As the birthplace of Western civilisation, thoughts of Greece will always warm the cockles of the hearts of history lovers. However if the country’s glorious past isn’t for you, with one of the longest coastlines on the planet and perpetually sunny islands, cheap Greece holidays can offer you plenty of leisure over legend.
The Greek islands are incredible sun spots with rich heritage, all boasting a unique culture and miles upon miles of beaches. Kos, Zante, Rhodes and Crete also contain some of Europe’s hottest party resorts, so whether you’re ‘party on’ or Parthenon, Greece holidays have something for everyone.
Towering above the city of Athens, the peerless Acropolis of Athens is one of the most important and iconic monuments on Earth. Containing a cluster of ancient ruins, a visit to the Acropolis is an absolute must if you find yourself in Greece’s capital city. The most notable building on the monolith is The Parthenon. Completed in 432 BC and dedicated to the goddess Athena, the image of The Parthenon’s majestic white columns and inexplicably perfect proportions is synonymous with Greece and is considered one of, if not the planet’s most culturally significant structures.
Setting sail from Kos Town, the Katerina Three Island Cruise is a top Kos attraction appeal to every tourist on cheap Greece holidays. You’re welcomed by Captain George and his crew with a shot of local Ouzo, before setting sail across the Aegean to the secluded bay of Pserimos, where – after having a splash in the crystal clear water – you’ll be served a lunch of barbequed pork, salad and homemade bread. From there you’ll move onto Kalymnos, an island famed for its sponges, and Platti where you’ll get another chance to have a dip in the warm sea water. The journey back to Kos Town has a few surprises that you’ll have to find out for yourself on this unmissable voyage
Greece holidays aren’t all geared towards history buffs, sun-seekers and ravers, they’re also for family holidays in Greece, and if you’re a parent then you can’t go too wrong visiting Aquaworld Aquarium in Hersonissos, Crete. The Aquarium – one of only three in Greece – specialises in local sea life and reptiles and gives visitors a real ‘hands-on’ experience. The staff are friendly, well-informed and willing to give you time, as are the snakes, lizards and tortoises, who’re ready to pose for all your photographs.
Officially named Thira, Santorini is an island group that’s a relic of what was probably one of a large volcanic eruption. With its towns set atop the islands cliffs, Santorini offers the visitor beautiful sunsets; the most popular of which occurs at Oia, a town that claims to be the oldest continually used fishing dock in the world. From the ocean, the views of the island itself are truly breathtaking; with white-washed buildings standing precariously above the sea on jagged rocks. Your trip wouldn’t be complete without sunshine and in Santorini you get it in abundance. In fact, the island is one of only two European locations categorised as having a hot desert climate.
Home of the Gods, the natural beauty of Greece certainly doesn’t pale in comparison. Made up of 1,200 habitable islands, the Greek way of life can differ in each harbour, but what remains constant throughout is the country’s dedication to great food, stunning beaches and lush scenery.
No visit to Greece would be complete without sampling some of the country’s best-loved dishes. From Greek salads made using the freshly picked olives and tomatoes, to honeyed soft cheeses, and marinated souvlaki eaten straight from the grill, the possibilities are endless. Wherever you choose to holiday in Greece, many tavernas use recipes passed down through the generations, so you’ll be tasting a piece of local history.
With miles upon miles of stunning beaches, Greece is a sun-lover’s paradise. Whether you want to sit back and relax, or try your hand at some water sports, there’s plenty to explore. Crete alone boasts 650 miles of pristine coastline, while Rhodes is renowned for its record-breaking levels of sunshine, so when it comes to finding the perfect sun spot, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
A haven for history buffs, Greece is home to some of the world’s most iconic architectural sites. In Olympia, visit the spot where the very first Olympic Games was held back in the 8th century BC, making sure you leave time to explore the tree-shrouded ruins of the gymnasium, the leonidaion and the Sacred Precinct of Zeus. Crete’s Palace of Knossos is another must-see. Situated 5km south of modern day Heraklion, this evocative site was once the centre of Minoan civilisation, encompassing an enormous palace and vibrant frescoes.
Away from the mainland, the Greek islands offer visitors a truly authentic experience. Renowned for its white washed, dome-topped buildings and sparkling turquoise waters, Santorini is perfect for a romantic getaway. On the island of Milos, take advantage of the laid back atmosphere and secluded beaches, not forgetting the many charming villages – each one more picturesque than the last. For a dash of glitz and glamour, and a slightly faster pace of life, Mykonos is a must. Although famed for its buzzing nightlife, this magnificent island is
Holidays to Corfu offer visitors the very best of the Mediterranean. With year-round sunshine, dramatic coastal views and a fascinating history to discover, you’ll want to keep coming back again and again.
