The Greek islands are some of the most beautiful places on Earth. With their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque villages, it’s no wonder that they’re such a popular holiday destination. But with so many to choose from, deciding where to visit can be overwhelming. I’ve asked some fellow travel bloggers, and we’ve rounded up the 20 most beautiful Greek Islands for your next Aegean adventure.
There are so many different Greek islands to choose from, and each one has its own unique charm. Whether you’re looking for a quiet getaway or a lively party scene, ancient ruins or a peaceful place to ponder philosophy, there’s an island that’s perfect for you.
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Best Time to Check Out the Most Beautiful Islands in Greece
The stunning Greek Islands are a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. But when is the best time to visit them?
The answer to that question depends on what you’re looking for in your vacation. If you’re interested in soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm weather, then the best time to visit the beautiful Greek Islands is between May and September. These months have the highest temperatures and the longest days. However, this is the high season, and you should also expect higher prices and accommodation to book up quickly. Not to mention the throngs of tourists who are all looking for the same dreamy vacation!
If you’re interested in avoiding crowds, then October or November might be a better option for you. The weather is still pleasant during these months, but there are fewer tourists around. Prices also begin to drop and you have more options as to where to stay.
December through February can be cold and rainy, but if you don’t mind braving the elements, you’ll find that the Greek Islands are relatively quiet during this time of year. And, of course, if you’re looking to save money on your vacation, visiting during the off-season is always a good idea. However, it should be noted that if you are visiting during the off-season, many restaurants, bars, hotels, and taverns may be closed.
20 Most Beautiful Greek Islands
The Cyclades are a group of beautiful Greek islands located in the Aegean Sea. The name “Cyclades” comes from the Greek word for “circle” because the islands are arranged in a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Some of the most famous and popular Cyclades islands include Mykonos, Santorini, and Naxos.
There are around 220 islands in the Cyclades, but only 24 of them are inhabited. The largest and most populous island in the Cyclades is Naxos.
The Cyclades are best known for their spectacular beaches, crystal clear waters, and picturesque whitewashed villages. But there’s much more to these islands than just sun and sand. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring ancient ruins. And of course, no trip to the Cyclades would be complete without sampling the delicious local cuisine!
One of the most beautiful Greek islands is Santorini, one of the Cycladic islands that is perhaps the most photographed in all of Greece.
Santorini is a very beautiful place because of the villages and nature that you can find on the island. The village of Oia is one of the most famous places on the island. Here, you can see the stunningly famous blue domes of Santorini. There are many viewpoints in Oia, including a great one at the historic Oia Castle. If you like photography, Oia is great because this is where you’ll find many of the best photo spots in Santorini.
In addition to Oia, another lovely village with incredible views is Imerovigli. Red Beach and Kamari Beach are wonderful to visit if you like beaches that are very unique. Red Beach has a lot of red volcanic stone that looks amazing.
Another one of the best things to do in Santorini is to go to the historic Akrotiri archaeological site, where you can learn about the island’s history.
If you’re looking for good eats, Anogi is a great restaurant with delicious authentic Greek food. For accommodation, a great hotel on the island is Cavo Tagoo Santorini.
Best Way to Get to Santorini: Fly into Santorini National Airport (JTR) or ferry from Athens.
Greece is brimming with breathtakingly beautiful islands, and Mykonos is one of them. With its beautiful beaches, chic boutiques, and glamorous nightlife, it’s easy to see why this Cycladic gem is so popular.
When choosing between popular Greek islands, such as Santorini or Mykonos, it can be tough to decide. But, if you’re looking for a party atmosphere, Mykonos is the place for you. The party doesn’t stop until the sun comes up, and there are plenty of clubs and bars to keep you entertained throughout the night. Some of the best bars include Queen of Mykonos, Lola Bar, and Galleraki Bar.
Mykonos is also home to a number of impressive historical sites, including the 16th-century Windmills of Mykonos and the ancient site of Delos. Delos is an island just off the coast of Mykonos, and it was once an important religious site for the Greeks. Today, it’s a popular archaeological site, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in Greek history.
You also can’t visit Mykonos without visiting the beaches. Some of the most popular beaches include Ornos Beach, Kalafati Beach, Elia Beach, and Paradise Beach. Each beach has its unique atmosphere, so you’ll definitely want to visit a few during your stay.
