Cecilia Garland - Mar 25, 2013
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Long hours by the beach are what usually come to mind when you think of a holiday in Greece. Yet the Greek islands have more to offer than just their stunning coastlines. Here is a look at ten of the best attractions that you simply can’t miss on a Greek island holiday.

Castle of Odysseus, Ithaca

The tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home from the Battle of Troy might feature many incredible elements, yet archaeologists maintain the narrative is grounded in truth. Despite the tales of sirens, Cyclops and spirits, you can visit the remains of the Greek hero’s three-story home on the island of Ithaca.

Wildlife watching, Alonissos

Be sure to take a cruise on the pristine waters of the National Marine Park of Alonissos, which are home to many protected species of marine wildlife.

Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete

Take a journey to the largest of the Greek Islands and explore the ruined palace of King Knossos and the home of the mythical Minotaur.

Monastery of Spiliotissa, Zakynthos

The Spiliotissa monastery on the beautiful island of Zakynthos features a fascinating range of rare artefacts, as well as an excellent example of medieval architecture.

Ancient Thira, Santorini

Italy’s Pompeii is best known as the city preserved by volcanic eruption, but the ancient island of Santorini boasts an equally impressive settlement. The ancient preserved town is well worth exploring, as is the nearby lava beach. These ancient relics are also easily accessible, with the range of affordable package holidays to Santorini provided by The Co-operative.

Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes

This 14th century palace was built by the Knights of Rhodes and was later used as a fortress when captured by the Ottoman Empire. Today it serves as a grand hotel, so why not witness some fascinating history on a Rhodes trip, whilst residing in style?

Petros the Pelican, Mykonos

Petros the Pelican landed on the island in the 1950s, and decided never to leave. While the original Petros died in the 1980s, he was soon replaced and today locals and tourists alike often stop to pat him. When you tire of Petros, be sure to peruse the 365 churches that exist on the small island – one for every day of the year.

Admire the scenery, Santorini

The scenery in Santorini is arguably an attraction worth visiting in its own right. The iconic white-washed buildings, crystal blue waters and mesmerising cliffs have graced countless postcards, but nothing beats the real thing as you enjoy a meal of fresh seafood as the sunsets.

Dolphin diving, Skiathos

Head to the stunning Tzaneriá beach for beautiful scuba diving day-trips around many of the secluded islands located to the south-east of Skiáthos.

Hiking, Hydra

As long as you avoid the sweltering heat of summer, then Hydra is perfect for hiking. The picturesque island features a number of excellent trails, including the coastal path to Vlyhós and beyond to Episkopí hamlet.

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