The fabulous Greek Islands

Greece has 6,ooo islands but only 227 of them are inhabited. We did  a day trip to the three little islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydros on a Saronic islands tour from Pireaus.

Aegina

These islands are everything you expect from a Greek island but they are tiny.

It was time to visit some of the larger islands.

A four day cruise was the best way to see them. We ended up on a boat with Greeks on an end of season special offer. They had come for the food, probably having already seen the sights, so meal times were “interesting”

Mykonos

Mykonos is in the Cyclades group in the Aegean sea. Its famous for whitewashed buildings, windmills,seafood, and nightlife. Even better it was formed by the bodies of giants killed by Hercules. It has another unusual claim to fame , Petros the pelican. Petros is one of a line of pelicans all called Petros who roam the harbour and are cosseted by the locals.

santorini

Another Cycladian island, Santorini, is pretty much heaven if you can get away from the other tourists. Oia is full of tourist souvenir shops and bars. Everywhere you look is worthy of a postcard with the blue and white buildings shining in the sun. Its famous  for sunsets and if you walk a little way from the shops you can find a peaceful spot to watch.

Rhodes

We visited the acropolis of Lindos. From the village there’s a steep climb up but you can hire a donkey if you need to. But then you’d miss all the little shops  selling souvenirs and tablecloths. I bought yet another large one embroidered with olives to add to the cupboard full I already have. At the top are ruined 4th century temples and an amazing view over the bay of Saint Paul.

The old town  is the oldest medieval city in Europe . Its streets and alleys are cobbled and its very easy to get lost. Despite how busy this is its a must to walk round.

Crete

Crete is the largest Greek Island and supposed to be the birthplace of Zeus. We took a trip to Knossos, a large bronze age settlement. Supposedly the home of the legendary king Minos its Europes oldest city. Discovered in 1878 its been excavated and very heavily restored. Because of this its very different to many excavated sites we’ve visited. Some of the restoration is not even historically accurate but the remade walls and bright murals make it great fun to visit.

So all these island have their own individual character and all would be worth a longer visit.

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