Travel Guide: 10 Most Beautiful Greek Islands

January 8, 2019 0 0

What are the 10 best, most beautiful Greek islands to visit and vacation at? Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong: All the islands in the Mediterranean are breathtaking. However, deciding which one to visit first can be tough. When it comes down to booking a stay, there are a lot of factors to be considered: Are you looking for spectacular views, delicious food, happening nightlife… or all of the above? Fortunately, there’s enough variety to give you plenty of choices, whether you just want to lazily lounge on the beach all day or dance the night away. Where to get started, though? Read on to learn more about some of the best, most beautiful Greek islands and vacations, and we guarantee it’ll help you in your quest to plan the perfect trip.

Santorini

Santorini is one of the most popular and picturesque Greek locales. The cycladic architecture, equipped with pristine white buildings with blue accents and shutters, proves postcard-perfect. There are places to visit that go beyond just the beautiful vistas, however. Check out the Archaeological Museum of Thera or the Museum of Prehistoric Thira to get a dose of Greece’s history and culture, and don’t forget the Santorini Volcano or hot springs as well.

Mykonos

The beaches and village are tranquil during the day, but it’s the nightlife that sets this island apart. It’s popular practice to start the night off at a charming bar in Little Venice, like Galleraki, before the party moves to clubs in the area. Cavo Paradiso is one of the most famous club venues in Mykonos, and usually features DJs playing a lot of EDM. You could also check out Babylon, one of the most popular gay clubs, or @54, an old-school disco. And, if you visit during the summer, don’t forget about the Cine Manto, an outdoor cinema that also features a bar and bistro.

Crete

Not only is Crete the biggest island in Greece, but it’s one of the least expensive ones, too. And it’s on this list of the 10 best, most beautiful Greek islands to vacation and visit at for good reason: The food here is cheaper because it doesn’t have to be shipped in from other places, and there’s no shortage of hotels. The island offers a mix between a beach with views and a trip through the Bronze Age. Make sure to visit Knossos, one of the most famous archaeological sites on Crete, or Spinalonga, a leper colony and historical fortress. If you’re feeling up for some adventure, you could check out Samaria Gorge National Park, which has hiking trails that’ll surely give you a workout.

Rhodes

If you’re looking for sunshine, then Rhodes is where you should be. This Greek isle guarantees more than 300 sunny days a year, making it the perfect place to soak up the sun’s rays particualry in July and August. It still retains some of its inherent charm despite being a popular tourist destination, in addition to housing some pretty spectacular historic sites. Aside from the beach, attractions include the Palace of the Grand Masters or Town Walls, which showcase medieval architecture, the Archaeological Museum, or the Suleyman Mosque.

Corfu

This island is quieter and more laid-back than the rest of the islands, making it a good place for a family-friendly vacation. Since it’s been colonized by many different foreign powers over the years, Corfu is one of the richest areas in Greece when it comes to multiculturalism. Visit Corfu Old Town and check out restaurants like Taverna Gylfa or Venetian Well, and then you can browse through the shops that line the streets. There are antique stores, like Icon Gallery, galleries like Kaliston Art, and novelty stores like Hippopots or Corfu Ceramics.

Hydra

Hydra is one of the most environmentally-friendly islands in Greece, so if you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, you’ve got it. There are barely any cars here, as donkeys do most of the hard labor, and the island has been construction free since it was deemed an archaeological reserve. So, escape the big city and try your luck out on the sea. In Hydra, you’ll find plenty of yacht parties, seafood platters, and bouzouki music. Ride a horse or donkey along the beach, visit decadent churches like the Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary to see some architecture, or climb the Bastions for an unforgettable view of the Aegean sea.

Andros

Vacationing at Andros doesn’t involve sitting around. The island is covered in mountainous terrain perfect for hiking, some even stretching as long as five hours. Check out trails through the town of Chora, Vourkoti, or Ano Aprovato. You could also check out the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the famous Faro Tourlitis, a lighthouse just off the coast.

Paros

If nightlife is one of your main draws for a vacation spot, then you’ll definitely be happy in Paros. It’s is less crowded than Mykonos, but on-par to its party scene. Check out clubs like Down Under, Galea, Saloon Dor, or Island to dance the night away with some Greeks. During the day, you can partake in beach hopping to explore the sandy terrain of the island, and popular activities like kitesurfing and windsurfing will keep you occupied.

Kefalonia

There are no luxurious yacht parties at Kefalonia, but you will find down-to-earth locals and a “come as you are” vibe that is unmatched by any of the other Greek islands. Plus, the wine here can’t be beat. Don’t leave this place without checking out the Robola Winery, which features wine grown in local vineyards and grapes picked directly from the Robola Zone. You can also visit the Ainos National Park to spot some wild horses, or explore the Paliki Peninsula.

Naxos

Naxos is as rural as it gets. Life here moves slow in the best way possible. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the sites, and check out the food that includes cured meats and specialty cheese. Relax on the beach, and then you can take a look at some of the ruins, like the Temple of Demeter. You should also definitely visit the Portara, which is all that’s left of the Temple of Apollo. If you’re looking to take things up a notch, you can also rent an ATV and take a tour of the island – it offers no shortage of Instagram-ready photo opportunities and breathtaking spots to see.

Cheat Sheet

Ready for your next island getaway? Discover more about the 10 best, most beautiful Greek islands to vacation and visit at via the links below:

Tags: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel Categories: Culture, Top 10 Guides, Travel
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Christina Elia

Assistant editor Christina Elia is currently pursuing her BA in Art History Communications at Fordham University, and writes about various topics ranging from arts and culture to practical tips and how-to advice. She has been published on online platforms such as The Odyssey. You can follow her on Twitter via @stinaelia

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