16 Best Greek Islands to Visit | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Natasha, a travel enthusiast who loves exploring the beauty and culture of different Greek islands. Join me as I share my favorite experiences and hidden gems from my recent adventures in these stunning destinations.

Parga, Greece

Greece is known for its stunning islands and sandy beaches, each with their own unique charm and character.

From the quintessential Greek island of Santorini to the gorgeous beaches of Zakynthos, there is an island to suit every traveler's taste.

In this article, the Travel-Lingual team will explore 16 of the best Greek islands to visit, each with its own highlights and attractions.

Get ready to visit many beaches of the Aegean and Ionian Seas, and discover the magic of all the Greek islands.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Domes Noruz Chania.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Ideal climate: Spring and autumn, avoid tourist peak.

Average Temperature

Mild summers, cool winters, pleasant climate overall.

Transportation Options

Taxis, buses, ferries, trams, trains, rental cars

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

My recommendation for spending time in Athens, Greece would be to visit the iconic Acropolis, where you can immerse yourself in ancient history and marvel at the magnificent Parthenon.

For a more laid-back experience, head to the charming island of Santorini, where you can soak up the breathtaking views of the caldera while indulging in delicious local cuisine and exploring the picturesque white-washed villages.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Travel Insurance
  3. Comfortable walking shoes

What Not to Miss

  1. Acropolis and Parthenon
  2. Santorini's breathtaking sunsets
  3. Exploring the historic streets of Athens
  4. Delphi's ancient ruins
  5. Relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Mykonos

What to Avoid

  1. Overcrowded tourist areas
  2. Scams and pickpocketing
  3. Drinking tap water

1. Santorini - One of the Most Romantic Cycladic Islands

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, one of the most stunning Cycladic islands in Greece, is a crescent-shaped volcanic island located in the southern Aegean Sea. Furthermore, it is one of the best Greek islands to visit.

Nature lovers can take a day trip to explore the nearby islands and the sea caves by boat, scuba diving, or sea kayaking.

This Greek island is also an ideal destination for history buffs, with ancient ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visitors can also choose from many beach bars and a boat tour or boat trip for a complete island experience.

Santorini is just one of the many great islands in Greece to visit, but with its stunning sandy beaches and traditional villages.

Lastly, this Greek Island, in its peak season, is one of the busiest Greek islands to visit.

2. Mykonos - A Glamorous Cycladic Island

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos is a glamorous and cosmopolitan ancient city island known for its beautiful sandy beaches, luxury resorts, and lively nightlife.

It is located in the heart of the Aegean Sea and it is one of the best Greek islands to visit.

Visitors to Mykonos can explore its beautiful beaches, including Paradise Beach, Super Paradise Beach, and Psarou Beach, all of which offer crystal-clear waters and sandy shores.

It is among the Greek islands that allow visitors the opportunity to explore its beautiful whitewashed villages, including Mykonos Town, which is home to many shops, cafes, and restaurants.

3. Crete - The Largest Greek Island

Crete, Greece

Crete, the largest island in Greece located in the southern Aegean Sea, is a diverse destination that boasts stunning beaches like Elafonisi, Balos, and Falassarna, with crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches.

The island's capital city of Heraklion is a historical treasure trove with ancient ruins and museums waiting to be explored.

In addition to its beaches and cities, Crete also offers visitors a glimpse of traditional village life and the opportunity to experience sea kayaking, scuba diving, and boat tours to nearby islands. Consequently, making Crete one of the best Greek Islands to visit.

4. Corfu - A Party Island with a Venetian Past

Corfu, Greece

Corfu, an Ionian island located off the northwest coast of Greece, is a beautiful destination to explore. This Greek island is arguably the cheapest Greek island to visit.

Its stunning beaches, including Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, and Agios Georgios, offer clear waters and golden sands.

Visitors can also enjoy the island's charming villages, such as Corfu Town, which boasts numerous museums, shops, and restaurants.

However, you will also find some of the best bars in Greece on this Greek island.

