Crystal-clear waters, historical sites and breathtaking landscapes are just some of the things that attract people to the idyllic Greek islands. Find out which island is best suited for you with our Greek island travel guide.
The unique and diverse Greek islands are a true paradisiacal escape, leaving you with over 200 islands to explore. However, choosing where to go can be difficult. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best islands to choose from based on your personality.
Mykonos – For the Night Owl
Release your party animal at Mykonos, Greece’s answer to Ibiza. A stomping ground for clubgoers, the cosmopolitan isle has a buzzing nightlife with international DJs frequently making appearances. Come here for the elegant beach clubs or the vibrant LGBTQ+ scene that has made it a prime destination. For a quieter night, head over to Little Venice Mykonos, the charming old town with houses – some restaurants and bars – perched on the edge of the sea. Looking for the best restaurants in Mykonos? You’re in for a treat as there are endless options. Kastro’s is a must-visit Mykonos restaurant for authentic Greek food and impeccable views – its romantic feel is unmissable!
Best hotels in Mykonos
The price range for Mykonos hotels varies. But if you’re looking for high-end accommodation, we recommend Cavo Tagoo Mykonos, an aesthetically pleasing 5-star hotel by the beach. For affordable lodging, try Alexandros Mykonos, a 2-star hotel set in a white building with a communal pool.
How to get there: Go on a day trip and take a ferry from Santorini to Mykonos or Athens to Mykonos.
Santorini: For the Romantic Soul
Undoubtedly the most famous Greek island and with good reason. A volcanic eruption took place in the 16th century BC, creating the alluring island we know today with whitewash buildings, blue domes, steep cliffs and unforgettable sunsets. Sitting halfway between Athens and Crete, Santorini is a must-visit for those looking for a romantic getaway- it has a myriad of deep-blue waters and coarse sand to enjoy. Foodies will love the gourmet restaurants, but if you want to stick to local cuisine, we recommend Almira Restaurant, a Santorini restaurant serving seafood, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine while overlooking the ocean. Adventurists should consider taking the volcano tours to learn about Santorini’s rich history. The popular island is on the pricey side due to its popularity, but don’t let that discourage you – it’s definitely worth a visit.
Stay at a Santorini cave hotel for the ultimate experience, such as Perivolas Hotel – a 300-year-old cave hotel set on the cliffs high above the Aegean Sea with an impressive infinity pool.
Tip: Go island hopping and take a ferry from Piraeus Port from Santorini to Mykonos or from Athens to Santorini. Alternatively, you can fly directly to the island.
Zakynthos: For the Beach Lover
Located in the Ionian Sea, the island of Zakynthos, or Zante, is a well-known summer resort surrounded by natural landscapes and see-through waters. Think white beaches, sea turtles, and hilltop villages – you really cannot go wrong here if you are a beach lover. The mesmerising island is also the home of the famous Navagio beach (Zakynthos shipwreck), sometimes referred to as Smugglers Cove, an ideal spot for your Instagram-worthy pictures with its turquoise waters and sulphur caves in the background. But don’t stop there. Experience the blue caves Zakynthos, a natural attraction only accessible via boat, to witness the unreal blue hues of the waters.
Accommodation: Zakynthos hotels offer incredible views, like Bitzaro Boutique Hotel, a contemporary hotel situated minutes from the beach.
How to get there: take the 1-hour ferry from Killini port or fly from Athens.
Corfu: For the Foodie
Food is one of the main reasons people travel to Greece and each island serves unique dishes influenced by the region. Located in the Ionian Sea, Corfu’s green hills are home to some of the best olive and kumquat trees, making it a prime producer of olive oil, jams and liquor. Influenced by Italian flavours, you can sample local food like porpetas, Italian-style meatballs cooked in tomato sauce, and pastistadas, a beef stew served over bucatini pasta. Learn about Corfu’s multi-cultural heritage by taking part in a food tour where you’ll sample mouth-watering dishes. Whilst here, explore Corfu beaches, including Nissaki beach, an intimate location with a rocky backdrop.
Accommodation: Nissaki Beach Hotel is a great pick if you’re into boutique-style accommodations with easy access to the beach.
How to get there: easy to get to by plane or ferry
Samothraki: For the Thrill-seeker
Located in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, Samothraki is surprisingly closer to Turkey than Greece. Adrenaline junkies who love outdoor experiences will enjoy this place as it’s filled with waterfalls and granite cliffs. There is plenty to do here, from hiking and canyoning to rappelling through waterfalls and scuba-diving. The somewhat untouched island may not be as popular as the other islands on the list, but it’s worth visiting. Come here to uncover the beauty of crystal-clear waters in search of underwater caves and to experience a side of Greece, that combines mountain terrains and lush forests with colourful waters.
Accommodation: You won’t find over-the-top resorts in Samothraki. Intimate places, such as Samothraki Village Hotel with a private sea-view balcony.
How to get there: Take the ferry from Alexandroupoli Port.
Delos: For the History Buff
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this tiny island just off the coast of Mykonos, is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. If you love ancient history and mythology, Delos is the island for you. Also known as the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the island’s tourist routes and buildings are developed around its historical sites, making your visit feel like you’re taking a walk through history. When visiting, be sure to visit the House of Dionysus, a Greco-Roman-style building. And if time permits, stop by the Temple of Isis, a Roman temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess. As excavation work is still in progress, you might even stumble upon some new finds.
How to get there: daily ferries from Mykonos, Naxos and Paros.
Kythira: For Nature Lovers
Kythira isn’t the easiest island to reach as it lies opposite the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. But that’s what makes Kythira one of Greece’s best-kept secrets. Known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the island is a unique beauty due to the wildness of the landscape. The walking trails, ancient ruins and lush valleys make Kythira an ideal place to visit to connect with nature and avoid busy tourist spots. Instead, you can expect to find mediaeval architecture influenced by the Venetians and quaint villages.
How to get there: Take a flight from Athens and ferries from Neapolis and Gytheio.