Greece is certainly the most famous summer destination mainly because of the numerous islands. That is to say, every summer, millions of people visit the Greek islands to spend their holidays. Some of them prefer the cosmopolitan islands and others prefer the more traditional ones. Therefore, we are going to present to you the top islands to visit in Greece and why to choose them.
Pro Tip: Bookmarks are the key to organizing a great trip. So, bookmark this post in a “Greece” folder in your browser. This way you can circle back to it while you are traveling.
Best Islands To Visit In Greece And Why
In Greece, there are thousands of islands. However, not all of them are inhabited. Further, there are different types of islands. For example, there are islands where you can have fun all night long and meet the Greek nightlife. On the other hand, there are islands which families prefer to visit mostly because of their calmness. In each case, the Greek islands are the ideal option for your summer holidays. In the list below, you will meet the top islands to visit in Greece and the reasons why to visit them.
10. Naxos Island
Family Friendly | Traditional Cuisine | Archaeological Sites
Naxos is the biggest Cycladic island. You will arrive in Naxos by ship from Piraeus port. You will certainly recognize the island by its characteristic monument which is Portara, a big monument similar to a gate. To clarify, this is the Temple of Apollo. In Naxos, you will certainly find wonderful places and luxury hotels to stay in. Further, it is considered a family-friendly island as you can easily find a lot of sandy beaches where you can spend your daytime with your kids.
Moreover, you have the chance to visit several museums and archaeological sites. For example, you can pay a visit to the castle of Naxos. This is a place that you will certainly love mostly because you will feel like traveling to past times. Finally, if you are a meat-lover, remember that Naxos is famous for its livestock and fine meat dishes.
Long Beaches | Turquoise Seawater | Melissani Cave
Kefalonia was the homeland of the mythical king Odysseus. It is located in the Ionian Sea. As a big island that it is, you will certainly love long road trips. Most important, each island destination is unique. Long beaches with crystal clear waters await you. So, it’s up to you to choose your favorite beach where you will spend your daytime.
Above all, don’t miss the chance to visit Melissani Cave. To clarify, it is a cave on the sea and you go there by boat. It is certainly a unique experience. That is to say, it is a must-see place. You will be amazed by this impressive natural landscape. Therefore, it is one of the top islands to visit in Greece.
Old Town | Different Museums | Beautiful Beaches
Another Ionian island is Corfu. It is located in the northern Ionian Sea and you can arrive there by airplane. In Corfu, you will certainly love the old town with Venetian architecture. When you walk in this town, you feel like you are in a different era. Not only this, but in Corfu, you will also enjoy long road trips. That is to say, you can arrive at wonderful beaches after amazing drives.
Most important, in Corfu, you will never feel bored. To clarify, you have the chance to participate in different activities. For example, you may want to do some watersports. Moreover, cooking or ceramic classes are often organized for people who are interested in learning something new and different.
Nightlife | Beach Parties
Let’s be transferred to the Aegean Sea and specifically to Ios island. If you love parties and would like to meet the Greek nightlife, Ios is the best choice. To clarify, you will enjoy your drinks or breezy cocktails with the best view of the island. Each bar or nightclub here is certainly unique.
Moreover, in Ios, there are also wonderful beaches. Mylopotas is one of them. So, get ready to enjoy and have fun on sandy beaches and clear seawater. Finally, at many beaches, you can find a lot of watersports to do and raise your adrenaline. That is to say, Ios is one of the top islands to visit in Greece.
Extreme Sports | Sightseeing | Daytrips to Turkey
Kos is one of the biggest islands located in the Dodecanese. It has a really long history, considering that Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, was born here. So, if you visit Kos, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most historic places in Greece: Asklepion. This is the place where Hippocrates was teaching medicine in ancient times.
In Kos, you will enjoy swimming in amazing seawater and admire the long beaches. Keep in mind that Kos is located directly opposite the popular city of Bodrum in Turkey, so you can easily visit this place by taking a day trip.
Shipwreck Beach | Blue Caves | Caretta-caretta Turtles
Coming back to the Ionian Sea visiting Zakynthos. Zakynthos is one of the most popular island destinations for spending the summer holidays. Above all, there are several wonderful places to visit. Most of them are really impressive. Therefore, check out my article on Where to Stay in Zakynthos so you can find the perfect hotel!
Most importantly, apart from the beautiful beaches with turquoise seawater, you have the chance to visit unique landscapes. In other words, if you choose to travel to Zakynthos, then you have to visit the Shipwreck beach and the Blue Caves. The scenery is amazing and you will certainly enjoy swimming in this crystal clear water. Finally, remember to have an excursion in order to meet the Caretta-caretta turtles.
Guide: Where to Stay in Zakynthos
Nightlife | Cosmopolitan Destination
Mykonos is certainly the most cosmopolitan island destination in Greece. That is to say, here, luxury is a way of life. If you plan to visit Mykonos, then get ready to meet an amazing nightlife experience. Every summer night, Mykonos is transformed into a great party.
Further, apart from the luxury bars and restaurants, in Mykonos, you will also enjoy the Greek sun. In other words, you can spend your daytime on organized or free beaches. However, you need to know that the weather in Mykonos is often enough windy. So, there will be some days that you may not be able to spend your time by the sea but enjoying your coffee at beautiful cafes in front of it.
Nightlife | Medieval Town | Wine Tasting
Rhodes is the biggest and the most popular island in the Dodecanese. Every summer, thousands of people visit it for several reasons. To clarify, in Rhodes you will spend a lot of hours going for walks into the old town. In this medieval town, you will feel like you travel past in times. Moreover, don’t forget to visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
Above all, in Rhodes, you will also enjoy the nightlife, traditional cuisine, and wonderful beaches. That is to say, Rhodes is a place where you will have the chance to do a lot of and different activities. For example, you may want to organize a fishing tour and daily cruises or just relax at the beach under the sun drinking a cold coffee.
Family Friendly | Beautiful Beaches | Cosmopolitan Towns
Crete is certainly the biggest island in Greece. That is to say, you will need a lot of days in order to visit it all around. In other words, it consists of four prefectures; Lassithi, Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania. Each prefecture has its own points of interest.
In short, in Lassithi, you can visit Plaka village from where you can visit and have a tour in the popular Spinalogga island arriving there by boat. It is certainly a unique experience. Moreover, Heraklion is a big enough city with beautiful squares. Above all, in Heraklion, you must visit the archaeological site of Knossos Palace.
Further, in Rethymno, you can spend some time walking into the old town. You can also visit the palm forest of Preveli or beautiful beaches such as Skinaria beach. Finally, Chania is the place where the Samaria Gorge starts and offers a unique trekking experience. You will also be amazed by the old town of Chania. Apart from these, here, you have the chance to visit the most wonderful beaches of the island, such as Elafonissi, Balos, and Falassarna.
Amazing Sunsets | Volcano | Caldera View
At the top of this list, of course, we will put Santorini island. Santorini is one of the most famous destinations all over the world. If you travel by ship, arriving at the island you will be amazed by Caldera. This high and steep rock makes the buildings look like they are in the air. Check out my article on Where to Stay in Santorini so you can find the perfect hotel!
Most important, in Santorini, you will enjoy impressive sunsets and a luxurious way of life. Further, there are some really popular beaches. For example, you can spend your daytime at the Black beach, where the sand is really black, or at the Red beach enjoying this volcanic landscape.
Guide: Where to Stay in Santorini