While there are many other Greek islands to visit, the natural beauty, pristine beaches, and historical landmarks of Corfu (Town) make it one of the best Greek Islands to visit for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

5. Zakynthos - An Ionian Island with Pristine Beaches

Zakynthos, Greece

Zakynthos, a famous Island situated in the Ionian Sea, is famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich marine life.

Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach, with its stunning scenery, is a must-visit location for beach lovers.

Zakynthos is a great destination for nature lovers, with its vast array of flora and fauna.

The Blue Caves, a network of sea caves, and Navagio Beach can be explored by a boat tour and offer a unique opportunity to witness Zakynthos' beauty from a different perspective.

6. Rhodes - A Dodecanese Island with Ancient History

Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes is a paradisiacal Dodecanese Island nestled in the idyllic southeastern Aegean Sea.

This picturesque island is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, historical landmarks, and natural beauty that offer tourists a perfect blend of history and nature.

Rhodes is home to a well-preserved medieval Old Town and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Additionally, it is one of the best Greek Islands to visit.

Visitors to Rhodes can enjoy exploring the Acropolis of Lindos, the Temple of Apollo, and the Ancient Stadium, which provide a fascinating glimpse into the island's ancient past, through a boat tour on a day trip.

7. Skiathos - One of The Remote Ionian Islands on the Ionian Sea

Skiathos, Greece

Skiathos, a Sporades Island situated in the northwestern Aegean Sea, is known for its picturesque beaches and stunning natural beauty.

Koukounaries, one of the most famous beaches in Skiathos Old Town, has clear waters and golden sand, making it a great destination for sunbathing and swimming.

Visitors can also explore the island's natural beauty by hiking through the lush green forested areas or taking a boat trip.

8. Naxos - One of the Cheapest Greek Islands With Picturesque Villages

Naxos, Greece

Naxos is a national park situated in the Aegean Sea. This national park is the largest and greenest island in the Cyclades.

The island boasts a unique combination of many beaches and picturesque villages.

Naxos is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Cyclades, such as Agios Prokopios and Plaka, which offer shipwreck beaches and golden sand.

For those interested in history, a day trip to Portara, an ancient temple dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, is a must-visit site.

9. Paros - A Famous Island with Traditional Charm

Paros, Greece

Paros is a picturesque island that offers visitors a traditional Greek island experience.

Paros is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, such as Golden Beach and Santa Maria Beach. You can take a day trip on a boat tour for a great island experience, alongside water sports activities and much more on the island's northwest coast.

The island is also famous for its marble quarries, which have been producing high-quality marble since ancient times.

10. Milos - A Great Island with Volcanic Landscapes

Milos, Greece

Milos is a volcanic island in the Cyclades. This Greek Island offers a unique landscape shaped by its volcanic history.

This Greek island boasts some of the best beaches and hot springs, such as Sarakiniko and Firiplaka, known for their unique rock formations and turquoise waters, of all the Greek isles.

On this picturesque island, visitors can also explore the Fishing Village of Klima. Additionally, visitors can take a day trip to the Venetian Castle of Milos, and the Arkoudes, natural rock formations that resemble bears.

The island's hot springs offer ideal opportunities for rejuvenation and relaxation, while it's fantastic scuba diving sites are perfect for adventure seekers.

11. Hydra - A Nearby Island with Timeless Beauty

Hydra, Greece

Hydra is a charming and traditional Greek island located in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens.

It's one of the best Greek islands to visit if you want to experience the authentic beauty of Greece without the crowds of mass tourism.

Hydra's beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Aegean Sea, with crystal-clear waters and peaceful surroundings. Thus, among the best Greek islands to visit.

Bisti Beach and Vlychos Beach are just two spectacular beaches on the island. You will find many more on this remote island.

12. Symi - A Dodecanese Island with a Quaint Harbor

Symi, Greece

Symi is a tiny island situated in the southeastern Aegean Sea, is a destination that offers a perfect combination of history and relaxation.

Visitors can explore the island's many secluded beaches and coves by boat or on foot, taking in the spectacular beaches and picturesque landscapes.

Symi is also home to the Monastery of the Archangel Michael, a historical and religious landmark that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

With its unique charm and peaceful atmosphere, Symi is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Greek islands.

