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Welcome to the sun-kissed Aegean Islands! Home to breathtaking landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back lifestyle that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, these islands have something for everyone. So, why should you keep reading? Because we’re about to take you on a journey through the most stunning spots in the Aegean Islands, and trust us, you won’t want to miss a thing!

Introduction to the Aegean Islands

The Aegean Islands are a group of Greek islands located in the Aegean Sea, between the Greek mainland and Turkey. They are divided into five main island groups: the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, the Sporades, the Saronic Islands, and the Northeast Aegean Islands. Each group has its own unique character, landscape, and culture.

The Cyclades: A Cycladic Dream

The Cyclades are the most famous and popular of all the Aegean islands. They are known for their white-washed houses, blue-domed churches, and narrow alleys. The most famous islands of this group are Santorini, Mykonos, and Naxos. Santorini is famous for its stunning sunsets and picturesque villages, while Mykonos is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and vibrant nightlife. Naxos is the largest and greenest island of the group, with beautiful beaches and traditional villages.

The Dodecanese: A Blend of Greek and Turkish Culture

The Dodecanese islands are located close to the Turkish coast and have a unique blend of Greek and Turkish culture. Rhodes, the largest island of the group, is famous for its medieval old town, ancient ruins, and beautiful beaches. Kos is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant nightlife. Patmos is a small, picturesque island famous for its religious significance and serene atmosphere.

The Sporades: A Nature Lover's Paradise

The Sporades islands are located in the northwestern part of the Aegean Sea and are known for their unspoiled natural beauty. Skiathos, the most famous island of the group, has some of the best beaches in Greece, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery. Skopelos, another island of the group, is famous for its scenic landscapes and traditional architecture. Alonnisos, the least developed island of the group, is a perfect place for those seeking a peaceful and authentic Greek island experience.

The Saronic Islands: A Short Escape from Athens

The Saronic Islands are located close to Athens and are a popular weekend getaway for Athenians. Hydra, the most famous island of the group, is a car-free island with charming stone houses, narrow alleys, and picturesque harbor. Poros, another island of the group, is famous for its lush vegetation, crystal-clear waters, and traditional villages.

The Northeast Aegean Islands: A Hidden Gem

The Northeast Aegean Islands are a hidden gem of the Aegean archipelago. They are less touristy than the other groups and offer a more authentic Greek island experience. Lesvos, the largest island of the group, is famous for its olive groves, thermal springs, and traditional villages. Samos, another island of the group, is known for its stunning beaches, lush forests, and ancient ruins.

Aegean Islands - Luxury Hotels & Resorts

The Cyclades Islands are the most famous holiday destination in Greece. There are 39 islands, of which 24 are habitable. Among them are Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and Paros, among the most popular islands of Greece and foreign tourists.

The Dodecanese is located at the northeastern edge of the Aegean Sea and constitutes another popular tourist destination. The islands of Rhodes, Kos, Symi, and Karpathos are among the largest and most famous islands of the Dodecanese, which attract a large number of visitors in the summer.

Although many of the islands are relatively well known, all of them are ideal holiday destinations with a Greek character. Among them are Chios, Lesvos, Samos, islands with immense beaches, crystal clear waters and unique natural landscapes.

The Argosaronic islands are one of the busiest tourist destinations with easy access as they are very close to the port of Piraeus and the coast of the Peloponnese. Aegina is the largest island of Argosaronikos and the closest to the port of Piraeus, while Spetses, Poros, and Hydra are farther but the distance between them is small.

Guests who travel to central and northern Greece have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Sporades Islands. These include Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, and Skyros, which are destinations of unique natural beauty and tranquility.

Euboea(Evia) is the second largest island in Greece after Crete and is an ideal destination for holidays and trips all year round. With easy access, especially from the Chalkida bridge, which is only 1 hour away from Athens, Euboea is the ideal holiday destination but also excursions and pleasant weekends.

Floating in the Mediterranean, a stop in front of Africa, you arrive in beautiful Crete, the largest island of Greece. Crete itself is a small state where each region has something special to showcase. In Crete, the visitor can find the holiday that he dreams depends on the area he chooses.

