By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated Oct 18, 2016
The Greek Islands have, throughout the years, kept their charm, village feel and slower pace of life. On most of the islands, it’s easy to find a nice quiet spot to relax and soak up the history and atmosphere.
Cost - you can actually holiday or honeymoon in Greece on a budget! Greece is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to travel in. And despite the economic troubles, Greece remains very affordable by North American and European standards. As long as you avoid the high-season months of July and August, you'll do fine.
Best Time for a Greek Island Vacation or Honeymoon - the summer heat in Greece can be very intense. And so can the crowds! On the other hand, a lot of tourism in Greece shuts down in the winter – hotels and restaurants close, and there are few travelers. This makes the spring (April, May) and autumn (September, October) the best time to visit Greece and the Greek islands.
Santorini has to be the most romantic of Greek islands. It's one of those places in your travels you will never forget. There’s no other word for it – it is just stunningly beautiful.
We arrived by ferry (as many do), and opted to make the long climb up the steep hill...by donkey! That's right, mules are waiting for those wishing to add some adventure to their arrival in Santorini.
Once up at Fira, the main town, you'll be captivated by the narrow walkways which wind their way past the sugarcube-white homes and small shops clinging to the side of the volcanic cliffs.
A romantic evening here is as simple as picking from one of the many restaurants perched on the edge of the cauldron, and enjoying your meal and drink together while the sun sets on the Aegean sea, almost 1000 ft below. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie, or brochure!
Santorini Sights: The best places to see in Santorini include the black volcanic sand beaches - check out Perissa Beach and Kamari Beach. The ancient villages of Pyrgos and Akrotiri are filled with history, and don't miss a chance to swim in the Volcanic hot springs (accessible by boat).
Fine beaches, captivating history, memorable villages and towns – that’s Crete.
Chania (Hania) is where you will want to spend time in and base yourself. The Old Town is especially charming, and there are some accommodation and dining options with incredible character that will make your Greek Island vacation memorable.
Mykonos has a reputation as being the “party-central” of the Greek Islands. It’s not surprising why when you see the number of bars, restaurants and cruise ships here in high season. It can feel like you’re sharing this small island with ½ of Europe!
Basically, we would say stay away from Mykonos in July and August – the heat and the crowds are just not worth it. But a visit here in May or September can be rewarding – you can choose the restaurant you want, and enjoy wandering through Hora in a more relaxed way.
Many travelers who use the ferries to cruise around the Greek Islands end up in Paros for at least a few minutes, as the ferry port here is a major hub in the Greek Ferries system. But Paros is worth a stay of at least a couple days.
We love Paros for it's great beaches and it's relaxed pace. Maureen and I rented a scooter here too and rode our way over the hills and coastline to the picturesque village of Naoussa.
*ERV Rating: our unique, non-scientific ratings for romantic accommodation include: