10 best Greek islands – from big to small
When you go on holiday to Greece, there is always the question of which island ️ is the best to go to, and for those who have not been here, even more difficult, so we decided to help you and have compiled a list of islands with photos, in Russian and with a map, so you can decide when you choose to buy a tour
Greece is one of the top destinations of world tourism regardless of the season. Winter and spring are preferable for sightseeing, summer – for sunbathing. White sands, lagoons and perfect weather.
Amorgos is a part of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea. To reach Amorgos you not only need a will, but also a favorable weather. When the wind is strong, free large boats run between Athens and the island. The trip itself can take up to 8 hours. Amorgos is preferred by people who like peace and quiet. Travelers will enjoy the mountainous terrain and the many monasteries scattered around the island. Amorgos is often called “the island of the great blue. There are many bays and underwater caves. It is best to rent your own separate cottage instead of a hotel, the more so commonplace villas in Greece.
2. Milos .
Here was found one of the most famous sculptures – Venus of Milos. The remains were found in the early XIX century on the acropolis in the port city of Adamas. Currently, the sculpture can be admired in the Louvre in Paris. Milos is one of the Cyclades islands. It amazes with its unique climate and unique nature. The island is equipped with more than 70 beaches. White houses, painted in contrast to the blue surface of the water, add to their charm.
The largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia is an ideal alternative for people who love an authentic atmosphere. The mountainous landscape contrasts with the azure of the sea. Many caves can be found here, including the breathtaking Melissani Cave. The road to Myrtos beach is not an easy one, but the views are worth it. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, and the white sand contrasts with the turquoise blue sea.
The names of Greek islands and cities are often reminiscent of Greek myths. There is probably not a person who has not heard the name Ithaca. Homer, the Greek singer, claimed that Ithaca was the home island of Odysseus. However, the island is alive with more than just history and legend. From the west, it adjoins Kefalonia. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and hills, from which in good weather it is pleasant to watch the sea. Possible to rent a boat or cruise to explore Ithaca from the sea.
The Cyclades archipelago hides another gem, Folegandros. What sets it apart from the others? Majestic high cliffs, up to 200 m high. It is worth visiting the island’s capital, Chora, built on one of the cliffs. The view from the window of the house, located on the shore, will be remembered for a long time. Local beaches are almost magical, turquoise water contrasts with the bright cliffs, the noise of the sea attracts unknown melodies.
6. Corfu (Kerkyra)
Corfu (or Kerkyra) is located in the northern part of the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Albania. The Greek island delights with its beaches, towns and holiday atmosphere. One of the most beautiful beaches of Corfu is Paleokastritsa, surrounded by rocks, olive groves and citrus trees. It is worth a trip to Porto Timoni, where two beaches in bays face each other. Travelers will love the green island. There is a special Corfu Trail, which leads through the most beautiful places on the island. Its length is more than 200 km.
Romantic sunsets, winding streets with snow-white buildings contrasting with the blue of the sea – Santorini is considered one of the most beautiful Greek islands. There are black beaches, cliffs and winding streets leading to churches with domed roofs. A favorite place on the island is Iya, from which you can see the most beautiful panoramas. An interesting idea is a trip to the neighboring island Tirasia.
Thassos is an island in the northern Aegean Sea, east of the peninsula of Halkidiki. Thanks to its fertile land, it produces the best Greek wine. On the south side of the island lies the natural pool of Giola. Some of the most beautiful beaches of Thassos are the Marble (northeast), Psili Ammos and Kalami (south).
9. Idra (Hydra)
Hydra (Hydra), beautiful and delightful in its simplicity, is located in the Saronic Archipelago, south of the Peloponnese. Most of the traffic here is on foot or on donkeys, which carry both goods and people. Automobile traffic and bicycle travel are forbidden here. In summer, you can use water transport (such as the kaiki water bus) to explore the island from the shore. Hydra is an island loved by artists. It was once a fashionable tourist resort frequented by movie and music stars. Leonard Cohen painted most of his work here.
There are many islands in Greece. Between Kos and Tilos in the Aegean Sea is the small volcanic island of Nisyros. The crater of the volcano is one of the greatest attractions and unique places of the island. In it you can easily play a soccer match. Situated at an altitude of about 1300 m above sea level, Nikia is an ideal vantage point to view the sea and the crater of the volcano. Like Santorini, the beaches of Nisyros are dark and rocky. One of the most popular is Pachia Ammos (meaning thick sand), which is easily found in the eastern part of the island.
