The Greek islands are traditionally grouped into the following clusters:
The Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic Gulf near Athens; the most popular of this group are Salamis, Poros and Aegina.
The Cyclades, a large but dense collection of islands occupying the central part of the Aegean Sea. These are the most popular islands and ferry connections to Athens are frequent. The best known in this group of islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and Ios. Certain Cycladic islands have ferry connections to Crete and onwards from Crete to Rhodes.
The Dodecanese, is a collection of islands in the south, between Crete and Turkey. You can visit Rhodes by ferry from Athens and there are connections between Rhodes and Kos.
The Ionian Islands, including Corfu and Kefalonia, are located to the west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. There are no ferry connections from Athens to these islands and the closest port is Patra which is approximately 177km from Athens. We recommend you fly to these islands.
The Sporades Islands, which include Skiathos and Skopelos, are also not accessible by ferry from Athens. The closest port to these islands is Ayios Constandinos which is 180km from Athens by bus from where you can then take a ferry across to Skiathos. Once again we recommend you fly.
Top Destinations/ AttractionsAthens
|Capital of Greece: ||Athens. |
|Language: ||Greek. English is widely spoken. |
|Currency: ||Euro (€). |
|When to go: ||Spring through to Autumn (May to October) is the best time to visit Greece. |
|Time: ||GMT +2 (GMT +3 April to October) |
|Visas: ||South African passport holders do require Schengen visas. |
|What things cost: ||These are approximate prices and may vary according to hotels and seasons. |
|Bottle of water-0.5L: ||0.50 - 1.00 euro |
|Metro or bus ticket: ||1.40 euro |
|Filter Coffee/tea: ||4.00 - 6.00 euro |
|Glass of wine: ||4.00 - 8.00 euro |
|Souvlaki: ||2.00 euro |
|Soft drinks: ||2.00 - 3.00 euro |
|Stamps: ||0.80 euro |
The origins of Athens go back nearly 5000 years and at every turn you are reminded of its glorious and historic past. Home to the Parthenon on the Acropolis which affords you panoramic views of the entire city, and the cobbled streets of the nearby Plaka district in the old city which give you a taste of Greek life centuries ago. Start your holiday with a day or two soaking up the culture of Athens by day and enjoying legendary Greek cuisine and hospitality by night. This is your perfect gateway to the magnificent Greek Islands. Mykonos
Take a stroll through the maze of narrow streets and marvel at the many tiny chapels and whitewashed houses with their flower-filled balconies. This little island is a jet set hotspot, with stunning beaches, a selection of superb shops and restaurants and a buzzing nightlife that only stops when another spectacular sunrise dawns. Santorini
The island of Santorini is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands.
This striking volcanic island boasts sparkling white houses that cling to the cliffside and pebble beaches tickled by an aquamarine sea. The town of Thira with its narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques offers magnificent views of the sea below and is connected to the port by means of cable car or donkey ride up the steep cliff. Corfu
Corfu, on the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea, is well known for its magnificent beaches, abundant vegetation and vast olive groves. The island offers 220km of footpaths that will take you into the mountains with untouched villages and breath-taking views. Rent a car and take a scenic drive to the legendary village Skopelos
Skopelos is an idyllic island that hosted the production of the movie ‘Mamma Mia’. Romantic scenery, beautiful beaches, caves, blue water, pine-trees, picturesque little houses, many ancient churches and lovely neighbourhoods create a picture of unrivalled beauty. Crete
Crete is a land of wine and olives, majestic mountains and endless beaches, sleepy days and festive nights. Crete is blessed with an exquisite 1000km long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas. The island is of great historic importance as it was the home of the Minoan civilization and boasts the amazing archaeological site at Knossos. Rhodes
The famous island of Rhodes has plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you’re exploring the harbour and old town, heading to spectacular Lindos with its mini Acropolis, or sunning yourself on the many golden beaches, you’re in for a treat. Rhodes is a duty free port, meaning excellent shopping, and the many restaurants, bars and pulsating nightlife ensure that you stay spoilt for choice.
For more info on Greece, you can visit the Greek Tourism Website here