The Best Greek Islands

Updated: September 22, 2017

What are the Best Greek Islands?

Greek Islands – When To Go

Best Greek Islands in March, April, October, and November

This is shoulder season. The busiest islands and those with a local population are quieter but still humming along 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 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 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 tourists 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 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.

The 10 Best Greek Islands

The best greek island for a honeymoon is Santorini.
The most romantic greek island and the best one for a honeymoon is Santorini (Mykonos is great if you want more nightlife). This is the Cave House Suite at Keti Hotel in Fira – one of the most private and romantic suites in Santorini.

The best greek island for clubs and nightlife is Mykonos.

Mykonos has the best nightlife and club scene of any greek island. It usually starts with dinner and drinks by the water and then hit the clubs in Mykonos Town (or a beach party at Paradise Beach).

Old Town in Rhodes.

Rhodes is one of the best islands for historical sightseeing (Crete, Naxos, and Santorini are also great). This is the main entrance of the famous Knights Grand Master Palace (also known as Castello) in Rhodes Town, a must-visit museum. 

The best greek island for scenery and natural beauty.

Santorini and Milos are two of the most beautiful islands in Greece and have a similar other-worldly feel. This is the fishing village of Firopotamos on Milos.

The best greek island for beaches is Ios.

The greek islands are loaded with great beaches. Some of the best are on Naxos, Crete, and Ios. This is Mylopotas beach on Ios.

The best greek islands for island hopping are Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Ios, and Mykonos.

Island hopping by ferry is one of the highlights of the Greek islands. Sitting on the deck of a ferry and watching the islands pass by until you arrive at your destination.

The best greek island for walks and hiking.

Folegandros is the best greek island for hiking – great paths all around this beautiful island.

The best greek island for food is Crete.

All the greek islands have great food and restaurants. This is a gyros plate from a restaurant in Crete.

The best greek island for families is Naxos.

Naxos is a wonderful family destination. Great beaches, a relaxed vibe, cheap hotels (and luxury ones too), and there’s even a water park.

The best greek island for families with teens is Paros.

Paros is also a great island for families and it’s got a bit more shopping and activity for teens – and nightlife for older family members.

See Also



46 Questions and Comments

  1. Greek Island Itinerary

    Hello Dave, great and very informing web page. Added to my favorite pages.
    We are a couple with an average age of early mid 30s and we prefer calm places. We like nature, old/authentic cities, swimming and snorkelling. Also we like nice restaurants, calm and remote places.
    Next year, between 18-26 August we plan to visit Greek Islands and my father wants to come with us:)
    Our alternatives are: 1st alternative: Santorini 2 nights, Naxos 2 nights, Amorgos 3 nights, Naxos 1 night, 2nd alternative: Santorini 2 nights, 3 nights Ios, 3 nights Naxos, 3rd alternative: although irrelevant to the other alternatives Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos:) which alternative do you suggest? Amorgos or Ios?
    We will be very happy if you can give an idea, we know that all the Greek Islands are very beautiful, thus it is hard to make a decision:(
    Thank you for your help:)

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      In favor of the Ios itinerary is that the 1st alternative seems a little busy and rushed. In favor of the Amorgos itinerary is that you’re visiting during the peak of the high season and Ios and Naxos will be very busy, Amorgos less so. I’d let those two criteria guide what you decide.

  2. What Greek Islands?

    Hi Dave,
    I used this guide last year to plan my first ever trip to Greece and it was amazing, so amazing that I have to go back!
    Both my partner and I are 32. My itinerary last year was:
    – 2 nights Athens, 6 nights in Naoussa (Stayed in Kallisti, couldn’t recommend highly enough)
    – 3 nights in Santorini (Blue Mills Suites)
    – 5 nights in Naxos (Nissaki beach hotel, also amazing). BTW my favourite was probably Paros!

