The islands of Greece are probably one of the most charming and enticing destinations in Europe, which beats every other destination. Maybe it’s because there are thousands of them, each gorgeously spoiling the traveler in its own way, or the beaches are just perfect – the kind that defines the best ways to spend summer, soaking in the blissful views of the turquoise water basking in the sun that’s out in all its glory. Or maybe it’s the food that beckons the hungry travelers who gorge on the seafood platter the islands offer – Whatever the reasons are, the enchanting Greek Islands are what dream holidays are made of!
And we admit that we aren’t left behind in being smitten by the islands of Greece. In fact, we discovered why Greece is just perfect for the digital nomads, and we also scoured for the best Greek islands for Instagram worthy destinations.
But wait. We are not done with Greece yet. In this post, we bring to you the best Greek islands for you to have that perfect beach vacation in Greece. We are skipping the most popular and the touristic ones here (Sorry, Santorini!) for we believe Greece has plenty to be explored.
So without much ado, check out what makes the list of best Greek Islands.
- Naxos, Cyclades
The Cyclades is home to many fabulous islands with equally stunning beaches, but possibly the greenest island in the Cyclades is Naxos. More than 100km of pristine white sand, crystal clear beaches beckon the beach lovers from all over the world, where they experience the incredible natural beauty along the coast. It lives up to the name Naxos, the beautiful Greek Goddess. No wonder, it is also one of the most romantic destinations as well.
How to get to Naxos: The best way to reach Naxos is to fly to Santorini or Mykonos, and then get a ferry across.
- Folegandros, Cyclades
Although it is not technically located among the Cyclades, Folegandros is one of the most visited destinations for its authentic Greek life. Located between the much popular Santorini and Paros, Folegandros has its unique charm that entices the beach lovers with its picturesque beaches.
The hikers love this island for its non-touristy trails that is home to some of the best views of the coasts. Despite being a relatively serene island, Folegandros peaks with tourists during the high season, many of them visiting this island along with Santorini and Paros. Apart from the popular Angali Beach, also check out the picturesque streets of Chora and the small church of Panagia, overlooking the sea.
How to get to Folegandros: The best way to reach Folegandros is by a ferry, which is regular from Santorini.
Popularly known as the island of Apocalypse for the Book of Revelation being penned here by St. John, Patmos attracts travelers for its iconic Patmos caves which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery looks more like a fortress and offers excellent views of the coast. There is plenty of hiking to do in Patmos, including the Volcanic hills. If you don’t want to be swept away by the group tours, make your own tour by heading to the beaches you like to explore. You can even visit Leros, another island close to Patmos.
How to get to Patmos: The best way to reach Patmos is to fly to Kos, and then get on board one of the daily ferries.
- Alonissos, Sporades
If you are fond of marine parks, probably you’ll either have visited Alonissos or have it on your bucket list. Why? Because Alonissos National Marine Park is the largest in Europe, encompassing the protected Mediterranean monk seals, gulls, eagles, cormorants, falcons, and dolphins as well. This island is surrounded by 6 other small islets, and you can go snorkeling or kayak in these quiet parts of the world, passing through dense Pine forests.
If you prefer land over water, head to one of the popular eco-resorts or go camping. You can also go hiking amidst the forests where the trails are clear as the skies above you and the landscapes prettier than you could possibly imagine!
How to get to Alonissos: The best way to reach Alonissos is to fly to Skiathos or Athens, and then get a ferry across.
- Karpathos, Dodecanese
The southernmost island of Dodecanese is sometimes overlooked by the travelers, but Karpathos treats its visitors right. If your beach holiday consists of idyllic villages, clear beaches next to lush green mountains, Karpathos fits well. This island also lets you know the traditions of Greek villages when you visit Olympos, from where you can absorb some gorgeous views of the coast. Kyria beach in the eastern part of the island is the most beautiful beaches of all, and hiking in Karpathos leads you to inland villages that often opens to the sea.
How to get to Karpathos: The best way to reach Karpathos is to fly from Athens. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Rhodes, Heraklion, and Sitia.
- Skopelos, Sporades
Skopelos is the largest island in the Sporades and is one of the popular island destinations for the families and couples. Stafylo beach is the most stunning of all the beaches in Skopelos and this beautiful beach is surrounded by rocky hills leading to inland which is home to pretty villages, particularly Glossa, which dotted with traditional homes that are lined up against a backdrop consisting of pine & oak laden forests. If you have the time or want to explore more, the neighboring Skiathos is not far off.
How to get to Skopelos: The best way to reach Skopelos is to fly to Skiathos airport and take a ferry across.
Known as the birthplace of poetess Sappho, Lesvos is the most popular Greek island among the families around the world. If the picturesque capital Mytilene is home to some marvellous beaches, the other beautiful region that must not be skipped is Molivos, known for its traditional villages, olive groves, ouzo and white-sand beaches. Head to Lesbos for a wonderful time with your family!
How to get to Lesvos: The best way to reach Lesbos is by flying to Mytilene from Athens. Alternatively, there are many regular ferries from most of the islands including Athens.
Lefkada is the place where you would want to get adventurous on your beach holiday in Greece. In fact, it is one of the top destinations in Greece for watersports, especially windsurfing, which is quite popular in Vasiliki Bay, in the south, where Kayaking is done as well.
For the beaches, head to the west coast to Kathisma and the must-visit Porto Katsiki, located on the south-west, which is one of the amazing beaches in the area.
How to get to Lefkada: The best way to reach Lefkada is to fly from Athens or nearby cities to Aktion or take the ferry from the nearest island Nydri.
Many know Amorgos as the place where the French cult movie ‘The Big Blue’ was shot. But the young flock here for the unspoiled beaches and the seemingly endless white-washed homes perched on the top of the hills giving way to views of the crystal blue seas. Of course, a visit to the spectacular 11th-century monastery of Hozoviotissa clinging to the cliff above Agia Anna beach is a must, both for the views as well as the ancient monastery itself.
How to get to Amorgos: The best way to reach Amorgos is to fly to Santorini or Athens, and then take a ferry.
For the people of Ikaria, life is sweet and long, literally, because they have an additional 10 years of lifespan. Icaria is stunningly beautiful, complete with rugged mountains that surrounded by beaches, picturesque villages with small bays along which lie the monumental buildings – It’s a perfect mixture of ancient and modern Greece topped with the abundant magnificence of nature. Maybe these are what make the people live long enough?
As for the beaches, the most striking ones are Agios Giorgi, Prioni, Kilo Sirtis, and Iero. Also, don’t forget to check out Therma or thermal hot mineral springs
How to get to Icaria: The best way to reach Icaria is to take the ferry to Aegeon Pelagos on the Samos route from Athens.
These are our picks for a perfect beach vacation in the islands of Greece. What do you think? Where would you go?
Check out our beautiful vacation homes in Greece while you plan your trip!