10 Best Greek Islands To Visit
Greece is home to more than 6,000 islands, each with its own unique charm and character. Of course, the most well-known islands in the group continue to be the big names like Santorini, Mykonos but there are plenty of other Greek islands that don’t get the recognition they deserve. There is an island to fit your needs, whether you want best Greek islands for beaches and a laid-back getaway or an exciting adventure paried with a buzzing nightlife.
Which ever island you choose you almost certainly will find gorgeous sunsets, sandy beaches, historic ruins, a thriving nightlife, turquoise seas, and feta. Renowned for its hospitality, warm and welcoming people, and delicious cuisine here is our guide to the little known most beautiful Geek islands. Here are the 10 best Greek islands to visit.
Paros is a breathtaking Greek island nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea. One of the most captivating destinations in Greece, Paros is an eclectic blend of charming villages, idyllic beaches and a vibrant nightlife scene. An island of rich history and culture, Paros is peppered with outstanding archaeological sites and magnificent architecture.
Boasting 120 km of exquisite coastline, Paros is one of the best Greek islands for beaches with beautiful endless beaches, crystal clear waters, dramatic mountains and cliff top charming villages. Golden Beach, Santa Maria, Kolymbithres, and Pounta are some of the most popular beaches on the island, ideal for swimming, sunbathing as well as watersports.
Paros is also home to several charming traditional villages, Parikia and Naoussa are the two main villages. Parikia is the capital and the main port of Paros. Naoussa, a fishing village offers bustling nightlife, and plethora of restaurants and bars. For a more tranquil scene visit Lefkes and Marpissa. The village of Antiparos and Chrissi Akti are a great option for beaches.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Paros include:
Cosme Hotel – Set in the village of Naoussa with the clear-blue Aegean water at its feet, it is a great beach front hotel. Book here.
Mythic – Built into the hillside, with 2 infinity pool and the best place to take in the sunset on the entire island. Book here.
The enchanting island of Milos is a timeless paradise with its volcanic landscape, exceptional beaches and rich history. From the ancient castles and ruins to the amphitheatres and catacombs, Milos located at the southernmost part of the Cyclades island is a place of both beauty and mystery and one of the best Greek islands.
Sarakiniko beach is one of the most famous beaches on this Greek island. It offers a lunar like setting with sparkling white volcanic rock formations and crystal pure blue waves. Explore the sea caves, jump off the cliffs, or simply relax on the beach soaking up the Greek sun. If you are feeling adventurous, Kleftiko is another great option, this beautiful beach can only be reached by a boat. It used to be a pirate hideaway, with its towering rock formations and green seas, is now the island’s hallmark. The iconic Papafragas’ aquamarine swimming hole is also on the island of Milos.
Apart from the beaches, the iconic Venus de Milo statue is an example of the island’s long-standing cultural heritage. Now at home in the Louvre, Venus de Milo was discovered on the island in the early 19th century and is one of the world’s most famous Greek statues. With its stunning views and fascinating archaeological sites, Milos offers an unforgettable experience for visitors from all over the world. Wander the charming streets of Plaka, which is the island’s capital or visit Pollonia, for scenic seaside restaurants.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Milos include:
Santa Maria Luxury Suites: Family owned, set in Adamas, 750 yards from Papikinou Beach. all six of our suites feature a great sea and bay view. Book here.
Captain Zeppos : Small boutique hotel boasting an outdoor pool, is centrally located in Pollonia. Stone’s throw away from the beach and restaurants. Book here.
Naxos is the perfect destination for those looking for a tranquil and idyllic vacation. In contrast to the party scene of many Greek islands, Naxos is an exceptional destination for families and those in search of a laid-back getaway. Naxos is the largest Cyclades islands, and offers a unique blend of beaches and ancient ruins. The island’s main attractions include the iconic Portara, gateway to Apollo Temple, and the picturesque Chora village (the main town on the island) with its winding streets and whitewashed houses. However, the highlight is undoubtedly the beautiful west coast beaches, glistening bays of golden sands and turquoise waters, ideal for swimming, sunbathing and water activites such as wind surfing and kite-surfing.
Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna are some of the most popular beaches on the island, they are ideal for families with young children thanks to the shallow waters. The beaches grow more wilder as you travel south, including Kastraki which is a beautiful white sandy beach with crystal clear water. Mikri Vigla is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing and Plaka is where you can ride over the sand dunes on horseback.
