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42 Best Islands in Greece For All Types of Travelers

Are you ready for sandy shores, epic coastlines, and clear blue water? This guide to the best islands in Greece has got you covered.

The Greek Islands are one of the most sought after places in the world to visit. Renowned for their iconic coasts, pristine beaches, picturesque towns, and rocky hills.

I’ve spent months island-hopping around Greece and I am still in awe at their beauty.

There are over 6,000 islands in Greece (over 200 of which have people living on them) and many of them cater to different types of travelers.

In this post, we will cover the best islands in Greece for couples, nightlife, budget travelers, luxury, couples, off-season travelers, and more. So whether you’re backpacking through Greece on a budget or ready to live like a rich and famous there is an island for you.

But there’s more. You will also get estimated budgets, how to get there, where to eat, and the top things to do on each island.

So without further ado, let’s discover the best islands in Greece.

The Best Islands in Greece

best islands in Greece

Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands

Picking the best time to visit the Greek Islands changes depending on what you want out of your trip.

If you want the warmest water, best sunbathing, and biggest beach parties then visit the Greek islands during the summer. From June to August the islands are at the top of their game.

But the summer isn’t all good news. Greece is blistering hot at this time of the year. The highs stay around 94°F (10°C). But the one-two punch of the heat and the dry climate make Greek summers feel much hotter than the thermometer reads.

Another downside; the summer months are the peak tourist season, which means larger than normal crowds. And prices that skyrocket; hotels and food cost up to 3X more than in the off-season. Budget travelers beware.

But if you’re looking for the famous parties then their’s no better time to visit. And during the summer the Greek Islands have some of the best parties in Europe.

The parties draw world-class DJs and musicians. But think about the prices, crowds, and money you’ll spend before committing fully.

Yes, the parties rock, but do they justify the high prices? I would consider taking all that money and go to the Thai islands. These islands are just as beautiful, and your money will go ten times as far. Then come back and visit the best cities in Greece in the off or shoulder season.

Now, I know I’m not doing an excellent job of selling the Greek Islands. But there are advantages to visiting in the summer months. All the archaeological sites and museums are open.

There are more ferries between the islands. And for solo travelers, there are thousands of more locals and travelers to meet. Plus, out of control parties.

The best time to visit the islands in Greece is either the spring or fall

This gives you the best of both worlds.

The prices drop, the weather’s still warm, and the islands aren’t overcrowded with tourists. And there’s still a lot of things going on.

Getting Around the Greek Islands

There are two options to get around the Greek Islands – ferries, and planes. There are 21 airports spread around the islands and hundreds of ferries each day.

But which option is right for you? Let’s dive in (pun intended) and see the pros and cons to each mode of traveling to the Greek Islands.


Ferries are my top choice of getting around the best Greek Islands. There are both slow or fast boats. Fast ships cost more but don’t save you that much time.

I like the slow ferries, which give you time to take in the landscape, have a meal at a restaurant, and save some money.

Some of the fast boats will save you a few hours, but it’s not worth the extra cost.

All the ferries say they have WiFi, but they don’t. So download some Netflix movies or bring cards. There are daily ferries to many of the popular islands in Greece. And these ferries boast some incredible views. And some of the great islands are just a few hours by ferry.

Flying to the Greek Islands

Many of the best Greek Islands, like Santorini, Crete, and Mykonos, have airports.

If you’re traveling far and can find a cheap flight, then it is a good option. But in my experience finding good airfare to the islands is rare.

When asked the best way to travel around the Greek Islands, I suggest ferries. Why? Because getting to the airport, checking in, waiting around, and flying means you save little time. Plus, flying cost a lot more.

To prove my point, let’s look at traveling to Crete, one of the furthest islands from Athens.

The ferry to Crete takes 7 – 9 hours and cost as low as 29 Euros ($32).

Flying from Athens takes around 1 hour for over 100 Euro.

Good deal, right? Well, is it? When you take into account the 30 -45 minutes to get to the airport. And the hour and a half you need to be at the airport before your flight. After landing you have to get off the plane, make your way through the airport, collect your luggage, and hail a bus/cab to take to you downtown.

I would guess that in total flying takes around 4 1/2 – 5 hours. Sure, you are saving a few hours. But you’re also paying three times the price of the ferry. And you’re running around like a madman (or woman).

