Which Greek Islands Should I Visit? (2024 Update)

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Which Greek Islands Should I Visit? (2024 Update)


A trip to the Greek Islands sounds heavenly however the Which Greek Islands Should I Visit? query should have been tormenting your thoughts because you determined to plan that long-awaited journey to Greece. We can’t blame you. Greece is residence to six,000 islands – 277 of that are inhabited – and visiting all of them will surely require a lifetime. But worry not. JayWay is right here that can assist you choose the fitting Greek Island for you.

The Greek Islands are divided into teams. You will usually hear mentions of the Cyclades, the Ionian, and the Dodecanese Islands, amongst others. Each island group is thought for its distinctive traits, structure, and native delicacies. Deciding which Greek Islands to go to is usually a problem, as all of Greece is undeniably rewarding.

However, we promise that whichever Greek Island you go to, your journey to Greece will fill you with cherished recollections to final a lifetime. But let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s begin by answering THE query. Which Greek Islands ought to I go to? Here are our strategies of the very best Greek Islands to go to in keeping with your journey wants and preferences.

This image shows a breakfast table in the foreground and the architecture of Santorini in the background.
Breakfast with a view in Santorini anybody?

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Which Greek Islands Should I Visit?

Best Greek Island For Romantic Holidays: Santorini

If romance is in your thoughts, look no additional than Santorini within the Cyclades Islands. The crescent-shaped island that was fashioned after a large volcano eruption round 1600 BC has been infatuating vacationers from all corners of the world with its one-of-a-kind magnificence. Once you set foot on Santorini, you may be left spellbound by its dramatic rock formations hovering above the Aegean Sea, dotted with picture-perfect white homes and blue-domed church buildings.

But that’s not all. The miraculously stunning village of Oia is very compelling at sundown. As the shimmering solar dips slowly under the horizon, the world stops for a second, and you’ll witness a whole lot of enthused spectators burst into pleasant applause. 

This image shows the iconic buildings of Oia at sunset.
Oia at sundown

Santorini is equally charming at sea stage. As such, to take advantage of your day, a catamaran cruise will whisk you away previous the beautiful colourful seashores – Red, White, and Black – as you soak within the rugged pure great thing about this volcanic panorama. For those that want to escape the crowds, Santorini has its share of lesser-known romantic spots, conventional villages, and scenic trails that are sure to allow you to spend high quality time together with your vital different. 

This is a panoramic view of Pyrgos village in Santorini with a blue-domed church in the foreground.
The lesser-known village of Pyrgos in Santorini

One of the preferred Greek Islands, Santorini has gained fairly a popularity for beautiful accommodations with breathtaking infinity swimming pools and all that you simply hear is true. You shall be spoilt for selection when choosing the best deal with on your romantic escape.

Wining and eating are equally thrilling on this well-known Greek island. From sipping chilled Assyrtiko, which is Santorini’s most interesting grape selection recognized for its distinctive cultivation strategies in volcanic soil, to waterfront eating on the quaint seaside family-run tavernas that stretch alongside Ammoudi Bay, a quintessentially romantic expertise awaits you in Santorini. 

This is a night shot of the traditional restaurants that line Ammoudi Bay. For exclusive moments, Santorini should answer the question Which Greek Islands should I visit.
Dinner by the water on a summer time night time at Ammoudi Bay

Best Greek Island For Lifestyle & Nightlife: Mykonos 

Mykonos is a reputation you’ll hear usually because it’s one of the crucial fashionable islands in Greece, particularly within the excessive season. This glamorous Greek Island gained superstar standing within the Sixties when well-known Greek transport tycoon Aristotle Onassis vacationed right here on his luxurious yacht with the Greek-American soprano Maria Callas, adopted by a number of appearances along with his spouse Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Soon afterward, the worldwide tabloids picked up this jet-setters paradise and Mykonos grew to become the playground for the wealthy and well-known.

This image shows the whitewashed buildings with the colorful wooden balconies at Little Venice.
The iconic Little Venice in Mykonos

Then got here the nightlife standing and Mykonos grew to become the Manhattan of the Mediterranean. Hollywood celebrities, fashions, vogue designers, and homosexual icons confirmed up in its stylish bars and nightclubs. Mykonos grew to become the proper place to see and be seen, but in addition a mecca for the homosexual neighborhood. Life on Mykonos is an everlasting occasion, the place all the things begins after midnight and stretches till the wee hours. 

