15 Best Greek Islands to Visit

Greece has been one of the most popular places to visit worldwide for a long time. The popularity of Greece as a tourist destination is reflected in the number of places aimed toward tourism. Did you know that there are more than 6000 islands in Greece? Today we highlight the authentic island gems in Greece. Today's guide tells us what makes the island so special.

Green olive groves, crystal clear water, small villages and bustling cities, Greece is a wonderful mixture of 6000 fabulous islands and historic cities on the mainland, each with its unique personality. Only 227 of them are inhabited, but even that number may seem a lot when you'll find the holiday island. It is also in the smaller islands as you often find the small, family-run hotels that offer extraordinary charm and warmth.

Hellas is our favorite. Here you will find a sea of islands to choose from. Samos, Crete and Rhodes islands, you should opt for a high standard of your all-inclusive vacation, this is the best of the Mediterranean. Whether you want a beach to yourself in the morning, stroll among the fragrant olive trees and a pink sunsets in the background to the evening tzatziki - Greece will always have an island that suits you.

Best Greek islands to visit

And today we hope to show you some of them, as we've put together a list of the best islands to visit in Greece.

1. Corfu

An island situated off the northwest coast of Greece, Corfu is widely regarded as the spot with some of the best beaches in Greece. However, it is unique because many of its beaches are isolated and quiet. This makes Corfu a fantastic fit for anyone who wants to spend their vacation relaxing while away from other people.

There are also many small villages and the Corfu old town to explore if you ever get tired of the beach. However, if you plan on making a trip to Corfu, you should know how to protect yourself while traveling alone.

2. Milos

Milos is famed for being a geological island and it’s incredible natural formations that would make you think you’re on the moon. It’s quite popular among Italians. The Sarakiniko Beach located at Milos is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of Greece. The landscape of this beach is very impressive and an unforgettable experience.

The landscape formed by the volcanic rocks is colored entirely in natural bright white without any signs of vegetation. The stunning white rock formation and the hidden caves are a unique beauty of Sarakiniko Beach. Sarakiniko is also one of the most photographed landscapes in the world. Although, experts from centennialmoving.ca recommend that you keep a close eye on your belongings when visiting any part of Greece. When planning for the holiday, you should always know where to stay in Milos and book them in advance.

3. Euboea

Euboea is Greece’s second largest island and is 170+ km long and quite unknown internationally. But it’s filled with lush nature, incredible beaches and many gems around. Certainly a great place. In the town of Chalkis in capital city of the island of Euboea, there is a narrow strait between the island and the mainland, known as the strait of Euripos.

A strong tidal current forms along the strait, whose direction and strength is dependent on the position of the moon. The mobile bridge can only then be opened to let ships pass by, when the waters calm during the change of direction. The phenomenon is due to the difference in level between the North Aegean Sea and the South Aegean Sea, caused by the movement of the Moon.

At New Moon and at Full Moon, when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned, the movement of the waters through Evripos’ Strait is regular with change of direction about every 6 hours.

4. Rhodes

When it comes to the best places to visit in Greece, we need to point out the variety in the different locations. The island of Rhodes is a perfect example of this variety: the island is a sort of jack of all trades when it comes to what it offers. It has quaint villages, beautiful sites, ancient history, and vibrant nightlife.

Of course, we can't mention Rhodes without noting that the island used to house a wonder of the world. The incredible Colossus of Rhodes used to be housed in the island's capital, Rhodes Old Town. Perhaps visit the Butterflies Valley, where it is teeming with wildlife and red butterflies.

5. Karpathos

Next is an island in Greece for those who want to relax. Karpathos or Carpathos is the second largest island of the Dodecanese. It is located between the island of Crete and Rhodes in the southwestern part of the Aegean Sea. You will find white beaches in uncontaminated landscapes, quiet and silent rocky coves, beaches equipped for lovers of relaxation and comfort dedicated to windsurfing, kite surfing and other water sports.

Pigadia, also called the city of Karpathos, is the capital and the main port of the island. Today it is the most popular tourist center of Karpathos, full of hotels, apartments, taverns and commercial activities. It is worth a visit to the Archaeological Museum. In its three rooms are exhibited from prehistory to the Middle Ages. In the Bay of Vrontis, of which Pigadia occupies the extreme south, there are three wide beaches.