As one of the best Greek islands, Naxos offers an authentic taste of the Mediterranean cuisine, which is rooted in the island’s bountiful supply of wine, fragrant herbs, fresh vegetables, seafood, meat, and dairy products sourced directly from Naxian farms and the surrounding sea. Immerse into the authentic Naxian life with Naxos’s renowned citron liqueur and Arseniko which is a type of spicy cheese produced in the pens of Naxos uplands.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Naxos include:
Ammothines Cycladic Suites : Situated in Naxos Chora, a few steps from Plaka Beach with a laid back charm. Book here.
Santana Beach : Family run boitique hotel located right on the sandy beach of Agia Anna with unobstructed views over the Aegean Sea. Book here.
The enchanting Greek island of Hydra is a car-free paradise located in the Aegean Sea. Protected by a preservation order, Hydra is one of the best Greek islands to visit, a destination of tranquil beauty, the island is known for its charming atmosphere and stunning views. Boasting rugged cliffs, picturesque villages, stone mansions, narrow alleys, donkeys walking around and traditional taverns, Hydra is authentically Greek.
One of the best Greek islands to unwind, Hydra is a renowned spot for relaxation with a slow pace and laid-back vibe. The ultimate Greek island to escape the hustle and bustle, Hydra is a haven of calm. It’s no wonder that Hydra has become a celebrity retreat and a popular tourist destination for those looking for a peaceful getaway. Over the years celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen and more have been drawn in by the island’s allure. Immerse into the traditional side by visiting the charming villages of Kaminia and Vlichos. Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos are some of the more popular beaches on the island.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Hydra include:
Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites: A six-suite boutique hotel, located on a private beach in the area of Plakes Vlichos. Book here.
Orloff Boutique Hotel: One of the historic Hydra mansions of the 18th century, is lovingly restored to an luxurious boutique hotel. Book here.
5Cephalonia / Kefalonia
Kefalonia (Cephalonia) is one of the best Greek islands for beaches. Kefalonia, which is ideally positioned in the Ionian Sea, has long been admired for its beauty and served as the backdrop for scenes in the well-known film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” Kefalonia is an enchanting Greek island that is ideal for all types of traveller.
Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an adventurous exploration of the island’s many wonders, Kefalonia has something to offer everyone. A hotspot for a family holiday, Kefalonia is bursting with attractions including the mystical cave of the nymphs and the abundance of incredible marine life to discover. With its stunning beaches like Myrtos and Skala plus its enchanting landscape dotted with captivating coves and magical villages, Kefalonia is an island of inspirational beauty. Wander through the capital of Argostoli or for something more quaint visit the villages of Fiskardo and Assos. The island’s scenery has influenced many artists and writers over the years, making it an ideal destination for those seeking inspiration.
Visit O Makis for dinner – Family run restaurant, operating since 1981 in a beautiful restored traditional Kefalonian building offering traditional Kefalonian “home-style” cooked meals. Tassia in Fiskardo comes highly recommended, from John Galliano to Jon Bon Jovi, everyone has rushed ashore to sample the seafood pasta.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Kefalonia include:
F Zeen: Nestled in the quieter part of the island, offers a chance to recharge, reconnect with natural and get back in touch with that ‘good life’. From infinity pools, meditation terraces, yoga, outdoor cinemas, and detox programmes. Book here.
Emelisse Nature Resort: Situated above Emblisi bay, offer panoramic views of surrounding with a private beach. Blend of a health and family resort. Book here.
This island is for the foodies! Sifnos is a beautiful Greek island that is known for its stunning beaches, beautiful Cycladic architecture and vibrant culinary scene. It has been home to some of the best chefs in Greece and it is also the birthplace of the first Greek cookbook – Nicholas Tselementes, who wrote the first Greek cookbook in 1910. From fresh seafood dishes to delicious pastries, Sifnos is a paradise for food lovers.
Whilst the island may be world-famous for its exceptional food offerings, if you are looking to explore beyond the culinary scene, you can enjoy its breathtaking beaches or explore its rustic villages and unique Cycladic architecture. It is home to more than 300 beautiful churches, the classic whitewashed houses and potteries that make earthenware casseroles used to make traditonal dishes such as baked chickpeas, known as revitháda. One of the best Greek islands for families, Sifnos is also a hub of adventure and excitement with thrilling attractions and entertainment. Visit the capital town Apollonia, explore the winding streets of Kastro, indulge in Artemonas’ greatest pastries. Be sure to visit Theodorou in Artemonas- Founded in 1933 and family run still by the same family. This is the place to get the most delightful Greek delicacies.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Sifnos include:
NOS Sifnos: A secluded, luxury resort with outstanding views across the ocean, with infinity pool and epic sunsets. Book here.
