Spetses and Porto Heli are full of memories for my family and I, but Greece has many other islands that are equally special. Two more that make my edit are:
This sleepy island used to be known for its pelicans and windmills. Now it’s full of incredible restaurants, lots of parties and fabulous beaches. Mykonos is part of the Cyclade islands. This part of Greece is very dry and rocky but has wonderful beaches and beautiful deep blue sea. It’s also incredibly windy so be sure to pack a hair tie!
Whenever we visit, we either rent a villa or stay at the Santa Marina Hotel. The Santa Marina is great as it has its own private beach and a shuttle boat to get you to the surrounding bays for lunch or to swim. The best part about Mykonos has to be the food and the fun factor. My kids love coming here as they always know someone on the island. My go-to restaurant for lunch is Nammos. If you want to avoid the party that starts in the afternoon, I recommend coming around 12. The restaurant is located right on the beach and has fabulous fresh fish, lobster spaghetti and the most delicious chocolate mousse which they bring round in a huge bowl and dollop on your plate.
For the evenings, there are lots of good restaurants depending on your mood. Sushi, traditional Greek or international menus are all readily available. The sushi on the island is very good and Nobu has a restaurant here. My favourites are Interni and Sea Satin. If you want to take a stroll in the beautiful maze-like town, with its blue and white walls, then opt for Interni. It’s located right in town in a little courtyard. The food is great and the atmosphere is perfect. It’s very civilized but has good music, good food and great wine. Then there is Sea Satin – this is a family favourite and it’s completely unique. It’s located right on the water just beyond some rocks and has rows and rows of long white tables that are always heaving. They serve traditional Greek food family style. It can get a little wild and after a certain hour, plates start to smash and adults and kids alike start dancing around on chairs and tables to Greek classics. It’s always so much fun and enjoyed by everyone so if you have the chance to visit you should.
We spend our days swimming, reading and doing water sports. I love to take a boat every now and then. The water is so blue and you see the island from a different perspective. For small boats make sure to follow the weather. As I mentioned previously Mykonos is very windy and the water off the coastline can get a little choppy so if anyone suffers from sea sickness, this is important to know. Another fun thing to do in the early evening is to go into town and explore all the unique shops dotted around. Here you will find interior treasures, heaps of evil eyes and unique Greek souvenirs.
The second island for me is Corfu. This island is in the Ionian Sea to the north west of Athens, right opposite Albania. It is a lot larger than many of the other Greek islands and I recommend visiting the north east region. It’s very lush and green, has orchards of olive trees, and lots of fresh honey. If you decide to visit I recommend staying in a villa. A lot of them are right on the coastline with views over the sea and Albania in the distance. They often have sea access so you can go for a morning dip in the sea instead of the pool.
This island is very much geared to boats and there are plenty of places to rent one so you can zip about from cove to cove. The best spots for lunch are either in Agnes or Agios Stefanos. You will find rows of restaurants on the shore. In Agnes I recommend either Toulas or Nicholas. They are both relaxed Greek tavernas with friendly staff and perfect for a long drawn out lunch to hide from the heat of the day. If you choose to go to Agios Stefanos there are also a couple there with larger more international menus – sandwiches, steaks, pastas and such. The town itself is tiny but charming and the perfect place to stop for an ice cream.
In the evening there are two restaurants I like to go to. The first is called Trilogia and is on a hilltop. Watching the sunset from here is spectacular. The other is called Imerolia and is in a little courtyard. It is a family owned fish restaurant and they make the best seafood pasta, lobster and calamari in the area. It also only has space for about 20 people so you know the service will be great…
Corfu town is a wonderful evening trip if you have the time. The island is rich in history and the town is charming, being home to beautiful architecture that reflects its long venetian heritage, a cricket green, lots of fun shops and good restaurants. You can either drive or take a boat but be sure to go in the evening otherwise you may die of heat!