Destination Greece

Alonissos

Alonissos is an ideal island for those who want to enjoy rugged landscapes and stroll through pine woods, olive groves and orchards. It is the most northern island in the Sporades and is thought to have been one of the first islands in the Aegean to be inhabited.

The island plays host to the National Marine Park of the Northern Sporades and is a haven for all sorts of wildlife of sea, land and air. After a long day out in the natural world, settle down for a lovely glass of wine – this island has been known for wine making since antiquity.

Alonissos Town

This delightfully picturesque and quaint chora, or old town is one of the most charming places on the island and is the best place to come if you wish to understand something of the culture of this amazing island.

The old buildings and winding streets are a photographer’s dream and the little shops, cafes and restaurants all seem to belong to a simpler age. This is the other side of the Greek islands, where mass tourism has not made a dent. Here you can unwind and slow down to an island pace of life.

Patitiri

This is the capital and port of the island of Alonissos and is where most of the island’s population are congregated. It is here that you will find most of the facilities and infrastructure you will require while on the island.

This is a relatively new settlement, created by the people who left their old chora after the earthquake of 1965, so everything is still in good repair and well cared for, with a fresh and charming feel. This newish village with white washed houses and narrow streets nestles in pine forests beside a delightful little sandy bay.

Steni Vala

This is the second most populous village on the island and is located around 11km north of Patitiri. It has a small pebble beach and just to the north of the village you will find a further large beach. This is a tranquil spot and a great place to come for some rest and relaxation.

The people who live here, who number fewer than 150, are mostly employed in fishing or trade and though there is a small yet burgeoning tourist industry here, the place still has a laid back and authentic feel and has not been taken over.

Attica

Attica is a historical area of Greece that encompasses the capital, Athens and its environs. It is located on a large spur of land called the Attic Peninsula that unfurls into the Aegean Sea. In and around the capital you will find a great many historic sites that tell of the long and important past of the region.

Athens and the rest of Attica are the heart of Greece, both historically and in the present day. If you want to understand modern Greece and get some insight into how it came to be then this is definitely the part of the country you should visit.

Athens

The heart of modern Greece, Athens has been the country’s capital for more than 4,000 years. The city has many attractions both ancient and modern and though there are many of the most famous historical sites in Greece, like the Acropolis, that tell of the city’s ancient golden age, just as many people come here to enjoy the modern city, with its vibrant nightlife.

Athens might not be in its golden age any longer, but remnants of its mighty power can still, here and there, be glimpses as you explore this 21st Century city. 

Nea Makri

A coastal town in East Attica, Nea Makri is 25km north east of the centre of Athens. It is located on the Petalioi Gulf on the Aegean coast. The coastline here is the major draw, and it is said to be one of the cleaner areas of Attica’s shoreline. 

People come here to enjoy the beaches but if you choose to stay here then it will be easy also to explore the attractions of Athens at the same time, so you can have both a beach holiday and a cultural break at the same time.

Corfu

Corfu is well known for its delightful beaches, natural beauty and historic and cultural charm. This is a very popular holiday destination and it is very easy to see why. Lively on the coast and sleepy inland in the mountains, Corfu can offer a wide range of different holiday options.

The great thing about Corfu is that no matter how many people come here each summer, this island is big enough that it is always possible to escape the crowds. Whether you want beach bliss, natural tranquillity, active adventure or a cultural retreat, Corfu can deliver in spades.

Acharavi

With a view of the Albanian Coast, Acharavi is set on the far northern tip of the island. This is a popular holiday resort, especially good for couples and families, who come here each summer to enjoy the beach on the relaxing holiday with all the facilities and infrastructure you need close at hand.

Acharavi the resort has grown up beside the traditional village, where some older buildings can be seen and you can have a nice meal or enjoy a glass of wine with a picturesque view.

Aghios Georgios

Here you will find what is often considered to be one of the best and safest beaches on the island. This is a quiet and restful resort and the place will seldom be overcrowded, allowing you to enjoy a serene stay in this island idyll. 

The beach here is the main draw, with golden sand beside shimmering turquoise waters. It is backed by glorious swathes of pine forest into which the small settlement nestles. Here you can slow down and unwind in a beautiful island setting.

Aghios Gordios

Aghios Gordios is a fairly small village with a long sandy beach, backed by glistening olive groves and looking out onto the sparkling ocean. Conveniently close to the airport, across the island on the west coast, Aghios Gordios is an easy choice.

The beach has private areas for naturists or those who simply want some peace. The 600m of busiest open beach is great for those who want to relax on a lounger or who want to get more active. Here you can hire a canoe or a pedallo, go diving or enjoy a wide range of water sports.

Aghios Ioannis Peristeron

This long beach is located around 18km north of Corfu town. Far from the main resorts of the island, it is often considered as a good place to relax and unwind away from the worst of the crowds. 

Here, amid the abundant vegetation and before you reach the beach and the sparkling waters you will find a nice range of accommodation, taverns, cafes and other facilities. This is a tranquil and well-managed spot for the whole family to enjoy. This place is not to be confused with the inland villlage of Aghios Ioannis, which is not very close by.

Aghios Ioannis (Parelion)

This quiet and friendly inland area is ideal for those who wish to explore the fascinating interior of the island, but this inland area has something special to delight fun-lovers and families – Aqualand Resort.

Aqualand accommodation is to be found here, close by this mega attraction, which is one of the most popular in Corfu. It is one of the largest waterparks in Europe. So if this is what you have come here to see then this is a convenient place to base yourself during your stay.

Aghios Stefanos

Tourism has come to Aghios Stefanos gradually over the last twenty years but it has not much altered the character of this charming fishing village, which still has a relatively undeveloped and laid-back vibe, ideal for families.

The beach here is a long one, with soft golden sand and shallow waters perfect for younger children. It is over a mile long so there is plenty of space to spread out, even on the busiest of summer days. By fresh fish in the morning direct from the fisherman, and enjoy the quieter and more rustic side of island life.

Arillas

On the north western coast of the island, Arillas is a safe and quiet resort suitable for all sorts of traveller. Here you can enjoy the golden sands and calm, shallow water, the bliss of unspoiled nature walks in utter tranquillity and a plethora of family owned and run taverns and shops.

Arillas is a quiet place yet there is plenty to do here. Arillas has a family vibe, not least because of the real Corfiot families who still live here. This is a good coastal choice if you want to escape the worst of the crowds.

Barbati

The long pebble and shingle beach at Barbati is one of the most popular scenic spots on the island, with the sweep of the bay and the rugged mountains towering up from the dense woodland. Barbati is both lively and quiet and any visitor to Corfu, of any age, is likely to find what they are looking for here.

Whether you are looking for taverna and lively nightlife or a natural retreat of hiking and relaxation, you can find both of these sorts of holiday here in the resort of Barbati.

Benitses

Benitses resort was actually where tourism on Corfu all began. It has long been a popular destination for travellers who want to see the Corfiot coastal way of life and see all of the many attractions that are to be found nearby.

Nearby you will find many historic attractions, including the Roman Villa with remnants of Thermal Baths. Also of interest is the Sea Museum and the new marina is also interesting to see. Here you will find everything you could want for a fun holiday experience, day and night.

Corfu Town

This city has played an important role on the island since the 8th Century and is a major point of interest for visitors to the island who would like to immerse themselves in the island’s culture and find out more about its intriguing past.

Strolling through the picturesque streets or taking in the views from one of the two castles here, you are sure to enjoy your time in this UNESCO listed world heritage site. Aside from the many attractions of the city, this is also a good base from which to explore the rest of the island.

Dassia

Dassia means ‘forests’ and when you get to this beach resort you will see that the name is apt. Dassia and its neighbouring resort, Ipsos, are now to be counted amongst the liveliest resorts on the island. Dassia is indeed nestled down in the forest while its neighbour (whose name means heights) is indeed up on the foothills of Mount Pantokratoras.

Dassia has a quieter and more family orientated vibe than its neighbour, which attracts a younger crowd. The forest-backed beach is a great place to relax and unwind or enjoy some water sports.

Ermones

This tourist resort has been built around what you could say is a rather standard beach, at least as far as the beaches on Corfu go, but this is not the main draw here. Instead people come here to enjoy the golf course – one of the best in Europe it is said – which sits in the flat green valley above. 

The green valley which stretches all the way to Paleokastritsa is one of the flatter regions of the island which makes it great for gentle strolls, cycling and horse riding. 

Glyfada

One of the best sandy beaches on the island is to be found at Glyfada. This lovely golden, soft-sanded strand is a lovely place to chill out. There are several bars and taverna along the beach as well as the usual facilities. 

This is a great place to swim and if you are feeling brave and adventurous you could swim out to some rocks off the beach which are popular for jumping off. The highest point on the rocks that people jump from is around 40ft – not for the faint hearted. 

Gouvia

This fishing village turned modern resort is located on the east coast of the island. There are several shingle and sand beaches and small coves around the area here, as well as an ancient Venetian harbour and a modern marina. 

Gouvia is a destination that will suit all budgets and many different tastes. Here you can lounge on the beach or enjoy a more active holiday, horse riding through olive groves or indulging in a range of exciting water based activities. Gouvia has plenty going on and all the facilities you might expect to find in a resort of this type.

Ipsos

Ipsos, meaning heights is located by the foothills of Mount Pantokratoras. Along with its neighbour, Dassia, it makes up one of the liveliest resort areas on the island. Ipsos, with its bars and nightlife, is popular with a younger and more fun-loving crowd. 

Here you will find all the day and night time entertainment you want and can enjoy the friendly and laid back but exciting feel to the place. There are plenty of water sports to enjoy on the lovely beach and if you want to chill you could head over to quieter Dassia.

Kalami

This is one of the most tranquil and beautiful spots on the island. The author Lawrence Durrell lived here in the ‘white house’. Corfu gained fame in the 1960s when people read the novels of Gerald Durrell, Lawrence’s brother, who described in vivid detail the landscape and wildlife of Corfu as well as the exploits of his family.

You too can enjoy the more natural and unspoiled elements of the island here. Though if you wish you can also enjoy the pebble beach and enjoy a range of water activities. Whatever you do, this is a simple and quiet destination where you can slow to the pace of the Corfiot way of life.

Kanoni

This former capital, now more or less a suburb of Corfu town close to the airport, has a quantity of accommodation for visitors who wish to explore the sights of the interesting historic area. There is a beach here and also a fascinating archaeological site.

Two neighbouring islets off the Kanoni peninsula are one of the iconic sights of Corfu. The coast around here is rugged and lush and scenic. There are plenty of places to walk in the woodland if you have had enough of the city’s sites.

Kassiopi

This charming town in its picturesque setting is the largest settlement in the north east of the island. As well as catering for tourists in the usual ways, this place also has an interesting history, more history than most of the other places along Corfu’s coast. The narrow, traditional streets of the town are overlooked by the ruins of an ancient castle.

Kassiopi has a lively feel, day and night. There is plenty of life here after dark in the central square and around the town. Kassiopi has history, but also many modern facilities for active fun in the sun.

Kavos

Kavos is clubbing central on Corfu, well known for its party-hard nightlife and wild behaviour. This is not the place to come if you are looking for a peaceful retreat in the natural world – this place is all about fun, fun and more fun with plenty of people and lots going on day and night.

This really is the place to party until you drop, so don’t be shy and get stuck in. If the non-stop party scene is your idea of fun then this is definitely the place for you.

Kontokali

This village resort is just under 5km north of Corfu town. It is joined to the neighbouring resort of Gouvia by means of a coastal road. Here you will find all the amenities you would expect to find in a resort of this type and there are a few bars, though nightlife here is pretty minimal. Pop along to Gouvia if you are looking for more choice.

Kontokali has a lovely sand and pebble beach to relax on and of course plenty of places to get a bite to eat. Many are even run by ex-pats, Brits who came here and decided to stay.

Lefkimi

The picturesque village of Lefkimi is situated towards the south of the island and it one of the more traditional villages you will find here. It is set in the midsts of a fertile plain of olive groves and vineyards and has lovely streets with tall houses, narrow alleys and some charming historic architecture including beautiful churches.

Lefkimi is one of the top destinations on the island for those who want to learn more about the Corfiot way of life and want to see the ‘real’ Corfu rather than party on the coast.

Liapades

Liapades is a popular tourist destination and village located on the west coast of Corfu. The tourist area around the Bay of Liapades is just 800 m from the centre of the old village, which is easy to explore on foot.

The charming historical village will make you feel as though you have stepped back through time and if you explore the area on foot you will definitely get a strong sense of the traditional Corfiot way of life. This place is great for those who enjoy a more authentic and traditional holiday experience.

Messonghi

This is a small and laid-back resort that is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing retreat and families looking for a safe and quiet place to unwind and have fun. This is one of the most popular resorts to be found on the south coast of the island.

There is plenty of space on the big beach here even during the high season, so there is always somewhere to spread your beach towel and chill out. At night, there is enough going on to keep things fun and lively but nothing as crazy as at some of the other resorts on the island. 

Moraitika

This is one of the livelier resorts on the island, for those who really want to let loose and have fun, partying hard. There are a bunch of pubs and clubs as well as restaurants for every taste and plenty of day time activities on offer too. 

The water is warm and shallow off the sand and shingle beach and there are plenty of fun water activities and water sports to enjoy. This is great if you are young, single and out to have a lot of fun in the sun.

Nissaki

This is a calm and picturesque, not over-developed village on the north coast of the island. It is ideal for people who want traditional Greece rather than a holiday camp atmosphere. This is a great scenic base for exploration of the surrounding human and natural history sites. 

There are many beauty spots nearby and a number of hiking trails, old routes and traditional village sites to explore around this area. The slopes of Mount Pantokrator have much to offer to the tourist who is willing to venture just a little way from the coast.

Paleokastritsa

This is a renowned beauty spot. The hilly resort nestles in beneath olive groves and citrus orchards and looks out over a stunning stretch of coastline on the north west coast of the island. The waters here are perfect for swimming and the beaches are lovely. Be sure to take a boat trip to some of the many beaches of the area, most of which can only be reached in this fashion.

You should also be sure to visit the famous caves here and if you are feeling daring this is also a great place to do a little diving and explore beneath the water as well as above it. 

Pelekas

Pelekas is a village that can pretty much offer all things to all people. Here there are sandy beaches nearby, scenic, sun-drenched streets filled with history and culture, charming tavernas surrounded by olive groves, great food, watersports within easy reach and lively nightlife to round off each day.

According to many locals, the lookout and summit of the hill on which the old village of Pelekas sits is said to be one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset. There are several beaches on the coast within easy reach of this traditional Corfiot village.

Perama

This resort is popular with those who simply want to gaze at the beautiful sea, relax and unwind in the soothing sun. Perama is one of the locations where Gerald Durrell first discovered the rich diversity of Corfu’s marine life, which you can also now discover here.

Perama is a scenic spot where you can enjoy the natural world. There is also a popular hike which will take you to Corfu town, so you can enjoy the culture and history there as well, or you can hike into the lush green hills that surround the settlement.

Potamos

Alykes Potamos is a quiet seaside town located on the east coast of Corfu. Dense pine woods give this place a vivid green backdrop and the sandy beach has a secluded feel. Yet this place is actually only around ten minutes drive from Corfu Town, so gives easy access to that attractive, historic settlement and all the things to see and do there.

Alykes Potamos has soft sand and pebble beaches and there are many ways to enjoy the sea here too, with the option of a range of different water based activities. 

