Map of the best islands in Greece
Greece has so much culture, history, and beauty. The country has so many islands that you’re bound to have options no matter what kind of trip you’re looking to take.
Not to mention, these islands offer the best in scenery, weather, and an abundant supply of seafood.
Here are the 43 best Greek Islands.
Nisyros is located in northeast Aegean Sea. It was home for Zeus, who fell in love with the nymph Kinyras. The island is dominated by high mountains called Nisyros.
From these starting points, you can explore the path of Myronos, the ancient Mycenaean capital. On the north side of the island, Agia Triadha ends with white beaches that are part of the national park of the island.
To the east, you will have the chance to explore the beach of Agia Anna only 2.5 kilometers. To the west, deep in the island, the beaches of Prati and Yialos are located.
There you will find one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, where you cannot avoid the happy sound of the waves running in the rocks.
To the east of this beach, a path leads to the Gialos Plateau. Nisyros experience a lot of earthquakes and you may be afraid to stay throughout the night in one of the villages.
Also, because of the watery environment of the island, you should pay special attention to earthquakes: be prepared!
The island of Delos is off the coast of Boea in the Aegean Sea. Since 2009, it has been put on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This island is best known for its history as a holy island.
The city is located at the northwest coast of the island of Delos, the ancient religious centre of the Cycladic Islands.
It is now home to the Paralia Delos hotel, the Archaeological Museum and the Delos Museum. The museum features the original tale of the birth of Apollo from the ancient Cycladic folktale “Apollon and Biston”.
The city has a number of hotels, a small commercial district and a bay with the beautiful resort town of Chora near the archaeological site of the ancient city.
The most popular activity in Delos is definitely the island's extensive archaeological site, situated at the top of the island.
The island of Delos is well known for its historical, archaeological and cultural heritage and is one of the most popular island destinations in Greece.
The Erechtheum, the main temple to the god Apollo, is the most lasting of the evidence of this ancient sacred centre.
One of the best kept secrets in Greece, Spetses is located in the Peloponnese and can be reached by ferry service from Lavrio.
Founded way back in 790 B.C. by the legendary King Nesios, the island is rich in history and is home to the Fortezza Bagni and the Dryonissi monastery, which date back to the early years of Christian times.
The history has attracted a number of celebrities over the centuries, including Napoleon and Nikos Kazantzakis, and the island is the home of the renowned Kalathaki winery.
In terms of entertainment and nightlife, Spetses has little to offer, although the island does have a number of classic tavernas and bars in which to hang out.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Crete is one of the most popular Greek destinations. The ancient Greek city of Knossos, which is on a site that dates back to the Neolithic period, is considered to be one of the most complete archaeological sites in all of Europe.
Welcome to the Kalymnos Cluster, the Cyclades!
These are the second-largest group of Acropolis-cluster islands I’ll be covering. The first is the Naxos Cluster I covered in the last article Kythnos, Skiathos, Skopelos, and Skyros.
Kalymnos is the largest and most populous island in this cluster, and they take the biggest role in the national economy.
Like so many other islands in the Aegean, Kalymnos’s total land area is smaller than its Archipelagos total, numbering only 53.96 km2 (20.32 sq mi).
This island group is located in the southeastern Aegean Sea, and is Greek territory. If you are an American, you can find it just off the coast of Turkey, but nowhere near Europe.
It’s only small compared to the other islands in the cluster, its greatest claim to fame is being the northernmost island in Greece.
Kalymnos is a very popular spot for scuba diving and due to its large population, is a great place to purchase your equipment.
Number 38 on the list is Lemnos, Also known as the Isle of the Mattress Makers. As opposed to other Greek islands, Lemnos is home to almost no inhabitants. The island is in the Aegean Sea and has a population of approximately 400 people.
Lemnos International Airport connects the island to Athens with regular ferries that run almost daily in the summer months. For the average traveller, Lemnos has a little bit to offer.
Iraklion is the capital of the island. Iraklion is a city in the province of Eastern Cephalonia, near the island of Kefallonia, with a population of around 49,700.
