Greece is an incredible country to explore. I mean, the climate, food, friendly people make it a perfect place for a holiday. Though Greece is vast and it can be quite difficult to actually nail down exactly where to visit, especially when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit.
That being said, the best Greek Islands can sometimes be a little more tricky to pinpoint, especially if you’ve not travelled to Greece before. From the beautiful islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Rhodes, there are so stunning spots I’m pretty sure you’ll love. Oh, and that’s before considering the biggest Greek island, Crete.
Whatever type of Greek island getaway you’re after, you’ll almost certainly find a few key spots you’ll love. This is why I wanted to share some of the best Greek islands to visit whilst you’re in Greece.
Take a look at some of the best Greek islands to visit, below. Have the best trip ever! 🇬🇷
Probably the most iconic and possibly the best Greek island to visit, Santorini is a stunning place to start your trip in Grece. Once a much bigger island, Santorini suffered a huge volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, this led to a massive eruption which sunk most of the island under the sea. Lots of people think this is where the legend of Atlantis actually comes from.
Anyway, there’s so much more to Santorini than it’s geological history. Once you’re here, make sure to visit some of the best things to do on the island and take in the charm of this island. Oh, and don’t forget to go sailing in Santorini, visit one of the island’s vineyards and watch the sunset over Oia. It’s beautiful.
For a great cliffside place to stay, check into the Katikies Hotel which is just stunning.
One of the larger and possibly the best Greek islands to explore, Rhodes has a whole heap of amazing things to do and see.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit the Acropolis of Lindos, stroll the streets of the old town and see the Palace of the Grandmaster. Oh and for some gorgeous coastlines and beaches, head over to Saint Paul’s Bay. Just make sure to pack the sunscreen.
For a tasty bite to eat, gorge at Ta Kardasia who conjure up one of the tastiest moussakas on the island.
The largest Greek island to visit, Crete has a whole heap of amazing things to see and do. It’s one of those islands that’ll need more than a few days to explore but don’t let that put you off… it just means there’s more to see.
As soon as you arrive, head over to Seitan Limania Beach for one of the best beaches and coves on the islands. Afterwards, go for lunch in the historic harbour of Chania and book tickets to see the incredible Knossos Palace.
If you’re thinking of heading to Crete, make sure to check out our essential list of places to see in Crete. It really is one of the best Greek islands to visit.
A relatively small island that hugs the east coast of the mainland, Skiathos is an idyllic little Greek island to visit.
It’s one of those islands where you can have a good mix of exploring and totally relaxed days; which, let’s be honest, is totally essential on a holiday.
Once you’re here, make sure to enjoy the turquoise waters of Paralia Lalaria, visit the Agios Nikolaos Church and see the historic monastery of Panagia Evangelistria.
For a tasty bite, pop into Marmita in Skiathos Old Town, they have some of the best seafood on the island.
Plus, you can book a sailing tour around the whole island of Skiathos that’s just incredible.
We love the tours, below and they can be all booked even before you arrive in Greece.
Perched on the western side of Greece, Corfu is away from the majority of the best Greek Islands to visit.
That being said, just because it’s a little further away, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth a trip. Corfu is stunning.
Corfu is a pretty big Greek island and one that you can easily spend a week (or more) exploring. There are so many things to do that you’ll honestly be spoilt for choice.
Once you’re here, make sure to explore Cape Drastis, stroll the alleys o the Corfu town and pop over to Vlacherna Monastery which sits out within the sea itself.
Now, the island of Serifos is a pretty mountainous island and one of the best Greek islands to visit that has yet to be developed for mass-market travel. It’s the kind of place you can visit and still have a very local experience that sometimes isn’t possible on the more popular islands.
If you decide to come to Serifos, make sure to visit the white sands of Psili Ammos Beach, visit Kastro and gorge at Metalleio in Livadi. You’ll leave stuffed.
Ios is one of the best Greek islands to visit and easily be partnered with a trip to the islands of Santorini or Naxos. That being said, Don’t be fooled into thinking that Ios has to be part of a wider trip, it’s a destination in its own right.
Once you’re here, chill out on Mylopotas Beach, visit the Tomb of Omero and try some ouzo at Sainis Taverna in Chora
Perched in the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos is one of the more well-known Greek islands to visit.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit Navagio Beach (the one with the shipwreck), just be careful with the cliffs, they are pretty crumbly and can collapse so steer clear from the edges.
Afterwards, take your swimsuit and pop over to Dafni Beach for a little swim in the crystal-clear waters.
Finally, if you’re looking for a great place to stay, check into the Olea Hotel, which is made up totally of suites. We loved our stay.
Poros is a tiny little Greek island that’s so close to the mainland that you could almost swim. Though it goes without saying, don’t try this!
Poros itself is actually made up of two islands, Sphairia and Kalaureia, both of which are beautiful to explore. Now, Poros might not be well-known as one of the best Greek islands to visit, but it certainly has a hidden charm that most visitors to Greece bypass.
Once you’re here, head over to Love Bay, visit the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi and stroll around Poros port.