Karpathos is rugged and wild. In the Afoti you can admire the remains of the Basilica of Agia Fotini, built on the remains of a Greek temple. Nearby is the Eparchio, a palace built by the Italians during the occupation of the island and used as administrative headquarters.

Still, if you plan on bringing souvenirs back with you, you should pick up some packing supplies for fragile items and keep your souvenirs intact during the trip and on the way back. It would be a shame to spend a small fortune on souvenirs, only to have them break while you are in transit.

The island that invites you to the Greek everyday life is known for its beautiful beaches and mountain village of Olympos, where time has stood still since the 900s. The island has many small churches perched on cliffs above a glittering sea.

Olympos is one of the most beautiful villages in Greece, a place where folklore and popular traditions manifest themselves in all its authenticity. Walking through the streets of this small town, among women dressed in traditional clothes, is a trip through time, in a past that is still alive and pulsating. Even today in Olympos one speaks a unique language in Greece that derives from the ancient Doric dialect.

Some of these villages like Olymbos still have people wearing traditional clothing. From Olympos, taking a paved road that descends towards the northeast coast, you reach Diafani, another town that has been able to preserve folklore and local traditions. From the dock of Pigadia sail several boats take tourists to the beaches of the east coast and the village of Diafani. Another recommended excursion is to the island of Saria, which is a handful of nautical miles from Karpathos.

You may be disappointed by what little remains of the Acropolis of the ancient city of Potideon or Poseidon, but from the hill overlooking the harbor you can admire and take beautiful panoramic pictures of the city. From a distance, Menetes looks like a pretty pastel painting. Its colorful houses, typical of the Dodecanese architecture, cling to the northern slope of Mount Profitis Ilias.

Arcesine (Arkaseia) is a small town on the southwest coast of the island. You can visit the Archaeological Museum with findings found in the area, in particular the remains of the church of Agia Anastasia and the Acropolis of Arkesia, one of the ancient cities of the Tetrapolis of Karpathos.

In the area of Lefkos, another small and picturesque town in the interior, is the Old Cisterns, a system of galleries and rooms used for the collection and conservation of water. Archaeologists are convinced that it is only a small part of the treasures still buried in this region of Karpathos.

Aperi is one of the largest and richest villages of Karpathos. Its position hidden among the hills, at an altitude of 320 m, at the foot of the high mountains, made it choose as the capital of the island in 1700. Mesochori is located on the mountainous slopes of Karpathos, immersed in the cultivated countryside with olive groves, vineyards and fruit trees.

6. Samothrace

Samothrace is an island that will awaken your most intense feelings and that you must accept if you want to discover it in conditions. If you're looking for an environment and parties on the beach, then change your destination. Samothrace is a place for trekkers, explorers and those wanting to get away from the typical Aegean islands.

One of the hallmarks of Samothrace are the natural pools that form waterfalls between the rocks. These small lakes are pools of crystal clear water. If you dare to swim in these cold and refreshing waters, then visit the most famous: Gria Vathra and Fonia. Sanctuary of the Great Gods is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Greece.

The ruins were excavated in 1863 by the French and it was here that one of the most famous pieces of the Louvre was found, the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

7. Chios

Chios is a tiny island, generally off-track compared to the rest of the islands in Greece. Because of this, it's pretty underrated and offers a unique experience to those who visit it. The island is home to loads of hidden gems regarding activities, scenery, and restaurants. As such, the island is very much worth a visit.

8. Paros

Paros is another island that is generally considered out of the way, but it offers a unique experience for those who went to spend their vacation away from the beach. It provides a relaxed atmosphere without the usual price tag, which comes with popular vacation spots. The island of Paros has a gorgeous, scenic landscape that is dotted with monasteries and medieval ruins.

9. Lesvos

While Lesvos is the third largest island in Greece, it's another spot that is perfect for getting away from the crowd. It's home to a petrified forest, mountainous villages, and the coastal town of Petra. The island offers a wide array of experiences while still being very quiet and cozy, the perfect combination for a relaxing vacation.

Lesvos is known for it’s medieval villages, town and for a big place of birding. Here you can see hundreds of types of birds including the flamingo.