    So, what should I do this year? My thoughts:
    – Fly into Chania in Crete – Stay 4 days there in Casa Delfino then move to
    – Agios Nikolaos or Elounda for 3-4 nights. Which area is nicer and what hotels should I stay in?
    – Then I’m thinking of taking the ferry to Mykonos and staying in Mykonos town for 3 nights. Up for a party and chillout on a few expensive beaches!
    – Any advice on where to go after for around 5 nights? Back to Naxos (we didn’t really move from the town last year unlike in Paros where we rented a car and saw the whole island)? What about Folegandros? Tinos? Milos? We would like somewhere with a nice town to walk around, upmarket, more couple less family, nice bars and things to see during the day bit also nice beaches etc?

    What do you think of the itinerary and choices?
    Note: If you would swap Crete or Mykonos with other islands I would be open to that too!
    Thanks so much,
    Stephen

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Chania is a great choice. A wonderful charming town. Elounda is great for a quiet laid back stop, Agios Nikolaos has a more interesting vibe and is more of a real town. Also very charming. I prefer Ag Nik but Elounda has more luxurious hotels. (Crete hotels.) Naxos has lots to see in the interior so if you didn’t explore then certainly consider that. Folegandros and Milos are both incredible. Folegandros is more suited to walking and relaxing (and has some top notch restaurants and hotels). On Milos you need to do a tour and get out and actively explore to do it justice. Geologically Milos is stunning. A little like Santorini but with better beaches.

  3. Greek Islands in Late September

    Hi! I have fallen in love with the cyklades and have visited Santorini, Ios, Naxos and Folegandros in late june. Folegandros was the best, a fantastic island. We are now thinking about going to Paros the last week in September. Naoussa seem to be a great place. What’s the weather like in late September? Is it still quite warm? I also wonder about the sea conditions. May the sea be rough at that time of the year? I don’t like wavy ferry rides 😨 Thank you for a good sight!
    Ulrika, Sweden

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Weather is usually great in late September. Still warm, water is beautiful. See is often rougher in August when the wind can blow hard from the north.

  4. Greek Island with Nightlife for Twentysomethings

    Hi Dave,

    I’m hoping you can help myself and a friend decide where to go. We are hoping to go away around mid August for 10 days-2 weeks. We’re looking for a sunny place and beaches to tan and relax during the day, with some big nightlife and a good strip (the odd daytime activity maybe too). However we are in mid 20s so want to go somewhere with the same age group or older. I’ve been to Zante and although it was super fun at the time (I was about 18) and loved having the strip etc, just don’t want to be the older people there anymore! Money is also fairly tight, so nothing too expensive (was thinking santorini maybe before hearing the price along with it).

    Any recommendation(s) would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks 🙂
    Sorcha

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Paros is what you want.

  5. Which Greek Island in August

    Hello Dave,

    My wife and I are trying to find out which island is best, we are traveling with a newborn, and we are looking for beautiful white sand beaches, cozy and classic greek towns and stay in a hip hotel, also hip restaurants would be a plus.
    I understand that August is a popular month but also trying to stay away from crazy overcrowded islands.
    Do you think is possible to find all in one island?

    best,

    Fede Saenz

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I think Naxos would be the best island for you: incredible beaches, wonderful villages, great restaurants, and some very good hotels (though I don’t think I’d go so far as to call them hip – but nice, for sure). The farther south you go from Naxos Town the quieter the beaches get – so keep going to find the balance you prefer. If you want an island with a little more hip but beaches not quite as perfect then try Paros. If you want to err on the quieter and idyllic side then Antiparos or Ikaria.

  6. Athens, Paros, and Santorini

    Hi Dave,

    my husband and I arrive in Athens this coming Sunday and fly home the following Sunday. Trying to make the most of our short stay and based on your recommendation we are choosing to tour Athens on the front end of our trip, then Ferry to Paros and then Santorini.

    Is two nights in Athens enough? That would leave us one full day of touring the Plaka. Which Island would you recommend staying 3 nights, Paros or Santorini?

    Many thanks for your great site!

    Rebecca McLean

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      One full day in Athens is perfect and enough time for most visitors (just try to pack in as much as you can and definitely get up to the Acropolis). I’d spend longer on Santorini than on Paros.

