Travel guide: Top-10 experiences in Greek Cyclades and Dodecanese islands

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Travel guide: Top-10 experiences in Greek Cyclades and Dodecanese islandsEach Greek island is unique in food, customs, natural elements and experiences

Greek islands have an unmistakable look and feel, but each is unique, with food, customs, natural elements and experiences that distinguish them create indelible memories, notes in a recent article and lists 10 Cyclades and Dodecanese experiences not to be missed:

   Discover the Blue Cave, Kastellorizo

These natural wonders will amaze every visitor – some special caves turn blue when the light hits the water. Blue caves can be found in many places around Greece, but the Blue Grotto in Kastellorizo is one of the most famous ones, and without a doubt one of the most stunning ones as well. It’s 75 meters long, 35 meters high and 40 meters wide, but the entrance is only one meter high so a professional captain and a small boat are required to enter. Inside the cave sunlight reflects the beautiful turquoise color of the water all around the cave, making it almost an overwhelmingly beautiful experience. Mornings are the best time to visit when the sun is low, and the cost of a boat ride is about €20 per person.

   Sunset sailing, Santorini

Santorini is known to have the most astonishing sunsets in Greece. The best way to fully appreciate this majestic play of nature is to set sail and enjoy some drinks and food on the boat while watching the sun slowly dive to the sea. A variety of companies offer such trips, and some include a convenient hotel pickup and drop-off to the boat service. Some companies also offer longer trips, where you have a possibility to go swimming and visit nice beaches on the island during the day. Approximate prices start from €100 per person, depending on the provider.

   Visit a Distillery on Naxos

The Vallindras Distillery in the village of Halki is known for kitron, a liqueur made of leaves of the citron tree, full of strong aroma and taste. On the island of Naxos, citron trees have been cultivated since the 17th century. The family has been making the liqueur in traditional copper stills since 1896, passing on the knowledge to every new generation. The distillery is open for visitors, even though their exact recipe remains as a family secret. After a complimentary tasting session, visitors can stock up on supplies, since the company no longer exports kitron outside Naxos.

   Ancient History of Delos

The findings in underwater archaeological excavations at Delos, Greece. (Photo: Ministry of Culture and Sports)

The excavations on Delos island have been among the most extensive in the Mediterranean, and the island is one of the most important historical, archaeological, and mythological sites in Greece. Many significant finds from Delos are currently in Athens, but the site’s own museum showcases an interesting collection as well. In 1990 Delos was added into the World Heritage List because of its rich archaeological importance.  The island’s location at the very center of the Aegean Sea made it a crossing point for many seafarers and a center of various historical happenings and cultural encounters. The island is said to be the birthplace of Apollo.

   Party in Mykonos

Known as the designated party island of Greece, Mykonos attracts entertainment-seeking tourists from around the world. The island never sleeps, but some areas are calmer than others so visitors are not obliged to party non-stop. There are definitely parties and events for every kind of fun-lover, whether you want to dance until sunrise or just sip classy cocktails by the beach. The clear waters and soft sand help to lift up the mood!

   Visit the Valley of Butterflies, Rhodes

This marvelous nature reserve is located inland on Rhodes, and it’s the only natural forest of Oriental Sweetgum trees in Europe. Every year, huge numbers of Panaxia butterflies visit the valley to reproduce. They are attracted by the scent of the trees and the high humidity. In late May the final stage of their life cycle is concluded, and the butterflies emerge in all their perfection. It’s important that visitors don’t disturb the butterflies in any way since in this phase they need to sleep and rest to conserve their energy until mating season. In addition to the unbelievable beauty of the butterflies, the valley also has wonderful waterfalls and lush vegetation. There are plenty of pretty villages and cozy tavernas close to the valley, which makes it a perfect destination for a day-trip.

