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Greece - something different

While its economic reputation has taken a battering, Greece remains a premier-league travel destination. Its incredible historic sites span four millennia, encompassing both the legendary and the obscure. Its convoluted coastline is punctuated by superb beaches, while its mountainous interior urges you to dust off your hiking boots and explore. Yet perhaps its greatest riches are the islands, ranging from backwaters where the boat calls twice a week to resorts as cosmopolitan as any in the Mediterranean.

For anyone with a cultural bone in their body Greece cannot fail to inspire. Minoans, Romans, Arabs, Latin Crusaders, Venetians, Slavs, Albanians and Turks have all left their mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes. And let’s not forget the museums stuffed to bursting with Classical sculpture and archeological treasures.

But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing. Bar a few upmarket and “boutique” exceptions you may struggle to find five-star comfort – orthopaedic mattresses, faultless plumbing and cordon bleu cuisine are not the country’s strongpoint – but this isn’t really what the Greek experience is about. Greek food, for example, is at its best fresh, abundant and uncomplicated, while the genuine welcome you receive at the simplest taverna is often enough to get you booking next year’s break as soon as you have returned home.

Whatever you come here for, it’s clear that Greece needs its tourists like never before. For the last few years it’s been synonymous with financial calamity with a titanic debt crisis seemingly ready to engulf Europe. However, this seems to have put off few people (visits to the islands were up 30 percent in 2016). Perhaps they know what we’ve known all along - Greece can offer surprises and a true sense of discovery to even the most demanding traveller.

The islands are the main characteristic of Greece’s morphology and an integral part of the country’s culture and tradition. Greek sovereign land includes 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which only 227 islands are inhabited. This is a truly unique phenomenon for the European continent.

The Greek Archipelago takes up 7,500 km of the country’s total 16,000 km coastline, offering a highly diversified landscape: beaches stretching over many kilometers, sheltered bays and coves, sandy beaches with sand-dunes, pebble beaches, coastal caves with steep rocks and dark colored sand typical of volcanic soil and coastal wetlands.

Many of these Greek beaches have been awarded the blue flag under the Blue Flags of Europe Program, providing not only swimming, but also scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing.

Some of the oldest European civilizations developed on the Greek islands (Cycladic, Minoan civilizations, etc.), so therefore the islands have unique archeological sites, a distinctive architectural heritage and the fascinating local traditions of a centuries-old and multifaceted civilization.

The ideal climate, safe waters and small distances between ports and coasts, have made the Greek islands extremely popular among Greek and foreign visitors.

Most of the islands are found in the Aegean Sea and are divided into seven groups (from north to south):

The Northeastern Aegean Islands
Agios Efstratios, Thasos, Ikaria, Lesbos, Limnos, Inouses, Samos, Samothrace, Chios, Psara.

The Sporades
Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos, Skyros

Evia
The prefecture of Evia (which also includes the island of Skiros), is next to the prefecture of Viotia on the east and on the south touches the Aegean Sea, on the north and northwest to the Pagasitiko and Maliako Gulf, while on the west and southwest with the north and south Evian Gulf.

Islands of Argosaronic
Angistri, Aegena, Methana, Poros, Salamina, Spetses, Hydra.

The Cyclades

A group of 56 islands, with the most important being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Syros, Tinos, Folegandros, as well as the “Minor Cyclades” comprising Donousa, Irakleia, Koufonisia and Schinousa.
The Dodecanese
Astypalaia, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Kos, Lipsi, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Rhodes, Symi, Tilos, Chalki.
Crete
Crete is divided in to four prefectures. From west to east: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi.

The Ionian Sea has only one island complex:
The Ionian Islands
Zakynthos, Ithaca, Corfu, Kefallonia, Lefkada, Paxi, and Kythira which is situated opposite the southern Peloponnese (Laconia). These islands, which are the biggest of the Ionian Sea, constitute the famous Eptanissa (meaning seven islands; epta in Greek means seven).
Antipaxi, Ereikoussa, Kalamos, Kastos, Mathraki, Meganissi, Othoni, Skorpios, Strofades are smaller islands of the Ionian Sea.

The islands of Gavdos (situated south of Crete), Elafonissos (in the Gulf of Laconia) and Trizonis (in the Gulf of Corinth), do not forme a group but are still of unparalleled natural beauty.

OPTION 1:
  • Return Flights on Emirates Airlines ex JNB (Specific & Limited Seats)
  • 2 Nights Athens at the Hotel Athens Center Square
  • 2 Nights Milos at the Hotel Olea Bay
  • 2 Nights Sifnos at the Hotel Smaragdi
  • 2 Nights Ios at the Hotel Levantes Boutique
  • 2 Nights Santorini at the Hotel Moonlight Apartments
  • Breakfast Daily
  • All relevant transfers
  • Speed Ferries between the islands
  • Flight from Santorini to Athens
OPTION 2:
  • Return Flights on Emirates Airlines ex JNB (Specific & Limited Seats)
  • 2 Nights Athens at the Hotel Athens Center Square
  • 2 Nights Naxos at the Naxos Resort Beach Resort
  • 2 Nights Mykonos at the Hotel Mykonos View
  • 2 Nights Santorini at the Hotel Anessis Apartments
  • Breakfast Daily
  • All relevant transfers
  • Speed Ferries between the islands
  • Flight from Santorini to Athens

Please enquire for pricing - we can also tailor make an itinerary for you so you can visit your favourite Greek Islands.

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