When I think of Greek islands, I think of endless summer, Mediterranean flowers, alfresco dining and happy days spent at the beach. Out of the 6,000 islands scattered among the Aegean and Ionian seas, 227 are inhabited. Whether you’re after serene sunsets, decadent parties or beautiful beaches, this guide will help you find the perfect island for you.
Best Greek island for: glamorous nightlife, house music and luxury hotels
Mykonos is the sophisticated party-island of Greece, where the supermodels and the superyachts of the world come together to dance the night away and drink under the stars. Wander its white-walled alleyways and visit the famous 16th century windmills. Expect bohemian chic, glam restaurants, world-famous DJs and all day pool parties.
Best Greek island for: honeymooners, breathtaking sunsets and panoramic views
The most romantic Greek island by far, Santorini is home to world-renowned sunsets and dramatically beautiful scenery – with jet black beaches, whitewash cubiform houses, vertiginous cliffs and deep blue ocean. Expect exceptional restaurants, rolling vineyards and photo opportunities…everywhere.
Last year, my boyfriend and I visited Santorini for our anniversary. Read about our stay and what we’d recommend doing.
Best Greek island for: laid-back family holidays, pretty villages and lazy beach days
Kefalonia is the poster child for classically-beautiful Greece, with dramatic scenery, milky-white, pine-fringed beaches and quaint little villages. Marked by sandy coves and dry rugged landscapes, Kefalonia’s coastline is made up of limestone cliffs and electric blue water ideal for snorkelling. Expect photogenic charm and sublime beaches.
Best Greek island for: colourful fishing ports, rugged coves and understated glamour
Symi, home to the prettiest ports in Greece, makes for the perfect afternoon walk with plenty of local fish restaurants and tavernas to explore. With its laid-back glamour, luminous sea and tropical-esque coves, Symi is a real life picture-postcard. Expect ravishing beaches, neoclassical mansions in every shade of apricot and amazing seafood.
Best Greek island for: long sandy beaches, adventure and ancient ruins
The west coast of Naxos is fringed with mile after mile of powdery white sand beaches, shallow turquoise waters and beach bars. As you head south, the beaches become a hive of water-sporting and adventure. However, hidden in the surrounding hills you’ll find dozens of sleepy villages and ancient ruins to explore. Expect long stretches of beach and a rich history.
Best Greek island for: traditional villages, exceptional food and total relaxation
Tinos takes its food culture seriously, there’s even a festival for artichokes! With more than 50 villages, Tinos remains miraculously untouched – discover traditional restaurants, sandy bays and solitary chapels. The magical island of Tinos offers complete relaxation and abundant natural beauty. Expect authentic and delicious food, charming harbour views and total calm.
The beautiful, sunshine islands of Greece are like no others in the world. I hope this guide of my personal favourites has helped you decide on the perfect island for you. For more information, take a look at my travel tips or read more of my posts about Greece.