Stunning Islands in Greece For All Personality Types

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From a romantic weekend to a sporty vacation, we’re counting down the best islands in Greece and why you should visit them. Read more now.

coastline of an island in Greece

When planning a jaw-dropping vacation, the islands in Greece are always a thrilling pick.

Greece boasts diverse scenes and cultures around every corner, from hidden coves and golden beaches to volcanic landscapes and quaint towns. And with over 6,000 different options in its repertoire, there’s no surprise that each offers an entirely different experience. Unforgettable memories and adventure? Check!

However, don’t close your eyes and pick a random place (unless you’re daring). Make sure you know the lay of the land before you go.

Scroll down to find an overview of the most popular islands in Greece ASAP. 

Ready? Set! Go! 

Let’s start island speed dating.

Islands in Greece by Category

Did you know the islands are divided up into distinct categories? Uh-huh. These categories make it easier to find and remember the islands of Greece. Here’s a quick overview for anyone on a time limit. 


Milos island in Greece

The Cyclades are southeast of the mainland and in the Aegean Sea. These are made up of a whopping 220 different locations. Here are some notable spots.


one of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece

The Dodecanese Island group is situated in the southeastern Aegean Sea. These 15 islands (and 150 smaller ones) are known for Byzantine churches, archaeological sites, and gorgeous beaches. 


double beach in the Ionian islands of Greece

The Ionian group consists of seven different places. This is a historical region and was under Venetian rule at one point. Here are some popular islands in Greece from this group.


oceanside tables on a Greek island

You’ll find the Sporades in the northwest Aegean Sea, and these four are known for their beautiful natural landscapes. These are some of the most underrated islands in Greece, so check them out before they get too busy. 


drone view of Saronic Islands in Greece

The Saronic are the closest to Athens. So, if you’re looking for a quick weekend break from the mainland, these are great places to explore. They’re also the best islands in Greece for young couples due to their many island-hopping capabilities.

North Aegean 

white church with pale blue dome over the water in Greece

The North Aegean are grouped because they’re all located northeast of the Aegean Sea.

So, that’s the run-down of the groups. But what about the 10 most beautiful islands in Greece? Well, that’s for you to decide! 

Crete and Evia

boat floating in clear water of Greece

Crete and Evia are the two largest islands, and they’re not included in the six groupings. You’ll find Crete south of the mainland and the Dodecanese. Whereas you’ll find Evia east of Athens. 

Fun Fact: Evia is also known as Euboea, its antique spelling. 

Now you’ve met your speed-dating candidates, let’s slow things down. While we’re lighting the candles. You can find your favorites from the first round and get the second date started below. 

The Best Islands in Greece to Visit (For All Tastes)

Rather than providing a long list of places, we’ve split this article into vacation types. From the prettiest islands in Greece to picks for adventurers, we’re here to make your vacay memorable.

Top Luxury Islands in Greece

Ideal for anyone looking to splurge on an elegant Greek getaway.

coastline of Syros Island in Greece

You can find a slice of luxury everywhere in Greece. But MykonosIthaca, Paxi, Syros, PatmosHydra, and Spetses take the cake. These are known for their excess of high-quality hotels, restaurants, and elegance. 

Travel Tip: Book ahead and read reviews to ensure your stay is 5 stars. 

Best Islands in Greece for Families

Ideal for family vacations and laidback breaks.

narrow white alley on Naxos Island, Greece

Want to enjoy the Greek sun without a loud strip and excited college students? We’ve got your back. While the party-orientated places are full of fun, sometimes peace, quiet, and Greek goodness are needed. 

If this sounds like heaven, we recommend visiting Kefalonia, NaxosParosRhodes, Halki, Crete, or Nafplion. These locations offer sprawling beaches, endless day-out activities, and tourist amenities. Plus, they’re all very safe—in terms of crime and shallow waters. 

Kefalonia is a particularly common pick for parents, thanks to the electric blue water, snorkeling day trips, Mount Ainos national park, and seaside villages. 

Favorite Islands in Greece for Honeymooners 

Ideal for romantic celebrations and special occasions.

mules in the marina in the Greek islands

While all of Greece offers a special feeling of romance, some are more amorous than others. SantoriniMilosFolegandrosHydraSpetses, and Monemvasia are rated highly for new couples or lovers looking for a romantic getaway.

