9 islands for the summer 2022 holidays

John Karkalatos4 January 2022

The following is a list of 9 islands that have been distinguished for their beauties and picturesqueness and will stand out as summer destinations for 2022.

1. Spetses


In the summer of 2021 the shooting of Netflix blockbuster "Knives Out 2" took place there with the award-winning actors Daniel Craig (formerly James Bond) and Kate Hudson which will be released in cinemas in 2022.

The choice of Spetses for the shooting of the film is not random. The plot is inspired by the mystery books of Agatha Christie so the background of the film must be classic that refers to the early 20th century and this is the hotel Poseidonion that opened its gates in 1914. Of course the whole island refers to such a period. Anyway we are used to seeing Daniel Craig through the role of James Bond in picturesque villages of Italy and France, so that came the turn of Spetses.

So it's a golden opportunity to go and see up close the port of Spetses and Poseidonion square that will be shown in the film to enter the natural setting of a Hollywood movie. Of course you will see the sequel on the big and small screen.

Spetses is a well-known cosmopolitan destination of the Saronic Gulf with nobility and history that can be seen anywhere on the island. The beauties enchant the visitor from picturesque Dapia where the sea taxis are moored to Palio Limani (Old Port) where boats of all types are squeezed for a place in the sheltered bay.

The top things to do in Spetses are to walk the seaside promenade, photograph Poseidonion, pay a visit to the Palio Limani, try the local macaroons, swim in Vrellos and ride a boat taxi from Dapia to Palio Limani.

2. Sifnos


Sifnos returns to the forefront with an article - anthem of the Swiss magazine Imagine Magazin in the context of the list of special destinations for the past year. It's characterized as the silent power of the Cyclades, something that emphasizes the low profile it maintains despite its incomparable beauties.

With words like "postcard" and "infinite beauty" it tries to render its picturesque villages while it also talks about "special touches" and "small details" which are the clay creations made on the island, the local cuisine, the warm hospitality and the traditions of the island. So this is an authentic island characteristic of Cycladic beauty, the article concludes, a Greek expression that the author would definitely like to use is the eye pleasure!

He doesn't miss the opportunity to deify every side of the island from the cobbled streets to the whitewashed houses and the churches with the blue domes. Special mention is made of the two most famous icons of Sifnos, the charming church of the Seven Martyrs which is one of the most photographed churches in Greece and the patron saint Panagia Chrysopigi who stands proudly on a rock in the vastness of the Aegean.

All the villages have their honorary: Kamares with the port and the long sandy beach, Apollonia with its picturesqueness and the intense nightlife, Artemonas with its cobbled streets, Kastro the medieval capital, the traditional fishing village Faros, Plati Gialos with the big sandy beach, the isolated fishing village Vathi. Everything is analyzed in detail and they are praised.

Sifnos has also been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveller as one of the best islands in Greece for 2022. Special reference is made to the gastronomic heritage of Tselementes: "Forget souvlaki and moussaka: here chickpea croquettes and cooked caper are the main dishes of the tavern ".

3. Naxos


The list of special destinations of the Swiss magazine Imagine Magazin continues with Naxos the most complete island of the Cyclades as it characterizes it because it has everything you want from a holiday destination: from sandy beaches and picturesque villages to archeological sites and local products.

The first impression from the ferry indicates that in Naxos the picturesqueness of the Cyclades meets the ancient and medieval history. There are two attractions that pique the eye. The ancient Portara, which is an unfinished temple dedicated to the god Apollo, dominates the port and stands impressive on a cape while Chora with the Castle is a medieval castle city that was the seat of the Duchy of Naxos since 1207. In Chora is situated the old market with cobbled streets, small restaurants and bars, tourist shops and picturesqueness that has nothing to envy from Mykonos!

The list of things to can do in Naxos is pretty long. Continuing with the beaches, the best are Agios Georgios and Agios Prokopios while you'll find many more on the west side of the island, some peaceful and others crowded. Some of them are Agia Anna, Alyko, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla and Plaka. "Miles with sandy beaches" is the phrase the article uses to describe them. Anyway this island is famous all over Greece for its sandy beaches.