  7. Crete for 2 Days at End of Trip

    Hi Dave ! Your website is simply amazing and has answered most of my questions thus far. (Basically used your website and information to plan 90% of our trip)!
    My sister (32 years young) and myself (28 years young) are traveling to Greece from 22nd Aug – 6th Sept 2017. This will be the first visit for my sister and my second visit so I am trying to show her my favourite places as well as visit new ones myself (i have only ever been to mykonos and santorini). Our trip starts in Athens for 2 days, Mykonos for 6 days, Santorini for 5 days and leaving us with 3 days to spare at the end of the trip. (4th Sept – 7th Sept) We fly out of Athens in the am on the 7th Sept so need to be back in Athens prior to this.
    Question: Is it worth taking the evening ferry on the 4th Sep to Crete (Heraklion) from Santorini, then the bus onto Chania so that we can do the Samaria Gorge on the 5th? Spending the full day in Chania on the 6th and taking the last flight out of Chania that night back to Athens? (or do you think this is trying to squeeze in too much in too little time)?
    Alternatively we are looking at going to Elafonissi Beach instead of the Gorge… but are not sure what will be more our while!!
    Basically we just want to see the best bits in a VERY small window…. so if you have any other recommendation as to what we can do with these 2-3 days would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s doable and probably worth it. But it would be easier and more practical to use those 2/3 days with a stop in Naxos or Paros on the way between Mykonos and Santorini.

  8. Greece Itinerary for 10 Day Trip

    Hi dave – very cool and informative site! We’re a family of 6 (all adults) traveling to Greece for the first time…and most likely the last time. We’d like to visit some historic sites, but more interested in experiencing Greek life in small towns. Beaches and nightlife are not important. I’m looking to put together a balanced itinerary covering 10 days (11 nights) and had the following in mind:

    2 days (3 nights) road trip to include Delphi, Kardamyli, Monemvasia, Nafplio.
    2 days (2 nights) Hydra
    2 days (2 nights) Santorini
    1 day (1 night) Naxos
    3 days (3 nights) Athens

    Any suggestions? I’m not stuck on this, so feel free to make recommendations.

    Thanks
    Kobus

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Looks great. I’m partial to Santorini so would recommend a day more there (and cut one day from Athens). But otherwise, should be a great trip.

  9. 10 to 12 Days in Greece

    Hello! Our family has traveled to a few Greek destinations on a cruise – Corfu, Kefallonia, and Santorini several years (and three kids) ago. We are coming back to celebrate a (big) birthday in September. We have four kids, from 14 months to 8 years, all of whom will travel with us. We are aiming for 10-12 days. We are mulling over:
    – Santorini – luxury hotel for 2-3 nights (Perivolas/Katikies or similar)
    – Crete – 5-6 days, Chania, Agios Nikolaos, Elafonissi Beach worth it?
    – Naxos – this trip or maybe next, Agios Prokopis, Agios Anna, Plaka Beach, Naxos Town
    – Skopelos – have seen it is a bit under the radar but being lauded as one of the world’s best islands and have not seen much on it here. Skopelos Town, Paralia Stafilos, Mamma Mia sights…Thoughts?
    – Hydra – it’s close to Athens, and looks lovely, but is it worth the stop with the kids? May skip for another trip.

    We really want beautiful beaches, scenic seaside towns, great food, and once we get there, easy. I don’t mind a little schlepping, as it is part of the adventure. Also, I get really seasick every time I take a ferry or whale watching boat in the Pacific and am curious about that in the Mediterranean in September.

    How would you route us, given we would like to stay put a few days in the beginning to get over the time difference? I would like to do Santorini toward the end, but have some beach time right after. Thank you for being a great resource!

    Alicia

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      You’ve obviously given serious thought to your schedule and it looks good, but given your relatively compressed timeframe, it might be difficult to fit it all in. Travelling between destinations really eats into your down time. Carrying kids along adds to the pleasure, but also slows down movements. So, what’s best?

      Crete, Santorini, and Naxos look quite doable within the 12-day block, but Crete’s beaches are scattered throughout a very LARGE island, Santorini really only has Kamari and Perissá (and some southern coast bays) and Naxos does have nice places to swim. If you choose only to visit those three islands in your relatively short time, you will do well.

