Google Need Another Holiday: 5 Things That Got Me Addicted to the Greek Islands

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

5 Things That Got Me Addicted to the Greek Islands

It’s no secret that I’m completely and utterly enamoured with the Greek Islands. I blame the Greeks, above everyone else, for my holiday obsession. And there are so many islands, you see, each with slightly different charms, so I have to keep going back again, every time a different place calls my name.

I am addicted to Greece.

Here’s what got me hooked:

Enchanting Elafonisi in Crete

  1. Beautiful BeachesThis one goes without saying, but I have to start here. There is no shortage of gently shelving, soft sand, sloping serenely into the sea on the Greek Islands. On a trip to Elafonisi in southwest Crete, I discovered that Europe can rival any tropical destination for coral pink sand and crystal clear waters. If you go to Greece just for the beaches, you won’t be disappointed. But there is so much more to enjoy.

  1. Home Cooked Greek Cuisine
    I will eat whatever you put in front of me if it’s Greek. Fact.Moussaka is an obvious choice, but my absolute favourite is Lamb Kleftico. I love the slight variations you get with this dish, depending on which island you’re on and whose wise old mother the recipe came from. I’ve had it on the bone, off the bone, wrapped in paper and served as a one pot wonder. I’ve even had it put down in front of me wrapped in foil and actually on fire. Flames and all. I’ve never not liked it.
    And given that I cannot help but clear my plate everywhere I go in Greece, there’s simply nothing quite like a wee drop of Metaxa, Raki or Ouzo to help your dinner go down and warm (or burn, in the case of Raki) your insides.

  1. Fascinating History
    I was nine or ten the first time I learned anything about Ancient Greece. I remember being enthralled by these extraordinary stories as they were absorbed by my consciousness. Visiting Greece later in life, I saw that you can’t go anywhere without being immersed in some of this wonderful history and mythology. From the ancient Palace of Knossos in Crete, to the Asklepion in Kos; the birthplace of Hippocrates and modern medicine. And not forgetting the volcanic island of Santorini, rumoured to be the origins of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis. 
    All this without me even mentioning Athens and the Acropolis. 
    Enough said.

Walking through the past in Knossos
  1. Family Values
    I’ve watched three generations of a Greek family dancing together; I’ve seen children following their mother with toy brooms as she cleaned the rooms in the little apartments run by their family; I’ve been told by a Greek tour guide in Crete how elderly parents and grandparents live with the younger generations of their families so they can be cared for, just as they cared for their own youngsters, before they grew up. All in all, the Greeks have taught me a lot about the importance of family and looking after each other.

  1. The People in General
    The last time we visited Crete, the owner of our accommodation gave us a bottle of wine from his village because we were still (relative) newlyweds. Unfortunately, it tasted kind of like I imagine petrol does (I really wanted to like it), but it was still a lovely gesture. When we left, we got hugs and kisses as though we were old friends. This year was much the same, as Costas told us how it makes him sad to see people go once he’s got to know them a little. The Greek Islands are bursting with wonderful people, just waiting to welcome you.

    What do you love about Greece? And which island should I visit next?


  1. I've always loved the history of Greece as well. As a kid I was fascinated by the Greek gods and took a shine to Athena.
    I'd love to go sailing around the Greek islands though. The water is that hypnotic blue and the food is right up my alley!

    Great post!

    The Wanderfull Traveler

    1. I think a sailing and island hopping trip (complete with tons of Greek food) would be a great way to spend an entire summer. I'd love to explore more of the smaller islands.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. My first experience of the Greek islands was this summer. Loved them as you do! My tip on your next one to visit is Kefalonia. Here is why and my tips and pics:

    1. Thanks for your comment and tip to visit Kefalonia. It's somewhere I've had my eye on for a while!

  3. I haven't been to Greece next, but it's on my list. We are trying to choose between 5 international destinations next year and are taking a poll because it's too hard to decide! So many destinations, not enough vacation time!

    1. Thanks for commenting! If Greece is on your list, make it happen if you can. As you've already noticed - I think the Greek Islands are fabulous!

  4. I think we need to do a sailing trip off of Greece together! My sister and I went in September of 2011 and had an unbelievable time. We are desperately trying to plan another trip but need two more people to go with us. Want to be one? Maybe one is all we need! I looked back and realized that I sure didn't do much with all of the material from that trip but here's a little I did and some of the sailing pictures might be enough to at least tempt you! And thanks for giving me an idea for a new post!

    1. One day, I'd love to spend a whole summer sailing around the Greek Islands! But for the moment, a 2 week trip is the most I can manage. I said I'd give Greece a miss this year (we go often since it's so easy to get to from the UK), especially since I decided 2013 should be a year for new countries. But I can always at least justify it as a "new" place if I just go to a new island!

      Off to check out your post now and start dreaming of sunshine and souvlaki...