A Snapshot Of The Greek Islands: Corfu Holidays And Crete Getaways
Published on December 3, 2011 by Dan Appleby
While there are officially more Greek Islands and islets than it is possible to visit in the course of a normal lifetime – over 6000 to be more specific – there are a few places like Corfu and Crete that have proven to be perennially popular with tourists from around Europe and beyond for several decades now. All of the larger tour operators like Thomas Cook offer a range of both Corfu holidays and holidays in Crete, making it easy for those that have yet to experience the Greek Islands to play it safe with these tried and tested options. Here we take a brief look at some of the main attractions to be enjoyed on Corfu holidays, and on the island of Crete.
While many of the Greek islands are quite arid and dusty in the summer months, Corfu is renowned for featuring some lush greenery. As a former British protectorate, the island is very popular with ex-pats, and Corfu holidays attract large numbers of British holiday makers each year. Corfu is also favoured by a significant number of Italian visitors, and thanks to this influence there are some excellent Italian restaurants on Corfu. Given the abundance of excellent local produce like olive oil, vegetables, fruits and fish, Italian culinary skills are particularly welcome on Corfu, and eating out on the island invariably presents some of the highlights of the holiday.
The Old Town area of the islands capital, Corfu Town, is a great place to explore, both picturesque and pedestrian friendly. A choice place for holiday snaps, souvenir shopping, and eating out, Corfu Town is big enough to supply everything that you might need to buy, and small enough to remain charming. Those with children will not be disappointed by Aqualand, a large water park in central Corfu which is expansive enough to provide a full days entertainment. There is also a plentiful selection of attractive white sand beaches across the coastline of Corfu, and decent public transport in the form of a reliable bus service that can allow you to explore a lot of the island without renting a car.
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. In fact, the island is so large that it not only features a diverse terrain offering plenty of options for adventure activity, but also its own dialect, and musical and poetic traditions. As the seat of the ancient Minoan civilisation, which was the first culture in Europe to build palaces, Crete is also home to some excellent historical sites, like the palace of Knossos. Through well organised guided tours the legend of the Minotaur - which was contained by the mythical Labyrinth thought to be sited in Knossos - can be discovered, in one of the most enjoyable history lessons that you’ll ever experience. When you have had enough exercise for the mind, and wish to stretch your legs, The Samaria Gorge provides a tranquil setting of natural beauty that makes a significant hike well worth the effort.