Exploring the Greek Islands

With over 6000 inhabited and uninhabited spots to choose from, it can be a little intimidating finding your way through the Greek islands. However, don’t be afraid to shy away from the big names. With holidays in Crete starting from only £279 per person with Thomas Cook, the benefits need little argument or introduction.

Crete, as the southernmost island in Europe, and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean, as well as a significant place in mythological and current history, Crete is a bonafide hotspot – literally!

And the islands surrounding it are also tourist destinations in their own rights – from Corfu to the gorgeous Kefalonia, the Aegean corner of the Mediterranean is studded with some of the UK’s favourite places to relax, grab some sun, soak up culture, eat great food and enjoy stunning landscape. If it’s a bargain break you’re after then Thomas Cook’s cheap holidays to Corfu represent excellent value for money.

There’s more to these islands than resorts and luxury hotels though. If you’re travelling to Crete try renting bicycles for the day and making a journey along the coast. The cluster of villages under the Agios Ioannis municipality are a delight – just east of Ierapetra you’ll find beautiful villages such as Ferma and Agia Fotia.

Ferma is an ideal ‘secret spot’ – that’s not quite off the beaten track. Unlike neighbouring villages like Koutsounari, Ferma has shrugged off the tourist trap status, and instead remains committed to harvesting the land and sea.

It’s constellation of hidden coves and pebbly beaches make it a great backpacker retreat or couples hideaway – throw in some incredible seafood and you’ll struggle to keep cycling past.

Further along is the gorgeous Agia Fotia – famous as the home of the biggest Minoan cemetery found in Crete to date. It also has a lovely bay with delightful views of the sunset, plus a few tavernas to slow you down and soak up the sun a little longer.

When it comes to travelling between the smaller Greek islands, those on a time limit should plan ahead. Backpackers can take their time picking and choosing where to stay for how long – however locations such as Kefalonia and Santorini get extremely busy in the summer. Our advice is to choose a late spring or early autumn date.

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