      You’d probably really want to stick to Chania (Platanias/Agia Marina) for your Crete stint, with a day trip to the very worth-it Elafonisi Beach. Kids will work well in this area and if you don’t mind schlepping a tad, you’ll do well.

      Be cautious with Santorini and kids. Some hotels don’t do kids (check carefully) and not all hotels are suitable for kids along the caldera lip. Many steps, confined spaces and other guests who don’t actually want to hear kids … Here’s an idea – look for a child-friendly hotel (perhaps on the beach at Perissá) and base yourself where the kids will like it and then take them to the caldera scene. There are a couple of child-friendly hotels on the Caldera, but they get booked very early in the year.

      Looking at the wildcards Hydra and more so, Skopelos … you will have quite challenging logistical issues in weaving Skopelos into the mix. Great island – Mamma Mia and all that – but no airport and only serious boat connections with the land port of Volos … It warrants a separate trip.

      Hydra is an easy add-on to Athens, but only if you have the free days and you will want at least two nights. It’s a very walkable place (no cars) – or take a horse and cart – but not a beach destination. If you have a spare day in Athens, take the local ferry to Angistri for a great day on the beach.

      Ferries in September? The big winds are usually over and it’s commonly smooth sailing, so no worries on that score. The Mediterranean is not the Pacific 😉

  10. Crete, Santorini, or Both?

    Good evening Dave

    We are a family of 4 adults (ages early 50’s and early 20’s). Will have 6 nights in the Greek islands. We originally planned to stay all 6 nights in Firostefani on Santorini. However, Crete is appealing given our interests below and typical day (see below).

    THE ASK:
    Given this is our first visit to the Greek islands, for 6 nights, our interests and our typical day on holiday, what would you recommend?

    1. Stay all 6 nights on a single island – 6 nights Santorini or 6 nights Crete (with day trip to either island)?
    2. Split time between the two islands? If so, what is your recommended split between Santorini and Crete?

    Our interests:
    Natural sights and wonders
    Culture (food, drink/wine, meeting/talking with locals)
    Historical & Archeological Sites & Stories
    Daily quiet R&R time at pool or beach

    Our preferred activities:
    Pool & Beach (incl snorkeling/diving, swimming, water sports)
    Hiking, Biking, & Scooters
    Visiting historical/archeology sites, quintessential local towns/views, and vineyards

    Typical day on holiday:
    Rise and 1hr workout @ 7:30am
    Coffee, danish, relax & catch up on news and social media
    AM Activity for 1-2 hrs (pool, beach, hike, scooters, boat tour, archeological sites)
    Lunch – onsite or off-site while window shopping at a quintessential town
    Pool or Beach for 1-2 hours (including nap/book reading time) or planned activity
    Unstructured time until dinner
    Dinner around 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM with spectacular sunset view
    Nightlife for 1-2 hrs

    Darryl Miclat

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      It’s a tough call. The good news is that whatever you decide, it will feel like the right thing after you’ve done it. You’ll almost certainly say to yourself, “I’m so glad we saw both islands” or “I’m so glad we had 6 full days on Santorini.” In deciding I would ask whether a return trip to Greece is likely or possible in the next couple of years. If so, then spend your 6 days on Santorini and explore that island, then return to Crete at some time in the future for a deserving 7 to 10 days. But if this is a one-time deal for the foreseeable future then do 3 days on Santorini and 3 days in Crete. (Whatever you decide don’t do a day trip to the other island as it’s not worth the time and effort.)

  11. Where To Go for Greek Honeymoon

    Hi Dave,

    My fiancé and I are interested in the Greek Islands for our honeymoon in early August. I know it’s not the ideal time to go, but it’s right after our wedding. We are two women in our late thirties. We’d fly into Athens and then I was thinking Santorini for 4 nights and then possibly one other island. We’re into the beach, snorkeling/boat trip, maybe a hike or bike ride and amazing food. We’re not interested in the party scene, but definitely want to explore amazing restaurants. You know, the perfect amount of romance and relaxation combined with culture and epic scenery. Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    Cheers,
    Sam

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, Santorini for sure. Other good choices would be Naxos (good hikes, traditional food), Paros (trendy nightlife and restaurants), and Milos (very cool boat trips around the island).