List of the top 19 best islands in Greece
Greece is a very beautiful and inexpensive country. The only downside – you need a visa to Greece for Russians. If you are not afraid of a week to bother with paperwork, then feel free to choose this country for your vacation. This article will help you choose where to go in Greece.
Islands of Greece: where to go for a beach holiday
I think if you’ve been interested in Greece before, you’ve seen pictures of Navagio beach more than once. This is probably the most popular and most photographed beach in Greece. In 1981, the wreck of an old smuggling ship was thrown here. You can reach Navagio only by boat, but even so, there are always a lot of people here. The southern part of the island of Zakynthos is often crowded with tourists. The north and west are much calmer. There, too, there are excellent beaches, such as Gerakas, where you can watch sea turtles, and Tsilivi, which is ideal for families.
The least known island in the Sporades. Skyros is notable for its vibrant traditions and special character. The capital, as you may have already realized, Chora, is located along the slopes of the hill, and from here you have a very beautiful view of the Aegean Sea. A medieval castle towers over the city. The most popular beach is Molos, which has all the infrastructure for a beach holiday. The ferry to Skyros leaves from Kimi port in Evia, and in summer the ferries go from Skopelos and Alonissos.
Greek islands, where to have a rest with family
If you decide to visit Greece for the first time and with your family, you should choose Corfu. It is one of the popular islands in Greece. Thanks to its strong historical connection with Europe, it was the first island to open for tourism in Greece. Corfu is located in the northwestern part of the country and strikes a harmonious blend of cosmopolitanism and traditional character. Paleokastritsa, Sidari, Kassiopi and Acharavi are the most popular tourist spots in the northern part of the island and there are many lovely villages and attractions. Also Corfu has many beautiful beaches and Corfu’s main feature is the old town, decorated in the typical Venetian style.
The sixth largest island in Greece. It is considered ideal for family holidays and has lots of beaches, the most famous are Myrtos, Antisamos, Lourdas and Skala Source and is not very crowded because of its size. The Hollywood movie “Captain Corelli’s Choice” was filmed in Kefalonia. In addition to the beautiful beaches, the island is famous for its picturesque villages, medieval castles and beautiful monasteries.
The best Greek islands for culture and history
Delos was called a Sacred Island in ancient times. According to Greek mythology, twins Apollo and Artemis were born here. Worshiping these gods of beauty the ancient Greeks built here many temples, statues and sanctuaries. Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can not live on Delos, so all tourists come to Delos by boat from neighboring Mykonos.
Patmos is probably the most spiritual island of Greece, known as the Island of the Apocalypse. According to the legend in the cave of Patmos John the Evangelist was blessed to write the Book of the Apocalypse. And that is why the caves of Patmos are part of the world heritage of UNESCO. Here there is a large monastery of St. John. It is surrounded by high walls and looks more like a fortress. The beaches are beautiful and if you do not mind the frequent ringing of church bells, then Patmos is an excellent choice for a vacation.
Islands of Greece with the best hotels and clubs
Mykonos is famous for its nightclubs and bars which are the best in Greece. You won’t get bored in Mykonos, offering entertainment for all ages. You can stroll through the narrow streets of the chora, watch the sunrise in Little Venice, live in luxury hotels and sunbathe on the sandy beaches and in the evening you can go back to the city and continue the fun in the clubs and bars until dawn.
On this beautiful island, you can experience both the history of Greece and a vibrant nightlife. The entire center of the island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. On the historical side you will find Kritinia Castle, a Venetian fort of the 16th century and the most important local landmark – Colossus, a 30 meter statue of Helios – god of the sun. The clubs and beaches here are also above all praise. Many tourists choose Rhodes as their main destination, periodically making trips to neighboring islands.
The Greek island with the best food
The southern location of Crete has generously rewarded it with a long harvest season, hence there is always plenty of delicious food. Crete is the most popular island with tourists. If you go to Crete, make sure you try snails, no matter if fried or steamed, this dish is rightfully considered a delicacy. Also the largest island of Greece is famous for being the home of the Palace of Knossos, the palace of King Minos and the well-known Minotaur’s Labyrinth.