Santorini is a preferred spot for many couples due to its luxe hotels, candlelit restaurants, and views of the caldera (volcanic crater.) Volcanic islands in Greece truly are a must-visit.

“What’s so romantic about a volcanic crater,” we hear you ask? Well, it gives your dinners for two an extraordinary backdrop. When it erupted 3,500 years ago, it left the site covered in ash, providing fertile ground for grapes and wines. Don’t forget to sample these while you enjoy the dreamy atmosphere. 

Peaceful Remote Islands in Greece 

Ideal for a meditative moment minus modern life’s stress. 

drone view of a Greek island

If you relish putting your “out of office” on, we have some picks for you. These aren’t the most visited islands in Greece, and that’s exactly why you’ll love them. Think of slow living, fresh food, secluded coves, and getting stuck into a good book. And guess what? Some are even vehicle-free. 

To enjoy this remote goodness, note Mathraki, Maganisi, Iraklia, Donousa, AnafiSchinoussaTilos, and Fournoi. You won’t find as many tourist amenities in these locations, but there are hotels, shops, and restaurants to keep you provided for. Perfect. 

Historic Greek Islands 

Ideal for history buffs, sightseeing, and oodles of culture.

Historic Greek Islands at night

Looking for islands in Ancient Greece or places with significant archaeological sites? Stop scrolling! These historic stops offer the highs of the country’s 4000-year history. From Byzantine architecture to Roman delights, you’ll instantly be teleported back in time. 

Swap your history books for Crete, Rhodes, and the mainland (yes, we know that’s cheating.)

Crete is home to endless historical sites, such as Knossos Palace and the Venetian Fortezza Castle. Rhodes offers a spectacular Old Town, Byzantine churches, ancient synagogues, Roman ruins, the Acropolis of Rhodes, and the Lindos Acropolis. 

However, a stop in Athens is practically mandatory for other iconic mainland spots in Greece’s history. Top options for history and literature lovers include:

  • Olympia
  • Delphi
  • Epidaurus
  • Mycenae
  • Mystras

You won’t regret visiting these show-stopping sites. 

Hottest Islands in Greece

Ideal for catching a tan, sunbathing, and basking.

desert Island in Greece

Ready to top up your tan? Or perhaps you’re sick of the cold weather at home and fancy a dramatic change? If this sounds familiar, these hotspots should be your go-to this summer. 

Karpathos is usually considered one of the warmest areas in Greece, and it’s one of the few that maintains a robust 30°C/80°F heat for the duration of summer. And this is only the average! At its peak, it can reach up to 37°C/100°F. Scorching!

It goes without saying you’ll want your sun gear for this destination. We’re talking high SPF, UV protective glasses, and a sun hat. It’ll be worth it when you’re admiring the best sunsets in Greece without the blistering skin. Sadly, we learned this the hard way. 

Alongside sunbathing and beach-enjoying, in Karpathos, you can try water sports, visit mountainous villages, and admire the port of Pigadia. 

Fun Fact: Karpathos is home to the Cave of Poseidon, a natural site used as a sanctuary for Poseidon and Aphrodite. 

Cheap Islands in Greece to Visit

Ideal for saving while you explore. 

stone arch over the water in Greece

Don’t fancy spending your pennies? No stress. You don’t have to dip into your savings to enjoy these isles. 

You can find affordable lodgings and activities on nearly every shore, especially if you book in the off-season. However, these five picks are considered the friendliest to your pockets:

These five also routinely pop up in “Top 10 Islands In Greece” lists, proving you can see the best of the country’s culture on a budget. 

Pro Tip: Book your accommodation and travel well in advance for the best prices. Or aim for the off-season. You can find better prices in Greece after the summer rush in September and October.   

Best Islands Between Greece and Turkey 

Ideal for sightseeing in the northeast Aegean Sea.

building details in a Greek island near Turkey

Greece’s many isles span all sides of the mainland, but each area has different influences, landscapes, and cultures. 

