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Vacations® •

Spring 2018 • 21

20 • Vacations

®

Spring 2018

Detours

SPOTLIGHT

Best of the Greek Islands

By Charmaine Noronha

PATMOS

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.

SANTORINI

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

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

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

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