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What to do on the Greek Islands

Explore the islands with the local air

Admire the highlights while discovering hidden gems at your own pace thanks to the flexibility of setting your own dayly schedule, taking advantage of your secialist's isider information on where to go, what to eat and how to move around to get the most out of your trip.

There are around 6,000 islands and islets scattered around the Aegean and Ionian Seas, despite only 227 of them being inhabited.

The islands are the main element of Greece’s unique morphology and have influenced the western world on a great scale. Most Greek islands are famous for their beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle, but in reality they are much more than that.

From gorgeous beaches and postcard villages to tasty traditional food and vibrant festivals, the Greek islands are full of pleasant surprises. We’ve gathered the best things that the Greek islands have to offer to help you plan your itinerary accordingly and ultimately have the time of your life with your family and friends.

1.Visit the best beaches on Greek islands

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The Greek islands are popular for various reasons. One of them is the gorgeous coves and beaches that offer a great escape for everyone to relax and dive in the crystalline waters of the Greek archipelagos. If you’re looking for the best beaches on Greek islands to visit, keep reading. We’ve got you covered.

The beaches on the Cosmopolitan islands of Mykonos and Naxos

If you want to spend some relaxing time in a cosmopolitan environment where you might bump into a world-renowned celebrity, Mykonos is the answer. Mykonos, apart from the lively nightlife scene, it is home to some of the best beaches you can find to spend some relaxing moments in luxury and dive into turquoise waters. Close to Mykonos lies the beautiful island of Naxos. If you’re searching for the best beaches on Greek islands, Naxos is the perfect option for you as it offers a wide range of options, especially for people with children who want to relax on the beach while their kids are occupied doing watersports and having fun

Pro tip:

Naxos Island has some of the best kids-friendly beaches. Our favorite is Agios Georgios beach, and there is no doubt that your kids will love it too.

The beaches on rocky island of Milos

Milos is a favorite destination among travellers, and especially for people who want to spend time on the best beaches on Greek islands. Milos has many beautiful beaches with rock vibrations, in colours of yellow, orange and red. As soon as you step your foot on the beach, the stunning colours of the rock formations against the turquoise waters will delight you. Some notable beaches on Milos are Gerontas, Firiplaka, Tsigrado and Pathenia.

Pro tip:

Make sure you also visit Sarakiniko. You can capture incredible photos and upload them on your social media. Who knows? You might go viral.

Zakynthos, home to famous ‘Navagio’ and many more

The Ionian islands are perfect for travellers who want to relax on glorious beaches with perfect blue waters. If you want to have the time of your life on the best beaches on Greek islands, Zakynthos is an excellent choice. The most famous beach on the island is Navagio beach which is only accessible by boat and of course draws thousands of travellers every year to witness the shipwreck right on the beach.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, sunglasses and hat with you as the sun is very hot, especially during the summer season.

2. Explore the picturesque villages in Greece

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Greek islands, apart from having beautiful beaches, boast a great number of villages, usually with a unique architecture that a whole new flair in the whole and create a gorgeous scenery. Some of the best Greek islands to visit for their cute little villages are Syros, Naxos and Folegandros. Keep reading and find out what is so special about them.

The majestic island of Syros

Syros is among the best Greek islands to visit to discover traditional villages. Pay a visit to the Greek island and admire the architecture which is a combination of Cycladic, Venetian and Medieval elements that feature wooden balconies, small courtyards, colorful doors and narrow paths. Walking around Syros and taking in its one-of-a-kind ambience is an experience you cannot miss. The town of Hermoupolis is the capital of the Cyclades and one of the most fascinating ports in the Aegean, perfect to visit any time of the year.

Pro tip:

Syros is a relatively big island. Don’t be afraid to wander around in its small alleys as the best parts are hidden from plain sight.

The gorgeous villages of Naxos

In Naxos one thing that is worth exploring is its gorgeous villages. You have to include in your itinerary a trip to the village of Apiranthos, also known as the Marble Village. Apiranthos will astonish you due to its winding streets and traditional architecture which have been nearly untouched since the days of the Venetians. What is surprising, is that the village has its own language, a local dialect that is believed to contain both ancient Greek and Byzantine elements. Have a seat at one of the numerous coffee shops and enjoy a greek traditional coffee “ellinikos” on the pedestrian-only main street and soak in a slower pace of life. Do not miss the chance to visit the nearby church of Agia Kyriaki, located within hiking distance beyond the village.

The unspoiled beauty of Folegandros

You can visit the beautiful island of Folegandros and explore the unspoiled charm of the island. Unveil villages that are made up of tiny whitewashed houses and colorful windows as you stroll around the picturesque paths of the main town. Folegandros, despite the fact that is relatively close to Mykonos and Santorini, two of the most cosmopolitan islands in Greece, is still quite untouched by tourism and manages to keep its wild beauty to this day.

 

3. Witness the incredible Greek marble statues 

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In Cyclades besides the fact that you could find incredible landmarks, you can also admire some famous Greek marble statues. In the ancient times, Greek people would use marble all the time to create wonderful works of art, some of them still preserved, that have influenced the western civilization and especially the art that was created in the following years. If you want to witness the best Greek marble statues, a visit to Tinos, Paros and Milos will certainly fulfill you.