  12. Is Corfu a Good Island to Visit?

    Hi Dave, you truly do offer and insanely helpful guide to Greece. Thank you so much for doing that, I know it’s super hard work to keep up with responding to people! You do it very well.

    I’m sorry if you covered this in another part of your site, (either I’m technically challenged or there just isn’t a search function for your site) but I’m curious about Corfu. From what I can tell, you mentioned it once in your site under your post about best beaches. The Paleokastritsa area is something that has caught my attention for a while and is on my list, and then I saw pictures of Nissakids Bay and that looked kind of amazing.

    I’m curious why you don’t mention Corfu more? Is it just because it’s not the region that you tend to be in, and is so far away from the rest of the islands? Or is there something else about it that you don’t like? I very much would value your opinion on this matter!
    thank you so much,
    Kimberly

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Corfu is wonderful. Great beaches, food, beautiful, and Corfu Town is charming. One disadvantage of Corfu is that there aren’t any nearby islands that are easy to ferry to. So you’re not going to be island hopping like in the eastern Greek islands. But if you’re fine missing out on that then Corfu is a great choice.

  13. Santorini Ios Ferry in April

    Hello Dave,

    this is the most helpful website I’ve ever come across, thank you so much for all your information!
    I wanted to ask, my boyrfriend and I will be visiting Santorini from March 28th-April 4th, and even though it’s a short period we were hoping to do a day trip to Ios. But it doesn’t seem like ferries are available on those dates. Do you know if any ferries go to Ios and back on same day during our dates?

    Thanks a lot!
    Faye

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Things could change but as of now there are no ferries between Ios and Santorini until later in the year.

  14. Hotel and Beach Recommendations for My Clients

    Hello Dave

    I am a travel agent in Melbourne, Australia and I have used your website regularly.

    Really fantastic work and I hope that you don’t mind a professional agent using your services. I have referred many customers to your site as it is easy to go though and full of fabulous information.

    I am a bit stuck here with a young couple late 20’s, trendy and cool. They have done Santorini and Mykonos last year and they have booked now 2 weeks for Lefkada, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos. Is there anything you could give me that would help me finding great hotels and places to stay on those islands? Their budget is $500 per night per room.

    Thanks again for your great work!

    Kindest regards
    JP Boutefeu,
    Personal Travel Manager

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Excellent choice of islands, though getting between them presents one or two challenges (they are not as conveniently connected like the Cycladic or Dodecanese islands so island hopping is not as popular in this island group). All three islands are served by airports with year-round connections to Athens and in the Summer with international charter flights from Europe. Let’s take the pros and cons of each island.

      Lefkada is an island, but is connected to the mainland by a causeway at the northern tip and its access airport is on the mainland at Aktio (Preveza). It is an island popular with Greeks and mainly European visitors. Italians and Brits predominate. It is green, verdant, has good beaches and facilities and is compact enough to get around easily. Tourism is centred on the east coast around the port village of Nydri. It is low-key accommodation with villas and small family-run hotels predominating. Off-shore from Nydri are a couple of islands worth visiting on excursions: the sizeable Meganisi (car ferries run to and fro’) and the private Skorpios Island which belong to the Onassis family. On your own hired motor boat, you can heave-to on just one private beach on the north side of the island and swim and claim boasting rights to having swum on Aristotle Onassis’ private piece of Greece.

      Between Nydri and the next main tourism centre is the little port and beach of Mikros Gialos (small bay) that is a great little base for individual travellers for a day or three. The port village of Vasiliki on the southern underbelly of Lefkada is a haven for windsurfers: see this page or this one for more information. The little village is very pretty and is a good base for general holiday-making (as are the two other places). From Vasiliki there is a regular local ferry that runs to Fiskardo on Kefallonia (via Ithaca/Ithaki).

      Kefallonia was severely shaken by an earthquake in 1953 and thereafter lost its quaint gloss. The picturesque northern port of Fiskardo however, escaped much of the destruction and remains to this day one of the main focal points for visitors to the island, so is a good spot for a stay of 2-3 days. Pretty, waterfront cafés and restaurants and a cosy, folksy feel predominate. Asos, between Fiskardo and Argostoli is a west coast ‘resort’ village that pulls in its fair share of visitors and the view down to Asos from the main island road is one of the most photographed spots on Kefallonia.