Roda

This old fishing village has become a popular package holiday destination and it is easy to see what people find so attractive about it. There is a lovely sandy cove here and plenty of bars, taverna and restaurants both on the beach front and in the old village area. 

There is plenty to see and do in this area, including paying a visit by boat to a couple of small neighbouring islands from the neighbouring area of Sidari, or checking out the wilder nightlife to be found there.

Sidari

Sidari is the best known and busiest resort on the north coast of the island. This is a large commercial resort and is very lively – expect crowds, rowdiness and plenty of bad behaviour! If that is not the sort of holiday you are looking for then look elsewhere.

If however you do want non-stop entertainment, plenty of drinks and a party that never ends then this could be the resort of your dreams. But if you can stop partying long enough, you should check out the beautiful beaches and coastline here. Visit the Canal D’amour and dare to dive beneath to discover the amazing sub-marine world. 

St Spyridon

This small and peaceful resort is a quiet backwater on the north coast of Corfu. This place has a few of the basics that are required to make a great holiday but nothing here is too excessive. This is a great place for families and others looking for a more restful and traditional stay.

There are two charming beaches here and even better, just a few minutes walk from the beach will take you to the Nature Reserve, a great spot for those who love and respect the natural world and the creatures who inhabit it. 

Crete

Crete is Greece’s largest island and one of its most popular tourist destinations. It is no wonder that so many people choose to visit this magical island each year. The wonderful beaches alone are reason enough to visit.

But add to the spectacular coastline all the other spectacular natural and historic attractions of the island and you truly have something very special.  If you are heading for sunny Crete then you are most definitely in for a treat. The mythical birthplace of Zeus can be a heavenly place.

Adele

The small, picturesque village of Adele is located around 8km outside of Rethymnon and is a great place to experience Cretan hospitality while enjoying the scenic and pastoral location away from the more crowded coast.

Adele’s old streets are the perfect place to while away a few hours but if you feel the need to get out and about, Adele is only a short distance from many of the island’s most famous attractions. Or you could simply use this as a base to explore the old villages and bucolic farming areas of the island.

Agia Galini

This welcoming harbour village on the south coast of the island is a lively place for nature lovers. Take a dip in the glorious blue sea or a bike ride in the surrounding countryside. Take a stroll along the shore or a hike of longer duration.

There are plenty of bars, shops and restaurants in the town to enjoy and there is plenty of tourist accommodation around. The beach is just a kilometre or so away along the coastal road.

Agia Marina

This is one of the largest tourist resorts in the Chania district of the island, which is found on the west coast. The resort is spread out along a long, sandy beach on the main coastal road. This place has a great nightlife for those who are looking to live it large on the island, with plenty of bars and several large clubs.

There is a range of accommodation here to suit all different sorts of people and in spite of the nightlife, during the day this place still has something of a villagey vibe.

Agia Pelagia

This village has been built at the centre of an attractive amphitheatre-like bay. It is found 23km to the north west of Crete’s capital city, Heraklion. There is a sandy beach here which is one major draw for tourists.

Another draw for visitors to the area are the historic sites. The place takes its name, ‘Saint Pelagia’ from the church of the same name that is found in the nearby ruins of the Monastery of the Sebbathians. A nearby cave is another religious site and the area is also home to some post-Minoan graves and the Pritanion (University) of the 4th Century BC.

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is different from the other towns on the island. This unique medium size ton has a small town yet lively feel. This is a town of threes, it is built, partially on the ruins of former houses, on three hills and presents three faces to the sea. One is the lake and port by it, another is the beach and the third is the attractive marina.

Of these three parts of the town, perhaps the intriguingly deep lake, joined to the sea by only a narrow channel, is the most interesting. There are plenty of charming restaurants and cafes and bars look out over it. 

Agia Fotia

This coastal village is found on the south east of the island, located between two other resorts, Ferma and Koutsouras. This area is far quieter than many other parts of the island. The beach here is small but charming and seldom busy and the village and beach are surrounded by scenic mountains.

Agia Fotia would be a great choice if you are looking for a very quiet stay, far from the hustle and bustle of the main resort areas. Nearby, be sure to take the hike through the delightful Butterfly Gorge. There are several good walks and hikes in the area.

Almerida

This resort, which started out as a fishing village, is popular with families for its long and attractive beach. The shallow waters are ideal for children and you can hire a range of equipment for water based fun including kayaks, wind surfers and paddle boats. 

Almerida has also made a name for itself as a good food destination and there are plenty of places where you can sample the delicious local specialities. A great way to refuel after a long day’s play or relaxation. This is also a good spot to watch the sunset as you look out over the ocean from this north-west coast of the island.

Amoudara

With its 5km long sandy beach this is one of the most popular Cretan resorts close to the interesting historic city of Heraklion. The centre is lively and bustling with tourists during the summer months and the beach is good not just for sunbathing and swimming, it is also a great place to enjoy a range of water sports.

There are plenty of restaurants, shops and bars in Amoudara and of course when the sun begins to set on the resort, it is still very much alive, with a series of bars to keep things going until dawn.

Analypsis

Analypsis is spread along a long road around 23km to the east of Heraklion. Development here started later than it did elsewhere around the coast of Crete and the development is, by and large, far more sympathetic.

There is a small and very charming church perched on the sea shore, where it is lapped by waves and makes for a lovely photo op. The beach stretches along from the church, a long sandy stretch with parasols and loungers. There is another smaller sandy cove out to the west, which can be calmer on rougher days.

Annissaras

Annissaras is an area of largely up-scale accommodations around a kilometre away from the raucous nightlife of Hersonissos and yet seeming a world away from its excesses. This hilly, verdant area is a great place to stay if you want to enjoy the hedonistic thrills of Hersonissos while still enjoying the more tranquil side of island life.

Annissaras is around 24km east of Heraklion and you will easily be able to explore the north side of the island while also having a vibrant nightlife and plenty of restaurants and bars within easy reach.

Apokaronas

Located on the north eastern corner of the Chania district of the island, Apokaronas is one of the greenest parts of Crete. This district at the foot of the White Mountains is perfect for nature lovers and those who enjoy recreation in the great outdoors.

Within this district you will find the ancient ruins of Aptera, the cultural village of Vamos and the only freshwater lake on Crete, Lake Kournas. There are also the varied coastal resorts of Kalyves, Almyrida and Plaka and bustling Georgioupolis is to be found at the edge of the region. 

Atsipopoulo

This charming inland village is in the vicinity of Rethymno, only around 5km from the centre of that settlement. The village gives a delightful Venetian feel, with many old buildings that tell the story of the area’s fascinating past. This is a great place to stay for those interested in Cretan culture and history.

With several churches, arched pathways and stone houses placed closely so as to receive the protection of a fortification wall that protected inhabitants from pirates and other attackers, this place has been well renovated and truly gives a sense of how this place used to be.

Bali

Situated on a rugged part of the north coast of the island, Bali was once a fishing village but is now a colourful collection of tourist accommodation and other tourist buildings. It is a fairly picturesque spot that enjoys pleasant views out over several pretty beaches in little bays and has the backdrop of Mount Kouloukonas. 

Bali has several good bars and tavernas and attracts a mixed crowd. Beaches can be busy during peak season but the place has a lively feel and there are also plenty of possible day trips in the area, so there is something for everyone.

Chania

Chania is the second largest city on Crete. It is a beautiful city, which some say is one of the most beautiful in all of Greece. It has had a long and interesting history that is still reflected in many of the fascinating buildings in the city. The Venetian harbour is just one of many scenic and historical spots.

The natural backdrop of the city is also stunning, with mountains fading into the distance on one side and the sparkling sea on the other. Adventure awaits the traveller who seeks it all around, from hikes on pristine mountainsides to dives to the depths of the clear seas, teeming with life.

Daratso

Daratso and its neighbour Galatas were once small hill villages overlooking the beach at Kalamaki, a little to the west of the charming city of Chania.  Now tourism has well and truly arrived here and you will find sprawling settlements which have yet managed to retain a tranquil and residential feel in spite of the influx of visitors.

There is now Daratso and Kato (‘low’ or ‘down’) Daratso which is the area down by the sea shore, where much of the tourist settlement has now formed. There are some nice restaurants in the settlement but if you want more lively entertainment you will hae to go to nearby Chania.

Elounda

Elounda may once have been a simple fishing village and there are still elements of that. But classy hotels have raised the profile of this little settlement, which now plays host to celebrities and wealthy visitors, as well as to a more ordinary mix of visitors.

In spite of the celebrity presence here, there is little glitz and glamour in the town itself, which simply seems to get on with its own business. Locals may take you fishing to nearby Spinalonga Island, or you might take a stroll across the causeway to the delightful Kolokytha Peninsula. This authentic village is a strange mix, but really comes alive in a charming way at night.

Fodele

Fodele is a village in between Heraklion and Rethymnon. It is just inland from the popular coastal resort of Agia Pelagia and is a great place to stay if you want access to the fun and facilities but want to stay at one remove from the crowds. 

Fodele is a charming, historic settlement built in an area of orange groves. It is lush and green and has many shops selling local crafts and pleasing tavernas in which to sample local wares. Historins believe that this village is on the site of the ancient town of Astali. 

Galatas

Galatas and its neighbour Daratso were small, hilltop villages that looked out over the sea, but tourist arrived here long ago and has turned the place into a much larger tourist settlement. 

In spite of the tourist influx, however, Galatas has still managed to retain something of its villagey feel. Its coastal counterpart, sprawling down the slope towards the sea, is Kato (‘low or ‘down’ in Greek) Galatas. If you are looking for more night time entertainment then you can take the bus or journey by some other means into nearby Chania.

Georgioupolis

This large and thriving resort town is popular with holidaymakers from all over Europe and further afield. It is located conveniently for island exploration, between Chania and Rethymnon. There is a thriving nightlife with plenty of bars to keep younger visitors entertained but there are no clubs, so the nightlife is not as over the top as in some other places. 

Georgioupolis is blessed with lovely sandy beaches and has a pleasant family-friendly feel. The lively square is a great place to watch the world go by. You should also be sure to explore inland to discover some of the many attractions around about.

Gerani

Gerani is less developed that its neighbour Platanias but still has plenty of accommodation options and a few restaurants and shops for the basics. It has a wide stretch of pebble beach that is usually very quiet, so you will have plenty of space to relax and read a good book if you wish.

If you want a more lively time, however, it is easy to get from here to Plantanias for nightlife and more variety in activities and places to eat and drink. Gerani is on the main coastal road so you can also easily have the bus 16km to enjoy the delights of beautiful Chania.

Gouves

Gouves is, confusingly, located right next to Gournes. It covers a large area and the coastal portion is sometimes known, as with other areas along the coast, as Kato (‘low’ or ‘down’) Gouves. The popular resort area by the coast has a rather different feel from the original, historic village up on the hillside.

One of the most charming promenades on the island is to be found in the Kato Gouves tourist area. There are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and a variety of different beaches to suit all tastes and requirements. There is a cute chapel on a rock jutting into the sea, great for photos.

Heraklion

This is Crete’s largest city and the fifth largest city in Greece, so those who come expecting to find a small and quaint island settlement will be disappointed. If however, you are prepared for a bustling big city then Heraklion has a lot of attractions and is a fascinating place to explore.

There are a number of historic sites to be found amongst the hustle and bustle and one of the most iconic sites of the city is the Koules Venetian Fortress, with was built in the early 1500s. Relatively nearby the city, the Palace of Knossos is another must-see sight for those with an interest in Greek history.

Hersonissos

Hersonissos is well known to many visitors from around the world who come here each year, particularly over the summer months. It is the largest resort on Crete. This is not the place to come if you are looking for a typical Cretan settlement or a peaceful place to relax. This place is all about fun, with a vibrant nightlife, plenty of facilities, and entertainment to satisfy even the most easily bored holiday maker. 

There is a strong party-vibe but this place caters to families as well as young hedonists out to have a good time. The beaches are busy but good and there is plenty of family-friendly entertainment too.

Ierapetra

Ierapetra is the place for those with an interest in human and natural history. There are a great many historic attractions in this old town and close by there is the popular and amazing Gorge of Ha as well as other scenic wonders.

The long stretches of sand all along the coast around Ierapetra all have a blue flag and offer golden or grey sands and clear waters to enjoy a range of activities on, in and beside. Ierapetra is perfect for those who like to enjoy active holidays as well as those who like to relax.

Istron

Istron is the offshoot of a typical Cretan village where the tourism is very much a part of the place but treads more lightly than in other places on the island. Here, you can enjoy the slow pace of island life, take some lovely walks in the scenically lovely area and enjoy the charming coastline, including the well known golden beach of Voulisma, a favourite with locals and holidaymakers alike.

Istron is a name sometimes used synonymously with Kalo Chorio, which is sometimes used to refer to the whole settlement. At the traditional upper village you can experience a way of life that has genuinely changed little in a hundred years, for a truly relaxing stay.

Kalives

This pretty seaside village resort is located just 19km or so from charming Chania and is a good base if you wish to explore the attractions found there while staying in a smaller and quieter place. The beach here can get busy but strolling around the village, you may well see ducks here, which gives the whole place a completely different feel.

This Souda Bay coastal area is picturesque, with lush greenery and traditional Cretan architecture and if you venture inland you will discover yet more scenic beauty in the region of Apokoronas.

Kalo Chorio

The upper end and traditional village of the settlement sometimes known as Istron is a charming Cretan village set in rolling hills in a particularly scenic part of the island. Up above the more touristy get still charming coast, Kalo Chorio is a great place to see traditional Cretan life.

Kalo Chorio has a lovely historic church, old buildings in Cretan style and a small play park for children. If you want more restaurants and taverna then you can head down to Istron on the coast, where there are lovely views out over the Gulf of Mirabelle.

Karteros

Located on the Bay of Karteros, this beach resort area is perfect for those looking for a place to relax and unwind by the sea. There are some busy and lively beaches and others that offer a somewhat quieter experience. You can choose here what sort of beach experience to go for. 

Some of the beaches have few facilities while others are particularly well catered for with a wide range of beach bars to choose from and plenty of places to eat. The area is also filled with a plethora of historical sites to visit.

Kato Galatas

Kato Galatas is the coastal portion that forms part of the tourist settlement that has grown down towards the coast from the traditional hilltop village of Galatas. The main attraction is the Kalamaki beach here, which has a range of bars and tavernas and some modest nightlife.

If you want something more lively, however, you can head along the coast to Chania, where there is much more going on and plenty to do, night and day. There is also a large resort to the west with plenty to do and a more lively nightlife. 

Kato Stalos

This beach resort area is located around 8km from charming Chania, where there are attractions galore for people of all tastes. The area here offers some basic but perfectly satisfactory places to shop, eat and drink, though you will have to nip down the coast for a more dramatic nightlife.

Kato Stalos is the coastal development that has strung out from the traditional hilltop village of Pano Stalos (Upper Stalos). The upper village is a lovely place to take a glimspe into the more traditional side of Crete.

Kavros

This tourist area stretches along the National Road between Georgioupolis beach and Episkopi and offers a wide range of hotels and other accommodation options. The amazing 10km long beach found here is the major attraction. It can be windy but is well organised.

Kavros may be a good place to find accommodation within easy reach of the many attractions of this area, both along the coast and inland. You can visit the only freshwater lake in Crete or enjoy natural attractions around about, as well as chilling out on the strand.

Kokkini Hani

This holiday resort area off the old road near Heraklion has developed quickly and now offers all the tourist facilities, restaurants, bars, tavernas and activities that you could possibly want or need. If you have travelled here along the old road from the capital then you will have seen the delightful sight of the resort set out before you like a patchwork quilt thrown down next to the sparkling sea.