The statues and temples of Tinos

Take the chance to admire the Greek marble statues and temples in Tinos that have stood the test of time and are here to remind us of the glory of ancient Greece. Roam around the island and try to discover as many Greek marble statues as you can. Tinos is an island of great beauty, just coming across the wonderful marble works, will make you stay on the island longer and enrol in interesting marble workshops.

Pro tip:

Walk around the villages of Volax and Agapi on Tinos islands and acquire a better understanding of authentic cycladic culture and architecture.

The finest Greek marble statues of Paros

Another island famous for its Greek marble statues is Paros. Paros has one of the world’s finest marble varieties that were used at a great scale in ancient Greece. Its main characteristics are clearness, limpidness and the ability to capture sunlight, which makes it easy to be molded and shaped. Travelling to Paros will help you learn the fascinating history of the Greek marble and enhance your artistic senses.

The statue of Venus de Milos

The famous statue of Venus of Milos, also known as the Aphrodite of Milos, is among the most famous ancient Greek marble statues that was discovered on the Greek island of Milos at the beginning of the 19th century. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The statue depicts a woman with a young, energetic body, smooth contours, and a twisting torso, probably one of the greatest Greek marble statues of all time.

 

4.Taste the greatest traditional Greek food on the Greek islands

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Greece is mostly famous for its natural landscape and crystalline waters. Well, in reality, it has so much more to offer. The Greek culture is undoubtedly one of the most unique and diverse cultures out there. One great aspect of it, is the traditional Greek food. If you visit the Greek islands, you cannot only enjoy the sea and the sun but also the incredible healthy local traditional Greek food and products that make each and every one of them unique.

The delightful traditional delicacies of Syros and Tinos

Discover the gastronomical delights of Syros and a variety of local products that will pamper your palate and satisfy your senses. Learn about traditional local products like the famous loukoumi, halvadopita, San Michali cheese and a lot of other delicacies. Enjoy the Aetopita in Syros with fresh fish and local vegetables - one of the best traditional Greek foods ever. Tinos is another famous foodies’ heaven. Do not miss the chance to try fresh local ingredients straight from the Tinian gardens like the popular baby artichokes of Tinos, wild and cultivated, cooked in many different ways. One of the most iconic traditional Greek foods you can try there is the Fourtalia Omelette with local caper.

Pro tip:

Are you a foodie? Visit some of the numerous restaurants and taverns on the Greek islands and ask for their specialty to delve deeper into the local culture.

The gastronomical paradise of Naxos

Dig into the gastronomical paradise of Naxos and taste a big variety of traditional Greek food. Indulge in local Naxian potatoes and try the olive oil, produced on the mountainous area of the island. Taste the citron of Naxos as well as the big variety of cheese and liqueur. Try some rooster braised in red sauce or wild rabbit and transport yourself into a world of flavours and aromas.

The heartwarming cuisine of Corfu

When it comes to traditional Greek food, Corfu won’t disappoint you. Try the Corfiot cuisine and taste local delicacies like ‘Nouboulo or kumquat’ liqueur which will surprise you with its unique flavors, with Venetian influences evident. Years ago, the Venetians brought to Corfu, foods like peppers, corn and tomato, and that’s the reason why many of the local dishes have an Italian name. Don't miss the famous ‘Pastitsada’ in Corfu, one of the most popular traditional Greek foods there.

Pro tip:

Do you need help with finding a good tavern? Contact us and we’ll find the best places for you and your loved ones to try some exceptional traditional Greek food.

5. Visit glorious seaside villages in Greece

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The Greek islands are famous for their natural beauty and scenic landscapes. The most graphic spots and picturesque places on the Greek islands are usually their harbors. Taking a stroll in the seaside villages in Greece is an experience that can’t be missed, especially for travellers who want to see the most signature places around. Let’s see what is there to see.

The picture-perfect harbor of Hydra

You can visit an incredible island next to Athens named Hydra and admire the beautiful harbor and the unique landscapes of the island. Hydra is the perfect spot if you want to travel somewhere close to Athens that showcases the beauty of Greek architecture in the best way possible. The charming ambience of the island has inspired many international stars, like Leonard Cohen, Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis who loved the stone mansions, churches and postcard waterfront. Hydra is among the most interesting villages in Greece, in case you want to witness how locals live their everyday lives.

The fishing village of Naoussa on Paros

Admire the lovely village of Naoussa in Paros, which is built amphitheatrically around a tiny picturesque port where little colorful fishing boats and remains of a Venetian castle can still be seen, creating a unique and enchanting atmosphere. If you’re interested, get a fishing rod and try to catch fish next to other experienced fishermen who might show you tricks that will take your fishing skills to the next level. Naoussa is among the most stunning villages in Greece, so make sure you include a visit in your itinerary.

