Greek islands: Smart alternatives to five top destinations

Greek islands: Smart alternatives to five top destinations

Selling the Greek islands has become second nature to many travel agents, but it’s all too easy to promote the ones you know best.

Take a look at our guide and help your customers to branch out with their holiday choices.

Families: Swap Corfu for Kos

Corfu’s position as long-standing Brits’ favourite of the Greek islands is no surprise. It has all the charms of the islands, from gorgeous Venetian architecture and flawless beaches to great restaurants and bars.

But its size means you can also easily escape the crowds. A particular draw to the island for families is Aqualand in Aghio Ioannis, which is in the centre of the island and packed with water-based attractions.

Families will also find plenty to do in buzzing Kos, which has excellent tourism infrastructure and good public transport from resort to resort plus plenty of hotel family entertainment.

Book it: Libra Holidays offers seven nights at the four-star Palace Mon Repos Hotel in Corfu based on a bed-and-breakfast basis from £469 per person, twin-share. The price is based on a garden-view room and includes flights from Gatwick and transfers, departing in June. (Tel: 0871 222 8181)

Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ self catering at the Irene Studios and apartments in Kos town from £312 per adult and £261 per first child (£260 per second child) based on a family of four staying in a one-bedroom apartment. The price includes flights from Gatwick on June 6 and transfers. (Tel: 0844 499 4449)

Romance: Swap Santorini for Meganissi

There is little more romantic than sailing into the giant caldera that is Santorini, settling into an intimate (but very hip) bar and watching the awesome sunsets.

Clients booking a hotel overlooking the volcano in Thira or Oia fall for the island (and each other) hook, line and sinker.

Lovebirds will be equally in their element on the tiny island of Meganissi, tucked away off southern Lefkas. Think traditional tavernas, secluded coves and quiet beaches.

Book it: Thomson offers a seven-night holiday at the 3T Meltemi Village apartments in Santorini from £246 per person based on two adults sharing on a self-catering basis. The price includes flights departing from Gatwick on May 8 and includes resort transfers and taxes. (Tel: 0871 231 3235)

Simply Travel offers seven nights at the Meganissi Villas in Meganissi from £559 per adult, based on four adults sharing a villa, on a self-catering basis departing from Gatwick on June 21. Price includes car hire and flights. (Tel: 0871 231 4055)

Nightlife: Swap Mykonos for Rhodes

Mykonos is the undisputed mecca for party people. The pink euro is in evidence at every cool bar on the island, and a rise in spa facilities has compounded the island’s loyal fan base further.

Planet Holidays offers the three-star Myconain K spa hotel, just outside Mykonos town, for £979 per person, bed-and-breakfast, departing from Gatwick on July 15.

For a change of scene, night owls will get a kick out of buzzing Rhodes and particularly infamous Faliraki, which is packed with discos, bars and restaurants.

Planet Holidays offers seven nights at the five-star all-inclusive Aldemar Paradise Royal Mare in Kalithea, near Faliraki, departing from Gatwick
on July 15, for £998 per person. (Tel: 0871 871 2234)

Over-50s: Swap Halkidiki for Samos

Halkidiki has managed to hold on to its unspoilt feel, its beaches uncluttered by the party crowd. Olymbiada is particularly suited to this demographic.

Sunvil’s Dudley der Parthog explains: “It’s an unspoilt Greek seaside village with good beaches, an archaeological site and a handful of marked walking trails.

“Holidays here are very flexible, which suits the over-50s crowd, and daily flights mean that odd durations are possible.

“Twin-centre stays can be arranged to include fascinating Thessaloniki, or it is possible to arrange a flydrive itinerary to discover northern or central Greece.”

Or offer Samos as an alternative. Ormos, a peaceful fishing village away from the busy north coast, has lovely walking trails and excursions available to Patmos and Ephesus in Turkey.

Book it: Sunvil offers seven-nights’ self-catering accommodation at the Miljes apartments in Olymbiada from £592 per person, twin-share. The price includes flights from Gatwick and transfers.

Sunvil offers seven nights at the two-star Kerkis Bay hotel in Ormos from £571 per person, twin-share, in June. (Tel: 020 8568 4499)

History: Swap Athens for Crete

It doesn’t come much more historic than culture-soaked Athens and it can take many holidays there before you’ve inspected all the sights from the Acropolis onwards.

And once you’ve taken in as much antiquity as you can, Athens offers a cosmopolitan feel that’s unrivalled across Greece and its islands, from concerts and shows to high-end dining, boutique hotels and fabulous shopping.

Crete will entrance history buffs. The island has been home to many civilisations, most notably the Minoans, all of which have left an indelible mark on Cretan architecture and culture.

Stunning Rethymnon has remained virtually unchanged since the Renaissance. Its awesome piazzas, fountains, churches and palaces are must-see attractions.

Book it: offers seven nights bed and breakfast at the three-star Apollo Hotel in Athens from £175 per person, twin-share, in June. The price includes no-frills flights from Gatwick. (Tel: 08444 770 078)

Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ bed and breakfast at the deluxe St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas in Aghios Nikolaos in Crete, for £889 per person, twin-share, in a sea-facing room departing June 5 to 19. The price includes flights from Gatwick or Manchester and transfers.


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