Kokkini Hani is a lively place where many of the bars and cafes will stay open quite late. But if you are looking to party ’til dawn and want something a bit wilder then you should head along the coast to Hernissos.

Kolimbari

Kolimbari is a village that is only just beginning to succumb to the tourist tide. There are a few large hotels here and there have been works to improve the pebble beach with imported sand bt by and large this is still a quiet and fairly traditional place to stay.

Kolimbari is located at the base of the Rodopou Peninsula. You should be sure to visit the important  Monastery of Gonia, nearby and other interesting sites are also to be found in the area. For a vibrant nightlife, go elsewhere – this is a more relaxed and calmer place.

Koutouloufari

With its narrow streets and traditional Cretan houses, Koutouloufari is an inland village that allows you to be within easy reach of the main tourist hotspots of the island while staying somewhere far more tranquil and traditional. 

Enjoy gorgeous views down over the coast, stroll down the charming historic streets and enjoy a meal in a traditional taverna. If you do want something a bit more lively, then it is just a quick hop skip and a jump down to the coast where you will find everything you want and need and more.

Koutsounari

The small seaside village of Koutsounari is located on the east of the island, just one kilometer from the picturesque village of St. John and just a short distance from the breathtaking 5km long beach of St. John. The beach has a coarse grey sand that turns to fine pebbles as you walk away from the water.

There are a variety of amenities scattered along the shoreline and there are areas where the beach is more organised and other areas where it is easier to get away from it all, meaning that you can have the best of both worlds.

Ligaria

Ligaria is a smaller resort located just 1km from the bustling Agia Pelagia, where you can enjoy a livelier nightlife. There are picturesque beaches in this enclosed and sheltered bay where you can relax or enjoy a range of water sports activities. 

Ligaria is a great place for those who enjoy outdoors pursuits, from swimming and other water related activities to hiking and there is also historical interest, most notably at the nearby Monastery of Panagia Ligariani, a ruin previously inhabited by monks which has given its name to the area.

Makry Gialos

This place is quite quiet when compared to many of the other coastal parts of the island and is a real find for those looking for somewhere untrammelled by mass tourism. Located on the serene east coast of the island, close to a series of tranquil beaches and bays, Makry Gialos’ harbour area has some attractive and characterful restaurants and tavernas.

Merging with its neighbour Analipsi, Makry Gialos is a gentle place with a casual and stylish feel. This is a great place for nature lovers and hikers, with its mountain backdrop and accessible gorges to explore.

Maleme

Maleme is a well appointed tourist resort with all the facilities you require for the ideal, stress-free holiday. It is just 16km from Chania, if you are interested in visiting that interesting and attractive town, and there is also plenty to see and do right here.

Maleme is an interesting place historically, with intriguing sites which date from the Minoan Era right through to the Second World War. There is a relaxing blue flag beach that stretches all the way to Chania and near here you will also be able to see sea turtles and discover more about the Caretta Caretta.

Malia

Malia is one of the top party resorts in Greece and many people come here every summer to enjoy the clubbing scene, let loose and go wild. This is a resort with plenty going on and a very lively atmosphere, though if you are not into the continuous party then this is not the place for you.

People from all over Europe and beyond come here to enjoy the nightlife, which is notorious for its extreme excesses. But if you are looking for a a place to eat, drink and dance ’til dawn then this is one of the top places to do so.

Milatos

This by-the-sea development and attached village has a charming beach and some good fish tavernas to enjoy. Milatos was once an important city and is one of only seven Cretan settlements that send troops to fight in Troy.

Many of the old homes in the picturesque, narrow streets of the village have been sensitively restored and there is a nice, traditional feel to the old village. The main draw for tourists to this area is the Milatos Cave, which has a fascinating history. A little church is found within.

Missiria

Missiria is a settlement in Rethymnon on the north coast of the island. This is a lively place where everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips. There is a long, sandy beach, plenty of cafes, pubs, bars and clubs and a thriving nightlife. 

If you are looking for a party atmosphere and want to dance until the small hours then this could be the choice for you. There is also plenty to do during the day, with a range of water sports and other activities for visitors to enjoy.

Nea Kydonia

Nea Kydonia is a region on the western outskirts of Chania. This historic region saw fierce fighting during the Second World War and has several sites dating to that period, as well as a number of far older historical sites. 

In this region you will find the popular resorts close to the beach at Kalamaki as well as tranquil and more traditional areas slightly inland. Anywhere around here would be a good place to stay to enjoy the attractions and nightlife of Chania, where to ancient city of Kydonia was once found.

Panormos

Cretan charm can be found in spades in this traditional village and yet there is just enough tourist infrastructure to keep things lively. The bars and tavernas are plentiful so there is always a good choice for an evening out and yet the nightlife is friendly and laid-back, without the excesses of other resorts.

There are two main sandy beaches here and while this is on the often windy north coast, there are sheltered places in the small harbour to enjoy. From here it is easy to explore the island – the old quarter of Rethymnon is within easy reach.

Piskopiano

Piskopiano is a traditional village in the interior of Crete. It lies along with its two neighbouring traditional towns on the slopes of Mount Harakas above the lively, busy coastal resort or Hersonissos, which attracts many visitors each year and is the largest resort on the island.

Piskopiano is a small place, though there are a few restaurants and tavernas where you can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere away from the coast and take in the breathtaking views out over the sea. If you find yourself wanting more then the coastal resort area is only about twenty minutes walk away.

Plakias

In 1961 just six people were living in Plakias, now is is a thriving tourist resort with many visitors each summer season and all the infrastructure, eating and drinking establishments and entertainments you would expect to sustain visitor numbers.

This is a lively town yet if you walk just a relatively short distance you will find yourself in some much more tranquil spots, where you can enjoy enjoy a stroll through olive groves or along the sea cliffs to gorgeous ‘hidden’ beaches and will find it fairly easy to escape the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty undisturbed.

Platanes

People come to this mid-sized package resort to enjoy the long and impressive beach here. It is also a convenient place to base yourself if you are interested in spending some time in the old, historic centre of nearby Rethymnon. 

Platanes beach area is wide and spacious and has the added attraction of the sea turtles. You cannot go down to the beach at night during the summer so that you do not disturb the turtles hatching. The turtles find their way to the ocean by moonlight and other lights on the beach could really confuse them.

Platanias

Platanias is located ten kilometres to the west of the popular, attractive and historic city of Chania, which makes it a good place to stay if you would like to explore there. The island of Thodorou can be seen offshore and is said by locals to be a petrified sea monster that once threatened the people of the town.

Platanias has considerable tourist development but also retains something of its friendly village feel. So some might say that with tourist facilities and Cretan charm, this place offers the best of both worlds.

Rethymnon

Rethymnon is a large tourism centre on the island and has many modern tourist facilities which have sprung up in abundance over the last twenty or so years as well as a popular coastline with several beaches within easy reach.

While the outskirts are very built up, plenty of charm still remains in the historic core of the city. The Fortezza, a Venetian Era fortress, is one of the best-preserved castles on the whole island and you will find a number of other historic architectural gems here too, including the harbour and many Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains.

Sfakaki

This is an area with tourist accommodation located along the old coast road close to Rethymnon. There is a small church here and some basic tourist facilities like shops and places to eat. However, there is a neighbouring village called Stavromenos that has everything you could need. 

You will find some fine beach areas to relax on on the far side of the old national road and here you will be able to soak up the sun to your heart’s content and gaze out over the beautiful blue seas.

Sissi

Sissi is a far more relaxed and calm place than the vibrant nearby party hotspots of Malia and Hernissos. Turn off the main road and head down a winding off-shoot and you will reach this charming and sheltered harbour with a traditional feel and an interesting history.

Sissi is a great choice for those who want to take a dip in the ocean, sit back and enjoy the sun or stroll along the scenic coast to find a secluded cove with your name on it. Slightly further afield, you can visit many historic sites in the surrounding area.

Sitia

Sitia is a town that has absorbed tourism rather than having been absorbed by it. This is still very much a working town that just happens to also have a successful tourist industry. It is, in fact, one of the less developed parts of the island.

Sitia has a long and vibrant history, some of which it still wears on its face today. This uncrowded area has many human history and natural attractions, from forest-backed beaches to ancient buildings, archaeological sites to amazing mountain treks. Perfect for those looking for fun in the great outdoors rather than in a club.

Skaleta

One of a row of small villages just to the east of Rethymnon, Skaleta is a place dedicated to tourism and everything that tourists will require while on holiday in the area. If you wish to explore this stretch of coastline and the historic core of Rethymnon with its old Venetian fortress then this is a good base. 

The beach is wide and pleasant with plenty of amenities. It is a good place for sun bathing and relaxing. There are a few bars and restaurants but for a raucous nightlife, you would be better to choose a different resort area.

Stalis

Stalis is part of one of the largest resort areas on the island and has pretty much merged into its busy neighbours, Hersonissos and Malia. There are plenty of beach bars, taverna and restaurants galore, but this place is not as rowdy as its neighbours.

Stalis is usually billed as more of a family resort destination than the other two parts of this stretch of coastline but if you are looking to party in Malia and Hersonissos then this could also be a good place to stay, with easy access to both of those places.

Stalos

Stalos, also known as Kalo Stalos, is a part of the tourist resort area that stretches along the coast between Chania and Platanias. It is a touristy yet fairly quiet and relaxed place, where the nightlife consists of a few bars and the main attraction during the day is the long, sandy beach.

Stalos is well placed if you wish to explore in more detail the north coast of the island and visit the historic attractions in Chania and elsewhere around this part of the island. The old village located up the hillside has a far different atmosphere to the coastal tourist stretch.

Tavronitis

Tavronitis is a village in the Chania region of Crete. It is a peaceful seaside place that is perfect for a relaxing Greek holiday in the sun. This is a largely unspoiled destination where you can enjoy the scenery and a quiet meal in a friendly local seafood restaurant or taverna.

If you are looking for a place with basic facilities for an enjoyable stay but want to steer clear of the very crowded areas found elsewhere around the coast of Crete then this could be a good option for you.

Halkidiki

This region in northern Greece is best known for its three gorgeous peninsulas, on which the verdant forests lead down to sandy beaches and turquoise seas. This oft overlooked area has many treasures for tourists to discover, from the resorts of the coasts to archaeological gems such as Stageira, the birthplace of Aristotle, and Olynthus with its well preserved mosaic floors.

Kassandra, the peninsula furthest to the west, is the most developed and here you will find modern resorts and a wild nightlife which is a far cry from one of the area’s high points, the monastic seclusion of Mount Athos.

Agios Nikolaos

This charming historical town is located by the eastern coast of Sithonia. It has a wealth of attractive 19th Century architecture and there are some beautiful beaches north of here that are not on most people’s agenda and which are rather unspoiled.

This is a tourist destination but also has the feel of a traditional working town and many of the local industries have changed little in the last hundred years. This is a great base for a relaxing stay in Macedonia and for hiking and biking in the region.

Gerakini

Gerakini is one of the oldest holiday destinations in Sithonia, Halkidiki. It has plenty of tourist facilities and there is some delightful beach for visitors to enjoy. The resort village is backed by the pine forests that cover the slopes of Mount Holomontas to the north.

This could be a great base for a more active adventure, hiking or biking in the scenic splendour of the largely unspoiled Sithonia Peninsula, where there are plenty of spectacular, secluded beaches to discover. If you want more action then Kassandra with its larger and more built up resorts is easy to reach from here.

Hanioti

Hanioti is a picturesque tourist resort town that is located on the Kassandra Peninsula in Northern Greece. It is a lively place with a great many restaurants, bars and places to party all night. Plus, this place is only a short distance from the most famous (or infamous) party resort in the region, Kallithea. 

Hanioti has pleasant streets, promenade and beach and the number of activities other than drinking and clubbing on offer here mean that it is also a great place for a family holiday. Try a range of watersports, swim or simply relax and play on the sand

Kassandra

Kassandra is located on the westernmost tip of the peninsula of Halkidiki, close to Thessaloniki. The Kassandra peninsula is in fact an island separated from the rest of the peninsula by the Potidea Canal. 

Kassandra has a vibrant nightlife and many people flock here each year. This is Kassandra’s main draw but Kassandra also has an interesting history and mythology attached to it. This used to be called Flegra, ‘place of fire’ and was once, according to legend, the home of giants. The area, it is said, became a battlefield when the giants tried to expel the gods from Mt Olympus.

Kriopigi

A popular family resort, Kriopigi is built on a hill of pines overlooking the Toroneos Gulf. Traditional houses mingle with large hotel complexes and families will find a lovely beach with crystal waters, sheltered by the pine trees on the hill that can be reached by walking down the main street of the resort.

In the village itself you will find charming fish tavernas, restaurants, bars and cafes and if you are looking for a more varied and vibrant nightlife then you will find that in abundance in nearby Kallithea, a popular party resort area. 

Litochoro

Lying just a few kilometres from the sea, Litochoro is a picturesque town that stretches up the mountainside of Olympus’ highest peak, Mt Mytikas, which towers over the settlement at a height of 2,918m. This historic settlement dates from the 14th Century.

There is a charming old town here that is perfect for exploration on foot and in the surrounding area there are loads of historic sites to visit, as well as all the varied attractions of the coast and its picturesque coves and popular beaches. There are plenty of things here to suit holidaymakers of a range of interests and ages.

Nea Moudania

This is the second largest city in Halkidiki after Poligiros. It is a popular tourist area and is also well known for its fishing. People come here to enjoy the beach-life and resort facilities. The area is also rather scenic, as the town is set in olive groves amid a stunning landscape of olive trees. 

Around 3km from Nea Moudania is the popular beach of Dionisios where there are beach bars and other facilities. At the beach of Nea Moudania you will find a fine sandy stretch and all the facilities you could possibly require. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy a wide range of watersports and other active pursuits.

Nea Potidea

Nea Potidea gives visitors the impression that this picturesque settlement guards the gates of the Kassandra peninsula. It sits on the canal of the same name, which separates the peninsula from the rest of Halkidiki. It has long been important in the area due to its strategic position here.

Nea Potidea today is pedestrianised and there are plenty of bike trails and swimming spots, so this is a great place to come if you are interested in enjoying an active sort of holiday. There are also some historic sites in the vicinity to enjoy and of course you should enjoy some of the fresh fish for which the area is well known.

Neos Marmaras

This is the most cosmopolitan village to be found in the Sithonia region and yet it is still a place where you can relax and enjoy the serene and simple delights of the natural world. There are some charming walks around the coast from here which will give you lovely sea views and a look back at the amphitheatre-like layout of the settlement, curved round its bay. 

Neos Marmaris also looks out over the uninhabited island of Kelyfos (shell) which has the appearance of a giant tortoise. Enjoy romantic walks and spectacular sunsets in this romantic destination.

Ouranopolis

Ouranopolis is a tranquil yet popular village with a small harbour, golden beaches, a fortified historic tower, backed by rolling green hills. The village is at the threshold of the monastic community of Mount Athos, a fascinating spiritual site on the Halkidiki peninsula. 

People come here to enjoy a quieter holiday, away from the better known party resorts to be found in the wider area. They come to enjoy the history and heritage of the town and to perhaps hike on the ‘holy mountain’ and its environs. This is the perfect place for a quieter holiday.

Paliouri

This charming inland village is set in rolling pine-clad hills. The village’s narrow, old streets are perfect for an evening stroll and you can enjoy a meal in one of the charming restaurants or tavernas found here.

