Greece is the perfect destination for tourists, no matter what their age is or what they want to do on holiday. With almost 6,000 islands there is something here for everybody – whether you want to hide yourself away from the crowds or dance until you drop – and then wake up and do it all over again! With its delirious night life, Greece is a real treat for young people seeking the freedom to ignore convention and party on to the frenetic beat of their favourite DJs! It’s easy to see why young visitors want to come back to Greece - again and again!
Encounter a fascinating world of mythical gods and curiously compelling antiquities, enjoy the breathtaking clarity of the Aegean Sea, bask in the Greek sun as its turquoise waters lap against white sandy beaches, stroll around picturesque spots by the sea or up in the mountains, admire the unique whitewashed island architecture, surf in crystal clear waters and go on some spectacular excursions during the day – but don’t forget to save some energy for the nightlife!
The four following destinations are the number one spots in Greece for those looking for somewhere hot (and we’re not talking about the weather!!).
Where: at the centre of the Cyclades island group
Why: Greece's most famous and cosmopolitan island, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades, is synonymous with entertainment and fun. Discover a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity! On Mykonos celebrities, college students and families mingle together to celebrate the Greek summer. Whether you are an entertainment junkie out for a real good time or a culture vulture who wants to explore the island’s history and tradition, Mykonos will certainly live up to your expectations!
Must visit: the capital town (Hóra) of the island, one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture; the church of Panayia Paraportiani; “Little Venice”, an 18th century district, dominated by grand captains’ mansions with colourful balconies and stylish windows; the quaint windmills standing imposingly on a hillside; the traditional settlement of Áno Merá, and of course the sun-drenched cosmopolitan beaches spreading all around the island!
Where to stay: Mykonos has excellent tourist facilities; choose from luxurious hotels, rooms to let in Hóra or traditional guesthouses by the sea!
Join in with: Festivals and local celebrations are organized throughout the summer accompanied by plenty of local wine and delicious local specialities!
Hot tip for young people: The island is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts! It is only natural that the “Island of the Winds” should attract surfers and sailors from all over the world! There is a great choice of beaches for windsurfing; however, the most secluded ones are considered to be the best. Choose from Kórfos, Fteliá, Meyáli Ámmos and Kalafátis, where surfing lessons are also available. Play tennis or mini golf at Ayios Stéfanos, beach volleyball at Ayia Ánna or try sea parachuting or jet skiing at Eliá or Kalafátis. Diving fans can do a little exciting exploration of the underwater magic of Mykonos.
Where: In the Aegean Sea, part of the Cyclades island group
Why: Páros is one of the most popular holiday destinations for young people; unrivalled natural beauty, excellent tourist facilities, beaches with crystal clear waters, unrivalled Byzantine footpaths connecting traditional villages, breathtaking landscapes and pulsating nightlife make the island an unbeatable destination that guarantees a holiday to remember!
Must visit: Parikía (Parikiá), the capital of Páros, a beautiful Cycladic village with whitewashed cubic houses and impressive neoclassical mansions; Náoussa, a colourful village, where the ruins of a Venetian fortress stand at the entrance to its small harbour; Léfkes is located at the highest point of Páros and enjoys stunning views of the island. The village is set up in the mountains and is surrounded by a rich green landscape; Márpissa, a 15th century traditional village with a distinctive medieval character and the marble quarries at Maráthi, where the famous Parian marble used to be extracted.
Where to stay: depending on how much you want to spend, you can opt for a guesthouse in Hóra or in one of the traditional hamlets around the island or choose from a wide selection of major hotel complexes.
Join in with: Religious festivals are the perfect occasion for many types of festivities! If you find yourself in such an event, don’t forget to taste the sweet smelling wines produced in the island’s vineyards: Monemvassiá and Mantilariá! Join in the celebrations on August 15th when cultural events are organised around the church of Panayia Ekatontapyliani.
Hot tips for young people:
• Discover the island on horseback! There are two horse riding centres, one by the sea, at Ambelás, and one at Ystérni. Ride around the coast, along sandy beaches or take a detour inland – a great way to see for yourself some of the most beautiful spots on the island!
