The Best Greek Islands are a wonderful place to visit. It’s a great vacation place because of the weather, cuisine, and friendly people. Because Greece is so huge, it may be difficult to decide where to travel, especially when it comes to the greatest Greek islands to visit.
The Best Greek Islands, on the other hand, might have been more difficult to locate, especially if you’ve never visited Greece. There are so many magnificent sites to choose from on the beautiful best Greek islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, and Delos. That’s not even taking into account Crete, Greece’s largest island.
Whatever style of Greek island vacation you’re looking for, there are bound to be a few important sites that you’ll like. This is why I’ve put together a list of some of the top best Greek islands to discover while you’re in the country.
Below is a list of some of the best Greek islands to visit. Have the finest trip of your life!
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Around 1650 B.C., a catastrophic volcanic explosion caused the island’s center to implode and sink into the sea. Some believe that this was the original location of the lost city of Atlantis, which vanished into the depths of the ocean many years ago.
Spectacular beaches and magnificent whitewashed mansions protect what remains of this fabled metropolis. Santorini is now made up of two inhabited islands and several islets. Santorini’s major cities, such as Fira and Oia, are located on Thira (the archipelago’s biggest island).
Thirassia is also a great place to visit if you want to unwind for the day. Also, don’t dismiss the smaller best islands, such as Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni.
The black and crimson sands provide for a remarkable visit to Santorini’s spectacular beaches. Then visit Ancient Thera to see the remnants of three civilizations, including Romans, or Ancient Akrotiri to marvel at the archaeological treasures.
From there, you can see the caldera, a stunning turquoise body of water that acts as the core for the archipelago’s many isles.
Some claim you just need a day to experience the attractions of these beautiful islands (they’re a popular cruise ship port of call), but you’ll need several days to a week to truly appreciate everything Santorini has to offer. So you’ll get plenty of time to experience that the Cyclades are more than just pretty dots.
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Hydra, located southwest of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, distinguishes out among its neighbors for its absence of automobiles. That’s true, you’ll have to walk or ride a donkey through the cobblestone streets to get around. However, travelers are drawn to Hydra for a variety of reasons.
While you’re here, take a stroll along the island’s pebbly beaches and visit one of the island’s picturesque coastal villages, such as Hydra Town, where you’ll find traditional homes and some of Hydra’s greatest nightlife places.
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Crete, Greece’s largest island, is best described in one word: varied. Sandy beaches are tucked away among soaring mountains, palm tree groves thrive in the heart of vast plains, and vibrant contemporary cities coexist with centuries-old architecture along the shore.
Cities, too, mirror the people who came before them in Crete. The streets are lined with buildings that reflect Minoan, Venetian, and Ottoman architectural styles, as well as modern Greek architecture.
Despite its apparent contrasts, the island retains a sense of oneness that may be sensed whether walking along the street, eating at a local taverna, or sipping raki at a sidewalk café.
Crete’s adventures are as diverse as their past, so think about what kind of holiday you want before you book. Consider staying near the northern shore in Chania or Heraklion for an urban atmosphere with a choice of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs.
The many lovely sandy beaches of Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos are ideal for those who like the great outdoors.
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Skiathos is a charming Greek island that borders the mainland’s east coast. It’s one of those places where you’ll have a fantastic combination of touring and pure relaxation; which, let’s face it, is very necessary on a vacation.
The beautiful beaches on most Greek islands are famous, but those in Skiathos are among the best in the region. The private Lalaria Beach and the clothing-optional Banana Beach are among the more than 60 gorgeous alternatives available. Skiathos is also a fantastic area to go sailing because of its bright blue water.
Spend some time viewing the island’s monasteries, cathedrals, and ancient remains once you’ve had your fill of the sun and beach. A trip to Skiathos Town to sample real Greek food and dance the night away at a local nightclub is a must for any visitor.
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The island of Corfu (sometimes called Korfu or Kerkyra) continues to draw weary tourists wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, having served as the setting for fantastic stories by both Homer and Shakespeare.
The appearance of its beautiful green environment, along with the aroma of olives and citrus from neighboring orchards, is enough to dispel any tension. And the sight of the Ionian Sea’s cerulean waves or the feel of the wide, pebbly beaches beneath your feet would be enough to make you feel like you’ve arrived in heaven.
Corfu attracts visitors every year because of its kilometers of coastline and beautiful beaches. Corfu has both tranquil sands and calm waves, as well as pebbly beaches with plenty of local services. After a few days of sunbathing, make time to see the island’s distinctive historical and religious sites.
The Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress) and the Corfu Museum of Asian Art are just a few of the main town attractions in Corfu. When you’re ready to go to the island’s western side, you’ll find unique sights like the Paleokastritsa Monastery and the Corfu Donkey Rescue.
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Because Naxos is the biggest of the Cyclades, there is a lot more coastline to explore. There are several great beaches to choose from, ranging from the renowned Plaka to the quieter Aleko, as well as a variety of water sports.