The city lies on the west coast of the island, close to the entrance of the narrow Kalaureia Channel. It is the seat of the municipality of Iraklion, and is the second largest city on Cephalonia after Argostoli. The climate of Iraklio is characterized by a gentle breeze that always blows from the south-west. The city also benefits from the presence of many thermal springs which make it a well-known resort.
Kea is a small island just over 30 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. It covers an area of 6.5 square kilometres and is known for its beautiful beaches and its spectacular views of sea and sky.
Kea is one of the most popular honeymoon islands, despite being called the “Mad Island” rather than the “Isle of Love”. There is a lot of fun to be found here, such as barefoot walking, windsurfing, snorkelling, hiking and fishing in the clear waters around the island.
There are also many accommodation options on the island, from luxury hotel accommodation to simple, budget rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
The Mount mentioned in the legends of the Kea is just a small hill, which gives a wonderful view of the island’s coastline. If you are visiting Kea, be sure to visit the Keeper’s residence, which was once inhabited by a famous writer.
Seat of the Philosopher Aristotle in mountainous northeastern ancient Greece.
Alonissos is really beautiful. There is a great beach as well as mountains and the island is one of the largest. It has numerous great resorts, tavernas and everything else a tourist would need. People enjoy the island and the summer months are busy, it is an island with a history and it is also home to a lot of typical villages. The names of its villages are remarkable too, Pero … diki, Pachia, Kastro, Skala, Chakvi, Telendos and Kriopigi. There are also many ancient monuments that are still intact. Some of the streets have many shops and bars and tourists can find what they need here. There are many other villages too, some of which are Katsouras, Delfino, Rena Vrava and Kalamos. In towns it is also more peaceful and quiet as there are not many tourists.
The churches of the island will leave you speechless and if you like ancient history you will like the ancient monuments of this island. The island is also rich in myths and legends and you can visit its various museums where you can learn a lot about the Greek myths, history and traditions. Alonissos has a lot to offer its guests especially those who like to party and enjoy the beaches and the scenic landscapes.
Tinos island is located on the Cyclades and it is a major attraction for tourists for its unique landscape, architecture and archeological sites.
Located on the southwestern edge of the ancient island, the village of Tinos is at the center of a beautiful place where Greeks gather to celebrate village and community events.
Tinos´ rugged, mountainous landscape includes a rich forest of pines and cypresses washed by the light of the magnificent sunset and the sparkling sea of the Aegean.
Tinos is the only island of the Cyclades that is not volcanic. It has been classified, under the WWF conservation charter, as a Nature Reserve, which is honored with two wonderful beaches and a beach for the disabled.
With a variety of beautiful landscapes, it is worth a visit as one of the gems of the Cyclades.
Ios is a small island, with a port, a couple of churches, some old mansions and a war memorial. In the evening, as the sky turns a rich blue, it's easy to forget why you're here – the inevitable rush of cocktails, forgetfulness, romance. But there is something hard-edged to Ios. It's a working port that has seen its share of battles, and old-timers talk about an ugly, violent war between left-wing and right-wing gangs in the 1950s. It’s possible that the ghosts of that war still haunt the island.
As for the mythological roots, there are statues everywhere of the nymphs who are said to inhabit the island while we sleep. This is not a Greek island for the faint-hearted, though – it's a place where the Athenian influence is so pronounced that virtually everything is named after a classical Greek god or godess. That includes the massive "deep veins" on the island's west coast that were used to transport the marble used to build the Parthenon in Athens.
Leros is a small, rocky island that is a bit of a surprise for any first-timer.
It is well known for the beauty of its fishing beaches and its long, thin island roads, and it is relatively quiet and unspoiled. The water here is very clean … some say saltier than the water on the mainland. The east coast of Leros has several layers of golden sand where you can lie back and let the sun fall on your face.
On the west side, you will find the Aegean Sea, and you will see fishing boats cutting their wide paths through the waves, and sometimes a vessel will drift by, carrying a cargo of tomatoes to the shelves of super markets in Athens.
When you arrive, you are struck by the greenery surrounding you … it’s lush and green all around. No man-made development has disturbed the natural vistas of the island, only a few cottages that clung to the rocky shrubbery and a few naked goats lingering aimlessly here and there. The latter are not really for your benefit; they just show their devotion to Allah.
