A holiday in Greece conjures up images of idyllic islands, long sandy beaches, sun-bleached ruins and turquoise blue sea. But with miles and miles of mainland coastline and over 1,000 islands (no one is really sure how many there are – even those numbers vary), of which 227 are inhabited, how do you find the ideal holiday destination?
First, the islands. The Argo-Saronic archipelago, including most people’s favourite, tiny Hydra, with its chic boutique hotels occupying restored neo-classical mansions, and Aegina, with its pistachio orchards, lies the closest to Athens. TheCyclades, of which the most popular are Santorini and Mykonos, tend to be rocky and arid, and are known for their iconic whitewashed cubic buildings. Santorini and Mykonos are Greece’s most commercial and expensive islands, and also home to the highest concentration of five-star hotels, attracting international travellers in search of glitz and luxury, while smaller islands such as Antiparosand Koufonissi are more off-beat and restful.