13. Ios - A Quiet Greek Island with a Party Vibe

Ios, Greece

Ios is one of the best Greek islands for young travelers seeking vibrant nightlife and an unforgettable party experience.

This small island offers a plethora of bars and clubs that cater to all tastes, making it the ultimate party island in Greece.

During the day, visitors can relax on the island's beautiful beaches, such as Mylopotas Beach and Manganari Beach, which boast sandy beaches and clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere.

Ios is also famous for the Tomb of Homer, which is believed to be the final resting place of the renowned ancient Greek poet.

Despite its small size, Ios offers a diverse range of activities and attractions, making it one of the most stunning and exciting Greek islands to visit.

14. Samos - A Dodecanese Remote Island

Samos, Greece

Samos is one of the best Greek islands to visit, located in the eastern Aegean Sea and part of the Dodecanese islands.

This stunning Greek island is covered in lush forests and features a rugged coastline with some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, including Tsamadou Beach and Potami Beach.

Samos is also famous for its wine production, with vineyards for visitors to explore and local varieties to taste.

For history buffs, the island is home to the Heraion, one of the largest ancient temples in Greece dedicated to the goddess Hera.

Samos is an ideal destination for people who are looking for gorgeous beaches and offers a perfect blend of history and beauty.

15. Lefkada - An Ionian Island with Secluded Beaches

Lefkada, Greece

Lefkada is a stunning island in the Ionian Sea known for its crystal-clear waters and secluded beaches.

With its rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs, the island is a paradise for adventure seekers and people who love beach bars.

Porto Katsiki and Egremni Beach are two of the most popular beaches on the island, with their white sands and turquoise waters attracting visitors from all over the world.

The island is also known for its traditional villages, such as Sivota and Agios Nikitas, where people who come on vacation can experience the authentic Greek way of life and sample local cuisine.

16. Folegandros - A Cycladic Island with a Slow-Paced Lifestyle

Folegandros, Greece

Folegandros, a charming small island in the Cyclades, offers visitors a slow-paced, laid-back lifestyle.

With stunning views of mainland Greece, visitors can also explore the medieval castle in town.

Folegandros is an excellent option for a relaxing getaway with a taste of traditional Greek island life and has one of the best beaches. You can take a boat trip to other Cyclades islands.


Below are some frequently asked questions about the best Greek islands to visit.

What is the nicest Greek island to visit?

The nicest Greek island to visit is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Santorini is often considered the most romantic Greek island, with its iconic white-washed buildings and stunning caldera views. Mykonos is known for its glamorous nightlife and luxurious atmosphere, while Crete is the largest Greek island with diverse activities and sights. Other popular islands include Corfu with its Venetian past, Venetian Castle, and Ionian beauty, Zakynthos for its pristine beaches, and Rhodes for its ancient history.

What is the prettiest Greek island?

Many people consider Santorini to be the prettiest Greek island due to its unique architecture. However, other Greek islands such as Milos with its volcanic landscapes, Hydra with its timeless beauty, and Skiathos Old Town with its gorgeous beaches are also considered to be some of the prettiest Greek islands.

How do I choose which Greek island to visit?

Choosing the best Greek island can be tough. Consider your preferences, time of year, accessibility, and cost. Look for all the Greek islands with historical sites and activities like scuba diving, boat tours, and sea kayaking; check out fantastic beaches like Navagio Beach and Paradise Beach, as well as UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Venetian Castle; there are many Greek islands to visit include the Ionian Islands, Cyclades Islands, and Dodecanese Islands; and Avoid mass tourism and high prices by checking out smaller, remote islands like those in the Sporades Islands.

What are the 5 famous Greek islands?

The best Greek islands to visit include Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu. Each island offers unique attractions such as gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, traditional villages, and more.

Summing Up: 16 Best Greek Islands to Visit

The Greek Islands offer stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture from the central east coast to the west coast.

From romantic Santorini to glamorous Mykonos Town, from Crete to Corfu with a Venetian past, and from the fantastic beaches of Lefkada to the slow-paced lifestyle of Folegandros, Greek islands have something for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Greece today and experience the beauty and charm of these amazing islands for yourself.