But Paliouri is well-placed to discover the popular Chrouso beach, a beach well known to young people and families. It is a magnificent sandy bay with beautiful clear waters, lined with lively beach bars and playing host to a number of beach sport and water sport operators. The beach is only a short distance from the village.

Pefkohori

Pefkohori is one of the key areas of the holiday resort region on the Kassandra peninsula. This popular holiday destination is found just before the end of the peninsula, amid spectacular natural surroundings. There are many great beaches nearby and a lively and bustling feel in the busy summer season.

The old village around which the resort has grown is a pleasant place. Take a stroll here amongst the neo-classical buildings. Enjoy the beaches to either relax or play during the day and then at night let loose and enjoy the varied nightlife, where you can have a drink or two or dance until dawn, depending on what you are looking for.

Possidi

Possidi is an attractive village located around 70km south of the Halkidiki Peninsula’s main town, Poligiros. It looks over the ruined castle of Mende, the ancient ruins of which settlement visitors to the town can see and enjoy. Mende was founded by settlers in the area in the 8th Century BCE. 

At the coast, the many holidaymakers who come here each year can enjoy the lovely beach which has a lively feel, though is more laid-back in its nightlife than other coastal resorts found nearby. The tall white lighthouse overlooking the beach is the symbol of the village.

Sithonia

Sithonia is the central one of three peninsulas of Halkidiki, lying between the popular holiday area of the Kassandra Peninsula to the east and the Mount Athos peninsula to the west. It is also sometimes known as Longos. 

Sithonia is a place of largely undisturbed natural beauty and while the tourist industry has made an impact here, this is still a more traditional area than the neighbouring Kassandra peninsula with its large resorts. Come to Sithonia if you are looking for a more relaxing holiday in an attractive location.

Ios

Ios has an image for hard-partying – and a young and hedonistic crowd do come here for fun in the summer sun each year. If you are looking to let loose that Ios can definitely allow you to do just that, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.

But Ios is also more than just its party-image. The nightlife does not infiltrate every village and every beach on the island and you will be able to find some charming tranquil spots to enjoy the more traditional and relaxed side of island life.

Mylopotas

This is the busiest and most popular beach on the island of Ios. If you are looking for somewhere to escape the crowds then this is probably not the place for you. But if you like a place that is lively during the day and hosts plenty of parties through the night then you will find this a great destination for you.

Mylopotas has all the facilities you could possibly want or need and though the beach is extremely busy, it is easy to see why it is so popular. This is a long, sandy and safe beach with a good variety of things to do and places to stay on offer.

Kalamata

Kalamata is the second largest town of the Peloponnese Peninsula of Greece. The modern settlement is on the site of the ancient city of Farai. The modern city has a charming old town area, the Palia Poli, which surrounds the legendary castle. 

Kalamata has plenty of attractions, historic and otherwise and there is always plenty going on here throughout the year to entertain visitors. Kalamata could also be a good base if you are seeking to explore the Messinia region or ranging further throughout the peninsula.

Kalymnos

The wild and rugged island of Kalymnos is a wonderful natural retreat, characterised by its natural beauty and dramatic mountains, which draw climbers from all over the world. There are also beautiful bays and charming traditional settlements to be enjoyed.

There are a number of delightful pebble beaches to enjoy and food-lovers will be thrilled by the amount of excellent seafood on offer here. This is an island for those who love the natural world, unspoiled and want to enjoy it. The west coast of the island in particular is spectacular.

Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest island of the Ionian Sea. It is well known as a family holiday destination, where the beaches are popular but not crowded due to the size of the island – everyone has the space to spread out. Kefalonia is also well known as the setting of the book and film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’.

Kefalonia also has more to offer that just its beaches. There are many attractions, including a wide range of historic sites that hint at the island’s long and varied history. Here you will find all the ingredients of a magical holiday.

Agia Efimia

This quaint fishing village is located on the east coast of the island of Kefalonia. There is a natural bay and beach here with astoundingly clear waters that are perfect for those who enjoy snorkelling.

This is a quiet place for family holidays so, while there is a handful of lovely bars and taverna, this is not a place known for a rowdy nightlife so look elsewhere if that is what you are looking for. Agia Efimia is centrally placed on the east coast of the island so is great as a base for those who want to explore around the island.

Fiscardo

This picturesque harbour village has more historic buildings than most other settlements on the island because it was miraculously left virtually undamaged by the 1953 earthquake that damaged and destroyed so many of the buildings on the island.

In Fiscardo during the summer months you will see traditional fishing boats moored next to luxury yachts belonging to wealthy voyagers who are drawn to the tranquillity of the area and its tourist facilities. Small, sheltered pebble beaches dot the shore round here and their clear and calm waters are fantastic for swimming.

Karavados

This small and charming Greek village with its narrow streets and a mish-mash of old and modern buildings is located just a mile from the closest stretch of coastline at St. Thomas. It has an interesting and attractive church, a couple of small tavernas and a minimarket/bar where locals congregate and play draughts.

At the base of a mountain, and in rugged, pine-clad terrain, Karavados is in a scenic spot. All around the village, olive and citrus groves are to be found. This is a great place for those who want to experience the slow and tranquil side to island life.

Karavomylos

Just one kilometre from the third largest of the island’s settlements, Sami, Karavomylos is a popular coastal tourist area with plenty of accommodation on offer and much to see and do. Surrounded by lush vegetation and a number of amazing natural sites, including several caves, the area around Sami and Karavomylos is known for its natural beauty.

Nature lovers are drawn to this part of the island. Those with an interest in history may also find much here to pique their interest as there are a number of nearby archaeological sites. 

Katelios

This quiet beach bay location is typical of the tranquillity and warm hospitality to be found at many locations around the island of Kefalonia. The beach is a little sandy and the shallow and sheltered waters are great for those with children of who are getting on a bit. 

This is a quiet place with just the basic amenities and not much a nightlife, which is how the varied visitors who come here like it. They can enjoy peaceful walks on trails inland from the village and relaxing on the beach or in one of the friendly businesses in the settlement.

Lassi

Lassi is a large resort area which has developed due to the amazing stretches of golden sandy beach to be found here. The safe and clean beaches slope gently into the sparkling water, which is perfect for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

The nightlife here is one of the main draws and there is all the eating and drinking you could want, along with serenading locals and a lively evening feel. Later on in the evening, do not be surprised by locals with mandolins and guitars, nor by waiters dancing on the tables. Things can get a little wild.

Lixouri

This is the second largest settlement on the island of Kefalonia. This is the site of the ancient city of Pali which was one of the four key settlements found on the island in antiquity. Due to the earthquake of the 1950s, not many old buildings remain, though there are still one or two mansions standing.

Lixouri has plenty of restaurants, tavernas and bars filled with a young and lively crowd and throughout the year there are a number of festivals and there is always something going on here. There is a strong the thriving musical tradition here and this is a great place to discover more about the rich local culture.

Lourdas

This is one of only a few areas of developed tourism on the south coast of the island. It is a fairly quiet, family-friendly destination with a lovely beach and a traditional old village a short distance from the coast. 

Lourdas is not as lively as Lassi or Skala during the night but it has the basics and great views are to be had from the hill-top accommodations overlooking the beach and bay. This is a scenic and tranquil spot for a relaxing holiday that would suit couples and families best.

Platys Gialos

Some say that this area has the nicest beach close to Lassi. It is a beach enjoyed by locals as well as tourists and it is not as busy or bustling as those by larger resort areas, though it still has everything you could need for a nice day by the beach. 

Platys Gialos is the quieter of the two main beaches associated with the busy area of Lassi and so staying here might be a good choice for those who want to stay at one remove from the lively nightlife whilst still being close enough to enjoy it.

Sami

Sami is located on the north coast of the island of Kefalonia, 20km from the capital, Argostoli. It is both a tourist destination and a busy working harbour. Here you will find working vessels alongside cruise ships and luxury leisure craft and will discover an interesting mix of people along the lively promenade. 

From here, you can take a ferry or water-taxi to the island of Ithaca and can enjoy nearby beaches at Antisamos 2km away and 8km away, at Agios Efimia. There is plenty to see and do here and around the area.

Skala

Skala is a popular resort, especially with British tourists. People come here mostly to enjoy the gentle, sand and shingle beach that is safe and great for families. There is some lively nightlife here though this is more limited than the big party places, so ideal for those who are not into that scene.

None the less, Skala has a lively feel and there is plenty to see and do in terms of eating and drinking as well as other activities here and in the surrounding area. There are plenty of scenic views and natural attractions and several fascinating historic sites are also found nearby.

Trapezaki

This resort area is perfect if you are looking for a very relaxing break away from the worst of the crowds and would like to stay somewhere with pleasant natural surroundings where you can hike or bike in the hills and relax by the shore. This is a place to get away from it all, so do not expect hundreds of options, a varied nightlife or the like.

Many of the accommodation options here are up on the steep hills by the coast, so may not be for those who have trouble climbing steep slopes, but do provide some lovely tranquil spots with pleasing views out over the sea.

Zola

This typical, traditional little village is located on the north west coast of the island. It is around half an hour away from the capital of Argostoli. A few options for discrete holiday accommodation are tucked away in this small and slow-based fishing and agricultural village.

Zoli is a great choice for those who want to experience ‘real’ life on the island as opposed to being surrounded by other British holidaymakers. If you are interested in Greek heritage and culture then this would be a good destination for you. 

Kos

One of the Greek Dodecanese Islands, Kos is well known for its sandy beaches, fantastic holiday resorts, historic attractions including a range of Greek and Roman antiquities and its natural beauty. There is plenty for everyone to see, do and enjoy on this wonderful island.

Refugees and tourists mingle on this intriguing island, which has a long and fascinating history to explore. Whether you come here to enjoy a simple beach holiday or are interested in seeing and doing something more, Kos can be a wonderful holiday destination.

Agios Fokas

Agios Fokas beach, Psalidi, is one of the most popular stretches of beach on the island of Kos. It is a long, well-ordered and organised beach that is famous for its vivid blue waters and scenic views. This is a popular spot for watching the sunset, which can be breathtaking from here.

Agios Fokas beach is located just 3.5km from Kos Town. The beach is well connected to the town and to other locations by frequent buses, so is a good place to stay if you want to explore a little more widely without a car. 

Kardamena

This small town is mid-way along the south coast of Kos. Along with two other towns, Kefalos and Mastihari, Kardamena is part of what is often called la trigona, the triangle. It is a location well known for its nightlife, though there is another side to this place too, meaning that it is fun day and night.

Kardamena has long sandy beaches along its length and it is safe to swim here. There are actually lots of actvities to try around here, so Kardamena will appeal not just to those looking to let loose after dark but those who want to have fun in the daytime too.

Kefalos

Kefalos is located at the tip of the island around 40km away from Kos town. This place is ideal for those who are looking for a calm holiday and really want to relax. There are beaches here which range from shale to fine sand and sea that is perfect for swimming in.

Along the beach and in the harbour area you will find a range of international and Greek style eateries and a range of pubs and bars to enjoy. In the traditional, original village of Kefalos you will find some charming old buildings around a small village square with some small family run cafenios to enjoy.

Kos Town

Kos town is the lively main settlement on the island of Kos. It is a good base for exploring the north eastern portion of the island but to find things to see and do you would not even have to leave the town as there is plenty to see and do here.

Check out the superb mediaeval castle to be found here and some stylish and attractive streets and buildings. In the area there are a staggering array of sites of antiquity and an appealing port area and beaches nearby. The nightlife here is equally exciting, with a range of options for everyone.

Lambi

Lambi is a great beachside resort area that is a little quieter but is still within walking distance of Kos Town, where you can enjoy a more varied, vibrant and if you want, extreme, nightlife. There are also plenty of other attractions within walking or biking distance and this is also a good place for cycling.

Lambi allows you to head out and explore the little country lanes off the main road by bike, which is fun for those looking for a more active holiday. Alternatively you could always just relax on the beach and do nothing at all but enjoy the sun.

Marmari

Popular with tourists for its excellent tourist facilities, long, sandy beach and proximity to lively and interesting Kos Town, Marmari is located on the north coast of the island.  The beach is well-ordered and organised and offers a whole bunch of relaxation and recreation options, including sunbeds, parasols and a range of watersports.

Marmari is also popular with those with yachts, who can use the small harbour as a jumping off point from which to visit other nearby islands and sail round the coast of Kos to other island destinations.

Mastihari

Mastihari is a place popular with a range of tourists but it is definitely also a place of relaxation, contemplation and the natural world and can provide a peaceful holiday year round. There are plenty of touches here that help this place to have some traditional feel as well as its modern tourist resort image, including a number of festivals held here.

Mastihari is also a good base from which to visit other islands in the vicinity, including Kalymnos and Nissos, for example, each of which have an entirely different and quieter feel than Kos. 

Psalidi

Psalidi resort is located around 40 minutes walk or a short bus or taxi ride from Kos Town, so you can walk, cycle or take vehicular transportation to that lively town fairly easily for a day trip or an evening out.

Psalidi has shingle/pebble beaches and lovely clear water and there is plenty to see and do during the day though at night you will have to go to Kos Town or elsewhere for something a bit more lively. That said, there are a number of bars, restaurants and cafes that will keep most guests satisfied with their evening.

Tingaki

Tingaki is a quiet family resort on Kos. It is a fairly small resort but does have everything a family or couple might need for a restful and relaxing beach holiday, though if you are looking for a much livelier nightlife then you best look elsewhere.

Tingaki is a friendly, compact place that does have some lively bars and restaurants to enjoy and has plenty going on during the days as well. It is suitable for people of all ages and a variety of tastes. The beach here is the main draw and it is lovely.

Lefkada

Lefkada is an island that has, it seems, been touched but not tamed by tourism. In spite of being connected to the mainland by means of a causeway, it has a definite island feel and aside from touristic areas on the more developed east coast, is at times like the land that time forgot.

Those looking for relaxation and escape from crowds will find it in the wild and rugged interior of the island and on the idyllic beaches of the west coast that some might say are amongst the best in the world. A windy island, it appeals to windsurfers and kitesurfers.

Agios Nikitas

Located on the breathtakingly beautiful west coast of the island, Agios Nikitas is the only settlement at sea level on the west side of the island. It is easy to reach and yet has a secluded and tranquil feel and is close to some of the best beaches you will find on the island of Lefkada – perhaps anywhere in Greece.

Agios Nikitas is busy during July and August but not so crowded for the rest of the year. Consider coming out of the main peak season to get the best of this attractive spot.

Lefkada Town

Lefkada town is of course the capital of Lefkada, also known as Lefkas. It is the point at which the causeway starts, connecting the island to the mainland of Greece. The new marina here has been a great hit and has made the town a tourist destination in its own right.

Lefkada town can be a good base for visiting local beaches and can also keep you entertained with shops, museums and a friendly and fairly lively atmosphere. The main square comes alive in the evening with locals enjoying Greek style nightlife and conversation. 

Nidri

Nidri is the largest resort on the island of Lefkada. While the buildings of the town can be somewhat discordant, the lively atmosphere, picturesque surroundings and variety in the facilities and tourist infrastructure mean that this place is somewhere that people return to, year after year.

Nidri has towering, forested mountains, waterfalls, lovely beaches and sparkling sea swimming spots all within easy reach and it is easy to explore the island from here if you have the inclination. For those who like variety, Nidri could be an option. 

Nikiana

A quiet resort with a picturesque harbour, Nikiana is perfect for those seeking a serene stay in a charming Greek destination. The harbour is a good point of mooring for those who have yachts but Nikiana is also a good place to base yourself for exploration of the island, whether you are travelling by water or not.

