Spring 2018 • 21
20 • Vacations
Best of the Greek Islands
By Charmaine Noronha
This small island has long been
the site of Christian pilgrimages
as it’s reputed to be where
St. John the Theologian
received a vision from Jesus
and subsequently wrote the
Christian bible’s Book of
Revelation. Visit the Cave of the
Apocalypse, where John is said
to have received his Revelation.
Follow the picturesque
alleyways toward the Monastery
of Saint John, the Theologian.
In 1999, the island’s historic
centre Chora, the Monastery
of Saint John and the Cave of
the Apocalypse were declared
UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Sweeping ocean views, superb
beaches and traditional Grecian
architecture contribute to making
this volcanic island one of Greece’s
most popular tourist destinations.
Head to Oia on the northern tip,
where sunset views are the stuff of
“wish you were here” sentiments.
Given its popularity, you’ll have to
jostle through bustling crowds to
reach the top for prime viewing.
Grab an outdoor seat at Mezzo
Restaurant, a glass of Santorini
SantoWines Assyrtiko wine and
mouth-watering Moussaka while
watching the sun dip into the sea.
Rhodes is rooted in ancient history
and adorned with beautiful beaches.
The atmospheric Old Town of Rhodes,
a UNESCO World Heritage site, is
a maze of cobblestone streets that
will transport you to the days of the
Byzantine Empire. Walk through the
Knights Quarter where during the 14th
and 15th centuries, knights protected
themselves from potential invaders by
erecting mighty fortress-like mansions
and the magnificent Palace of the
Grand Master. Then head to Lindos, an
ancient city-state, known for its clifftop
acropolis, which features monumental
4th-century gates and reliefs from
about 280 BC and check out The
Temple of Athena Lindia.
Mykonos could be considered
Greece’s version of Ibiza for
its party scene which ramps
up well after midnight and
keeps going well after sunrise.
Start your party by swigging
a cocktail at the Sea Breeze
Cocktail Bar in Little Venice
while watching the sunset. Walk
up to Roca Cookery and nosh
on octopus in wine sauce and
grilled fish while overlooking
the picturesque Old Harbour.
Head back down to Little
Venice to begin your night of
calorie-burning via dance floors
at the unpretentious Caprice.
The azure Aegean Sea is set against whitewashed cave homes
cascading down volcanic rock faces. Warm sand and cool breezes.
Lively ports and quaint fishing towns. Greece’s 6,000 islands
(227 of them inhabited) are among the Mediterranean’s most
beautiful assets. Here’s a snapshot of what’s to offer on
a few top-notch islands.
Crete, the largest and most popular of the Greek islands, is
blessed with impressive mountainous landscapes, fertile valleys
and steep gorges. Its natural beauty is rivalled by its rich history
as the birthplace of the first advanced society on European
soil, the Minoans, who ruled some 4,000 years ago. You’ll
find evocative vestiges all over, including the famous Palace
of Knossos. Tour around the palace to see the awe-inspiring
Throne Room and imposing frescos. And because of its higher
summer elevations, Crete is a haven for olive oil, cheese and wine
production; eat at a traditional taverna or kafenio (Greek café)
where everything melts in your mouth because the ingredients
are so delectably fresh.
SUNSET IN SANTORINI
PALACE OF KNOSSOS
SUNSET COCKTAILS IN MYKONOS
COBBLESTONE STREETS OF RHODES
MONASTERY OF SAINT JOHN