With the boat, you set down your luggage, grab a cup of coffee, and sit on the deck reading a book, watching movies, or enjoying the view. The turquoise waters of the Aegean are pristine.

Hi! I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like SHREK), but don’t worry I’m not green.

I help people discover the world by helping them plan their trips with useful travel tips and guides.

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List of Airports on Greek Islands

Looking Direct Flight from Athens to the Greek Islands? Well, if you are on arriving via one of the international flights, you will have to stop in Athens, or another large city in Greece. Hey, but maybe that is a good time to take a detour and check out the Archeological museum

Athens is the capital of Greece and a major hub for international travelers. It’s also the gateway to the beautiful Greek Islands, which are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With so many islands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones to visit. Fortunately, there are direct flights from Athens to many of the Greek Islands, making it easy to explore them all.

  • Chios (JKH)
  • Chania (CHQ)
  • Corfu (CFU)
  • Heraklion (HER)
  • Ikaria (JIK)
  • Ioannina (IOA)
  • Kefalonia (EFL)
  • Kos (KGS)
  • Leros (LRS)
  • Lesvos (MJT)
  • Milos (MLO)
  • Mykonos (JMK)
  • Naxos (JNX)
  • Paros (PAS)
  • Rhodes (RHO)
  • Samos (SMI)
  • Santorini (JTR)
  • Skiathos (JSI)
  • Skyros (SKU)
  • Syros (JSY)
  • Zakynthos (ZTH)

Best Islands in Greece For Couples


best islands in Greece

Santorini has become synonymous with the word Greece and needs no introduction. But for fun, let’s give it one.

Santorini’s known world-wide for its stunning sunsets and whitewashed houses that dangle on cliff edges.

The volcanic landscape is gorgeous; and its unusual properties deliver some of the best wine in Greece’s. At night boats sail around the caldera, taking eager tourists on scenic tours around the volcano and to some of the best sunset spots.

Santorini has become a legendary spot for romantic getaways and honeymooners.

Fame means higher prices on food, tours, and hotels. But that’s a small price to pay to have an experience in one of the best Greek Islands for couples.

For budget, travelers don’t let the higher prices scare you away. You can travel Santorini on a budget. In fact, the island has a thriving backpacker culture. Thera, the main city on the island, has a wild nightlife scene. Even some of the best restaurants in Santorini are budget friendly.

The downside of backpacking Santorini; hostels are crazy expensive during the summer months (A hostel dorm room will cost around $50 a night during the peak season.) Travelers on a budget should visit before the end of May or after August.

The two most significant towns on the island are Thera and Oia. Thera’s known for its nightlife while Oia’s known for its windmills and sunsets. Santorini might be the most romantic destination in Greece. But it is also small enough that you can dig into Greek culture – it’s around the size of Manhattan. Hordes of travelers rent ATV’s and embark on their own adventure. And within a few days, you can explore the entire island. There is much more to do when visiting this popular destination than hang out on the popular beaches. Or enjoy the crystal-clear water of picturesque island.

Who Else Should Travel to Santorini





Beach Bums

Where to Eat

  • Metaxi Mas ($$)
  • The Good Heart ($$)
  • Melitini ($$)
  • Argo ($$)

Santorini Facts

Distance: 125 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Cycladic Islands

How Long Should You Stay:2-3 Days

Airport: Santorini Airport (JTR)

Santorini Ferry Info

Ferry Ports that Go to Santorini: Athens. And Amorgos, Astypalea Chalki, Anafi, Crete, Donoussa, Folegandros, Ios, Karpathos, Kasos, Kea, Kimolos, Kos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Milos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Skiathos, Symi, Syros, Thirassia, Tinos

Ferry Ride: 6-7 Hours

Ferry Ticket: €30-€50 Euro

Things to do on Santorini

  • Santorini Sunset
  • Wine Tour
  • Santorini Cooking Classes
  • Wine Tastings
  • Red Beach
  • Sunset at Oia
  • Santorini Caldera
  • ATV around the island

Top Places to Stay on Santorini


best Greek Islands

Hailed as the island where the rich and famous come to play puts Mykonos on a pedestal. And the most luxurious island.

But when an islands’ famous for celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Mariah Carey, and Gerard Butler gracing its shores, it goes without saying that Mykonos has a higher than normal price tag.