Last but not least, the food in Mykonos is absolutely delicious. You’ll find something to your taste from fresh seafood to traditional Greek dishes. And, of course, no trip to Mykonos would be complete without a taste of the famous Mykonian wine. The best restaurants are in Little Venice, which are old houses built along the sea, and Kastro’s is a must-try.
The best place to stay in Mykonos is Anax Resort & Spa with its stunning rooms and plentiful amenities.
Best Way to Get to Mykonos: Fly into Mykonos Airport (JMK) or ferry from Athens.
If you are looking for a Greek island that has it all, look no further than Paros. This hidden gem of the Cyclades is rapidly gaining popularity. Try to get there before everyone else discovers it!
What is so great about backpacking Paros is that it is such a versatile island. It is small enough that you can discover it entirely in a few days but still big enough that you don’t get bored.
The two biggest towns on the island are Parikia and Naoussa. Naoussa is the high-end spot on the island with lively nightlife and picturesque seaside restaurants. Parikia is the island’s vibrant capital.
Another must-see town is the picturesque village of Lefkes. Once you are in Lefkes, you can hike the thousand-year-old Byzantine road from Lefkes to Prodromos.
If you want to spend your time on a beach, there are many beaches all along the Paros’ coast. Beaches in the north tend to be rocky, with the unusual Kolymbithres beach being the most well-known. Beaches in the south are sandy, and you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose. Marcelo beach close to Parikia is an amazing white sand beach.
The best place for a quick snack is Allas Souvlaki & More in Naoussa. If you are looking for a romantic, seaside restaurant, Taverna Mouragio is an amazing choice. Both offer vegan options and great value for money.
You can base yourself anywhere on the island, as it is very well connected by public transport. However, if you want to enjoy the nightlife, go for Naoussa!
Best Way to Get to Paros: Fly into Paros Airport (PAR) or ferry from Athens or other Cyclades islands such as Mykonos or Santorini.
Milos tops the list of the most beautiful islands in Greece. This lesser-known Cycladic island is an ideal destination for those who wish to enjoy spectacular beaches, picture-perfect island charm and stunning natural beauty. It’s one of the best beautiful Greek islands for those who appreciate a bit of peace and quiet without the heaps of tourists that come along with tourist hot spots such as Mykonos or Santorini.
Dotted with charming villages that open to sweeping sea views, it is an ideal place to enjoy a romantic holiday with your significant other or a quiet getaway with your family.
The famous Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo), is what got this island International fame – this remarkable work of art was discovered on the island in the early 1800s, today the original work made out of Parian marble is housed in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
One of the highlights of Milos are the secluded beaches, which can only be reached by boat – thus a day spent at sea is highly recommended. Swimming in the Kleftiko Bay – once a favorite hangout spot of the pirates is truly a remarkable experience. For an otherworldly experience head over to Sarakiniko beach – with its moonlike surface it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.
Another unique characteristic of Milos are the small fishermen dwellings carved inside the rock, these tiny houses with colorful windows can be admired in settlements like Klima and Mandrakia.
For an authentic dinner experience we recommend visiting Medusa tavern in Mandrakia and Oh! Hamos in Adamas.
Milos offers plenty of accommodation options, from small studios to luxury hotels – for a great 4 star option we recommend the Santa Maria Village Resort and Spa, offering a convent location just a short walk from the port town of Adamas.
Best Way to Get to Milos: Fly into Milos Island National Airport (MLS), take a ferry from Athens or other Cycladic Islands
Sylvie, Travels with Eden
Sifnos is a beautiful hidden gem in the Cyclades islands. It’s easy to get from Athens to Sifnos. The best area to stay in Sifnos is Platis Yialos, a beautiful long sandy bay backed by tavernas and handmade pottery shops.
Kamares (located at Sifnos port) is also a beautiful area to stay. Wherever you decide to stay, the best thing to do in Sifnos explores the island. You can go on various bus routes in one day, taking in the sights of Faros – a small fishing village with a beautiful fish restaurant called To Limanaki, Cycladic winding streets, and crystal water. Vathi is also a must-visit. You can walk to several beaches from here, and plenty of traditional Greek restaurants, SUP hire and basic amenities.
All bus routes lead to the center of the island, Appolonia. Here, you’ll find a delicious bakery and plenty of shops. You may even be lucky enough to see a donkey!
