Holidays to Greece
But there’s plenty to explore beyond the beach: the islands of the Aegean and Ionian – whether the Cyclades, Dodecanese or Sporades – offer whitewashed villages in ancient olive groves, brimming with flowers and rich in archaeological sites contrasting with the mainland’s vibrant, modern cities. And all this less than a four-hour flight from the UK.
Greece’s cities have compact centres to explore on foot, combined with top-notch restaurants, bars and cafes, plus a retail smorgasbord from markets to big-brand boutiques. Meanwhile there’s always the option of an island-hopping holiday, a flotilla sailing expedition or a chilled-out stay at a Blue Flag beach on the Peloponnese or peninsula of Halkidiki.
Greece offers a winning recipe of sandy beaches, clear seas, flower-decked harbours and family-run tavernas – making it one of Europe’s top summer holiday choices
Where to go
In the Greek capital, Athens, it’s impossible to miss the Acropolis and Parthenon temple which dominate the skyline. The National Archaeological Museum is also a must-visit site for culturally-minded travellers.
Large islands include Crete, the birthplace of Zeus in Greek mythology, and verdant Corfu, with luxurious hotels aplenty. The largest of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes, has lively beach resorts – while Zante in the Ionian is known for its nightlife. For gorgeous scenery and sophisticated hotels, Santorini and Mykonos are excellent, while Kefalonia, Skopelos, Paxos and Samos are perfect for relaxed, barefoot holidays.
When to go
Villages come alive with celebration and processions at Easter, while May and June are perfect for walks through wildflower meadows. For early and late sunshine, head to the southernmost island of Crete with its long holiday season. Autumn is a good time to enjoy the olive and grape harvest, or take a short winter break in Athens.