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My First Significant Vacation Since COVID: Greece and Paris

As we are now learning to live with Covid, and the world has reopened to travel, it was time to get out there and explore this beautiful world after a two-year hiatus. Not to mention, I had an expiring cruise credit that needed attention. What better place to start than Greece!

You may already know how much I love Greece and I have visited several times. It’s my intention to keep visiting, in part because I have a dear friend that lives on the island of Samos in Ireon, and in part, because there is so much more to discover.

It’s a long flight to this part of the world and I wanted to get the most out the jet lag I was are forced to endure. So, I was looking to add a little more to this vacation and Paris came to mind right away. I hadn’t been yet and my clients always show interest in this very popular destination.

So, it’s Greece and Paris – let’s go!

First: The Greek Islands Explained

There are six main grouping of the Greek Islands; the Saronic, the Sporades, the Ionian, the Dodecanese, The North Aegean and the Cyclades, each of them having their own uniqueness to them.

The Saronic islands are close to Athens, easily accessible by ferry and visited often and make excellent day trips from Athens. I had the opportunity to visit Hydra (pronounced Eithra) on a past visit to Greece – no vehicles (except emergency ones) but lots of donkeys! Those donkeys are even called into action to deliver your luggage to your hotel! Only 6 of the 20 Saronic islands are inhabited.

The Sporades islands are located almost in the center of the Aegean Sea. These four small islands are a nature lovers paradise. The most popular island located in this group of islands is Skiathos.

The Ionian Islands are the third most popular group of islands visited by tourists. They are located on the western side of Greece and have a strong Venetian influence. They are lush and green and have amazing beaches. Included in this grouping of 20 islands are the popular Corfu, Zakynthos and Kefalonia.

The Dodecanese Islands in the south-eastern Aegean are sunny, sunny, sunny! There are 12 large islands and many smaller uninhabited ones. Again, we find the beautiful beaches, crystal waters and archeological finds everywhere. Here, you’ll be able to explore Rhodes, Kos, Patmos, Symi, Karpathos and many more islands waiting to welcome you with that traditional Greek Opa. There are many resorts and again each island offers their own special interests from rock climbing, diving and spiritual encounters.

The North Aegean Islands come across as more “Greek” than the other island groups. They form the northernmost islands and are spread wide apart so it’s more difficult to island hop. They don’t see the heavy tourist influence as well but are definitely worth the visit for their amazing beaches, architecture and history. They include Samos, Ikaria, Chios, Thasos and Zakynthos. In total there are more than 14 islands in this large group.

The Cyclades Islands are an immense group of 30 islands with many smaller items dotted throughout the Aegean Sea. They are by the far the most “famous” of all the Greek Island groups. The traditional blue and white architecture, traditional lifestyle, isolated chapels found everywhere and, surprisingly, barren landscape add to the warm hospitality of the inhabitants. Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Naxos, Milos, Ios, and Koufonisia all are amazing but do fall into the “heavily visited” islands. Yet, you will still be mesmerized by the beauty of these islands.

Let’s Go!

I’m going to break my Chronicles of this trip into 4 posts (including this one). I hope you enjoy them. Join me as I venture out and meet this Beautiful world once again:

You can also check all my photos from the trip in my Gallery.

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