15 best Greek islands for your holidays
It is recommended to start your journey by determining which island to choose to visit, as well as by studying the recommendations for such a vacation.
List of Greek islands for recreation, where excellent seascapes are combined with ancient Greek artifacts, has more than 100 names.
Features of holidays in the islands – tips for the tourist
Tourists planning a trip can benefit from a checklist:
- Season. For a beach holiday is optimal from May to September. Comfortable air and sea temperatures allow to combine sea bathing with an excursion program. In the autumn and winter time the mild climate and temperature in the range of +10 … +14 ° C will give tourists the opportunity to go for long walks.
- Location. Upon arrival in Greece, a map with the islands in Russian will help the tourist to plan a route so as to stop at one, but also to visit other interesting places around.
- Accommodation. His choice can be guided not only by the hotels and resorts that offer full board, but also on private apartments in small villages, which can better feel the atmosphere of an ancient country. It is better to book such an option beforehand.
- Visa. To visit Greece you need a visa, but you can choose only those resorts where permission to enter the country is granted on the spot.
- Religion. If you are not traveling as a pilgrimage, it is better to avoid the big religious holidays, during which tourists have limited access to many attractions. Women are advised to take a scarf or headscarf when traveling to be able to visit churches.
How to reach the islands of Greece?
Direct flights from Moscow are available in summer to Crete or year-round to major cities (Athens or Thessaloniki). From there, tourists go on vacation by domestic flights. The best prices for tickets are in November. The list of airlines: Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Aeroflot, UTair.
By adjusting the length of connections between flights, you can have time to see the mainland attractions. You can also connect to other European cities.
The most beautiful islands
If a tourist prefers beautiful landscapes when choosing where to go on vacation, in Greece it is better to stop in Santorini or Skiathos. Although literally every corner of this country can compete for the title of the most picturesque.
Refers to one of the most beautiful islands in Greece because of the interesting landscapes: the cliffs are dotted with small houses of cloudy white with azure roofs. Nearby there are small temples with blue domes. You can appreciate the landscape on a ferry or yacht trip.
Despite the lack of fresh water, locals grow fruits and vegetables, and vineyards and eucalyptus groves cover most of the land. Therefore, the vacation will be among the flowers and greenery.
The beaches of Santorini are impressive with black or red sand, the best of which are Perissa and Kamari.
Fans of archeology will be able to see on the island the architectural monuments of the Cycladic civilization, visit the excavations of the ancient city of Thera (IX century BC) in the east. Here you can see the ruins of the old Roman baths, theaters, markets, visit the monastery of the 18th century, the archaeological museum, the monastery of Elijah the Prophet and the convent of St. Nicholas.
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There are ancient monuments all along the coast and the combination of interesting cuisine, sea scenery and excellent beaches, of which there are more than 60, will suit visitors with different interests.
Skiathos is an island for active people, for lovers of yachting, jet skiing and parachuting. Skiathos has also some places of interest: the ruins of Kastro, the Venetian fortress of Burtzi, the monasteries of Our Lady and Evangelisti. The latter are the producers of local specialties. Cheese, olive oil, wine, liquors you can not only taste or buy, but also try to make your own.
The best islands in Greece for a beach holiday with children or for couples
Greece’s resorts with sad beaches and mild climate are what you need for a vacation with kids or a couple. And Crete, the eighth largest island in Europe and the largest island in Greece, located in the Aegean Sea, will introduce tourists to the world of Greek mythology.
Evia, located in the archipelago of the Northern Sporades, is the best vacation for travelers with children or small quiet companies.
According to legend, the campaign to Troy started here, and mineral waters treated Heracles himself. This wonderful climatic zone combines centuries-old pine forest, sea beaches, fringed with powerful cliffs, mud and hot springs among the mountain gorges.
In addition, the proximity to the mainland (80 km to Athens, there is even a 14-kilometer bridge across the strait Evrips), makes it possible to visit the most rich tour program.
The sandy beaches of Crete with children or for couples are especially good in September, when the islands of Greece are in the Indian summer. Although the mild climate and beautiful nature make it possible to swim here in late April. Crete is a wonderful place, where all the ancient myths come to life amidst the stunning beauty of the local scenery. It is a historical and cultural center of the ancient Cretan civilization, rich in ancient monuments.