Known for its beautiful beaches, Milos is a stunning destination for a vacation. The main island is only 21.5 square miles, but its surrounding islets are so perfect that the total greenery area is reaching 400 square miles.
Entering Milos using a ferry is ideal, providing one of the most unique views of the island. The eastern coast is mostly secluded and very quiet. The beach is made up of fine dark sand, and there are plenty of seashells along the waters.
Pegasus Bay offers great scenery as well, with majestic views of the mountains, and the whitewashed houses of the village of Fira are located near a lovely port.
The village in which Fira is located is certainly one of the most charming in the Aegean region. It’s believed that the name –Fira” comes from the ancient Greek “phore”, which means light.
There are also many steps leading to the village, and it has a meandering layout strewn with white houses, small squares, and pretty steep paths.
To the south of Milos is the artificial harbor of McDonough. This secluded bay is surrounded by beaches of dark sand and many coves with lotus-lined banks that offer great landscapes.
Syros is located in the Cyclades, Greece, and it is famous for the cave of God Bacchus, built in around 1,400 BC. It is one of the most important archeological sites of Greece.
Syros is the birthplace of Poseidon, the God of the Sea. The island is also known for its honey,its dark rosé wines,and for its fresh vegetables.
Syros island is composed of two main islands, the bigger one is the politically essential island and the other is uninhabited. During the summer an average temperature of 22 degrees celsius,during winter as low as 7 degrees celsius.
The capital city of Syros is Oia, which is situated on the north coast of the island and also the place from where you can see the most beautiful sunset of the island.
It is an island of hills and coastal plains. The island has a lot of beaches and coves, one of them is Arseni Beach, which is a popular destination for the locals and travellers who come to the island.
The island is a main producer of olives and also sun dried figs. There are a lot of tourists around the island so keep in mind the island is mostly populated, it has a lot of hotels where people can stay and enjoy the sea.
The largest of the Sporades Islands and the most southern of the Ionian group, has long been a magnet for visitors looking for a day of sun and sand. Amorgos is part of the most spectacular group of islands in Greece and may be the perfect base to explore the nearby “Lost Cities” of Scyros and Methana.
With a range of beaches including one of the best in Greece, as well as the turtles and diving of Glyfada; the wild blooms of Polygyros; the prehistoric remnants of Agrinion and the larger islands of Santorini and Kea to explore; travellers can always find a reason to come, and to stay, on the beautiful island of Amorgos.
Patmos is one of those islands to discover if you don't have time to go on a cruise. It will be a delightful impression when you have the time to walk around and discover this ancient piece of the Greek coastline. There are a lot of things to discover on this small island and you don't have to use all of your time to do it. It is possible to discover the sacred island on a day tour.
There are many things in this island that you simply can't imagine. You can enjoy the transportation system of this island without having to deal with the crowds and the traffic hassles in the mainland. You can stay at your hotel in the capital city and start your day relaxing.
You can also discover the route for the road that goes through the island until you reach the coast. You might wonder how far away you have to go before you reach the sea. The distance is enough to give you the feeling of being far away from the rest of the world.
This island is not ancient just like the other ones you'll find in the Mediterranean sea. You will find the traces of the civilizations that have passed through the islands of the sea. Paul was forced to stay on this island for about two years when the first believer declared that the Christ-god was among them.
You can discover an idyllic holiday destination, a gorgeous view, a wild nature, and unspoilt beaches at Karpathos, a situated off the Aegian Island group in the center of the Cyclades. The island is connected to several other Cycladic Islands from three different ports, Sami and Kythera in the east and Spetses in the west. Karpathos is also located 20 km from the island of Evia, which has a big airport. The island has a mild and pleasant climate and the deciduous forests and the vegetation have a great landscape to reveal a picturesque archipelago. Karpathos National Park, on the northern side of the island, has an abundance of endemic plant species.
Being at the heart of the Cyclades, Karpathos could not be more promising as a tourist destination and holiday retreat. Karpathos is a heaven of sunshine, peace and beauty reaching your soul. The marvelous panoramic view of the island from the top of the Pentadaktylos hill, to the south, and the breathtaking views of the island and its surroundings from the harbor of Vaporia will transport you to another time and space.
