A small overview of some Greek Islands

Zakynthos one of the Greek Islands

It’s difficult to conceive just how long you could spend sailing around to explore the Greek Islands.

Not only are there hundreds of islands to explore, but the islands cover a vast distance from the north eastern coast of Greece and the Ionian Islands, round the southern coast of Greece to Crete and the Cretan Islands; up the western coast of Greece through the Cyclades, up to the Sporades.

Then down the eastern coast of Turkey where many of the islands are within Greek territory too. Here you’ll find the Aegean Islands and the Dodecanese Islands.

There is no definitive number of islands because how many there are depends on who you ask! It’s usually quoted as somewhere between 1,200 and 1,600 so if we take the mid-ground we’re talking about 1,400 islands.

Some of these are very tiny and in fact the majority of Greek Islands are not inhabited either because they’re too small or because they’re not appropriate for living.

Actually, the number of inhabited islands varies too – different sources quote different numbers, ranging anywhere from just 166 up to 227, and obviously if you are travelling around independently by yacht you’ll need to know which ones are inhabited so you can stop for supplies.

Chartering a luxury yacht with a full crew onboard will take away the need for worrying about where you’re next going to stop, though you should still make the decisions as to which islands you’d most like to see.

 

Which Greek Islands to See?

So the big question is, which Greek Islands should you see? Well usually this answer would depend on what you like seeing while on holiday, but to be honest many of the Greek Islands offer very similar attractions – great beaches, beautiful villages, excellent food, and a list of ancient sites.

If you prefer to travel away from the bigger crowds then stay close to the smaller islands or some of the less visited ones. And for the quiet life do head for some of the uninhabited islands as you could moor just offshore and have a deserted island all to yourself!

Many Europeans like to visit the most popular islands including Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, and Kos, but then you could argue that these islands have the most to offer. The ancient sites are most impressive and there are many beach resorts for those who like nightlife, shopping and more, so it does come down to personal preference in the end.

More on Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes to come, and here’s a short summary of some of the other popular islands:

Santorini

Santorini is for sure one of the most famous and romantic of the Greek Islands. Often a resort for a honeymoon or other romantic celebrations and anniversary’s.
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Kefalonia

– the largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is increasingly popular and it’s famous for its scenery – inviting blue waters and pine clad hillsides. The movie ‘Captai Corelli’s Mandolin’ was filmed here.

 

Lesbos

– located in the north eastern Aegean, closer to Turkey’s coast than Greece’s Lebos is known for its Petrified Forest and as the centre for production of the country’s most famous drink, Ouzo.

 

Mykonos

– Mykonos is within the Cyclades group and is well known for its nightlife and gay friendly atmosphere. It also features beautiful villages, beaches, and scenery.

 

Samos

– this island has a little bit of everything including an ancient site that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Samos is an East Aegean Island.

La Zenia

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View from Hotel Servigroup La Zenia

Like pearls on a string, one beach resort follows another all along the coastline of Spain´s Costa Blanca from Alicante to Cartagena. Each one is a little different but what they all have in common are fabulous beaches and some sport upscale hotels and spas.

Popular La Zenia

– is the ´posher´part of Orihuela Costa, a community 10 km south of Torrevieja.

Not to be confused with Orihuela, a town located towards the mountains and not on the coast at all.

Generally speaking, when visiting the area, you better get your bearings first.

There are so many names and, above all, roundabouts and road signs that you can easily get lost if you don´t know in advance where you are heading.

In fact, the countless roundabouts make me dizzy, but the alternative, the toll road which will take you from A to B is boring and does not give you glimpses of the beaches.

La Zenia offers several beaches in a great variety. Small, big, white sand or dramatic cliffs, you can find anything to your liking here.
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Do the Cliff Walk

Outstanding is the so called cliff walk from La Zenia to the picturesque marina of Cabo Roig.

Hewn into the cliff, the single file path leads under overhangs when you want to dug your head, past mansions built on bluffs, coves, rocks and sandy spits of beach, followed by bigger ones.
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Shopping

In recent years La Zenia got a new attraction in the form of La Zenia Boulevard, a surprisingly tasteful shopping mall built in the Spanish style.

Excellent for a morning or afternoon out for shopping, dining and entertainment. You´ll find expensive boutiques as well as more economic department stores.

My favorite is a decoration shop which I could empty out if I had the means.

You´ll go neither thirsty nor hungry, several restaurants of all kinds are to be found on the first floor and Cafes and ice cream parlors among the shops downstairs.

Kids can ride around on plush toy animals or, in the summer, splash around in a huge fountain.

link: La Zenia Boulevard Homepage


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Paddy’s Point

Orihuela Costa and La Zenia are a favorite of the English and Irish, so it doesn´t come as a surprise that the Irish Pub Paddy´s Point is a point of orientation.

Take a taxi in Torrevieja for example and tell the driver you want to be dropped at Paddy´s Point and he´ll know exactly where you want to go even if you don´t know a word of Spanish.
Paddy’s have live music and sports events, several days a week.

Visit their website for more information on opening times and events: paddys-point.com

 

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Marvelous Beach Hotels

If you just want to relax, enjoy unencumbered sea views from your balcony, a lounger around the big outdoor pool, and maybe indulge in a bit of pampering in a spa – Then Servigroup La Zenia, directly overlooking the biggest beach, is the place for you.

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Orihuela Costa resort
A footbridge crosses the motorway towards the beach and, through a street of sweet smelling pine trees you can enjoy more leisure at the Orihuela Costa resort.
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Outstanding is the massive swimming pool which can be used by all visitors, the restaurant and the exquisite selection of wines.
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