Other must-do experiences in Sifnos include visiting the village of Kastro which has a traditional vibe and fantastic views out to sea, and visiting the monastery of Panagia Vounou.
Best Way to Get to Sifnos: Ferry from Athens or Milos
The island of Folegandros is a real highlight in Greece, and certainly a great option if you want to avoid the crowds that come with the heavy-hitters such as Mykonos or Santorini.
The landscape of this small mini-island is particularly unique. Its rocky topography and rugged cliffs make for a vibe all its own. The Chora is located on an imposing rock, making for some stunning pictures.
The beaches in Folegandros are also notably beautiful. They are often very peaceful and promise a quiet solitude on which to swim or sunbathe.
Folegandros is in general a magnificent small island, which is perfect for hiking thanks to the beautiful landscapes and the untouched nature. Around the island there are numerous, well-marked hiking routes that lead you to the most beautiful beaches and fabulous viewpoints.
If you prefer, you can explore the island by quad or rental car. A highlight is the traditional village of Ano Meria, where you will find beautiful taverns and marvel at the authentic scenery.
An absolute highlight and a must-do is a visit to the Church of Virgin Mary. It is the landmark of the island and can be reached via a beautiful footpath. Once you reach the top, you will be amazed by the magnificent panorama, which you will probably not experience on any other island in Greece!
Best Way to Get to Folegandros: Ferry from Athens, Santorini, Paros, Ios, or Sifnos.
The Dodecanese Islands are a group of beautiful Greek islands located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The name “Dodecanese” means “twelve islands,” and the islands indeed number twelve, although there are actually dozens of smaller islets and rocks included in the archipelago. The largest and most populous island is Rhodes, which is also the capital of the Dodecanese region. Other major islands in the group include Kos, Patmos, Kalymnos, and Leros.
The Dodecanese have a long and eventful history, having been ruled at various times by the Byzantine Empire, the Knights Hospitaller, the Ottoman Empire, and Italy. The islands were united with Greece in 1947, and today they are a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the Dodecanese can enjoy beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, and a taste of traditional Greek culture.
Rhodes is more known for its family-friendly ambiance in comparison to some of the other Greek islands than as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. However, Rhodes will always be among the most beautiful to me, as it was the first of the Greek islands I’d visited.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007.
Rhodes’ nickname is The Island of the Knights, named after the Hospitalliers, who ruled the island from 1310 to 1522.
In Greek mythology it is said that Rhodes was born when Zeus set two Titans to wrestle for possession of it; Poseidon won and subsequently made his three-headed son Polybion into its first king.
The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was built to commemorate his victory. Unfortunately, it’s no longer standing, however, you can still visit the site that once was home to this impressive monument and marvel at what comes into your imagination.
A few other places worth visiting in Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos and Anthony Quinn Bay – don’t forget your camera, as both of these locations are nothing short of spectacular. Be sure to visit the Old Town in Rhodes Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some of the best beaches in Rhodes are pebble beaches, so if you’re traveling with children, seek out a sandy alternative.
Some of my favorite meals in Greece were in Rhodes, but the restaurant we kept returning to over and over again was Country Kitchen Taverna Restaurant in Rhodes Town. The shrimp saganaki was my favorite! For a more upscale experience and just a short walk away, try Tamam.
Best Way to Get to Rhodes: Fly into Rhodes International Airport (RHO) or take a ferry from Marmaris, Turkey. Taking the ferry from Athens lasts over 15 hours!
Symi Island is a beautiful Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. The island is home to a number of historical sites, including the ruins of ancient Greece, as well as a number of beautiful beaches (personal favorites include Nemo Beach and Agios Georgios Beach). Symi Island is also home to a number of beautiful places to explore, including the Symi Museum, which houses a number of artifacts from the island’s history.
The island of Symi was once home to a thriving sponge diving industry. The sponge divers would dive down to depths of over 100 meters in order to collect sponges from the seafloor. Today, the sponge diving industry has declined, but you can still find some sponges on the beaches of Symi Island.
You might recognize photos of Symi Island from the beautiful colored houses that decorate the island. The island is well known for its stunning architecture, historical sites, beautiful beaches and great hiking trails. Visitors can explore the island by foot, bike or boat and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to enjoy on the island.
Symi is a popular day trip from Rhodes, so we recommend spending the night and enjoying the quiet solitude that only happens before the crowds get off the ferries.