And while it’s one of the most expensive islands in Greece, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel it on a budget. I know because I’ve spent a lot of time on the island and I am far from rich.

Every year the island draws thousands to its romantic resorts, pristine beaches, and iconic sites.

Couples will love the picturesque villages and relaxed neighborhoods. The towns are a maze of stone alleyways. With tall white-walled and blue-roofed houses towering on either side. There are gorgeous beaches, right outside the doorstep of couple resorts.

Trying to earn some brownie points with your partner? Then planning a trip, to Mykonos, when visiting the best islands in Greece with do the trick.

The debaucherous nightlife that the island is known for draws a big backpacking culture to certain parts of the island. Mykonos is a lightning rod for parties during the summer. Famous DJ’s play at beach parties and packed clubs.

And there are all sorts of questionable fun to get into. The island might get its share of backpackers but compare to the rest of Greece; Mykonos is not budget-friendly. This luxurious island is one of the most expensive, and most visited island. But there are a lot of blue roof houses and beauty. But also history, and nearby Delos is a great place to visit for History Buffs. 

Other Travelers Who Will Love Mykonos





Beach Bums

Where to Eat

  • Pepper ($)
  • Kadena ($$)
  • Sakis Grill ( $)
  • Funky Kitchen ($$$)
  • Nikos Taverna ($)
  • Maereio ($$)

Mykonos Facts

Distance: 113 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades

How Long to Stay: 4 -5 Days

Airport: Mykonos International Airport (JMK)

Mykonos Ferry Info

Ferry Ports that Serve Mykonos:

Athens, A.G. Eystratios, Andros, Amorgos, Chios, Crete, Donoussa, Foleganros, Fourni, Ikaria, Ios, Iraklia, Kavala, Kimolos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Lesvos, Limnos, Milos, Naxos, Paros, Patmos, Samos, Santorini, Schinoussa, Sifnos, Siknos, Skiathos, Syros, Tinos

Ferry from Athens: 5 to 6 Hours

Ferry Ticket From Athens: €20 – €40

Things to do on Mykonos

  • Day Trip to Delos
  • Little Venice
  • Windmills in Mykonos Town
  • Lia Beach
  • Agios Sostis
  • Paraga Beach


crete facts

Crete’s the granddaddy of couple hotspots in Greece. Crete’s cheap, convenient, and rich in culture.

The landscape’s another reason the islands so popular with couples. Full of rocky hills, dramatic coastline, and large caves; Crete is a feast for your eyes. And you can explore nature without straying miles from all the luxuries of your hotel.

History runs deep in Crete. And this massive island houses two of the best archaeological sites in the country.

I’m referring to Knossos (home of the Minotaur).

This ruined palace was the center of the Minoan Civilization. A people that lived 5,000 years ago and are the precursors to ancient Greece.

Knossos gets all the attention but it’s far from the old site on Crete. You can also explore the Phaistos Palace and the Fortezza Venetian Castle.

Couples will enjoy exploring the old towns of Chani and Rethymno. To the north, there are the villages of Zaros and Loutro. You can’t miss the sunset at Falassarna Beach. It rivals some of the best beaches California has to offer.. And don’t forget the secluded beach of Agiofarago.

What else is Crete famous for? It would also fit under the best islands in Greece to travel in September. And the in the best Greek Islands for food, and family travel. You could easily spend one week on Crete.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Crete




Off Season

Where to Eat

  • Rustic Garden Tapas & Wine ($$$)
  • Mon.ES ($$)
  • Theodosi Restaurant ($$)
  • Peskesi ($$)
  • Merastri ($$)

Crete Facts

Distance: 245 Miles from Athens

Where: South Aegean Islands (Cretan Islands)

Airport: Heraklion International Airport (HER)

Crete Ferry Info

Ports that Serve Crete:

Athens, Andros, Chalki, Anafi, Ios Karpathos, Kasos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Santorini, Skiathos, Syros, Tinos

Ferry Length from Athens: 9 – 10 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: €29 -€33

Things to do on Crete

  • Chani Old Town
  • Zaros Village
  • Rethymnon Old Town
  • Konnos
  • Falassarna and Agiofarago beaches
  • Triopetra Beach


Corfu’s (popularly called Kerkyra) a stunning island nestled in the Ionian Sea. Corfu’s often called the most beautiful islands in Greece. The island landscape features hidden coves, jagged mountains, azure waters, and soft sandy beaches.

