Mykonos, Paros, Ios & Santorini High On Every Traveler’s List – And For Good Reason
So you’ve decided to go to the Greek Island on holidays but can’t decide exactly which islands to visit.
It’s a common issue for first-time travelers to Greece. And it can be almost as confusing as a night of drinking ouzo.
Fortunately, I’ve been there and can help you make decisions that will enhance your trip. Oh, and know that a trip to the Greek Isles means island-hopping, taking ferries every few days (or at often as you wish; it’s very low-key) to another island.
Important Questions To Ask Before Your Greek Isles Trip
• What Do You Want In An Island?
Do you want someplace that’s quiet where the only thing that disturbs you from your beach chair is the urge to take a swim in the ocean? Do you want a place with a lot of shipping. Do you want to party!? Yeah!
• How Much Time To You Have To Spend In Greece?
PubClub.com recommends at least two weeks for first-timers. And that’s just for visiting the well-beaten path of the Cyclades chain. You don’t want to be rushing around so give yourself time to enjoy this great destination. If your time is two weeks or less, chose islands that are located a few hours’ ferry ride from each other so you can maximize your time in Greece. You don’t want to be wasting half days or more flying all over Greece.
A Rundown On The Main Greek Islands
• Mykonos. A well-renowned party island, Mykonos is really the most diverse of all the islands. A six-hour ferry ride from Athens, or an hour flight, it’s close to your arrival point in Greece and is thus the most popular destination of all the islands. It’s also a weekend getaway from Greeks who live in Athens. Mykonos has it all: a wild party scene, great shopping, good food at taverns and enough beaches and secluded spots that you could have all the privacy you may desire.
• Paros. This is one of the top windsurfing spots in the world. Other than that, I say “ehhh.” The town by the port has a couple of good bars – the one on the end to start and end the night and the Irish bar – but the rest of the nightlife is pretty lame, certainly by Greek Island standards. The beaches are looooong bus rides from the port town and aren’t pretty or that good. The nicest part of Paros is not even on Paros – it’s Little Paros, a short (3-minute) boat ride on a small island that’s great for swimming and total afternoon relaxation.
• Ios. This island is where the young go to party, party and, well hook up with other singles. As you’ll see if you hit the link and see one of our blog posts, there’s really only three things to do on Ios. And sightseeing is not one of them.
• Santorini. This is the most scenic, stunning, take-the-heart-away island in Greece. Scene of a thousands postcards and millions of Instagram posts, it has buildings perched on the top of high cliffs that plunge straight down into the sea. DO NOT miss going to Santorini – or Thira as the Greeks call it and as you’ll see on all ferry listings and in travel office locations – while in Greece. PubClub.com recommends staying in a small, private house or “hotel” in Fira or neighboring Firastafani. The beaches here are not that great but go to Amoudi Harbor in the daytime and Fira has great shopping, good restaurants and very f
• Corfu. Whew, Corfu! It’s home of the Pink Palace and its legendary nightly toga party. There’s also boat excursions to work off the hangover on and in the water. Located off Italy, it’s too out of the way to try and swing over from the Cyclades. If you’re a backpacking college student and have the whole summer, then don’t miss Corfu.
• Crete. A big island well south of Santorini. It’s so big sometimes it’s not really like being on an island but in a small country.
• Rhodes. Another big island that has some Greek history but not much of a party island. (For that, take a boat to Kos.)