Greece is one of the world's most incredible countries to explore. And with hundreds of islands to visit, you'll have numerous choices. Whether you want to chill out on gorgeous beaches, discover archaeological sites, explore busy cities, or wander around traditional villages, there's a Greek island perfect for you. If you need help deciding which island to visit, refer to this list of the must-visit islands in Greece.

 

Crete

 
If you're considering a trip to Greece, you should absolutely head to Crete. While Mykonos and Santorini are two of the most popular islands for tourists, Crete will surprise you with its unique charm. It's the largest island in Greece, boasting gorgeous beaches, rich history, and stunning natural beauty. 
 
Whether you're fond of history or not, visiting the Palace of Knossos is a must. The ancient palace was the epicentre of the Minoan civilisation, with fascinating historical features, including crumbling columns, staircases, and brightly coloured frescoes. 
 
Wander around the picturesque city of Chania, which has cobblestone streets and a lovely harbour. The harbour dates back to the 14th Century when it was under the rule of the Venetians, and you can still see the Venetian influence today. 
 
After a day of exploring Crete, the best way to relax is to visit the stunning Elafonisi, a tiny islet with idyllic beaches you can reach on foot from the mainland of Crete. It's about a mile long with shallow waters that are breathtakingly crystal clear. While you might want to lounge around at the beach the entire day, you should also take the time to visit the nearby caves and stunning rock formations.
Palace Of Knossos
Afbeelding van davestem via Pixabay

Santorini 

When going to Greece for a holiday, most people would head straight to Santorini. The stunning island is world-renowned for its picturesque, white-washed villages, blue-domed churches, and romantic sunsets. While it has a reputation for being a popular destination for a honeymoon, it also appeals to all kinds of visitors, including solo travellers on a relaxing break. Best of all, you will find some lovely villas in Greece, which are the perfect places to stay for a relaxing holiday. 

If you're visiting Santorini for its iconic sunset, head to the picturesque village of Oia, where you can take lay walks around the cliff-side village. Look for a spot in the town or grab a chair at one of the clifftop restaurants, where you can marvel at the stunning sunset views. If you're fond of scenic hikes, take the path from Fira to Oia, and explore the castles of Santorini. 

After your hike, check out some of Santorini's beautiful beaches, such as Perivolos Beach, which has a lovely beach bar. Order a cocktail drink and enjoy the stunning views of the deep blue waters. Santorini is also an ideal base for island hopping in Greece. You can visit the nearby Cycladic islands of Paros, Mykonos, Naxos, Ios, and Milos.

Santorini
Afbeelding van Michelle Raponi via Pixabay

Rhodes

 
Brimming with breathtaking natural beauty and amazing beaches, Rhodes is one of the most picturesque islands in Greece. It also boasts impressive medieval architecture and rich history and culture. You'll love wandering around the stone-paved alley of the Old Town of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to many elegant mansions.
 
If you love history, you're going to love Rhodes even more. The island is renowned for its incredible historical sites, and the most popular of these is the Lindos Acropolis, one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece. It's an ancient town founded in 10 B.C., with a temple dedicated to Athena Lindia. You will find an old plaque mentioning the name of its famous visitors, including Hercules, Alexander the Great, and Helen of Troy.
 
After exploring Rhodes' archaeological sites, relax at St Paul's Bay, a lovely beach only a few minutes from the town centre. As one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, it has crystal clear turquoise water and is seemingly enclosed. It's a lovely spot to lounge around and work on your tan.
Rhodos

Mykonos 

Famous for its whitewashed, blue-domed houses and excellent beach clubs, Mykonos has become a hotspot for jet setters and partygoers. Even if you're not here to party, you'll find something to enjoy on this gorgeous island. Its stunning coastline is home to lovely beaches where you can take a dip and marvel at the golden sunset. Mykonos is an ideal base for exploring the other islands in the Cyclades. In fact, you will find some excellent Greek Island cruising options that start in Mykonos, which is a convenient way to visit several islands in one trip.

Little Venice, the most popular neighbourhood of Mykonos, is a fun place to visit. It has a scenic section along its harbour, where you'll find great restaurants and cafes, a lovely place to sit and people-watch. While in Mykonos, don't miss the opportunity to see the famous windmills, only a short walk from Little Venice. 

If you want to escape the tourist crowds of Mykonos, go on a day trip to the nearby island of Delos. Believed to be the birthplace of Apollo, Delos has fascinating archaeological sites, including the ruins of Doric temples, ancient markets, and an amphitheatre.

Cruise Met Msc (86) 2

Corfu

Corfu boasts lush green scenery, idyllic white sand beaches and fascinating historical landmarks. It's one of the biggest islands in the Ionian Sea, which you can reach on a ferry from nearby Italy. While it's as beautiful as the more popular islands of Santorini and Mykonos, Corfu is not too crowded with tourists. Therefore, if you're looking for a quieter island to explore, head to Corfu.

Hiking towards Porto Timoni beach is one of the best things to do on Corfu. It's a secluded beach northwest of the island that you can access on a 30-minute hike along a rocky path starting from the village of Afionas. Another fantastic place to visit in Corfu is Paleokastritsa, a picturesque village with a series of small bays surrounded by the stunning backdrop of majestic mountains. The beaches are clean and a perfect place to swim around and relax.

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5 Must Visit Greek Islands