• Sun-drenched beaches, like Chrissí Aktí, Santa Maria and Poúnda, welcome sun-loving visitors who want to enjoy not only the crystal clear waters of the sea but also their favourite water sports, especially windsurfing!
• The beach of Kalóyeros, surrounded by red and green clay rocks, offers a really effective natural spa for free! Cover your body with the clay and let it dry in the sun; after a while rinse yourself in the sea and your body will feel softer than ever!
Where: part of the Sporades island group
Why: Skiáthos is the most cosmopolitan island of the Northern Sporades. Despite the rapid growth in tourism here in recent decades, it is still picturesque and unspoilt. Over 60 beaches with crystal clear waters adorn the island, the most famous of which is Koukounariés, which has been declared as the third most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean. When you add in its bustling nightlife, it is only natural that the island attracts thousands of young visitors every year!
Must visit: the capital town of Skiathos with its stone paved streets and white houses; the picturesque harbour surrounded by four small islets; beautiful Boúrtzi, a small islet with lush vegetation where the ruins of a Venetian fortress stand; the house and now museum of the famous author Alexandros Papadiamantis and the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary with its four museums. Follow a breathtaking route to explore the beauties of the island starting from Asélinos, past Kounistra Monastery, Small Asélinos Beach and Alygariés Beach ending at Kehriá Beach.
Where to stay: A plethora of hotels and rooms to let are available; if you are looking for something more alternative however, try the campsite at Koukounariés.
Join in with: The many colourful cultural events, concerts and art exhibitions held throughout the summer add a special touch to holidays on the island!
Hot tip for young people: The pedestrianised street by the Old Harbour is the ultimate hotspot for entertainment! Buzzing bars and clubs keep youngsters rocking through the night and until the early morning! The party continues in the area of Ammoudiá (on the road to the airport) where entertainment addicts celebrate in big open air clubs!
Where: In the Aegean Sea, part of the Cyclades island group
Why: an alternative youth destination infused with a cosmopolitan flair that competes as an equal with well established destinations like Mykonos and Santorini. Walk through the picture-perfect Hóra, the epitome of elegance and sophistication, swim in the crystal clear water at internationally famous beaches like Mylopótamos and Maganári, and taste mouth watering local specialities!
Must visit: Hóra, nestling comfortably on a hill, with its white-washed cubic houses and roofed alleys; the twelve wind mills; Panayia Gremiótissa (Madonna of the Cliffs), at the highest point of Hòra, with an amazing view of the bay and neighbouring Sikinos; Paleókastro Byzantine castle, built at the top of a hill; “Odysseas Elytis” Open-Air Theatre, built in one of the poet’s favourite locations and the well-preserved 2800 BC Protocycladic Settlement of Skarkos.
Where to stay: there are plenty of charming hotels and rooms to let in Chóra, while family-run beachfront guesthouses and guesthouses in the island’s mountain villages will also offer you a pleasant environment to stay in while visiting the island! If you are looking for something more alternative, then choose to stay on one of the island’s official campsites. Note that the island lacks the luxurious amenities you may have come to expect on an island holiday, but what it lacks in luxury it makes up for in adventure!
Join in with: One of the most impressive celebrations is that of Panagia Gremiotissa, on August 15, when there is a procession of a famous icon depicting the Virgin Mary around Hóra followed by a feast with performances of traditional instruments and dances!
Hot tips for young people:
• Follow ancient paths (Ayia Theodóti-Hóra, Ayia Iríni-Valmá Beach, Hóra-Pýrgos-Psáthi, Hóra-Áyios Spyridonas-Perivolia-Áyios Prókopas-Pelekaniá) that are still used by the local shepherds to explore the interior of the island and to discover its hidden beauties!
• The mountains of Ios are ideal for climbing, mountaineering or biking, while from its peaks you can enjoy a panorama of the island and the never ending blue of the Aegean!
• On the beaches of Mylopótamos and Manganári there are special facilities for water sports, ranging from wind surfing, water skiing, scuba diving and sailing lessons to kite surfing and canoeing.
• The intoxicating night life of the island will certainly impress you! Every night cafés and bars along the narrow paved streets of Hóra and the beach bars all around the island are packed with crowds of young visitors enjoying colourful cocktails, dancing their hearts out all night long and spilling uproariously out into the streets and onto the sand!