Be sure to stop by The Secret Garden for one of the most picture-perfect restaurants on the island. It’s perfect for a date night, but you’re sure to appreciate it even if you’re traveling solo or with a group.
Best Way to Get to Symi Island: Ferry from Rhodes.
Chalki Island is a beautiful and historic Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, part of the Dodecanese island group.
Architecturally, the island is known for its traditional white-washed buildings, red roofs, and winding streets. Historical sites on the island include the ruins of an ancient castle, as well as several Byzantine churches.
You’ll also see a beautiful amalgam of traditional Greek and Venetian styles. Many of the buildings on the island are decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics. There are also several historical sites on the island, including the ruins of an ancient temple and a Venetian fort.
There are also many beautiful beaches on Chalki Island, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply taking in stunning views. In addition, there are several hiking trails that wind through the island’s lush vegetation, providing visitors with a chance to see some of its most beautiful scenery.
For a bite to eat, head over to Remezzo for a pizza. At this point, we’re sure you’ve had your fill of gyros and souvlaki, and the pizza here is seriously to-die-for. It’s conveniently located right by the ferry terminal, the perfect stop for when you’re headed to the next beautiful Greek Island.
Best Way to Get to Chalki: Ferry from Rhodes.
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are named after the Ionian Sea, which is between them and the mainland. The islands are Corfu, Kefalonia, Ithaca, Zakynthos, and Lefkada.
The Ionian Islands have been inhabited since the Stone Age. They were settled by the Greeks in the 8th century BC. The Romans conquered them in the 2nd century BC. The Byzantine Empire took them over in the 6th century AD. The Venetians ruled from the 13th to the 18th century. The French occupied them for a time in the late 18th century. And finally, the British ruled from 1815 to 1864.
The Ionian Islands were united with Greece in 1864. They are now a region of Greece. The capital is Corfu. The population is about 200,000. It’s also the most popular island with tourists, attracting around 2 million visitors per year.
The Ionian Islands are popular tourist destinations. They have beautiful beaches, clear waters, and mild climates.
Most famous for its unreal blue waters, Lefkada (or Lefkas) is an amazing choice for a beach vacation. Located in the Ionian sea, this Greek island is actually connected to the mainland by a bridge, so it’s easy to reach by car.
The best things to do in Lefkada include relaxing on the beach and swimming in its azure waters. Some of the best beaches to visit are Porto Katsiki, Egremni, Kathisma, and Milos.
However, that’s not all the island has to offer. You can also rent a boat and be your own captain, do snorkeling and watersports, visit nearby islands, tour the local wineries or party until morning light in the capital.
When choosing where to stay in Lefkada you should think of what type of vacation you want. The west coast has stunning blue waters and the most beautiful beaches, but they are often washed by big waves and it can be an adventure to reach them.
The east coast on the other hand is not as windy, so the sea is calmer and more suited for families with kids. There’re also more accommodation options here.
For a place to stay in Lefkada, try Dimarion Villas in Agios Nikitas. This small fishing village has lots of tavernas, two beaches in walking distance (one of which is Milos) and is also fairly close to the other top-rated beaches on the island.
Best Way to Get to Lefkada: Lefkada is conveniently connected to the mainland, so it’s reachable by car or bus, unlike many of the other most beautiful Greek islands! You can also take a ferry from Ithaki or Kefalonia. There are no direct ferries from Athens.
Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and one of the most popular summertime locations on the Ionian Sea.
There are many great beaches but the picture-perfect postcard you may have seen of this island is of the Navagio Coastline.
Navagio beach is also known as shipwreck cove due to the enormous, rusted shipwreck that is iconic of this island. To get to this beach you will need to take a boat trip. There are many different options to choose from. Either take a direct boat to the island or opt for a trip that includes a stop off at the blue caves. Zakynthos is one of the best places in Greece for snorkeling and many options incorporate this experience into the tour.
Other great beaches include banana beach which has lovely golden sands and plenty of fun beach bars. If you’re visiting during turtle laying season then a trip to Dafni beach might give you much more than you bargained for.
Looking to party all night long? Head to Laganas which is filled with bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. If you’d like more relaxation and luxury, then stay at the Zante Maris in Tsilivi. A beautiful spot to watch the sunset with a glass of wine and some tapas is the Garden Restaurant in Argassi. The views are incredible and the décor adds sophistication to an already beautiful viewpoint.