Pro tip:

Fishing tours are quite popular in Greece for delivering the most family friendly experience. Join a fishing tour and drop some bait down the unknown depths of the sea and see what comes up

The off-the-beaten-path village of Klima on Milos

The rocky island of Milos is the ideal option for people who want to escape the tourist bubble and live a more authentic experience. The scenic Apollonia is one of the most gorgeous villages in Greece, but Klima is a more off-the-beaten path option that can show you the real unspoiled beauty of Greece. It is probably the most picturesque fishing village in Milos and is really worth-seeing. The scenic beauty of Klima is due to its syrmata and the houses that are carved into the rocks and have bright coloured wooden doors.

 

6.Embark on a trip back in time and explore the best historical sites in Greece

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The Greek islands are ideal for travelers who adore history and love to explore important sites throughout their trip. If you are interested in Greek history and want to enrich your knowledge on ancient Greece then keep reading. We’ll show you some of the best historical sites in Greece for you to visit.

The majesty of Delos in Mykonos

Plan a visit to the sacred island of Delos, located in Mykonos which was the center of the Cyclades. It is undoubtedly one of the most notable historical sites in Greece and the birthplace of Greek Gods Apollo and Artemis. As soon as you step your foot on the island, you’ll travel in time from exploring all traders’ mansions, temples, and landmarks such as the Terrace of the Lions.
Pro tip:

Book a tour to Delos with a state-of-art licensed guide and uncover the secrets of ancient Greece.

The historical island of Naxos

Dig into the history of Naxos and make a stop at the famous Portara which is the ruins of the entrance to the temple of Apollo, as well as the temple of Goddess Dimitra. Portara or the Great Door, is a huge marble doorway that is among the most important historical sites in Greece. The door was part of the temple of Apollo and you definitely have to see it in order to perceive its historical significance. Make sure you pay a visit to the Sanctuary of Yria, dedicated to Dionysus, the place where worship was conducted up until the Geometric period.

Pro tip:

Find a place on the hillside of Portara and admire the traditional landscape of Naxos along with the orange hues of the sky during sunset.

The magical Lindos Acropolis on Rhodes

Get ready to explore the beautiful island of Rhodes and learn the island's history. Visit some of the best historical sites in Greece, like the Acropolis of Rhodes and admire the important antiquities preserved in the beautiful archaeological park that is perfect for exploration. On the summit of the Acropolis of Lindos, come across the ruins of the goddess Athena Lindia, some temples from the 4th century BC, as well as the Propylaea, the great Hellenistic Stoa, and the Byzantine chapel of Saint John.

Pro tip:

Most historical sites in Greece offer special discounts for students, seniors and big groups. Just make sure you bring your passport with you.

7. Admire medieval castles in Greece

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Greek islands have a lot of influences from the medieval times. When you visit them, you will be able to find stunning castles with incredible views that will take your breath away. Most castles in Greece offer a great opportunity for travellers to discover the magnificence of the ancient times.

The medieval island of Rhodes

Rhodes is a Greek island famous for the incredible castles. Explore the castle of Rhodes, one of the best-preserved castles in Greece and take in the incomparable scenery. Take the chance to admire the Palace of Grand Master, the Medieval clock tower and the numerous bastions and towers. Take into account all the famous movies that were filmed there and understand the reason why it is a favorite among directors.

Pro tip:

Unleash your inner knight by taking a tour of the castle of Rhodes and find out more about its history. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the best guided tours for the castles in Greece.

The castle of Patmos

The Castle of Patmos which is also the home of the Monastery of Saint John, towers over the entire island of Patmos. It is one of the first things you can see upon arrival due to the way it sits at the top of Chora, the hill on which settlements have been built around since the 1000s. You cannot miss a visit to Patmos as it’s one of the most important castles in Greece, thanks to its excellent state, despite the years that have passed.

The dreamy palaces of Corfu

If you love palaces, then you cannot miss the island of Corfu. You can visit imposing palaces with dreamy views such as the Achilleion Palace built by the empress of Austria as well as all the Old Palaces built by the British Empire. Wander around the courtyards and marvel at the grandiose palaces, still here to remind us of the bygone glory of the world.

Pro tip:

If you’re visiting the Greek islands with your little ones, a visit to a castle will be an adventure for a lifetime.

8. Get the opportunity to hike in Greece

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Going for a Hike in Greece is a popular activity, especially for more adventurous travellers. Greece’s mountainous terrain makes it a heaven for hikers as the most famous routes are in good condition making it easy for everyone to explore and reach the best locations that offer stunning vista views. Keep reading and discover the Greek islands that will make your hike in Greece a remarkable experience.

Explore the wonderful landscapes of Naxos

A Hike in Greece and especially on the island of Naxos is a must. The medieval pathway of Naxos combined with the incredible surrounding nature offers a perfect opportunity for photos and videos. Furthermore, you can hike in the amazing paths of Syros. Head to Papouri and start following the trail near the chapel of Agios Panteleimonas. Walk to the mountain along the stream, the trail splits and alternatively it leads to the peaceful bays of Aetos and Varvarousa.

Pro tip:

Another way to explore Naxos is by bike. Experience an amazing route on the west side of the island and explore all the beautiful beaches and villages.

Cycle through the old town of Corfu

Do not miss a cycle through the Old Town of Corfu to admire the amazing architecture of the Greek island. Bike along the coastline and take photos while gazing at the most renowned sights with your loved one. Corfu is among the most stunning islands that offer many opportunities for you to hike and have a blast and at the same time, appreciate all the monuments and points of interest scattered around the island

Pro tip:

Always have a bottle of water with you and a bag with all the necessities like a first aid kit and snacks as a hike in Greece can be quite demanding.