Verina Astra: The tranquil option, luxurious suites perched on a steep hill with breathtaking views to the Aegean. Book here.
For those in search of the beauty and scenery of Santorini without the crowds, Syros is an impressive choice. As you wander through the narrow lanes of Syros you will be surrounded by beautiful colours and unique architecture that will leave you in awe. From its neoclassical architecture, coliurful mansions to its divine beaches, Syros is an incredible destination of relaxing charm. The perfect destination to unwind, if you are looking for just one day of exploration on the island, head to the vibrantly stunning city of Ermoupoli.
The capital of the island is an exquisite blend of Cycladic and Venetian influence built on twin peaks with a majestic waterfront. The best restaurants and bars in Ermoupoli are located along Androu Street. Ermoupolis is world-renowned for its rich cultural legacy, with events such as International Classical Music Festival of Cyclades, ANIMASYROS International Animation Festival, Ermoupoleia Cultural Festival. Ermoupolis comes alive as the heart of the Easter celebrations. People go from all over the world to experience real Greek Easter customs.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Syros include:
Castro Hotel Syros: Perfectly located in the heart of Ermoupolis town on an exquisite historical building. Book here.
Hotel Ploes: Neoclassical mansion of 19th century with the view from the large windows, the balconies and terraces is that of the azure Aegean Sea, greeting the beautiful city. Book here.
Andros is an island close to Athens offering its visitors a unique experience away from the mainland. Renowned for its rugged and untouched beauty, Andros features secluded beaches and endless hiking trails that make it an adventure paradise. Some of the popular beaches include Agios Petros, Batsi and Golden Sand. If you are on the hunt for more secluded beaches visit Vlychada, Agios Sostis and Halkolimnionas instead. Explore the island’s beautiful greenery via the hiking trails that surround it. The lush slopes of the island are home to springs, streams, and waterfalls, as well as walnut, chestnut, oak, and olive trees.
Andros has rustic scenery that will leave you feeling like you have stepped into another world. The Cyclades’ most aristocratic island, where time seems to stand still in an era of majestic grandeur and European charm. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed vacation, Andros has something to offer everyone. From cliff top hikes and tranquil bays to rustic villages and untouched nature reserves, Andros is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the Greek countryside in all its glory. Chora and Batsi are two of the most popular villages to base yourself in.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Andros include:
Micra Anglia Boutique Hotel: Luxury boutique hotel set within a restored 19th-century mansion. Located in the heart of the town near the beach Book here.
Onar : Boasting a peaceful location 400 yards away from the Achla Beach. Onar is all about getting away from the stress and bustle of modern life. Book here.
Made famous by the iconic movie musical Mamma Mia, Skiathos is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. A picturesque beauty surrounded by crystal clear waters, Skiathos boasts some of the finest Greek beaches with glistening golden sands and tree-lined promenades. Home to over 60 beaches, the island’s tree-lined, turquoise-colored beaches are among of the best in all of Greece.
Koukounaries and Lalaria are two of the most breathtaking and must-visit Skiathos locations. More popular with a younger audience, Banana Beach boasts the same exquisite beauty with a touch of excitement featuring thrilling water sports and legendary beach parties. Skiathos also has an incredible reputation for its nightlife with laid-back beach clubs, elegant cocktail bars and electric nightclubs. In the evening head towards Papadiamantis Street, peruse upscale shops selling homemade jewellery and souvenirs. Visit Bourtzi Skiathos which is located on a set on a small rocky island for sunset cocktails and some of the most beautiful views on the island.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Skiathos include:
Elivi Skiathos: Nestles in a natural environment of exquisite beauty, forming a unique beachfront hotel with modern design. Book here.
Skiathos Princess: Located right on the beach, in a picturesque sugar-cube village. Each room/suite is individually designed with private balconies Book here.
Whilst Tinos has its own share of beautiful beaches, in contrast to many of the Greek islands where the coastline is the highlight, in Tinos, it is the charming villages that are the star attractions. With cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and picturesque architecture, the villages of Tinos are magical to explore. Introducing visitors to the authenticity of Greece, Tinos is a place to enjoy mouthwatering local delicacies and shop for traditional handmade goods. Soak up the culture and magnificence of this captivating island whilst exploring a different side of the Greek islands.
Where To Stay: Some of the best hotels in Tinos include:
Diles & Rinies : Luxury fully-serviced hotel villas overlooking the sea on the southern tip of Tinos. Book here.