isles someday. Your article made me feel like I was there. The photos are stunning. I'm very jealous!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      6 weeks ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Each island is beuatiful in its own right. I have. Ayen to visit again. Our last vacation to the Greek Islands was Zante and too long ago. Thanks Peggy

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      A Greek island holiday would be so much fun! We have a neighbor whose father spends part of every year in Greece and the last 2 years she and her son have vacationed there. Her husband stayed home to work but hopefully, someday they can all vacation there together. The photos she has shown are beautiful!

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