Apart from fishing villages it's the only Cycladic island you may find villages on the mountains. The most well-known are Apeiranthos and Filoti on Mount Fanari with Byzantine, Venetian and Frankish roots and with popular architecture that stands out. The visit there is a must as they have not been changed by tourism and what you'll see is authentic. So browse the cobbled streets, the picturesque squares, see towers and Byzantine churches and admire this different side of the Cyclades.

It also points out that Naxos is suitable for all ages, families, couples and adults. There are many options for nightlife without being a party island, the beaches are suitable for children, while at the same time it's a quiet island, it's quite large and one doesn't bother the other.

Naxos has been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveller as one of the best islands in Greece for 2022. In Naxos also had a stop in the summer of 2021 the greatest American travel blogger Kiki Kirsten.

4. Syros


A barrage of articles have been written about Syros from 2018 to 2020 by the American Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller and the British Telegraph. All agree that it's a 100% authentic island off the beaten track that gives a taste of real Greece. Syros doesn't need tourism and therefore hasn't changed, the main occupation of the inhabitants are the shipyards which, although they have an unattractive appearance, are in no way representative of the island.

Most beautiful of all is the image of Ermoupolis with the two hills crowned with churches on their tops and surrounded by neoclassical buildings. It doesn't have white houses like the rest of the Cyclades, it looks like Italy, and as the article describes, it's a world that came out of a 19th-century opera.

The captain's houses impress with the ornate balconies, the shutters, the designs on the railings while Ermoupolis impresses

with the cobbled alleys, the tiny squares, the wrought iron lamps, the Apollo theater of 1864 and the town hall of 1876 with Miaouli square. Vaporia is the most beautiful district with alleys as if they came from Siena, a combination of romance, Renaissance and Pompeii.

Ano Syros is the most atmospheric place built in 1208 as a refuge for the pirate raids, it's the capital of the Catholic Christians of the island.

So Syros is the island where history meets seamanship. It was once one of the largest ports in Europe along with Odessa, Trieste, Marseille and Liverpool. In fact the lokum of Syros was the favourite of Queen Victoria of England.

The beaches that stand out are Vari, Azolimnos and Kini. It's also mentioned that the island has a tradition in rebetiko song as Markos Vamvakaris came from there and sang its beauties.

It has been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best islands in Greece for 2022.

5. Milos


It was voted the best island in the world by the readers of the American Travel + Leisure, something that is admittedly a huge distinction both for the island itself and for Greece. A related article states that "Europe's best island has stunning white stone beaches and some of the most turquoise waters in the world." In any case, it's internationally known for Aphrodite of Milos, its beauty is similar to that of Mykonos and Santorini.

The rocky shoreline gives way to some of the most pristine crystal clear waters you have ever seen. The landscape is steep hillsides scattered with sparse vegetation, whitewashed houses, churches with blue domes and grazing goats.

In Plaka the alleys are small and narrow but the residents have carefully taken care of every detail to be in place. All the buildings are perfectly whitewashed, the shutters in the ideal shade of blue and the bougainvilleas look like they are always in bloom. Even the stones have been painted separately to stand out from the sidewalk. If you don't know about the sunset in Plaka it competes that of Santorini, it seemed better to me!

Klima is the most photographed spot of Milos, these colorful doors are warehouses and parking lots for boats dug into the soft volcanic rock. If you are lucky you may see a fisherman doing his daily works there.

Sarakiniko beach is like you have landed on the bright side of the moon while reference is made to Papafragas, another distinct beach of the island. The article concludes: "Milos, like its famous statue, is a siren that will call you again and again."

It has been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best islands in Greece for 2022. It was also visited by the greatest American travel blogger Kiki Kirsten. Her stops were Firopotamos, Fyriplaka, Plaka, Polyaigos, Apollonia, Kapros and Tsigrado.