      Argostoli is the capital on the mid-west flank of the island and is not really a destination itself, that moniker falling to the contiguous beach scene running from Lourdata south eastward to Skala. While development might have caught up here by now, it should still be a pleasant beach scene and focus for a relaxing stay. The Melissani Cave on the east coast is a must attraction and while it can be visited on a day excursion from anywhere on Kefallonia the two villages or Agia Efthymia and Poros are low-key ‘resorts’ pulling in a regular crowd of travellers and may warrant a look-in. The port of Pesada (just west of Lourdata) is the home of the local ferry to Zakynthos (Zante).

      Zakynthos is an island of certain extremes: beauty and crass, mass tourism of the worst sort. The islands – like all the Ionian islands is lush and verdant and boasts the now famous ‘shipwreck beach’ (Navagio) that many seek to travel to and swim at. Yes, it’s worth it and numerous excursion boats make the run from ports on the west side of the island. Environmentalists and capitalists clash daggers at Laganas where the mass tourism trade is carried out to the detriment of the Caretta Caretta, or loggerhead turtle that loves the beach as much as British tourists on a binge. Read this page for the background. There is an alternative scene to Laganas at Vasilikos over to the east, but it is much more low-key and less busy.

      Transport between the three islands relies on local ferries and these are unsophisticated ‘landing-craft’ style boats that do little more than ferry passengers and vehicles in Spartan comfort, but they are very functional and vital to the inter-island communication. There is plenty of on the ground support excursions and infrastructure and the islands are well-used to tourism; the only exception is that travellers will need to use a bit of independence in getting between the islands.

  15. Tour of Greek Islands – Costs for Meals and Ferries

    My husband & I were planning to go on an organized Hiking the Greek Isles tour in May 2017, that we just found out is cancelled. It is our 10 year anniversary so we’d still love to plan a trip on our own for about 2 weeks in length. We are a bit apprehensive because we are from Canada and have never been to Europe before. I have several questions I’m hoping you can help me out with. One, how much should we budget/day for eating out for lunch & dinner? Most of the hotels look like they include breakfast. Two, how much should we budget for ferries? We are considering around 2 days in Athens, 2 days in Tinos, 2 days in Naxos, 3 days in Santorini & 4 days in Crete. Our main goals are seeing the beauty of the Greek islands, getting some physical activity in (walking & hiking), and spending time together. Any input would be much appreciated! Thanks very much! Jennifer

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Budgeting for Greece is always going to be subject to what your expectations and needs are. Assuming that you, like many travellers, like to eat a filling breakfast, savour maybe a light lunch and feast on a heavier dinner (or vice versa), enjoy a drink with your meals and are not totally vegetarian/vegan and prefer to sleep in comfort and cleanliness, then there is a set of figures that can be guesstimated.

      Comfortable accommodation in May for 2 persons can be found for between €40 and €80 per night. A meal for two that includes a starter, two main meals, salad and a litre carafe of local wine will cost you around €25-35. This can vary widely depending of level of establishment you eat at. A cheap vegetarian dish (pulses or vegetable) will set you back by no more than €5-6 a plate. If you get your breakfast included at the hotel, that is good because breakfast can add another €15 for the two of you per day.

      Prices do vary across the country with Mykonos and Santorini being perceptibly dearer, but the season is in your favour with May being considered shoulder season with negotiable accommodation rates.

      Ferries are not really cheap any more – certainly not like they used to be – but the vessel fleet is better, safer and faster than in previous years so the cost is justified. You can get exceptionally cheap deals on longer-haul routes if you are prepared to forego a booked seat: €14 v €40 on a run to a mid-distant island, but it’s probably wise to consider taking fast catamarans to get to core islands (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros etc.) and even then, go the extra 10/15% for Business or even VIP class for the extra comfort. On longer hauls it can be cheaper to fly if you seek out flights online and book beforehand.

