When travelling as a couple “of a certain age” there’s a few things you may want to consider, particularly if you have mobility issues or health conditions that could make travelling difficult. In this post we’ll look into the best Greek islands for older couples and which ones could be right for you.
The best Greek islands for older couples are likely to be those that have their own airports and villages that aren’t too hilly or packed with people, check out Tigaki in Kos, Kassiopi in Corfu, Argassi in Zakynthos or Pefkos in Rhodes.
So, with those options in mind, let’s look at some of the things that older couples may need to consider and then dive into what the best options are.
Short Flight Times
If you struggle to sit on a plane for extended periods of time then you’d want to aim for one of the Ionian islands or those in the north of the Aegean sea, below is a table of the average flight times from some of the UKs major airports to the most popular Greek islands with direct flights to give you an idea of what would work for you.
Flight time info provided by skyscanner.net
As you can see from the table above, there’s only a handful of islands that you can reach from the UK on a direct flight, that’s because most of the islands have no airport or only have small, internal only airports that link to Athens.
If there’s no airport at all then they are accessible by ferry from neighbouring islands or the mainland.
Keep this in mind when planning your trip as it could take multiple ferry trips or long waits at Athens to get a connecting flight to your chosen island, particularly those idyllic remote islands.
Quiet Laid Back Villages
It stands to reason that older couples aren’t looking to go clubbing or stay out into the small hours downing cocktails. Avoiding places like Kavos and Laganas is a good idea but there’s also places like Mykonos where the main town gets really lively as the sun goes down. Ios has the same tendency so probably cross that off the list too.
Having said that, quiet and relaxed villages are the bread and butter of the Greek islands, they’re all over the place so once you’ve picked an island finding a village should be a piece of cake.
Villages that are Flat
With age comes changes in your mobility, at least for some, so places like Oia and Fira in Santorini where there’s tons of steps and hills everywhere are probably best avoided for those that struggle.
The same goes for other villages, places like Lindos in Rhodes. Generally, resorts based around the sea front tend to be pretty flat and the interior villages are more mountainous.
So, with all these considerations, lets look at some Greek island recommendations for older couples and some of the most appropriate towns and villages on each island.
As the closest island, Corfu is an obvious choice, it has an almost endless selection of delightful villages, particularly in the north east with Kassiopi standing out with it’s beautiful harbour region that’s overflowing with restaurants and bars to sit, relax and take in the atmosphere. The beaches around Kassiopi aren’t sandy but others nearby are.
Another village worth looking at is Agios Gordios which is another pretty, relaxed village but has the bonus of a long sandy beach if that’s a must for you.
One of the most beautiful fishing villages in Greece, that’s Fiskardo in Kefalonia and it’s a great choice for older couples, it has loads of little water front restaurants where you could spend hours sipping drinks and watching the luxury yachts coming and going.
Other options in Kefalonia are Sami and Agia Effimia which are both on the east coast, are flat and pretty places to spend your time. If you need great to be in walking distance of a great beach then look at Lassi and Skala.
Head for Alykes or Alykanas and you’ll be treated to a gorgeous golden sand beach, loads of options for accommodation and villages that will charm you whilst providing all the necessary amenities that you would expect.
Alternatively, have a look at Argassi in the Vasilikos peninsula, this is where the best beaches are and it’s close to the capital too so you can easily take in the sights of Zakynthos Town one day and spend the next on the beach.
Skiathos Town is the obvious choice with an abundance of places to stay and some gorgeous restaurants, there’s a slight hill from the outskirts to the harbour but nothing major and you’ll love the buzz of the water front bars.
If you prefer a beach side location then Troulos is a cracking option, it’s one of the best beaches on the island and has a handful of tavernas for dinner and drinks. Koukounaries is often said to be the best beach on the island and although there’s not many hotels or restaurants in the area there are some.
The north coast villages of Tigaki, Marmari and Mastichari are all superb options for older couples. The beach on this area of the coast is wide, sandy and well maintained, the resorts have loads of great restaurants as well as being flat and easy to navigate.
Another option is Kos town, it’s full of historical sites and great restaurants although it may be too busy for some peoples tastes, in that case try Lambi, it’s on the outskirts of the capital and has everything you might need with the sights of the main town a
Many older couples love Pefkos in Rhodes, so much so that they come back year after year. It has a few hills, particularly as you head down to the beach but it’ll be manageable for most.
Rhodes town and in particular the old town with it’s maze of cobbled streets is a fantastic place to spend some time, pull up a seat at one of the many restaurants within the walls of the old town and watch the world go by, there’s not many better places for people watching.
Other options if you’re happy to travel a bit
Another option, for those that are happy to do a bit more travel after the flight is Thassos and in particular the capital, Limenas. There’s a small beach in the town itself as well as some other great beaches just outside. There’s no massive hills to navigate unless you travel the island. Everything you need is right there in the village with heaps of shops, restaurants and bars as well as plenty of choice of accommodation.
Getting to Thassos is relatively simple, there’s an airport called Kavala on the mainland and from there it’s a short 15 minute drive to Keramoti port and a 30 minute ferry ride to Thassos.
Skopelos is an island in the Sporades group, it’s accessed via flights to Skiathos and a half hour ferry trip. It’s a relatively quiet and authentic island with tourism failing to encroach too much on the character and charm of the place.
Although the town is set amongst hills and getting about will involve some steps and uphill sections, if you’re capable then this could be a fabulous choice, particularly for those looking for a quieter, more relaxed week or two.