Modern-day celebrities have maintained the recognition of Mykonos. However, apart from the colourful nightlife that Mykonos was all the time recognized for, the island has additionally developed right into a high-level-service vacation spot, catering to essentially the most prosperous vacationers, who come right here with non-public jets and helicopters, host lavish yacht and villa events, and promote the bon-vivant way of life on their social media accounts.

The eating scene in Mykonos has reached one other stage because the world’s most well-known meals and beverage shops have opened their signature eating places alongside the cobblestone streets of Mykonos Town and beachfront places.

This image shows a table set for lunch with the natural landscape of Mykonos in the background.
Lunch with the very best view in Mykonos

When it involves procuring, Mykonos gained’t disappoint. Mykonos Town provides a beneficiant collection of native crafts shops, designer boutiques, and artwork areas. At Nammos Village, you will discover a few of your favourite designer manufacturers, comparable to Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Christian Louboutin, and others. 

Apart from the glamorous way of life and the very best seaside golf equipment although, Mykonos has a extra secluded facet as there are many virtually abandoned attractive seashores that may solely be reached by boat. The island additionally caters to historical past buffs. One of the world’s most vital archaeological websites, the sacred island of Delos, the birthplace of the God Apollo, is positioned only a quick boat journey from the port of Mykonos.

Mykonos does have all of it, and no matter you ask you shall obtain for the fitting value, after all.

This image shows Armenistis Lighthouse and the dirt path that leads to it.
Armenistis Lighthouse provides a extra genuine view of Mykonos

Best Greek Island For Family Holidays: Naxos  

The unpretentious island of Naxos has shortly turn into one of the crucial family-friendly vacation locations in Greece. The island’s relaxed vibe, secure surroundings, and an extended shoreline of sandy seashores alongside its west coast make it the proper getaway for an genuine Greek Island escape. The primary spotlight of Naxos Town (Chora) is the well-preserved Venetian Castle with its cozy eating places, bars, and several other boutique outlets.

This is a photo of some whitewashed buildings, including a church, in Naxos Town.
Whitewashed Chora in Naxos

At the doorway to the harbor, you may be greeted by the imposing Portara, a large marble doorway that stands on a small rocky island, which is a part of the unfinished temple inbuilt honor of the God Apollo in 530 BC.  The most visited place at sundown, Portara is thought for its exceptional power.

This image shows Portara in the blue hour with the view of Naxos Town in the background.
Portara within the blue hour

Anyone who involves Naxos immediately falls in love with the heat and hospitality of the locals and it’s that one Greek island that they promise to go to once more. Over the previous couple of years, Naxos has additionally gained reputation as a marriage vacation spot with increasingly more worldwide {couples} opting to alternate their vows in an intimate setting with their closest associates and family members.

Naxos provides extra than simply the charming Chora. Its 46 villages have a tendency to go away an enduring impression on those that make their means via the gentle slopes lined with olive timber, sometimes passing a flock of sheep and goats. Naxos is legendary for its dairy merchandise. You will certainly be impressed by the high quality collection of Naxian cheeses. The Naxian graviera which has been granted the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) standing is unquestionably one to attempt.

Once you arrive on the village of Chalki (Halki), you may be greeted by neoclassical buildings and blooming bougainvillea as you stroll alongside the stone pathways. One of the highlights is the small conventional distillery that produces the native liquor Kitron, which is available in three completely different colours. 

Further up on the slopes of Mount Fanari, lies the village of Apiranthos, characterised by its imposing towers and marble pathways. The locals right here have their distinctive dialect, linked to Cretan origin. Apiranthos has a number of museums, starting from folklore reveals to visible arts to pure historical past. 

A quaint alley with stone houses in Chalki. If you're wondering which Greek Islands should I visit for a family vacation, Naxos is the one!
The village of Chalki is totally picturesque

The adventurous can uncover a few of these villages on foot whereas mountaineering with a neighborhood fanatic alongside the traditional marble paths. Since antiquity, Naxos has been recognized for its fine-quality marble and you may spot a number of historical marble quarries the place a number of the biggest sculptures had been made.

On the opposite hand, Agios Georgios is a brief stroll from the primary city if you wish to spend the day enjoyable on the seaside. Here you may hearken to the sound of the waves and luxuriate in lunch at one of many tavernas serving contemporary seafood specialties. Simple island life is what Naxos is all about. 

