The Greek islands are bustling in the summer months as usual, but Folengrado is home to remote islands with typically beautiful beaches, white villages and delicious Greek cuisine. The best thing about exploring mainland Greece without a car is that the crowds of tourists tend to flock to the islands, leaving pearls like the beautiful beaches of northern Greece as those that can be reached as locals. From Santorini to Navagio beach, Greece has some of the most famous spots for its beauty and the remains of ships still lying on the beach.
Spend on one itinerary just 10 days in Greece and the mainland and small islands will allow you to see both sides of what this Mediterranean oasis has to offer. Island hopping in Greece takes time, so if you only have time for one island, then visit Crete, Greece’s largest island with some of the best beaches in the country and plenty to offer for any solo activity. You can start on an island with bronze beaches, packed suitcases and souvenir towns and experience more than on the Greek mainland.
When it comes to island hobbling in Greece, the idyllic town of Mykonos is one of the most popular destinations. The water and sunset experience is unparalleled in any place you have ever been.
The Greek islands are the main reason why many people put Greece on their travel bucket list in the first place. Athens is often seen as the gateway to the Greek islands and the starting point for many backpacking trips. During my research I asked some of the best travel bloggers for their suggestions on which islands to visit in Greece and based on their experiences I compiled the ultimate list of the best islands in Greece for backpackers.
Before we turn to the things we have to do in Crete, let us delve into some other important details, such as where to stay and how to visit Crete.
Unlike other Greek islands, Crete is very large, which means that if you want to see everything, you need a car. You can get in with some cheap Crete transfers from the mainland. Many travellers to Greece combine a trip to Greece with a visit to Athens, but since the island is as large as it is, the trip to Crete alone (by car from one end to another) can take up to 5 hours with stopovers. There are international flights from and to Crete that arrive in Chania, but I understand that many prefer to settle in the city of Chania and concentrate on the eastern part of the island.
In Crete you can choose between the seaside resorts of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, the charming seaports of Chania and Rethymno, as well as the historic city and port of Heraklion. You can also divide your stay between East and West, for example to see some of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
If you want to explore the beautiful hidden beaches along the south coast of the island, I recommend renting a car. But if you want more freedom, travel independently and have enough space for as much luggage as you want (and you are sure you have a window seat) you should think twice before renting a car in Crete.
Most people travel to Crete for a short time and stay in the capital of the island, Heraklion, or the western city of Chania. For this reason, it is best to plan your itinerary carefully if you want to visit Crete but your time is limited. Take care of as many details as possible and make the most of your time on the island. A holiday in Crete takes many days to explore the island and visit its main cities and impressive sights.
One of the top tours in Crete is that that takes you to the archaeological palace of Knossos. You can also book sailing trips to some of the nearest islands such as Chrissi and Gavdo. Crete, one of the rare Greek islands with a sizeable tourist population, has opened hotels and attractions in places such as Santorini and Mykonos.