Lucy Whife shows us her geeky Greeky side with the lowdown on the islands
credit to IDS.photos on flickr.
On a night out last week, a fellow student told me he studied Spanish and Mandarin to which I replied ‘Mandarin? Where do they speak that?’ Evidently, I lack some serious geography and travel knowledge (and quite clearly some intelligence) but my limited travel awareness is somewhat justified by my outstanding knowledge of Greece: having spent every single summer on a Greek island since I was a littl’un, it is safe to say I know more about the country than I do my own degree. So to part with some of my wisdom, here is my Geeky Greeky guide to the perfect Greek destinations for your summer getaway:
The Family Holiday: Kefalonia
Kefalonia comes under the family holiday category as its main drawback is its expensive prices; Kefalonia is super, super pricey and thus, you need mum or dad accompanying you with a copious amount of generosity and a healthy bank account. However, the island is beautiful with stunning views and possibly the clearest water of all the Greek islands. Dotted around the island are five sheltered ports, making it ideal for any family who enjoys boating or sailing. Kefalonia is also the setting for Louis De Berniere’s novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. His regular references to the island’s monuments, places and history make it a recommended read whilst away.
The Real Greek: Andros
For those of you back-packing, travelling, hippy students, Greece has an abundance of untouched traditional Greek islands. If you’re looking to experience the real Greek- donkeys, traditional Greek dancing, wrinkly Greek grannies on the side of the road and a place where no aspect of life remotely resembles modernity - Andros is your guy. In this teeny island, with picturesque villages and beaches, there is an unashamedly small proportion of habitants who speak English and therefore the island is one of few that is not predominantly dependent on tourism in the summer months. Tranquil and relaxing, Andros is ideal for a holiday to experience true Greek culture and to marvel at how little the island has developed compared to the hustle and bustle of modern life in the country’s capital city.
The LAD Holiday: Malia
Greece offers many an island to suit the party-animal looking for a LAD holiday; Zante, Kos, Ayia Napa etc. Malia is a small town in the Greek island of Crete that separates itself from the other ‘piss-up’ destinations due to its short strip of bars and clubs and extremely safe atmosphere and reputation. On finishing Sixth Form, 10 of my innocent school friends and I ventured to Malia for a week of drinking and tanning celebrations in search of our Shirley Bassey Greek romance. We returned a week later having met Frankie Cocozza (pre X-factor stardom), watched The Inbetweeners film their movie and, needless to say, had acquired a couple of drunken tattoos... Like I said, it is the LAD holiday destination.
The Romantic-Break: Skiathos
This island is for all you loved-up students who want to take full advantage of Greece’s euro crisis cheapness whilst seemingly treating your girlfriend/boyfriend to a romantic holiday. Skiathos, and nearby island Skopelos, was the location for the film Mamma Mia and the place where supposedly drinking the tap water, although not recommended for hygienic reasons, makes you destined to find true love and perfect happiness. The idyllic setting of the film is even more perfect in real life; Skiathos is an island where you can be serenaded by a guitar-playing duo whilst enjoying a candle-lit dinner on the beach before ending your night in a classy bar on the coast, sitting on cushions and getting drunk on cocktails. It is all round honeymoon perfectness.
So have a look on lastminute.com and book that holiday away – even if you do it just to taste a real Geek salad, I can guarantee you will not regret it.