Need Another Holiday: 5 Things That Got Me Addicted to the Greek Islands

It’s no secret that I’m completely and
utterly enamoured with the
Greek Islands. I blame the Greeks,
above everyone else, for my holiday obsession. And there are so many islands, you
see, each with slightly different charms, so I have to keep going back
again, every time a different place calls my name.

I am addicted to Greece.

Here’s
what got me hooked:

Enchanting Elafonisi in Crete

  1. Beautiful
    Beaches
    This one goes without saying, but I have to start
    here. There is no shortage of gently shelving, soft sand, sloping serenely into the sea
    on the Greek Islands. On a trip to Elafonisi
    in southwest Crete, I discovered that
    Europe can rival any tropical destination for coral pink sand and crystal clear
    waters.
    If you go to Greece just for the beaches, you won’t be
    disappointed. But there is so much more to enjoy.

  1. Home
    Cooked Greek Cuisine

    I will eat
    whatever you put in front of me if it’s Greek
    . Fact.Moussaka is an obvious choice, but my
    absolute favourite is Lamb Kleftico.
    I love the slight variations you get with this dish, depending on which island
    you’re on and whose wise old mother the recipe came from. I’ve had it on the
    bone, off the bone, wrapped in paper and served as a one pot wonder. I’ve even
    had it put down in front of me wrapped in foil and actually on fire. Flames and all. I’ve never not liked it.
    And given that I cannot help but clear my plate
    everywhere I go in Greece, there’s simply nothing quite like a wee drop of Metaxa, Raki or Ouzo to help your dinner go down and warm (or burn, in the case of Raki) your insides.

  1. Fascinating
    History

    I was nine or ten the first time I learned anything
    about Ancient Greece. I remember being
    enthralled by these extraordinary stories as they were absorbed by my
    consciousness
    . Visiting Greece later in life, I saw that you can’t go
    anywhere without being immersed in some of this wonderful history and
    mythology. From the ancient Palace of
    Knossos
    in Crete, to the Asklepion in Kos; the birthplace of Hippocrates and modern medicine. And not
    forgetting the volcanic island of Santorini,
    rumoured to be the origins of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis. 
    All this without me even mentioning Athens and the Acropolis. 
    Enough said.

Walking through the past in Knossos
  1. Family
    Values

    I’ve watched three
    generations of a Greek family dancing together
    ; I’ve seen children
    following their mother with toy brooms as she cleaned the rooms in the little
    apartments run by their family; I’ve been told by a Greek tour guide in Crete
    how elderly parents and grandparents live with the younger generations of
    their families
    so they can be cared for, just as they cared for their own
    youngsters, before they grew up. All in all, the Greeks have taught me a lot
    about the importance of family and looking after each other.

  1. The
    People in General

    The last time we visited Crete, the owner of our
    accommodation gave us a bottle of wine
    from his village
    because we were still (relative) newlyweds. Unfortunately, it tasted kind
    of like I imagine petrol does (I really wanted to like it), but it was still a lovely gesture. When we left, we got hugs and kisses as though we were
    old friends
    . This year was much the same, as Costas told us how it makes
    him sad to see people go once he’s got to know them a little. The Greek Islands are bursting with
    wonderful people
    , just waiting to welcome you.

    What do you love about Greece? And which island should I visit next?