Nikiana has natural, unspoiled beaches and those have few facilities but they are perfect for those who like their beaches more natural and enjoy relaxing in the shade of the trees in a place of natural beauty. 

Periyiali

Located on the east coast of the island of Lefkada, Periyiali is a relaxing place with several pleasing shingle beached coves and a number of lovely coastal walks to enjoy. It offers a modicum of peace and quiet yet is within very easy distance of the lively town of Nidri, where you will find a more vibrant nightlife with bars and discos. 

 Looking out from here you can see the smaller island of Scorpios as well as getting great views to mainland Greece. If you are looking for somewhere as a base for exploration of the island then this could be a good choice.

Sivota

Sivota is set on a charming natural harbour on the south east coast of Lefkada/ Lefkas. Here you will be able to enjoy boat trips to neighbouring islands or simply stay in town and enjoy the relaxed and natural atmosphere where the tourists and locals mingle freely.

If you are on the hunt for an extremely lively holiday nightlife then this might not be the place for you, but there are a number of lovely restaurants, cafe clubs and bars scattered throughout the friendly town and there is plenty here and in the vicinity to see and do.

Leros

Leros is one of the delightful Dodecanese Islands of Greece. It is an island of rolling hills and  

lush valleys, with a geography that has, over the long history of the island, caused many different small villages to proliferate. Around the island’s coastline are deep coves and a number of pretty beaches.

Leros is a relaxing and natural place to visit, with one of the largest and best natural harbours in the Mediterranean Sea and plenty of cultural and historic things to see. Hiking here is heavenly and the island is a gift to those who enjoy outdoors exploration on land and sea.

Alinda

Leros is unusual in having so many different villages in such a small area of land. Alinda is one of these villages and the charming beach here is backed by lovely almarikia trees. From here you can stroll along the coast to one of the neighbouring villages, not far away, or you can hire a motorboat here and explore the coast in this way, finding your own secret coves and hidden picnic spots.

Alinda is a great base for those looking for nature, peace and quiet. The thin sand and shingle beach stretches from here along to the neighbouring town of Krithoni, a kilometre or two away.

Krithoni

Krithoni is one of the villages that crowd in around Alinda Bay on the island of Leros. It has a long sand and shingle beach that stretches along between Krithoni and the neighbouring settlement of Alinda.

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy in these twin resorts and it does not take long to each many more of the island’s charming and relaxed destinations. A few minutes scooter ride away, for example, sun-lovers will enjoy the idyllic Dio Liskaria beach, which is backed by a charming taverna and lapped gently by the waves. 

Panteli

This is a friendly and traditionally Greek fishing village where tourists still receive a warm welcome and you will find chatty locals willing to discuss their island over a drink. The warm and friendly atmosphere here is fortunately relatively unaffected by the summer tourism here.

Panteli has a lively atmosphere and there is always plenty going on in this scenic spot. Plus, it is easy to get from here to other spots around this manageable-sized island. Or, you could just stay put and relax on the beach, soaking up the sun and doing as little as possible – it is up to you.

Lesbos

Lesbos is best known, perhaps, for being the home of the poetess, Sappho. It is from the name of the island that we get the term ‘lesbian’ and for this reason, LGBT tourism is big on the island. The island has a long and venerable history.

Sadly part of the current humanitarian crisis in the region, Lesbos is also a popular and attractive holiday destination for many who love the rich culture, history and natural attractions of the Greek islands. This is one of the sunniest islands in the Aegean.

Anaxos

This resort town has grown up around a sandy beach on the Anaxos Gulf. It is a tranquil and relaxing place for a sun holiday on Lesbos and though it is rapidly growing it is well known for its ambiance and the quality of the accommodation and facilities on offer.

There are bars and tavernas galore in Anaxos but for more amenities you can easily reach the nearby, busier towns of Petra and Molyvos and to tour the surrounding area where there are plenty of different activities and attractions to enjoy.

Molyvos

Molyvos is the tourism capital on Lesbos and is an example of everthing that is best about Greek island tourism. People come here to have a good time but this is also a holiday destination for those who have an interest in the ‘real’ Greece.

Molyvos is a great destination for those with an interest in history and Greek island culture. The town is located on a small hill, crowded around the amazing castle of Mithymna, built by the Byzantines. The stone buildings flow down the hill to the picturesque harbour and a stone beach.

Petra

The pedestrianised-centre of Petra is becoming ever more popular to tourists. The town is taking increasing measures to ensure the enjoyment of visitors to the historic and picturesque settlement. Petra is stretched along a popular beach and the centre clusters around an historic church atop a rugged outcrop of rock.

A thriving tourist area, this town has accommodations galore, restaurants, bars and shops. This is a lively place where the locals and tourists mingle and culture and history live all around, in the old cafes, for example, where older members of the community drink ouzo, seemingly oblivious to the thronging hoards.

Skala Kalloni

This beach resort is located just to the south of the town of Kalloni on the island of Lesbos. The large, safe and attractive beach here is popular with families, who are drawn to the sands and the shallow waters. This is also the bird-watching centre of the island.

The sardines caught here are said to be amongst the best found anywhere in Greece and so this is also a popular destination with food-lovers. After a day watching migratory birds on nearby wetlands, a meal made from the day’s catch is a treat for visitors to the resort.

Mykonos

Mykonos is probably the best known of the Cyclades Island Group of Greece. The island happily makes the most of its St. Tropez meets Ibiza style and revels in its hard-partying atmosphere. Every year, young people flock here from all over Europe and beyond to let loose, have fun in the sun and dance ’til dawn.

But Mykonos is also a place replete with history and myth. It is the point of departure for visits to nearby Delos, an important historic and spiritual site. So Mykonos is also a possibility for those looking for more than a clubbing experience.

Naxos

Naxos is the biggest and greenest island in the Cyclades. The island is a haven of impressive mountain peaks, fertile valleys, lush green gorges, stunning seascapes and a series of historic sites and traditional villages nestled on mountain slopes.

This is a great choice of holiday destination for those who are looking for a relaxing and fascinating break and want to discover more about what life is really like on the Greek islands. Visiting historic sites, hiking on gorgeous trails and relaxing in sea-food tavernas are just some of the activities that can be enjoyed on this beautiful island.

Naxos Town

When you see the white-washed houses of Naxos’ old town, or chora, nestled beneath the town’s Venetian castle, you will know that you are truly in for a treat. Many diverse churches, a cathedral and other historic sites hint at the fascinating past of the settlement.

While tourists are very much welcomed and catered for here, you do still get the sense that this is a real place with working people and a strong and vibrant culture to be enjoyed. There is much to see and do in the town and in the scenic surrounding area.

Plaka

Continuing on from the beach of Agia Anna, Plaka Naxos is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. To one end you will find some beds and umbrellas on the sandy stretch but for most of its length, the beach is untroubled by tourist infrastructure and retains its natural feel.

There are a number of hotels and other facilities along the length of the beach but these are tucked in behind the dunes and do not impact on the amenity of the beach and its relaxing and organic feel.

Stelida

This hillside and beach area on the Cycladic island of Naxos has a number of accommodation options for tourists and a fair amount of infrastructure. The area has great beaches within easy reach and is close to other tourist resort areas that are perfect for those seeking a beach holiday in a sunny and relaxing location.

Humans have inhabited this area for a long time and an archaeological project in the area is looking into the Neanderthals that once lived nearby. Many other historical sites around this area tell the story of the long and fascinating past of the island.

Paros

Paros is an island of the Cyclades which is known for its unparalleled natural beauty. Here you will find pristine beaches, stunning seascapes, well-worn footpaths between traditional island villages and a range of picturesque, historic sites. 

The island is a haven for those who enjoy the unspoiled nature and slow pace of life on these quieter Greek islands and has plenty of natural and human attractions that will appeal to a wide range of holidaymakers. Whether you want to soak on sunny beaches or tred across the landscape on a more active adventure, Paros has a lot to offer.

Naoussa

Naoussa is considered to be one of the most pleasant and picturesque fishing villages in the Cyclades and in spite of touristic development has largely retained its traditional character and charm. It is located on a large bay around 10km from Parikia, the capital of the island.

Enjoy the little port and the whitewashing buildings clustered below the small Venetian castle and relax as you sit and eat fresh fish or stroll down the narrow streets. Nearby, plenty of golden beaches cater for all tastes, some bustling, others delightfully secluded and natural.

Parikia

Parikia is the main port and the capital of the island of Paros. It is traditionally Cycladic in atmosphere, appearance and style and oozes charm from all its white-washed buildings, narrow streets and historic treasures.

Parikia packs a punch well above its weight. Though relatively small in size, Parikia has much ammunition with which to charm its visitors. There is much to see and do here and for those sun-seekers who are beach-seeking missiles, there are plenty of blissful beaches close at hand.

Gaios

Gaios is a charming and lively port town with many options for accommodation and many bars and restaurants in which to while away a few pleasant hours. Narrow, pleasing lanes lead off to a wide range of local shops and eateries and strolling through the town will give you a good sense of island charm.

Off shore from Gaios port, two small islands create pleasing vistas. One, Panayia, is topped by a white monastery and the other, St. Nicholas Island, forms a natural break-water and has two churches and the remains of a Venetian fort, just a few more of the many historic sites found in the area.

Lakka

Lakka is undoubtedly one of the gems of the island of Paros. It is set on a tranquil harbour surrounded by silvery olive groves. Lively bars, restaurants and cafes line the waterfront, their twinkling lights spilling out across the calm water.

Gentle shelving pebble beaches are found nearby and the shallow waters of nearby bays are favourites with families visiting the island. Lakka Bay offers many appealing vistas and the views are of equal delight when you take a walk inland to explore the natural beauty of the headlands of Lakka.

Peloponnese

The Peloponnese Pensinsula in Greece is a land of great wealth – not in terms of money, of course, but in terms of the rich history and culture and the many natural treasures of the breathtaking landscapes of the area.

Technically, this area is an island since the cutting of the Corinth Canal. It has many ancient monuments and historic sites, captivating areas of rural idyll and on the coast, some of the best and least developed beaches in the whole country. All the best of Greece is to be found here on the Peloponnese Pensinsula.

Agioi Theodoroi

This port town is found in the easternmost part of Corinthia, to the north of the Peloponnese Pensinsula. Corinth is just 12km to the west. Agioi Theodoroi was once principally an agricultural town but since the 60s and 70s, tourism has also predominated. 

Here you will find a beautiful seaside pedestrian promenade with many coffee shops, restaurants and beach bars lining the sea front of the town, where you will find a friendly and pretty lively atmosphere. The area around is replete with mythology and there are several archaeological sites in the vicinity.

Finikounda

Finikounda is a small village to the south of the Peloponnese Peninsula. It is a quiet and still very Greek place where you can enjoy a pretty authentic and relaxed atmosphere without having too many other tourists to contend with.

There is a nice, laid-back feel to this place and yet enough to see and do that you will not be bored. There are plenty of places to eat and drink and you can enjoy some watersports and other activities as well as simply exploring on foot or by car in the surrounding area.

Messinia

This south-west region of the Peloponnese Peninsula is replete with gorgeous beaches, fantastic landscapes, stunning seascapes, Venetian castles and other historic and ancient wonders, so it is a bit of a mystery that this region is largely somewhat off the beaten tourist track.

Still, the lower visitor numbers only work in your favour if you choose to visit one of the stunning towns or villages on this region of the country. An intriguing underwater park in the waters off the Messinian shore is currently being developed, which can only add to the many treasures and attractions to be found here.

Stoupa

Located on the wild and remote Mani Peninsula, Stoupa is one of those places that feels like a precious secret – one which relatively few Brits have discovered. The town sits below the rocky peaks of the Taygetos mountain range and has a shoreline with beautiful, golden-sand beaches.

Stoupa has some of the best and least crowded beaches to be found anywhere on the Peloponnese Peninsula and also has plenty of other factors to tempt tourists. Stoupa’s buildings are largely modern and low-rise but in the vicinity you will find a variety of more historic villages and other interesting historic sites as well as many gorgeous natural ones.

Tolo

This tourist resort to the south of the Peloponnese Peninsula has grown up from a tiny fishing village without losing its Greek charm and character. Here you will find all the infrastructure and amenities for a comfortable and enjoyable stay alongside friendly locals and a warm welome that feels like it belongs in a much smaller settlement.

Tolo has beaches of fine, golden sand, plenty of places to eat and drink and it is also a great base for exploration of some of the many archaeological sites of the surrounding region. It is great for a range of different holidaymakers.

Preveza

Preveza is a town located on a peninsula that separates the Ionian Sea from the Amvrakikos Gulf. It is within the region of Greece known as Epirus. It is ideally situated south of the grand archaeological sites of Nikopoli and the Nekromanteio of Afyra and north of the idyllic Ionian islands.

Preveza itself has plenty to recommend it. It is a picturesque place with many historic buildings to enjoy and quaint, charming streets and places to eat and drink. It has great beaches and offers plenty of relaxation in the most beautiful natural spots.

Parga (Valtos Beach)

The picturesque town and charming beaches of Parga, in the Epirus region of Greece, is a well-loved holiday destination for many. Valtos beach is one of the beaches associated with this popular tourist resort. You can enjoy a romantic stroll, simple sunbathing or a range of exciting water sports before you chill out in one of the lovely beach bars.

Parga is also a good base if you want to explore some of the historic monuments and archaeological treasures to be found in the surrounding area. There are many similarities with the Ionian Islands offshore from here.

Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece. It is a popular tourist destination, well known for its bustling beach resorts, busy bars and traditional cafes, settlements that show the rich island culture and a wealth of historical monuments and other interesting ancient attractions.

Rhodes is fantastic for those in search of a wild nightlife, as well as those who are looking for a much more simple and relaxing stay, taking advantage of the natural beauty of the island. No matter whether you want to relax in the sun or see and do as much as possible, Rhodes can deliver an amazing holiday experience.

Afandou

The name of the place derives from the Greek word for ‘invisible’ since this village, established during the times of marauding pirates, was not visible from the sea. This is one of the largest and oldest settlements on the island and gives a wealth of culture and history just 5km away from wild and bustling Faliraki.

Afandou is famous for carpets and has a huge beach and some rocks and caves that are a boon to the more adventurous visitors to the area. Enjoy the hospitality of friendly locals with their interesting regional accent.

Emborio

Emborio is the main settlement on the tiny, quirky and utterly relaxed island of Halki, which is around an hour from the better known and much larger island of Rhodes. This Dodecanese island shows a timeless and charming Greece that is a world away from the mega party resorts of Rhodes, but which is perfect for a peaceful holiday in the sun.

With several historic buildings enhancing the harbour town and two small beaches with shady taverna to enjoy, this is an escape from the stresses of the modern world. 

Faliraki

The freedom of Faliraki is all about hedonism and heavy drinking, casual attitudes and dancing ’til dawn and beyond. Faliraki is Rhodes’ main party resort and as such is the right choice for those who want to let their hair down and have fun with others who are young, free and single.

But there is more to this place than just the nightlife. There are the beaches, with a range of activities to try and nearby you will find the Faliraki water park, which offers a range of fun water-based attractions and rides.

Gennadi

Here the sand and pebbles stretch out almost as far as the eye can see, the huge beach is definitely the main attraction here. Small sections are organised but there are vast reaches where you can simply spread your towel where you will.

