The Most Beautiful Greek Islands

This collection of 13 islands are the area of Greece closest to Turkey. For your journey here, you’ll be richly rewarded with incredible beaches and natural wonders . The closest island group to Athens is also home to some of the most scenic, under-the-radar isles.

On Syros, capital of the Cyclades, you won’t find sugar-cube villages and whitewashed lanes. The colourful 19th-century city of Ermoupoli is built on twin peaks – one Orthodox, the other Catholic, the heritage of a long Venetian occupation. There’s still a strong Italian flavour in Ermoupoli’s marble piazzas, princely mansions, and miniature replica of La Scala, the showpiece of a year-round cultural scene. Syros hosts festivals of animation, dance, digital art, film, classical music, jazz and rembetiko, the Greek blues popularised by local musician Markos Vamvakaris. click to read more

If beach clubs, bars, and, fun from dusk till dawn are what you have in your summer plans, then those islands are the party hubs of Greece and welcome young people from all around the world every summer. Those places are all highly recommended summertime locations to select from when planning a fun, quality family vacation. A combination of golden sunsets, dreamy boutique hotels, and delicious, candle-lit dining made those places the perfect places for love doves. The most popular mainland destinations are the archaeological sites of Delphi, Epidaurus, Olympia, and the area of Meteora with its imposing rock formations. On Rhodes, soak in the atmosphere at Melenos Lindos, a 17th-century building with a pebbled mosaic roof deck offering sea views, set into the hill just under the Acropolis. On Astypalaia, the island’s breathtaking Chora is both the inspiration for, and the location of, Pylaia Hotel, which has a pool, spa, and ocean views from the Plori restaurant at its peak.

The population of Greece was estimated by the United Nations to be 10,445,365 in 2021. The country’s population grew from 5,000,000 in 1920 to a peak of nearly 11,000,000 in 2010. The five largest cities in Greece are Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Larissa, and Heraklion. Approximately 1.2 million people live in the Peloponnese and 1.3 million on the Greek islands. Thasos is the greenest of the Greek islands, also called Emerald Island and is one of the best Greek islands for hiking. I was happy to follow mountain trails to caves, springs, lakes and quaint abandoned villages.

As a popular spot, expect it to get a little crowded but it’s a must-see spot whilst you’re on the island. No Greek islands holiday is ever complete without experiencing the Greek villa, with their exotic colors and stone floors. Skopelos has the most varied and beautiful options – Villa Aetoma outside of Skopelos Town is a favourite of the visitors.

Direct flights from the UK, Europe and Internationally fly into Athens and many larger Greek island airports. Ferry crossings are plentiful from mainland Greece to the islands making island hopping in Greece pretty easy, so the last thing to know is which island will suit you best. The best way to get around between islands – you already guessed – is by boat. The main difference is that openseas can do a X to ALL search, which gives you all ferries departing from island X on a certain day which can be quite handy.

Or you could splash out and charter a greek island sailboat to take you sightseeing in style. Packed with detailed pre-planning information, amazing experiences, inspirational images, city walks and the best local knowledge, these are our most comprehensive country guides. Island hopping is a culinary adventure and a tour of regional cuisine.

Travel to the Greek Islands is not recommended between November and March; the weather will be gray, windy, and often rainy, and many most hotels and restaurants will be shuttered for the season. These gorgeous islands in the eastern Aegean sea may not be developed for tourism to the extent of their neighbours but what they do offer is a traditional and family-orientated vibe. With breathtaking beaches, medieval villages and a slower pace of life, this is where you need to be if you are looking for a complete break away from everything. For family holidays, couples, or solo travellers, the Greek islands are the perfect summer destination. Still, with the hot weather, the crowds arrive, and those idyllic photos of deserted beaches no longer exist.

Once on the island, you will want to rent a car; it takes about six hours to drive from one end of Crete to the other. The largest Greek island , Crete could be a country unto itself, with its own customs, climate, accent, and cuisine. Because there’s so much to explore in Crete, generally travelers opt to focus their energy on the 160-mile-long island rather than straying to other archipelagos. While many of the Greek islands have airports, not all of them are international. Many of the islands are serviced solely by domestic carriers like Aegean Airlines, and you can only fly from neighboring islands or Athens. However, some of the most popular islands have international airports , where you can fly directly from cities in Europe or the Middle East.