Travel back through time
Whether it’s your first visit to Corfu, or one of many, Greece’s very own Emerald Isle has a world of history and heritage to uncover. With its picturesque hilltop location, Achilleion Palace features an impressive geometric staircase, terraced gardens and stunning views over Corfu Town. Another of the town’s historic sites is Palaio Frourio, a Venetian-built fortress that dates back to the 14th century.
Indulge in Ionian Cuisine
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Greece, Corfu certainly won’t disappoint. Traditional Corfiot cuisine is a delicious combination of Italian and Greek influences, which makes use of the island’s bountiful fresh produce. Enjoy locally grown olives in fresh, fragrant salads, and delicate fish stews flavoured with herbs and tomatoes. Those feeling adventurous should try kumquat liqueur, a popular aperitif or accompaniment to salads, fruit-based deserts and cocktails.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Corfu’s rugged island landscape makes it the perfect place to get out and about. Even if you’re not the outdoor type, the ancient architecture and quaint cobbled streets of Corfu Town are ideal for an afternoon of exploring. For truly breath-taking scenery, take a walk up to the hilltop Monastery of Paleokastritsa on the north-western side of the island, where you’ll find sweeping coastal views and religious artwork dating as far back as 1228.
Bask on Beautiful Beaches
The ultimate beach holiday destination, Corfu is packed with sunbathing spots. From long stretches of fine golden sand, to secluded pebbly coves, here, you’ll find every type of beach you could wish for. On the northernmost tip of the island, Agios Spiridon offers shallow waters and soft white sand, perfect if you’re planning a family holiday to Corfu. Situated west of Corfu Town, Glyfada Beach boasts gorgeous natural scenery and great facilities, and because it’s popular with Greek families, you’ll get a real insight into local life.
With majestic medieval ruins, crystal clear seas and lively nightlife, Kos is one of the most picturesque of the Dodecanese Islands. Whether you’re planning a romantic break for two, or an action-packed family holiday, this is pure island bliss.
Why should I visit Kos?
Relax on Paradise Sands
Holidays to Kos offer the perfect blend of fine sandy beaches and pristine waters – perfect for relaxing with a good book and a cocktail. Close to Kos town, the suitably named Town Beach (also known as Zouroudi Beach) boasts excellent facilities including restaurants, bars and water sports activities. For windsurfing, the weather conditions at Marmari Limnaria Beach are ideal but for a laid back feel, Kamari is much more secluded, surrounded by huge green cliff sides.
Indulge Your Senses
When it comes to dining, Kos is the very definition of culinary diversity, so you’ll be spoilt for choice at mealtimes. From charming, family-run tavernas and mouth-watering street food, to romantic beachside dining, the possibilities are endless. Because of its proximity to Turkey, the food in Kos combines Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences, and wherever you go, sharing platters are definitely the order of the day. Popular local dishes include labropites (traditional Koan pies filled with unsalted cheese), stuffed tomatoes with octopus, and loukoumades, doughnuts served cold with cinnamon, Greek yoghurt and honey.
Discover Ancient Sites
Kos is filled with fascinating ancient treasures, so when you visit, the only trouble you’ll have is deciding which to explore first. One of the island’s most important archaeological sites, Asklepieion sits on a hilltop about 3km south of Kos Town, offering stunning views towards the Turkish coast. Founded in the 3rdcentury BC, the ruins were once a religious sanctuary devoted to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, where thousands of people once flocked for treatment. In the centre of Kos Town, Ancient Agora includes the ruins of a Shrine of Aphrodite, and a Christian basilica dating back to the 5th century.
Holidays to Halkidiki offer the very best of the Greek islands, but with less of the crowds. Combining sun-drenched sands with ancient traditions and a characteristic laid-back atmosphere, this three-fingered peninsula is one of Greece’s most enticing holiday spots.
Why should I visit Halkidiki?
Dip Your Toes in the Aegean
When you book a holiday to Halkidiki, one of the best things to do is to head to the beach. Those travelling with children should take advantage of the calm waves and soft sands of Nea Skioni Beach on the western shore of Halkidiki’s Kassandra Peninsula. For pristine shores and translucent waters, Xenia Beach comes highly recommended, and has even been heralded ‘the Maldives of Greece.’