This is also the location of the hippest and biggest beach parties on the island and thousands of young people come here to the Sundance beach bar to party the night away with their friends. Sunday parties with DJs attract people from all over the island. The town of Gennadi, across the road, combines tourism with real Greece and is a friendly and relaxed place.

Haraki

This is a small fishing village and tourist resort on the east coast of the Greek island of Rhodes. The beach here has coarse sand and pebbles, more sand towards the end of the town where the ruined Feraklos Castle is to be found, overlooking the settlement. This is a good place for swimming or snorkelling.

One of the top activities here is simply strolling along the promenade on the seafront, popping in to one or two of the cafes, or tavernas that line the route and relaxing in this hospitable and friendly town, home to locals as well as just tourists.

Ialissos

Ialissos beach is located around 10km south west of Rhodes Town and is a popular place for rest and relaxation. There are plenty of accommodation options and tourist facilities and the beach, which is a mix of coarse sand and small pebbles, is fully organised.

The waters here are crystal clear and the windy conditions sometimes experienced here during the summertime mean that this is a key spot for surfers on the island. The European windsurfing championships and other freestyle competitions have been held here. This is a great spot for such sports and yet is also good for sunbathing when the conditions are right.

Ixia

This is a major tourist resort area that is only around 4km from Rhodes Town and has all the tourist facilities and entertainment and amenities you could possibly want for your beach holiday in the sun. The beaches here are busy but well organised.

Nearby, history lovers will also be interested to note the important archaeological site on the hill of Filerimos, where you will find some of the most fascinating sites on the island, the remains of the temple of Zeus and Athena Poliada, as well as the remnants of the Byzantine fortifications, the 14th century church of the Knights and a tree-lined path with impressive shrines, the road of Golgotha.

Kalathos

Even on the busiest days of the year you will find plenty of space for all on this vast sand and pebble beach at Kalathos, where you will find those who want to keep a low profile as well as plenty of locals, avoiding the worst of the crowds. 

Walk around this region and you will soon discover the real Greece. This place has plenty within easy reach, including natural beauty spots, tranquil hinterlands and cultural centres, such as Lindos. This is a great place for a relaxing island holiday.

Kalithea

Kalithea (Kallithea) is a beach enjoyed by many locals as well as tourists. The attraction is partly the sort distance from Rhodes town, partly the glamour of the magnificent Baths built here by the Italians (closed). It is easy to understand why people are drawn here when you see the obvious delights of the tiny inlets and coves with their rugged rocks and clear green water.

This is a great place to swim, relax or, if you are feeling adventurous, dive from the rocks into the deep water of the bays. Each of the coves has its own sunbeds for hire and each has its own eatery. t

Kiotari

Luxury hotels and excellent resort facilities characterise this tourist area which lounges beside its brilliant beach, with its wet sand and startlingly beautiful waters. Most of the holidaymakers here are families or couples looking to make the most of a quiet and relaxing stay on the island.

Most visitors to this area will spend their time almost exclusively within their hotel complex, taking advantage of the facilities and private beaches and enjoying a complete escape from the ‘real’ world for a week or two in this attractive setting, which is busy without ever feeling over-saturated.

Kolymbia

This is a low-profile and quiet situation, perfect for a family holiday. It is a low-key tourist resort that is conveniently located half way along the east coast of the island means that is an ideal destination from which to visit some of the most popular destinations on the island.

The hotels and facilities are set well apart and the area is green and lush since to the resort’s proximity to the Epta Piges, the seven springs which naturally irrigate the area. This is a relaxed and cheerful resort, without the intensity of places such as Faliraki and yet with plenty to enjoy for those who like a more tranquil and laid-back holiday experience.

Koskinou

Just 7km from Rhodes town, Koskinou has seen wealthy people building more modern houses on the outskirts of the town, attracted by this quaint traditional village and its proximity to the island’s capital. However, the traditional centre of the village is very much undisturbed. 

The doors of the village houses have all been painted in bright colours and little cobbled gardens are hidden behind courtyard doors. In this old section of the town you will find the ‘traditional house’ decorated with plates and woven fabrics. There is much charm here in the centre of the settlement that visitors looking for traditional island life will very much enjoy.

Kremasti

Kremasti is conveniently close to the airport but it can be busy and very lively in the summer. This is a loud, bustling resort with lots going on and all the facilities you might need for fun in the sun. There is a wide pebble beach here which does of course offer all the usual sun-loungers, parasols and watersports.

While Kremasti is suitable for people with a wide range of tastes, it should be noted that the beach here shelves steeply and so might be a better choice for adults rather than for those with children.

Lardos

The friendly village of Lardos is located on the sunny south east side of the island. Organised excursions will take you from here to Lindos Town, and the Acropolis of Lindos and the ruins at ancient Kamarios and the Monasteries. Sailing trips are also available to neighbouring island of Simi and to Marmaris in Turkey, so you will not run out of things to do here.

Live music is sometimes on in the village square or in local bars so there is a lively atmosphere in the evening, though if you want more nightlife you can easily get to Lindos, which has more offerings at night.

Lindos

For many people, the ancient village of Lindos, topped by its Acropolis, is one of the top locations on the island of Rhodes and one which they return to enjoy year after year. The village of Lindos reflects its varied and interesting past, with a variety of different influences and architectural styles. 

The settlement has a lively nightlife so you will be entertained during the night as well as during the day, though the nightlife is not as raucous as somewhere like Faliraki. No matter whether you want to relax or would rather have an active holiday, Lindos is a great choice.

Pefkos

Pefkos is a large and well-known beach resort on the island of Rhodes. It offers a wide range of tourist accommodation and facilities and you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink. 

There are four beaches around this resort area and each one has a different character and will appeal to different people. There are some great spots around here for swimming and snorkelling, or you can take to the water in a glass bottomed boat, as well as indulging in a whole raft of different activities on land and sea in the surrounding area.

Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town is actually really more like two towns in one. The new town is the one that caters to package tourists, with the town’s best beach, beach-front bars and restaurants, bistros and up-scale shops. This area has a nightlife that is vibrant and lively.

The old town appears in a whole different way. It is a mediaeval citadel with layers and layers of fascinating architecture and archaeology that show the city’s long and intriguing past and the influences that many different people and periods have had on it. Strolling the pretty, cobbled lanes and labyrinthine maze of the old town is an experience no one should miss.

Stegna

Stegna is a simple and quiet place close of Archangelos, on the east coast of the island of Rhodes. It has a beach with a private hotel area and a stretch that is mostly frequented by local people rather than tourists. There is not a lot here but that could make it a good choice for people who really want to do nothing much and really get away from it all.

There are a few tavernas here, and some companies offering a variety of water sports, so if you are simply seeking a little gentle fun in the sun then this could be a good choice. 

Theologos

You can expect a warm and friendly welcome from the locals in this friendly and traditional village which is also attached to a not-too-busy holiday resort area. While you will find many tourists here, locals living in the old part of the settlement still live a traditional and authentic Greek way of life.

The beach here is a breezy locale which is a favourite with windsurfers and so could be a great place to try out the activity. Not to be missed in the area is the picturesque church of Agios Spiridonas, with it’s lovely white bell tower and the old buildings of the old Tholos village.

Trianta

This heavily developed village attracts many visitors each year but somehow it still manages to retain something of its sociable Rhodesian atmosphere. There are many large hotels close to the beach, which is perfect for water sports of all kinds.

The beach here at Trianta is particularly well known for windsurfing and other sports that take advantage of the winds that blow here, which are usually at their best in the afternoon between around 3 and 6pm. This place is built in the location of the historic Doric town of Ialyssos.

Vlycha

This is a pleasant little beach and tourist area close to Lindos. There are sun beds for everyone and the size of the beach means that there is always room to lounge and sunbath, and for children to play in the gently deepening waters or on the sand with their buckets and spades.

Close enough to Lindos for it to be easy to get there for more attractions and variety in eateries and nightlife, Vlycha is a family-friendly alternative to that settlement’s busier beach and yet within reach of its many historic charms.

Samos

Known as the birthplace of both Pythagoras and Epicurus, Samos is a Greek island separated from Turkey by the one mile wide Mycale Strait. This is one of the Aegean island’s best known destinations and offers many different holiday options.

Samos is superb for nature lovers, history lovers and for those simply seeking for a relaxing and low-key resort in which to soak up the sun. There are a great many attractions both natural and man-made to tempt visitors to return again and again. Do not miss, for example, the amazing Heraion and the astounding Evpalinos tunnel dating from 524 BCE. 

Votsalakia

Each year, this fledgling tourist resort area beside a lovely long sandy beach with gravel patches is growing a little bit more and improving on its facilities and infrastructure. Still a low-key destination in spite of its growth this is one of the charming spots you can stay in the on the island of Samos.

This could be a good base to discover the island of Pythagoras and Epicurus and the legendary birthplace of the goddess, Hera, with its natural beauty and many sites of great historic interest that are all waiting here just off the coast of Turkey to be discovered.

Santorini

The white, gleaming settlements of Santorini, its beautiful beaches and vivid sunsets make this a romantic holiday destination par excellence. But this is a great holiday destination for all sorts of people, not just those who are all loved up. Santorini has a lot to offer across the board.

Santorini spoons the caldera left by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history and has an incredible landscape of rugged rocks and high cliffs that plunge into an azure ocean. It draws in the crowds, of course, but it wears the tourism well and you can still discover peaceful places here, in spite of the summer rush.

Akrotiri

Akrotiri is one of the white, gleaming settlements on the island of Santorini but it is best known for its archaeological site, which you can reach on a walking or cycling path that leads from the modern town. The site is a former Minoan settlement and has great historic interest as well as scenic charm.

The Minoan site is one of the most important archaeological finds in all the Aegean but it is just one of many sites of historic interest that you will find in and around Akrotiri and over the rest of the island of Santorini.

Fira

Fira is the capital of the island of Santorini and is found on the west side of the island, overlooking the massive caldera around which the island curves and looking out to the volcano area. The sunsets from this point are said to be breathtaking and this has to be one of the most scenic places to watch the sunset anywhere in the Aegean.

Fira’s white buildings and quaint cobbled streets and charming, in spite of the fact that, more so than anywhere else on the island, this place is geared up for tourists.

Imergovigli

Like the adjacent cliff-top settlement of Fira, Imergovigli is a gleaming white confection of a place that is famous for its fabulous views, especially at sunset. It is sometimes called the ‘balcony to the Aegean’ and is a spot well known as a romantic place for couples.

Imergovigli is also a great place to stay for anyone who loves nature at its most spectacular and those interested in both geological and human history. This is a popular yet relaxing place to spend a quiet and thoughtful vacation, yet there is also plenty to see and do here to suit people of most if not all tastes.

Kamari

Kamari has plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs, yet has a more relaxed atmosphere than nearby Thira. The beach here is a long one, with black sand. Topless sunbathing is common here and there is a relaxed vibe amongst sunbathers and strollers. If you want to do more than lounge, there is a wide range of watersport options.

Up high above Kamari, an hour’s steep climb or a short but hair-raising drive you will find ancient Thira and some stunning views. There is plenty to see and do around the area if you can tear yourself away from the beach for a bit.

Megalohori

Megalohori or Megalochori is one of the most picturesque villages on the island of Santorini. This village has a wealth of neo-classical buildings. The town dates from around the 17th Century and much effort has been made to maintain and restore where necessary the village’s historic character. 

This area is known as a wine producing region and you will see the mansions of wine merchants and wealthy land owners who exported the Vinsanto wines still produced here. You will also see pirate hideouts and traditional village houses and can enjoy the volcano views out over the vineyards.

Oia

Oia is another of Santorini’s beautiful, tranquil and romantic villages. The settlement is perched right on the edge of an impressive cliff an the white buildings gleam in the sun and show off the blue domed roofs of the village churches.

Oia is a great place for those with an appreciation for fine sunsets and natural splendour as well as those who want to experience an authentic island village with traditional houses and narrow, cobbled streets. Oia is on the north of the island, around 11km from Fira and it is quieter and less touristy than that other settlement.

Perissa

Perissa is best known for its magnificent beaches on the Aegean Sea and for its proximity to the famous Messa Vouno rock. This is a popular tourist resort village where you will find all the usual facilities and activities. There is a long beach road that is good for pedestrians or cyclists.

You can take a water taxi from here along the coast to Kamari, another popular tourist area and of course while in this area you must be sure to check out the fascinating archaeological sites, including the remains of Old Thira, on the Messa Vuna rock formation that lies between the two resort areas.

Perivolos

This picturesque beach is located just 3km from Perissa, on the southern edge of the island of Santorini.  On the beachfront there are numerous taverns, pubs and restaurants and the beach itself is very well organised, with plenty of places to sit.

There are also a wide range of watersports activities on offer and plenty of things to see and do in the interesting area of the island. Scuba dive in the clear, azure waters or recreate on the water’s surface in this sunny and attractive holiday spot.

Pyrgos

Found on the highest point of the island, Pyrgos village offers panoramic views of the whole of Santorini. It was declared a protected settlement in 1995. This is a typical fortress settlement, clustered around the picturesque ruins of Kasteli Castle, one of five castle fortresses on the island.

Pyrgos is a truly magical place, with historic charm made all the more special by the amazing views and the vivid sunsets for which the island is rightly famous. Whether for a cultural break or a romantic retreat, Pyrgos could be the perfect holiday destination.

Vlychada

Vlychada is one of the best beaches on the island of Santorini. This is a great place to experience the wild and rugged beauty of the southern part of the island and has something for everyone. The charming marina with its classic yachts and the traditional port with its fishing vessels make this place a favourite with visitors to Santorini.

Here you will find a variety of charming tavernas where you can sample local delicacies and experience real island life and a warm Greek welcome. You can also relax on the grey sand beach in the sunshine and relax to your heart’s content.

Skiathos

This island in the north-west Aegean is one of the Cyclades island group. It is best known for its many amazing beaches and its wild and youthful nightlife. Most of the nightlife scene centres around Skiathos town, while other destinations on the island are rather more restful.

Skiathos offers a wide range of different holidays for a wide range of holidaymakers. The natural beauty of this stunning island is a draw for visitors from all over the world. In spite of the influx of tourists over recent years, Skiathos is still largely an unspoiled, natural idyll.

Achladies

This small, quiet resort is perfect for those who are in search of a calm and relaxing holiday and yet Achladies is also within easy reach of Skiathos Town, where you will find a more lively atmosphere to enjoy.

There are a variety of safe, sandy beaches which are great for those with small children here as well as a range of traditional Greek restaurants and local artisan shops for all your holiday needs. There is also a good bus service which is great if you want to explore the island on public transport.

Agia Paraskevi

This lovely golden-sand beach is located to the south of the island of Skiathos, just 7km from lively Skiathos Town. The large beach is backed by a variety of accommodation options and other tourist facilities and a wide range of watersports and other activities are offered here.

Agia Paraskevi is named after a little church nearby, once of the charming historic buildings on the island, more of which can be explored on boat trips from here. It is possible to rent a boat from here to take you around the island’s coast.

Kanapitsa

This lovely sandy beach is never overcrowded even in the summer months. There is often a breeze here that can be refreshing on a hot summer’s day. One of the great activities to be found here are the short cruises that will take you along the coast to other nearby beaches.

Another of the activities to be enjoyed here is walking. There are some lovely strolls on the trails that criss-cross the Kalamaki peninsula which are a great way to experience some of the natural beauty of Skiathos. Swimming and watersports are also popular activities that can be enjoyed in this area.

Kolios

Kolios beach is on the south side of the island of Skiathos. The beach here is popular for its crystal clear waters and the whole range of watersports on offer. There are plenty of beach loungers and parasols on the sands and sun-lovers are also catered for with a range of beach-side facilities. 