Skyros is a rocky outcrop of an Island that’s actually part of the Sporades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Now, the island itself is pretty mountainous, with loads of trails and coastline strolls that make this a nature-lovers dream island.
After arriving, head over to Agios Fokas Beach, visit the Faltaits Folklore Museum and chow down at Asimenos, they serve up some of the best grilled octopus.
Mykonos needs no introduction when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit.
In truth, it’s probably up there with the likes of Santorini or Crete in terms of popularity.
After arriving on Mykonos, make sure to spend some time wandering through Mykonos Town, sail over to Delos island and see the ruins and spot the iconic windmills of Kato Mili.
After a day exploring the island, head over to Little Venice (especially at sunset) for a bit to eat on the front. It’s idyllic, even if it does get a bit crowded in peak season.
An Island that is truly unique in its architecture and a perfect place to devour some local sea-food
Nestled within the Aegean Sea, Folegandros is a pretty small Greek island to visit but one that has loads of diversity and charm to experience.
Now, the island itself might not be well-known outside of Greece, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. If you’re looking for a tiny island, untouched by mass visitors, Folegandros is one of the best Greek islands to visit.
For one of the best beaches, head over to Katergo (which is gorgeous). Alternatively, pop over to Vorina Beach which is pretty dramatic with the rocky cliffs. If you’re feeling extra cheeky (pun intended), strip off and head to Galifos Beach that’s a totally nude beach!
Just remember to take sunblock, no one likes burnt privates!
Kastellorizo is an island that’s only a few kilometres from the coast of Turkey, but a spot that’s very much (and proud) to be Greek.
It’s a pretty laid-back island and the kind of place you really visit to relax and totally absorb all that Greek charm and hospitality you’ll no doubt experience. Everyone is so friendly here.
After arriving, head over to the Blue Grotto, chill out at Saint George Beach and gorge at Ta Platania that’s totally rustic and Greek.
It serves up homemade dishes that are just mouthwatering. Make sure to try their soutzoukakia (spicy meatballs), you won’t be disappointed.
Spetses is a beautiful little Greek Island that’s lovely to visit. Once you’re here, head over to Bouboulina’s Museum, wader through Spetses Town (spotting Bouboulina’s Statue) and head for dinner at On the Verandah.
The restaurant serves up some of the best seafood and Greek dishes, too. Their kolokythokeftedes are so yummy.
Nestled within the Dodecanese islands, Symi is a stunner of an island to explore. It’s easily up there as one of the best Greek islands to visit if you’re in eastern Greece or on the nearby island of Rhodes.
Now, the island is much more chilled and laid-back than Rhodes, with the pace of life much slower.
This all makes it the perfect place to relax on a holiday to Grece. You can easily head to Symi for a day trip from Rhodes or even stay a few days longer in the town itself.
Once you’re here, head over to Panormitis Monastery, swim at St Nicholas Beach and gorge at the Secret Garden. You’ll love it.
The Secret Garden
Kythira is often thought of as one of the main Ionian Islands and a beautiful spot to explore.
After enjoying the beautiful countryside, head out to explore Chalkos Beach, see the Venetian Castle and find the Cave Of Agia Sophia. It’s a gorgeous place and certainly up there as one of the best Greek islands to visit this year.
17.) Kefalonia (Cephalonia)
Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) is a pretty hilly island that has some of the most dramatic and rugged coastlines across all of the Greek islands.
Once you’re here, make sure to wander through the capital, Argostoli – you’ll love its cobbled little streets. Afterwards, make sure to spot the Melissani Cave and visit Myrtos Beach, too.
They’re both amazing places to explore.
For one of the tastiest dinners on the island, pop into O Makis which conjures up some of the best Greek pies I’ve ever tasted.
The tiny Cyclades island of Anafi is something of a hidden gem when it comes to the best Greek islands to visit. That being said, don’t let its small size and population (a few hundred) put you off, it’s a perfect spot to visit.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit the Church of Panagia Kalamiotissa, go kayaking around the secret coves and go for a swim at Agioi Anargyroi. It’s a beaut of an island.
Before visiting Samos, I had no idea what to expect.
It’s a relatively large Greek Island but one that’s been hidden away from mass tourism or huge hotel chains. This alone makes it a beautiful and tranquil island to spend a week whilst in Greece.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit Tsamadu Beach for one of the most gorgeous spots on the island. Oh, and head to Samos Town and wander the historic promenade.
Finally, after all that exploring, head to Stella which is something of a hidden gem on the island. The setting is beautiful, where you can have dinner overlooking the groves and Samos itself.
For some reason, Ithica has a range of names that can make it a little confusing to first locate. Sometimes called Ithaca, Ithaki or Ithaka, it’s one of the best Greek islands to visit and truly relax.
If you want to lean into the chilled-out vibe, pop over to Gedaki or Sarakiniko Beach, both of which are great places to spend an afternoon relaxing. Alternatively, stroll through the charming Kioni Harbour and head for a drink in one of the local tavernas.