   Island of Festivals, Syros

The island of Syros is known for its rich festival season – from May to October, the island is filled with cultural events, music festivals, theatrical performances, children’s events, and art exhibitions. In addition to the cultural festivals and events, many traditional religious holidays, like Ash Monday – the island has a substantial Roman Catholic population – are celebrated too. In Syros visitors are guaranteed to always find interesting things to do and see! For example, Syros International Film Festival takes place July 16-21, and there is the Syros Tango Festival June 14-17 – just to name a few.

Wreck scuba diving, Leros

Most of the Greek islands are great for scuba diving, but Leros stands out – the island is filled with WWII relics, both on land and water. Wreck diving attracts many experienced scuba divers since it’s a wonderful way to combine underwater exploration with some history lessons. The impressive wrecks of the Battle of Leros have been resting in the Aegean Sea for over 70 years, making it like an underwater museum. The island has many diving centers renting high-quality equipment and organizing trips to these diving sites.

Cave exploration, Antiparos

The cave of Antiparos is the number one attraction of the island, located just 8 kilometers from Antiparos town. It’s the only vertical cave in all of Europe, showcasing fascinating old stalactites and stalagmites – the oldest stalactite is estimated to be 45 million years old. The cave is approximately 85 meters in depth and 60 meters in width. It’s a large cave with a stunning view over the Aegean Sea and all the way to the island of Paros. The opening hours are daily from 10 am to 4 PM only during summer months. The admission ticket is €6, and it’s also valid for the nearby Folklore Museum. The audio tours recount the rich history of the cave, which has been a place of worship as well as shelter from a war.

Discover the adorable villages

Both the Dodecanese and the Cyclades are filled with lovely small towns and villages. A walk around the narrow streets, painted houses and squares filled with people allows the visitors to get a glimpse of the life of the locals – the summer months are busy with tourists and work, hustle, and encounters. For example, the village of Nimporio on the island of Halki is a perfect place to wander around, to explore the small alleys and to enjoy the mouth-watering smells from local taverns. Marvel at the beautiful churches and the iconic clock tower while listening to the local Greek accent.


RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Bernard Gagnon

  1. 22/05 01:21

    Passenger traffic in Greek airports soars by 8.4% in January-April

  2. 22/05 01:12

    Imports of fresh fruit and vegetables up in Greece during Q1

  3. 22/05 01:04 Tsitsipas and Sakkari are transforming the sport in Greece

  4. 22/05 00:50

    Amazing sight as dolphins appear in Greek island of Mykonos

  5. 22/05 00:34

    Schools in Greece will close for the European elections of May 26

  6. 22/05 00:12

    The Big Bang festival returns at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens

  7. 21/05 23:25

    U.S. play of Greek philosopher Socrates’ life offers lessons for democracy

  8. 21/05 21:21

    Physics Nobel winner Mourou speaks at the Acropolis Museum in Athens

  9. 21/05 19:06

    OECD forecasts 2.1% GDP growth in Greece for 2019

  10. 21/05 17:01

    EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier visits Athens

  11. 21/05 15:56

    Colour and essence of Greece at Festival in Byblos of Lebanon

  12. 21/05 13:49

    Inside, Outside, and Beyond art exhibition opens in New York on June 4

  13. 21/05 11:43

    Athens Photo World 2019 to open June 7 at Stavros Niarchos Foundation

  14. 21/05 01:27

    Religious Tourism: May 21 Feast Day of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni

  15. 21/05 00:52

    'Pint of Science' festival at bars in Greece on May 20-22

  16. 20/05 10:29

    GNTO promotes Greece in Chinese, Dutch and German markets

  17. 20/05 06:21

    Law firms unite to support Israeli investors in Greek real estate market

  18. 20/05 02:15

    Italy's Scafi buys 50% of Vernicos Tugs & Salvage

  19. 20/05 00:01

    Museum shops in Greece get facelift despite bureaucracy

  20. 19/05 00:39

    Statue if Liberty: A new museum for the new Colossus (video)