There is plenty to see and do here and yet this is a good family-friendly spot for those who like a quieter holiday. Though if you are craving a more lively nightlife, you can easily get from here to Skiathos Town to experience all that is on offer there.

Koukounaries

This beach may be crowded during the peak season but there is a reason why this idyllic beach is so popular and is the most famous beach on Skiathos. The beach is made up of soft, white sands which are backed by a fragrant pine forest and lead down to clear, crystal waters.

This is one of the most unspoiled natural beaches of the Mediterranean and it is a protected environment. There are a range of tourist facilities and the area is known for its eco-tourism options as well as its interesting ecosystems and natural beauty.

Megali Ammos

This popular stretch of sand is within easy walking distance of Skiathos Town with its wonderful nightlife and many other attractions. There is an extended length of beach here with two rows of sun loungers and parasols and pure, clear water that is great for cooling off in on scorching hot summer days.

Megali Ammos is well known for its tourist facilities and safe, shallow seas. The proximity to the town means that this place is popular with locals as well as with the many tourists who visit this part of the island.

Platanias

Platanias is a delightful little fishing village on the southern coast of the little island of Skiathos. It is a quiet, lush and tranquil place with a handful of relaxed Greek tavernas and bars spread throughout the hilltop village and along the coastal road.

Platanias has three gorgeous golden, sandy beaches within easy walking distance. The villages own beach has a quaint little church out on the sand and Kolios and Troulos beaches are both only a short distance away and each has its own charms. Be sure also after a long day at the beach, to sample the home-made wine at Panagia Evangelistra Monastery.

Skiathos Town

Skiathos Town is of course the main settlement on the island of Skiathos. It is a lively and popular place, well known for its throngs of young party-goers and its vibrant nightlife. But Skiathos also has an historic charm in its older, hillier areas above the old port.

This could be a great base for those looking for plenty of culture and excitement on this small island and has the transport links to allow you to explore other parts of the island as well. But this place is largely all about the fun in the sun and behind some of the gorgeous beaches nearby, the party goes on all day and all night.

Troulos

Troulos is a great destination for nature lovers and those who enjoy relaxing on a beautiful beach and/or hiking through a pristine national park, Dasi nisou Skiathou Magnisias, which has been attracting walkers since the 1970s.

The beautiful white sands of the beach of Troulos Bay are backed by beautiful pine trees and olive groves and there are plenty of great, traditional places to eat both by the shoreline and up in the village centre, off the coast.  This could be the perfect place from which to explore the beautiful natural world of the island of Skiathos.

Skopelos

Skopelos is one of the northern Sporades islands and its main claim to fame is that it was where the movie ‘Mamma Mia’ was filmed. However, this place is not all Hollywood glamour. This island is actually a great place to get back to nature. It is one of the greenest islands in Greece and it is almost entirely covered with pristine and unspoiled pine forest.

The azure waters off the golden coasts, along with the eye-catching and arresting land and seascapes on offer here make it easy to see why it is such a popular holiday destination and why it was chosen for the film. 

Skopelos Town

Skopelos Town is not just a popular tourist destination, it is a traditional settlement of outstanding beauty. Curbs on new buildings mean that this place has definitely very much retained its traditional character and charm. There are a number of ecclesiastical buildings of note in the town and around the island.

Tourism is the main industry here, but it still has the feel of a Greek island town in spite of the huge influx of visitors in the summer months. This could be a good place to spend your time on the island if you want a lively experience with plenty of amenities on hand and yet still within easy reach of beautiful beaches and other sites of the island.

Symi

One of the islands of the Dodecanese island group, Symi is known for its beautiful beaches and the stunning neo-classical architecture of its port town. The island is located around 41km north north-west of the larger island of Rhodes.

Some of the beaches on Symi are sandy, others are made up of pebbles. The great thing about many of the beaches on this island is that they are really secluded and many can only be reached by taxi-boat. All around the coastline there are small slices of paradise just waiting to be discovered by you.

Symi Town

Symi town is often held up as an example of some of the most stunning architecture in Greece. The port town spills down the hillside, an avalanche of brightly coloured buildings many of which are charming examples of neo-classical design. 

This place is so picturesque it almost has to be seen to be believed. Take a stroll up the walkways through the steep town to gain some wonderful views out over the scintillating sea glistening down below in the sunshine, or relax and enjoy the wonderful traditional food served at one of the eateries in the town.

Thassos

In the northern part of the Aegean Sea lies Thassos, the most northerly of all the Greek islands. This is a good place to come if you like your tourist offerings to be authentically Greek in nature and substance. The scenery here is also trademark Greece, with rolling hills of olive groves and fertile vineyards and of course you will find the ubiquitous gorgeous beaches on this island, as on so many others.

This could just be the perfect destination for your beach holiday in the sun, with plenty to do as well as plenty of places to simply relax and watch the world go by.

Glykadi

This tiny seaside village is located on the northern tip of the island of Thassos. It is bounded on one side by a long, golden strand and on the other by a dense, fragrant pine forest. Days here are typically spend relaxing on the beach or cycling or walking in the forest. 

You might feel really out of the way of things here in this delightful spot but actually Cosmopolitan Thassos town is just 20 minutes or so away and if you don’t hire a car, there is a regular bus connection.

Golden Beach

This place delivers on the promise in its name and as you might imagine from the name, this resort is all about the beach. There are over 3km of soft, golden sands to enjoy on this blue flag beach, whose clear, shallow waters are perfect for paddling. 

There are loungers and sun shades available for hire and if you want to stay on the beach all day you can do. Local tavernas will even bring your lunch right to you, so you won’t have to lift a finger, simply relax and soak up the sun. 

Skala Rahoni

The gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach here is naturally shaded by pine forests that hug the shoreline with its natural, idyllic coves. Accommodation options, small restaurants and taverna nestle around the bays between olive groves and the spectacular shore.

Skala Rahoni is a blissfully rural and relaxing place, the antidote to a crowded resort town. This is somewhere for those who like a quieter holiday, with hiking, biking perhaps, swimming and soaking up the sun high on the agenda.

Thessaloniki

This Greek port is the second city of Greece, with a vibrant and optimistic feel and a cultural heartbeat easy to feel as you stroll through the bustling streets and explore the plethora of historic sites and heritage attractions and as you relax and let loose and enjoy the thriving nightlife with its youthful buzz.

By the famous white tower on the waterfront, a string of cocktail bars and hip joints entertain the masses who throng here for its cultural and historical delights and exciting nightlife and during the day you will of course have no shortage of things to see and do.

Tilos

This small island is one of the Dodecanese islands of Greece’s Aegean Sea. It lies half way between the well known islands of Kos and Rhodes. It offers a more tranquil and laid-back holiday than some of the resorts on the neighbouring islands and is a delight for nature lovers.

Most of the island is made up of one big ecological park, where you can see rough and rugged hills covered with over 400 species flowers and fragrant herbs and enjoy watching rare birds wheeling overhead. When you learn that there are also charming villages and idyllic beaches, how can you resist the lure of this magical island?

Livadia

Livadia is the main settlement and port of the island of Tilos. Here you will find modern yet small and relatively unobtrusive holiday accommodation and a wide range of facilities for an enjoyable stay. This is an authentic and friendly place for a wide range of holidaymakers.

Within a short distance you will find plenty of beautiful beaches and stretches of coastline as well as   a range of beautiful historic sites and settlements including many old stone houses, a ruined castle and a mediaeval fortress, amongst many other fascinating attractions.

Zante

Zante, also known as Zakynthos, is a popular holiday island in the Ionian islands, the third largest of that island group. This is an island with a split personality. The north is typically Greek, with a refined and slow paced island atmosphere for those who enjoy the sandy coves and herb-strewn hllsides.

The south of the island is far more lively. This is where young free and single people come to party the night away on the strip of bars and clubs and to let loose and relax in the sun. Frenetic and chaotic at times, this is the place to party and has a very different feel to the refined north. Choose wisely and many different holidaymakers could enjoy the holiday of a lifetime on Zante.

Aghios Sostis

This small, safe resort has a family-friendly little beach and a number of restaurants and taverna that have a traditional and lively, authentically Greek atmosphere. From the seafront you can hire boats, pedaloes and canoes and you can of course also take advantage of the sun loungers and parasols for some relaxation time.

This is a small and fairly quiet resort, though it is in close proximity to Laganas, a larger and much more lively resort, so you are always able to be part of the action.

Agia Marina

At the heart of the island of Zante, Agia Marina is a traditional island village. The beautiful church and belltower here are protected historical buildings and good examples of the style of architecture found on the island.

The village has a quiet and low-key atmosphere and this could be a great base to choose if you want to see some of the hidden gems of the island’s interior. Very different to busy resorts on the coast, Agia Marina is island life at its tranquil best, a place to discover the age-less beauty of this Greek island.

Alykanas

In Alykon Bay on the north coast of the island, Alykanas is a relaxed and easy-going resort with a family-favourite beach and a series of charming taverna and other facilities. Horse-drawn carriages clip-clop along the cobbled streets and just along the coast from the beach resort area you will find the old Alykanas town with its church and quaint main square.

The beach has soft, golden sand and a glorious mountain backdrop. You can relax here and gaze out at the distant views of Kefalonia. Stunning Smugglers Bay is just a 40 minute boat ride away.

Alykes

Alykes is one of the famous, family-friendly resorts on the north coast of Zante. It is well-known as a relaxed and refined destination for those who appreciate the natural beauty and culture of the island.

If you are seeking a tranquil holiday on Zante free from loud and rowdy nightlife and yet cram-packed with activity and adventure, then Alykes could be a great choice for your next Greek island holiday. The place, which means ‘salt’ is named after the salt flats nearby, once used commercially but now just a haven for local wildlife.

Argassi

With a wide selection of restaurants, bars and shops, Argassi is popular with a wide range of travellers. The compact centre of the resort has a lively feel and yet on the outskirts there are some far quieter and more relaxed areas.

The nightlife here is not as wild as Laganas, yet this resort has more of a buzz to it than others amongst the quieter resorts on the island. This place is also within walking distance of Zante Town, if you fancy a change of pace. In the other direction, you will find a range of great beaches.

Kalamaki

While Kalamaki might not be a quiet resort it once was, this sprawling resort has all the facilities you could possibly require and is also well placed for excursions into nearby Laganas, Zante Town and Argassi. 

The beach here is good for kids and safe for bathing. You might even be able to do some turtle spotting near here and enjoy some of the more natural attractions of the island, as well as indulging in the lively nightlife here and along this southern stretch of the island’s varied coast.

Kampi

This gorgeous and unspoiled village on the west of the island of Zante is totally different from the large and boisterous resorts on the south coast. This is an authentic Greek settlement with picturesque stone-built houses draped in bougainvillea and surrounded by rolling hills leading to dramatic coastal cliffs. 

Kampi is a relaxing and romantic destination, perhaps one of the best and most spectacular places on the island to gaze out over the cliffs at beautiful sunsets. This is also a good place to stay if you want to explore the unspoiled and tranquil interior of the island and stay somewhere that is a little off the beaten tourist track.

Keri

Set in the hills above the beach of Keri, this traditional settlement is a relaxing and picturesque place of stone houses and tranquil lanes. There is a lighthouse in this mountain settlement that looks out over the rugged western cliffs and the Ionian Sea.

Keri is a great destination for those looking for relaxation, natural beauty and an escape from the crowds. Here you will also find heritage and an authenticity – this is ‘real’ island life. The sunsets from the lighthouse out over the cliffs are truly awe-inspiring.

Kypseli

Kypseli is a delightful, quiet beach on the north east coast of the island is a great place for a tranquil couple’s retreat or family holiday. Far from the loud, wild resorts to the south of the island, Kypseli as a few accommodation options close to the shoreline along with some facilities to help you enjoy your stay.

Up above the small beach area is the traditional mountainside village of the same name, a charming spot with history and heritage in abundance, where you can take in the sights of the quaint stone-built houses draped in flowers and lush foliage and get to know the ‘real’ island of Zante and its rich culture.

Laganas

This is the largest and liveliest resort on the island of Zante, well known and well-loved by many people from the UK and elsewhere, who come here to party along the strip at night and enjoy beach-front bars and clubs throughout the season.

Laganas is not to everyone’s taste but if you are looking to let your hair down, get a bit of sun and have a laugh with your mates then this could be a great place to do so. This place is definitely not traditionally Greek, but it does have character and you do not have to travel all that far to reach a number of more ‘authentic’ villages.

Planos

Planos is a coastal resort area on the island of Zante, attached to and often conflated with the main resort strip of Tsilivi. Planos offers plenty of accommodation, family-friendly fun and food, drink and entertainment and yet is far more laid back and relaxed than other resorts on the island.

Planos is an area of infrastructure abutting the main resort of Tsilivi, which is fast becoming one of the main resorts on the island for those that want a lively atmosphere and great nightlife as well as a more authentically Greek atmosphere.

Porto Koukla

Though Porto Koukla is located only a few kilometres to the west of bustling and lively Laganas, it could be an entirely different world. This quiet beach area is within easy reach of the excitement but offers something of a more relaxing place to stay. 

The beach here is a narrow strip of sand, rocky in places, that has a quiet vibe and is a great place to soak up the rays. The water here is shallow for  long way out so it is perfect for kids and for a bit of idle paddling.

Tragaki

Set in the tranquil hills, a short distance from the coast and the resort area of Tsilivi/ Planos, Tragaki is a great destination for those who want to see the ‘other Zante’ the one that is far from the world of the revellers on the coast. Here you can enjoy ‘authentic’ island life in a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.

Tragaki is a haven set amid vineyards and olive groves and yet you can easily walk in around half an hour, or drive in ten minutes, to a number of beautiful golden-sand beaches. The historic and cultural attractions of Zante/Zakynthos Town are also within easy reach.

Tsilivi

Tsilivi is adjoined to the neighbouring area of Planos, though sometimes the two names are used interchangeably to refer to this large resort area on the north east coast of Zante. This is fast becoming one of the largest resorts on the island, though it has a more authentically Greek, relaxed and family-friendly vibe than some of the large resorts found to the south of the island. 

Tsilivi is a great compromise for those who are seeking something a little more refined than the bawdy brashness of the south of the island strips and yet still want to enjoy a varied and exciting nightlife and plenty of daytime activities.

Vasilikos

Vasilikos is an area of the south of Zante which is best known for its beautiful and unspoiled beaches.The beaches include Agios Nikolaos beach, Banana beach, Gerakas, Porto Roma and Porto Zorro, each of which has a lot to offer the sun-loving tourist.

Swimming, sun bathing and watersports are the order of the day and by evening there are plenty of places where you can relax with a meal or indulge in a few drinks after a hard day’s relaxation. This is also a great area for those who love nature, and want to explore and enjoy the island’s more natural scenic attractions.

Zakynthos Town

Zante Town or Zakynthos Town as it is also known, is the capital and commercial centre of the island. Largely destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1953, Zante Town was largely rebuilt in the traditional Venetian style. Romas Mansion, nearby Solomos Square is one of the few buildings that were not destroyed by the earthquake.

There are other historic and cultural attractions to be found around here though, as well as a few nearby beaches that are great places for a quick swim. Enjoy a stroll around the pleasant settlement before stopping in for a meal in one of the many traditional Greek restaurants and then enjoy the sunset, perhaps from nearby Stranis Hill, a good spot for the view.

