The Greek islands are steeped in history, surrounded by vibrant and glimmering oceans and enhanced by its Mediterranean culture.
While lounging on the beach, swimming in the resort pool or visiting the local bars might be high on the agenda in this popular holiday destination, why not try out something on our list of seven unique and must do activities that will make the holiday really worth writing home about?
The Acropolis of Athens
When flying into any of the Greek islands, you will most likely do so by heading into Athens, then switching for another plane or ferry. But, while in the city, why not head take a day to explore and visit Athen’s most famous ancient wonder, the Acropolis? Walking through the streets of an ancient Greek citadel is something few people can say they have done. It is a truly breathtaking experience.
The Melissani Cave
The Greek Islands are home to a number of illustrious cave networks thanks to the erosive power of that salty and wrathful monster, the Mediterranean. One cave in particular stands out above the rest: the Melissani cave. A small cave system, it ends in a lagoon deep underground, open to the elements by a large crater above. With this great skylight hanging overhead, the entire cave becomes illuminated by sunlight, promising stunning views and deep and crystal clear blue waters. A paradise beneath the Earth.
The Samaria Gorge
Probably the most stunning natural location on any of the islands, the Samaria Gorge is like a time capsule that takes you back into a time before modern day life. Entering the gorge through its upper entrance, you feel as if you are in another world, a fantasy world, dreamt up by writers for some epic quest. Truly awe-inspiring. However, not only does it feature jaw-dropping views, but exciting hiking trails, walkways, old rope bridges, cut-away cafes and gentle flowing rivers. A paradise for any nature lover.
Explore an Uninhabited Island
The Greek islands are well known for being a smorgasbord of culture and variety. Some are big, noisy and full of bars and restaurants. Others are quiet, laid-back, with sleepy cafes and little B&Bs. And some are just sat in between. But, you don’t have to head very far off-shore from one of these islands to find something totally different. With thousands of islands surrounding Greece, and only 300 or so currently being inhabited, you could soon find yourself on an island all your own. Often mountainous and covered in dense jungle, while not the best place to find a cocktail, these deserted islands a perfect for those of you looking to explore. Who knows, you might find an incredible secluded beach, a beautiful lagoon or spectacular viewpoint of the Mediterranean.
Go Snorkelling & Diving
One thing that has to be done in Greece is snorkelling, or diving if you are feeling really adventurous. For snorkellers, many islands offer incredible coral reefs to explore, with vibrant underwater life. You might even get lucky and encounter some of the Mediterranean sea’s most stunning creatures, including dolphins and turtles. However, if diving is more your thing, head to the island of Milos, where diving schools will take you to explore WW2 wrecks and incredible underwater hot springs.
Hike the Santorini Volcano
The island of Santorini is a dark blemish upon an otherwise vibrant landscape. Formed in a violent volcanic eruption centuries ago, its twisted shape is perfect for hikers. With low lying gorges and high top cliffs and mountains, this experience promises ample, picturesque, views. It is recommended that you start or finish your hike at Oia, not only because its a bustling port town, but also because it is famed for its sleek white stone houses topped with smooth blue domes, another must see.
Sailing is perhaps the ultimate experience you can have in the Greek islands. It allows for limitless opportunities for exploration and leisure. Many of the experiences on this list are on different islands, places you’d have to visit over years of different holidays, unless you sail. Aboard your own sailing boat, you can explore the uninhabited islands, dock up in Oia and hike Santorini before heading over to Milos to diving about the old war wrecks. You can also visit all the islands, restaurants, beaches, bars and ancient ruins you want. You never have to limit yourself, and that is the most exciting way to enjoy these illustrious islands.
The writer of this article, Cliff Blaylock, will be happy to help you experience all of these incredible must-dos through his private sailboat charter business Deep Blue Yachting. Based in the beautiful region of the Ionian Islands, Cliff, an experienced diver and sailor, gives you unlimited access to the ocean and islands surrounding the country