Greece, the birthplace of modern Western civilization is credited with the Olympics, philosophy, the Hippocratic Oath, democracy, and literary classics. In their spare time Greeks also managed to share the gyro, tzatziki, olive oil, and their beautiful beaches with the rest of the world.
You may have heard of Santorini, but did you know there’s 5,999 other Greek Isles? Don’t be too overwhelmed, only 227 are inhabited. That still leaves plenty of terrain to explore on a trip to this country. I realize there are many more intellectual routes that could be traveled to understand Greece’s contributions to the world, but for my purposes I needed a not-so-basic beach holiday.
My first glimpse of Greece was in 2006 after studying abroad in Spain. I took the well-traveled route to Athens, then onto the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Naxos in the Aegean Sea. If you have a week I highly recommend this agenda.
For my reunion tour of Greece I wanted to cross off a few more of those 6,000 islands and see the Ionian Sea west of the mainland. After polling several British and European colleagues, I chose the islands of Corfu and Lefkada. Looking at these photos makes me want to return immediately.
Know Before You Go:
- In Lefkada we explored Egremni Beach, Agios Nikita, Milos (accessible by boat), and Kathisma Beach.
- In Corfu rent a boat to explore the private beaches near Paradise Beach.
Where to Stay
- In Corfu we spent our first night in a hotel near the airport and Old Town: Aquis Agios Art Hotel. Upon returning later in the week we checked into an all-inclusive resort on the other side of the island: Aquis Agios Gordios Beach Hotel.
- In Lefkada we rented a home since our group had 6 people.
- For the most flexibility we rented a car. We were comfortable driving on both islands. One lesson learned on Lefkada is to ignore Google Maps and take the longer route on the road that encircles the entire island. We were routed over the mountains through one lane roads overlooking steep cliffs and learned the hard way that Google Maps wasn’t an expert on Lefkada terrain.
- Lefkada is about 3.5 hours commute from Corfu by car and ferry.