Greece is an incredible country to explore. The climate, food and friendly people make it a perfect place for a vacation. Greece is widespread and it can be difficult to nail down exactly where to visit, especially when it comes to the Greek islands. There are more than 200 inhabited Greek islands out of about 6,000 islands total. Each inhabited island has its own character, from the white-and-blue houses on the Cyclades islands to the castle-lined Dodecanese islands. No matter the type of Greek island getaway you’re looking for, there will certainly be a few islands that will fit your fancy.
Here are the best islands to visit for your next Greece vacation:
There is no Greek island more synonymous with carefree times, glitz and glamour than Mykonos. It’s a small island but it’s one that jumps with excitement, especially during the summer months. Mykonos has a very rocky terrain, and its windiness can sometimes surprise you, but you’ll also find some of the most amazing beaches around and a cosmopolitan vibe you simply won’t find anywhere else.
The main town, Chora, is famous for its winding lanes lined with white houses with painted blue doors and sophisticated shops and restaurants.
Mykonos is the perfect place to wander around town and pop in and out of shops looking for jewelry, art pieces, and rare island finds.
Relaxing in Mykonos, day vs night
While many may not be familiar with Patmos, this picture-perfect island has been called the Jerusalem of the Aegean. It is said to be the location where John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation from the New Testament. Spending time on this island left me with a spiritual calm which felt unique after spending time at other Greek islands.
Patmos does not have an airport so travel here has to be done by ship or ferry. Be sure to go see the Grotto of the Apocalypse where John is said to have heard the voice of God.
The beautiful Patmos coastline.Photo Credit: Ronda Wright
Rhodes has a captivating history, fantastic beaches and beautiful scenery – it literally has it all! Unlike some popular Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini, Rhodes is lush, green, and quite large at 541 square miles. Its home to some of the most spectacular medieval fortifications anywhere. The Old Town of Rhodes is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in all of Europe. Additionally, Lindos blends archaeological intrigue with a panoramic town that is absolutely stunning when you make it to the top of the acropolis.
The island’s diversity comes to life with orchards, vineyards, and forests as you travel into the countryside. Strolling the streets of Old Town was the best experience in Old Town, Rhodes.
Views From Acropolis of Lindos & Old Town Rhodes
Crete is the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest one in Greece. Its full of ancient Greek lore of stories like Zeus’ birth and has several Minoan ruins at sites like Knossos. This island has unspoiled Mediterranean landscapes with charming mountain villages and inviting coastal communities.
My favorite experience in Crete was driving out to Stironas to a vineyard where I was able to interact with the owner, sample wine and local honey, and see traditional dancers performed by the village locals. This was massively different than what was experienced on the other islands.
Me and vineyard owner, Visilius and enjoying the peace
Few islands have the power to captivate the way Santorini does. Gorgeous and cosmopolitan, it’s famous for that classic Greek island look with white painted houses clustered along narrow winding lanes, sitting atop volcanic cliffs. It’s easy to see how this island can lay claim to being the source of the legend of Atlantis.
Outside of taking in this island’s charm, make sure to visit Oia. It has beautiful views and a sunset that you’ll never forget.
No pictures can do Santorini justice. Photo Credit: Ronda Wright
There are over 100 more inhabited Greek islands, but these are definitely my favorites. As said earlier, no matter what type of Greek island experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it in these beautiful islands.
Hey, I'm Ronda Wright 👋🏽
I’m the founder of The Wright Getaway. I love all things travel and helping other people experience the world.
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