Hop to it: roam around the Greek islands

Ancient history and traditional villages, ritzy hotels and glorious food – one island is never enough, so take a holiday that shows you the best of many

Nowhere embodies the soul of the Mediterranean quite like the sunkissed Greek islands. These beach-fringed paradises offer an extraordinary choice of holiday destinations, from five-star luxury to peaceful villages. With more than 200 of the country’s 6,000 islands and islets inhabited, the only difficulty is deciding which one to choose. And one is never enough – which is why Olympic Holidays offers bespoke island-hopping packages, providing the chance to explore three or more islands at your own pace.

With more than 50 years of experience bringing British visitors to Greece, Olympic Holidays has an unparalleled knowledge of the islands, as well as longstanding relationships with hoteliers and a bookings team who are happy to share their expertise, making arranging your holiday a straightforward process. With Olympic Holidays, all island-hopping holidays are individually designed, leaving you to decide which islands to visit, how long for and what kind of accommodation to stay in – from simple hotels deep in the countryside to waterfront all-inclusive resorts.

Into the blue: the view from beautiful Santorini

The beauty of the Greek islands is that whether you’re a regular visitor or planning a trip for the first time, there is always somewhere new to visit. The diversity of island groups is extraordinary: from the dramatic volcanic landscapes of the Cyclades – home to buzzy Mykonos and luxurious Santorini – to the rich history of the Dodecanese, including Rhodes (with the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe). Some islands are barely touched by tourism, offering delightful coves and peaceful walking routes, while others have bustling nightlife and all manner of attractions, from waterparks to museums and vineyards.

Whether you’re a regular visitor or planning a trip for the first time, there is always somewhere new to visit

Picture perfect: take in the quiet, as well as the wild, side of Mykonos

Although all Greek islands offer the unbeatable combination of warm sun, clear seas and a gloriously slow pace of life, the islands vary enormously. Olympic Holidays can help ensure you pick the right ones to visit. The joy of island-hopping is that it’s easy to spend a few days on a larger, busier island before catching the ferry to somewhere more calm. Lively Rhodes makes an ideal partner to quieter Halki, with its secluded beaches and atmospheric abandoned villages, or Symi, with its celebrated colourful neoclassical houses that line the waterfront in Symi Town.

On the waterfront: colourful neoclassical houses in Symi Town

Further north, just off the Athens coast, the Saronic islands are hugely popular with holidaying Athenians – giving them an authentic feel. Elegant Spetses, with its picturesque Venetian mansions in Spetses Town, yacht marinas and upscale restaurants, can be paired with the smaller island of Poros, where the beaches are wonderfully low-key and the main town is a charming tangle of shady trees dotted with leafy tavernas. History lovers should add Aegina – home to an array of spectacular sites – to their list of islands to explore within the Saronic group.

Mill around: Mykonos is rich in tradition but also popular for its lively old town

Looking for luxury? Head to Santorini in the Cyclades, known for its clusters of whitewashed houses that cling to the rim of the caldera, and for its vast, underground volcano. Long favoured by honeymooners and those wanting a romantic week away, Santorini is also excellent for hiking and makes an ideal partner to Mykonos, popular for its lively old town, dotted with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Both offer some of the most upscale hotels in Greece, from small boutique establishments to full-service resorts.

It’s easy to spend a few days on a larger, busier island before catching the ferry to somewhere more calm

Coast along: enjoy warm sun, clear seas and a gloriously slow pace of life

Perhaps the most familiar island destination for British travellers is the Ionian group, which includes Corfu, Zakynthos (Zante) and Kefalonia. But even here, there are quieter islands to explore: the glorious beaches and stunning mountain scenery on Kefalonia can be paired with smaller, quieter Ithaca, where you’ll find ancient monasteries and archaeological sites, or Lefkada (Lefkas), home to traditional villages and one of the few islands connected to the Greek mainland by a bridge. These islands are ideal for watersports lovers, with reliable winds making them a great choice for those who love to sail or windsurf.

Pillar talk: the Acropolis of Lindos on the island of Rhodes

Whichever island group you choose, Olympic Holidays will help design your ideal getaway, whether travelling as a family, group or couple. Greek ferries are fast and reliable, making it easy to visit two, three or more destinations in one holiday, with Olympic Holidays on hand to ensure all arrangements run smoothly. Best of all, with more than 200 islands to explore, there will always be a next time, always somewhere new to discover – with the same slow-paced, sunkissed Greek charm.

When one island is never enough, visit olympicholidays.com/island-hopping or call 020 8492 6841. Use code ISLAND200 to save £200 per person on island-hopping holidays

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