The Island of Santorini is a small yet thriving island a little over 100 miles away from the main Greek islands. It connects to a number of uninhabited but interested islands, offering more places to explore and amazing views. Beaches made up on black, white, and red lava pebbles can be found on the island, meaning it lacks the sandy beaches most people look for in a vacation spot, but does have one of a kind beach experiences. The island is well known for being a romantic hot spot, but it also appeals to travelers from all backgrounds as it has a number of activities available. The creation of the island from a former volcanic eruption has created sloping hills that offer amazing views. In addition, the separation from the mainland showcases amazing sunsets, where the sun appears to disappear into a fiery sea when viewed from up high. The main towns are actually built into the surrounding cliffs, meaning that they provide a view straight down to the water, allowing tourists to view the amazing sunsets from the comfort of their hotel room. Santorini is often a stop on trips by people interested in ancient Greek ruins, as the village of Akrotiri is open for visitors as are a number of smaller villas, and at least 10 different archeological sites. Hiking paths connect some of the most interesting spots, while also leading to ancient churches and comfortable hotels. The island sites on top of an underwater caldera that was formed by a previous volcanic eruption. This eruption led to the creation of a number of different hot springs, and inactive volcanic sites around the island. These hot springs often feature thermal baths and have made the island famous as a place for relaxation, healing, and one of a kind spa treatments. Finally, Santorini is also famous for their vineyards. Most feature their own store where wines can e purchased, while several actually have their own museums, recounting the founding of the vineyard and thousands of years of hard work. Milos When looking for white sandy beaches and clear water, Milos is the place to go. This island is the picture perfect paradise that is often seen on postcards from Greece. With large outcroppings of rocks providing visual boundaries to swimmers, and interesting climbing spots for kids, it is might be one of the most family friendly islands in Greece. The most famous areas to visit on the island are two large caves known as Papáfragkas and Sykiá and four thermal springs known as Pikropiyí, Alykí, Provatá, and Kanáva. These have long been subjects of interest to all those who visit the island, including Hippocrates himself. Early Christians catacombs dot the hills of Fylakopi, creating a pilgrimage site for both Christians and archeologists alike. The island is also famous for mining, with much of the Obsidian found throughout the Greek islands being mined on the island. 11,000 years of mining history have been condensed into a single museum on the island as well. People who are actively interested in the mining history of the island can also see the oldest mines in the Mediterranean via guided tours if they wish, while vendors regularly sell minerals found beneatch the surface of the island at low prices to tourists. Scuba divers can often be found on the island as there are a number of underwater caves under the island and beneath the connections to neighboring island as well. There are a number of small caves that can only be reached by boat as well, making it the perfect place to visit for marine inclined individuals. Finally the island is known for Sýrmata, tiny little houses that are painted in a number of different colors. Traditionally these were used by fishermen to shelter their boats during the winter, and many of them are still in use. Tours by boat offer the ability to photograph these docking homes that only appear on two islands in the world. Rhodes The Colossus at Rhodes is something that most people have heard of, giving this island an instantly recognizable name. While the Colossus is long gone, the island is still famed for the ancient wonders contained within, the trading harbor that bustles with activity each day, and the plethora of nature based activities the island offers. This is a great island for walking, and has some of the best preserved cultural practices in the Grecian islands. Roman baths, decorated in early Art Deco styles are one of the main appeals of the island. While seemingly ancient, they are actually around 100 years old after their restoration. However, relaxing in them is a thoroughly modern experience and many couples find that the island is a place they enjoy spending time. Around the island a number of Rhodian deer statues are displayed in much the same way that the Colossus once would have been. This is just the start of the island’s dedication to animals. Rodíni Park lies across the same city, offering a paradise to peacocks and showcases the native plants and trees on the island. A large aquarium, that houses the largest and most well known marine research center in Greece, is also located on the island. The aquarium offers an underwater cave setting, allowing a unique viewing experience for visitors. The island is also well known as being the filming site for several popular movies. While other parts of the island have chosen to capitalize on the calm and isolated beaches, offering windsurfing, sailing, and other water based experiences in relative safety. Finally, the island is known for their old town, medieval ruins, and generally historic areas. More than any other island in Greece, Rhodes offers a look back throughout the history of Greece, while offering thoroughly modern experiences as well. Everything from entire ancient villages to hidden necropolis can be seen around the island. Symi Symi is not known for exciting experiences, but for being a place full of relaxation, learning, and history. This small island is most commonly visited as a day trip from Rhodes, and offers an extremely close connection to Turkey, showcasing some of the blended cultural experiences that take place within the Mediterranean. However, this isn’t to say that the island is boring or ugly, and staying on the island is still a thorougly entertaining experience. The biggest attractions on the island are a large monastery, multiple museums, and annual festivals. Each of these has helped shape the culture of the island, making it different from the others around it. For example, it is not uncommon to hear impromptu musical concerts in town squares or the notes of unfinished melodies floating down the cliff based houses. The monastery in question is known as “Archangel Michael of Panormitis” and is a major pilgrimage site for followers of the Greek Orthodox religion. The monastery features one of the highest bell towers in the world, a miraculous icon, and traditionally painted murals on the back wall. It also features a museum, offering greater insight into the Greek Orthodox faith for anyone interested. Other museums on the island include the main museum, which showcases history, modern art, and anything related to the island. Also included is the Archeological Museum of Symi, which focuses on thousands of years of history and folklore on the island. Symi is also known as one of the hottest island in Greece, making it a less favorable location for beach goers, unlike the neighboring Rhodes. This also restricts the times of the year that the island is truly comfortable to visit, making it less popular during the summer months as the majority of the island can only be reached by walking or biking. However, this warmth does make it an exceptional place to visit during the early spring and late fall. Zakynthos Known for being a family friendly destination and one of the places where sea turtles bury their eggs, Zakynthos is one of the more fun islands in Greece. However, this also means that it is not well known for historical happenings, with only a few historical sites being accessible. Those looking to visit this island should be prepared for active fun more than anything else. The island offers busy but large beaches, and the waters are generally quite clear and calm. Several of the beaches, such as Laganas, are known for beach parties, sun bathing, and group activities. Gerakas beach on the other hand offers umbrellas and easy places to avoid the sun while watching the kids play. Alykanas and Tsilivi beaches are both known for their feep green water and for receiving a large amount of sun throughout the day. Base jumping is also available, with most people choosing Navagio beach, which also houses the most famous cave on the island, as the best spot for this sport. There is also a shipwreck on this beach, making it an interesting area for exploring and seeing the actual damage caused by a shipwreck. The island is directly served by an international airport, making it one of the easiest islands to visit, and as charter flights go in and out to smaller islands every day, it is a popular hub for people seeking to tour the majority of the Grecian islands. There is a Byzantian museum, a few ruins, and a tomb that holds the remains of two national poets on the island. However, these are all situated near more modern areas of the island, meaning that they seem to blend in with the modern world. However, they are well kept, offer a great look into the past, and are generally quite cheap to enter as opposed to island with more famous historical offerings.