The coastline and waters of Greece are littered with stunning islands. Spread between the Aegean and Ionian seas, there are over 200 beautiful islands that are inhabited, with many more that are truly remote and untouched. They offer a wide selection of things for all, from gorgeous beaches, interesting historical sites, wild night life, delicious cuisine, active leisure pursuits, sunshine, a touch of luxury and pampering, and much, much more!
Some offer impossibly sandy shores, others dramatic mountain ranges. Some are lush, verdant and green, whilst others are home to sleeping volcanoes. With different landscapes, characters and charms, each island has its own distinct flavour.
It can be difficult to choose which Greek island, or islands, to visit, so here are ten of the best:
A firm favourite, Santorini may be pricier than other islands, but with good reason. The surrounding volcanoes have provided unusual black and red sandy beaches, as well as continuing to provide breath taking scenic views. Impossibly blue waters tempt people to take a dip. Traditional buildings line the streets, and one can mix peace and quiet with exciting partying.
As the largest of all the Greek islands, Crete really does have something for everyone. One can still find slices of pristine and deserted beaches, as well as being able to explore marvellous historic old towns.
The local culture provides a really pleasant atmosphere, and small traditional villages are nestled in the mountains. With soaring mountains and plunging gorges, it is a perfect destination for those who want to get active in the great outdoors.
Simi is home to towering mountains, pretty beaches, and stunning architecture. With sites of historical and mythological significance, it is an island that truly inspires and captures the imagination.
With a blend of different influences, Corfu manages to capture the essence of Greece whilst also showcasing aspects from Italian, British, and French cultures. The fortresses in the old town are two of the major sights, and the dazzling beaches provide plenty of time for rest.
A party lover’s paradise, Mykanos attracts a lively and fun loving crowd. It is pricy, and requires a lot of energy, but the wild nights and lazy days on fabulous beaches and meandering narrow, quaint streets are what make this island special.
Steeped in history, the old ruins and medieval town are must sees when in Rhodes. Fishing villages, interesting museums, boat trips and more give visitors plenty to do when not relaxing on the sandy beaches and enjoying the varied and electric night scene. It has great facilities for visitors, with long established businesses mingling with newer outfits.
The lesser visited island of Gavdos has few residents, and attracts a more arty and contemplative type of person. The relaxed and laid back atmosphere can tempt visitors to linger longer than intended, and the stunning beaches are just the place to linger!
Pine trees surround the lovely beaches, giving Skiathos a wonderfully tropical feel. One can enjoy panoramic sweeping views from the hills, wander through charming villages, watch the boats in the bustling harbour, and take a step back and simply slow down and enjoy the calm.
Towns with a sophisticated energy and quaint villages lie on the beautiful island of Cephalonia. The striking blue waters are impossible to ignore, the beaches are beautiful, and the inland areas are great for both nature lovers and culture vultures. The setting for the hit book and movie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Cephalonia is a real treat.
Zakynthos is great for activities and relaxation. It is well known for its scuba diving opportunities, where one can explore underwater caves and see an abundance of marine life. Nice beaches, a good tourism infrastructure, and places of interest add to the island’s appeal.
Whichever island you choose, you are sure to have the time of your life in the wonderfully warming Greek sunshine, alongside sunny natured locals.