 

 

Holidays Greece FAQs

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  • You can renew your passport at any time. Remember that if there is still time left on your old one (up to nine months) it will be added onto your new one. While it is relatively hassle free to arrange a new passport – you can do it online or through the post office’s Check and Send Service – you should be sure to leave enough time. It can take a few weeks, especially during the busiest periods. A new passport will cost £72.50, or £82.25 using the Check and Send scheme.
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
  • The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. While many people ‘wing it’ and don’t think that they will need travel insurance for a European trip, the fact of the matter is that it is vital to arrange adequate insurance to cover you if something bad happens. The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is not enough and will not cover you fully for accidents, illness or medical expenses while you are away.
  • Money Pug can help you to find the right travel insurance for you. By using our handy and easy to use comparison service, you can make sure that you are covered. If you are not adequately insured for your travels, you could find yourself with unmanageable levels of debt. Costs can quickly mount and some travellers have found themselves thousands of pounds in debt after treatment abroad.
  • When travelling, there is always a possibility that something might go wrong. From cancelled flights to having a medical/personal/criminal emergency, one in five of us won’t have a policy protecting ourselves or our valuable possessions from harm! Don’t risk it! While it can be nice to live in the fantasy that these things will never happen to you – the truth is that they could.  It is important to be prepared.
How Will I Pay While I'm Away?
  • You may have already paid for your flights and hotel accommodation, perhaps you have even booked an all-inclusive package holiday. Regardless of what sort of holiday you have booked, however, you will still need to think about how you will pay for other things while you are away. How to pay while you are away is a big and sometimes complicated decision to make. Money Pug can help. With Money Pug, you can compare all the different options for funding your travel, from cash exchange, to traveller’s cheques, to debit and credit cards, and prepaid cards for use overseas.
  • If you decide to take cash on your next holiday, a visit to Money Pug can help you find the currency you need, and the best deals on exchange rates, commission and fees. When exchanging cash, make sure you make Money Pug our first port of call, so you don’t end up being short changed when arranging cash for your travels.
  • While you may wish to take cash on your holiday, there are downsides to this option. Cash is less secure than a credit card or prepaid card. If you are travelling somewhere that has easy access to ATMs then a card could be your best option – just be sure to choose the right one. You can compare these with Money Pug too – simply search out the relevant pages on this website to get started.
Do I Have All the Other Documents I Need?
  • A passport, travel insurance and money-related documents are not the only ones you may have to concern yourself with arranging before you go away. In addition to arranging the essential things described above, you should also be sure to know any visa requirements before you go. Make sure you are aware of the visa requirements for any country you are travelling to.
  • While British citizens can currently travel to the EU without a visa, this may change post-Brexit. You will need to arrange an ESTA for travel to the United States. The visa requirements for other countries vary, and the type of visa you will require will differ depending on how long you plan to stay in a country, and whether you are visiting for work or on holiday. Make sure you know, and have all the relevant documents in place before you go.
  • In addition to thinking about the paperwork required to visit various countries, you may also need to make sure that you have the relevant documents to allow you to drive during your stay. If you plan to hire a vehicle during your trip then you will, of course, have to make sure that you have a valid driver’s license and insurance documents with you. A vignette is required if you will be driving in certain European countries. Make sure that you are aware of the road rules and regulations for the country you are visiting before you go.
Do I Need To Inform My Bank About My Travel Plans?
  • Always inform your bank about your travel plans if you are intending to use a credit or debit card while you are away. If the bank flags up unusual spending in an unusual place then it may stop authorising payments and cancel your card. This can be a real hassle and you may have to phone your bank in order to confirm who you are and get your card re-authorised, and this can take some time.
  • Not all banks need to be told that you are travelling, but customers of the Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds and Nationwide are all advised to contact their bank prior to travel and generally speaking, whoever you bank with, it is a good idea to inform them before you leave of your destination and intentions.
How Will I Get To and From the Airport?
  • While the main focus will obviously be on the flights, and how you will travel the majority of the way to your destination, it is also important to take some time to think about how you will get to your departure airport, and, if it is not already covered by your accommodation/ holiday provider, how you will travel from the arrival airport to your ultimate holiday destination.
  • If you will be driving yourself to the airport then you will need to look into airport parking. This can be expensive, though can be less so if you are sure to book long-term parking in advance. Alternatively, you may be able to get a friend or relative to drive you, or could consider taking a taxi, or a public transport option.
  • When you reach your destination, if you are an independent traveller you will need to think about getting to your accommodation from the airport. You may be able to get a private taxi/ Uber or airport shuttle. An option that is often a lot cheaper is to take a bus or a train. The options will depend on where you have travelled to and how far it is to your destination.
What Size of Cabin and Hold Baggage Can I Take?

Before you pack for your holiday and leave for your flight, it is, of course, essential to check online to see what your baggage allowance is for the airline with which you are travelling. Different airlines have different baggage allowances, which can vary quite considerably. If you are travelling with a low-cost airline like Ryanair, the allowance is obviously a lot lower than if you are travelling with, for example, British Airways. Check what weight is allowed for hold luggage and also check the maximum size/ dimension of cabin baggage/ hand luggage. Be careful not to over-pack. Don’t try to bring everything except the kitchen sink and pack what you have sensibly to make the most of the space available.

 

What Are the Rules For Hand Luggage?

In addition to knowing what size of cabin bags are allowed, and how many you can bring onboard your particular flight, you should also make sure you are also aware of what you can and cannot place within hand luggage. For example, you should be very careful not to carry any fluids in a container carrying more than 100ml. Whatever small bottles you do have should be packed in a resealable, clear plastic bag. Arranging this before you reach the airport can save some time. It can be expensive to buy toiletries and other items at the airport shops, so consider arranging these ahead of time – decanting toiletries from larger bottles at home can save you money. You could also consider hanging onto hotel items from your last trip.

 

What Else Do I Need To Arrange for My Flight?
  • In addition to booking flights (and later checking in for those flight), you may also wish to consider arranging a few other details for your flights. For example, you may wish to pay to arrange specific seats (this can be worth the expense for a long flight, especially if you want a little extra legroom). You may also wish to order a vegetarian or vegan meal, or tell the airline about any other dietary requirements.
  • Finally, think about how you will entertain yourself or your family during your journey. However you are travelling, it is a good idea to make sure that you have items with you to keep yourselves amused. Think about books, magazines, music or other audio that you might like to have with you during your travels.
  • These are just some of the things that it can be helpful to ask yourself before you travel. Taking care of all these things will help make sure that your trip goes smoothly and you have a wonderful holiday, wherever and whenever you decide to go.
Is the Package Holiday Too Good To Be True?

If a package holiday seems to good to be true – sometimes it might be. While Money Pug works hard to ensure that all the holidays it compares are top notch, other companies may not be so scrupulous. Whenever you are considering a package holiday, it is important to do your research. Don’t just believe the information in a brochure or advertisement – check out reviews and discover what real people have found to be true when taking these holidays before you commit to a purchasing decision.

 

Is The Package Holiday Regulated & ATOL Protected?

You can get some peace of mind by making sure that you only ever select a holiday that is regulated and ATOL protected. This will ensure that if anything goes wrong, you will have some legal protection under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations. You will be able to find plenty of ATOL protected holiday options by searching on Money Pug’s website.

 

Does The Detail on a Hotel or Resort Match the Information Found Elsewhere?

It can be easy to be lured in by the advertising, but it is always a good idea to check that the information given on a hotel or resort in one location online or in a brochure matches with the information found elsewhere. Make sure you do your research so you do not get any nasty surprises when you reach your destination.

 

Does This Package Holiday Offer Everything I Want?

Before you commit to a package holiday, it is important to make sure that the option you are considering really does offer everything you want. Make sure that you take a good look at the flights, transfers, accommodation, and, for an all-inclusive stay, what else is included in the package. Think carefully about what you need and want from your holiday and also, of course, what will be desired and required by any travelling companions/ family you may have with you.

 

Is This Package Holiday Really Better than My Alternatives?

So, you’ve found a holiday that you really like the look of and are almost ready to press the button and get the show on the road. Wait just a moment – are you sure this really is the best alternative available to you? There are so many package holidays out there – you don’t want to kick yourself when you find out that you could have got something more for your money. This is where a comparison site like Money Pug can really come in handy. By comparing a range of different holidays, you can make sure you really are getting the best bang for your buck.

 

What Are the Booking Terms and Conditions for This Package Holiday?

Before you actually commit and sign on the dotted line, as it were, it is important to make sure you are aware of all the booking terms and conditions. Always make sure that you read all the small print before you commit to any purchase – especially a big one like a holiday abroad.

 

About the Flights:

Flights are usually an integral part of a package holiday. It can be good to get everything sorted in one go. That said, it is important to ask certain questions about the flights for your package holiday. Asking the following questions should help you to determine what exactly you are getting for the money and whether that is suitable for you:

Is it a direct flight?

A straightforward question, but an important one. Make sure you know where you are flying from and to, and whether you will need to take more than one flight to reach your destination. If there is a layover, how long will that be? How will the logistics of transferring from one flight to another work? Indirect flights with one or more stops can often be cheaper, but will take a lot longer and can make for a more stressful journey. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are fully informed and choose it with your eyes wide open.

Which airport and terminal am I flying from?

It may sound obvious, but make sure that you know which airport and terminal you will be flying from. Consider how you will get there and how easy the whole experience will be for you before you commit to a particular package holiday.

Which airline am I flying with?

Again, it may sound obvious, but you should also make sure that you know which airline you are going to be flying with. Which airline it is will have a big bearing on how much space you will have for your baggage and for yourself on the flights, as well as how comfortable and easy the whole experience will be. Reading reviews of particular airlines can help you decide whether flying with them is the right choice for you.

What is the baggage allowance on the flight?

Different airlines will have different policies when it comes to how heavy your hold luggage can be. If you are not someone who finds it easy to pack light then you may struggle to come in under the allowance for lower cost airlines. Make sure you check up to find out how heavy your suitcase can be, and what fees might be payable for excess luggage if you think you might need to pay for it.

What can I take in the cabin with me?

Airlines will also differ when it comes to what you are allowed to take into the cabin with you during the flight. Cabin bags will have to be under a certain size, and some airlines are much more restrictive about how many bags you can have and how small these have to be. Make sure you are aware of the restrictions before you fly. Oversized cabin bags may well be removed from you and placed in the hold, which could be a pain if you were expecting to have access to things during the flight.

How long before my flight should I check in?

Check in is usually open for bag drop from around two hours before your flight, though you may be recommended to arrive three hours before your flight for international long-haul flights. Earlier, online check in is also sometimes possible, so it is a good idea to check out your options and be aware of what is possible before you go.

What happens if I miss my flight?

This is another important question to ask before you commit to a package holiday. If you miss your flight, will you still be able to take the rest of the holiday and return flight as planned? Of course, whenever you are travelling you should make sure that you have the right travel insurance in place. But again, reading the small print on a package holiday is crucial if you do not want to be caught out.

How much legroom will I have on the flight?

Once you know which airline you would be flying on, it is a good idea to check out some other elements to see whether you will be able to have a comfortable and pleasant flight. Legroom varies considerably on different airlines. Especially if you are tall, you may wish to check to see how much legroom you will have on the flights of the package holiday you are considering.  Sometimes, you may have the option to pre-book certain seats with extra legroom for an additional fee. If this is something you would want to consider then check that you can do this before booking your holiday.

What food and drink will I get on the flight?

Another element to consider when trying to decide if a certain holiday with flights on a particular airline is right for you is what refreshments will be available on the flights. Will you be served a meal? Will drinks be complementary? If you have particular dietary requirements (are vegetarian or vegan for example), will you be able to arrange to be catered for on the flights in question?

Can I take my own food and drink onboard?

Usually, you will also be able to take your own food and drink on board, as long as you purchase it after passing through security at the airport. However, it is a good idea to check what you are and are not allowed to carry with you into the cabin on the flights on the holiday you are considering.

Can I use an e-cigarette on the plane?

No. You will not be able to use an e-cigarette in the plane. These and their fluid must be carried in your hand luggage. You will also not be able to use the e-cigarette in most areas of most airports, so if you are addicted to nicotine, you may have to consider a different solution if you are taking a long flight. It is also important to note if you are going to Thailand, that e-cigarettes are completely illegal there and you could get into serious trouble for contravening the law.

About Transfers:

Once you have established whether the flights of a package holiday will be right for you, you should also look into the transfers from the airport to your accommodation. Be sure to ask:

Are transfers included in the price of the package holiday?

Make sure that you are aware of what exactly is included in the package holiday. If transfers are not included, you will have to make sure that you know how you will get from A to B and what it will cost you to do so.

How long will the resort transfer take?

Another important detail to uncover is how long it will take to get from the airport to wherever it is that you are staying. The last thing you want is to suddenly discover, after a long flight, that it will still take an hour or more to reach your destination. For warned is for armed. Make sure you understand exactly what your journey will be like, from beginning to end.

How will I find my transfer at the airport?

Will people meet you at the gate, or will you meet a shuttle or private driver somewhere else in the airport? Make sure you understand who will be there to meet you at the airport, how you will be able to identify them, and where they will be waiting, so you don’t end up with a stressful search at the arrival airport.

About the Hotel or Resort:

So, by now you should be clear on all the details of how you are going to get there and back again on your package holiday. But there are still a lot more things that you will need to know. It is important to be fully informed about exactly what you are purchasing when it comes to the accommodation and other elements of your package holiday. Be sure to ask:

Is this an all-inclusive holiday?

As you compare package holidays, it is vital to know whether or not the option you are considering is all inclusive. Some package holidays include only flights, transfers and accommodation, while others can come with lots of other things included in the price. Make sure you are aware of exactly what you are paying for, and what other charges you might be in for once you reach your destination.

What is included?

An all-inclusive holiday will usually include:

  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Food (3 meals a day, and snacks and ice creams)
  • Drinks
  • Evening entertainment
  • Use of hotel facilities
  • Kids clubs & activities
  • Non-motorised water sports
  • Excursions (Sometimes these are included in the cost of an all-inclusive cruise, but sometimes they are not, so it is important to check the details.)

Be sure that you are fully aware of exactly what is and is not included in the price of your package holiday.

Can I pre-book restaurant tables, kids clubs, excursions or activities before arrival?

Tables in resort restaurants cannot usually be booked ahead of time but are usually arranged via reception. Check with hotel staff when you check in to find out when and how you can book. Clubs, excursions and activities, however, often can be booked online before your holiday. It is a good idea to check with the holiday provider to find out exactly what is possible in this regard. Sometimes, booking early is essential to avoid missing out.

What if I want to change my hotel or return flight whilst on holiday?

We all like to think that everything will always go according to plan. But unfortunately, things can sometimes go awry, no matter how carefully we prepare and plan. Before booking a package holiday it is a good idea to look into whether it will be possible to change hotels while you are away, or to alter your return flight plans. Will it be an option to alter your holiday in any way, or will there be costs/ penalties?

 

What if I have a complaint whilst on holiday?

Another thing to consider when booking your holiday is how easy and efficient the customer service will be. How easy will it be to make a complaint while away, and does the company in question have a good track record when it comes to answering complains and solving problems for its customers? While we hope you do not have to complain, going with a reputable travel company can help you make sure you have a more pleasant experience, even if something does go wrong.

The above questions should have led you to have a good understanding of what exactly is on offer with a particular package holiday option, and should help you to determine whether that holiday is right for you. Of course, once you have a good idea of what you want, comparing with Money Pug can help you find that package holiday of your dreams for the very best price.

In this Guide

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