All Inclusive Greece holidays toss up enough destinations to fill a football team. So whether you’re after on-your-own island life or party central, there’s a boot that fits.
Three-pronged Halkidiki is mainland Greece’s answer to the neighbouring Greek islands. On the right hand of the fork, boat trips set off from Ouranoupolis past cloud-nudging Mount Athos. Sithonia, the central spire, is the place to be for laidback breaks with an authentic edge. Kassandra completes the trio with a flourish of modern resorts, scuba diving hotspots and snoozy villages.
There are a couple of contenders fighting it out for the leading role in the Aegean Islands. Medieval Rhodes delivers a quick one-two with its east coast sands and the ancient ruins of Lindos. Kos replies with beautiful beaches of its own, plus snippets of picture-perfect Greece that will leave your camera roll full to bursting. In the meantime, Samos happily drifts under the radar. Traditional towns are its bread and butter, and life seems to run in slow motion when you compare it to Greece’s headline grabbers.
Corfu and co
The Ionian Islands bob alongside the west coast of Greece, between the heel of Italy’s boot and the Peloponnese Peninsula. Corfu’s the leader of the pack, thanks to its foolproof recipe of historical sites and family-focused resorts. Kefalonia’s best-known for its sandy beaches, which always come with quaint candy-coloured villas for company. Zante, on the other hand, has a wild streak running through it, courtesy of party town Laganas. Chill-seekers can make the most of the island’s lesser-trodden coves and countryside.
Big island anchor
Crete brings up the rear for Greece – it’s in a southern spot that straddles the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Crete. Size-wise, it’s in the heavyweight category. Up-tempo towns like Malia and Hersonissos are the north coast’s flair players, while Aghios Nikolaos boasts beaches that are overflowing with Blue Flag rosettes. Head inland, and the Samaria Gorge and Psiloritis Natural Park deliver panoramas that will have you picking your jaw off the floor.
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Crete’s top lip is the island’s go-to spot for sun-seekers. Visitors flock to the north, thanks to the bumper crop of beaches strung out like bunting along the coastline. The Heraklion area’s got lively Hersonissos in its armoury, while the Chania area scores perfect 10s in the relaxation stakes. Samaria Gorge tops the natural attractions in the island’s rural centre. And if you flip the page to the southern coast, you’ll find traditional villages in place of hotel-heavy towns.
From up above, Halkidiki looks like a giant letter M. Each leg has its own personality, too. As you shift from left to right, you’ll see less and less of a human footprint. The Kassandra peninsula’s flush with modern hotels and beach resorts with all the bells and whistles, while neighbouring Sithonia and Mount Athos go make-up free.
The Ionian Islands trickle down Greece’s west coast in a chain. Starting in the north, you’ve got Corfu, Zante’s in the south, and Kefalonia’s sandwiched in the middle. Those are the big dogs, anyway. And they’ve got lots of green in their DNA, so the hiking’s just as good as the sunbathing.
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