Greece › Best Islands
by Santorini Dave • Updated: January 2, 2022
The Best Islands in Greece
How do I choose a Greek island?
- Best Greek Island for Honeymoon: Santorini
- Best Greek Island to Party: Mykonos
- Best Greek Island for Couples: Santorini • Paros
- Best Greek Island for Young Couples & Singles: Ios • Mykonos
- Best Greek Island for First Timers: Santorini • Mykonos • Paros • Naxos
- Best Greek Island for Beaches: Naxos • Mykonos • Ios • Crete
- Best Greek Island for Families: Naxos
- Best Greek Island for Teens: Santorini • Mykonos • Paros • Rhodes
- Best Greek Island for History: Crete • Rhodes • Santorini
- Best Greek Island for Hiking: Sifnos • Crete • Folegandros • Santorini • Naxos
- Best Greek Island for Biking: Kos
- Best Greek Island for Luxury: Santorini • Mykonos
- Best Greek Island for Quiet and Solitude: Antiparos • Folegandros • Ikaria • Karpathos
- Best Greek Island for Outdoor Activity: Crete • Santorini
- Best Greek Island for Food: Crete • Folegandros • Santorini • Naxos
- Best Greek Island Cruise: All cruises to the Greek islands are awful – don’t do a Greek Cruise, visit on your own
- Best for Island Hopping: Take Greek Ferries around the Cyclades: Santorini • Naxos • Paros • Ios • Mykonos • Milos
- Book hotels 4 to 8 months in advance: Best Santorini Hotels • Best Mykonos Hotels • Best Crete Hotels • Best Milos Hotels • Best Naxos Hotels • Best Paros Hotels • Best Folegandros Hotels • Best Ios Hotels • Best Rhodes Hotels • Best Kos Hotels • Best Corfu Hotels • Best Athens Hotels
The 5 Best Greek Islands
My favorite island in Greece is Santorini. If you can only visit one island make it Santorini. Loaded with great boat tours, wine tours, fantastic hotels, amazing restaurants, and awesome things to do. Along with Crete, Santorini is the best island in Greece in the winter and shoulder seasons when it still has plenty to do.
The largest Greek island and rich with beaches, historical sites, hikes, traditional villages, small cities, and great tours. So big that if you only have a week it’s good to limit yourself to only this island. If you have two weeks it makes a great pair with Santorini.
The most family-friendly island in Greece is Naxos. Great beaches and the main town is crammed with wonderful tavernas serving some of the best food on the Greek islands. The inland villages are marvelous to explore.
A wonderful mix of the great beaches and villages of Naxos and the nightlife and boutique vibe of Mykonos. This island gets a little more popular every year but is still quiet compared to Santorini and Mykonos.
Greek Islands – Where To Go
Best Greece Vacations
For the best trip to Greece, I recommend visiting Greek islands within the same island group. For example, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Corfu and Santorini on the same trip as they’re on opposite sides of the country. Instead, visit islands in the same island group: the Cyclades (the most popular), the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the Ionian, the Saronic, and the Northeastern Aegean. For one, they’re close to each other. And two, they have frequent ferry connections with other islands within the same group. For first-time visitors to Greece, the Cyclades make the most natural and convenient introduction to the Greek islands. Crete is its only island group and will have good connections to the Cyclades from May to October.
Best Greek Islands To Visit in March, April, October, and November
This is shoulder season. The busiest islands and those with a local population are quieter but still humming with plenty of hotels and restaurants open. Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes are the best Greek islands to visit in the spring and autumn period.
Best Greek Islands To Visit in May, June, and September
The Greek islands have beautiful weather in the months just before and after peak season. It’s a great time to see the islands, save money, avoid the crowds, and still have great weather (though not as hot as July and August). If you want to see the super-popular islands of Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, and Crete without the tourists then this is a great time to visit.
Best Greek Islands To Visit in July and August
The busiest and hottest months. If you like beach parties and packed clubs then Mykonos is the place to be. The less-busy islands (Antiparos, Sifnos, Ikaria, Folegandros, Milos) have short tourist seasons and this is when they’re fully open and running. Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu are in peak-season but all are large enough to retain their charm.
Best Greek Islands To Visit in December, January, and February
Most islands are very quiet in the winter. Crete and Santorini are the best islands as they still have plenty to do even in winter and there are lots of (open) places to stay and eat.
Greek Island FAQ
What is the best time of year to travel to the Greek islands?
June to September are the best months to visit the Greek islands if you’re interested in beaches, hot weather, swimming, sunbathing, and nightlife. If your interests are hiking, exploring, taking tours, and seeing historical sites then April, May, early June, late September, October, and November are the best months.
Which is the most beautiful island in Greece?
Santorini, Crete, and Corfu are widely considered the most beautiful and picturesque Greek islands. But all the islands have their own charms and beauty and every island has its passionate devotees who claim their island is the most beautiful in Greece.
What is the cheapest month to fly to Greece?
December, January, and February are the cheapest months to fly to Greece. They are also the quietest and least touristy months. For a good mix of affordability and good weather the months of April, May, and October have cheap flights and happy tourists.
Which Greek island has the most beautiful beaches?
Naxos, Crete, Mykonos, Ios, and Antiparos have the most beautiful and picturesque beaches with sparkling blue water and long stretches of golden sand.
Which is the prettiest and quietest Greek island? Which Greek island is the least touristy?
Sifnos, Serifos, Folegandros, Ikaria, and Karpathos are all beautiful islands that see far fewer tourists than the popular holiday islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros. Prices for hotels and food are also much cheaper on these quieter islands.
Which is the cheapest Greek island?
Sifnos, Serifos, Syros, Milos, and Folegandros all great prices on hotels and inexpensive places to eat. Santorini and Mykonos are the most expensive islands and should be avoided if you’re on a tight budget.
Do I need shots to go to Greece?
Greece does not require any special vaccinations for visitors from the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, or Singapore. But travelers should make sure they are up to date on all shots usually required in western countries.
Top Travel Sites for the Greek Islands – My Recommendations
Best For Ferries: Ferryhopper.com
The easiest way to book and buy Greek ferry tickets in advance.
Best For Flights: Kayak.com • Skyscanner • Momondo
Kayak is the easiest to use. Skyscanner finds the cheapest rates. Momondo is the best for first and business class tickets.
Best For Renting A Car: Rentalcars.com
Great prices from all the biggest rental companies. Easy to use, safe, and reliable.
Best For Hotels: Booking.com
Awesome rates and great for vacation planning. All price ranges. Luxury hotels, 5-star boutiques, cheap hostels, house and apartment rentals.
Best For Tours: GetYourGuide.com
My favorite for booking tours and private tour guides.
Best for Travel Insurance: InsureMyTrip
Compare costs from over 30 insurance providers.
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