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Everything you need to know about the Greek Islands

Greece is the perfect summer getaway for everyone. Whether you are booking a relaxing family holiday, a romantic honeymoon with your partner, or a party getaway with friends, this Mediterranean country is the perfect backdrop for your travels. While the Greek mainland is a tourist hotspot for fine cuisine and culture, more and more people are choosing to spend their vacations on the many nearby islands.

What are the Greek Islands?

The country of Greece is made up of the mainland and over 6,000 islands that are referred to as the Greek Archipelago. All of these islands vary in size, and only approximately 250 of them are actually inhabited by people. These islands are grouped together into seven separate clusters that span the waters of the Greek coastline.

Each island has developed its own unique culture and way of life, meaning there is something new to see and do on each one. Some of these islands are most famous for their unique architecture and stunning views – Santorini is well-known for its white buildings with blue roofs that match the deep hue of the Mediterranean Sea that surrounds it. Other islands such as Mykonos are hotspots for tourists who love the nightlife and want to party. Crete and Naxos arguably have the best sandy beaches, ideal for relaxing in the sun by yourself or with family. No matter what kind of holiday you are looking for, there will be a Greek island that is perfect for you. 

Island-hopping is easy

If you want to make the most of your trip to the Greek Islands, we highly recommend island-hopping. There are numerous ferries that travel between islands, so you can easily move around at your own pace. If this is something that you plan on doing, we suggest that you at least make some vague plans about where you intend to go. If you have a tight budget and limited time, consider traveling around islands that are in the same cluster. Ferries are cheaper and more frequent, and it takes less time to hop between islands, giving you more time to enjoy your holiday. 

The cost of ferries can often add up, but you can save money if you plan ahead. Often, different ferry companies will offer discounts if you book multiple trips with the same company. A Eurail Greek Islands Pass will give you a 30% discount for up to 6 ferry trips around 53 different Greek Islands. Creating your itinerary ahead of time really can save you money, and it helps you to make the most out of your holiday. 

Sticking to one Greek Island

If you don’t want to island-hop and you would prefer to base yourself on one island, Santorini and Crete are some of the best options. These are larger islands, and there is so much to do on each of them. You can learn about the history and culture of the islands, enjoy some fine local delicacies, and relax at one of the many beautiful beaches. You definitely won’t get bored on these islands, and you can happily spend an entire holiday here. Logistically, Mykonos is also a great choice because this island, as well as Santorini, both have international airports which make them easy to fly in and out of. 

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