Touring the Aegean
Athens, the modern-day and ancient capital of Greece, is the entry point to the Aegean Sea. With connections across the Saronic and Cyclades islands, it’s the ideal place to start your journey.
First on our list is the small island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf. One of the closest islands to Athens, it makes for the perfect day trip or one-night stop off. Visitors to this pretty island are greeted by picturesque harbour fronts and a unique history. Under many different leaders, from the Ottomans to Roman and Byzantine rule, the island has a variety of ancient sites to explore; make sure to visit the Temple of Aphaia, dating back to circa 500 BC.
Next on the list, take the ferry back to Poros and hop on one out to Hydra. With no new builds on the island and a near-complete lack of cars, it is no surprise that visitors fall in love with this quaint island. It’s peaceful here and you can indulge in long walks or horseback rides. To end your day, head to Kodylenia, waterside taverna and the island’s most popular eatery, to watch the sun set over the Saronic Gulf.
Slightly further afield, conjuring up images of hillside towns and whitewashed houses, The Cyclades are perhaps the most iconic Greek islands. First on the list is the ever-popular Mykonos, known both for its beaches and its nightlife. Perhaps the most effortlessly cool of all the islands, Mykonos’ love of boho-chic beach bars and al fresco dining rivals that of Ibiza, making it a hot Summer destination. Don’t miss Scorpios, where soaking up the sun, dining on locally-sourced, organic produce and dancing into the night are all on the agenda. Retire to award-winning boutique hotel Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge – or younger sister hotel Coast Suites – for charming, white-washed buildings, painted shutters and a moment of tranquillity.
Only a short ferry from Mykonos lies the small and fascinating island of Delos. Hailed in Greek mythology as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a mesmerising day trip. Explore the ruins of a Hellenistic town and visit key landmarks such as The Terrace of the Lions before returning to Mykonos for the evening.
No journey through the Aegean would be complete without one final stop, at arguably one of the most popular islands in Greece: Santorini. There are a couple of towns to choose from on the island, from the archetypal Santorinian town of Oia, with whitewashed houses and blue domes roofs, to picturesque Imerovigli with its show-stopping sunset views. One of our favourite places to stay is the 5* luxury Perivolas Hotel, which offers idyllic cliffside suites in Oia. The hotel’s spectacular infinity pool is a prime location to experience the iconic Santorini sunsets away from the crowds.
Whether dancing the night away on a beach, exploring ancient sites or dining with the sunset, it is no surprise that the islands of the Aegean are, year after year, one of the Summer’s most popular destinations.
June 29th 2017