The Greek Islands are a European summer dream destination!
The weather is always perfect and the sunsets will take your breath away. The ocean will be the clearest you’ve ever seen and the local food will blow your mind.
There are so many reasons to visit the Greek Islands!
You might be wondering, “But which Islands should I visit?”
This is not an easy question to answer as there are hundreds of islands in Greece spread over a vast area. Each island is unique and has something different to offer. It takes planning and careful consideration to decide which Greek Islands are the best for you!
Here is a list of 6 of the very best Greek Islands which are guaranteed to be incredible.
Milos is a beautiful Cycladic island in Greece. This island isn’t overrun by tourism (yet!) and still holds so much Greek charm.
It is full of incredible, secluded beaches dotted around the coastline with sparkling blue waters. There are also lots of cute fishing villages where you can enjoy some delicious Greek food and wine by the ocean. Since Milos is in the Cyclades the buildings and streets are white and cobblestoned with beautiful flowers and lots of cats!
What To Do In Milos
Take a day boat trip to Kleftiko Caves. Sail around the island and spot the dramatic volcanic rock formations before swimming in the sea around the caves.
Another amazing thing to do on Milos is to hire a car and beach hop around the small island and search for your favourite villages and bays.
Here are some suggestions to add to your beach hopping itinerary:
- Sarakinko - the beach that looks like the moon
- Firopatamas Fishing Village
- The hidden beach of Papafragas
- The wild Fyriplaka Beach
- Tsigrado Beach- which requires climbing down a rope
The Cycladic village of Plaka faces the west up on a hill and boasts one of the most impressive sunsets in Greece. Make sure you check out the Restaurant Oh Hamos in the port town of Adamas for the best food on the island!
You can fly or catch a ferry to Milos from Athens or catch a ferry from a nearby island such as Santorini or Ios.
Crete is an incredible island that is so diverse. It is huge and is almost a country in itself! There are so many things to do on Crete Island, but it’s best to avoid the package holidays and going on your own epic adventure.
What To Do In Crete
Stay in the picturesque seaside town of Chania. Explore the cobbled streets and amazing Greek restaurants.
Crete is famous for its food, there are so many delicacies that you can find here that won’t be the same anywhere else. Don’t forget to try the Greek classic, fava bean dip.Not to mention it is much more affordable than it’s other Greek Island counterparts! To Statchi and To Koutourouki are both amazing tavernas in Chania.
Don’t miss out on hiking the Samaria Gorge. The landscape in Crete is wild and mountainous, with windy and treacherous roads. Book a hiking tour from Chania and spend the day walking from the top of the Samaria Gorge down to the beach where you can reward yourself with an ice-cold beer and a swim in the Libyan Sea.
Crete is also home to the famous pink sand beach of Elafonisi. Hire a car for the day and take an epic road trip to this beautiful beach. The pink sand is breathtaking and the ocean is crystal clear.
There are many flights going from Athens to Chania and the other main city of Heraklion. There are also many ferry options coming and going from Crete to other Greek Islands.
Santorini is in the Cyclades and is the most famous island in Greece, and for good reason! It will simply take your breath away. Santorini really does look as beautiful in real life as it does in photos.
The whole island is a volcanic crater with the main villages like Oia and Fira set high up on the cliffs where you can witness sweeping views over the island and sea. You eyes will be blown by the white buildings, the cobbled pathways and blue churches.
Oia is the most famous spot which boasts the original Santorini sunset. You will have to arrive early to the sunset point and maybe even get a bit pushy to nab a spot to watch the sun go down. But you should definitely make the effort to do this just once, it is worth it!
What To Do In Santorini
One of the best ways to see the best parts of Santorini is to hike from Fira to Oia via Imerovigli. All three places have beautiful buildings and views for you to wonder and take plenty of pictures. Start in Fira in the morning and slowly make your way to Oia for sunset enjoying the dramatic coastline views along the way.
Skaros Rock in Imerovigli is another epic spot for sunset that should not be missed in Santorini. It is easy to get between Oia, Fira and Imerovigli by public bus.
Fira has the most affordable accommodation while Oia and Imerovigli have more high-end options. If there is an island that you are going to splash out for accommodation though it should be Santorini!