      A good place to start researching your ferries is gtp.gr. Once you have got a hit, go to the indicated ferry company and punch in your dates. You can book online and pick up your tickets when you get to Greece.

      Finally, as for walking, the Greek islands lend themselves very easily to good walks. You will enjoy the caldera rim walk in Santorini, the Samaria Gorge walk in Crete, and basically walking anywhere you like on other islands. Check out the islands maps and walking trails on maps available here, that will give you a handy heads-up.

  16. Best Island for Hiking, Exploring, Beaches, Boat Trips

    Hi Dave!
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece in late May/early April. We already plan to spend a few nights on Santorini, and are trying to choose one other island to pair with it (will have 3 nights on other island). We are in our late 20s and are more interested in outdoors (hiking, exploring, beaches, boat trips). I’d like to keep travel time to a minimum, so I have been looking at the closer islands – Milos, Paros, and Naxos. Do you have any recommendations or thoughts on a good island to pair with Santorini?
    Thank you!
    Ann

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Naxos for the hiking. Milos for the boat trips. Both for beaches and exploring.

  17. Greek Islands for Culture, History, Swimming, Food, and Drink

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for putting together such a great site. My husband and I are planning a trip to the Islands in May – neither of us have been and, honestly, have no idea where to even start putting together an itinerary. We have at least 14 nights to spend there (and may be able to push that to 17). I’m in my early 30s, my husband’s in his early 40s. Our priorities are culture and history, swimming, beautiful views, nice towns, and food and drink. We’re not interested in clubbing at all, but more laid-back late night bars definitely appeal. This is probably our one big holiday this year so while the budget is more mid-range than sky-high, we can push it a bit for the right places or experiences. We’re happy to take in quite a few islands, or with a mix of longer and shorter stays.

    This may be way too vague for you to help! But if you can, it would be hugely appreciated!

    Lana

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The good news is that all the Greek islands are great. There’s almost no chance that you’ll pick 3 or 4 different islands and come back disappointed. That said, you’re probably best to focus on the Cyclades and of those Naxos, Paros, Antiparos, and Milos have everything you’re looking.

  18. Which Islands with Teenage Daughter

    Fabulous site Dave! I am taking my daughter to Greece for 12 days in late May 2017 as a grad gift (yeah I know…, I think my Dad gave me a Timex watch, but I digress) and we are flying into Santorini expecting to spend 5-6 days there then ferrying over to Mykonos (not really sure why?) for a couple days. A couple days there and then flying into Athens for 2-2.5 days to inject some culture into what is otherwise somewhat hedonistic trip. I was wondering, after reading about other islands whether it is worth going to Mykonos. I’d love to go to Crete but it seems to be tough to squeeze that in. The original plan was to go to Istanbul for a couple days but it seems really sketchy right now. So is Naxos a better idea than Mykonos? Should we stay longer in Santorini? Is 2.5 days too much for Athens? Any and all info is appreciated.
    Tom

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I would recommend Naxos over Mykonos and with 12 days you could easily add Paros too. With Santorini, Paros, and Naxos you’ll get a good mix of different delights and some ferry island hopping too which is fun in itself. 1.5 days in Athens is perfect for most – 1 day for the Plaka, Parthenon, Acropolis Museum area; and a half-day to visit the Archaeological Museum which is a short drive or walk from the Plaka but hard to fit in one day along with the other sights.

  19. Day Trip from Mykonos to Delos

    We’re planning a Greece trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary in September 2017 We plan to arrive in Athens and directly take train to Kalambaka/Meteora (2 nights), then down to Delphi (hotel stay in Athens), a day to see sights in Athens, a day trip to Nafplio and then leave to explore islands. Our plan is to go to Naxos for 4-5 nights, then to Santorini (for our anniversary) for 4 nights, and then to Crete for 5-6 nights. I would like to see Delos and wonder if it’s possible to stop in Mykonos, do the tour to Delos and still be able to catch ferry to Naxos the same day?

    Thank you so much for your assistance! We’re looking forward to visiting Greece!

