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  • Cruise along the southwestern coast of Crete: Even on a public ferry, you will feel like Odysseus or another intrepid explorer as you chug past the mouths of mountain gorges, groves of cypress, hidden coves, and, every so often, a white-clad village tucked far away from the modern world.
  • Linger over lunch at Agios Sostis, Mykonos: Paradise and Super Paradise are the island’s famous beaches, but Agios Sostis' crescent of sand is much more paradisiacal—and coming upon such a tranquil spot on an island as famously boisterous as Mykonos is all the more satisfying. The water is warm, the sands are soft, and a lunch of grilled fish or pork is served beneath a flowering vine at a simple beachside taverna.
  • Soak in a hot spring at Bros Therma, Kos: For one of Greece’s most relaxing and memorable beach experiences, head to Bros Therma on the Dodecanese island of Kos, where sulfurous water bubbles to the surface of a natural, boulder-enclosed pool on the beach. Soak up therapeutic benefits—treatment of rheumatism and arthritis, among other ailments—then plunge into the cooler sea.
  • Feel the golden sands between your toes on Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos: The perfect crescent backed by pines is a Greek-isle fantasy. Your surfside stroll will not be a solitary experience, but a short walk through shady, sandy-floored groves will deliver you to a string of quieter sands on the Mandraki Peninsula of this popular Sporades island.
  • Take a stroll on the Nafplion Promenade: It’s hard to believe that this beautiful, busy Peloponnesian town—a much fought-over prize for Turks and Venetians—is only a few steps behind you as you make your way along the Gulf of Argos, with the blue water shimmering and gentle waves crashing onto the rocks below you. At the end of the walk you can dip into the sea beneath the Acronafplia Fortress at Arvanitia—one of the most beautiful town beaches anywhere.
  • See the sea through the Portara, Naxos: The great unfinished ancient temple doorway may lead to nowhere, but it beautifully frames the blue sea and the heights of Naxos Town’s Venetian Kastro towering against the blue sky. You almost want to believe the legend that the massive marble portal was meant to be the entrance to the palace that the god Dionysus built for his lover, Ariadne. Taking a swim here is truly a divine experience.
  • Sail into Symi harbor: A beautiful, broad, horseshoe-shaped expanse of blue sea is lined with pastel-colored houses and gracious neoclassical mansions from this Dodecanese island’s shipbuilding and sponge-fishing heydays. The photogenic assemblage is all the more striking because the rest of the little island is rough and rugged, though with so many little chapels and remote monasteries that islanders claim you can worship in a different sanctuary every day of the year.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.