22 Best Greek Islands You Need To Visit

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Best Greek Islands
Photo by Evangelos Mpikakris, on Unsplash, Copyright 2022

It’s a pleasure to travel to the Best Greek Islands. It’s a wonderful destination for a vacation due to the climate, food, and welcoming locals. Given the size of Greece, choosing a destination can be challenging, particularly when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit.

On the other side, finding The Best Greek Islands could have been more challenging, particularly if you’ve never traveled to Greece. The greatest Greek islands, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Delos, provide a wide variety of breathtaking sights. The largest island in Greece, Crete, is not even considered in that.

There are certain to be a few significant attractions that you’ll like, regardless of the type of Greek island holiday you’re searching for. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest Greek islands for you to visit while you’re there.

The best Greek islands to visit are listed below. Enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

Santorini
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Santorini

The island’s core collapsed and sank into the water around 1650 B.C. as a result of a devastating volcanic explosion. Some people think that the lost city of Atlantis, which disappeared into the ocean’s depths many years ago, had its initial site here.

What is left of this legendary city is protected by stunning whitewashed homes and breathtaking beaches. Today, Santorini consists of two inhabited islands plus several islets. The principal towns of Santorini, including Fira and Oia, are situated on Thira, the largest island in the archipelago.

For a day of relaxation, Thirassia is a fantastic destination. Additionally, don’t discount the greatest smaller islands like Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni.

A stunning trip to Santorini’s breathtaking beaches is made possible by the island’s black and red sands. Then go to Ancient Thera to witness the remains of three civilizations, including the Romans, or Ancient Akrotiri to be amazed by the wealth found there.

The caldera, a magnificent turquoise body of water that serves as the center for the archipelago’s numerous isles, is visible from there.

The picturesque islands of Santorini are a popular stop for cruise ships, but despite claims to the contrary, you’ll need many days to a week to see everything they have to offer.

Therefore, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to discover that the Cyclades are more than just attractive points.

Hydra Island
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Hydra

In the Saronic Gulf, southwest of Athens, Hydra stands out from its neighbors due to the lack of vehicles. The only ways to go across the cobblestone streets are indeed by foot or donkey. But other factors bring tourists to Hydra.

While you’re here, wander along the pebbly beaches of the island and stop by one of its charming coastal villages, such as Hydra Town, where you’ll discover traditional residences and some of Hydra’s best nightlife spots.

Crete island
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Crete

The simplest way to sum up Crete, the biggest island in Greece, is with one word: diverse. Sandy beaches are hidden among towering mountains, palm tree groves are abundant in the middle of wide plains, and along the coast, thriving modern cities coexist with historically significant buildings.

Cities reflect the inhabitants of Crete who came before them. Along with current Greek architecture, the streets are dotted with structures inspired by Minoan, Venetian, and Ottoman architectural styles.

The island maintains a sense of unity despite its apparent disparities, which may be felt whether strolling along the street, dining at a nearby tavern, or sipping raki at a sidewalk café.

The experiences of Crete are as varied as their history, so before making a reservation, consider the sort of vacation you desire. If you’re looking for an urban setting with a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, consider staying in Chania or Heraklion near the northern shore.

For individuals who enjoy being outside, Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos’ numerous beautiful sandy beaches are suitable.

Skiathos
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Skiathos

The picturesque Greek island of Skiathos is located just off the east coast of the continent. It’s one of those locations where you can enjoy a wonderful balance of sightseeing and unadulterated leisure, which, let’s face it, is essential on a holiday.

The stunning beaches on the majority of Greek islands are well-known, but Skiathos has some of the greatest in the area. There are more than 60 lovely options to choose from, including the exclusive Lalaria Beach and the clothing-optional Banana Beach. Skiathos’s crystal-clear waters make it an excellent location for sailing.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of the beach and sun, spend some time exploring the island’s monasteries, cathedrals, and historic sites. Any traveler should make the trek to Skiathos Town to indulge in authentic Greek cuisine and party the night away at a nearby nightclub.