10. Skiathos

Returning to more popular spots for vacations, Skiathos is another spot famous for beaches and parties. The beaches can rival the best beaches in Greece, and if you ever get tired of the beach, the island also offers tons of hiking trails you can explore.

11. Ikaria

Ikaria is an island that fascinates both foreigners and the Greeks themselves. Perhaps it is due to the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who refuse to incorporate the word stress into their vocabulary, or the fact that life here is based on enjoying the small details. Some even say that by following this lifestyle you can find the true meaning to it.

It is not surprising that Ikaria is one of the five blue zones of the world; the places where people live longer. A third of the island's inhabitants will be over 90 years, which is about 10 years older than the rest of the Western world. In addition to fewer physical and mental illnesses and remain physically active up to 90 years of age.

Whatever the reason, Ikaria represents a unique adventure that will surely change your outlook on life. The whole island is a succession of impressive landscapes, but here are the beaches that surpass reality. The best beaches to visit are Seychelles, Nas and Agios Georgios.

On the north coast of the island you can find white sand beaches and perfect waves for surfing. The most famous beach in this area is Mesakti, near the village of Evdilos. There are many accommodation options to choose from in the two largest towns on the island; Agios Kirykos (the capital) and Evdilos.

12. Ithaca

Visit the island to which Ulysses tried to return for almost 20 years. When you see the emerald color of the water and beaches so beautiful that they seem to lie, you will understand why Homer decided to turn Ithaca into a mythical and symbolic place. Its charming capital, Vathí, is full of small shops and restaurants of excellent quality.

Ithaca is a paradise for diving lovers. If you are lucky you may find the Mediterranean monk seals resting on the rocks.

13. Naxos

Tired of Crete and Rhodes? Naxos is one of the two largest Cycladic islands with a beautiful interior for people to explore. Naxos is the largest of all the Cycladic Islands. It is located closer to the southeastern end of the Cyclades group. It’s famous for it’s potatoes and one of it’s symbols are the Portara (temple) in front of Naxos Town.

Naxos has a hilly nature and is the largest and greenest island in the Cyclades archipelago. The many sand flats that have plenty of room for all makes the island a paradise for swimmers for the family. No matter how long your stay in Naxos lasts, you'll want to stay forever. On the greenest island of the Cyclades you can get the perfect balance between an adventure and relaxation holiday.

Naxos is known in Greece for its cheeses, potatoes (yes, they are incredible) and the Kitron, a local lemon liqueur perfect to finish a good banquet. This island is bigger than many of the others and is lucky to have some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. It is best to rent a car and travel the coast looking for the most beautiful and hidden golden sand beaches of Greece.

Naxos is also a perfect place for lovers of water sports such as kite surfing, windsurfing or even for a horse ride. But, if you are one of those who want to enjoy the sea from the depths, then book a diving expedition and watch the planes killed during the Second World War and that were left there submerged.

14. Lichades

Only 218 km from Athens you can find an exotic paradise known almost exclusively by locals. Lichadonisia is located next to Evia, the second largest Greek island, only three and a half hours drive from Athens. Lichadonisia is composed of a group of uninhabited islands of volcanic origin, making it an even more exotic and exclusive destination.

To get there you must take a boat in the port of Kamena Vourla, which will take you to the beaches full of sun beds and umbrellas. Some call them the Maldives, Seychelles, Bahamas of Greece for its transparent colors and, although it is not so easy to arrive, the effort is worth it.

15. Skopelos

If you have seen Mamma Mia movies, you remember perhaps that Donna take her daughter Sophie to the church of Agios Ioannis. The island has great beaches, green olive groves, and over 360 churches - one for each day of the year. Charming cobblestone streets, flower-decked houses and few tourists characterizes this lush island, which gives you a little bit of it untouched Greece. The island's National Park is ideal for hiking.

Wrap up

There's a good reason why Greece has remained one of the most popular places to visit in the world. The country's history and beauty are unrivaled, and most people who visit Greece often return for another vacation. And Greece has enough spots for tourism for one person to keep coming back year after year and still have more to find. We hope this list of 10 best places to visit in Greece helps you plan your next vacation, and we wish you a good day.

Kalyan Panja