Granted, they offer up myth-steeped history and some of the best nightlife going, but it’s the beaches that really steal the show on a holiday to the South Aegean Islands.
Scattered across the Aegean Sea, these islands have been luring holidaymakers for decades. And it’s easy to see why. They hold all the cards – beaches, nightlife, sights and shopping.
Kos’ big attraction is its coastline – it’s got nearly 300 kilometres to its name. The south-coast sands are best for those with the holiday mantra ‘busy doing nothing’, while the beaches on the north coast are great for watersports fans. And when it comes to places to stay, you’ve got livelier choices like Kardemena and Kos Town, or more hushed hideaways like Psalidi.
A little further south is Rhodes. This one combines great beaches with a sunshine record of 300-plus days a year, so it’s hardly surprising it takes the trophy for most visited Greek Island. Another big selling point is the Medieval quarter of Rhodes Town, a UNESCO-protected site that’s definitely worth a day on your itinerary. As for where to base yourself, Kolymbia and Lindos are big favourites, thanks to their whitewashed houses and traditional tavernas. Meanwhile, clubbers should make tracks for Faliraki, where the strip of bars and clubs is almost as long as the sandy beach
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When it comes to holiday resorts, Kos goes from one extreme to the other. On the one hand it’s got bright and breezy towns like Kardamena, where the beach comes with a side-order of karaoke bars and nightclubs. On the other, there are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spots like Psalidi that are not much more than a handful of tavernas and a sliver of sand.
It’s not for nothing Rhodes is the most popular of all the Greek Islands. The biggest of the Dodecanese Islands, it comes with over 200 kilometres’ worth of coastline. As for where to start, Kolymbia – on the east coast – is spot on if you’re after a quiet break for your All Inclusive holiday to Rhodes. The place keeps a pretty low profile, with a handful of hotels, tavernas and bars along its sand-and-shingle beach.