Corfu island
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5 In Best Greek Islands

Corfu

After serving as the scene for spectacular tales by both Homer and Shakespeare, the island of Corfu (also known as Korfu or Kerkyra) continues to entice weary tourists seeking to escape from the pressures of daily life.

Its stunning green surroundings, along with the scent of citrus and olives coming from nearby orchards, are enough to ease any anxiety. And it would be enough to make you feel as though you’ve reached heaven to see the iridescent waves of the Ionian Sea or feel the expansive, pebbly beaches beneath your feet.

Every year, tourists flock to Corfu because of its miles of coastline and stunning beaches. Corfu boasts pebbly beaches with lots of local amenities, as well as gentle waves and serene sands. Make time to see the island’s unique historical and religious monuments after a few days of sunbathing.

Among the top tourist destinations in Corfu are the Corfu Museum of Asian Art and the Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress). The Paleokastritsa Monastery and the Corfu Donkey Rescue are two distinctive attractions you may see when you’re ready to travel to the western side of the island.

naxos island
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Naxos

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades, therefore there is a lot more of its shoreline to discover. There are several wonderful beaches to pick from, from the well-known Plaka to the more sedate Aleko, as well as several water activities.

Because of the wind on the west side of the island, Naxos is a wonderful place to learn to windsurf and kitesurf. Spend some time exploring the remnants of the temples of Apollo, Demeter, and Dionysus.

ISO Island
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Ios

Ios is one of the most beautiful Greek islands, making it a wonderful addition to a trip to Santorini or Naxos. Ios is a stand-alone destination, so don’t be fooled into thinking it has to be a part of a longer tour.

Ios attracts tourists in the summer who want to partake in the lively nightlife there. But this island, which is located north of Santorini, offers more than just bars, clubs, and beach gatherings. During the day, tourists may explore Ios’ more tranquil side by wandering through the village of Chora, which is covered with whitewash.

As an alternative, people might go to famous places like Panagia Gremiotissa (a church with stunning views of the sun setting), Skarkos (old ruins), and Homer’s grave (where the world-renowned Greek poet is allegedly buried). If you want to be active while on vacation, we advise hiking to Pyrgos, Ios’ highest peak.

Zakynthos island
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Zakynthos

One of the most well-known best Greek islands is Zakynthos, which is situated in the Ionian Sea.

Discover the magnificent, rugged, and full of undiscovered coves and beaches coastline of Zakynthos. Two of the island’s most well-known locations are Shipwreck Beach and the breathtaking Blue Caves, where the sea is transformed into an ethereal blue by the reflection of the sky and white limestone.

Beyond the water, there are several additional must-see attractions. Visit the Venetian Castle, which offers a view over the capital of Zakynthos, and then the Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante, which features exhibits of religious art.

The Olea Hotel, which is entirely made up of suites, is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a nice place to stay in Shipwreck Beach.

skopelos island
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Skopelos

Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors or at the movies, Skopelos is a fantastic destination. Greece’s greenest island was where “Mamma Mia!” was filmed. Skopelos is well-known for its pine forests, vineyards, orchards, and olive groves in addition to Agios Ioannis (the church where Sophie Sheridan and Sky Ramand wed in the movie).

Additionally, it boasts a few gorgeous stretches of beaches, such as the pebbly Panormos, which is a fantastic spot to see one of Greece’s famous sunsets. Because Skopelos only has two main highways, make plans to go about on foot or by bicycle.

Delos
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Delos

Greek mythology claims that the Cycladic island of Delos is where the god’s Apollo and Artemis were born. A significant ancient site in Greece is added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Three must-see ruins are the Terrace of the Lions, Apollo’s Sanctuary, and the Artemision.

On Delos is also Mount Kynthos, whose peak you may go to enjoy sweeping views of nearby tourist hotspots like Mykonos. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Delos to view the amazing artifacts on display when the sun becomes oppressive.

Mykonos island

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Mykonos

Mykonos needs no explanation when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit. It ranks right up there with major destinations like Santorini and Crete in terms of popularity.