Genuinely popular, Folegandros is a pilgrimage island for many. The name means “shaky-leaved”, which is apt for the island’s topography. It’s sheltered by the southern Peloponnese and has an arid climate. Colonization was relatively recent, with the first inhabitant arriving in 1701. Long known for hippie life, it’s been the home of many utopian projects. The island came under American occupation during World War II and was for a short time known as Humphrey Island.
Cities and Places
Vathy The only town on the island, Vathy is situated in the south, near the barren Anafonitria Beach. With no major sights, it’s a place for good rooms and decent food.
Glyfada, the second-largest town on the island, is a bit more interesting with several small sights. The main attraction here is the superb Glyfada viewpoint, which delivers a vista of the Peloponnese and the Saronic Gulf.
Typhlitis, in the north, has the only shop and post office on the island and provides the closest dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) to mainland viewings.
Skopelos is not just a beautiful island with a perfect location. This island has breathing fresh air and nature. It's situated in the northern part of Attica. It is the second largest island of Greece and is an ideal destination for families with children. You are going to meet with a lot of children who will come and get on the back of the bike. They walk on the beach and some even wave and ask for a gift. You will see that in Skopelos, nature is the main thing.
Skopelos is also a calm and friendly island. You are going to meet with very warm and sympathetic people. You are going to come across the ruins of the Minoan palace. The villagers love to meet expats and give them good.
You are going to keep in Skopelos 2 months and you are going to see some of the most beautiful places on the island. You journey to the top of volcano Metigma and the view from the top is amazing. There are impressive cliffs in the island, but the most impressive one is on Skopelos temple.
Skopelos, as mentioned, has a perfect climate for swimming. You are going to find the best time for swimming is after the rain.
Here are some suggestions for island party fishing trips.
Hire a fishing boat to take the whole family to catch fish.
Skyros is a small island of only 30,000 residents, and though it’s insulated from the rest of Greece, it feels very Greek, with old stone homes and whitewashed walls.
The village’s oldest building, Skyros Palace is a sprawling complex that’s a bit out-of-place in an otherwise charming setting.
The island is home to the remains of a temple dedicated to Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, and has been populated since 2500 BC.
The neoclassical building of the Skyros Palace was built in 1770 by the Bavarian prince Franz II, and stands right across the street from the Catholic church that was built during Byzantine times.
There is also an old Ottoman public bath that’s still in use today, which has been turned into a small museum detailing the history of the island.
On the main street through the town is the Church of St. Demetrios, which was built in 1555, and has icons and murals that were painted in the 18th century following a fire.
There are beautiful beaches in the town of Skyros, but if you make the drive to the other side of the island, you can find some of the most stunning beaches to stargaze and relax on.
·A small island world famous for its lush green valleys and ancient ruins in the capital town of Aegina. Aegina is located in the Saronic Gulf and is connected to the Peloponnese peninsula by a narrow isthmus.
The island of Aegina has parts of the island that are mountainous and parts that are low-lying and are associated with the river Kalamos delta, which contains a characteristically high concentration of alluvial sediment.
The island is backed by a small mountain chain called the Saronic Gulf. Near the island of Aegina, the Saronic Gulf’s currents provide a good environment for fresh water shellfish, and carp and trout are found in the somewhat brackish waters.
Andros is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. The 9th largest of the Greek islands, it is the island of the 10 Cyclades. It is of volcanic origin, with its highest point being Mount Kimolos at 1,342 m. The main industries are agriculture (olives, grapes, tomato, grain) and animal husbandry (goats, sheep, pigs).
Etymologically, the name comes from the Greek, andros, "man" in Greek. During the classical times, it was known as Andros, and considered significantly different than the other islands.
Despite the distance from larger islands, it was still much in commercial and religious importance due to strong trading links with them.
It was very prominent in classical antiquity, as various cities (e.g. Kimolos and Andros) were producing wine, like the rest of the Cyclades.