This is a panoramic view of the long sandy beach of Agios Georgios, lined with traditional restaurants right by the water.
Agios Georgios Beach is a haven in Naxos Town

Best Greek Island For Watersports, Hiking & Nightlife Combined: Paros

Paros is usually in comparison with the close by Mykonos when it comes to nightlife and leisure however with a extra reasonably priced price ticket. Due to its Meltemi winds, that are notably robust on this island throughout July and August, Paros can also be a paradise for many who search splendid situations for kiteboarding and windsurfing. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional, a number of skilled colleges provide company the chance to grasp an array of water sports activities very quickly. 

This image shows a beach on a windy day.
Windy Paros is a magnificence even in case you’re not into water sports activities

As you’ll have already guessed by now, Paros is good for these looking for to spend time within the water. And what higher technique to discover the Aegean than by boat? A full-day crusing journey will assist you to uncover some secluded seashores. Better nonetheless, those that want to get pleasure from some alone time can hire a RIB boat with a skipper that may whisk you away throughout to the close by island of Antiparos the place Tom Hanks bought a home and holidays in the summertime months.

End the day watching the solar set within the quaint seaside tavern overlooking Despotiko, a small uninhabited island simply off the island of Antiparos, the Sanctuary of Apollo. Cruising round Despotiko is without doubt one of the most rewarding experiences. Its turquoise waters and pristine environment make it one of many prime locations for yachting. And in case you are fortunate, you’ll spot dolphins swimming alongside. 

The jewel of Paros is the picturesque village of Naoussa, which represents the true essence of Greek Island life. The small charming harbor is lined with conventional fishing boats, alongside which you will see a number of taverns serving the contemporary catch of the day, paired with native ouzo, an alcoholic drink infused with anise. As you stroll alongside the harbor, look out for the hanging octopus, left to dry within the scorching solar. 

This image shows the quaint Old Port of Naoussa in the background and a wooden fishing boat in the foreground.
Quintessentially Greek vibes in Naoussa

Paros can also be enticing for mountaineering and biking fans. The island has a mountaineering path community masking roughly 35 kilometers. A path passes via the island’s Byzantine and post-Byzantine highway networks, connecting the capital Parikia to the mountain villages and the villages of southeast Paros. Along the paths, additionally, you will come throughout the traditional quarries from the place the famend Parian marble, often known as Lychnitis, was extracted.

If you come right here throughout Easter or the fifteenth of August (a non secular celebration marking the Dormition of the Virgin Mary), a number of celebrations happen throughout the island. This is a spectacular time to expertise Greek custom. 

This image shows people sitting at traditional café in Lefkes. The village's large church dominates the background.
In the mountainous village of Lefkes, time stops

Best Greek Island For Elegance: Corfu 

If you’re questioning which Greek Islands ought to I go to that mix old-world appeal, beautiful structure, character, historical past, and delightful nature, Corfu within the Ionian Islands is a should. This jewel within the Ionian Sea tops the record of the most secure locations in Europe.

The famed Old Town adorned with grand neoclassical mansions, Art Nouveau structure, timeless squares, and two imposing fortresses, the Old and the New, each erected to guard town from undesirable intruders, is properly positioned on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

This is a panoramic shot of Corfu Old Town with its Italianate buildings.
Corfu Old Town has a scent of Italy

The island of Corfu boasts a couple of grand palaces such because the Achilleion Palace, which was constructed by Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria in 1892. It options completely manicured gardens and a lavish assortment of high quality marble statues.

Corfu’s countryside is equally inviting, with rolling hills of cypress and olive timber that cowl many of the island. The panorama appears to be like like a verdant canvas, stretching so far as the attention can see. It is right here that the celebrated naturalist and writer of My Family & Other Animals Gerald Durrell was impressed to share his vivid recollections of rising up in Corfu. In the pages of his e book, he paints the distinct sound of the cicadas, which stayed with him all through his grownup life.

The village of Palaiokastritsa positioned within the northwest of Corfu is claimed to be the legendary island of the Phaeacians, which is described in Homer’s Odyssey because the place the place Odysseus was washed ashore after being virtually destroyed by the storm and met Nausicaa for the primary time. Among the highlights within the space is the Palaiokastritsa Monastery, inbuilt 1225. Surrounded by idyllic seashores, underwater caves, and dazzling turquoise waters, Corfu is a paradise ready to be found.

