From the romantic sands and sheer-cut cliffs of the Ionian Isles to the lush backcountries and beautiful Ottoman and Venetian towns of the Aegean, the Greek Islands remain some of the most coveted holidaying destinations on the planet, and with good reason! We check out 10 must-see highlights is this breathtaking region that’ll make you want to pack your bags and set sail for the Mediterranean!
10. Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos
The often-photographed Shipwreck Beach (known locally as Navagio Beach) carves its way out of the vertical cliffs of Zakynthos Island. It’s backed by walls of soaring limestone rock, its perfect, powdery sands glimmering in hues of ivory-white. The pièce de résistance? That enchanting, limpet-spotted shell of an old smugglers’ ship right in the middle!
9. Elafonisi, Crete
Hues of pink sand line the pearly-white beaches at Elafonisi; a clutch of islets and sandbars that juts its way out to where the Ionian meets the Libyan Sea in a wash of salty, turquoise swells on the south side of the island. Unquestionably one of the crown jewels of Crete, Elafonisi’s lagoons and color-washed shores are rarely forgotten in a hurry.
8. The ruins of Delos, Delos
Hailed by the ancients as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, Delos rose during the 6th century BC to become the religious and political epicenter of the Delian League. Today, the crumbling ruins here are some of the least visited in Greece. They remain dotted against the hillsides, going from the awe-inspiring Terrace of the Lions to the pillars of the House of Dionysos.
7. The windmills of Mykonos, Mykonos
Still standing tall over the vibrant bar streets and fashionable beaches of Mykonos, these curious windmills have become something of an icon of the island. They’ve lurched above the town of Mykonos itself since the Venetians raised them in the 16th century. Made of wattle and daub, these nostalgic, rustic symbols of a long-past era now creak gently in the seabreeze.
6. Symi harbour, Symi
One of the lesser-known jewels of the Greek Aegean Islands is Symi, which rises in rugged mounds and alabaster rocks from the crystal-clear oceans just a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast. Symi harbour is the great beauty here, boasting row upon row of elegant Venetian homes, painted in ochres and reds and bustling with the tavernas and seafood eateries of Yialos district.