If you are anything like me, as soon as the Christmas tree is packed away I start to think about holidays. January is normally a grey and gloomy month so booking a holiday in the sun seems like the perfect escape and something to really look forward to. In my opinion, Greece is an ideal location – it has sunny months from April – October, the flight from the UK is not too long and there is so much to see and do once you are out there. I’ve been holidaying in Greece for about 7 years now and have visited quite a few stunning islands. Here are the places I visited to inspire you to go plan your next sunny holiday!
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Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands with 43 towns and villages. The popular tourist resorts are Rhodes Town, Faliraki and Lindos. It takes 3 and a half hours to get there from the UK. I visited in July and the temperature was reaching highs of around 31°C (probably why I look a bit pink in the photo!)
Where I stayed: In a little village called Pastida located in at the northern tip of Rhodes in The Garden Hotel.
Things I did: Visited the seaside resort of Faliraki, went to the Rhodes Old Town and saw the Kallithea Springs (an ancient Greek spa with lots of flowers).
Corfu (Kerkyra) is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. It takes 3 hours 15 minutes from the UK and even in April it was such a sunny holiday with highs of around 19°C. The popular destinations are Corfu town, Sidari and Acharavi.
Where I stayed: I stayed in the Aiolos Beach Hotel in Perama on the southwest edge of the Aegaleo mountains.
Things I did: I went on an coach trip island tour but not exactly sure what I saw as the guide could not speak English very well. She just pointed out the window and said “lovely views”. We did stop at Achillion which is a palace built in Gastouri which did also have lovely views.
Crete is the overall largest island in Greece. Along with Rhodes, it is one of the warmest Greek islands. The average daytime temperature in January is 16°C so if you can’t wait for a summer, Crete is perfect for some winter sun. The popular tourist towns are Chania Town, Rethymnon and Heraklion. As it one of the hottest, it is therefore one of the further away with a flight time from the UK of 4 hrs 40 mins.
Where I stayed: I stayed in the Atlantica Sensatori Resort in Analipsi, a small village only 5 minutes from popular tourist city of Hersonissos.
Things I did: Got the bus to the harbour town of Agios Nikolaos, visited Heraklion and went to Santorini for a day trip.
Santorini is the classic picture postcard destination of Greece. It’s about 120 miles southeast of Greece’s mainland. Thira is Santorini’s main town and Oia is said to have the best sunsets on the island (and its where all those pretty white houses are located). From Crete it’s 1 hour and 45 minutes on the ferry, if you fly from the UK it is 5 hours and 45 minutes.
Where I stayed: This was just a trip from Crete for the day.
Things I did: You can rent out a quad bike and travel around the whole island in a day. We stopped at both Thira and Oia and it was very beautiful.
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece. Popular places are Argostolion, Skala, Lixoui and Fiscardo. It takes about 3 hrs 40 mins from the UK and the temperatures range from 23°C to 26°C in the summer. It is closely situated to the island of Lefkada so you can see two islands on one trip.
Where I stayed: My sister and I stayed in the Olive Garden Apartments in Lassi which was a short hilly walk to Argostoli.
Things I did: We visited the beach town of Skala, went on a boat from to the island of Lefkada, visited the caves in Melissani and tried to spot the rich and famous in Fiscardo.
Kos is the third largest island of the Dodecanese by area, after Rhodes and Karpathos. It is just 4km from the coast of Bodrum in Turkey. Popular towns and villages are Kos Town, Kardamena and Kefalos. We visited in September and it was still a warm 23°C. The flight time from the UK is 4 hours 15 minutes.
Where I stayed: Shaun and I stayed in The Sunny View hotel which was a short walk from the beach and the lively town of Kardamena.
Things I did: We visited a lovely moutain town called Zia, had a day trip to the nearby island of Nisuros, went to Kos Town and had a boat trip.
Zakynthos or Zante is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. Popular places to stay are Laganas , Tsilivi and Zakynthos Town. It takes 3 hrs 35 mins to get there from the UK. Again, in Septmber the weather was warm with an average of around 24°C.
Where I stayed: Shaun and I stayed in The Contessa Hotel in Argasi which was 4 Km from the town of Zakyhthos.
Things I did: We went on a boat trip to see the famous Zante Shipwreck, went turtle spotting, visited Zakynthos Town, had a beach day in Tsilivi and Gerakas.
You can read more about the trip here in my Zante Travel Diary.
I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe feel inspired to book a holiday to Greece this year! Which islands are your favourite? We are planning to visit another island in September for Shaun’s birthday so would love to hear your recommendations!
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