When conjuring up images of the Greek islands, most picture sun-kissed days spent lying on the white sandy beaches and swimming in the refreshing sapphire sea with the quintessentially Greek white-stucco buildings in the background; then warm Mediterranean nights spent sipping on cocktails while watching the lights bounce off the water and the boats gently rocking in the harbour, or partying all night in a club until you can watch the sun reappear over the horizon… And they wouldn’t be far wrong.
With over 2,900 islands and islets, 1,400 beaches and endless stretches of coastline framed by the crystal clear ocean, to sail Greece seems to be the natural choice to explore all of this, and have a true holiday of holidays.
The islands that form the Cyclades are typically the first choice of charterers who sail Greece. These islands sit in the centre of the Aegean and get their name from the Greek word ‘kyklos’ meaning “circle” as the islands form a circle around Delos island, which hosted the ancient city that was the region’s centre of commerce. This collection of islands varies from the lively waterfront towns and nightlife of Mykonos and Ios, to the quaint charm of Páros and vistas of Santorini.
Santorini is one of the most sought out destinations, and every traveller owes it to themselves to visit at least once. With lagoons of the deepest blue, sands of brick red and dove white buildings, you can forgive yourself for feeling as though you have stepped into Mother Nature’s own canvas; and the piece de resistance? The exquisite splash of vivid colours across the sky that has made Santorini’s sunsets so famous.
But it is not all lazy days spent watching the world go by; many a traveller comes for the adventure offered by the shores of these islands, from winery tours, horseback riding to scooters and diving – the restless will not be justify bored.
To speak of Greek cuisine will get any mouth watering. There need not be anything overcomplicated here, as the local cuisine is as fresh and exquisite as anywhere. Tomatoes, taste like tomatoes, put olive oil on everything and you will still want more, the fluffiest hunks of feta adorn your Greek salad (which you will never want to get a Greek salad anywhere else ever again). To top it all off you will normally find the Greek ‘Mama’ in the kitchen and you will be made to feel part of the family in this incredible hospitality while she cooks you her own traditional family recipes – wander off the beaten tracks for the most authentic dining experience.
Through all of this you will understand why the Greek people have such “Kefi” (passion/spirit) for life; and while you may not be ready to dance on the beach like in the film Zorba the Greek, you will surely leave sail Greece with a warm glow of this spirit with you.