Chios is an island in Greece and if you get a chance to visit it, you will be glad you did. The island has lots of history going back to ancient times. There are lots of beaches, but also lots of history. A short walk in any direction will take you through time.
Located in the Northern Aegean sea, Thassos is a small island that is best known for its long history. The settlement had gone through several civilizations that had affected Thassos in different ways.
However, its best known historical figure is Minos, the legendary king of Crete. Thassos was famous for its characteristic white houses that were built of stone or barely. Here you can still find this architecture and more.
The architecture of Thassos is one of the most impressive that you can visit. You can also enjoy the view from the fifth-floor restaurant, which offers a breathtaking view of the town and the ocean.
Thassos is also a popular location for Southwestern European film. The setting for the 2004 movie “Spider’s Web” was on the island.
One of the most popular sights on Thassos is the Earth of Minos, a spot that exhibits a real ancient element of the island. It is located within an open space that is positioned in the middle of the port.
The Earth of Minos is more than a glob of rock. It is thought to be created by volcanic eruptions and the weather. It is a small dome that is made of sandstone.
(360° ) A lot of excellent beaches on this island and a positive reputation for accommodation and food. Both Kefalonia's capital town and the port of Lixouri are beautiful in their own right. If you're looking for an active holiday you can enjoy Langadas (about half an hour from Lixouri) has sights, or go sailing in the Ionian Sea. There is also the option of making use of the nautical club’s facilities for scuba diving and windsurfing.
Hydra-Asgos is a small island with two passages, one in the north side and the other in the south side. It is famous for its nature and with its hideouts. In its paths you can swim and find land and water animals but it is not recommended for the visitor who is not prepared.
In the inhabited areas you may visit the island’s big monastery, its abandoned military barracks and the old lighthouse.
But! The most important attraction of this island is that it hosts in winter a strong flock of the rare and endangered North African Pratincole bird.
The footpaths are quite steep and can be bad for people who have heart disease, but if you make the necessary effort, you can enjoy the wonderful landscape.
Also this island has got archeological evidences of the Thracian people. Today’s inhabitants do not use their boats and the island’s day basis is decreasing.
Hydra-Asgos is reachable only with sailboat and hydrofoil from Porto Lagos, a city in Thessaloniki. It has an area of less than 1.000 ha and a population of 700 inhabitants. It is on loosing its importance because of the continuous immigration from the other neighboring islands.
Lefkada is a gorgeous island in Greece. In addition to having beautiful beaches, Lefkada is surrounded by mountainous terrain and a cave city, which makes for great hiking. The island’s capital is the charming capital of Lefkada, Kassiopi.
Kassiopi has many great restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and great shopping. Opportunities for sampling Greek cuisine abound throughout the city. Similarly, Lefkada has a lot of interesting history to check out: the island is full of ancient ruins and museums.
The beaches on Lefkada are famous for their clear waters and warm temperatures. You will never get bored on Lefkada, so make a travel plan that includes an extended stay if you can.
Naxos has some of the most impressive canyon views found today. The island is a prime example of the beautiful landscape of the Cyclades islands. Despite all its natural beauty, Naxos is still a lively island with its myriad of artistic and historical sites. The island’s location in the Aegean Sea, along with its location in the Cyclades islands, make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to find a taste of traditional Greek life.
Kos is located right next to the Greek mainland and is the largest Greek island. Part of the island is a part of the National Park of the Three Brothers, a protected area that has to be protected in order to ensure the existence of aeolian landscapes. The island has some major historical sites, like the Temple of Apollo, the "Walls" of Kos, and the Palaikastro Castle. Located in the middle of the island, the ancient village in the village is a must-visit spot for anyone visiting Kos.
Kos is the largest island on the Cycladean archipelago, part of Greece. It is located in the Aegean Sea, close to Samos and Patmos. According to mythology, this island was once ruled by the god Hercules.
This small but beautiful island is one of the loveliest in Greece. Like many of the islands in the Aegean, the coastline is rocky, but here, you’ll find a collection of small coves perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and soaking in the scantily clad Western women.
The locals will present you the best idea of simply taking a dip wherever and whenever you want, and “hey, it’s what the Greeks do anyway.”
