GREECE’S MEDITERRANEAN JEWELS ARE AS BREATHTAKING TODAY AS THEY EVER WERE.
There’s something utterly captivating about a holiday in the Greek islands. The huge expanse of the clear blue Aegean Sea, the fabulous beaches and secret coves, the constant sunshine and a real sense of history imagining all the people who’ve visited them for thousands of years.
You get a real sense of getting away from it all – no wonder Greece and its Mediterranean islands remain the number one dream holiday destination for so many people.
We look at the idyllic islands of Rhodes, Kos and Corfu.
The largest of the Dodecanese, Rhodes lies close to the Turkish coasts. In ancient times, it was famous for one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Colossus, the giant statue of the god Helios that towered over the harbour around the time Jason got the Argonauts together.
Today, Rhodes is famous for its more tranquil side – lovely beaches, lush landscape and traditional villages.
Rhodes Town, the capital of Rhodes Island, is located on the northernmost part of the island. It is divided in two parts, the Old City and the New City. The Old City is one of the best preserved Mediaeval sites in Europe. Highlights are the Palace of the Grand Master and the Street of the Knights.
The New City, on the other hand, is like any other modern town. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, taverns, cinemas, and clubs here. If you fancy a few hours away from the beach, take a stroll in some of the town’s parks including Seven Springs, the Valley of the Butterflies and Rodíni Park, a green valley with running waters, small bridges and loads of peacocks!
Lindos, located almost in the centre of the island, is the second most important town. It is home to superb beach coves and it is dominated by an imposing acropolis that overlooks the picturesque bay.
The most popular beach resort in Rhodes is Faliraki, with over three miles of beach to chill out on during the day and what seems like the same length of bars and restaurants to rave it up well into the night.
More for the younger crowd, without a doubt.
Afandou, a long sandy beach, is the best beach on Rhodes for windsurfing and other watersports. The hot medicinal springs in Kallithea and the superb sandy beach of Tsambika are also worth a visit.
An unforgettable holiday experience
Treat yourself to a truly memorable and rejuvenating holiday under the Mediterranean sun in Rhodes, Greece.
Whatever the occasion the portfolio of H Hotels Collection has it all. Their passion for hospitality and diversified hotels can meet the expectations of the most demanding holidaymaker.
- Boutique 5 Hotel & Spa – a brand new Adults-only hotel with unmatchable personalised service and its state of the art Bliss Spa.
- Princess Andriana Resort & Spa – a 5-star All-Inclusive world within a modern environment, with all the conveniences needed for a holiday for couples, families or friends. Tip: Do not miss to attend the unique water show!
- Lindos Princess Beach Hotel – with its 117,000 square metres, it has it all! Located in front of its ‘Blue flag’ beach with sport facilities, water slides and plenty of restaurants and bars – all of them are part of the All-Inclusive. Guaranteed quality time with your friends and family.
- Rodos Princess Beach Hotel – overlooking one of the most picturesque bays of the Island ‘Lagouni Bay’, it provides the appropriate atmosphere and scenery for your holiday escape. With a long tradition in offering genuine Greek hospitality, and with renovated facilities, it is one more choice for an unforgettable holiday experience.
The third largest island of the Dodecanese chain knows exactly what you’re after an annual holiday – plenty of fabulous beaches, lively nightlife, wall-to-wall sun and locals who prefer a relaxed approach to life.
Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush vegetation, ancient and medieval monuments, tree-lined wide roads, large squares, parks, a superb city plan and an extensive bicycle-only routes network – welcome to Kos.
Kos Town is the capital and main port of the island. Its architecture is a mixture of Venetian, Ottoman and modern style. The Mediaeval Nerantziá Castle stands at the entrance to the harbour with the imposing Castle of the Knights of Saint John alongside, connected to the rest of the town by a bridge crossing the Palm Tree Avenue.
The centre of Kos is car-free as well as carefree – it’s heavily pedestrianised. There are loads of cafes, taverns, restaurants and shops as well as a plethora of clubs and nightclubs, which transform the town into a hot spot during the night.
Beyond Kos Town, there are many other towns and villages on the island which are popular with tourists.
Zia is a beautiful, mountainous village – the highest point on Kos – and it offers amazing views of the island. It sits on the side of Mount Dikeos, hidden among the plane trees and close to the village of Asfendiou.
Kefalos is a lovely resort on the southern side of Kos. Despite its popularity due to its fabulous beaches and crystal clear waters, it has managed to keep a lot of its old charm, with streets of whitewashed houses and narrow alleys.
Antimachia stands on the southern side of the island and it is the closest village to the airport. The Venetian Castle of Antimachia is worth a visit – it dominates the village and offers a magnificent view over the whole island.
Kardamena has developed as the most popular resort in Kos, famous for its luxury accommodation and the intense nightlife. In summer, a boat from Kardamena makes daily excursions to Nisyros island.
