The Greek Islands are one of the most beautiful holiday destinations to visit. While it is known for it’s beauty, what do you do there?
Nothing’s better than watching the sunset from Imerovigli in Santorini. Everyone always hears (…and therefore believes) that the sunset is best watched from the picturesque little town of Oia. However, this is not necessarily the case! In my opinion, the sun is even more gorgeous (with the most splendid views) from the less-crowded town of Imerovigli. Do you really want to be sandwiched between strangers when witnessing one of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world?! Yea, didn’t think so.
Go scuba diving!
The Greek islands have very colorful underwater worlds, with seahorses, eels, and of course other beauties of the sea. Also, on just about any dive, there’s a chance you’ll come across some artifacts! If you’ve never been diving before, discover scuba classes are available (from Santorini Dive Center) where you can get into the water in about thirty minutes or so. The instructors walk you through everything and guide you throughout the water, so if you’re the least bit nervous (like I was), I say, just go for it!
Rent an ATV
Rent an ATV and drive around the smaller islands (you actually need a car in Crete if you are leaving Chania). Besides being an absolute thrill, it’s actually quite easier to get around via ATV (or scooter) than car or public transportation. Plus, you’ll love the wind blowing in your hair and smell of the ocean nearby.
Eat as much local food as possible
Bonus points if you eat on the beach with the sand between your toes. During our time on the islands, we found that the local food was so much better than any food we had at trendy, touristy restaurants. Eat all the feta you like, and be sure to try the spinach pies on Elafonissi, in Crete (I was a fattie and had two – all while sitting in a bikini!)
Don’t leave Santorini without spending the day at Perivolos, the black sand beach, and another morning at the Red Sand Beach. Or our absolute favorite beach in Crete, Falassarna. Go early before the crowds start coming. Also- be prepared that there is a short 15-20 minute hike to get to the Red Sand beach, but the views alone from the top of the mountain are more than worth it. And make sure to wear sandals/flip-flops on the black sand because it gets super super hot!
Take a day trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay
Both are located off the coast of north-western Crete. I cannot say enough amazing things about this experience- Gramvousa is an uninhibited island which is only accessible by boat. On the island, you will see remains of a Venetian fort, which was occupied by pirates during the Greek War of Independence. Balos Bay is only accessible by a 10km dirt road or by boat, but it’s turquoise waters will blow you away.
Have a beer/cocktail
Overlooking the windmills in Little Venice on the island of Mykonos. It’s a nice way to relax after spending the day exploring Mykonos town, with its cobblestone streets and remarkable architecture. It’s one of the most romantic places in Mykonos, so bring your loved one!
Take a tour of the olive oil distillery
Visit the distillery in Chania, Crete, to see how EVOO is produced. There are lots of free samples too – so don’t come on an entirely full stomach!
Hike up the volcano (Nea Kameni) in Santorini and feel the steam. The hike isn’t too difficult- I was able to walk it very easily in a short time. Many tours also stop at the hot springs, and although they are not necessarily hot, the water is warm. You may end up smelling like sulphur for a good portion of the day, but it’s totally worth it.
And of course…
And finally, no Greek island experience would be complete without exploring Oia and its gorgeous blue-domed churches. The pure white buildings and colorful roofs will have you captivated all day. You can always stay for the legendary Oia sunset, but as I said earlier, I prefer Imerovigli.
Thinking about going to the Greek Islands?! GO NOW! And bring me back some spinach pie and feta!
Have you been to any of the Greek Islands? Do you have anything to add to the Best Things to do in the Greek Islands?