If you have a chance, there are a few ancient sites you should see. They’re not as famous as the ruins on Santorini, but they’re worth the time you’ll have on your visit.
The most important of these is Ayios Nikolaos, which was once the site of a monastery dedicated to St. Nicholas and is one of the oldest in all of Greece. You’ll also want to visit Chora, also known as the Little Venice of Paros, which has narrow little streets and water-filled canals.
A sandy beach, clear waters, and pleasant contrast between past and present are all you will find on Skiathos. To many, this island will be a delightful surprise.
Skiathos has a rich history and is considered the "mother" of all the Greek islands. The ancient remains of the Greek civilization include ancient marble tombs and shrines. For a comprehensive look at Ancient Skiathos, check out the Archaeological Museum.
An easy day trip off Skiathos is the beach of Kalafatis and the small island of Tsangapodi far out to sea. Kalafatis is popular with windsurfers and kite surfers, while Tsangapodi has a shallow but calm thermal cove. For an even better beach, you have the option to travel to the other side of Skiathos and enjoy the longest sand beach in Greece, Pantopi.
To access Pantopi and the beautiful Loutra Beach, you can take a boat trip from Ayia Thekla Harbor. Ayia Thekla also hosts night life on weekends and on the second Friday of every month.
One of Europe’s most popular holiday islands Corfu is a dream destination for those looking to explore the beauty of Greece and the hot island romance. With its beautiful beaches and charming towns, it is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination for tourists all over the world.
Even more so, Corfu is the preferred choice for many Greek holidaymakers who are looking for a place to relax and unwind.
One of the best ways to enjoy the charms of the island is by visiting the many museums as well as the Cycladic archaeology museum the list includes:
- The Corinthian Palace
- The Battle of Corfu of 1809
- The Greek Ethnological Museum
- The House of Maria Kanelli
- The Ethnographic Museum of Corfu Island
Rhodes is considered to be the most beautiful island of Greece. It is one of the Greek islands that have never been communicated. It takes 8 hours drive from Athens to Rhodes, and the journey is not long. This island is one of the most beautiful places to stay, the things that you have to see. It has a magical feel to it, and it is a beautiful place to visit. This island, The Colossus of Rhodes, a 60-meter high limestone statue, is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It is located off the town of Lindos.
Rhodes is one of the best holiday destinations you can visit because it is a perfect combination of beautiful beaches, naturally blessed beaches, and rugged desert landscapes. This island is one of the most important historical locations and is also a popular location for the summer parties of Athens.
Rhodes has the most modern resort near the town of Lindos, Rhodes. This resort offers nature, a royal beach, a golf course, and the magic of a traditional Greek island. This is a magical place, and the views from the resort are astonishing.
Planning a holiday to this island requires you to know that the island is one of the most beautiful and the best holiday destinations you can visit.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great actions; without it, no man will undertake the conception of a great design, or the development of an consummate skill; and in any great undertaking it is of all things the least to be accounted of, and the most to be spared.…
The island paradise that is still popular with celebrities and the uber rich, Mykonos also appeals to beachgoers as well. There is a series of beaches in the south that have very relaxed, laid-back feel to them.
One of the most popular beaches is called Paradise and it’s a great place for swimming, sunbathing, strolling, and enjoying the view of the entire island.
Mykonos is a beautiful island, but it’s even better when there are no tourists around. In the summer months, tourists encroach on the beaches and especially on that corner of Paradise, which makes way for relatively peaceful beach vacations.
Mykonos has a lot to offer to anyone who wants a warm and welcoming vacation away from their hectic jobs, relationships, and families.
Santorini is the westernmost island in Greece. It is part of the Cyclades archipelago. Santorini consists of three active volcanoes in a closed caldera … Akrotiri, Kirifati, and Thirasia. The main Santorini which lies on the southeast is surrounded by smaller islands to the south, east, and west. There are also many small islets off both the Kamari and Fira-Arkesini peninsulas. Most of the population lives on the east and south-east side of the island.
Santorini is a popular tourist destination because of its white-washed Cycladic architecture, dramatic volcanic cliffs and the well-preserved traditional houses. It is also known for its sunsets, which are seen over a deep-blue sea.