  21. 19/05 00:34

    Second Annual New York Greek Film Expo comes to a close with awards

  22. 18/05 12:24

    Roads at Syntagma Square in Athens closed to traffic on weekend for repairs

  23. 18/05 12:19

    Tourist arrivals to Cyprus reach a historic high in April 2019

  24. 18/05 12:11

    Thessaloniki Street Food Festival kicks off

  25. 18/05 11:19

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posts selfie from the Acropolis in Athens

  26. 17/05 16:51

    Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus

  27. 17/05 11:41

    DNA mystery: The connection of Ashkenazi Jews to Ancient Greeks

  28. 17/05 10:40

    Cyprus IT Forum to be organized in Cyprus on 20-21 May 2019

  29. 17/05 10:18

    Greek tennis stars Tsitsipas and Sakkari triumph in Italian Open (video)

  30. 17/05 00:58

    GetYourGuide raises $484 million from Consortium led by SoftBank Vision Fund

  31. 17/05 00:47

    Celebrating International Museum Day on May 18 in Greece

  32. 16/05 22:25

    ITB China Travel Trends Report: Cultural tourism top choice of Chinese travelers

  33. 16/05 16:47

    Greece’s unique guitar-shaped islet Agia Triada loved by the Beatles

  34. 16/05 16:44

    Public hospital staff on national strike in Greece on Thursday

  35. 16/05 16:43

    Guardian: Five Greek beaches among top-40 in Europe

  36. 16/05 16:31

    Athens to host 8th HbbTV Symposium and Awards in November 21-22 2019

  37. 16/05 16:26

    Reuters: National Bank of Greece sees NPLs dropping to 5% by 2022

  38. 16/05 16:19

    Blue Flags: Greece ranks 2nd in the world for 2019

  39. 16/05 14:41

    Temple of Nemesis discovered under remains of ancient Mytilini theatre

  40. 16/05 14:20

    UN: Nine out of ten most dangerous cities in the world in Latin America

  41. 16/05 14:16

    Cyprus, Greece, Israel and UK take part in Firefighting Games 2019

  42. 16/05 14:14

    Legislation on 120 installments approved by Greek Parliament

  43. 16/05 14:08

    Infographic: Global alcoholic consumption around the world

  44. 16/05 14:03

    Convention on double taxation and fiscal evasion between Cyprus and Kazakhstan

  45. 16/05 13:53

    Greece to restore Pella Palace, birthplace of Alexander the Great in Macedonia

  46. 16/05 12:31

    Reliquary case stolen from Cyprus church repatriated from Germany

  47. 16/05 11:31

    Cyprus Antiquities Department issues statement on Pafos Museum renovation

  48. 16/05 09:28

    Greek minister hails very important day for Thessaloniki and its metro

  49. 16/05 08:54

    General Accounting Office: Greek primary surplus at 4.1% of GDP in 2019

  50. 16/05 08:24

    Record-breaking WorldChampion Jet launches Aegean routes for Seajets

  51. 16/05 00:25

    "Hellenic Aesthetic" company aims to bring “meraki” to Greeks abroad

  52. 16/05 00:10

    Greek Jews exhibit set for Auschwitz concentration camp museum in Poland

  53. 15/05 23:42

    Crete island power linkup to central Attica Region set for more delays

  54. 15/05 23:23

    Enjoy Frappé and Freddo, Greece’s popular summer coffee drinks

  55. 15/05 23:19

    ESM extends by 10 years maturity of €96.3 billion of loans to Greece

  56. 15/05 23:01

    Greek island of Syros swings to tango rhythms in International Festival (video)

  57. 15/05 22:21

    UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center guidelines for development of gastronomic tourism

