6 of the Best Greek Islands

The numerous exotic and unique Greek islands attract millions of tourists every year. With an estimated total number of islands between 6000 and 12000 the task of choosing the next holiday destination can be a lot more difficult than expected. Although one might have a certain picture of a typical Greek island, you’ll be surprised to realise that all of them have their own character – some are bursting with greenery, others rather rocky and volcanic. Check out the following selection of islands to see which ones match best your expectations of an ideal holiday in Greece.

 

For Party Animals – Mykonos
red boat on a beach
Flickr: ionandr

Known as a cosmopolitan destination among visitors, Mykonos is a mix between Ibiza and Capri. Whether it’s sun-seekers, fashionistas or wannabees – you can find them all chilling out and spending huge amounts of cash on this beautiful island. But who cares about money? They all come because Mykonos offers the best beaches and a pumping nightlife. If you want to have a quiet time though, avoid main beaches and go to Kalafakis for surfing and diving. Have a walk through the tiny streets with beautiful cubist houses of Mykonos Town and enjoy a breathtaking view of sun falling over the eccentric island.

 

For the Best Scenery – Santorini
Flickr: HBarrison
Flickr: HBarrison

If there is an island you should visit in Greece, then it is the picturesque Santorini. As a part of the Cyclades group of the Greek Islands, Santorini is well known for its dramatic landscapes, spectacular sunsets and majestic active volcano. A trip to a romantic village Oia with its charming white houses scattered in front of the dark volcano cliffs should be the #1 thing in your to-do list. For an unusual experience go swimming at one of the island’s beaches known for their black volcanic sand. It’s incredible.

 

Best for a Cultural Mix – Corfu
colourful houses against blue sea
Flickr: drdad

The island is the second largest among the Ionian Islands and has been in numerous battles in the past. You can find lots of castles pointing from different locations – a sign of Corfu’s attempts to protect the citizens. Don’t be surprised to come to Corfu and find the locals playing Cricket and drinking… ginger ale. Their British conquerers left tracks through Corfu’s traditions. No wonder the island is particularly popular among the Brits who love swimming in its crystal clear waters or who enjoy the numerous attractions offered there. Whether you’re looking for a cultural enrichment, quiet relaxation or party time – the island, shaped by Byzantine history and Greek mythology, has it all.

 

Best for Outdoor Activities – Crete
mist between green mountains
Flickr: @Doug88888

Crete, the largest of all the Greek islands, is a popular holiday destination for people from all over the world. From its flower-covered landscapes to imposing mountains and unspoiled hidden beaches the island doesn’t stop impressing both tourists and residents with its stunning beauty. The contrasting landscapes offer a huge range of sports activities, such as hiking, climbing or swimming. If you’re not too keen on an active holiday, then there’s an array of historical and archaeological sites to bring to your attention. Some of them date back to Minoan civilization and will fill you in on the mystical facts of Greeks fascinating history.

 

For History Lovers – Rhodes
arches with red flowers
Flickr: Chris Ruggles

If you are a history and culture enthusiast, then you should definitely visit Rhodes, one of the first holiday destinations in Greece. Being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes, this island stands out with its amazing medieval atmosphere. Walk around the treasures of Old Town and discover the grandeur of its historic sites. Due to its close proximity to Turkey, Rhodes has lots of cultural influence from this country reflected in food, music and traditions.

 

For Nature Enthusiasts – Skiathos
view on sea and islands
Flickr: cmgramse

Lush green pines, beautiful sandy beaches and a remarkable wildlife are the features of this magical island. Skiathos is located to the North and has the most stunning spots to visit. To enjoy a refreshing day out choose Koukounaries beach, one of the prettiest in the whole country. Walk through the idyllic village of Hora or visit some of Skiathos’ attractions. Numerous medieval castles, impressive Byztanine churches and archaeological museums provide a great list to choose from.