How To Get To The Aegean Islands?

Getting to the Aegean Islands and General Travel Information

By Plane

The easiest and quickest way to reach the Aegean Islands is by plane. Several airlines operate flights to the major islands, including Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes. Athens International Airport is the main airport in Greece, and most flights to the Aegean Islands depart from there. The flight duration from Athens to the Aegean Islands is typically less than an hour.

By Ferry

If you’re looking for a more scenic and budget-friendly way to reach the Aegean Islands, consider taking a ferry. Several ferry companies operate daily services to the major islands, including Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete. The ferry journey from Athens to the Aegean Islands can take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on the island you’re visiting.

By Private Yacht

If you’re looking for a luxurious and unique way to reach the Aegean Islands, consider hiring a private yacht. Several yacht charter companies operate in Greece, and you can choose from a range of yachts depending on your budget and preferences. This option gives you the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace and in style.

By Car

If you’re planning to visit several islands in the Aegean, consider renting a car. Several car rental companies operate in Greece, and you can rent a car in Athens and take it on the ferry to the islands. This option gives you the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace and discover hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

By Bus

If you’re on a tight budget, consider taking a bus to the Aegean Islands. Several bus companies operate services from Athens to the islands, and this option is much cheaper than flying or taking the ferry. However, the journey can be long and tiring, and you may have to switch buses several times.

Getting to the Eastern Aegean Islands

The easiest way to reach the Eastern Aegean is by flying into Athens International Airport and then taking a domestic flight or ferry to your chosen island. Alternatively, you can fly directly to the islands from other major cities in Europe.

Flight Information

Greece is about 1800 miles from London to most places, so flying to Greece is the best way. Well served by charter and scheduled flights from the UK, USA, and Europe, mainland Greece offers distinct tourist regions to explore. There are direct flights to a variety of Greek destinations from all the major European airports. Flying time varies from two hours to almost four and a half hours. The cost of charter flights are fairly reasonable, but this depends on what time of the year you are flying. Easter and Christmas are classed as high season, so will be very expensive, January to May should be quite cheap, then June to early September will be more pricy as this is in the main tourist season.

Ferry Services

There are boat connections from Venice and Ancona to Igoumenitsa in northern Greece and Patras in the Peloponnese with a bus connection to Athens (Anek Lines, Minoan Lines). Further south in Italy, a number of ships are leaving for Greece in Bari and Brindisi. Among other things, the Greek islands of Corfu (from Bari by Superfast and Ventouris, from Brindisi by European Seaways and Grimaldi), Kefallonia and Zakynthos (each from Bari to Ventouris, from Brindisi with Red Star Ferries) are approached directly from Italy. From the Italian ports, only Venice can be reached directly from Germany by train (from Munich by day and ÖBB Nightjet). Otherwise you have to transfer to Milan (EC from Zurich and Basel) or Bologna (EC from Munich).

Travel to Greece by car

The Italian route has become the most popular itinerary. At the ferry ports of Venice, Ancona and Bari you can translate to the Greek mainland or to the island of Corfu. Connections from Ancona to Igoumenitsa and Patras are particularly popular – probably because they represent a good compromise between travel time and costs.

The biggest advantage of the Balkan route to Greece is that it saves on ferry costs. Ferry fees vary greatly depending on the comfort of accommodation and the travel season. They start on the route Ancona – Igoumenitsa at a good 200 euros for two adults with cars. In peak season, in a luxury cabin come together for over 1000 euros together. The motorway tolls are a bit higher on the Austria-Balkan route than in Italy, which is hardly significant given the ferry costs.

The Greek highways connect the northern parts of the country with Athens and the peninsula of Peloponnese.

Maximum speed: Within towns the speed limit is 50 km / h. Out of town, there is usually a maximum speed of 90 km / h, on highways of 110 km / h. On Greek highways you may be traveling at 130 kilometers per hour.

Special traffic rules: In Greece, the 0.5-alcohol limit applies. For novice drivers who have a driver’s license for less than two years, only 0.2 per mile is allowed. So even a single alcoholic drink can be too much.