  58. 15/05 22:14

    NASA baptizes moon mission after ancient Greek goddess Artemis

  59. 15/05 20:09

    Nine medical cannabis units already greenlighted in Greece

  60. 15/05 18:53

    Deloitte forecasts resurgence in Greek real estate sector

  61. 15/05 18:09

    Epidaurus Festival: A unique theatre experience

  62. 15/05 16:43

    IATA: French plan to boost aviation could generate 500,000 jobs and €60 billion

  63. 15/05 14:28

    Bank of Greece: Average spending of cruise ship visitors at €139 per day

  64. 15/05 10:11

    Another season of “Women of Passion, Women of Greece” in Athens (video)

  65. 15/05 10:09

    Greece’s Eurovision song “Better Love” advances to Grand Final (video)

  66. 15/05 09:33

    AP: Cyprus economic growth in 2019 expected at double EU average

  67. 15/05 09:23

    Greek President urges Britain to return ”stolen Parthenon sculptures”

  68. 15/05 09:17

    Media report: Athens airport payment spares blushes for Greek government

  69. 15/05 00:09

    Emma McGann to perform live in Greece first time on May 16 (video)

  70. 14/05 23:22

    Turkey employs “fake” police cars to deter would-be traffic offenders

  71. 14/05 22:37

    Los Angeles Greek Film Festival announces film selections for 2019

  72. 14/05 22:26

    Website presents smoke-free places for eating and drinking in Athens

  73. 14/05 20:16

    Restoration of Athens Parthenon’s north wall to showcase citadel's geometry

  74. 14/05 18:18

    'Opening To the City' art events to take place in Athens in June and July

  75. 14/05 16:12

    World Bank gives credit to Belt And Road Initiative construction

  76. 14/05 14:09

    Orphan bear cubs 'fostered' by Arcturos released into the wild in Greece

  77. 14/05 12:55

    Eurovision 2019 1st Semi Final: Greece goes for a place in the final (videos)

  78. 14/05 10:48

    Greek city of Thessaloniki reaches record rank in Conference Tourism

  79. 14/05 00:52

    Greek exports grew by 1.6% during the first quarter of 2019

  80. 14/05 00:49

    Greek President Pavlopoulos tours China and visits Huawei in Beijing

  81. 14/05 00:04

    Two different VAT rates on coffee and other beverages in Greece

  82. 13/05 23:39

    National Archaeological Museum in Athens expands exhibition on beauty

  83. 13/05 23:36

    Music of iconic Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis coming to Australia

  84. 13/05 22:40

    Bike Odyssey to kick off across Pindos Range in Greece on June 15

  85. 13/05 22:31

    Greek Europa 2019 'National Birds' singing stamps series released

  86. 13/05 22:20

    Reigious Tourism: US supports reopening Theological School of Halki (video)

  87. 13/05 21:30

    Greek Parliament plenary ratifies Kastelli airport contract in Crete

  88. 13/05 21:25

    Google Doodle honours Greek Pap smear inventor Georgios Papanikolaou

  89. 13/05 19:16

    Oceanman Greece swimming race to take place in Oitylo bay of Mani

  90. 13/05 19:10

    Temple Mount closed down for Jews on Jerusalem Day for first time in 30 years

  91. 13/05 18:46

    Food Festival starts today on Greek island of Tinos

  92. 13/05 17:56

    First Athens-Thessaloniki express train on May 20

  93. 13/05 17:25

    Experience the Athens & Epidaurus Festival!

  94. 13/05 17:05

    Greek National Tourism Organisation takes part in four roadshows in UK

  95. 13/05 15:49

    Event report: More than 340,000 tourists visited Athens in 2018 through AirBnb

  96. 13/05 13:33

    Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum 2019: Greece expects 7.5% rise in port calls this season

  97. 13/05 11:20

    Volotea celebrates first anniversary in Athens with 250% rise in customers

  98. 13/05 01:12

    Greek olive oil producer wins 100th international prize

  99. 13/05 00:45

    International film studio opens in Greek northern city of Thessaloniki

  100. 13/05 00:17

    The moving story of the heroic Lady of the Greek islet of Ro