Sifnos for food, Naxos for adventure and Aegina for families... plus four other magical islands.
FOR FAMILIES: AEGINA
Nothing screams convenience quite like Aegina - one of the closest islands to Athens with a ferry ride so short (just about one hour from the Greek capital) that many Athenians treat it like an outer suburb. And that only means one thing: lots of bars, cafes and restaurants where locals hang out, not to mention plenty of supermarkets to further dial up the convenience factor. Book one of the many Airbnbs or, for faultless hotel service and uninterrupted Saronic Gulf views, check into Apollo Resort, where family-friendly offerings range from all-you-can-eat buffets to onsite tennis courts and mini golf courses. apollo-resort.com
FOR PARTY HOUNDS: MYKONOS
This is where the world goes to let its hair down - and for good reason. From next-level beach clubs (think Alemagou on Ftelia beach) to achingly cool hotels (we're looking at you Soho Roc House), Mykonos knows how to pull a crowd during the day. And once that famous Cycladian sun sets, the focus shifts to the main town of Chora. Take your appetite to the waterfront Bagatelle Mykonos restaurant (just a two-minute walk from the iconic windmills), where you can enjoy sensational Mediterranean fare as the DJ cracks up the volume.
FOR COUPLES: SANTORINI
Sugar-white churches with hypnotic-blue domes, cobblestoned lanes lined with bougainvillea and saffron sunsets blazing down the Mediterranean... as cliche as it may all sound, Santorini still takes your breath away. Lose yourself in the ridiculously pretty town of Oia, but if the sea of selfie sticks gets too much, sign up for the three-hour hike from Fira to Oia. Skirting along the rim of a flooded volcano, the trail offers some of the most exquisite views in every direction - and hardly any "influencers" in sight.
FOR GOURMET TRAVELLERS: SIFNOS
The godfather of Greek gastronomy Nikolaos Tselementes (he wrote the first complete Greek cookbook in 1910) was born in Sifnos and grew up inhaling the same aromas that - to this day - drift down the island's whitewashed lanes. From sizzling calamari to orange-scented biscuits, Sifnos will treat your tastebuds as much as it will your eyes. Plonk yourself at the tiny beachfront Omega3 fish bar, where you can devour ocean-fresh seafood with your feet in the sand, or dial up the drama at Cantina, where lobsters plucked straight from the seabed are tossed in olive oil and garlic, for simplicity and authenticity you could only find on Sifnos.
FOR BEACH BUMS: NAXOS
Most Greek isles have beaches. This one has a whole menu of them. Travelling with the brood? Head to the seaside village of Agios Prokopios, where shimmering sands and shallows are perfect for kids. Want local immersion? Nab a spot on Apollonas Beach, surrounded by laidback tavernas. And if you want more adventure, there's no dearth of options either: head to Mikri Vigla for windsurfing, to Kastraki for kite-boarding and to Plaka, where you can speed across the dunes on the back of a horse.
FOR ACTIVE TRAVELLERS: MILOS
This Greek beauty won't just deliver unprecedented natural beauty (there are more than 70 incredible beaches here, flanked by volcanic landscapes) but get your heart racing, too. Where else can you go diving in the morning to inspect shipwrecks, then sign up for a 4WD tour in the afternoon to explore inactive volcanoes? Renting a boat ain't easy in the Cyclades, but you can hire one here and go exploring. And you don't even need a licence.
FOR HISTORY BUFFS: CRETE
Crete: The birthplace of Zeus, Crete is dotted with ancient ruins. Kick off your explorations at the palace of Knossos, the most significant Bronze Age site in Greece, then witness prehistoric Minoan culture come to life at Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Explore the Greco-Roman site of Gortyn, dating back to 3000 BCE, finishing up in the peaceful - and rather surreal - town of Gournia, where you can walk through remains of about 50 houses and three cemeteries.
Have you already had your fill of the Greek isles? It's time to turn your attention to these Croatian beauties.
There are no blue domes or whitewashed houses here. In fact, Croatia is home to just 49 inhabited islands as opposed to Greece's 227. But what the Balkan country lacks in numbers, it more than makes up for with postcard-perfect islands that are unique for different reasons.
For a chic seaside escape, plan a trip to Hvar, where sprawling piazzas with Baroque cathedrals give way to mesmerising harbours dotted with white yachts.
If ancient monasteries and Romanesque churches are more your thing, fly off to Krk, where you can also enjoy local specialities such as surlice (macaroni-like handmade pasta).
More adventurous travellers should make their way to Brac, home to the splendid Zlatni Rat beach, which sticks out like a thumb in the ocean, offering unparalleled windsurfing opportunities. And for the ultimate prize - isolation - make a beeline for Dugi Otok, where you can wander through laidback fishing villages and visit hilltop hamlets, without ever seeing a tourist.
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