|Beautiful Beaches - Ios, Greek Islands, Greece|
|Amazing Sunset in Oia, Santorini|
|Wonderful Old Town Streets |
- Greek Islands
|Interesting Traditions |
- Donkeys in Santorini
|Having Fun on the Greek Islands|
Our Impressions and advice on traveling the Greek Islands (mid-May to mid-June 2009)
As we took our last Greek Island ferry back to the Greek mainland, a few general impressions come to mind.
The people on the Greek Islands were genuine, friendly, and helpful. A traditional Greek nod of the head to the right would light up even the most stoic face.
|Map of the Greek Islands|
These Greek Islands are known as the Cyclades, rich in historical significance, and are some of the most popular. They can be summarized as being sun-drenched with winding stone streets and trellis-covered tavernas.
Visiting them from mid-May to mid-June is a great time. Although the water has not completely warmed up, the weather is nice and the huge crowds are not here yet. In July and August, these islands are packed; prices double and you are lucky to get a room or a spot on the beach.
You can drink the water and Greek food is healthy and prepared largely with olive oil. The lamb and beef dishes are wonderful. A Greek salad or gyros sandwich (made here from pieces of pork or chicken instead of ground meat) is a nice budget alternative. Given the large amount of tourism, the service is generally good.
Traveling the Greek Islands was less difficult than we had anticipated. English is spoken almost everywhere. Because air fair cost to the Greek Islands has dropped significantly lately, we flew from Athens direct to Santorini and then used ferries between the islands. The ferries are comfortable, efficient, on time, and clean.
|Beautiful Harbor Towns|
|Relaxing on Paradise Beach|
For those who wish a little less ‘adventure’ in their travels, there are plenty of travel agents who specialize in providing structure (schedules and preplanned transportation and lodging). We met a lot of people enjoying traveling the Greek Islands this way although we still recommend doing some research and off the beaten path explorations in order to enhance your experience of the Greek Islands.
One wonders what these islands will be like in 20 years. Now you can sleep in a modern apartment with Internet access and be woken up by a rooster or donkey in the morning. Goats still cross the roads. The harbors, fishing villages, and beaches are in transition, not knowing what they want to be. The past fishing influence can still be seen with small fishing boats lining the harbor next to new pleasure boats and yachts. Fishing nets can be found on the sidewalks near modern restaurants and bars. The tourists are coming so visiting soon should be considered.
Pat and I came here 21 years ago on our honeymoon on a large cruise ship. Then, spending just the day on several Greek Islands left us wanting to come back some day. After now spending a month on seven islands, we left with a little sorrow, still wanting to come back again.
This is an overview of the Greek Islands. To learn more more about the beautiful Greek Islands, please see our 11 blog posts:
Greece Crete Smaller Villages Matala Georgioupoli
Greece Ios Greek Island
Greece Mykonos Greek Island
Greece Ios Greek Island
Greece Mykonos Greek Island
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