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HOT Bucket List:
Greek Islands

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Greek Islands

Idyllic islands float on the glistening Aegean Sea, this is a place we dream of visiting, a natural beauty with amazing architecture, incredible history and UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. The locals are so friendly and the atmosphere on these islands is welcoming.

4 reasons to put this experience on your Bucket List:

HOT Bucket icon Mouth-watering cuisine made from local produce, delights like yogurt honey, olives, cheeses, succulent Greek salads, squid caught that morning, washed down with raki, wines from vineyards with 3500 years of history.

HOT Bucket icon Snorkel and dive in aqua clear waters. Sailing out to view the sealife on Skopelos you may even be joined by dolphins; Dafni Beach on Zakynthos is a sandy stretch of beach where the Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs April-June and you can swim with them May-October;  take a boat trip to Shinaria Beach in Crete to dive with manta rays, octopus and exotic fish.

HOT Bucket icon Sunsets that glow up the night sky and reflect on the sea in pinky orange tints – our favourite spots for the best sunsets are Oia or Fira on Santorini; the windmills on Mykonos, or in Little Venice with a cocktail in hand.

HOT Bucket icon  History and ruins are found on almost every Greek Island and give you a connection with ancient civilisations. Ancient Thera on Santorini you can find the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo Karneios; Mykonos is like an open-air ancient archaeological site with so many ruins; Rhodes has a fabulous Acropolis, remains of the temple, stadium, gymnasium and library, and the Palace of Knossos on Crete is a fascinating must visit.
 

4 must visit islands

Santorini – Very unique and very popular, set on a caldera making for a jaw-dropping arrival as you glide up to the black cliffs topped with the white-washed villages. Wind along the paths, popping into craft stores, tasting delicious gyros and spotting blue dome chapels.

Mykonos – A maze of whitewashed alleys with shiny blue doors and flower boxes filled with red, and arty shops and cafes lead to the windmills where you’ll see a magical sunset. When the sun has melted away head back down for a fresh seafood meal in the waterfront tavernas, and mix in with the famous nightlife.

Crete – this is the largest island, and one for the history buffs. The Battle of Crete was fought here in 1941 and many Cretans remember New Zealand’s role in the battle. Visit Souda Bay War Cemetery where NZ soldiers who fought in WWII are buried, and Samaria Gorge which apart from the magnificent landscape is where the soldiers marched through.

Folegandros – it’s hard to decide which is the loveliest beach on this traditional unspoilt island surrounded by clear aqua water washing over the white pebbles and sand of the bays. But pack a picnic and umbrella and take the boat from port to the undeveloped beach of Katergo for that deserted island feel.

Our favourite ways to experience them

Island Hopping – this is the best way to explore the islands how you want, staying long enough to see the highlights or taking time to get off the beaten track.

Cruise – If you’ve got limited time and you want to be organised to see a lot of different places, this is the way to go. You stay on the ship, cruising at night and waking up at a stunning new island every day. You have a choice of meals and shore excursions.

Fly – something a bit special and good if you’re short on time, choose to fly one way from Athens and take in those incredible views of the shimmering ocean and islands from above.
 
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