Here, King Minos kept the Minotaur in his palace called the Labyrinth. Nowadays, a visit to the palace of Knossos made of different types of stone in Heraklion will please tourists of all ages. Its construction is associated with the first use of plumbing, sewage, ventilation and heating.
For children, Crete offers 4 water parks, a large aquarium CretAquarium and a beautiful family park, Labyrinth with rides.
It is the most often visited island among the Ionian Islands in the west. It is a natural reserve which attracts people from all over the world with its olive groves, citrus orchards and lush greenery. Corfu is famous for its quality service, during the season attracts many tourists, which is worth considering when planning a trip.
Thinking about what resort in Greece to choose for a vacation with children, Corfu, look at the town of Moraitika and Messongi – there are long sandy beaches with a smooth descent to the sea.
History lovers can take a ride on the Lovers’ Canal in Sidar, see the Byzantine churches in Kerkyra, and in the old town visit the royal palace, Empire-style houses, the old Venetian fort.
It belongs to the Greek archipelago Dodecanese and attracts many tourists. Hotels, bars and restaurants are concentrated here. Teenagers and young people will appreciate the party atmosphere of the central areas. The beaches of the island are shallow safe sandy places for the whole family.
Islanders have a reverence for medicine, because Hippocrates was born here. Therefore, vacation in this place among all the islands of Greece are chosen by tourists who are interested in medicine. Children will be interested to see the thousand-year-old plane tree, which, according to legend, was planted by Hippocrates in his youth, or to take part in the traditional ceremony of oaths of future physicians.
Aquis Marine Resort, Lido Water Park, Go Kart centers, and Baywatch water sports club are the choice of sports kids and young couples on vacation on Kos. And very young travelers can interact with the animals at the Fisiko Parko Tis Zias Nature Reserve.
Go to Zakynthos if you’re thinking about which island in Greece to choose for a busy children’s vacation at sea or a relaxing vacation for two. There are fewer tourists here than at other Greek resorts, ensuring a measured pace of vacation.
The southernmost of the seven Ionian Islands offer visitors not only 123 km of comfortable pebble and sandy beaches, beautiful azure coves with grottoes and green gardens, but also a large list of hotels. In the south and southeast of Zakynthos lies a marine reserve with rare animals like the caretta turtle and the monachus seal.
The island’s scenery is exquisitely complemented by Venetian towers and fortresses, and the capital has a Venetian-like St. Mark’s Square with a Catholic cathedral.
A place that preserves its national color and ancient structures. Great for walks for two after a vacation at Myrtos Beach, during which you can see sights such as:
- Drogarati Cave – with a “ceremonial” hall decorated with “chandeliers” of hundreds of stalactites;
- the mystical Melissani underground lake, opened after the collapse of the ceiling of its cave, which now allows sunlight to penetrate here;
- the Venetian town of Fiskardo, the only one not affected by the terrible earthquake and therefore preserving its historic appearance.
Islands for young people and couples in love
Among the most romantic places for recreation, tourists name Rhodes, and young people will appreciate the nightlife of fashionable Mykonos.
An important center of tourism off the coast of Turkey. European tourists consider Rhodes the best resort in Greece. According to the legend, Zeus raised it from the bottom of the sea as a gift to Helios, the God of the Sun.
Rhodes has a variety of hotels and beaches: there are small hotels for couples in love, looking for privacy, as well as chain hotels with night discos, around the clock parties for fans of dancing.
At the same time, the island is also attractive for visitors who are interested in archaeology and the ancient world. The list of places to visit should include the ruins of ancient Kameiros, the Rhodes Fortress, the castles of Archangelos and Monolithos. Lovers in spring or summer should visit the Valley of Butterflies.
Located in the Aegean Sea, it is a center of Greek nightlife. A resort for wealthy tourists, including world stars, famous for its tolerance for the whims of guests. It is a place of entertainment, in the relaxed atmosphere of which you can choose daily pleasures according to your mood: a party on the best beaches, shopping in the stores of world fashion brands, a quiet beach holiday, meeting the dawn on a yacht, surfing, Greek dinner under the stars.
