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TOP REASONS TO LOVE THE GREEK ISLANDS

Azure water, seaside tavernas frequented by friendly locals and an ancient history of mythological civilizations. There are countless reasons why people fall in love with the Greek Islands. Here, we pick some of our favourites.


1-SHIPWRECK BAY 


A golden arc of sand protected by towering cliffs, with the remains of an old cargo ship rusting onshore and temptingly turquoise waters – swimming in Zákynthos bay is what dreams are made of.

2-CATCHING THE BREEZE 


The wind defines life on the islands: when it’s coming,  when it’s going, who’s going to blow in with the breeze. Try your hand at windsurfing in Vasilikí Bay  on Lefkáda.

3-ANCIENT  CIVILIZATIONS 


The cradle of Western civilization, everyone from the Minoans to Ottomans has left their mark on the Greek Islands. Step into the past at sites such as the sun-drenched Roman ruins on Delos.

4-THE MASTIC  VILLAGES OF HÍOS 
The plain stone fortress walls around these villages belie the black-and-white geometric patterns that adorn many of their houses. Check out Pyrgi  for some of the best.

5-SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS 

Whether it’s fresh tender octopus cooked over coals or delicious steamed razor clams, the Greek Islands’ revitalized culinary scene is worthy of Bacchanalian feasting. 

6-RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS 


Melding tradition and riotous colour, the Orthodox Christian calendar is marked by festivals. On Ýdra, Easter Sunday reaches its climax when locals light an effigy of Judas on fire.

7-THE VIEW FROM KAISER’S THRONE 


Watching the sun set over Corfu and the Ionian Sea from Kaiser’s Throne , so-called because it was a favourite of German Kaiser Wilhelm II, is an irresistible experience. 

8-ENDANGERED  MONK SEALS 

With only 400 Mediterranean monk seals left in the world, and 60 in Sporádes Marine Park , pray to Greece’s mythical gods that you see  one of these rare creatures. 

9-TRADITIONAL MUSIC 


Every island sways to its  own siren song, from gentle Zákynthian kantades to wild Cretan lyre music. Join the locals in a taverna for a glass  of ouzo and a rousing chorus.

10-MAGNIFICENT MONASTERIES 


From huge defensive monasteries to small white chapels clinging precariously to rocky outcrops, monasteries are everywhere in the Greek Islands. The towering St John on Pátmos is one of the best .

11-KALAMÁTA OLIVES 


No trip to this part of the world is complete without a bite into a briny, savoury and incredibly moreish Kalamáta olive, so good they are found on the menu in every taverna

12-HIKING THROUGH SAMARIÁ GORGE 


The 18-km- (11-mile-) long  trail through the vertiginous highs and lows of the Samariá Gorge is exhilaratingly beautiful. Keep an eye out for leaping kri kri (wild goats)

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