Visit Greece By Bicycle

Since bicycle transport is neither possible in Serbia nor in Italian long-distance trains and only individual international long-distance trains to Italy take bicycles, offer as departure ports in Greece, the northern Italian Adriatic ports of Venice and Ancona. The departure port of Ancona will be reached by Eurocity Munich-Bologna and change to regional trains. Venice can be reached with one to two daily Eurocitys by bicycle directly from Munich.

In the Greek trains, bicycles are transported as registered luggage, in the luggage van, in accordance with the existing Regulation of TRAINOSE(GR), applicable to registered luggage. Up to 3 (long distance) or 5 (local trains) bicycles are accepted as registered luggage on each train,  provided that there is capacity in the luggage vans.

Tips for traveling to the Aegean Islands

Best Time to Visit the Aegean Islands

The best time to visit the Aegean Islands is between May and September. The weather during this time is warm and sunny, and the water is perfect for swimming. The peak season is between July and August, so if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, consider visiting in May, June, or September.

Local Customs

It’s important to be aware of the local customs when traveling to the Aegean Islands. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • Dress modestly when visiting churches and monasteries
  • Don’t drink tap water, stick to bottled water
  • Respect the local culture and traditions

Aegean Island Hopping

One of the best things about traveling to the Aegean Islands is the ability to island hop. There are several ferry companies that operate between the islands, making it easy to explore multiple islands during your trip.

Pack Light

The Aegean Islands are a perfect destination for a beach vacation, so pack light and bring only the essentials. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and a beach towel. You can also pack some comfortable shoes for exploring the islands.

Book Your Accommodation in Advance

Accommodation can be a bit scarce during peak season, so it’s essential to book your accommodation in advance. You can book a hotel or an Airbnb, depending on your budget and preference. Some of the popular places to stay in the Aegean Islands include Fira in Santorini, Chora in Mykonos, and Old Town in Rhodes.

Safety Tips

While the Aegean Islands are generally safe for tourists, there are some safety concerns you should be aware of. These include pickpocketing, petty theft, and scams targeting tourists. In addition, the islands can get crowded during the peak tourist season, which increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Finally, the waters around the islands can be treacherous, with strong currents and waves.

Learn Some Greek Phrases

Greek is the official language of the Aegean Islands, so it’s always helpful to learn some basic Greek phrases. Locals appreciate it when visitors make an effort to speak their language. Some of the basic phrases you can learn include “Yassou” for hello, “Efcharisto” for thank you, and “Parakalo” for please.

Rent a Car or a Scooter

Renting a car or a scooter is a great way to explore the Aegean Islands. You can rent a car or a scooter at the airport or at your hotel. Just make sure you have an international driver’s license and that you’re comfortable driving on the right side of the road.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

It’s a matter of personal preference, but some of the most popular and beautiful Aegean islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Naxos, and Paros.

There are more than 2000 Aegean islands, but only 227 of them are inhabited.

The best time to visit the Aegean islands is from mid-May to mid-September when the weather is warm and sunny, and the sea is calm.

The food on the Aegean islands is influenced by Greek cuisine, which includes fresh seafood, grilled meat, vegetables, olive oil, and herbs. Local specialties vary by island, but some popular dishes include moussaka, souvlaki, Greek salad, and dolmades.

Many of the Aegean islands are suitable for families, but some of the most family-friendly islands include Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Skiathos…

The Aegean islands offer a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, sailing, windsurfing, hiking, cycling, and exploring historic sites and museums.

You can reach the Aegean islands by ferry or plane. There are several ferry companies that operate routes between the islands and mainland Greece, and many islands have airports with direct flights from Athens or other European cities.

The nightlife on the Aegean islands varies by island, but some of the liveliest and most popular islands for nightlife include Mykonos, Ios, Santorini, and Rhodes.

The Aegean islands are home to many beautiful beaches, but some of the best include Navagio Beach on Zakynthos, Elafonisi Beach on Crete, Red Beach on Santorini, and Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia.

There are many traditional festivals and events that take place on the Aegean islands throughout the year, including the Carnival of Patra on Patmos, the Festival of the Holy Spirit on Tinos, and the Festival of Ai-Yiannis on Mykonos.


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