Many of Simi’s sandy or pebbly beaches are located in such a way that they can only be reached by sea. This attracts lovers to the island, who can spend their vacation away from other tourists. The interesting Greek architecture and seascapes will be a good backdrop for photos.
Perfect spots for secluded vacations with authentic atmosphere
Small sparsely populated Greek islands give travelers the opportunity to experience all the traditions of the region in its original form. For many, such a vacation is preferable to five-star service.
Famous for its coastline, along which stretch sandy or sandy-pebbly beaches. Here you can choose a place for swimming to your liking: from organized with bars and restaurants on the shore to sports, offering a variety of water sports. Lovers of “wild” holidays will also find beaches for themselves.
The island offers a secluded vacation. There are fewer tourists here than at other Greek resorts. The beaches of Chios are the spacious black-pebble Mavra Volia Beach and the small Vroulidia Beach, consisting of a mixture of pebbles and sand. The sandy beaches of Komi and Karfas are ideal for children.
The ancient Orthodox shrines (the monasteries of Nea Moni, Ayia Markela and Agios Constantinos) will be an interesting addition to your vacation. The proximity to Turkey can be felt by visiting the capital and the fortifications of the 10th century with Turkish baths and the Byzantine Museum, located in the old mosque.
The island is located in the Ionian Sea. It is connected to the mainland by a pontoon bridge, which gives tourists an additional advantage: not to depend on the vagaries of nature and enjoy the scenery almost all year round. Lefkada has a mountainous landscape and lush green scenery.
The island is a center for water sports. Kitesurfers, divers and windsurfing enthusiasts feel great here. In summer, fans of the authentic atmosphere can take part in a major folklore festival.
The most beautiful islands in Greece
Very soon the vacation season will begin, and lovers of seaside holidays are already looking at holidays in Greece. Therefore we have compiled the top most beautiful islands in Greece where you can not only swim and sunbathe but also see the most beautiful natural and architectural attractions.
This white island you have probably seen more than once in booklets advertising Greece. It is the most beautiful and well-kept island in Greece and must be visited by everyone who comes to Greece. The sunsets and the purest black sand beaches are especially beautiful on the island.
Getting there: By boat from Crete, by ferry from the Greek Islands or by air to Santorini Airport. For more information about transportation to the island, see the article “How to get to Santorini”.
Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in Greece and the tourist flow to which increases every year. The island is great for relaxing and partying, because it’s one of the wildest destinations after Ibiza. The island towns are famous for their cozy old streets and clean beaches. The best beaches are Paradise Beach, Elia, Kalafati, and Panormos.
How to reach them: By plane to Mykonos airport.
Tilos is a small island in the Aegean Sea and is ideal for nature lovers and photographers. The island can be explored in 1 day. Worth visiting the beaches of the island are Livadia, Plaka, Eristos and Agios Andonis.
How to get there: fly to Rhodes airport, then take a ferry. Ferry from Athens or Mykonos.
Milos is a beautiful volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. The island became famous after the statue of “Venus of Milos” was found there. And then people discovered more than 70 excellent beaches, and tourists slowly began to come to this paradise island, which has many lunar landscapes, rocky ridges and forests. And the biggest plus is that here you can find snow-white beaches, which even in the season are deserted. The most beautiful beaches are: Papafragas, Sarakiniko (white-rock beach), Pollonia, Papikinou.
Getting there: By direct flight with Olympic Airlines from Athens airport or by ferry from Athens. The travel time by ferry is 9 hours.
Hydra is a Greek island in the Saronikos Gulf of Greece. Idra is a place where you can find tranquility, because even by the standards of the Greeks here everything flows slowly, even transport in the form of cars is absent. But here you can feel the color of past centuries. The harbor of Idra is especially interesting to explore. You should have comfortable shoes to walk around the narrow and steep streets.
Getting there: Ferry from Port of Pirea, 1,5-3 hours trip.
The island of Amorgos is very hilly and indented. There are many sights of the past and some of them are even exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Besides sightseeing and ancient churches, you can also go scuba diving and lie on the fine sand beaches.
