Skiathos is favoured by British visitors and our choice for a pure, lazy family beach holiday with varied good beaches, a bit of pleasant walking and a lot of swimming.
Why holiday on the Greek Islands?
The 228 inhabited islands of Greece are famously beautiful, good value, serve interesting food, have fast and efficient ferries, are invariably sunny in summertime and surrounded by mostly clear, warm waters washing onto sandy beaches or sculpted rocks.
Island Hopping is easy via good, fast ferries so you could easily visit two or three islands in a week. Journey time between the Cyclades islands, for example, is mostly less than an hour by fast cat.
Stick to the same island group if you want it easy, for example the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, Cephalonia, and Corfu have a superb ambience and history though they’re a bit less sunny due to their northwesterly location, while the Cyclades Islands in the south include monster must-sees such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos.
Here are a few photos of some of our favourite Greek Islands to help you make the right holiday choice, which is not necessarily to stay on one island.
Which islands to visit?
Once just farmed for olive oil or used as a base for fishing, over the last 50 years the Greek islands have developed into Europe’s best beach holiday destination, with a huge variety of natural tourist attractions from the soft bleached sands, and pine forests of Skiathos to the staggering volcanic views and red beaches of Santorini, the stylish party scenes in the hora (old town) and pebbly gathering places of Mykonos, the ancient cultures, sites, hikes and hot beige sands of Crete or Rhodes, the hiking routes and dunes of Naxos and the young and wild clubbing scenes of Ios where the beaches morph into recovery wards the morning after.
Greece offers massive variety at a reasonable price. We haven’t visited all the Greece islands but with our current knowledge we’d choose Skiathos for Brits who want good value beach holidays on soft sand and who don’t have pollen allergies, Mykonos for stylish, sun-seekers and Santorini for its out-and-out bizarre looks and staggering views, but you’d have to tolerate well-cooked black sand beaches.
One of Skiathos’ few non-sandy beaches.
See the incredible views, town and stony beaches of Santorini, birthplace of the Atlantis legend? Photo by Tango7174.
Santorini is a strange, beautiful and dramatic island with incredible views though beaches are volcanic stoney and hot. Santorini caldera (the volcanic bowl) is the site of Atlantis – or rather the Atlantis legend, so we Bugheads believe.