Best Way to Get to Zakynthos: Fly into Zakynthos airport (ZTH) or take a ferry from Killini or Kefalonia.
Corfu Island is a beautiful place to explore, with plenty of historical and archaeological sites to visit. The island is also home to some stunning architecture, including the Venetian fortresses that dot the coastline. And of course, there are plenty of beautiful places to simply relax and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere. Here are just a few of the many highlights that Corfu has to offer.
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. This charming neighborhood is full of narrow streets lined with colorful buildings, as well as plenty of historical landmarks. Be sure to visit the Palace of St. George and St. Michael, which was once the home of the ruling Venetian governors.
The Old Town is also home to the famous Liston Promenade, a wide pedestrian boulevard lined with cafes and restaurants.
No visit to Corfu would be complete without taking in the island’s stunning natural beauty. The most popular spot for visitors is definitely the beach, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Myrtiotissa Beach is a secluded spot favored by locals, while Glyfada Beach is perfect for those looking for a more tourist-friendly atmosphere. And for something truly unique, make sure to check out Kanoni Beach, where you can take in panoramic views of the nearby Mouse Island.
If you want an exciting day trip from Corfu, take the ferry from Corfu to Saranda, Albania. If you’ve got a little extra time, check out the nearby beaches of Ksamil, Albania, aptly nicknamed the ‘Maldives of Europe’.
Best Way to Get to Corfu: Fly into Corfu International Airport (CRF), take a ferry from Bari / Ancona / Venice (Italy), Saranda (Albania), or many other Ionian islands in Greece.
Kefalonia is a fantastic destination where you can swim on a boat in one of the most stunning Greek natural wonders – Melissani Cave. This pristine island also has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Relaxing at Myrtos Beach is among one of the best things to do in Kefalonia.
You will fall in love with this island because of the breathtaking scenery, turquoise water, and high cliffs. Explore the spectacular Drogaratti Cave and relax in the charming village of Agia Efimia. Plenty of restaurants by the coast offer an authentic Greek culinary experience with amazing views.
However, the most picturesque area is Myrtos Beach. Excellent views of the Greek coastline are provided by the tall cliffs that surround the beach. The best way to get there is with organized tours, regardless of whether you are staying in Kefalonia or taking a day trip from Zakynthos.
One of the best hotels in Kefalonia is Emelisse Nature Resort in the far north of the island. It is just a few minute’s walk from a secluded beach. On the rocky coast, you can enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool with incredible views.
Best Way to Get to Kefalonia: Fly into Kefalonia International Airport (EFL) or take a ferry from one of the neighboring islands or mainland. There are no ferries from Athens.
Northern Aegean Islands
The Northern Aegean Islands are a group of islands in the northeastern Aegean Sea. You will sometimes see them referred to as the ‘Eastern Aegean Islands’. The name “Northern Aegean” refers to the fact that these islands are located north of the traditional island groupings of the Aegean Sea. The Northern Aegean Islands include the island of Thassos, as well as the smaller islands of Agios Efstratios, Lemnos, and Imbros.
Geographically, the Northern Aegean Islands are part of a larger island chain that extends from the Peloponnese in southern Greece all the way to Istanbul in Turkey. This island chain is known as the Eurasian plate. The Northern Aegean Islands sit on the edge of this plate, making them geographically unique.
The climate of the Northern Aegean Islands is typically Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This climate is ideal for growing olives and grapes, which are two of the main agricultural products of the islands. Tourism is also an important industry on the Northern Aegean Islands.
The Northern Aegean Islands have a long history dating back to ancient times. The island of Thassos, for example, was once home to a powerful city-state known as the Kingdom of Thassos. Today, visitors can still see ruins from this ancient civilization scattered around the island.
If you’re looking for a sun-soaked vacation destination with plenty of history and culture to explore, the Northern Aegean Islands are a great choice.
Chios Island is a beautiful Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, part of the Northern Aegean Islands. The island is home to stunning architecture, historical sites, and archaeological sites.
Visiting the medieval village of Kastro is a great way to spend some time in Chios. Kastro is a beautifully preserved medieval village that was once the capital of the island. The village is home to several historical buildings, including the Castle of Chios (a 13th-century Venetian fortress), the Church of Panagia ton Xenon (the oldest church on the island), and the Museum of Chios (which houses a collection of artifacts from the island’s history).
