25 Best Greek Islands
The islands of Greece are the main characteristic of the morphology of the country and are an integral part of the tradition and culture of Greece. There are 6,000 islets and islands scattered throughout the Ionian and Aegean seas. Great diversity can be found across these many islands, such as beaches stretching for miles, sheltered coves and bays, pebble beaches, sandy beaches with dunes, coastal wetlands, coastal caves and colored sand of volcanic origin.
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The island of Santorini, known in Greek as Thera, oozes charm and offers a mythical experience thanks to this island phenomenon. The island has been immortalized by painters and poets due to its picturesque sunsets and colorful cliffs. It is one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in Greece. Visitors can relax in an infinity pool located on the edge of a cliff, offering spectacular views of the Aegean Sea, or relax in the sun with a refreshing cocktail. A wild landscape of black and red rocks can be observed around the crater of Nea Kameni, located in the center of the caldera.
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The Greek island of Corfu is considered the “Grande Dame of the Ionian Sea”, and is often characterized by a number of mythical images. The city’s iconic mansions and the Liston Arcade are equally majestic, as is Spianada Square, which is the largest of its kind in the Balkans. Greeks, Russians, French, English and Venetians have all lived and prospered in Corfu and have each left their mark on the island’s many attractions and sights. The result is an island of diverse culture that visitors will discover in Campiello’s maze of alleyways and with every glass of kumquat liqueur.
Greek Islands: Amorgos
Turquoise seas and crystal clear blue waters surround the island of Amorgos, the same waters that provided the name of the movie The Big Blue. The island is hidden away, with untouched timelessness and secret beaches, making it one of the most intriguing of the Greek islands. There is a whole range of different beaches, from rocky to pebble to sandy, and visitors can easily find their own little patch of beach just for them. Amorgos is beautiful and wild, with its high mountains dropping steeply into the clear sea, offering visitors surprises everywhere they look.
Greek Islands: Antiparos
The Greek island of Antiparos is quite picturesque with its whitewashed chapels and beautiful beaches. The island is about 30 minutes from Paroikia by small ferry, or 8 minutes from Pounta on a car ferry which runs every 30 minutes. Antiparos has a friendly atmosphere and a more relaxed pace of life. There aren’t really any water sports facilities on Antiparos, but some can be found on Pounta. Life on the island tends to revolve around the harbour, with the main street leading from the waterfront to the square, passing several restaurants, taverns and shops.
Greek Islands: Chios
Chios is full of medieval villages, beaches of wild beauty, varied landscapes and “miraculous” mastic trees. The island sits on the edge of the beautiful Aegean Sea and is one of the most untouched and unexplored islands in the region, with hidden gems, surprises and secrets everywhere visitors look. About twenty medieval villages are found at the southern end of the islands, of which Mesta and Pyrgi are particularly noteworthy. Patrika, Nenita, Armolia and Vessa are also worth a short visit. The narrow roads of Kambos can also be interesting to explore, with their ornate gates, beautiful arches and high stone walls.
islands in Greece: Delos
The island of Delos in the Greek Islands has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an island steeped in history in the Aegean Sea, located just a few kilometers from the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. The island retains its uniqueness in the world, as no other island can claim to possess such a number of monumental antiquities dating from the Hellenistic, Classical and Archaic periods. The island is not a museum, but rather history itself, and is an experience in its own right. Delos is the birthplace of the Greek immortals, and the sanctity of the island is ever present. This enchanting landscape is no one’s home.
islands in Greece: Folegandros
Located between Milos and Sikinos, in the Aegean Sea, is the small island of Folegandros, an island that presents a lot of beauty for its small size. Known for its magical charm, the island is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Cyclades. Folegandros features the charming whitewashed Hora with an old castle in the medieval era quarter of Kastro. There is also the village of Ano Meria, famous for its “themonies” or agricultural complexes. The main town of the island is considered one of the most remarkable in the country. Another interesting attraction is the Aspropounta Lighthouse.
islands in Greece: Hydra Island
The island of Hydra is perhaps the most impressive of the islands in the Saronic Gulf of Argo. Due to the island’s proximity to the city of Athens, Hydra is a popular weekend destination during the summer months. The island town was built on the slopes of a hill near a harbor and continues to impress visitors at first sight with its elegant stone mansions. One of the best things about Hydra is that no motor vehicles are allowed on the island. All transport is on foot, by boat or by donkey. The island also has some beautiful beaches.