Find peace on the island of Andros

Andros is the ideal place for anyone who seeks peace of mind and inner calm. If you want to go for a hike in Greece, you should totally visit islands like Andros. The island attracts hundreds of hikers that want to explore the majestic remote sides of Andros. Furthermore, you could find plenty of routes that offer a unique way to explore the natural landscape with imposing mountains, virgin beaches and rural villages.

 

9.Enjoy watersports on the Greek islands

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As you are going to visit some of the most famous and beautiful beaches on the Greek islands, do not miss the opportunity to participate in watersports and other water activities. If you’re visiting the Greek islands with your little ones, they’ll definitely have the best time ever while you’ll manage to relax and wash away the dust of everyday life on one of the beautiful beaches. Let’s find which are the best Greek island beaches that offer a great variety of watersports on sight.

Kolymbithres beach in Paros

On most Cycladic islands travellers can indulge in watersports. If you visit one of the largest islands, Paros, you should definitely visit one of the most famous beaches called Kolymbithres, where besides the fact that you are going to enjoy the wonderful waters under the Greek sun, you can rent some equipment and enjoy a big variety of watersports and sea activities.

The lively island of Ios

On the small and beautiful island of Ios, you can enjoy some water sports at the wonderful beach of Mylopotas and enjoy a great range of action sports and activities. Your kids can try out some sports like canoe or kayak by themselves or you can join them and experience some family bonding time together.

The perfect beaches of Tinos

Most beaches on Tinos are quiet and few of them have water sports centers with sea-games. On Kolymbithres beach, on the northern side of the island, there is a surfing center that offers courses for everyone. As soon as you get there, you can rent your surfing equipment and with the assistance of experienced professionals ride the waves of the sea like a Hawaiian

Pro tip:

Make sure you stay hydrated and put sunscreen on frequently, especially during the hot summer days.

10. Join unforgettable cruises through Greek islands

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Greece, the cradle of western civilization, offers great opportunities for exploration. It boasts so many islands and islets that are impossible to reach without a boat cruise. Admire the beauty of the Greek islands through wonderful cruises and journey through some of the most stunning landscapes that will rejuvenate your body and heart. A cruise is also a great idea in case you want to visit as many Greek islands as possible in a short period of time.

The best islands to visit from Naxos

If you are in Naxos and have some spare time on the island, a day cruise is exactly what you need. Travelling around the neighboring islands such as Paros, and exploring hidden coves and new beaches, would be the perfect component to spice up your holidays. Also, from Naxos you can get a day cruise to Mykonos and other smaller islands in the Cyclades like Koufonisia and Schinoussa for the ultimate relaxation.

Pro tip:

Get in touch with us and we’ll find the most luxurious cruise that will help you enjoy your time in the waters of the Aegean in the best way possible

Join wonderful cruises from Mykonos

Mykonos is the most cosmopolitan island in Greece that offers great opportunities for cruises around the beautiful bays of the island. As soon as you get on the boat and marvel at the glorious sunset, you’ll realise that the Greek islands are god’s gift to earth. A cruise to the island of Delos is quite popular, ideal for travellers who want to admire the monuments and artifacts on the island and at the same time enrich their knowledge in ancient Greek history.

Get access to secluded caves and beaches

If you love caves and rock formations, then you cannot miss a cruise around the rocky island of Milos. Explore the famous cave of Papafragas and admire Sarakiniko which is an inlet of pure white stone formed by the volcanic eruptions of the island in the ancient times. From Milos you can also visit the neighbor island of Kimolos. Famous for its amazing beaches, crystal clear waters and picturesque architecture, Kimolos Greece is slowly becoming one of the hottest alternative destinations in Greece.

 

11. Enjoy the Greek nightlife of popular destinations and feast like a Greek at local festivals

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Greeks are famous for their entertainment. Many travellers from around the world visit the Greek islands to experience the Greek nightlife like locals. Apart from nightclubs and discos, a common habit is joining local cultural events that include live music, traditional Greek food and lots of fun. Keep reading and find out how you want to spend your time during your holidays.

Mykonos, the island of entertainment

The most well-known island about its Greek nightlife and cosmopolitan lifestyle is Mykonos. In Mykonos you will find a big variety of bars and clubs in the center of the town as well as bars on famous beaches like Psarou and Panormos. If you want to bump into celebrities and take selfies with them, Mykonos is the perfect option for you.

Pro tip:

Look out for parties and special events as many world-renowned Djs and artists do live shows at clubs around Greece in the Summer.

The vibrant island of Ios

Ios is widely considered as the cheaper version of Mykonos. Every night, the capital of Ios is transformed into a huge party scene where people dance until the early morning hours. The picturesque streets of the capital get crowded with young people who visit the island in big groups that are ready to mingle and experience the Greek nightlife at an affordable price.