Chios is also home to some windmills reminiscent of those found in Mykonos. If you want the perfect Instagram photos of Greek windmills without the crowds, head to Chios instead of Mykonos!
Best Way to Get to Chios: Fly into Chios National Airport (JKH) or take a ferry from a number of different ports. From Athens the ferry ride lasts approximately 9 hours.
The island of Ikaria is located in the Aegean Sea and is part of Greece. The island is known for its beautiful scenery, its architecture, and its historical sites.
There are many archaeological sites on the island, as well as places of interest such as the Temple of Artemis and the Cave of Zeus. The island also has a number of beautiful beaches, which makes it a popular tourist destination.
The villages of Ikaria are built on the slopes of the island’s mountains, offering breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The island’s capital, Agios Kirikos, is home to several historical churches and museums. Other popular tourist destinations on Ikaria include the village of Hora, with its traditional Greek architecture, and the beach town of Armenistis.
Best Way to Get to Ikaria: Fly into Ikaria Island National Airport (JKR) or take a ferry from a number of different ports and islands. From Athens, the ferry ride lasts 11 hours.
Thassos, also known as the Emerald Island, is the northernmost and probably greenest Greek island. It’s relatively easily accessible as it is close to the mainland. One can get to Thassos by ferry from either Kavala or Keramoti. Despite this, the island offers fascinating beaches, historical sights, and adventure opportunities.
Like many Greek islands, Thassos has many beautiful beaches. Swimmers will be enchanted by Golden Beach, a 4 km long sandy beach with shallow waters. Paradise Beach, with high waves almost anytime, is perfect for sports lovers. Unusual Saliara Beach, made out of small marble pieces from a nearby excavation, is charming and offers the best snorkeling opportunities. Even if technically it’s not a beach, Giola, a natural pool carved in rocks, shouldn’t miss from your itinerary either.
For adventurous tourists, a jeep safari tour on the Ipsarion mountain is a mandatory trip. You can enroll on a guided tour that will take you to lakes, springs, caves, and uninhabited villages in the mountains. History seekers shouldn’t miss the Roman Amphitheater in Limenas, the 1000 years-old marble quarry in Aliki ,or the old villages Theologus and Panagia. Both of them will treat you with traditional architecture, narrow paved streets, and stone-made houses with gray-tiled roofs.
Overlooking both the Aegean Sea and Mt. Ypsarion, Elektra Hotel in Skala Prinos is a great choice for enjoying everything the island has to offer. Regarding food, one can’t go wrong with Elena Tavern in Panagia, Stelakis in Limenaria or Stelios in Theologus.
Best Way to Get to Thassos: Ferry from Kavala and Keramoti. Kavala has an international airport which receives many European visitors during the summer months.
The Saronic Islands are a group of Greek islands located in the Saronic Gulf. The name “Saronic” comes from the Ancient Greek word for “safe harbor”. The islands in the group include Aegina, Hydra, Poros, Salamis, and Spetses.
There is evidence of human habitation on the Saronic Islands dating back to the Neolithic period. The islands were later settled by the Greeks, and became part of the Athenian Empire. The Saronic Islands were later conquered by the Romans, and then the Byzantines.
The Saronic Islands are popular tourist destinations due to their close proximity to Athens (the capital city of Greece), as well as their beautiful beaches and scenery. Many of the islands are also home to ancient ruins and historical sites, making them perfect for those interested in history and culture.
Aegina is a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf. The island is accessible by boat from Athens and Piraeus. Aegina is known for its Temple of Aphaia, which was built in the 6th century BC, and is one of the best-preserved temples in Greece.
The island is also home to the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, as well as the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Aegina is a popular tourist destination, with its sandy beaches and clear waters.
The island also has a number of archaeological and historical sites. Be sure to visit the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the Archaeological Museum of Aegina. Aegina is also home to some of Greece’s most famous landmarks, including the Temple of Aphaia and the Doric temple of Apollo Epikourios.
Our favorite historical sites on Aegina include the Temple of Aphaia, which was built in 500 BC, and the Sanctuary of Asclepius, which was a healing center in ancient Greece. The Island also has a number of archaeological sites, including the ruins of the ancient city of Aegina, which was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC.
Best Way to Get to Aegina: Ferry from Athens or Agistri.
