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Written by Joe Boone

No matter if you’re setting sail on a luxury cruise or living it up in your own posh vacation villa, the islands of Greece deliver vacations thrills of epic proportions.

Rich in history, mythology, and all those colossal ancient architectural ruins, Greece is home to over 6,000 islands and islets scattered across the eastern Mediterranean. Though only about 225 of the islands are inhabited, each has its own unique character, personality, and charm, and for many, their own legends complete with magnificent cultural achievements to back them up. 

CRUISING GREECE’S LEGENDARY PORTS

As you sail along the coasts of the Greek islands and into their ports, you’ll discover white-washed houses with contrasting cobalt-blue doors and shutters dotting the high cliffs of many of the islands. It’s an impressive sight, especially around the island of Santorini, with its cliff-lined caldera that formed centuries ago in 1500 B.C., when the mouth of its proud volcano collapsed during a major eruption. It’s one of the most popular of the Greek isles and can be found in the itineraries of most cruise lines.

Mykonos and Rhodes are also two of the more of the popular ports in the Greek archipelago. Rhodes, with its impressive Grand Master’s Palace and the remarkable old walled fortification that surrounds the town, offers numerous walking tours and wonderful views of its many grand temples, as well as the ancient Acropolis of Rhodes. Mykonos has an adorable, windmill–topped fishing village that gained popularity as a tourist destination in the early 1960’s when shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis brought Jackie Kennedy here. It soon became an exclusive playground for the rich and famous and has been a popular haven ever since for the international crowd who enjoy its many beaches and the ruins on nearby Delos Island. According to Greek mythology, Delos was the birth place of Apollo and Artemis, the twin offspring of Zeus. It is one of the most extensive and important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in all of Greece.

May through October is the most popular time to cruise the Mediterranean, with July and August being the busiest and hottest. Temperatures often reach beyond 90°F, so prepare accordingly.  More comfortable weather prevails in the earlier and later months with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Most ships sail round-trip between Athens, Istanbul, Rome and/or Venice and cruises range from several nights to several weeks. Itineraries often include ports in Greece as well as adjacent coastal countries including Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, and Italy. A few itineraries offer more intense visits to the Greek islands, including lesser known but wonderfully obscure gems like Kos. The birth place of Hippocrates, Kos is a lush island with endless beaches and makes a relaxing stop amidst the vast sea of sometimes hectic ports of call.

VACATION VILLA GLAMOUR

The Greek islands offer all the ingredients of a great classical getaway: ancient ruins, idyllic coastal villages, fresh seafood, secluded beaches and coves, and the turquoise-blue waters. World-class shopping, water-sports, sightseeing, and incredible beaches are just some of the activities that seduce sophisticated travelers from all over the globe.

Greece is also a country of contrasts and fusions, steeped in rich history and culture, yet brimming with modern luxuries, world-class restaurants, and decadent nightlife. For those who prefer the finer things in life, one of the best ways to experience all of this is with a luxury villa rental. On a villa vacation you’ll feel the warmth of the Grecian sun, and most importantly, the warmth of the Greek people. 

Villa experiences in Greece can be tailored and personalized down to the last detail – from the start of your villa selection to the end of your stay. Knowledgeable Villa Specialists will match each guest with the ideal property for their getaway – from romantic retreats to family reunions, golf getaways, destination weddings, and beyond. And, with extensive knowledge of each villa portfolio, as well as firsthand knowledge of each Greek island and city, they can customize every stay down to the last detail. No requests are too big or too small.

So what’s it going to be? Santorini or Naxos? Mykonos or Paros? Luxe cruise or luxury villa? With so many questions to be answered take a tip from us and contact your Affluent Traveler Collection travel specialist at Lisell Travel. They can help find the perfect Greek islands getaway the meets all your needs and wants, leaving you more time to soak up the good life.

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