You can stay in beautiful caves like buildings on the cliff with the most epic views. Chilling out here by the pool is an experience you don’t want to miss. Olympic Villas in Oia ticks all the boxes and is budget-friendly!
The best way to get the best prices and avoid the worst of the crowds (and the summer heat!) is to visit Santorini in the shoulder season in May or September. Most things will be up and running but the prices will be much better and the weather will still be perfect. Just double-check that ferries you want to catch are running!.
Ios is a tiny Cycladic Island near Santorini. It has become very popular with young travellers who want to indulge in a good time without having to spend hundreds of euros on clubbing in places like Mykonos.
There is a strong community of Australians who have opened up top-notch bars, restaurants and guesthouses in Ios. This creates a buzzing atmosphere on the Island. Combine this with the beautiful hilltop village of Chora, breathtaking secluded beaches and you have an epic Greek Island destination.
Hermes Hotel is a great place to stay that is affordable with a pool, beautiful views and a great bar. If you really want to get involved in the party scene Far Out Beach Club is the place to stay. They have a wide variety of accommodation options for every budget as well as two pools to hang out in right on Myoplatas beach.
What To Do In Ios
There are water sports you can partake in on the main beach of Myoplatas, take a boat trip out to caves and secret beaches or hire a quad bike and go adventuring around the barren hills in search for the best views.
Make sure you take the time one evening to climb up to the hilltop churches in Chora to watch the sunset over the beautiful bay.
Don’t miss dining at the famous sunset lounge of Pathos while you’re in Ios. It’s elaborate and expensive but definitely worth visiting.
There are many famous bars in Ios and one of the best things to do at nighttime is to go on a pub crawl and check them all out. They are all themed and have their own special cocktails and even singlets! The standard of the cocktail in Ios is impressive. Some of the best bars to add to your list are:
- Lost Boys for the singlets,
- Alt Bar for the crazy shots,
- Slammers to get your head knocked in,
- Circus for incredible live music and amazing cocktails and,
- Escobar to dance til the sun comes up.
Paros is another island in the Cyclades but is much more laid back than the other islands famous of Ios, Santorini and Mykonos. There are many cute guesthouses you can stay at and local tavernas to indulge in some authentic Greek food by the sea.
What To Do In Paros
Take a day boat trip to the incredible islands around Antiparos. The rock formations on these islands and the colour of the water are really beautiful. There are many boat tour options you can find in Paros.
The small seaside village of Naoussa is stunningly beautiful with blindingly white buildings, beautiful streets, pink bushes of flowers and picturesque cafes. There are also incredible views over the harbour.
Naoussa is a bit of a drive from the main port but you should choose accommodation in this village. It might surprise how beautiful this village is, Mykonos can take a seat!
Hire a car so you can road trip around the island and spot the best beaches to take a dip.
Karpathos is the hidden treasure of the Greek Islands. If you make the effort to visit Karpathos you will be greatly rewarded. Karpathos is part of the Dodecanese Islands near Turkey. That means no white buildings but the nature in Karpathos makes up for it! Karpathos is a long and skinny Island which is made up of big mountains and beautiful coastline.
Stay in the main village of Pigadia and hire a car so you can explore the island freely. Renatas Villas is the best place to stay in Pigadia, it is away from the main village high up on the hill with incredible views. There is a beautiful outdoor area and all the apartments are beautiful and fully self-contained.
What To Do In Karpathos
Jump in your car and set off each day for epic road trips around the island. The roads are windy, mountainous and not maintained very well so take care on the roads. The best beaches and towns that you cannot miss on Karpathos are:
- Apella Beach- unofficially the best beach in the world
- Kira Panagia Beach- developed but beautiful
- Achata Beach- small and untouched
- Nikolaos Beach- go for the view on the way down
- The village of Olympos- to step back in time
There is an airport on Karpathos so the easiest way to reach there is by flying from Athens or the nearby Island of Rhodes.
Get To The Greek Islands!
The Greek Islands are full of natural beauty, delicious food, the clearest ocean in the world, unbelievable sunsets and incredible people living true to their roots.
There are so many options when it comes to visiting the Greek Islands and there really is something there for everyone.
So get to Greece this summer!