From Corfu to Kefalonia: see pictures and find out more about these idyllic Greek holiday islands. Know your Ios from Naxos, see the difference between Santorini and Skiathos.
Visit one of these beautiful Greek islands. Here’s the guide to help you choose the right one for your next vacation to the Greek islands:
You might feel that you have already been here; because you’ve seen the stereotypical images of the arched whitewashed houses and bright blue sea (if not, see below). Well, when you’re actually here, then you will be surprised to see that not all beaches are pristine golden sand, here are some where the sand is black! Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cyclades, and is made of volcanic stone that gives the unusual color to the sand dunes.
While its cousin in the Cyclades, Santorini, it is the place for kissing arteries and love fun, then Mykonos where you partying till dawn. It is a popular place for those who are looking for partying. Take to Mykonos town and choose freely between the island’s best bars and nightclubs; from classic cocktails to Caprice, to thumping dance music at Argo Bar.
You can find plenty of life in the flashy bars and night clubs in Kavos, but take the old Perithia in the northeast to see a different side to the island. This is Corfu’s oldest village, located at the foot of Pantokrator Mountain, surrounded by peaceful vineyards and beautiful ruins of the Venetian style.
Another volcanic island in the Cyclades Milos, which has a reputation as a vacation hot spot for international tourists, but the island’s turquoise waters and rocky hills, has been popular with locals for years. Milos is relatively quiet, compared to the larger neighbors, so here you can enjoy the unspoilt countryside in peace and quiet.
Among the Dodecanese islands, Kos is the third largest, after Rhodes and Karpathos. This is the island where Hippocrates was born, the father of all modern medicine, so why not see where he trained – namely Asklepeion? Lazy beach days are best enjoyed on the southwest coast; tag to Kefalos for the best selection of sandy oases to throw your towel on.
The largest Greek island of Crete is home to the legendary Palace of Knossos. This Bronze Age complex is considered to be Europe’s oldest city, and its history goes back to the year 7000 before our Christian era. Today there are dozens of beaches where you can get a tan, lots of fun in the party town of Malia, and traditional tavernas hidden away in villages on the hillsides around the island. Be sure to try the island’s delicacy: snails, steamed, fried or grilled.
Naxos is possibly the greenest island of the Cyclades and the island’s incredible natural beauty7 makes Naxos deserves its reputation as Hawaii in Greece. Nearly 100 kilometers of white beaches lie along the incredibly clear water. Do as Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and find yourself a virgin to marry on Naxos, or bring your own beach goddess – or strandgud – with.
Paros is a gem in the Aegean Sea, yet often just a stop for tourists heading to nearby Ios and Santorini. But Paros deserves a little bit more of your time. There are plenty of postcard-perfect villages, and remember to visit Parikia (the main town) Lefkes and Marpissa, just to name a few. See the whitewashed houses and mountains enjoy a plate of meze, the Greek version of tapas.
Want a truly authentic taste of Greek island life, take to Folegandros, where there are few distractions besides Angali beach, Chora town Karavostasi port and Ano Meria village. This little- known island is a great place to go hiking, but although it is a little quieter than its neighbors, then Folegandros pretty busy in high season, and nights disappear quickly, so be sure to book in advance.
Pine forests and pebble beach’s waiting in Alonissos. This island in the Sporades has become popular in recent years, the jet planets are always looking for a greener Greek island; there are many eco-resorts on the island, which means that there are plenty of campsites where you can stay and be one with nature. Alonissos is one big marine park, the largest in Europe, so take them if you want to see seals or grow a little snorkeling.