With its whitewashed exteriors and cube-shaped homes, Mykonos exudes a Mediterranean charm. The main city center of Chora is surrounded by winding streets that pass upscale shops and magnificent churches, giving the island a strong sense of Greek antiquity.

On the other side, Mykonos is renowned for its wild beach parties and exciting nightlife. Aside from its crazy nightlife, Mykonos’ smooth, sandy beach is its biggest draw. Visitors visit them while on vacation, usually in their underwear, to see and be seen.

People who appreciate a good party are drawn to this laid-back attitude; the nicest beaches in Psarou and Paradise get going early and don’t stop till dawn.

There are plenty of daytime attractions like the Cycladic-style buildings in Chora, the windmills in Kato Myli, and the majestic temples on Delos, so don’t worry, early risers. Here, you’ll discover the perfect equilibrium of elegance, relaxation, and festivity.

Folegandros
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Folegandros

The little Greek island of Folegandros, which is situated in the Aegean Sea, is quite beautiful and distinctive.

Even though the island is not well known outside of Greece, you shouldn’t pass it up. If you’re looking for a little island with few tourists, Folegandros is one of the best Greek islands to visit.

One of the area’s best beaches may be found in Katergo (which is gorgeous). As an alternative, go to the breathtaking Verona Beach, which has rugged cliffs.

If you’re feeling extra bold, strip off and head to Galifos Beach, which is a nudist beach (pun intended). Nobody wants burning privates, so always remember to wear sunscreen!

Paros
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Paros

One of the most well-known Cycladic islands in the middle, Paros, is a water sports enthusiast’s delight. Scuba diving is the most well-known activity on the island beaches, although there is also windsurfing, kitesurfing, boating, and sailing.

Travelers may visit bustling Parikia, which has a variety of shops, eateries, and bars, away from the lake.

The two most significant historical sites of Paros are the 13th-century Venetian castle and the sixth-century Panayia Ekatontapyliani, also known as the “Church with 100 Gates.” Visit the 800-acre Paros Park on the island during the summer to attend the Festival in the Park, an esteemed event held yearly.

Koufonisia

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Koufonisia

Even though Koufonisia’s three islands are among the Cyclades’ smallest, they have all you need for a relaxing seaside holiday. The most beautiful beaches in the area may be found on Pano Koufonisi, the only island in Koufonisia that is inhabited.

For a more intimate experience, take a day trip to Kato Koufonisi where you may swim or go sightseeing by boat. Keros, the third island in Koufonisia, cannot be visited since it is an ancient monument that is under protection, although you may probably view it from Pano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi.

Symi
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Symi

A beautiful island to visit is Symi, which is part of the Dodecanese Islands. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Greek islands to visit whether you’re in eastern Greece or the adjacent island of Rhodes.

The speed of life on the island has slowed down significantly compared to Rhodes town. It’s the perfect place to unwind when on a Greek holiday because of all of this. From Rhodes town, you may easily go to Symi for a day trip or stay put for a few days.

After arriving, explore Panormitis Monastery, go swimming at St. Nicholas Beach, and then have lunch at the Secret Garden. It will be wonderful for you.

There is a Mysterious Garden in the Dodecanese Islands as well.

Kythira

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Kythira

One of the most popular Ionian Islands is Kythira, which is also a great spot to visit.

The little island of Kythira, which is located off the coast of mainland Greece, is renowned for its stunning scenery. According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, was born on the island. So it should come as no surprise that there are beautiful beaches and waterfalls here.

Visitors to Paleopolis and Kaladi can hike to the Neraida waterfall next to Milopotamos or swim in coves on the excellent beaches close by. On this little island, you could also find remnants of Kythira’s former existence, such as medieval and Venetian strongholds.

Kefalonia
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Kefalonia (Cephalonia)

The most picturesque and rugged beaches of all the Greek islands may be found in Kefalonia, sometimes called Cephalonia, a gorgeous hilly island.

The beautiful Venetian legacy of Kefalonia was mostly devastated in a 1953 earthquake, yet the island nevertheless exudes a mysterious aura due to its varied landscape. Attractive communities like Assos and Fiskardo have colorful homes and gorgeous churches.