The traditional fairs of Ikaria

The eastern island of Ikaria is well-known for the local feasts. People come to Ikaria from far and wide to take part in the Greek nightlife of the island that consists of traditional celebrations. Take into account that most popular Ikarian Panagiria can be attended by thousands of people, so don’t be surprised if you come across hundreds of travellers when you go to a local feast. Do not miss the unique opportunity to revel with the Ikarians amidst village surroundings, traditional food, live music, non-stop dancing, and plenty of delicious Ikarian wine.

Pro tip:

Visit Ikaria and have the time of your life at one of the hundreds of Panigiria that take place in Ikaria all summer. Get the chance to dance with the locals and feel the Icarian spirit.

12. Admire remote chapels and amazing Greek churches on the Greek islands

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Churches and monasteries are not missing from the Greek islands. Some of their locations are stunning, and they often host local cultural events, ideal if you want to add some local color to your holiday. Most Greek churches and chapels are famous for their impressive architecture as well as importance in the religious spirit of Greece. Want to enhance your faith? Keep reading and find which Greek churches to visit.

The Church of Panagia in Folegandros

One of the most renowned Greek churches is the Church of Panagia in Folegandros. It is located on a fabulous spot above Chora offering an excellent view to the island and the sea. Marvel at the unique architecture of the church and see the various ecclesiastical images that represent Saints from the holy bible. After some time, have a seat in the courtyard and relax while watching the best views of the Folegandros.

Pro tip:

Light a candle in the church for someone you love and donate a small amount of money at the donation box, near the votive candle rack, to help the church cover its expenses.

The cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos

Visit the cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos, where traditions say that Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation. The place is also known as the Holy Grotto and is an extraordinary example of a traditional pilgrimage center of outstanding architectural interest. The cave of the Apocalypse apart from being one of the most historical Greek churches, gives travellers the opportunity to understand Christianity a little bit more and of course, enrich their knowledge.

The ‘Mamma Mia’ church on Skopelos

Admire the church of Agios Ioannis Kastri in Skopelos, one of the most famous Greek churches thanks to Mamma Mia-many scenes were filmed there. The impressive rock is linked to the rest of the island through a narrow path with 110 steps carved into the stone. A small beach is formed right beneath the rock that gets pretty crowded in summer. The interior of the church has beautiful icons and old ecclesiastical items to see.

Pro tip:

Women don’t have to wear head coverings when visiting a church in Greece. Just make sure you’re dressed modestly.

B. Practical Guide for Greek islands

B1. How to get to the Greek islands

Island hopping is a great way to explore the beautiful islands of Greece with an easy and efficient way. During the high season getting around in the Greek islands can get quite hectic, especially for families and older travellers. Our team of experts has gathered the required information that could help you during your stay in Greece.

What are the best Greek islands to visit?

  • The Cyclades are ideal for island hopping as they’re relatively close to each other and are easily accessible from Athens. Among the best Greek islands to visit is Santorini and Mykonos, and some others are Naxos, Tinos, Syros, Sifnos, Ios and Folegandros.

  • Crete is situated in the south of Greece and is the largest and most diverse island in the Aegean. Heraklion, Chania, Rethymnon and Ag. Nikolaos are the most famous towns in Crete.

  • The Dodecanese (means twelve islands) are located in the south east part of Greece. The best Greek islands to visit are Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos, along with the small islands of Symi and Kastelorizo.

  • The islands of the Northern Aegean are relatively close to Turkey, and the most notable ones are Ikaria, Samos and Lesvos.

  • The Sporades (means ‘scattered’) are the islands of Alonissos, Skiathos, Skyros and Skopelos.

  • Closest to Athens, one finds the islands of the Saronic Gulf, including Aegina, Spetses and Hydra.

  • The Ionian islands or Eptanisa (meaning seven islands) are all very close to the western mainland or Peloponnese shores. The best Greek islands to visit are Corfu, Zakynthos and Kefalonia, while their total number is far more than seven when counting all the smaller islands around the main ones

Pro tip:

Make sure you book your flight tickets early on, as most flights to Greek Islands tend to sell out, especially in August

How to get to the Greek islands by ferry

There are three types of ferries that operate on most lines on the Greek islands.

  • Standard (large) ferries:

    they travel at medium speed and give passengers the flexibility to walk around the indoor and outdoor spaces of the ferry; they generally have restaurants and options for cabins; they carry passengers, cars and trucks, and there is plenty of room for luggage. Large ferries operate all-year round serving every inhabited island; their routes and frequency remain largely unchanged over time and are designed to maximize efficiency based on geographical locations and to serve the islands based on permanent popula

  • High speed ferries/ catamarans:

    are the fastest, significantly smaller than the standard ones; they only have assigned indoor seats, from which one can only go to the canteen or the bathroom and return. Some high-speed ferries carry passengers and cars and others just passengers, and they generally need about half the time of large ferries for the same distance in good weather. Their service only runs from late March to end of October, and they can be rather bumpy in windy weather. Their routes are more flexible and evolve every year to reflect traveler demand.

  • Hydrofoils/ Small catamarans:

    ideal for short duration voyages, these vessels are generally as fast as the high-speed ones but with α considerably higher probability of a bumpy ride or a change in schedule in case the weather gets windy. They only carry a small number of passengers, all travelling indoors with assigned seats. Space for luggage is rather limited (but there’s no official restriction).

