Every summer spent in the Greek Islands is unforgettable and this summer should not be an exception from this rule!
There are almost 225 inhabited islands out of which you can choose the one which you like most for this summer holiday!
From the whitewashed houses to blue domes churches and amazing beaches, read on to see which are our top picks of the best islands in Greece to visit this year.
10 Best of Greek islands
Santorini is by far one of the most famous islands from Greece is a very popular destination for honeymooners and those seeking romantic moments.
1.1 What to see
From this island, you have a wonderful view of the most dramatic volcanic caldera, a sea-filled crater which is incredibly beautiful especially at sunset.
Actually, watching the sunset from Oia is the most popular activity among tourists who hurry each evening to get the best spot at this magnificent show.
Besides that, there are the Minoan ruins at Akrotiri and the beautiful beaches, some of them with black or reddish sand.
For those of you looking for an active holiday, we recommend hiking to the top of Santorini Volcano, an active volcano from the island which offers amazing views of the sea and the crater.
1.2 Getting there
The island is accessible via ferry from Piraeus Port with frequent journeys, depending on the season.
From Piraeus to the island the journey lasts between 5 to 8 hours depending on the ferry chosen.
There are also regular flights from Athens and a lot of charters available during the summer season.
1.3 Where to sleep
Lemon Suites Santorini is a great hotel with one of the best locations from Santorini.
It is located in the quiet neighbourhood of Fira town centre, close to the free parking areas and exactly in the place where all the action is.
More than that, the hotel is located within walking minutes to the breathtaking viewpoint of the Caldera and the volcano.
2. Zakynthos Best Greek islands
One of the best Greek island to visit this summer, Zakynthos is home to some of the bluest water from entire Greece, so no matter which beach you’ll choose you will have a memorable scenery around.
2.1 What to see
The top attraction from this island considered one to be the best Greek island is located on the northeastern part and is the 1980 shipwreck and its surrounding cliffs.
There are two ways to experience this natural sight: from the water or from the land.
Renting a car to explore the area is one of the best things you can do, as the island is incredibly beautiful and a car gives you the freedom and mobility necessary when exploring new territory.
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If you want to experience this attraction from the sea, you can take a tourist cruise from Porto Vromi or Zakynthos town, or why not take a boat tour and explore the area from the sea.
Besides this, there are many beautiful beaches spread across the island out of which Kalamaki, Porto Limnionas, Banana and Navagio beach stand out.
2.2 Getting there
The easiest way to get to the island is by plane, but there is also the second option: the ferry.
The flight from Athens to Zakynthos is about 45 minutes and there are regular flights from Athens especially during the summer season.
You can easily reach Zakynthos from the port of Killini which is located on the western part of Peloponnese in about one hour.
2.3 Where to sleep
Just 4 kilometres away from the city centre of Zante, in an area with lush vegetation from Tsilivi lies the beautiful Hotel Petros.
The hotel is located just 600 metres from the beautiful and clean beach of Tsilivi, a beach awarded with the European blue flag.
The resort combines traditional and modern style and is the best choice for spending some relaxing moments on your holidays.
One of the best Greek islands with white sandy beaches and incredibly blue water is Naxos.
The place is famous for its picturesque mountain villages, historic sites and scenic beaches.
3.1 What to see
Naxos, best of Greek islands, is a place full of history so while in the area, book some time and visit the Archeological Museum of Naxos and the Geological Museum of Apeiranthos.
The Venetian fortresses from Chora Naxos and Kourochori as well as Portara, the largest marble gate dominating the isle of Palatia are another two attractions which should be included in your travel list.
And then there are the beaches, the wonderful strips of sand with incredibly turquoise waters which border the island and are perfect places to relax and enjoy the Greece sun.
3.2 Getting there
You can use a ferry from Athens main port, Piraeus or you can take a direct flight from Athens International airport.
There are daily ferries which leave Piraeus port with final destination Naxos all year round with multiple journeys during the summer season.
In about 4 hours you reach the island of Naxos from Piraeus, however, the length of your journey varies depending on ferry type, a number of stops and sea conditions.
3.3 Where to sleep
Antony Suites (Adults Only) is one of the most beautiful luxury accommodation in Naxos city.
It was designed by De-Ar and decorated in the traditional minimalistic Cycladic style and include all modern facilities.
The hotel is located just a few minutes away from the city, close to the beach and most of the rooms offer amazing views of the sea.
Crete is the largest and one of the best Greek islands is known for its varied landscape and amazing beaches in Europe.
4.1 What to see
Among the most important things to see in Crete are the Minoan ruins and the charming cities from the island, not to mention the incredible beaches from the Mediterranean Sea.
That is why I am telling you that you have to include into your travel itinerary the Knossos Palace, the Heraklion Archeological Museum, the incredible Elafonisi beach and the Falassarna beach, the Samaria Gorge and Balos Lagoon.