    Laurie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, it’s possible. Get the SeaJet ferry from Athens to Mykonos. It should arrive at 9:30am or shortly after. You’ll have to hurry to store you’re luggage at the Sea and Sky travel agency across from the Old Port and then buy tickets for Delos. The last ferry to Delos leaves at 11am or maybe 11:30am. Ferry to Delos is about 30 minutes. Last ferry back is at 3pm which will give you plenty of time before the last ferry of the day to Naxos (at 6:15pm on SeaJet). All the ferries mention here use the Old Port. Don’t book any ferries that use the New Port or you’ll have trouble making the connections.

  20. Best Greek Island for Budget, Beach, Nature

    Hello Dave,

    It’s still months away but my boyfriend and I (we’re in our late twenties) are thinking about going to a Greek island in the first week of October. We’ve both never been to Greece and we’re wondering what the best Island is for us.
    We’re on a budget (think €50 per person per day) and would like to go someplace warm and sunny where there’s also a combination of culture and nature. So we can explore in the mornings and relax at the beach in the afternoon. Preferably a sandy beach. We don’t need a lot of nightlife but it would be nice if not the whole island is closing down already. Do you have a suggestion?

    Thanks in advance!

    Marlieke

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      I’d go with Naxos: cheap hotels can be found, great walks and hikes through the mountains, wonderful beaches, and popular enough not to be dead in October. €50/per day is doable but you’ll really have to watch it.

  21. Best Islands for Guys in 30s

    Hi Dave,

    We are two guys in our early 30s, we have 12 days for the Greek Islands. We like to swim, ride bikes, or drive on the islands to explore villages, culture, local life, love to eat local food, rest and have beers on beach, stroll and walk around in evening, etc. We will go to Santorini for 3 nights and select Fira according your suggestions, we are confused for next island between Crete and Naxos. Crete is huge but if we choose Naxos as it’s easy to reach from Santorini than does 8-9 days will be boredom in Naxos? Please suggest what’s best and on which place we should look for accommodation in either island you suggest..

    Thanks
    Manik Arora

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Yes, I would agree that 8 or 9 days is too long for Naxos – unless you’re happy sitting at the beach for several of those days. But if you’re looking to be semi-active and explore then you’d be best to add Paros and spend 4/5 days on each. Crete, on the other hand, would be perfect for an 8/9 day road trip. Start in Heraklion (where the ferry arrives from Santorini) head east and then south and finally ending up in the western town of Chania where you can fly up home from.

  22. Milos Hotel and Things To Do

    Hi Dave,
    My husband, another couple, and I are planning a trip to Greece in September 2017. We are staying in Milos for a few nights and were planning on staying at Melian Hotel and Spa….do you know anything about this hotel? I was worried about proximity to things, but it looks like no matter what, we are going to need to rent a car or use the bus system to get around. It seemed though that Melian had 6 or 7 restaurant options within walking distance. Also, any ideas or tips on things to do, see, or go?? We plan to do one of those semi private sailing tours, but other than that we are an open book. Thanks so much for any input!
    Laura Carroll

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      The Melian is great and yes an easy walk to a good range of restaurants in Pollonia. The sailing tours around Milos are the highlight of the island but would also recommend renting a car and exploring the spread out beaches and stunning views. Getting around Milos to see things by bus is doable but definitely easier with a car.

  23. Santorini, Naxos, and Milos in Spring

    Hi Dave! Your website is so detailed and helpful! I’m starting to plan a trip for late May-early June. We were interested in visiting Santorini, Naxos (we opted for Naxos instead of party-filled Mykonos) and Milos. Our main airport of arrival is Athens. What order should we visit all three islands (in terms of convenience of ferry/flight availability) and how many nights do you recommend allotting to each? Thanks in advance for your time!

    Connie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      Ferries between Naxos and Milos don’t start until June 7th (one each way, every day after that). Ferries between Santorini and Milos start April 28th and there is one every day in each direction. And there are always ferries between Naxos and Santorini. So if the dates work I would fly to Santorini (the longest leg) then ferry to Milos then Naxos and back to Athens. But if you need to travel between Naxos and Milos before the 7th then ferry Athens to Milos to Santorini to Naxos and back to Athens.

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