Then take a break on a sandy or pebbly island beach, go swimming or scuba diving, or explore stunning blue caves. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, climb Megas Soros, the highest peak on the island, in Mount Ainos National Park, or go exploring one of Kefalonia’s underground caverns.

Visit the capital, Argostoli, when you arrive; you’ll like the cobblestone streets. Then, make it a point to visit Myrtle Beach and the Melissani Cave. Both of them make for excellent travel destinations.

For one of the best lunches on the island, stop into O Makis, which serves some of the best Greek pies I’ve ever tasted.

Anafi
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Anafi

The little Cyclades island of Anafi is a hidden gem when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit. Do not let its small size or population of a few hundred people prevent you from visiting; it is a wonderful location.

Once you’ve arrived, go to Panagia Kalamiotissa Church, kayak around the undiscovered coves, and swim at Agioi Anargyroi. It’s a beautiful piece of real estate.

samos
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Samos

When I got to Samos, I had no idea what to expect. It’s a sizable Greek island that major hotel chains or popular tourists have mostly avoided. It is a nice and peaceful location to spend a week in Greece because of this alone.

One of the most stunning locations on the island is Tsamadu Beach, which you should explore once you get there. Oh, and stroll around Samos Town’s historic promenade.

Finally, after all of your exploration, head to Stella, an island gem that is concealed. With views of the woods and Samos itself, the location is breathtaking.

Ithica
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Ithica

It could be a bit challenging to locate Ithica at first because of its many names for various reasons. One of the most tranquil Greek islands is called Ithaka, which is sometimes referred to as Ithaca, Ithaki, or Ithaka.

If you want to experience a laid-back atmosphere, visit Gedaki or Sarakiniko Beaches. As an alternative, wander across Kioni Harbour and have a drink at a nearby pub.

Patmos
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Patmos

Both history aficionados and sun lovers like visiting Patmos. According to legend, St. John experienced visions of the end of the world on this little island in the Aegean Sea and used those sights to inspire the Book of Revelation. Additionally, it boasts stunning white sand beaches where you can go swimming, tanning, and boating.

The Apocalypse Cave and St. John the Theologian’s Monastery are located in Chora, a city on Patmos that is classified as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. After that, relax at a well-known beach, such as Agriolivado or Psili Ammos, before going to Skala for dinner.

Kos

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22 In Best Greek Islands

Kos

Kos is a haven for history buffs and archaeologists alike thanks to its abundance of historical sites. Kos is the location of the Hippocrates Tree in addition to other antiquities including a medieval castle, an 18th-century mosque, and the ruins of an ancient city.

Where it is said that the famous Greek doctor, who was born in Kos, gave lectures to his students. You may choose from a variety of top-notch beaches, including tourist favorites like Paradise Beach and Kardamena Beach, thanks to the region’s around 70 miles of coastline.

Conclusion

Choosing which of Greece’s more than 200 inhabited islands is perfect for your vacation may be challenging because they all have their distinctive charms, breathtaking sunsets, and clean oceans. Because of this, U.S. News took landscape, seasonality, and visitor attitudes into account while establishing this ranking of the best Greek islands. Have you had a preferred lane?

Due to the abundance of cluster islands in the Mediterranean, Greece is the top choice for everyone looking for the perfect European holiday.

Its undeveloped beaches and unspoiled landscape make it the ideal location for your vacation objectives. Greece is much more than just a vacation spot; it is also a political, philosophical, beach, mountain, monument, museum, cultural, and historical center.

This nation is proud of its culture and serves the best cheese and seafood. Isn’t it true that a person’s happiness comes first? Your self-actualization will surely result in the release of cool hormones when you’re on vacation at this preferred spot.

This place will never let you down in terms of diversity, with roughly 227 of the greatest islands in the world being inhabited by its residents.

Your favorite food will surely be that of Greece. Greece’s nightlife, party days, tranquility, laid-back attitude, and cool lifestyle are all alluring, making you want to go there whenever you need a go-to destination for a holiday in Europe.

To make the most of your trip to Greece, it is crucial to know which Greek islands to visit.

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