Hydra Island is a Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. It is one of the Saronic Islands and is located off the coast of Attica. The island has a population of about 1,800 people. There are no cars or motorbikes on Hydra – only donkey-drawn carts!
Hydra Town is a wonderful place to explore, as Henry Miller made evident in one of my personal favorite books, ‘Collossus of Marousi’. The town is known for its traditional architecture, with whitewashed houses and narrow streets. There are also several historical sites on the island, including the ruins of an ancient fortress and an archaeological site containing the remains of a Roman villa.
Hydra is a popular tourist destination due to its beauty and history. Visitors can explore the island’s many hiking trails, swim in its clear waters, and enjoy the views from its mountains. There are also several beaches on the island, which are perfect for relaxing or swimming.
UNESCO voted Hydra as the ‘best preserved island in the Mediterranean’ for both its ecological and architectural preservation efforts. It’s one of the few beautiful islands in Greece that has managed to escape modernity.
Best Way to Get to Hydra: Ferry from Athens or Poros.
The Sporades islands are a group of Greek islands located in the Aegean Sea. The name Sporades means “scattered” or “dispersed” in Greek, and refers to the large number of small islands that make up this archipelago. The most well-known islands in the Sporades are Skiathos, Skopelos, and Alonissos, but there are many other smaller islands worth exploring as well.
The Sporades have a long history dating back to Ancient Greece when they were inhabited by the Spartans. Today, the islands are a popular tourist destination for those looking to enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle. Visitors can find plenty of activities to enjoy on the island, from swimming and sunbathing to hiking and exploring the charming towns.
Skopelos is one of the most beautiful islands you can find in Greece. The island is covered in pine trees and is known for being one of Greece’s most green islands. On top of that, Skopelos has many beautiful viewpoints, hidden coves, and incredible beaches – it’s safe to say that it’s a real gem.
There are also so many great things to do in Skopelos, so you won’t easily get bored of island life here. The most popular thing to do is to visit the beautiful Agios Ioannis Kastri, which is a church located on top of a rock in the middle of the ocean – it’s also known as the Mamma Mia Church since the location got famous after the Mamma Mia Movie from 2008.
On top of visiting the beautiful church, you can also go hiking, rent a scooter and drive to the many viewpoints on the island, or visit the many small, charming towns. There are also a lot of great beaches in Skopelos, but Stafylos Beach definitely has some of the clearest, blue water you can find on the island.
The best place to stay on the island is Skopelos Town, also known as Chora, where you will find many accommodations and food options. Try Magali Restaurant if you’re looking for the best Gyros on the island and stay in Anofli Suites if you want a nice hotel in the center of town.
Best Way to Get to Skopelos: Ferry from Volos or Skiathos.
Stunning Crete is the largest island in Greece and the 5th largest in the entire Mediterranean Sea. So it isn’t surprising that it features a wide variety of terrain, attractions, beaches and activities. From the rugged mountains of the interior to the dramatic gorges of the south coast to the many gorgeous beaches scattered along the immense coastline, Crete offers visitors a more diverse set of options than any other Greek island.
“Best beach” is a pretty subjective term but with a narrow isthmus connecting a soft white sand beach to an impressive island, extraordinary Balos Beach certainly gets a lot of votes. Visitors are often found staring in awe from the ridge as they enjoy their first glimpse of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Of course, there are many other spectacular sights on Crete, including pink-sand Elafonisi Beach, the picture-perfect coastal village of Loutro and the mesmerizing palm forest at Preveli Beach.
Road-trippers should be sure to stop off for souvlaki and Greek salad at one of the excellent traditional tavernas on the Lasithi Plateau, while every visitor to Crete needs to experience the classic Venetian harbor in Chania. Even better is to book a few nights in the beautiful Chania Inn to enjoy harbor views right from the terrace.
For all its treasures, Crete is very large and it can take a long time to get from place to place, so be sure to do your research before deciding where to base yourself.
Best Way to Get to Crete: Fly into one of the island’s two international airports: Heraklion (HER) or Chania (CHQ). Crete is a huge island, so your best option is to decide some of the main things you want to do while you’re there and fly into the closer airport. You can take ferries to different parts of Crete from a number of different beautiful Greek islands.
Map of the Most Beautiful Greek Islands
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If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.
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To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available.
When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals.