Summer’s just around the corner, and the blue waters of the Aegean and the Ionian beckon. But how does one take their pick from the multitude of Greek Islands dotting the mainland? Here are our tops picks for each category. Choose to carry an ICICI forex card with you before you take off on this summer of a lifetime, for it can be easily reloaded from anywhere in the globe and you will never be in danger of running out of foreign exchange.
Crete: For archaeology:
Crete is to Greece, what Sicily is to Italy, its largest island! Crete is a beautiful island with its towering mountains, pristine beaches and topographically splendid Gorges. But what draws many to Crete is its deep rooted connection to mythology and archaeology. Just 5km outside of its capital Iraklion is Knossos, where the grand BC Minoan palace, where King Minos once kept the legendary Minotaur is housed. If you want to delve further into the Minoan era, you can visit the Malia Palace, Palace of Phaestos and the Iraklion’s archaeological museum.
Milos: For beaches
Milos is one of the lesser visited island in the ever popular Cyclades group and thanks to its horseshoe shape, affords the visitor some incredible views on the sea on either side. And whats more, it boasts of 75 beaches across its mere 20 km wide stretch! From the sandy Paleohóri on the south, a wide variety of coves that punctuate the northern beaches of f Adhámas and Plaka, and the rugged west coast lush with almost untouched beaches of Triadhes, Ammoudharaki and Kleftiko (accessible only by boat) make this island a dream for beach lovers.
Pátmos: For spirituality and calm
If you want to visit one of the most landmark moments in Christian religion, then the tiny island of Pátmos is where you head to. This is where St John received his visions which led to ‘Revelation’, the final book of the New Testament. Take an early morning hike to the cave where this event took place; the cave is now enclosed in an eleventh-century chapel. If you head further up the hill, you will reach an eleventh century monastery which offers the most awe inspiring views of the sea.
Lefkada : For Water Sports
Water sports await as Lefkada has one of Europe’s largest windsurfing centres. A swanky new marina also enables easy access to the island and many Yachts from the world over dock here. Stunning beaches coupled with dramatic mountain scenery make this little island a dream. You could dive right into the water sports on the island or just watch hundreds of colourful sails mark the skyline from the beach.
Lésvos : For Versatility
The third-largest island after Crete and Evvia, is versatile and surprisingly less-visited Lesvos. Whats in store for you? Beach-combing in the pebble and sand beach Vatera on the south, Bird watching in the salt marshes of the Gulf of Kalloni, Camping in a petrified forest, Rejuvenation at thermal spas in the east, Ouzo and Wine sipping at Varvayianni and Methymneos, Literature and culture dabbling as Lesvos is the birthplace of the poets Sappho, Aesop and Elytis, Monastry hopping on the north coast…take your pick!
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