Naxos is a great site to learn windsurfing and kitesurfing because of the wind on the west side of the island. Make time to see the temples of Apollo, Demeter, and Dionysus, as well as other ancient ruins.
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Ios is one of the nicest Greek islands to visit, and it’s a great complement to vacation to Santorini or Naxos. Don’t be tricked into believing that Ios must be part of a larger journey; it’s a stand-alone destination.
During the summer, visitors come to Ios to experience the island’s vibrant nightlife. But there’s more to this island north of Santorini than bars, nightclubs, and beach parties. During the day, visitors may experience the gentler side of Ios by strolling through the meandering lanes of Chora, a whitewashed town.
Alternatively, they may visit must-see sights such as Panagia Gremiotissa (a church with spectacular sunset views), Skarkos (an ancient ruins), and Homer’s tomb (where the world-renowned Greek poet is allegedly buried). Hiking to Pyrgos, Ios’ highest point, is recommended for those who wish to be active while being on vacation.
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Zakynthos, located in the Ionian Sea, is one of the most well-known Greek islands.
Explore Zakynthos’ stunning yet rocky coastline, which is full of secret coves and beaches. Shipwreck Beach and the stunning Blue Caves, where the reflection of the sky and white limestone renders the sea an ethereal shade of blue, are two of the island’s most popular sites.
Away from the ocean, there is a slew of other must-see things. Visit the Venetian Castle, which overlooks Zakynthos’ main town, and then the Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante, which has religious art displays.
Finally, In Shipwreck Beach if you’re searching for a wonderful location to stay, the Olea Hotel, which would be entirely made up of suites, is a great choice. Our stay was fantastic.
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Skopelos is a great place to visit whether you prefer watching the cinema or spending time outside. The filming of “Mamma Mia!” took place on Greece’s greenest island. Skopelos is known for its pine woods, vineyards, orchards, and olive groves, as well as Agios Ioannis (the church where the film’s characters Sophie Sheridan and Sky Ramand marry).
It also has several lovely lengths of beach, including pebbly Panormos, which is a great place to view one of Greece’s famed sunsets. Plan to get about on foot or by bike because Skopelos only has two main roads.
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The deity Apollo and the goddess Artemis are said to have been born on the Cycladic island of Delos in Greek mythology. One of Greece’s most important ancient sites becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Terrace of the Lions, Apollo’s Sanctuary, and the Artemision are three must-see ruins.
Mount Kynthos, which you may trek to the summit of for panoramic views of neighboring popular islands such as Mykonos, is also located on Delos. When the sun gets too much for you, visit the Archaeological Museum of Delos to see the magnificent relics on show.
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When it comes to the greatest Greek islands to visit, Mykonos requires no explanation. In terms of popularity, it’s right up there with places like Santorini and Crete.
Mykonos has Mediterranean charm with its cube-shaped houses and whitewashed exteriors. Winding lanes wind through Chora’s main city center, past posh stores, and stunning churches, giving the island a strong feeling of Greek history.
Mykonos, on the other hand, is known for its boisterous beach parties and vibrant nightlife. You’re rarely far from a party at the “Ibiza of Greece.”
Mykonos’ silky sandy beach is the main attraction, aside from its wild nightlife. Vacationers go to them to see and be seen, frequently in their underwear. This laid-back approach attracts people who enjoy a good party; the best beaches of Psarou and Paradise start hopping early in the day and don’t stop until morning.
Don’t worry, early risers: there are plenty of daytime attractions like Chora’s Cycladic-style structures, Kato Myli’s windmills, and Delos’ magnificent temples. You’ll find the ideal blend of refinement, leisure, and celebration here.
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Folegandros, located in the Aegean Sea, is a tiny Greek island with a lot of beauty and uniqueness.
Even while the island isn’t well-known outside of Greece, it doesn’t mean you should pass it up. Folegandros is one of the greatest Greek islands to visit if you’re seeking a little island with few tourists.
Visit Katergo for one of the great beaches in the area (which is gorgeous). Alternatively, visit Verona Beach, which features rocky cliffs and is quite spectacular.
Strip off and proceed to Galifos Beach, which is a fully nude beach, if you’re feeling particularly daring (pun intended). Just remember to use sunscreen; no one wants sunburned privates!!
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Paros, one of the Cycladic popular islands in the center, is a water sports paradise. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, and boating are among the activities available at the island’s beaches as scuba diving is the most famous out there.
Away from the lake, travelers may explore busy Parikia, which is home to a variety of stores, restaurants, and bars.
The sixth-century Panayia Ekatontapyliani (which translates to “Church with 100 Gates”) and a 13th-century Venetian fortress are two of Paros’ most important historical landmarks. In the summer, visit the island’s 800-acre Paros Park for the Festival in the Park, a prestigious event conducted every year.
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The three islands of Koufonisia are one of the smallest in the Cyclades, yet they provide all you need for a calm coastal vacation. The most gorgeous beaches in the destination are found on Pano Koufonisi (Koufonisia’s sole inhabited island), some of which are clothing-optional.