islands in Greece: Ikaria
Ikaria might not exactly be one of the most stunning of the Greek islands, but it is certainly wild and rugged. While it lacks the array of beautiful beaches that many tourists seek when visiting islands in greece, it makes up for it with gourmet cuisine and a modern and lively nightlife. The picturesque village of Arethousa is home to the Theoskepasti Chapel, carved out of a massive rock and photographed by many tourists. Visitors can also explore the Folklore Museum and the Archaeological Museum of Aghios Kyrikos to learn more about Ikaria, while the fishing village of Avlaki offers incredible fresh seafood.
islands in Greece: Ios
The Greek island of Ios is one of the Cyclades islands. The island is known for its spectacular beaches, its intense nightlife which attracts many young people, and its picturesque village of Chora. But Ios is not only a party place, as it also offers places to relax away from noise and crowds. The coastline has several beautiful beaches with emerald waters and soft sand. The highest point of Chora offers breathtaking views of the sea. Although the island is popular with young people, there are still places where families with children can spend holidays relaxing and fun.
islands in Greece: Kos
Kos is one of the largest Greek islands. The relatively large size of the island allows for a wider range of events and activities offered to visitors, which is somewhat unusual for the islands of Greece. Over the years, Kos has become almost synonymous with cycling, and thousands of visitors come every summer to cycle around this mostly flat island. The island offers great natural beauty, spectacular and extensive beaches, traditional festivities, historical monuments, etc. Visitors can also experience the island’s architecture among its many structures, including the famous Asklepieion. Another highlight of the island is the friendly and welcoming people of Kos.
Greek island: Lefkada
The island of Lefkada is considered the “Caribbean of Greece” and often surprises travelers with the exotic blue color of its beaches. Lefkada is actually connected to mainland Greece by a small bridge, which allows visitors to reach it by car, so there is no need to take a ferry. The island is an ideal holiday destination for families, friends, large groups and couples, as there is something for everyone in Lefkada. Visitors will find picturesque villages around the island, wonderfully colored beaches and impressive landscapes, especially in Kathisma, Egremni and Porto Katsiki.
Greek island: Milos
Milos is certainly one of the most exotic islands in the Aegean Sea. It is one of the most impressive islands of the Cyclades and the place where the Venus de Milo was found. The island’s beaches are colored orange, pink and red by volcanic rocks. Kleftiko and Sarakiniko are steeped in pirate stories and feature caves formed by sea erosion, emerald green waters and white rock formations. The multicolored islands of Mandrakia, Emborios and Klima, with their picturesque cliff-cut structures, as well as exotic beaches and catacombs, make the island of Milos unique. Visitors can board a boat to admire the kaleidoscope of colors of the coastline.
Greek island: Mykonos
Mykonos is undoubtedly one of the most famous Greek islands, and probably the most popular destination in all of Greece for visitors from all over the world. This cosmopolitan island offers just about everything, satisfying visitors’ appetites for adventure and luxury. Mykonos is consistently voted the best destination for summer holidays thanks to its five-star service, luxury hotels, dream villas, award-winning restaurants and stunning beaches. Little Venice is perhaps one of the most photographed neighborhoods on the island. Other major attractions of Mykonos are its whitewashed alleyways and famous windmills. The white buildings and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea offer breathtaking views.
Greek island: Naxos
The island of Naxos is the largest of the islands of the Cyclades group in Greece. Naxos is a popular destination for tourists and offers many attractions and activities. The island is large enough not to seem crowded, even at the height of the tourist season. If visitors want to see all the island has to offer, they may need to travel by car. The island has many significant medieval structures and ancient ruins, as well as some less significant ones. Several beaches can be found near the capital of the island, Naxos Town, also known as Chora. The windy island is perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Greek Islands: Paros
Paros has unparalleled natural beauty, Byzantine trails that connect traditional villages, beaches with clear waters and impressive landscapes. Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Greece, the island is a popular holiday destination. The capital of the island, Parikia, is a beautiful village with whitewashed houses and neoclassical mansions. Hiking is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Paros. Visitors can walk down the strata stepping back in time to when farmers used these trails to transport goods. The colorful village of Náoussa includes the ruins of what was once a Venetian fortress near a small harbour.