Mastihari is a tourist centre close to the airport. Its small port has a lovely waterfront to stroll around and during the summer boats leave for daily excursions to Kalymnos island.
The beach at Mastihari has developed rapidly into one of Kos’s most popular and there are plenty of opportunities for surfing and parasailing.
Of all the Greek islands, Corfu is the one that symbolises why we fell in love with Mediterranean holidays in the first place.
Today it retains all its lazy charm and guile and remains one of the most fascinating islands in the Mediterranean.
It’s a place to forget yourself – a world so laid back it’s virtually horizontal. Corfu remains an easy-going, friendly place that will deliver an unforgettable holiday experience.
Ancient and modern merge on this beautiful island – for example, the magnificent palace built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria on the island is now a casino built on the ruins of the past.
Corfu is perfect for all ages to enjoy. If you want to spend quality time with your children or you simply want to bring out the child in you, a place like Aqualand – one of the largest aquatic parks in this corner of Europe – waits for you with water slides and blue pools.
The beaches on Corfu are fabulous. Its eastern beaches, protected by the coastline, are ideal for swimming and scuba-diving and are accessible relatively easily from Corfu Town.
The North-western coast is famous for its crystal water and the colorful pebbles which so many visitors collect. This is the area popular with the rich and famous – as you can see from the nearby expensive yachts moored in the marina.
The South eastern coast has shallow water and beautiful sandy beaches. The Western coast of Corfu is characterised by vast sandy beaches and some of the most spectacular cliffs. Visitors get a unique sense of freedom, overlooking the endless horizon, with nothing to interrupt their view.
The North-Western coast has immense sandy beaches, such as Agios Georgios beach, as well as rocky shores, the most famous being Paleokastritsa.
Off the north east there are three tiny islands which are a target for wildlife and nature lovers – Mathraki, Othonoi and Erikousa – and special boat trips are available for those wanting to sample the beautiful flora and fauna on them.
The nearby island of Paxos is famous for its beautiful beaches. The natural havens of Lakka, Gai and Mongonissi are crowded with yachts during the summer and the western coast of Paxos is famous for its sea caves and huge cliffs.
With only sixty days of rain per year, the chances are that your visit to Crete will be dominated by the warm Mediterranean sun – which is perfect, since the sun-soaked beaches are the top reason for visiting Crete.
Like other island holiday destinations, the main draws in Crete are the sand, the sun, and the water, but this is not the only thing to see. The island is loaded with historical sites of interest that date back to the ancient Minoans, and span all the way through the Middle Ages, to World War II.
After you’ve relaxed on the beach and had a chance to check out Crete’s rich history, you might also enjoy a little bit of partying in Malia or Chersonissos – cities especially popular with young, hip Brits.
The following Cretan cities offer just a small snapshot of an island that has a lot to offer its visitors. From family holidays that all ages will enjoy to fast-paced adventure best suited to the young and young-at-heart, Crete has a little something to offer everyone.
The largest city in Crete and home to the largest airport, Heraklion is also the fourth largest city in Greece. You won’t run out of things to do here, and there’s far more to see and do than in the smaller cities. Outside of Heraklion is the Palace of Knossos, an ancient Minoan site that is the best known archaeological site in Crete. It is from the Palace of Knossos that we have the myth of the Labyrinth, with its fierce Minotaur escaped by Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun. Also nearby is the Venetian castle of Koules, along with several beautiful cathedrals and old churches. If Greek history is something that interests you, be sure to check out the Archaeological Museum, which is home to the most important collection of Minoan artifacts in the world. Besides history, there are also beaches, watersports, horseback riding, and rock climbing to be found in this part of Crete.
The city of Malia is 33 kilometres east of Heraklion and is the most popular spot for young British travellers visiting Crete, thanks to the newer buildings, the cleaner sea, and the hip nightlife.
Besides Malia, Chersonissos is the other big party destination in Crete. Like Malia, Chersonissos caters to a younger crowd looking to have a fun time.
Spectacular beaches and sandy coves in which to while away the sun-filled days. Pine-clad hillsides and olive groves for shady walks in the evening air. Skiathos is an ideal destination for anyone seeking peace and tranquillity.
Skiathos is considered one of the most beautiful of the Greek islands. A jewel, set in aquamarine waters, with over 60 beaches scattered around its pretty coastline. Koukounaries, with its 1000 metre-long golden sandy beach shaded by pine groves, provides the perfect setting for soaking up the sun in idyllic surroundings. Skiathos Town is the main settlement and the waterfront offers an array of bars, boutiques and restaurants, and a chic and sophisticated nightlife. But if you want to explore further and discover the many wonderful locations on the island, take one of the many boat trips available.
If you want a relaxing beach holiday in lovely surroundings choose Agia Paraskevi, peaceful and picturesque neighbouring resorts with a small bay and sandy beach. Agia Paraskevi has a tranquil, laid back atmosphere and makes an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the island, either following the coastal road north or south, or inland towards the mountains. Both resorts are only a short distance from Skiathos Town.