Greek Island Bucket List
The Greek islands
are home to a rich variety of things to see and to do. However, some activities are simply more unmissable than others, offering up incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences that any lover of the islands has to achieve before they kick the bucket.
Swim in Gaiola of Thassos
Located in the northern region of the Aegean Sea, there is more than one reason to visit Thassos
. A beautiful island of rich heritage, with classical Mediterranean beaches and scenery, it makes for the perfect place to unwind. However, what makes Thassos truly unique is the startlingly green lagoon that sits on its shoreline. Essentially a giant rockpool, formed by natural waters which flowed into a deep crevice between two rocky slopes, Gaiola Lagoon is an incredible place to swim and spend the day. With picturesque views of the ocean, crystal clear warm waters and shelter from the currents and tides, it's impossible not to find yourself falling in love with this little known Greek treasure.
Traverse the Corinth Canal
Cutting a path between the Greek mainland and the Peloponnesian peninsula
, the Corinth Canal connects the gulf of Corinth
to the Mediterranean sea. Before reaching the canal, you'll be greeted by stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and islands, as well as possibility catching a glimpse of the resident population of common dolphin. The canal itself is an impressive man-made structure, measuring only 20 metres wide but over 4 miles in length. Viewable either from the bridges above or from a boat down below, this deep-cut, trench-like canal is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in all of Greece.
Marvel at the Santorini Sunset
One of the most famous islands in the country, this Greek icon is home to some of the most recognisable architecture and scenery in all of the Europe. However, what really steals the show in Santorini
is its sunsets. Coastal towns such as Oia have perfect views of one of nature's most incredible spectacles. As the sun sets over the mighty Mediterranean, you'll feel a sense of wonder and grandeur hard to match elsewhere on the continent. If you aren't staying on the island though, try to visit in low season, as in the summer months, it can get incredibly crowded, with visitors scrabbling to catch a sight of mother earth's beautiful light show.
Make Waves on Lefkada
, one the lesser known Ionian Islands, might not be popular with the traditional tourist crowd, but this makes it all the more appealing to those looking for something a bit different. While you will find all your typical Greek pleasures, such as tavernas, white sandy beaches and little Greek villages, the island is also home to some of the best windsurfing in all of Europe. On the northern shores of the island, the winds whip up large waves that draw in professionals from all over the world. However, while it is popular with the experts, there's nothing to stop novices renting a board, taking a lesson, and having a go at it too. If windsurfing isn’t your thing though, the beaches of Lefkada are perfect for any number of water sports, from paragliding and jet-skiing to wakeboarding.
Adventure through Samaria Gorge
is famous for many reasons. Its sun, sea and sand primarily, but also its rich history and archaeological sites. One thing the island isn't as well known for is hiking and natural exploration. Well, that is exactly what you'll find in Samaria Gorge
, one of, if not the most jaw-dropping sight Greece has to offer. This impressive, yet beautiful Gorge is a heaven for adventures, photographers and anyone who just enjoys fresh air. Deep valleys run through a maze of mountains, forming incredible walking and hiking trails compete with riverbeds, landscape views and a cornucopia of native Greek Cretan wildlife.
Sail from Island to Island
The one flaw that the Greek islands have in their otherwise perfect suit of armour is that transportation between them can be difficult. Ferries are few and far between and air travel even less so. Only the largest of the islands are easy to visit, and even then, it isn't as easy to visit multiple places as it is on the Greek mainland. However, aboard your own boat, that all changes. The waterways of Greece are open for all to use, and charges for harbouring in island ports are either small or nonexistent. This means that by taking to the water, you can experience everything you want to with ease. Sailing allows you to see any of the islands you like, soaking up the culture, the history and of course, the beaches. However, it also opens up some doors that aren't available to anyone else, such as exploring uninhabited Mediterranean paradises and laying anchor in the bay of a deserted beach. There are hundreds of stunning bays, beaches and other natural areas unreachable by land, but easily accessible by boat. Sailing lets you see and do it all then, it's an unparalleled freedom and a truly unmissable and unforgettable experience.
This article is brought to you by Cliff Blaylock, owner of the charter yachting holiday company, www.deepblueyachting.co.uk