With 210 inhabited islands in Greece, you might be conflicted on which one to visit. I’ll be telling you the BEST islands to visit in Greece so that you can choose the right island for your trip.
(The islands listed are in no particular order)
(More information on travel to Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic, go here.)
Corfu is the island for nature lovers. Everywhere you look on the island, you’ll see plants, flowers, and trees, as well as animals. Another cool thing about this island is that it is really close to Albania, so day trips there are available. You can even see the coast of Albania on a clear day from a high point on Corfu!
Another thing that this island is known for is great hotels and beaches. A different thing about the hotels on the island though, is that the best hotels aren’t really crowded in the same town. They’re spread all over Corfu, and some of the best ones are even in the really isolated areas of the island.
I would recommend coming here if you love nature, but also if you have more than three days for it, because this island needs a bit more time when you visit.
(I honestly wouldn’t recommend going to any island in Greece for less than 3 days, though.)
Milos is known for being one of the most other-wordly islands in Greece. It has a very moon-like landscape. You may recognize the name of this island from the famous Venus de Milo statue that was found there, but only a few people have really visited the island.
The popularity of Milos has been on the rise (almost a 30% increase in port arrivals from 2018-2019), but it is still a fairly un-touristy island.
I would recommend Milos to people who love history, geology, and stunning scenery, but also people who aren’t going to Santorini, because Milos is a lot like Santorini, except cheaper (and there’s not as many fancy hotels).
Also Read: The Best Places to Visit in Greece
Being the most popular and photographed island in Greece, Santorini has to be on this list. The history behind Santorini’s famous views is actually really interesting. Thousands of years ago, there was a huge volcanic eruption on this island. This explosion is known to be one of the biggest volcanoes in recorded history. The volcano caused about half of the island to disappear underwater, forming a caldera.
Today, the caldera is something that everyone wants to see in Santorini. The eruption also covered a town in Santorini called Akrotiri. Like Italy’s Pompeii, the town was covered in volcanic ash and rock and was preserved. Now, you can see the remains of Akrotiri at the Archeological Site of Akrotiri, the most famous historical sight in Santorini.
Santorini has some of the most amazing hotels in Greece, with the best having unobstructed views of the caldera. These hotels are really expensive, and if you want a hotel with a caldera view, be prepared to pay $450+ per night (€ 372/night). That doesn’t mean that you can’t visit Santorini on a budget, though, because there’s a lot of budget hotels there that don’t have those iconic views. And even if you don’t get a hotel with a view, you’ll still be able to see a great view every day, because even simple walks through the caldera towns of Fira (the capital), Oia (the photography town), Imerovigli (the view town), or Firostefani (the quiet view town) will let you see amazing views of the caldera.
I would recommend Santorini to people who love great views and also people that are travelling to Greece for the first time.
(Also Read: Greece On a Budget)
Rhodes is known to be one of the most, if not the most historical island in the Dodecanese. The Dodecanese is the easternmost island group in Greece. Many of the islands there are on the coast of Turkey.
Rhodes is the largest and most visited island in the Dodecanese. Along with having lots of history, this island is also full of great beaches, restaurants, and nature. Something about Rhodes that is different from other islands like it is that it is very well preserved.
Islands all over the world have been destroyed by tourism, but Rhodes isn’t. This island’s hills are covered in lush greenery and the sea surrounding it is as clear as glass.
I would recommend Rhodes if you love history and nature.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is known for its history, beaches, scenery, and idyllic towns.
In fact, Crete is so vast that it can almost seem like its own country,because when you look off into the ocean, there’s usually no other islands in sight.
Crete is also home to what is widely known as the best beach in Greece, Elafonisi. Elafonisi is known for its tinted pink sand and crystal waters. But, another cool thing about this beach is that you can literally walk through the water from the beach to Elafonisi island.
Another thing Crete has is the Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe. Hiking the gorge is a really popular thing to do, but it is a little challenging.
I would recommend Crete to someone who only wants to go to one island in Greece or someone who wants the best of both worlds in one island.
Paros is one of the most famous and the best islands to visit in the Cyclades. When in Paros, you’ll probably stay in either Parikia, the capital, Naoussa, the chic, quaint town, or Lefkes, the mountain village.
Paros is known for its rolling hills, great sandy beaches, and idyllic towns. South of Paros is Anti-Paros, a small but beautiful island.
Paros, unlike some of the other islands in the Cyclades is actually pretty inexpensive, so if you come here, you’re guaranteed to have a great time for less.
Also Read: The Perfect 11-Day Greece Itinerary
Sifnos isn’t a very touristy island at all, but it’s definitely a great one to visit. It is located in the Western Cyclades, which is the section of the cyclades closer to the mainland of Greece.
Sifnos is known for being the gastronomy island of Greece. The food there is known to be some of the best in Greece.
Along with that, Sifnos also has great scenery, beaches, and towns. Its capital Apollonia is located inland it is a super quaint, little town with lots of greenery and little houses.
Sifnos is also known as the pottery island. You’ll find many pottery shops across the island. If you love ceramics and art, you should definitely go to Sifnos.
You should visit Sifnos if you like a calm and quiet vacation.
Also Read: The Ten Best Cyclades Islands in Greece
To wrap up this post, Corfu, Milos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Paros, and Sifnos are the most stunning islands in Greece. If you want to add another island into the post, just comment it down below, and we’ll gladly put it in!
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