Patmos is known worldwide as the sacred island on which Saint John wrote the Book of Revelations. It’s also a great place for anyone who loves nature, with its volcanic soil, steep cliffs and lacy coastline. In 1981, Patmos was designated by the Hellenic Parliament as a “holy island”, and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. In the Hora district, small white houses can be seen glistening in the sun of the Aegean Sea and which contrast with the two-storey mansions of the region. Narrow, historic streets lead to Skala, where visitors will find traditional bakeries, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
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The tiny island of Paxi is located in the northern Ionian Sea, south of Corfu. The island has quite a cosmopolitan vibe due to the many yachts that moor at its ports during the summer months. Paxi is best known for its amazing and exotic blue beaches. The uninhabited islet of Antipaxi has some of the most spectacular beaches in Greece. Visitors can tour the islet by boat from Gaios, the capital of the island. Gaios, along with the other seaside villages of Logos and Lakka, offer peaceful beach walks and traditional architecture. The island can easily be visited in a day from Parga or Corfu.
Greek Islands: Rhodes
Rhodes offers many reasons for travelers to come and explore the Greek island, from its medieval old town and the Acropolis of Lindos to the ancient cities of Ialysos and Kamiros, passing through the Valley of the Butterflies and the port of Mandraki, And much more. The island’s landscape abounds with endless attractions, rich history, and bountiful and eye-catching natural beauty, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Traditional tavernas serve local delicacies and visitors will find plenty of other things to do on the island, with gourmet restaurants, ruins of ancient civilizations, castles, emerald green waters and wide sandy beaches.
Greek Islands: Samos
Samos is one of the most popular of the Greek islands, standing out for its lush greenery and amazing beaches. The capital of the island is Vathi, but tourism in Samos also extends to many seaside destinations along the coast, such as Heraion, Karlovassi, Pythagorion and Kokkari. The beaches of Lemonakia, Potokaki, Agios Konstantinos and Tsamadou are particularly stunning with their exotic waters, but there are also several other beautiful beaches that are either completely secluded or well organized. The island is also famous for its wine, which has been produced here since ancient times.
islands in Greece: Sifnos
Located in the Western Cyclades region, the island of Sifnos is a fine example of a typical Cycladic island, with its traditional architecture, low hills, seaside tavernas and quiet beaches. The island’s most popular beaches, with their tourist facilities, soft sand and crystal clear water, are found in the south of the island. Kastro is the most picturesque village on the island, with amazing sea views, stone houses and narrow streets. Visitors can also explore Chrissopighi Monastery during their stay. The Church of the Seven Martyrs, located at the entrance to the village, is the subject of many photos of Kastro.
islands in Greece: Skiathos
The island of Skiathos is one of the most popular of the Greek islands. Known for its golden beaches, lively atmosphere and green nature, the island is popular with families and young people. The famous bay of Koukounaries, as well as many popular beaches, are located on the south side of the island. Skiathos’ impressive and exotic Lalaria Beach is only accessible by boat, as is the island’s medieval castle. It is in the town of the island that visitors will find most of the activities offered by Skiathos as well as a refreshing drink in the evening.
Greek Islands: Skopelos
The beautiful island of Skopelos is located between Alonissos and Skiathos and attracts mostly families and couples looking for a romantic vacation. This is also where scenes from the famous movie Mamma Mia were filmed. The church in the film is the island’s impressive Agios Ioannis Kastri. The island’s beaches feature crystal clear waters, ideal for spending a relaxing day in the sun. The two main villages of Skopelos, Glossa and Skopelos Town, are built on top of a hill, offering stunning views of the Aegean Sea. These villages have a particular architecture. Visitors can also explore other nearby islands from Skopelos.
Greek Islands: Syros
The architecture of the island of Syros is more medieval in style than Cycladic, even though it is part of the Cyclades. Ermoupolis, the capital of the island, has elegant Venetian mansions, impressive neoclassical buildings like the Apollo Theater and the Town Hall, grand churches and the picturesque Vaporia district. The island is an ideal destination for families and couples in search of romance. The island’s beaches are relaxing and pleasant, and there are several tourist accommodations and facilities nearby. Syros is a transport hub for ferries, making it easy to explore other Aegean islands at the same time as Syros.
Greek Islands: Zakynthos
Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is one of the most popular and beautiful islands in the Ionian Sea, famous for its crystal clear waters and intense nightlife. The most famous of the island’s beaches is that of Navagio, whose exotic blue water and golden sands are only accessible by boat. A boat trip to the Blue Caves and Navagio is one of the highlights of any visit to Zakynthos. There are also other great beaches, such as Spiantza, Gerakas and Vassilikos. Zante Town is home to some interesting museums, as well as a Venetian hilltop castle. Mountainous villages dot the island’s countryside, along with ancient monasteries.