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Windmill in Oia, Santorini
Post from 05/03/2010

Array of islands with diverse choice

The film “Mamma Mia“ with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan was a box office hit in 2008. Part of the reason for the success of this film was the picturesque setting on the islands of Skopelos and Skiathos in the Aegean Sea which was the perfect place to show this Greek tragedy. atraveo has more than 1,500 different types of holiday apartments and houses on offer in Greece which provide a varied backdrop for your upcoming vacation.

The fascination which Greece generates is not only down to its enchanting landscape and splendid beaches (the coveted Blue Flag has been awarded more than 400 times) but also by the historical temples and sites. It does not always have to be Athens and the Acropolis in order to experience the flair of times gone by. The renowned Olympia on Peloponnese and the Palace of Knossos south of Heraklion (Crete) are just two of many islands where one can find countless examples of antique temples and cultural sites. In most cases the sites are in close proximity to the holiday homes and are perfect for a day trip.

Fully packed donkey

Greece’s diverse islands

The choice of idyllic islands seems sheer endless when thinking of Greece. Nobody really knows the exact number of islands as it is very difficult to distinguish between rocks which poke out of the sea and islands. There should be around 3,000 islands which one can explore. In the view of Greece expert and travel guide author Klaus Bötig “every one of the 100 permanently inhabited Greek islands is beautiful and unique. There is an island for anybody’s taste”. But how does one choose an island?

Crete that is about 160 kilometres away from the Greek mainland is not only the largest island but also the most popular Greek holiday destination. We previously wrote a blog on this pearl. But the Ionian Islands and the Islands in the Aegean Sea east of the Greek mainland are equally attractive in respect to their landscape.

Beach, culture and love on the Ionian Islands

Islands such as Zakynthos, Lefkas and Kefalonia west from the Greek mainland offer crystal clear water and delightful beaches that are to be discovered. The beaches of Porto Katsiki and Egremni on Lefkas are regarded as the most beautiful on the globe with their spectacular cliff line. Due to assessable size of the individual islands one is always close to one’s own personal dream beach. More than 50 % of our holiday apartments and houses on the Ionian Islands are 500 metres or less away from the beach.

Probably the most popular and diverse island is Corfu. We recommend a day trip to the splendid small palace Achilleion. Sissi and later Wilhelm II resided here and enjoyed the view towards the sea. Afterwards it is worth to visit the islands capital Kerkyra that provides with its historical centre and old fortress one of Greece’s most appealing towns. The old city centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and one is able to spend a lovely time in one of the numerous cafés and restaurants. Particularly in the evening the place turns into a living room with a special Mediterranean flair.

“Corfu is something like „Greece to get used to“: Exceptionally green, Adriatic cheerful, influenced by Venetian architecture, countless small villages and diverse beaches“ is the way Mr. Bötig describes this vacation paradise.

In the north of Corfu at Sidari there is the Canal d’Armour which is fjord like and connects two small bays to one another. A tale says that if any women swims through this canal and think about their dream man then it will not be long until she will be at the altar with him.

Family paradise, colourful nightlife and perfect setting at the Aegean Sea

If one takes a look at Chalkidiki on the map it is located in the north east of Greece and the three peninsulas on the south side stretch into the sea in the shape of three fingers. There are a number of delightful beaches and towns on Chalkidiki. Why not take a drive around the middle finger Sithonia and stop off at the Bay of Vourvourou that is known due to its unrivalled beauty as the “Greek Caribbean“. Something in favour of Chalkidiki is the great amount of accommodations available with top ratings on our site. Particularly if you plan to go on a vacation with your children Chalkidiki is ideal as it has very suitable beaches for the little ones. With us you can find a top property which can accommodate up to four people with private beach access.

The volcanic island Santorini is a paradise for nature lovers with its cliff coast way between Oia and Fira. The archaeological excavation sites allure culture enthusiasts. Santorini offers visitors with its blue white houses that resemble the national colours of Greece and the deep blue sea the perfect idyllic setting. "Santorini is quite unique with its volcanic landscape and typical Cycladic architecture. A dream for honeymooners (regardless if green, silver or golden)“ according to Klaus Bötig. Many of our holiday apartments and houses on Santorini feature inviting panorama pools and terraces as well as a luxurious ambience. Here on atraveo we offer a holiday apartment in typical Cycladic style with common pool and spectacular view towards the sea.

"Cycladic architecture and best sandy beaches offers also Mykonos – beyond this there is a colourful nightlife and lovely sunset bars“ is the way Klaus Bötig describes Mykonos which is one of the top stars of all Greek islands. It is a clear favourite of the international jet set and therefore it doesn’t surprise that there are more boutiques here than on any other Greek island.

Greek salad as a starter

Indulge like gods

Some of the special memories many atraveo holiday makers have when one reads their reviews – like for example a vacation in this holiday apartment on Corfu - are those breakfasts and dinners together either on the terrace of their holiday apartment or in one of the excellent and affordable taverns to be found along the Greek coastline. They often have no menu card but varying day dishes that can be selected from the kitchen or the display. You should get used to the fact that one assumes that only one person will pay the bill. Else, you may want to tell the waiter before you order that you will be paying separately.

Of course Greek wine must be also served to the food in order to perfectly round off the meal. It is up to you if after a meal you decide to dance through the night with the locals.

Which one is your favourite island Mr. Bötig?

"One of my absolute favourite islands is the relatively unknown Chios in the north west Aegean Sea. Historical villages and monasteries, a varied landscape and excellent cuisine ensure all wishes are fulfilled. Milos is particularly attractive if one is interested in volcanism and minerals. Those seeking seclusion away from the hustle and bustle should choose Kea or Lemnos. Crete is suitable throughout of the year and with its wild canyons, high mountains, palm lined beaches and lovely old towns is the ideal place for visitors seeking something different every day."

Klaus Bötig is a renowned Greece specialist and has published a number of travel guides and other publications. Today the travel guides are mainly included in the series of Marco Polo and DuMont. Furthermore he has an own blog where one can read his reviews and travel reports on Greece.