4.2 Getting to one of the best of Greek islands
There are many ferries which transport passengers between Piraeus port and the major Cretan cities of Hania and Heraklion.
The main downside is the duration of the journey of almost 9 hours and the fact that most probably you will have to spend a night on the boat as most ferries leave in the evening.
If you want to save time then ferries are not for you, but you have to consider flying from Athens to Heraklion.
The flight time is less than one hour and once you get to Heraklion airport you can rent a car and explore the island on your own.
4.3 Where to sleep
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa not just pretends to be but really is a home away from home, being one of the best places to stay when in Crete.
The resort has no main building but it is surrounded by bungalows, villas and suites that are spread around a gentle slope, offering amazing views of the nearby bay and the beach.
All the rooms open to an extended veranda and most of them have a private pool overlooking the Aegean Sea and Spinalonga island.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful islands from the Cyclades and one of the best Greek islands to visit, Milos is famous for its volcanic landscape and beautiful sea colours.
It is a top destination from Europe and it might become really crowded especially during peak season, in the months July and August.
5.1 What to see
Milos impresses with its unique and magnificent landscape out of which I would name:
- Kleftiko, which is an arena of white cliffs and outcrops reachable only by sea
- Sarakiniko, hidden golf modelled by the force of water and sea
- the beautiful beaches of Paliochori, Firiplaka and Tsigrado
- the ghostly ruins of Paliorema
- the Ancient Theatre of Milos
5.2 Getting there
There are direct flights to Milos from Athens and the flight duration is about 40 minutes.
If you want to experience authentic Greek life, then you should take the ferry as locals do if they want to get to one of the best of Greek islands.
Ferries leave from Piraeus port and the trip lasts for 5 to 7 hours, depending on the number of stops and the type of ferry.
5.3 Where to sleep
Palaiochori beach, a volcanic scenery, greets you, as you arrive to Volcano Luxury Suites Milos.
Enjoy the unique Cycladic landscape and live unforgettable moments of relaxation and serenity.
The suites of this amazing hotel offer you the tranquillity you need along with affordable luxury.
Did you know that the name of this amazing island comes from a Phoenician word for “island of reptiles”?
One of the best Greek islands from the Dodecanese islands is a place full of history and beautiful places which should be explored!
6.1 What to see
Among the most important things to do while on Rhodes island are:
- the beautiful city of Rhodes
- the palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
- Kameiros, the largest urban centre of the ancient times, long before the Rhodes city
- the beautiful beaches of Prasonisi, St Paul’s and Tsambika
- day trips to the Turkish town of Marmaris
6.2 Getting there
Getting to one of the best of Greek islands is possible by plane or ferry.
Especially during the summer season, there are daily flights from Athens to Rhodes and the trip lasts for less than one hour.
Many airline companies operate flights from all many major cities of Europe directly to the island of Rhodes airport which is located close to Rhodes Town.
If you want to travel by ferry then you should know that the trip lasts for about 13 hours and you most probably have to spend the night on the ferry.
6.3 Where to sleep
Located on the beach in the Kolymbia area, Sentido Port Royal Villas and Spa is one of the best hotels from Rhodes island.
It has a private beach which is consistently awarded Blue flag every year, two amazing outdoor pools, a great spa centre and high-quality services.
Most of the rooms offer amazing views over the sea, while some of them have a private pool where you can relax the whole day.
Many say that Corfu is one of the best Greek islands to spend your summer holiday because of its stunning beaches and cosmopolitan life.
It is the second-largest Ionian island with a very rich history and many interesting sites. Civilisations like French, Byzantines, British or Venetians come and go over the last 1.000 years and all of them left something behind.
7.1 What to see
Among the most popular attractions of the best of Greek islands from the Ionian Sea, I would name:
- Corfu Old Town with the beautiful church of St George, the New Fortress on the west and Old Fortress to the east.
- the beautiful Mount Pantokrator which is the highest peak from the island
- Paleokastritsa Monastery with its small museum with vestments, icons and a skeleton of a whale
- the beautiful beach of Paleokastritsa and Mouse Island.
- the iconic Vlacherna Monastery located on an islet at the southern end of the Kanoni Peninsula
7.2 Getting there
Corfu is connected by ferries with many different ports including Igoumenitsa and Patra, Bari, Venice and Ancona.
Ferries from Igoumenitsa and Patra there are daily ferries to the island and the trip lasts for about 1-2 hours from Igoumenitsa and almost 7 hours from Patra.
If you plan to get to Corfu, the best of Greek islands from Athens, then you first need to get to Igoumenitsa and from there take the ferry to Corfu.
If you don’t have time to waste and you want to get to Corfu quickly then the best way is to take the plane.
There are daily flights from Athens, Preveza and Thessaloniki and the journey last for less than 1 one.
7.3 Where to sleep
Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu - Adults Only is the new and fascinating chapter in the story of one of modern Greece’s most iconic building, designed by Charalambos Sfaellos and once owned by the Onassis family.