Getting there: By ferry from the port of Pirea or Rafina.
Crete is a big Greek island that receives millions of visitors every year. Here every tourist can find something for himself. For example, diving enthusiasts will appreciate the Sunken City of Olus. Historians should definitely visit the palace of Knossos, the Labyrinth of the Minotaur, the Fortress of Kules and the Labyrinth of Zeus. And ordinary vacationers, who come to the island for the sea and the beaches, can explore the most picturesque beaches of Crete, many of which are awarded the Blue Flag for purity: the snow-white beach of Vai, Balos Beach, Bali Beaches. And if you just want to enjoy your walks and take Instagram photos, go to one of the following towns: Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos or Chania.
How to get there: by plane to Crete Heraklion Airport. You can also explore the island with a guided tour “All Crete in One Day”.
Zakynthos is a luxurious Greek island with pine forests, fragrant citrus fruits and grapes. The island’s calling card is the shipwreck beach or Navaio Bay. You can get to this beach only from the sea. The water in this bay is crystal clear and the surrounding rocks with emerald greenery create an incredibly romantic atmosphere. Among the places of interest in Zakynthos, you can list the marine reserve with turtles, Askos reserve with rare species of animals and plants, the Byzantine churches. The beach of Zakynthos Laganas and Xigia also deserves a visit.
Getting there: By ferry from Kefalonia or Kylleena or by plane from Athens or Corfu. In summer, charter flights from many European cities fly to the island of Zakynthos. Another way to get to Zakynthos island is to take a shuttle bus from Athens (travel time 6 hours).
9. Corfu (Kerkyra)
Corfu is an island in the Ionian Sea, which attracts tourists with its sandy beaches and pebble bays. Its small towns, built by Venetians, Byzantines and British empire, have preserved their identity and are protected by UNESCO. There are few great sights in Corfu, but there are interesting places, such as: the capital of Corfu, the Byzantine fortress of Aggelokastro, the Old Fort of Corfu, the beach of Canal d’Amour, the Cathedral of St. Spyridon, the beach with the vertical rocks of Peroulades, the resort of Sidari with the rocky headlands.
How to get there: by plane to Corfu airport, then by rented car.
The island of Rhodes has a lot to offer both beach lovers and history buffs. Among the attractions are the crystal clear beaches, the ancient city of Rhodes, the ancient Lindos, forts and churches, the Valley of Butterflies. There are many opportunities for water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can either go to luxurious resorts like Kalitea, or rent a budget hotel in the center of Rhodes Capital.
How to get there: By plane to Rhodes airport, by ferry from the Greek cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands and a true paradise for nature lovers and travelers in search of an idyllic spot in the Mediterranean Sea. Among the natural beauties are the huge olive groves and the majestic fir trees. However, the coast, which has white chalk cliffs washed by crystal clear sea, is what attracts tourists the most. The most famous rock is Myrtos.
To get there: by plane or bus from Athens.
Did you know that the southernmost point of Greece and of Europe is located on the Greek island of Gavdos, on Cape Tripiti? The island also attracts travelers with its unspoiled nature and the opportunity to observe the stars during their overnight stay in a tent on the beach. By the way, the beaches of Gavdos are considered as one of the most beautiful not only in Greece, but also in the whole continent. Some of the beaches or coves can only be accessed by boat.
Getting there: The ferry from Crete, Anandyk company, travel time 2 hours.
Lefkada is a beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea. The hilly island is rich in lush vegetation and secluded paradisiacal beaches. Lefkada island is framed by white rocks, against which you can make more than one selfies. On this island, every tourist will find a beach to his liking – there are wide sandy and pebbly beaches. The color of the water on the island is unusual – bright turquoise. The best beaches on the island are: Katisma, Porto Katsiki.
Getting there: Ferry from Kefalonia and Ithaca, bus from Athens.
On large islands Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, you can get to your hotel from the airport by renting a car. It is better to book a car in advance through the site Myrentacar, otherwise there is a risk to be left with nothing. You will need a driver’s license and passport to rent a car. You do not need to guarantee your reservation with a credit card. When you pick up the car, you pay a deposit in cash.
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