A panoramic view of Paleokastritsa Bay with its turquoise waters, surrounded by a lush forest.
The emarald waters of Paleokastritsa Bay

Best Greek Island For Food & History: Crete

Crete is undeniably breathtaking and one of the crucial scenic islands in Greece. Its rugged panorama, shimmering shoreline, and heartfelt hospitality are just some of the explanation why you have to go to Crete.

Crete is steeped in centuries of historical past courting again to as early because the Neolithic instances, with remnants of this previous nonetheless evident at its many historical websites. It’s additionally residence to the illustrious Minoans, one of the crucial superior European civilizations, which flourished from 3000 BC. The superior seafarers who constructed lavish palaces – there are 4 Minoan Palaces in Crete: Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, and Zakros – superior in pottery and goldsmithing and left an enduring legacy on the world’s historical past.

This image shows the ruins of Knossos Palace. One of the ancient buildings has bright red-colored columns.
The stays of the spectacular Knossos Palace

To this present day, many myths and legends are related to Crete, tales of conquests and defeats that lasted till WWII. Crete’s strategic geographical location made it attractive for international invaders. But the one factor that defines true Cretans is their feisty character and passionate, tough nature, which nearly resembles the rugged Cretan panorama. However, regardless of their roughness on the skin, they’re a number of the kindest and most hospitable folks you’ll ever meet. 

Crete has been blessed by the Gods with a microclimate and fertile soil that’s splendid for agriculture, rendering the island a paradise for rising tomatoes, figs, cucumbers, eggplants, avocados, and different vegatables and fruits. Anything produced in Crete is spectacular and a present from the Gods. Crete can also be well-known for its olive oil, wine, and cheese manufacturing. One of the oldest olive timber on the planet is positioned within the village of Ano Vouves in Crete.

This image shows a table set in nature. There's a bottle of olive oil, a Cretan rusk and some olives on the table.
Olive oil from the blessed land of Crete, the most important Greek Island

Crete is a heaven for foodies. It’s virtually inconceivable to have a nasty meal wherever in Crete. The island can also be recognized for its valuable herbs and mountain teas, a lot of that are used to arrange beautiful Cretan dishes. Get able to dine just like the Gods and drink to good well being in honor of Dionysus.

A well-liked drink in Crete is raki and it’s impolite to refuse to drink it when provided to you by the locals. The Cretans are loyal to their raki ingesting custom, and guests ought to respect this practice, too. A conventional distillation occasion often known as Kazania takes place between October and November in virtually each village. Friends and neighbors collect through the distillation course of all through the day. This includes dancing, singing, consuming, and ingesting raki, after all.

The largest island in Greece, Crete is split into 4 regional models. Chania is thought for its beautiful Venetian harbor and picturesque alleyways, adorned with blooming bougainvillea and aromatic jasmine timber. On this a part of the island to the West, you’ll come throughout a number of the most stunning seashores just like the postcard-perfect Balos Lagoon.

This image shows a dimly lit alley in Chania Old Town.
Strolling round Chania within the night is a dream

Rethymnon is blessed with an equally charming Venetian harbor with an Egyptian Lighthouse and exudes an old-world appeal. The prefecture of Rethymnon and its great mountainous villages are additionally the birthplace of some outstanding personalities. The world-famous artist, Dominikos Theotokopoulos (1541–1614), often known as El Greco – The Greek – was born in Fodele, the place now a museum is positioned in his honor. 

The capital of Crete, Heraklion is the proper base to go to the well-known Knossos Palace, the house of the half-bull, half-man Minotaur. The largest of all of the Minoan Palaces, Knossos Palace is thought to be one of the crucial vital archaeological websites on the planet.

Eastern Crete with Agios Nikolaos as its capital is without doubt one of the lesser-known areas of this thrilling island. Among the highlights is Elounda, the small fishing village that has gained worldwide fame as a result of its five-star luxurious resorts, and the fortress of Spinalonga, a rocky island with a fortified fortress, sitting in the course of the Mirabello Bay. In the early nineteenth century, the island served as a leper colony. 

There is hardly a rock, village, or mountain in Crete that’s not sure by a delusion or a historic occasion. Everywhere you go, you may be advised tales of the previous, which have formed this large of an island that dominates the southernmost level of Greece. You will usually hear that Crete is sort of a nation of its personal, and while you do go to on a rigorously crafted JayWay itinerary, you’ll know why that’s. 

