On a cold January night, there is nothing we would rather be doing than relaxing in the sun on a Greek island… and here at Solos Greece holds a special place in our hearts! With stunning coastlines, beautiful beaches and of course home to a number of our exclusive ClubSolos properties, we look forward to returning year after year!
We wanted to share our thoughts and experiences about two of our favourite Greek Islands…
Written by Natalia
“When anyone asks me which is the most impressive of the places I’ve visited (there has been a few!), I always say without hesitation; the island of Zakynthos!
The island first stole my heart 9 years ago! I’ve always told myself that I would not travel to the same place more than once until I have visited all the countries on my list (which is constantly growing…!), however Zakynthos isn’t just another island… after visiting at least once a year, it has become my home away from home and I still can’t get enough.
While most people know Zakynthos for the famous Naviago Beach (Shipwreck Beach), the island has plenty of places to explore and you definitely won’t be disappointed! I would recommend a visit by boat to the Naviago Beach where the water is the bluest I have ever seen… it looks magical in pictures but even better in person! A visit to the “View of Naviago Beach” is another must see, especially during sunset time, it’s a lot quieter with barley any tourists around and very picturesque. I love watching the sun disappear into the water from here!
My second favourite option for a majestic sunset view is the small village of Kampi, where you can enjoy a delicious meal with a glass of Greek wine or a pint of my personal favourite Mythos at Michali’s Taverna!
If there is one thing to do throughout your stay on the island, you have to spend a day on the water. The island shines most for its undiscovered coves and beaches, and off-the-beaten path swimming spots, which are also perfect for snorkelling. This is the best way of seeing the dolphins and watching them race between the waves. Although, don’t worry if you’re not a fan of boats (I’m not much of one either!) there are plenty of wonderful beaches and coves which are accessible by road which I would highly advise a visit to!
(The turtles swim in the shores all over the island, when going for a swim you might end up spotting one next to you!)
If you’re looking at a break away from the beaches – although I don’t think we will be able to take you away from them – take a visit to the Olive Oil factory, where you can taste and purchase olive oil which is made from the Zakynthian olives and comes in variety of flavours (I Highly recommended the lemon, orange and garlic ones!). Also, the local Zakynthian winery makes for a great few hours out where you can learn more about the production, history and of course taste the wine produced with the sweetest grapes from the island. No better way to work your appetite up than some delicious wine tasting in the afternoon, and this is coming from a non-wine drinker!
There are plenty of delicious Tavernas and Restaurants in Zakynthos… I am still struggling to choose a favourite! Traditional Greek restaurants often have Zorba dancing in the evenings. The hospitality of the Greeks on the island is wonderful and so welcoming so make sure to join in and they’ll teach you the basics. It’s a lot of fun!
Surrounded by crystal clear blue water, gently stretching white sand beaches, majestic cliffs standing in front of the sea to sleepy small villages and towns that are great to explore… Zakynthos is definitely a small paradise that has it all.”
Written by CJ
“Santorini is the picture postcard island of Greece, and for very good reason. The iconic blue dome churches of Oia, the volcanic craters, the black sands beaches and those breath-taking sunset views too… it has it all!
However, before I first went to Santorini, I was wondering a few questions; Does this idyllic island have more than just these things to offer? Was it only a holiday destination for celebrities, those seeking essential photos for their Instagram, along with couples seeking the ideal destination wedding and those on their honeymoon? I soon found the answers to be yes it really does and absolutely not.
In fact, there is so much to offer in Santorini that there really is something for everyone and it’s not hard to see why it’s now one of the most visited and bucket list destinations for people the world over.
I wanted to delve beyond just these postcard highlights though and find out what else is on offer… and oh my goodness, was I in for a very pleasant surprise!
There is the famous black “sand” beach in Perssia that provides the perfect sunrise landscape and sunbathing location too. This southern end of the island offers a more affordable range of tavernas, bars and restaurants than the more luxurious north, along with being fairly flat. Beyond that really has so much more to see and do too that you may wonder if one week is enough! Thankfully as it’s not a very large island, its relatively easy, thanks to the coordinated organised excursions, to get the most out of the island, while leaving free time to relax and explore at your own leisure too.
For the wine lovers there are multiple award-winning wineries such as Santo Wines and Argyros offering tastings and many with spectacular caldera views over the sea. For those with an interest in history, a visit to ancient Akrotiri, an active archaeological site (known as the Greece’s Pompei) offers a fantastic experience of what was one of the most important Minoan urban centres and ports of its time. Ancient Thira archaeological site is another historic city, perched up high above Kamari offering the chance to explore another important location.
A trip to the islands the highest point Profit Ilias, offers fantastic panoramic views of Santorini in all its glory and on clear days to the nearby islands of Ios, Naxos Paros and Crete too.
The Famous red and white beaches, named due to the colour of its rock formations, Kamari, Akro, Theros and many other hidden beaches offer some relaxing time away from the crowds that at times can build in the popular towns of Fira and Oia. Both these locations are definitely worth a visit at least once for sure!
An excursion over to the volcanic crater island of Nea Kamina offers the chance to be guided around these volcanic regions and that seems like an alien unearthly location. They also offer the chance for a swim in the hot springs, in the shadow of the crater, where the sea temperatures over these springs can rise up to 35⁰C.
A visit to these often ties in with visit to nearby Thirasia Island, the sister to Santorini and what was once part of the same island. With its harbour and tavernas it offers the chance to a more traditional insight to Greek life.
Other, often overlooked locations, such as the Heart of Santorini reached following a hidden path to a naturally shaped heart in the sandstone caldera cliffs, the Akrotiri lighthouse nestled at the end of the island and the resorts of Firostefani and Imerovigli became firm favourites, for offering both gorgeous locations to visit during the day but stunning sunset locations too that were all less busy than the main location choices of Fira and Oia.
Other highlights include an amazing afternoon and sunset on a luxury catamaran with multiple swimming and snorkelling stops, with great photo and sunbathing opportunities on board. With the small group numbers on board, it offered freshly cooked food and open bar drinks through the afternoon too. The sunset here was truly magical and it’s not hard to see why people are captivated by its beauty. Just as wonderful was the sky after the sun had set, turning an array of blues, purples, greens and yellows that blended into what seemed the most beautifully imagined watercolour painting.
With countless cosmopolitan restaurants offering everything from fresh sea food, modern European dishes and gastronomic feasts to the more traditional dishes, there are very few who would struggle to find something they enjoy. With evening entertainment ranging from outdoor cinemas, live theatre shows, interactive Greek nights, cocktail bars, nightclubs and beach bars offering everything from live music to DJs and karaoke – there is plenty to do once the sun sets too.
I firmly believe Santorini is definitely a great holiday destination choice for me, and I’m sure for other Solos too!”
Do either of these islands tick your summer holiday wants and needs? Whether you want to be active, go on hikes or just relax, we have plenty of trips to Greece that we’re sure will tick all of your boxes!
“I’m sure you will enjoy it, I have been on three solos holidays to date and the people I’ve met have been great.”
“I’ve been travelling with Solos for nearly 20 years, on and off. The reason is for exactly what you want – you meet like minded people… and have loads of fun!”
“I’ve been on loads of trips with Solos over the years and can honestly say you will not regret booking your 1st one!”
“The feeling you have once you go away on your own is worth all the nerves before! I was so very anxious the first time but now having done it 4 times, I love it!”