Endless sandy beaches, turquoise waters, captivating sunset views, flourishing green landscapes, magical villages. Greece is an enchanting place full of pleasant surprises and unforgettable vistas.
Some of you might feel like having some peace and quiet, while others might be culture junkies. Some just want to party the summer away near the mesmerizing beaches on the endless summer nights, while dancing to their favorite tunes.
Each one of you might have a different idea of what the ultimate summer experience would be on the fabled Greek islands.
Take some time to explore your options and choose based on your preferences which Greek island will make the cut. Let us help you find your ultimate Greek holiday destination.
For couples: Kefalonia, Santorini and Milos
Kefalonia: Crowned with pine trees, and ringed with white and golden beaches, with enormous underground caves as well, this island is not to be missed if you love exploring nature. Kefalonia’s enchanting small port of Fiskardo, with its charming 18th century buildings, gives a feeling of timelessness and eternity to the island.
Santorini: Known as the “island of love,” this iconic Greek island is still a charming romantic destination with its captivating sunset views and traditional Cycladic architecture, despite its overcrowding issues at the height of the tourist season. Go there in the shoulder seasons to enjoy all that this spectacular island has to offer without all the crowds, so you and your special someone can enjoy the sights in a little more peace and quiet.
Milos: Magnificent landscapes, a coastline boasting more than 40 beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and amazing food are just some of what awaits visitors to Milos. You will fall in love all over again with your partner as you embark on a boat tour of the island or enjoy a fun kayaking experience together upon the aquamarine waters.
Tops in relaxation: Hydra and Agistri
Hydra: Just a short drive from bustling, chaotic Athens, on the small island of Hydra you will not find any cars whatsoever — just the native donkeys. With no must-see list ruling your mind, you can simply chill out and enjoy the effortless bliss that this picturesque island offers.
Agistri: Here you can enjoy your vacation time by renting a bike and exploring the small island. One must-see on the island is Dragonera beach, featuring clear green waters. As you effortlessly float at Dragonera, you will be able to view the dark green forest, which goes down to the water’s edge. Dragonera Beach is also great for camping, a beautiful way to end your day.
Traveling back in time: Delos and Rhodes
Delos: Ancient Greece takes over the life of this island, in which the past melds with the present. Monuments, ancient temples, and other priceless archaeological treasures cover the island, which is an enormous, open museum for history lovers.
Rhodes: Also known as the “Knights’ Island,” Rhodes has a rich historical past, with its many monuments and historical buildings. The Old Town’s stone-paved alleys, stout walls, and a medieval castle create a completely unique atmosphere, an illusion that you have traveled back to the age of medieval knights.
For nonstop action and stunning scenery, consider Corfu and Lefkada
Corfu: With historical influences from Venice, this cosmopolitan island is a popular choice with travelers. It has everything from watersports to cultural activities, but you can also just take a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery and spectacular coastline.
Lefkada: Lefkada rewards vacationers with seaside villages and a number of exciting activities for the adventurous. Diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing, mountain biking and hiking, horseback riding; the outdoor possibilities are endless.
For food junkies: Sifnos and Kasos
Sifnos: The flavors of Sifnos will have you in euphoria mode. The very breezes on the island are scented with sage and oregano. You will enjoy unique, traditional dishes there, while drinking in the stunning views.
Kasos: From Mediterranean parrotfish to delicious Kasiot cheeses, this island is full of locavore foodie delights. Be sure to try the most typical local sea dish, called soupiopilafo (cuttlefish simmered with rice), which is made from squid ink!
For wine lovers: Crete and Sikinos
Crete: This is one of the oldest wine producing regions anywhere, and it boasts their own varieties and flavors. Where the vineyards and olive groves meet, the landscape is dreamlike.
Sikinos: This island was known in ancient Greece as the “island of wine.” Visit the Manalis winery, where you will be invited to taste different varieties of wine, both sweet and fruity, while enjoying the jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Cyclades from the winery’s balcony.
Places of Religious Pilgrimages: Tinos and Patmos
Tinos: The spiritual heart of Greece beats on this island. The reason for this is the Panagia Megalochari church, which is visited every year by thousands of worshipers. Many pilgrims cover the distance from the port to the church on their knees, on a long red carpet which has been placed specifically for this reason.
Patmos: This beautiful island is also called the “Island of the Apocalypse” because the Bible’s Book of Revelation was written there by the Apostle John. Today, one of the island’s main attractions is the “Cave of the Apocalypse”. Another important religious monument is the large monastery located above Chora (the island’s capital), which is dedicated to Saint John, who lived out his life on the island after being banished there by the authorities.
For some family time: Antiparos and Koufonisia
Antiparos: Antiparos is one of those Greek islands which have somehow managed to stay off the radar — and this makes it an ideal destination for relaxing holidays with the family! On the southern side of Antiparos, you will find the most impressive sight of the island, the stunning Antiparos cave.
Koufonisia: Koufonisia is actually divided into two islands: Ano Koufonissi and Kato Koufonissi. Ano Koufonissi is the home of nightlife, replete with hotels, sights, restaurants, and bars. But for a totally different experience, you can visit neighboring Kato Koufonisi, which is completely uninhabited and can only be reached by boat from Ano Koufonissi.
For Water-sport Enthusiasts: Naxos and Kea
Naxos: You can enjoy the exciting sports of windsurfing and kitesurfing here if that is your thing. You can also go for a different option and enjoy a scuba diving session in the local waters, exploring sights such as the Express Samina wreck off the coast of Paros or an underwater cave. Other sports you can enjoy here include mountain biking and horseback riding.
Kea: Water sports enthusiasts can get their fix on this low-key island: Plenty of activities are available, such as wake-boarding, water skiing, and stand-up paddle surfing lessons, which are offered by the Kea Water Sports center on Koundouraki Beach. The center now hosts an annual SUP (stand up paddle) race.
For nature lovers: Samothraki and Alonnisos
Samothraki: One of the least-visited Greek islands is untouched Samothraki. Come and enjoy the empty beaches and skinny dipping in the moonlight, along with peaceful oak forests and natural pools and waterfalls which are completely magical and make you think that nymphs and sprites will appear at any time.
Alonnisos: For emerald waters and pure, untouched nature, the protected marine park of Alonnisos and its surrounding islets is a must-visit. Get out your snorkel masks and explore some of the most beautiful waters the Aegean Sea has to offer.