Skala village and port view with Celestyal Cruiseship in Patmos island, Greece Vacations

Explore the Top 5 Greek Islands with the Celestyal Inclusive Experience

An island cruise in Greece is no doubt on many Globetrotters’ bucket lists. The following is an article describing 5 Greek Islands you will visit on a Goway all-inclusive Aegean cruise.

With over 1,000 islands, endless miles of coastline and archaeological treasures to match, the Greek Islands truly are a destination for all tastes.

Their vistas are soul-stirring, the food will have you murmuring with delight and the beaches are some of the finest in Europe – and hopping from one island to the next by cruise ship is an experience all in itself.

But with so much choice of places to visit and must-sees while you’re there, it can be hard to know where your own Greek odyssey should begin and end.

Whether you’re in search of some chill-out time on dazzling beaches, snorkeling in azure waters, aimless strolling along webs of cobbled lanes, sunsets to write home about or tracing the footsteps of ancient Greek mythology, we’ve rounded up the five best Greek Islands to satisfy every holiday wish.

Heraklion, Crete, Greece – the island of mythical tales

If you’re a fan of history and all things mythology, then you should make a beeline for Heraklion in Crete. The sprawling ruins of the Palace of Knossos lie just on the outskirts of the city, ready to take you back in time all the way to the years of Minoan civilization.

There’s also one of the largest and most important museums in Greece right here, the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing a treasure trove of artefacts from throughout the ages.

Once you’ve quenched your thirst for history and legends, then make sure you keep some time aside to wander around the city center. Peaceful car-free streets make strolling around the historic quarter a delight, especially with the promise of ornate fountains, striking Venetian architecture and pretty squares studded around the city where locals come for “peratzatha” – the art of people-watching.

Nowadays it’s also possible to walk along the top of the formidable medieval walls where the views are second to none.

Remember to look back as you sail out of Heraklion to spot the arches where gunpowder, boats and guns were stored.

Boats in the old port of Heraklion. Crete, Greece
Boats in the old port of Heraklion, Crete

Mykonos, Greece – the best island for dreamy beaches

Part of the Cyclades in the midnight blue Aegean Sea, Mykonos’s popularity has never wavered. Those looking for good times come here, so it goes without saying that its nightlife will have you dancing ‘til dawn, but by day you’re spoilt for choice for picture-postcard beaches.

The beaches you might wish for from a Greek Island holiday exist in Mykonos. There’s the lively and ever-popular Super Paradise Beach, but for that coveted tranquillity to dip your toes in the sand and stare out at the horizon – uninterrupted – there’s plenty of other options.

Just a couple are Lia beach and the remote Agios Ioannis beach, both on the south coast. Surrounded by bare hills, with rocky outcrops for snorkeling and views over to Delos island, it’s glorious.

Back in Mykonos Town, wind down the evening with a freshly-grilled seafood dinner at one of the seafront tavernas in Little Venice, where you’re sitting so close to the water that you can feel the cooling sea spray on your skin.

View of Mykonos port with boats, Cyclades Islands, Greece
View of Mykonos port with boats

Santorini, Greece – the best island for glamor and good food

Santorini offers up the iconic image of the Greek Islands – crisp white buildings dotting the hillsides, bright blue domes blending in with the sea, and sunsets that are simply out of this world. It’s been a honeymoon destination for decades as it offers stylish places to while away the hours and a landscape painted with all the earthy shades you could imagine.

But, there’s one more thing to add to Santorini’s long list of praises, and that’s its gastronomy and wines.

Unexpected vineyards grow Assyrtiko and Vinsanto grape varieties in volcanic soil, on what looks like a lunar landscape, forming the island’s blossoming wine routes.

Best of all, the wines go hand in hand with Santorini’s gastronomic specialties – tomato fritters, fresh goat cheese, saganaki, Greek salad, kofta – the list is endless.

Perfect to toast under the orange-tinted sunset skies.

Small Village of Oia at sunset, located on Greek island of Santorini, Greece
Small Village of Oia at sunset, located on Greek island of Santorini

Rhodes, Greece – the best island for nature lovers

Boasting a mere 25 Blue Flag beaches in one of the sunniest corners of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is a haven for sun worshippers and thrill-seekers alike.

Its golden beaches are blissful spots to stretch out your beach towel, and have even graced the sets of movies such as the epic “Guns of Navarone”. What’s more, head to a beach such as Ialysos and you’ll find yourself in a mecca for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing – ideal if you fancy trying a new water sport.

Travel inland from the pristine beaches, and there’s green valleys filled with the heady aromas of pine trees and cypresses, criss-crossed with hiking routes for all levels.

There’s a stimulating walk through the lush Valley of the Butterflies, as well as a route that takes you past the gothic Filerimos Monastery, where a short climb up the hill will bring you some of the best panoramic views on the island.

Filerimos Monastery, Rhodes Island, Greece
Filerimos Monastery, Rhodes Island

Patmos, Greece – the best island to take it easy

Also located in the Dodecanese, Patmos is known for many things, but above all its spiritual atmosphere. Often referred to as the Island of the Apocalypse or the Jerusalem of the Aegean, you won’t be surprised to hear that Patmos’s must-sees are the St John Monastery in Hora and monastery of the Apocalypse just further down the hill.

And once you’ve ticked off both these sights from your to-do list, there’s a sleepy town where you can easily lose a few hours.

Pop into a bakery to try an oven-hot cheese pie en route, and be sure to mark Platia Lotza on your map for jaw-dropping vistas over Skala and the shimmering seas.

Likewise, Nikolaides Mansion is one of the few buildings not under lock and key. Wander around its cisterns, kitchen and reception rooms, and take in the views from the open roof terrace.

Back in Skala, the many quality boutique shops offer original souvenirs, including antiques, to take home.

View of Monastery of St John in Patmos Island, Greece
View of Monastery of St John on Patmos Island

The best way to visit multiple Greek islands

The easiest and by far the most relaxing way to island hop is by cruise ship, allowing you to see all the destinations you would like with plenty of time in between to sunbathe and unwind.

Article provided by Celestyal Cruises.

Goway organizes Greek Island cruise packages sure to suit any Globetrotter.

Suggested Itinerary:
4-5 Day Iconic Aegean: Greek Islands & Turkey Highlights Cruise: Athens to Athens

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Carolyn Weppler
Carolyn Weppler

VP of Sales at Goway Travel -
Carolyn Weppler has tracked gorillas in Rwanda, been proposed to in Paris (she accepted, naturally!), and travelled to 70 countries, counting Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Russia, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan among her travel memories. Originally from Hong Kong, Carolyn lived in the UK before settling in Canada. A self-professed ‘foodie’ traveller, her favourite destinations are Nepal, Peru, Uganda, and anywhere else where she can roam local markets and experience new flavours.

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