Greek island hopping in style

My heart tells me that I WANT adventure but my head tells me I NEED clean bedding, comfy pillows and a good nights sleep. Where is that perfect balance between living life a little more fully and enjoying the comforts of life that make the experience enjoyable?

Island hopping around the Greek Islands is for me that perfect balance between the two. The thrill of exploring new places and meeting new people while enjoying some of the best quality accommodation and food in the beautiful Mediterranean.

Island hopping in Greece

When deciding on a route, a good map of the ferry routes is essential. Remember that in high summer there are many extra routes and scheduled ferries running so don’t assume that every island is within easy unplanned reach.

If you are starting from Athens then head down to the ferry port at Piraeus harbour and hop on a boat headed for Mykonos a large island with a great history, a warm welcome for visitors and some of the finest bays and beaches in Europe. The Mykonos Blu resort is a definite star choice for somewhere to stay if you want to ease into your Greek adventure with some real first class pampering.

A few days exploring the island or zoning out on the beaches of the impossibly pretty Psarou bay may be all you need before the wanderlust kicks in. One thing not to miss before leaving Mykonos is a day trip to neighbouring Delos, the ‘Island of the Gods’. This was a cult centre and pilgrimage site in Classical times. Rules imposed on earlier visitors to Delos included a law forbidding anybody from dying on the island.

If you want to get to Santorini (and you really should want to see this beautiful island created when a volcano blew apart the island of Thera between three and four thousand years ago) you will need to take a ferry to Naxos and then swap to a Santorini bound boat. Once you get there you will be faced with a wall of rock rising from the ferry port with one switchback road taking you to the top of the cliff for your first of many heartbreakingly beautiful views. If you want a suggestion of where to stay, the Grace Santorini in Imerovigli (just a few miles north) has an entrancing combination of luxury rooms, great service and possibly the most perfect infinity pool on the planet.

If you find the pace just right, then just spend whatever time you have left wandering from island to island as you see fit. You are now au fait with the ferries and can look after yourselves.

If however you want to up the excitement then keep going south to the huge island of Crete. If you are in a hurry to get there the Hellenic Seaways-Flying Cat can get you to Heraklion in just 1 hour and 45 minutes. Once there the island is big enough to offer pretty much anything you could wish for. Between May and October the sixteen kilometre long Samaria Gorge hike is famous for amazing views, wild goats and the deep dark sections where the walls rise vertically on either side of you. At the end of the Gorge the quiet seaside village of Aghia Roumelli can only be reached on foot down the Gorge or by boat.

This is just one suggested route for a little luxury island hopping, but with hundreds of inhabited islands the options are legion. Wherever in the Greek islands you choose to explore you will be rewarded with new experiences and memories to last a lifetime.

Victoria Brenner is Director at The Couture Travel Company.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Coral says:

    I have just returned from Santorini and Crete. My husband and I flew to Crete as that was cheaper than flying to Athens. As the flying cat was not running until 17 April we sailed overnight to Piraeus and had a day in Athens, then took the ferry to Santorini via Naxos, Paros and Ios. We got some amazingly good value yet beautifully appointed rooms, both in Crete and Santorini. We stayed in Heraklion, and caught local buses to Knossos and Rethymnon, and would recommend a stay in the capital. I think the biggest cost over all was the ferries, but good rooms can be had from 30 to 45 euros. You may not get infinity pools yet in April you won’t be using them. Already planning another Easter in Greece and this time going to a couple more islands.

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