This image shows a blue table with blue chairs by the sea.
The relaxed environment of Crete

Best Greek Island For Medieval Architecture & Stunning Nature: Rhodes

Also often known as The Island of The Knights, a reference to the Knights of Saint John that dominated it within the Middle Ages, Rhodes is a big island of wealthy historical past, grand structure, and delightful surroundings. Historically, Rhodes has been one of many first main vacationer locations in Greece. For that alone, it must be a part of the reply to the Which Greek Islands Should I Visit query.

Since the Nineteen Twenties, when the island was nonetheless beneath Italian occupation, Rhodes has been recognized for its hospitality, excessive stage of service, luxurious accommodations, and top-notch vacationer infrastructure. Although all through its lengthy historical past as a vacationer vacation spot the island has seen some tough days, Rhodes is now among the best Greek Islands so as to add to your itinerary.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island’s Old Town is without doubt one of the most placing medieval cities on the planet. Walking via its dimly lit cobblestone alleys within the night feels as if you’ve traveled again in time when knights had been the only inhabitants of these attractive stone buildings. In Lindos, you’ll be bowled over by the sheer great thing about a whitewashed city dominated by historical ruins that supply breathtaking views for so far as the attention can see.

This image shows the dimly lit Knights Street in Rhodes Old Town.
Knights’ Street in Rhodes Old Town

Beyond the cities of Rhodes and Lindos, although, lies a world of beautiful landscapes that vary from windswept hills adorned by mighty castles, limitless stretches of sandy seashores, mountains inhabited by deer, and valleys the place butterflies stay, parts that nature lovers would admire immensely. All this on a wondrous island that boasts greater than 300 days of sunshine all year long.

Whether it’s a ardour for stunning structure, a soothing trip by the ocean, or an adventurous exploration via spectacular nature that makes you dream of a Greek trip beneath the intense Mediterranean solar, Rhodes gained’t disappoint.

This is a panoramic view of Lindos. The Acropolis of Lindos is in the background and a beach with transparent waters takes up most of the photo.
Lindos is solely spectacular

Best Greek Island For The Perfect Blend of Luxury & Authenticity: Milos

Compared to all the opposite stunning islands on this record, Milos is a small island. Yet, it abounds in charms. An up-and-coming vacation spot within the Cyclades, Milos additionally manages to perform the seemingly inconceivable: provide high-end companies whereas retaining its genuine character.

From extraordinary minimalist suites constructed on the sting of the water to boutique accommodations with non-public swimming pools, Milos guarantees an unique keep like no different in a setting that means that you can calm down, unwind, and expertise Greek hospitality at its greatest.

On the opposite hand, Milos is thought for its totally picturesque villages. Some, like Plaka, are perched atop hilltops and slopes, providing beautiful sundown views, whereas others, comparable to Klima and Mandrakia, characteristic waterfront conventional homes as soon as inhabited by fishermen and boatmen, their colourful shutters and doorways perpetually caressed by the Aegean Sea waves.

This is a photo of the distinct buildings built by the water in Klima Village. The buildings are whitewashed with colorful doors, shutters, and staircases.
The quaint village of Klima

Of course, the island’s greatest draw shouldn’t be ignored and that’s no apart from its seashores. Similar to different islands of the Cyclades, Milos boasts a number of the greatest seashores in Greece. The turquoise sea, volcanic rock formations, and beautiful caves await to fill your eyes with magnificence as you swim within the crystal-clear waters or take pleasure in a cruise across the island.

This is an aerial shot of the white rock formations and deep blue waters in Sarakiniko Milos.
The otherworldly Sarakiniko Beach in Milos

Which Are The Best Greek Islands For You?

The selection of Greek islands is limitless and we are able to record 1000’s of causes to go to every. But it really takes a lifetime to find Greece. Now that you simply’ve answered the basic query – Which Greek Islands ought to I go to? – are you prepared to begin with the primary chapter of your individual Odyssey to Greece?

Sample Greek Island Itineraries

Here are some pattern Greek island-hopping itineraries to get you began.

* Starting value relies on double occupancy in 3 star lodging, in essentially the most reasonably priced month an itinerary is obtainable. Airfare to Europe will not be included.

Click in your selection of itinerary, choose variety of vacationers in your occasion, month of journey, and desired star stage of lodging to get an approximate value. Submit the enquiry type with any extra particulars and we are able to begin planning your custom-made journey.

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