Pro tip:

Traveling by ferry might be a little difficult for some, especially if they experience motion sickness and nausea. Just bring some medication with you, just in case you need it.

How to get around the Greek islands by Bus (KTEL)

The local bus (KTEL) in each island is the cheapest way to get from A to B and saves you the trouble of finding a parking spot. Not only are local buses cheap, but also make your time on the islands more enjoyable as you don’t have to worry about how to get to the different places you want to visit after an exhausting day of exploration.

  • Are local buses a good way to get around the Greek islands?

    The local buses on each island are the cheapest and easiest way to get around. Note that some buses might take more time than expected and you might come across massive crowds, especially during the high season.

  • Are the bus networks on the Greek islands efficient?

    The bus networks on most islands are quite good and connect many villages with each other. Always make sure that you check the timetables before getting on a bus.

  • Will the buses on the Greek islands be on time?

    Most of the time yes, but beware of the traffic delays, usually in the central areas of an island. Make your time on the island less stressful by checking the bus routes and timetables beforehand.

How to get around the Greek islands by car

Renting a car on the Greek Islands is an easy and effective way to explore remote places and hidden trails, usually far from the center. Renting a car is a great option if you want to live a more spontaneous experience during your stay on a Greek island, but also a marvellous idea if you don’t want to follow specific timetables.

  • Is driving on the Greek islands safe?

    Driving on the Greek islands is quite easy, but you always need to pay attention to the narrow and winding roads that you may encounter. Parking won’t be a problem as well, except for certain locations where there are no parking spots because of the massive crowds.

  • Where can I rent a car on the Greek islands?

    There are plenty of car rental agencies on most islands. It’s better to book your car in advance, especially during the high season where most islands get flooded with tourists.

Pro tip:

If you’re visiting the Greek islands with your family, a car is the perfect option to see the most of an island on your own terms, without being stressed over catching the bus everytime. Also, it is way more convenient getting a car from the airport, without the need to carry your luggage to the bus. Keep in mind that you can book your preferred vehicle through Travel 12.

How to get around the Greek islands by taxi/ private transfer

A taxi service is among the most efficient ways to get around the Greek islands. A taxi offers ease, comfort as well as flexibility. When you hire a taxi, you save both time and energy because you don’t have to move around to look for transportation. Also, it gives you the advantage of traveling wherever and whenever you want.

  • Is a taxi available at all times?

    Most taxis and private transfers are available 24/7. Despite being a little bit more overpriced than public transportation, it is the fastest and most comfortable option when travelling around the Greek islands.

  • Is booking a private transfer a good option?

    Booking a private transfer is ideal for travellers who want to get to their destinations with ease and comfort. There are many quality transfer services in the Greek islands that will make your time in Greece as relaxing as possible but make sure you book them in advance.

  • Is UBER available in Greece?

    Uber doesn't exist in Greece the way it is operating in the rest world. In Athens you can request a normal taxi ride using the Uber application. Currently Uber does not operate at all on the Greek islands.

Pro tip:

Want a more relaxing experience? Booking a private driver is a great option which allows you to explore the Greek islands at your own pace without worrying about finding transportation or catching a taxi.

B2. Where to stay on the Greek islands

Stay in Capital towns of the Greek islands

The capital towns of the Greek islands are called ‘Chora’ and they’re usually full of cafes, restaurants, shops and they’re pretty much the areas that are flooded with travellers the most. You can walk around and admire the Cycladic architecture with the white and blue houses and have fun outside till the early hours of the morning. There are also thousands of accommodation options to choose from, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Pro tip:

On most islands, vehicles are prohibited from entering Chora from the afternoon, making it easy to wander around carelessly.

The Chora of Mykonos, Naxos and Paros

The capital towns of Mykonos, Naxos and Paros are located in close proximity to their main ports, offering extra convenience on your arrival and departure days. They also have a beach closeby, so you won’t have to worry about finding transportation to get there.

The Chora of Sifnos, Milos, Ios and Folegandros

The position of Chora on the islands above is located at a higher point because in the old times, it helped the inhabitants protect themselves from pirate invasions. Their Chora might be located far from the beach but it offers stunning views of the Aegean sea, especially if your accommodation has a good location.

Fun fact: The capital of Syros is called Hermoupolis (city of Hermes) and has a unique architecture with a number of notable buildings that were homes to captains.

Stay in a small, seaside village

If you want to live close to the beach, finding a seaside village is the best option for you. All Greek islands have small seaside villages that have incredible views of the Aegean sea. Some of them boast a great number of beachfront restaurants along with perfect organised beaches which usually include sunbeds, parasols and sometimes, water sports facilities. Some perfect seaside villages are: Agios Prokopios of Naxos, Agathopes of Syros, Apollonia of Milos, Platis Gialos of Mykonos, Batsi of Andros, and Mylopotas of Ios are just some options for a great seaside experience at your holidays.

