Greece, more specifically, the Aegean Sea, is blessed with numerous inhabited islands which have begun to cater to tourists. Many of these islands are idyllic spots, with interesting attractions and charming white-washed villages. We have fortunately sampled several of these locations and I would like to share my thoughts and memories of them with readers.
To me, the island of Santorini is one of the world’s most beautiful places on Earth. Here is a volcanic island which experienced a catastrophic eruption around 1500 BC. What is left is the crater rim surrounding a huge lagoon. White-washed villages sprinkled with blue-domed churches cling to the inner edge of the rim, spilling down toward the crater, creating an almost surreal landscape. Our dramatic entry into the lagoon on a cruise ship is one of the most memorable moments in my travel history.
The lovely town of Thira is the disembarkation point for cruise ships.
Churches throughout Greece are particularly distinctive and Santorini is no exception.
Another of the more popular Greek islands is Mykonos, fairly close to the typical cruise departure port of Piraeus. Mykonos is known for its narrow alleyways
its row of windmills overlooking the harbor, and its hedonistic lifestyle.
The large island of Crete, just south of Santorini, was the center of the Minoan civilization. Its main attraction is Knossos Palace, thought to be the legendary home of King Minos, of Minotaur fame. The palace complex was discovered and excavated in the early 20th century by noted British archaeologist, Arthur Evans.
Christianity was and still is an important religion in Greece. Thus, there are a number of religious sights in the islands. In particular the island of Patmos features the Monastery of St John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse (thought to be the place that inspired his writing of the New Testament “Book of Revelations.”
The Monastery is extremely interesting.
Finally, the island of Rhodes, close to the country of Turkey, was a stronghold of the Knights Templar, who fought for Christianity during the crusades. Rhodes city is a lovely, walled medieval enclave
which features the Palace of the Grand Master, head of the Knights Templar.
The Greek Islands are a wonderful experience and should be included on everyone’s travel bucket list..