The deep blues of the Aegean Sea, the sparkling white walls of the island architecture, and the bursting pinks of the creeping bougainvillea enchant travelers who long for respite on the Greek Islands.
There are more than 6,000 Greek islands and only 227 have inhabitants. Islands considered must-see islands for first-time visitors include Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Paros, and Naxos.
Best Time to Travel?
Generally, April to October is the best time of year to visit the Greek Islands, but those hoping to enjoy the beautiful beaches should plan for a late May into early October vacation.
July through September is the busy season for the Greek Islands, and August is particularly bustling with tourists.
When people imagine visiting the Greek Islands, they often envision the pristine white architecture of Santorini popping against the deep blue of the Aegean Sea, but travelers should also explore the other islands of the region. Each island has its own distinct personality. Enchanting beaches, ancient villages, and mouth-watering cuisine beckons.
Who Might Add This to Their Travel Bucket List?
Travelers who are drawn to the quiet relaxation and slow pace of island life will fall in love with the Greek Islands and their beaches, shops, and sea views.
Cruisers who have experienced Caribbean island cruises might be interested in the allure of Greek island charm as well.
Bucket List Experiences
Explore Fira (Santorini)
Spend time wandering Fira, the capital of Santorini, meandering through picturesque alleyways and window shopping at the chic boutiques. Follow a walking trail from the city to the villages of Firostefani and then to Imerovigli, the highest point on the island. Prepare to be wowed by the view and have a camera ready to capture the beauty of the island.
The Windmills of Mykonos
The windmills of Mykonos are the most famous and photogenic landmarks on the island. Once used to refine grain, only a few have been preserved, serving as museums and private residences.
Balos Beach (Crete)
The largest of the Greek islands is known for its rugged beauty, secluded bays, quiet villages, deep valleys, and pink sand beaches. It is also home to Balos Beach in Chania. The beach is touristy, but for a reason: the changing blues of the water here and the relative ease of access (much more so than other beaches in Crete) make it a popular spot for those seeking a day of swimming and sunbathing.
Samaria Gorge (Crete)
Spending five to seven hours hiking the Samaria Gorge might not be the first item on the to-do list for relaxation-seekers visiting the island, but undertaking this adventure rewards hikers with incredible cliffs, playful goats, and even a dip in the warm waters of the Libyan Sea. Swarms of tourists flock to the national park during peak season, so it’s important to plan a visit accordingly.
The Portara (Naxos)
The Portara, located on the island of Naxos, is the only remains from an unfinished temple dedicated to the Greek God Apollo which was constructed in the 6th century B.C. From The Portara, enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and mountains.
For further reading: