When someone hears the words summer vacations the mind immediately combines the three top factors of perfect holidays which are Sea, Sun, and Beach.
We feel really proud to live in this beautiful country and when the time comes for our summer vacations we always prefer to stay in Greece to explore its charming islands instead of traveling abroad.
While during the winter season the Greek islands are too quiet and even the locals prefer to move to the mainland, from May till September on the streets inside Hora (Hora = downtown/capital of a greek island) you can witness many travelers from all around the world. There the heart of the island beats and narrow alleys are filled with traditional tiny cafes, bars, souvenir shops, and restaurants with Greek live music. Walls and paths are painted with blue and white colors, blossomed flowers on balconies and traditional buildings compose the scenery enjoyed by visitors.
Each island has its own character that is worth seeing in order to get into the rhythm of life. The Cycladic islands are famous for their picturesque narrow alleys while all the Greek islands, each in its own way, offer the visitor beautiful images to put in the memory book or photo album.
So lets explore our selection of top ten must-see islands in Greece.
Santorini is so unique that it takes the number one place in our suggestions and in our hearts. Even the most experienced traveler will agree with us that you can never find a place like this anywhere in the world. What makes it so unique? The history and the myth of the Lost Atlantis, the incredible scenery of the caldera, the whitewashed traditional houses built inside the rocks, the positive energy transmitted from the depths of the island and of course, the delicious food and the local wine, the luxurious accommodations but also the simplicity and the friendliness of the locals.
Crete, the largest island in Greece, has a huge history and its civilization is considered the most ancient in Europe. The island of Crete is the most southern one in the Aegean sea and for a visitor, a visiting period of a week will not be enough to explore it all. Here, you can admire the remnants of the brilliant Minoan civilization, that was possibly devastated by a tsunami caused due to the eruption of the Santorini’s volcano, you can find beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes, you can witness the popular Cretan weddings and take part in traditional celebrations or you just can live new unforgettable gastronomic experiences.
The island of Corfu or Kerkyra, the Greek name of the island, is a perfect place for romantic couples, backpackers, families and solo travelers. Corfu is located in the cooling Ionian Sea on the west side of Greece. A destination of diverse where you can do anything your heart desires. You can visit museums, admire the french and Venetian architecture at the fascinating old town, go snorkeling at the crystal clear waters, go hiking, visit the scenic old villages or enjoy the crazy nightlife. This beautiful Greek island has so many things to attract the traveler that we could write about it all day long.
The island and home of Odysseus, Ithaca has many archeological sites but still, Homer’s Ithaca hasn’t been revealed. This, not so popular to tourists island, is a small paradise full of green, blue and turquoise colors. Lonely beaches, scenic monasteries, archeological sites and museums but also luxurious boutique hotels and private yachts, this island has it all. A place for travelers that are looking for something less common, for those who love tranquility and self-discovery, for the sailors and sea lovers, for those in search of their own personal Ithaca.
Located at the middle of the Aegean Sea, Skopelos is a beautiful quiet island and part of Sporades island complex. If you look for a chilled out place for your summer vacations where you will relax at the most beautiful beaches of Greece, taste the popular Skopelitiki cheese-pie, explore the nearby islands with a sailing boat and take the most ‘
One of the most remote islands of Greece and a real treasure for divers and climbers. Kalymnos is an easy-paced island with gastronomic culture and various activities. Almost every year international contests organized by brands like the Noth Face take place gathering professional climbers from all over the world. It is an alternative destination for those who seek serene beaches, great food, amazing views and sunsets combined with affordable rates. You can also visit Turkey on a day trip cause it’s only an hour away.
Paros is a popular holiday destination with considerable development and infrastructure. It is also a popular summer vacations place for celebrities like Tom Hanks and Leonardo Di Caprio. The small windy island has to everything to a summer tourist. At Paroikia one can enjoy a great meal at local taverns during the day and explore the nightlife scene at Naoussa marine at night. Paros is famous for its world-renowned marble and the most historic sculptures like the Venus of Milos and Hermes of Praxiteles were made from Parian marble.
This island combines stunning landscapes with a rich tradition in cuisine and crafts. Sifnos has a long tradition in pottery and cooking, as it is the birthplace of Nikos Tselemente, the leading Greek chef of the 20th century. Potters set up their workshops here centuries ago and their ceramics became famous throughout Greece. Visit the island in September to observe the annual Cycladic Gastronomy Festival. Sifnos is an island of opposites that work together and provides a mix of people and lifestyles without losing its balance.
One of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean and the most important of the Dodecanese islands, Rhodes or Rodos, its pronunciation in Greek, has it all. Ancient history, lively nightlife and crystal clear waters for diving lovers. The medieval Old Town that has been declared as a world heritage site still amazes travelers with its castles and museums and brings them back to Byzantine times. The island of the Knights, which is the nickname of Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders in the ancient world that was destroyed by an earthquake 226 BC. Hire a car if you want to explore the island by yourself and don’t miss the chance to see Lindos and Symi islands on a boat trip. The island of the Knights, which is the nickname of Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders in the ancient world that was destroyed by an earthquake 226 BC. Hire a car if you want to explore the island by yourself and don’t miss the chance to see Lindos and Symi islands on a boat trip.
From our list of the most beautiful and must-see islands of Greece, we couldn’t ignore the stunning island of Milos. The island of the Greek goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite is one of the most beautiful places in Greece to spend your summer vacations and for a good reason. Some of the most idyllic beaches in the Cyclades are located on this island. The catacombs of Milos are dated as far as 1st century AD. and together with the pirates’ caves and the abandoned sulfur mine are the top see attractions on the island.
There are so much more amazing islands in the Aegean sea that this list could scale up easily to 50 islands or more. We will include more of them in our future articles cause we want you to come here and explore every hidden spot of this incredible place called Greece. Let us know if you have ever been to Greece? Share with us your thoughts or experiences and feel free to ask any question comes to your mind.
More amazing islands to visit in Greece
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