This seafront hotel with 113 bedrooms, suites and villas is one of the best examples of hospitality and luxury.
It was renovated with high-quality materials and decorated with contemporary art pieces to ensure you a wonderful stay and experience far away from home.
One of the best greek islands from the Cyclades islands, Serifos is a typical island with whitewashed villages.
The island keeps its traditional vibe being less crowded than its neighbouring islands, Ios and Santorini.
8.1 What to see
This place is a real hidden gem with many amazing places and a lot of interesting things to do.
Serifos offers a wide range of diving spots around the shore, one of the best beings near Kalogeros beach where the shipwreck of a Spanish cargo steamship lies on the bottom of the sea.
Over the island are spread more than 70 beaches, so you have many beautiful places where you can relax and perfect your tan.
Psili Ammos, Agios Sostis or Livadaki beaches are just some examples where you can relax when in Serifos.
When you get bored with so much sun and water, you can book a tour at a local winery to see how bio certified wine with local grapes is produced.
8.2 Getting there
Serifos does not have an airport so getting to Serifos by plane is a little tricky.
The closest airports to Serifos are the ones from Milos and Paros.
The easiest way to get to the island is by ferry; during summer season Serifos is connected with Piraeus by daily ferries and speedboats.
The journey from Piraeus to the island lasts between two and a half hours if you travel by speedboat or 4 and a half hours if you take the normal ferry.
8.3 Where to sleep
Located in Livadi, Indigo Studios offers spacious rooms and apartments with balconies overlooking the garden and the sea.
The hotel is located just 40 metres away from the beach and 600 metres from the local port.
There are many restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine and bars in the nearby area of the hotel and the closes supermarket is just 100 meters away.
The best of Greek islands from the Sporades archipelago and famous for its amazing beaches and vibrant nightlife, Skiathos is one of the Greek hidden gems.
9.1 What to see
The island is small enough to circle it in a single day but it is packed with many interesting places, among which the most important are:
- Evangelistria Monastery founded by a group of monks from Mount Athos in 1794
- Skiathos Old Town with its cosy restaurants and cafes located near the harbour and a beautiful outdoor cinema where the most regular screening is Mamma Mia! , the movie filmed on this island
- Lalaria and Koukounaries beaches as well as the natural reserve from Mandraki
9.2 Getting there
Getting on the best Greek islands is accessible by plane and ferry from Greece mainland and from other European destinations.
Regular ferries depart from Agios Konstantinos port in Volos and Mantoudi port in Evia and the trip lasts for a few hours.
There are no direct ferries from Athens to Skiathos, so you will need to get a bus or a car from Athens to Volos and from there take the ferry.
Of course, there is always an easier way to reach Skiathos and this is the plane.
The island has an international airport which receives flights from Athens all year round and many charters from many European countries during the summer season.
9.3 Where to sleep
The fully renovated Meltemi by Manthos Hotels fulfil your desire, combining high aesthetic decoration with elegance and innovative automation.
The hotel is located just a few steps away from the popular Papadiamanti street, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
One of the most popular islands in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is considered by many as the best of Greek islands in terms of entertainment, cosmopolitan atmosphere and beautiful sceneries.
10.1 What to see
There are many interesting places to visit and things to experience when in Mykonos out of which I would like to name the following:
- take some really great Instagram photos with Mykonos town Windmills
- chill out on Matoyianni street the core of the island
- visit Little Venice of Alefkandra the Old Harbour with gorgeous sceneries and many car-free alleys
- perfect you tan at Agios Sostis beach, Elia Beach of Kalo Livadi beach
- take a photo of Armenistis Lighthouse built in 1891 and still functional
- travel back in time and visit Church of Panagia Paraportiani, a monument built between 15th to 17th century which comprises 4 separate, interconnected churches beneath a fifth built on top
10.2 Getting there
You can travel to Mykonos by ferry from many different islands of the Aegean Sea, including from the mainland.
There are regular ferries from Athens to the island and the trip lasts for 3 to 5 hours depending on the boat used.
For those of you who don’t have a lot of time to waste, we recommend taking a flight from Athens to Mykonos. In less than an hour, you reach the island by plane.
During the summer season, there are many charters from all over Europe which brings thousands of tourists looking to spend their summer holiday in this magnificent place.
10.3 Where to sleep
Located within walking minutes from Platis Yialos, Trinity Mykonos is one of the best choices when in Mykonos.
The resort has its own private beach, an outdoor pool, a bar and great restaurant where guests can serve their meals.
It is conveniently located close to one of the most famous beaches from the island called Paradise and near Scorpios, Nammos and Branco restaurants.
I am sure that this article will simplify a lot your research about the best greek islands and will make your decision easier.
Have you decided yet which one is your favourite and on which of these islands you would like to spend your next holiday?
We invite you to share with us your thoughts and impressions after you come back from your holiday!