The best islands for a quiet holiday in Greece
Koufonissia is a group of 3 small islands. Pano Koufonissia is the smallest and most populated of them. It has an area of only 3.5 square kilometers and most of the inhabitants are engaged in fishing. Therefore, it is joked that there are more boats in Koufonissia than inhabitants. Kato Koufonissia is slightly larger at 4.3 square kilometers. It is designed primarily for tourists and is separated from the previous island by a small strait 200 meters wide. The third island – Keros is the largest and uninhabited island and is protected by the state.
Koufonissia islands are great for an inexpensive and relaxing vacation. There was no electricity until 1980, and there are no roads to this day. All the people are on foot or by bicycle, thanks to the small size of the islands.
Karpathos is located between Rhodes and Crete. Due to its rather secluded position, tourism on the island has just begun to develop. The most suitable for tourism is the southern part, while the northern and central part remains authentic, with traditional Greek villages. Karpathos is famous for its golden beaches and azure waters. The island is good for families and hikers. Trekking trails are everywhere and on them you can see some truly picturesque places.
Not the most popular island in Greece but as beautiful as the others. It is ideal for quiet seclusion and tranquility. First of all Nisyros is famous for the still active volcano in the center of the island. This volcano is the youngest in Greece. Mandraki and Nikia are the most picturesque villages here with traditional Greek architecture and picturesque views. The beaches are clean, you can stay in Nisyros with accommodation and also take excursions from Kos. Ferries here run daily and you can stay on different islands.
The most eco friendly island of Greece
Arguably, Hydra is the most impressive island of Greece. It is near Athens and that is why it is always full of tourists. The town is located on a hillside overlooking the port and is admired for the beauty of its mansions. The main feature of this place is the total absence of cars and other vehicles, they are simply prohibited. All move on their own two, on boats or donkeys, which are a kind of calling card of Hydra. And also many Hollywood stars have bought houses here.
The best islands for outdoor activities
Andros is just 2 hours from Athens. It is a beautiful island with a rich history. Batsi is the most touristy area. There are many beautiful beaches, like Golden Beach and Agios Petros. To get to the beaches of Ahla, Vitali and Vlychada, you’ll need to hike, because it is a full trek. In the capital of the island – Chora – there are interesting art museums, where very often are held world exhibitions.
Lefkada amazes its guests with the unusual blue color of its beaches. This island is connected with the mainland of Greece with a small bridge, so you can reach it by car without using the ferry. It is a wonderful place for families, lovers and groups of friends. The most beautiful beaches of the island are Porto Katsiki, Egremni and Kathisma. Lefkas is popular with water sports enthusiasts.
The best islands in Greece for lovers
Santorini is the most romantic island of Greece and perhaps of the world. Santorini had one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world, scientists believe that Santorini is part of the lost Atlantis. Who knows, who knows. Undoubtedly, there are striking volcanic landscapes, unique beaches with gray, red and black sand, making a striking contrast with the azure color of the sea. Santorini is a very beautiful island with beautiful architecture – here and there the snow-white open houses with blue roofs, good service and fairly high prices, because you have to pay for the pleasure. It is worth it.
I think you understood all about Santorini, but I won’t leave out Symi. Symi is a tiny island that impresses its guests with its quiet atmosphere and beautiful architecture. Simi has one of the most impressive ports in the world. The semi-circular mountain houses with a breathtaking view of the sea will not leave anyone indifferent. Walks along the port will be remembered for its romance. The beaches on the island are small and clean. From the attractions here, perhaps only the monastery Panormitis. It is ideal for a family or for couples.
The island of Skopelos is first and foremost an attraction for families and lovers. It became famous mainly because of the movie Mamma Mia that was filmed there. Therefore, the impressive church of Agios Ioannis Kastri is known as Mama Maria Church. Town and Glossa are the 2 main villages on the island and they are built on top of a hill with a beautiful view of the Aegean Sea. Ferries to Skopelos depart from the ports of Volos or Agios Konstantinos.
The best island for nontraditional people
The islands of Lesvos and Mykonos are the most attractive for gays in Greece. The island is famous for the Greek poetess Sappho, whose poems praised the love for both sexes. The city is situated between two hills in the shape of an amphitheater. Here is also the largest castle in the Mediterranean, the Genoese castle. Another unusual attraction is the petrified forest.
Thank you for your attention. I hope that this article will be useful to you. All the islands of Greece can be classified as a beach holiday, because there are beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches on each of the islands. If you want details, read the article about the best beaches in Greece.