Stay in off-the-beaten-path villages

Want to experience some days on a Greek islands like a local? Then choose a traditional village, far from the tourist bubble. Most traditional villages are not in central locations and they’re usually inhabited by locals throughout the year in a more cozy and friendly environment. Staying in a traditional village is a great option if you want to mingle with locals, try traditional products or just relax and take in the whole ambience. There are usually a handful of taverns, cafes and little guest houses that make for the perfect holiday hideaway. Want to delve into the local lifestyle of a Greek island? Then check out Filoti of Naxos, Artemonas of Sifnos, or Leukes of Paros.

Pro tip:

Many villages are quite unique and beautiful when it comes to their accommodation options. Some examples are Pyrgos in Tinos, also known as the marble village, and Ano Syros, a former medieval fort.

Stay in windmills, stone houses, castles and pigeon houses

Want a more unique and memorable experience? Numerous islands offer accommodation in windmills. The design of the rooms will overwhelm you as they’re furnished with objects from the bygone times, creating a unique space unlike most other accommodation options. Some other windmills are more modern, offering parasols, sunbeds and outdoor swimming pools. Some islands that boast a great number of windmills for accommodation are: Kimolos, Sifnos and Milos.

Another interesting option is staying in stone houses built in the 19th century. Living in a stone house will feel like a trip back in time and especially for older people who might have stayed in such houses while growing up. The most popular islands for their stone houses are Folegandros and Tinos. The handmade furniture is also another interesting element you’ll appreciate thanks to their interesting design and high quality materials.

If you’ve always wondered how’s life as a royal, then the castle of Rhodes will make your dreams a reality. The castle of rhodes is basically a medieval city that is among the most historical places in the world and a definite topic of discussion for directors who love shooting movies there. Visit the castle and transport yourself in the medieval times and experience a glorious adventure with your family and friends.

Last but not least, are the incomparable pigeon houses in Tinos. The pigeon houses were made to house and feed pigeons, but some of them have been turned into hotels. If you want a truly unique experience that will allow you to reconnect with nature, then you should definitely book a pigeon house for your stay in Tinos.

 

B3. How long to stay on a Greek island


 

What to do in Hydra in 24 hours?

Hydra is a gorgeous traditional island with a captivating architecture and a jet-set appeal. The most unique element of Hydra is the fact that there are no cars, and the main means of transportation are donkeys and water-taxis. If you want to spend some romantic time with your other half, Hydra is definitely the perfect place.

  • Admire the stone-built port town that looks like a fortified castle.
The picture-perfect town of Hydra is a gorgeous place to see the unique architecture, full of marble, and enjoy long walks without big crowds and cars. 

  • Visit the remote beaches of the island with a water taxi. Get the chance to visit secluded beaches, dive in crystalline waters and relax while feeling the Aegean breeze on your body.

What to do in Aegina in 24 hours?

Aegina is among the most famous tourist attractions in Greece thanks to its natural beauty and seaside architecture. The capital of Aegina has a variety of preserved buildings from the past and on the outskirts, there are a couple of more traditional villages that will surprise every traveller with their beauty. Aegina is also known for producing pistachios, so make sure you try some as soon as you get there.

  • Relax in the beautiful beaches of Agia Marina and Marathon Aegina is famous for its beautiful beaches. Their shallow waters offer a great escape for everyone, especially families with small kids.

  • Visit the island of Moni and admire the beautiful nature Moni is a secluded island in close proximity from Aegina, and it is home to animals like deers, peacocks, squirrels, wild goats and Cretan Ibexes.

  • Taste the locally produced Aegina pistachio The pistachios of Aegina are among the rarest varieties of pistachios in the world that are also used in many local recipes.

What to do on the Greek islands in 3-4 days?

  • Do you want to hop on a ferry to explore some Greek islands for 3 to 4 days? Well, there are many things to see and do on nearby islands, especially if you plan your time accordingly. Keep reading and you’ll get the best insights that will make your time on the Greek islands unforgettable. Choose one or two of the following islands and plan an itinerary that will help you have the time of your life.

What are the best Greek islands to visit from Athens?

  • Visit the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos Mykonos is famous among celebrities as it has many gorgeous beaches and is home to the best nightclubs in Greece.


  • Explore the island of Syros Syros is an island with a unique architecture unlike any other island in Greece. Catch a glimpse of the old captain houses and the medieval village of Ano Syros.


  • Delve into the quaint villages of Tinos Tinos is the perfect island to see natural landscapes and interesting marble works of art. It is also the perfect place to enrich your faith as it is famous for its churches.

  • Try amazing food in Naxos Naxos is home to incomparable delicacies and many beautiful beaches to relax and wash away the dust of everyday life.

Pro tip:

Want a more comprehensive guide on what to do on the Greek islands? Check out our Luxury Greek Islands Vacations Itinerary for 9 days and experience a fantastic trip to Athens, Paros and Santorini.

What to do on Greek island in 4-5 days?

  • Pay a visit to the wonderful island of Paros  Spend a glorious time on the beaches of Paros and appreciate the marble works around the island.

  • Admire the unique formations of Milos Milos is home to many caves, former hideaways for pirates. Make sure you take your camera with you to capture underwater photos   in the crystal clear waters of the sea.


  • Stay in the cliff top villages of Ios Ios apart from the vibrant nightlife is famous for its narrow cobblestone alleys and picture-perfect villages, perched on the cliffs.

