With long hot summers, impressive landscapes, glorious beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious local food there is always a perfect island in Greece for everybody’s tastes. Our short guide to six of the most stunning Greek islands will help you decide which island is right for you.
1 – Santorini
Known for its iconic blue dome churches and breathtaking sea views, Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. The 13th-century Venetian fortress, the small historical villages, and the charming panoramic views of the Aegean Sea are the main highlights of this island.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your holidays. Enjoy amazing beaches including the Red Beach or swim at Ammoudi Bay and Kamari Beach. Embark on a boat tour to one of the many caves and lagoons, or alternatively hop on a boat journey to explore the neighbouring islands in style. Explore the island’s picturesque villages and discover hidden paths and alleys. Visit Santorini’s former capital Pyrgos and be amazed by panoramic views of the entire island. If you like hiking, explore the caldera path between Fira and Oia, walk around 130 meters up the crater, or head to the northern coast and admire the views of Santorinis’ volcanoes. Don’t miss a donkey ride either from the Old Port up to Fira or from Amoudi Bay up to Oia. For those who love wine, we strongly recommend that you take a wine tour to one of the vineyards located in the countryside of the island.
2 – Corfu
Corfu is exceptional in many ways. Known as ‘Emerald Isle’, this is Greece’s second largest island, and the most popular amongst honeymooners, couples and families alike.
Whether you prefer relaxing on a golden sandy beach or exploring the island’s top cultural sights, there are plenty of things to do and see in Corfu. From historical highlights including the crumbling Venetian buildings, impressive fortresses, the Kassiopi and Byzantine Castle and the Andivouniótissa Museum to the natural beauty of Paleokastritsa, a village in the northwest of the island, you will be spoiled for choice of things to do and see on the island.
Swim the famous Canal d’Amour, the most romantic spot in Corfu, or visit the charming fishing village of Kassiopi. If you want to get away from the tourist crowds, trek through Corfu’s lush green mountains and witness up close the olive and cypress trees that paint the landscape.
For those who seek a bit of adventure embark on a diving experience as this island has a reputation for being one of the best scuba diving spots you can find in Greece.
3 – Zante
Zante is located on the northwest coast of Greece and boasts countless views which are sure to take your breath away. White sandy beaches with perfectly clear water surrounded by dramatic sheer cliffs are the main characteristics of this Greek island. Visit the Navagio Beach, one of the most photographed sites in Zante and only accessible by boat. Images of this beach are regularly used in brochures as it is a truly memorable landscape. This place still feels like a hidden slice of heaven. There’s so much more to discover in this magical corner of the world. Spend a day at Port Vromni Beach and dance until the sun comes up in one of the many clubs. Take a day trip to Olympia, and tour around the archaeological sites and museums and see the statue of Zeus.
4 – Crete
With its characteristic mountains and coves, Crete is a gorgeous option for an island holiday. This island boasts some of the most exquisite beaches in Greece, with miles of coastline and turquoise waters. Elafonissi is the most popular beach on the island and has calm and shallow water perfect for families with young children. This island offers cosmopolitan and historical old towns with several restaurants, bars and shopping facilities.
Add the Palace of Knossos, the Venetian harbour of Rethymnon to your list of must-sees, and go trekking through the National Park of Samaria. Spend your days strolling around the traditional villages and stop in one of the many tavernas to try delicious traditional Greek food.
Considered one of the safest destinations in Greece, this island is a favourite for families. The range of family-friendly resorts and incredible beaches are the primary draw, but the activities on offer such as cycling, sailing, the Natural History Museum of Heraklion or to the Aquaworld Aquarium also stand out for adults travelling with young children.
5 – Rhodes
Combining stunning beaches, historical sites, and exciting party vibes, a holiday to Rhodes has it all. Popular beach resorts include Kolymbia on the east coast and Ixia on the northwest, with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops on offer. The perfect island holidays are packed with glorious sunshine, white sandy beaches, walks along the coastline, and ancient ruins and remnants from the occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. Rhodes’ most notable beaches are Ladiko, Tsambika, and Ladiko, which make up our top three favourite beaches on the island.
We recommend that you hire a car or hop on one of Rhodes’s many buses and take a trip from north to south, and explore the medieval towns of Lindos and Faliraki.
6 – Mykonos
Mykonos is one of Greece’s smallest islands with a cosmopolitan and bohemian atmosphere, ideal for those who are looking for long days on the beach followed by the vibrant nightlife.
Mykonos boasts crystal clear waters and perfect spots for swimming and snorkelling experiences. Paradise is the island’s most popular beach for parties, Psaroú is the most family-friendly destination and Kalafátis is perfect for water sport lovers.
To escape the beaches, you can visit famous sights including the island’s iconic windmills, ‘Little Venice’ with its medieval houses looming over the water’s edge, Lena’s House Museum and the Municipal Folklore Museum.
Admire incredible views while drinking cocktails at sunset in Little Venice, and once the sun goes down enjoy one of the many popular clubs in Hora or watch your favourite film in one of the open-air cinemas.
Weather: Summers are hot and sunny, and winters are mild and wet.
Flight time: Around 3 hours.
Language: Greek and its dialects are the main languages spoken, the locals are very friendly and the majority speak English.
Best time to visit: High season runs from late June until early September. April and May are superb for wild flowers and green landscapes. October to March is the coldest period.
Getting around: Take your summer holiday to Greece to a whole new level by renting a car. You’ll have access to remote and amazing destinations, far away from crowded tourist areas. Ask us how to get discounts with rent a car. If you prefer, public transport is a reasonably good option to get around the main islands.
If this blog has inspired you to visit Greece, speak to one of our travel agents who will be able to help plan the perfect holiday to this incredible destination. Call 01730 711010 or email [email protected]