Of Cephalonia’s beaches, Myrtos is exceptional, with its white sand and the view of it from the cliffside village of Ano Mera is superb. Another impressive sight is the Drogarati cave with its numerous stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the remarkable Melissani cave, more than 3 km in length. In the section where the vault has collapsed, a kaleidoscope of colours is created during the early afternoon hours, when the sun is reflected in the waters of its underground lake
Lefkada is connected to the mainland by two bridges which cross the narrow channel separating them. It is a mainly mountainous island, with a great deal of natural beauty, areas abounding with plane trees, historical and archaeological sites, as well as beautiful, verdant islets opposite the cosmopolitan port Nydri.
These include the famous Skorpios, the property of the late shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, Madouri, with the mansion of writer Aristotelis Valaoritis, and Meganissi, with its three caves. In one of these, the Papanikolis cave, the famous submarine of the same name concealed itself during World War II.
The island has pretty villages, like Agios Nikitas, and outstanding beaches, including the popular Porto Katsiki, with its white sand and turquoise waters, and Egremnous, where, although the beach is difficult to get to (250 steps), the sea is superb.
A fertile island, the home of great Greek poets and of melodious serenades, it has a population of 40,000, traditional villages, old monasteries and beautiful churches. In a horse-drawn carriage, explore the coastal road, the Strada Marina and the town’s narrow streets, whose buildings were rebuilt in the Renaissance style of those destroyed in the powerful 1953 earthquake. Visit the Solomos Museum, with material relating to the poet, Dionysios Solomos, as well as prominent Zakynthian personalities, located in Agios Markos square. In Solomos Square, you’ll also find the Byzantine Museum and the Renaissance church of Agios Nikolaos. On the southern end of the harbour is the church of Agios Dionysios, with its wonderful frescoes and the relics of the saint. Zakynthos has some outstanding beaches, like the much-photographed Navagio or Shipwreak bay also called, in Agios Georgios Kremon, and Gerakas, which hosts the eggs of the endangered sea turtle, caretta-caretta. Not to be missed is a boat excursion to the Galazies Spilies (Blue Caves), near Volimes, to see one of nature’s marvels.
The beaches of Mykonos rank among the best in the Aegean, in Greece, and perhaps in the world. July and August are surely the worst time to visit them, but in June and September, you’ll find the weather better and the crowds reduced. Some may even be deserted. Most of the best beaches are on the south coast, sheltered from the prevailing northerly winds, the “meltemia”.
The greater area of Chania has to a great extent preserved its authenticity, with a wealth of natural beauty and is known for its exotic beaches of Falasarna and Elafonissos.
Sithonia’s scenery is of exceptional natural beauty — pine forests, superb sandy beaches in isolated bays and deserted coves, deep fjords, with steep cliffsides, sharply indenting the rugged coast which is ideal for spear-fishing. Kavourotrypes is one of Greece’s most stunning beaches. The clear, blue waters, reminiscent of the Caribbean, and the rocks, which seem to have been sculpted by an artist, make it quite unique. There are many beautiful beaches. And if you search, you’ll find more.
The best beaches in Milos are at Agios Giannis and the coves just to the north of it, but they are hard to reach. More interesting are Kleftiko with its surrealistically shaped rocks, a watery “Meteora”, and the grotto of Papafranga near Fylakopi.
Skiathos is famed for its 62 beaches. Some are sophisticated and organized, some quiet and solitary but nearly all are extraordinary.
Organized beaches are on the south side, where most people go, but on the north side they are untouched —except for a couple of canteens— and wonderful for bathing when it isn’t too windy. Koukounaries is one of Greece’s best and best-known beaches, 1 km long. A protected ecosystem and a uniquely beautiful combination of thick-growing Aleppo pines, the lagoon of Strofylia connected to the sea by a channel, golden sands and translucent sea. It attracts crowds, especially in August and is organized with water sports, umbrellas and a snack bar. Another, spectacular beach in Skiathos is Lalaria, with smooth boulders, striking rock formations like the enormous Petra with its centre arch and blue-green waters. Access is by boat only, from the harbour or in your own.
The island took its name from Ikaros, who plunged into the sea when his wax wings started to melt after flying too near the sun. It was known in antiquity for its mineral springs (spas at Agios Kyrikos and Therma) and for its wines. In recent years more and more visitors are discovering the island’s formidable beauty and crystalline seas. In some of the mountain villages, one must adapt to the local rhythms of everyday life, since the islanders seem to sleep most of the day and stay up all night. Agios Kyrikos, the island’s capital and main port, is within walking distance of many beaches apart from the good town beach, while others are accessible by caique. The second port, Evdilos, on the north coast, is built on a promontory and has narrow alleyways and blooming courtyards. Up on the mountain are the villages of Messaria: Akamatra, Dafni, Steli and Petropouli, with wonderful views over the Ikarian sea. See the Byzantine castle of Nikaria in the village of Kosiki and visit the lush mountain villages of Mavrato, Oxea and Mileopo. There are other lovely villages to be seen on the Rahes plateau as you continue on to the fishing port of Armenisti. Pretty beaches line the coast; among them delightful Na with its river and its ruins and Mesakti. In order to enjoy the swimming even more, you can escape on a caique to quieter beaches. It is also worth taking a short trip to the island cluster of Fourni, about an hour from Agios Kyrikos, where there are other good beaches.
For useful safety information and licensed water sports centers please visit Safe Water Sports
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