Which Greek island would you choose?

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Harbour at Hydra.

Today I was chatting online to a friend who is thinking of moving to Greece. She is very undecided as to where she should make her new home. As I have visited over 40 Greek islands on our yacht Fandancer, she has been asking me for advice. She asked me the following question, and I thought it would make a good blog post –

“If you were told you had to live on a Greek island and don’t factor in location or ease of travel where would you choose?”

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Mykonos

The first thing I told her, was that some people might immediately choose one the most picturesque and beautiful islands, the favourites of holiday brochures, with turquoise sea, a sandy beach and traditional Greek buildings. Like Paxos or Ithaca in the Ionian Sea, or Mykonos, Serifos or Amorgos in the Aegean…

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Anchored at Anti-Paxos

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At Loggos, Paxos

However, these beautiful islands may not be like this in the winter. Well, I know for certain they won’t be. The tourists have left, the tavernas have closed, the sea is colder, the weather is very different. Sometimes the ferries will stop in the winter. The bus timetable will be restricted. There will be little chance to see a doctor or dentist.

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Narrow street in Ermoupolis, Syros

If you are going to live on a Greek island all year round, you will need access to different things compared to what you want on holiday. You might not need a souvenir shop where you can buy a colourful beach towel, sun lotion, or flip flops. But you would like access to emergency services, banks, phone shops, a decent supermarket, butchers, bakers, hardware shops, plus all the multitude of other businesses that you might need.

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Beach on Meganissi

As well as visiting the islands by yacht, I have also lived on land in various parts of Greece, including being there in the off-season. The four islands I would recommend would be Aegina, Syros, Lefkas and Corfu. All of these islands have busy populations with shops and businesses open all year. They also have facilities like doctors, dentists and hospitals, unlike some of the very remote islands where you may have to rely on small ferries to take you to a town some distance away for assistance.

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Corfu sunset

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15 thoughts on “Which Greek island would you choose?

  1. Tough choice to make, as I haven’t been to any. My preference would be to visit a number of them and then, possibly, make a choice. I tend to like islands that have an interesting variety of landscapes (photography…).

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  2. Yes, I love Cyprus. We haven’t sailed there, although lots of people do. I used to live there and go to school there in 1970s as my father was in the RAF. When I went back on holiday many years later, I couldn’t believe how much it had changed.

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    • We love Hydra very much! It requires a bit of effort to get there, and not sure what it would be like in the winter, but I would recommend it to anyone for a visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just reading through your post! I absolutely love Corfu! I’ve been there 3 times and stayed in a lovely place in Sidari. It is breathtaking! If I was to live anywhere in the Greek Islands that is where I would choose!

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  4. Hi, thanks for reading my posts. That’s interesting what you say about Sidari. We have always regarded that part of Corfu as rather touristy, and we prefer to find quieter, more ‘Greek’ places. But saying that, Corfu is a really great island with lots of different sorts of places that suit everybody!

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