Take a day excursion to Kato Koufonisi to swim or sightsee by boat for a more private vibe. Due to its position as a protected archaeological site, you won’t be able to visit Koufonisia’s third island, Keros, although you’ll likely see it from afar when going to Pano Koufonisi and Kato Koufonisi.
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Symi is a stunning island to visit, nestled inside the Dodecanese Islands. If you’re in eastern Greece or neighboring Rhodes, it’s certainly one of the greatest Greek islands to visit.
The island is now considerably more laid-back and relaxed than Rhodes town, with a slower pace of life. All of this makes it the ideal spot to unwind during a Greek vacation. You may easily go to Symi from Rhodes town for a day excursion or remain in the town for a few days.
Visit Panormitis Monastery, swim at St Nicholas Beach, then eat yourself at the Secret Garden after you’ve arrived. It’ll be fantastic for you.
The Dodecanese Islands also have Mysterious Garden.
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Kythira is one of the most well-known Ionian Islands, and it’s a lovely place to visit.
Kythira, a small island off the west coast of mainland Greece, is known for its natural beauty. The Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, was born on the island, according to Greek mythology. It’s hardly surprising, then, that stunning beaches and waterfalls may be found here.
Visitors to Paleopolis and Kaladi are the great beaches nearby to swim in coves or trek to the Neraida waterfall near Milopotamos. Relics of Kythira’s past, such as medieval and Venetian fortresses, may also be found on this small island.
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Kefalonia (also known as Cephalonia) is a lovely hilly island with some of the most spectacular and craggy beaches of all the Greek islands.
Even though most of Kefalonia’s gorgeous Venetian heritage was destroyed in a 1953 earthquake, the island still has a mystical feel about it because of its diversified scenery. Colorful residences and lovely churches may be seen in attractive towns like Assos and Fiskardo.
Then relax on one of the island’s sandy or pebbly beaches, or swim or scuba dive in the lovely blue ocean & stunning blue caves. Hike to the summit of Megas Soros (the island’s highest peak) in Mount Ainos National Park or visit one of Kefalonia’s subterranean caverns if you want an adrenaline rush.
Once you’ve arrived, take a stroll through Argostoli, the capital; you’ll adore the cobblestone streets. After that, make a point of seeing the Melissani Cave and going to Myrtos Beach. They’re both fantastic locations to visit.
Pop into O Makis for one of the island’s greatest meals, which features some of the finest Greek pies I’ve ever had.
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When it comes to the greatest Greek islands to visit, the little Cyclades island of Anafi is somewhat of a hidden treasure. Don’t allow its modest size or inhabitants (a few hundred people) to deter you; it’s a great place to visit.
Visit Panagia Kalamiotissa Church, kayak around the secret coves, and swim at Agioi Anargyroi after you’ve arrived. It’s a stunning piece of property.
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I had no notion what to anticipate when I arrived in Samos. It’s a vast Greek island that has remained mostly undiscovered by mainstream tourism or giant hotel companies. This in itself makes it a lovely and relaxing place to spend a week in Greece.
Once you’ve arrived, make a point of visiting Tsamadu Beach, which is one of the island’s most beautiful sites. Oh, and explore the old promenade in Samos Town. Finally, after all of your exploring, make your way to Stella, which is a hidden jewel on the island. The site is stunning, with views of the trees and Samos itself.
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Ithica has a variety of names for whatever reason, which might make finding it a little tricky at first. Ithaka, also known as Ithaca, Ithaki, or Ithaka, is one of the most relaxing Greek islands.
Go to Gedaki or Sarakiniko Beaches if you want to soak in the laid-back vibes. Alternatively, take a stroll across Kioni Harbour and stop at one of the local tavernas for a drink.
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Patmos is a popular destination for history buffs and sun-worshippers alike. St. John is said to have written the Book of Revelation based on visions he saw concerning the end of the world on this little island in the Aegean Sea. It also has beautiful white sandy beaches where you may swim, sunbathe, and go boating.
Begin your journey at Chora, Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage-listed city, to view the Apocalypse Cave and St. John the Theologian’s Monastery. After that, unwind at a famous beach like Agriolivado or Psili Ammos before heading to Skala for a bite to dine.
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Kos has a plethora of historical landmarks, making it a sanctuary for history fans and archaeologists alike. In addition to old-world artifacts like a medieval castle, an 18th-century mosque, and the ancient city remains, Kos is home to the Hippocrates Tree.
Where the great Greek physician (who was born on Kos) is supposed to have lectured his students. Furthermore, with approximately 70 miles of coastline, you’ll have your pick of top-notch beaches, including tourist favorites like Paradise Beach and Kardamena Beach.
With over 200 inhabited islands to visit in Greece, each with its unique attractions, spectacular sunsets, and clear waters, deciding which one is best for your holiday might be difficult. That’s why, in compiling this ranking of the top Greek islands, U.S. News considered scenery, seasonality, and tourist attitude. Do you have a favorite lane?
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Knowing the finest Greek islands to visit is essential for getting the most out of your Greece holiday.