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The Best Islands in Greece to Visit

With whitewashed villages perched on cliffs looking out into luminous blue waters - it's no wonder the Greek Islands are a dream destination for many. While many would come here for the beaches and romantic sunsets, others are here for the sumptuous food and relaxing atmosphere. But with over 200 inhabited islands, there are plenty to choose from - so which one should you visit? 

To help you choose, I've rounded up a list of the best islands in Greece to visit.


  • Crete

  • Naxos

  • Santorini

  • Mykonos

  • Kefalonia

  • Corfu


So let's dive into each island in Greece to visit!

CRETE

As the largest island in Greece, Crete attracts millions of visitors. Whatever you're after, you'll find it in Crete. Whether it's rich history, delicious cuisine, gorgeous beaches, and stunning natural landscapes, Crete can offer a holiday you'll never forget.


Crete has some of the most gorgeous beaches in Greece, with clear blue waters and fine golden sands. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The best ones are Elafonsi and Balos. Aside from the scenic views, these beaches are perfect for fun activities like windsurfing. But if you want to enjoy seclusion while soaking up the beautiful scenery, check out Kyani Akti Beach in Souda Bay


Crete's rich culture and history are another reason it's considered one of the best islands in Greece. It was once home to the Minoan civilization, one of Europe's earliest civilizations. On your visit to the island, you'll have a chance to explore archaeological sites and ancient ruins like the Palace of Knossos. 


Those who want to discover the rich flavor of Greek cuisine will find Crete an ideal place to visit. The island is home to numerous restaurants specializing in unique culinary traditions with dishes made from locally sourced ingredients like olive oil, herbs, and cheeses.

NAXOS

Naxos is best known for its magnificent scenery and abundant beaches, making it one of the best beaches in Greece. The island also boasts numerous fascinating ancient sites and great restaurants. Pretty much everything you seek in a holiday is here. There are some amazing rental properties in Naxos, perfect for those seeking somewhere to stay here. 


Best known for its beautiful beaches, Naxos is the perfect destination for a fun-filled beach holiday in Greece. You'll find incredible sandy beaches throughout the island, but Agios Georgios Beach is the most popular. It has deep crystal-clear waters with sandy shores, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. A well-equipped beach, it has restaurants, sunbeds, cafes, and other amenities.


If you want to experience sailing in Greece, Naxos is an ideal base for exploring the Cyclades. Many companies can arrange your boating adventure to the neighboring Cyclades islands. Some are uninhabited and unspoiled with pristine, quiet beaches you can have to yourself!


Naxos is home to many picturesque villages that are a joy to explore. If you want to soak up the island's relaxing atmosphere and immerse in the local culture, stroll through some of these villages. Some of the most popular ones are the villages of Halki and Filoti.

SANTORINI

Regularly voted as one of the world's most beautiful islands, Santorini has all the qualities you dream of when you think of that perfect Greek island - whitewashed villages, romantic sunsets, and stunning views. Despite how touristy it can become, it is one of those islands you should see at least once. 


Part of Santorini's charm is most of its villages remain traditional despite all the modern tourism infrastructures. The whitewashed houses lining the pretty cobblestone streets still exhibit their traditional architecture. Strolling around Oia and Fira is the best way to appreciate the island's unique beauty and immerse in the local culture.


Another thing that makes Santorini unique is its black sand beaches. An island formed from a volcanic eruption, Santorini's beaches feature black sands from eroded volcanic materials and lava fragments. Some of the island's most famous black beaches are Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, and Perivolos Beach.

MYKONOS

If you want to see as many Greek islands as possible, consider booking an island-hopping cruise. Many luxury Greek archipelago cruises visit Mykonos, an excellent way to explore the best of the island. While it may be famous for its parties, there's more to the island than this. It has gorgeous beaches, pretty villages, and attractions like the iconic windmills.


Whether you want to party, play water sports, or lounge around as you work on your tan, Mykonos has a beach to suit you. If you're into partying, check out Platys Gialos and Paradise Beach. But if you prefer somewhere quieter, head to Agios Stefanos. It's a beautiful sandy beach about 3.5 km from Mykonos town.


If you love to eat, Mykonos is one of those islands you should visit in Greece. The island has numerous dining places, from casual eateries to fancy restaurants serving international and local Greek cuisines. When it's time to party, you'll have plenty of options. As the nightlife capital of Greece, Mykonos has a bustling nightlife scene, home to numerous bars with live DJs blaring music till the early hours.


KEFALONIA

As the only Greek island with a national park, Kefalonia is a fantastic island to visit, especially for nature lovers. It's the largest in the Ionian Sea and offers plenty to see and do, from exploring picturesque villages to swimming in the beaches and visiting stunning lakes.


The Melissani Lake is a must-see while in Kefalonia. It's in a cave with an opening at the top where the sun shines through, resulting in a sparkling glow as it illuminates the bright turquoise water. 


When it's time to hit the beach, check out Myrtos Beach, the island's most famous beach. Surrounded by stunning greenery, it creates a fascinating contrast to its bright blue waters. Plus, the waves of the beach produce a magical effect as they illuminate the sea, revealing a gorgeous shade of turquoise blue water. 


Take the time to stroll through the charming village of Assos and admire the colorful Venetian-style houses. It also has its share of beautiful beaches and some archaeological sites, including the ruins of a Venetian castle.

CORFU

And last but not least, my personal favorite - Corfu! A lush, emerald gem in the Ionian Sea of Greece, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, blending Venetian, French, and British influences, stunning beaches, and picturesque landscapes. This island captivates with its charming old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, vibrant nightlife, and a tapestry of olive groves and cypress trees, offering a perfect blend of historical intrigue and natural beauty. More things to see and do find in my Corfu Travel Guide!



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