  • Get lost in the picturesque paths of Folegandros The main town of Folegandros (Chora) is among the most beautiful, with stunning alleys and a welcoming environment

Pro tip:

Want to spend plenty of time at one place? The islands of Corfu, Zakynthos and Rhodes are some of the best Greek islands to visit. Their beautiful towns and local culture require a couple of days to be fully explored but trust us, you won’t regret it.

B4. What is the best time to visit the Greek islands

What are the Greek islands like in the Spring?

  • The first days of Spring on the Greek islands

    If you visit the Greek islands in the Spring, you’ll definitely have a good time. It officially starts on March 21st, and from that point onward, days start being longer than nights and there’s an increase in the number of visitors on the islands.

  • The reason why Spring is the best time to visit Greek islands

    Spring is perhaps the most amazing time of year to visit Greek islands, especially the Cyclades. Most of the Greek islands are quiet during spring and usually around May and June, they get flooded with travellers from everywhere in the world. If you want to experience the brightest sunshine of the year, with soft winds and perfect temperatures, then you should consider doing your vacations in the Spring. On top of that, the temperature of the seawater is not very low, so you could also go for a swim

Pro tip:

Spring is also a great time to visit some of the most popular islands in Cyclades, like Santorini, Mykonos or Naxos, as they are not going to be so crowded as in the summer.

  • The temperature in Spring

    The temperatures in Spring have not peaked yet, but they’re quite mild and enjoyable. Many trees, flowers and plants start to bloom during the Spring and create a gorgeous scenery on most Greek islands. It’s also the best time for photos, in front of gorgeous fields and landscapes.

  • Special occasion:

    Greek Orthodox Easter. Every Greek island celebrates Easter with unique local customs and events, from the beginning of April to early May.

What are the Greek islands like in the Summer?

  • The first days of summer on the Greek islands

    Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit the Greek islands. Many travellers usually visit the islands throughout the Summer, causing the prices to rise remarkably. The weather is very hot and most beaches are full of travellers who spend their days sunbathing and swimming from early in the morning till late in the afternoon. The number of tourists peaks in August, when the prices are a bit higher and start to drop down in the middle of September when the temperatures are getting lower.

  • Choose the right Greek island for you

    To best enjoy your summer holiday in Greece you better choose the right Greek island for you depending on your preferences. In the summertime you will have the opportunity to enjoy wonderful beaches around Greece, traditional and beautiful villages on the islands, unique experiences and of course amazing local Greek products and food.

  • The temperature in the Summer

    The temperatures during Summer tend to Skyrocket, sometimes reaching over 40 degrees, making the constant application of sunscreen a must. Some islands, like Mykonos, experience strong winds during this time, which make it ideal for water sport

  • Special occasions:

    August 15th. It is one of the biggest celebrations in Greece so don’t be surprised when you hear the church bells ring frequently.

What are the Greek islands like in the Autumn?

  • The first days of Autumn on the Greek islands

    Early Autumn doesn’t feel much different from Summer. The temperatures are quite high and the seawater is still quite enjoyable. From October, the weather starts shifting, slowly becoming cloudy and rain becomes a common phenomenon. 


  • Why people prefer to visit the Greek islands in the Autumn

    If you want to do your holidays on the Greek islands on a budget, Autumn is the answer. In Autumn the rates are quite low compared to Summer, and most restaurants, attractions and points of interest are still open to the public. Take into account that there are less tourists during this period making it an ideal solution for people who want to avoid large crowds and experience a relaxing time mingling with the locals.

  • The Greek islands in the Autumn

    If you want to immerse yourself in the unspoiled beauty of the Greek islands, Autumn is the best time for that. During your visit, you'll realise that some hotels and restaurants are closed, but if you stay in a central area your options are not going to be limited. Also, it will be quite easy to navigate around. To sum up, autumn is great to enjoy a peaceful time on the Greek islands.


  • Special occasion:

    National holiday on October 28th. It is a huge public holiday in Greece celebrating the rejection by the Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxis of the ultimatum by Italian dictator Mussolinin. The event is commemorated with student parades, so you might see one during your stay on the islands.

What are the Greek islands like in the Winter?

  • The first days of Winter

    The Greek winter is generally mild, and even more so on the islands. There are some cloudy and rainy days of course, but the conditions are still optimal for some enjoyable vacations on the Greek islands.

  • The weather during the Winter

    As you may understand, Winter is not suitable for swimming as the temperature of the sea is quite low! Most storms and cold waves don’t last more than a couple of days, so you can still enjoy a fabulous time without being worried about the weather all the time.

  • Visit the best islands during Winter

    Many of the Greek islands are generally deserted in the winter and most stores and local businesses prepare for the following ‘season’. There are some Greek islands like Corfu or Rhodes which you can visit throughout the year but not for beachtime because of the weather. Winter on the Greek islands offers the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural landscape, on a budget.

That's all travelers. We hope you find our information useful during your visit to the Greek islands. Our team is dedicated to offering help to guests from everywhere in the world that want to experience Greece in the best way possible. Contact us and we’ll help you plan the vacation of your dreams.

Safe travels,
The team of Travel12

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