Go Back to Nature
Sithonia, Halkidiki’s second peninsula, is perfect for any hiking enthusiasts out there. Because it gets a little more rainfall, Halkidiki boasts more greenery than the other Greek islands, and this makes it the perfect place to get out and explore the wonders of nature. If you follow one of the many walking trails up into the hills of Sithonia, you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking vistas, as well as the chance to sample some local delicacies at one of the village tavernas along the way. For shorter distances, Athos peninsula’s Aristotle Park is ideal for a leisurely stroll, if only for the stunning view towards the Gulf of Ierissos.
Live Like a Local
In addition to its spectacular scenery, Halkidiki offers a unique and inspiring insight into traditional village life. No matter how many times you visit the island, you’ll never run out of places to explore, or people to meet. Situated 35 kilometres south of Poligiros in Sithonia peninsula, the fishing village of Niktiki boasts beautiful beaches, rustic seafood taverns and cobbled streets galore. For spectacular views, authentic architecture and lovingly-preserved traditions, the mountainside village of Parthenonas is a must. There’s a fascinating folklore museum and a distillery, where wine and tsipouro (a locally produced liqueur) are made.
With pristine beaches, historic towns and breath-taking landscapes, holidays to Crete offer the very best of the Mediterranean. Whatever your travel dreams are made of, this is the definition of Greek island bliss.
Why should I visit Crete?
Sample Cretan Delights
In Crete, food is more than just a necessity, it’s a way of life. Wherever you stay on the island, you’ll be spoilt for choice whenever mealtimes come around, so be sure to pack your appetite. Rustic, rich and flavourful, traditional Cretan cuisine combines delicate herbs and dressings with free range meats and freshly caught seafood. As with the majority of Mediterranean cooking, the exact ingredients used will vary depending on the season, but whatever time of year you visit, be sure to sample the local olive oil – it’s some of the best in the world.
Experience Traditional Culture
Away from the main tourist track, pay a visit to one of the island’s many hidden villages for a real insight into Cretan culture. Spend an afternoon watching the locals at work making traditional handicrafts, stopping off at a kafeneia (coffee house) for refreshments. If you’re lucky, you might catch a group of musicians taking part in a jam session. Stringed wooden instruments such as the lyre are often used to accompany traditional folk dances, as well as pan pipes and aulos, a type of flute.
Discover Ancient Sites
Greece is full of ancient architecture and Crete is no different. There’s the evocative Palace of Knossos which was first discovered in 1878 and excavated again in 1900 by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Situated in a 1930s Bauhaus building, Heraklion Archaeological Museum is another highlight, and is one of the largest historical museums in Greece. Spanning across two storeys, the collection includes over 5,000 artefacts, dating as far back as the Neolithic period.
Visit the Old Quarter
Rethymno, Crete’s Venetian-Ottoman quarter, is one of Crete’s most enchanting areas. If you’re in the mood for culture, there’s a Paleontological Museum, an Archaeological Museum, and a Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as a Historical and Folk Art Museum, housed inside a beautiful 17thcentury Venetian mansion. When you’ve got your culture fix, head to the harbour for a relaxing evening stroll, before enjoying a drink at one of the waterside tavernas.
Holidays to Rhodes are simply sublime. Offering visitors picture-perfect beaches, awe-inspiring landscapes, traditional culture and sumptuous cuisine, this is Greek island bliss.
Why should I visit Rhodes?
Get a Feel for Tradition
One of the largest of the Greek islands, Rhodes is a network of charming traditional villages filled with whitewashed houses, terracotta rooftops and historic churches. In the south, the village of Apolakkia sits between two hills, surrounded by lush olive groves, rolling hills and turquoise waters. Whether you’re on a romantic break for two, or a family holiday, villages like this are perfect for an afternoon of exploring.
Indulge your Culture Vulture
From the Knight’s Quarter in Rhodes Town, and the Acropolis of Lindos, to the Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes is bursting fascinating archaeological sites. Hora, the island’s commercial and residential district (sometimes known as the Turkish Quarter), is a patchwork of colourful, dome-topped churches and mosques, and is also home to the Muslim Library, where you’ll find centuries old Persian and Arabic manuscripts.
Top up your Tan
Rhodes boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, if not the world, so if sunbathing is on your holiday agenda, you’ve come to the right place. At Pefkos, you’ll find a surprisingly quiet Blue Flag beach with stunning golden sand and clam aquamarine waters, while the more popular resorts of Lindos and Faliraki are renowned for their party atmosphere and buzzing nightlife. If you really want to get away from it all, Kalithea has an array of secluded coves and inlets – ideal for settling down with a sun hat and a good book.