6. Ithaca


Listening to Ithaca comes to mind Odysseus and his long journey but perhaps this reputation prevents us from seeing the island as a summer destination where we can spend our holidays there. Because apart from being the homeland of Odysseus, Ithaca is a verdant island adorned with picturesque villages whose slopes end in beautiful coves with wonderful beaches. It's even better known among boat owners who sail the seas than among vacationers.

From Kioni to Vathi all you'll see are images that travel the mind. Picturesque harbors embrace sheltered coves with sailing boats rocking in calm waters, the houses are traditional Ionian, colorful two-storey with a balcony. In Vathi you'll encounter the statue of Odysseus who on one side stands arrogantly while on the other he rows exhausted his boat while in Kioni discover the very small beaches with turquoise waters that lead there the streets of the village.

Other villages worth a visit are the fishing village of Frikes and Stavros where there is a bust of Odysseus and a representation of his palace, a work of the Italian architect Bruno Mazzali.

The beaches are small and pristine but above all quiet, they may be unknown but this is because few people know them well! The best are Gidaki, Filiatro, Kioni, Platia Ammos, Kourvoulia, Sarakiniko, Minimata and Ai Giannis.

Ithaca has also been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best islands in Greece for 2022.

7. Paxi


If there is one place in Greece that combines natural beauty with picturesqueness and tranquility then this is Paxi, the island that is best known for its seas in all shades of blue. Conde Nast Traveller included it in its list and characterizes the color of the sea as electric blue!

Although a small island, its attractions are disproportionately many. The settlements are of Italian architecture with beautiful streets and picturesque harbors located in sheltered coves offering a unique opportunity for food and coffee by the sea. The most important sights, however, are the magnificent natural formations: the breathtaking view of the cliffs from Kastanida, above the cave of Ypapantis, the natural arch Tripitos, the beach Erimitis with the vertical cliffs, the sunset over Galazio beach and also the sunset in Lakka in the calm waters of the bay.

The beaches cannot be described in words, just that one is better than the other, of course the best are in Antipaxos with Voutoumi stealing the show fairly.

A must is the round of Paxi and Antipaxos to admire the sharp cliffs and swim in the Blue Cave.

8. Patmos


Here is a destination on the list of Conde Nast Traveller from the Dodecanese, extremely wronged because the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos exceeds the reputation of the island, you'll usually find it in lists for Easter destinations that title it as the island of the Apocalypse but this is not the whole reality.

The most beautiful in Patmos may not be the Monastery but Chora that impresses with its elegance and special nobility, it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stands out for the white mansions dating from the 16th century with the stone outlines on doors and windows, for the colorful details, the winding alleys, the beautiful squares and the view to Skala, the port of the island.

Lacy island as it is, it hides many coves with peaceful beaches with Livadi Geranou and Psili Ammos being the favourites of Conde Nast. The most beautiful activity, however, is the day trip to the neighbouring inhabited and uninhabited islands and this is because in Patmos there are such groups of islands that will give you the opportunity to make marine explorations and discoveries.

Most tourists visit Patmos with excursion ferries from Kos but it's definitely worth a few days more attention. And one more thing, the almighty Monastery has kept the nightlife under its control. This is a figure of speech of course from Conde Nast!

9. Symi


The Dodecanese islands continue with Symi. We are now used to it being promoted every year by Greek bloggers but this year it has been included in the list of Conde Nast Traveller. So it narrates in brilliant words:

"Little Symi has the most beautiful port in Greece. As you turn the cape, neoclassical mansions in every shade of apricot and peach rise like a reflection from the sea. Built by 19th-century sponge and spice merchants the whole city is now a national monument."

Picturesque and imposing, I would add, with a large port and the clock of 1881 dominating. What you want is to find the best places to admire the settlement from different angles and to watch peacefully the boats that come and go the port. High on the hill of course the view becomes even better.

A must is a visit to the Monastery of Panormitis which is the protector of the Dodecanese island group and swim at the beaches of Agios Georgios and Marathounta. It's also famous for the Symian little shrimp, although in the taverns you can taste all kinds of seafood.