If you want to experience a unique atmosphere, the islands between Greece and Turkey are perfect for you. These dwellings have a mix of historical influences and are ideal for beach hopping and new adventures—so bring your friends and family for the ride. You can even visit multiple places in one day, which takes a few ferry rides. Avoid it if you suffer from seasickness!

Famous locations in the northeast Aegean Sea include Lemnos, Chios, Ikaria, SamosLesbos, and Oinousses. 

If you’re going to visit any, consider Chios. This up-and-coming location draws more tourists each year, so visit sooner for a more authentic experience. You’ll find medieval villages, traditional architecture, labyrinth-style towns, and an overall laid-back atmosphere. And you can book a quick day trip to Turkey. 

Romantic Islands in Greece 

Ideal for a romantic getaway with your partner.

unique buildings in Greece

Though we previously mentioned honeymoon-approved spots, we want to shed some light on these other romantic destinations. These are a little bit more affordable and relaxed than the others mentioned above. Think quiet islands in Greece—but with an extra dose of love.

Tinos is an impeccable pick for a romantic trip, and you can spend hours wandering around traditional villages while sampling local delicacies at authentic tavernas. There are over 50 tiny villages here, including one called “Love.” 

Want to mix things up? Tinos is only a 20-minute ferry from Mykonos, allowing you to easily sneak a day trip into your schedule. 

Sporty Greek Islands

Ideal for anyone looking for an active vacation.

golf course in Greece

Greece really does cater to every need, including sports. From watersports to golf, you can easily plan your journey around the active possibilities. For a spot of golf, you can visit the Afandou Golf Course on Rhodes. Alternatively, Corfu Golf Club is another destination for golfers. This course blends the natural features of the Ropa Valley for a stunning game. 

Watersports can be found in nearly all of Greece, thanks to its abundant coastlines. However, if you’re keen on an adrenaline rush, head to the Ionian Sea. This group sees better wind conditions for windsurfing and kite surfing and is a great place to start learning.

Private Islands in Greece 

Yes, you can really buy a Greek island.

private island with ship in front

To finish our list, we’re looking at the 15 spots in Greece you can buy. With so many in its geography, it’s unsurprising that a handful are up for grabs. So, if you’re dreaming of a vacation on your own personal beach, this is for you. 

The land is sold as freehold property, but the process isn’t easy, and you won’t find them on the “Top 10 Islands in Greece to Visit” blogs. Plus, costs start at $2,200,000 and can go as high as $12,500,000. Not ideal for a budget getaway, but oh-so-luxurious. 

Map of Greece’s Islands (well, some of them)

We couldn’t put all 6000+ islands on a map, but we got a lot of them. It’ll definitely help you plan out your island-hopping holiday.

Islands in Greece: Final Words

drone view of islands in Greece

Hopefully, our list of vacation islands in Greece has inspired you to jet off this summer. Whether you visit a buzzing party town or head to a peaceful remote spot, we hope you have the time of your life. 

So your second date went well, and you’re on to your third. Time to make sure your Greek vacation is flawless. Start comparing travel tickets online now with Bookaway’s Greece routes. We’ll see you there! 


Which is the best Greek island to visit? 

The best depends on what you want from a holiday! But if you want a universal answer, Santorini is usually considered one of the top 5 islands in Greece for stunning views, nightlife, food, and beaches. 

How many islands does Greece have? 

Greece has 6,000 islands if you count all of the smaller ones. The number of inhabited ones sit around 227. 

What are the main Greek island groups?

The six main groups are the Sporades, Cyclades, Ionian, Dodecanese, Saronic, and North Aegean. 

What are the 12 islands of Greece? 

The “12 islands” is a literal translation of the Dodecanese Islands. However, today this southeastern cluster actually contains 15 major islands, but the name hasn’t changed. Top spots here include Kos, Rhodes, and Symi.

Posted July 31, 2023
photo of blog writer Isobel
Isobel Coughlan
Isobel is a keen traveler and writer from London, UK. With 40 countries under her belt and months spent on the road, Isobel knows what it’s like to travel without a concrete plan. Her love for freelancing started while studying, and now she embraces the on-the-go life. When she’s not writing, Isobel can be found planning her next trip!
photo of blog writer Isobel