With that type of scenery, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Corfu has become famed among couples.

Corfu’s doesn’t shy away for the fact it caters to couples. It embraces its reputation as a romantic getaway.

Sidari is the major resort area on the island. From here, all the epic sunsets spots and sandy beaches are at your fingertips. Sidari has a booming party scene that wakes up as the sun goes down.

Built between two forts lies Corfu town. A maze of stone buildings, walkways, and small alleys; makes it the most romantic city on the island.

Couples seeking peace and quiet will want to head to Agios Georgios. Or the quiet harbor town of Kassiopi. Couples looking for the best views should head to the picturesque village of Paleokastritsa.

There are endless things for couples to do on Corfu.

Corfu is on the other side of the country from Athens. So getting there is a little harder if you are not flying. There are bus/ferry combos, or you can drive yourself and take the car ferry.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Corfu





Where to Eat

  • YogArt ($$$)
  • Ristorante Del Sole ($$$)
  • Pyramid Restaurant Cafe ($$)
  • Three Brothers Fish Tavern ($)
  • Ladokolla Traditional Grill ($)

Corfu Ferry Info

Distance: 316 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Ionian Islands

Airport: Corfu International Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias”(CFU)

Bus/Ferry from Athens: 8 -10 Hours

Bus/Ferry Ticket: €50 – €90

Things to do on Corfu

  • Palaiokastritsa
  • Achilleion
  • Sidari
  • Old Fort
  • Mon Repos
  • Mt. Pantorkrator
  • St. Spryidon Church

Hotels and Hostels on Corfu

Best Islands in Greece For Beaches


The tiny island of Milos lies in the Western Cyclades.

The biggest draw of Milos are the beaches of Sarakiniko, Papafragas, and Firopotamos.

These rocky beaches are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The jagged pale rock lines the coast in insane formations gives these beaches an otherworldly feel. Sarakiniko’s the best out of the three beaches, and it has some awesome cliff jumping if you want to test your metal.

But Milos has more than crazy rock formations. It’s one of the cheapest places to visit in the Cyclades. Milos isn’t super touristy. The islands’ a welcome escape from the typical island-hopping tourist crowds. Plus, the food is incredible. I’ve had some of my best meals in Greece on Milos.

Milos isn’t for everyone, though. If you’re looking for epic nightlife, large cities, or old ruins? Then Milos isn’t a good fit.

But if you’re looking for a nice relaxing island to chill. Then Milos is a great option to add to your Greek bucket list.

Milos is up there for the best Greek islands to visit in September. This island is also loved by foodies and families.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Milos




Off Season

Where to Eat

  • Enalion Restaurant ($$)
  • Barriello ($$)
  • Yankos ($)
  • Kinigos Restaurant ($$)

Milos Facts

Distance: 116 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Island

How Long to Stay: 3-4 Days

Airport: Milos Island National Airport (MLO)

Milos Ferry Info

Ports the Serve Milos: Athens, Amorgos, Andros, Chalki, Anafi, Crete, Folegandros, Ios, Karpathos, Kosos, Kea, Kimolos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Santorini, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros

Ferry Time from Athens: 5 to 7 hours

Ferry Price: €66 -€120

Best Beaches on Milos

  • Sarakiniko
  • Telgrado Beach
  • Paliochori Beach
  • Papafragas
  • Firopotamos


Naxos, sitting right beside Paros, known for its charm and as a budget-friendly island with excellent sites, beaches, and food.

As you enter the harbor, you’ll glimpse the Portara. A massive stone doorway, to an unfinished temple of Apollo, that’s become the island’s most iconic site.

The locals, who embody the famous Greek hospitality, are a big draw to the island. Most meals on Naxos end with a smile, wine, or dessert. All free.

And compared to its Cyclades counterparts, like Santorini or Ios, Naxos has a much more relaxing atmosphere.

Throughout history, the island was a major marble producer for the ancient Greek world, that they used to build some of the seven wonders of the ancient world..

A couple of the best sandy beaches in Greece lie on Naxos coast. (And since Greece has thousands of beaches that is quite an accomplishment.)

Notably, Plaka Beach Naxos; the most famous beach on the island. Plaka Beach personifies the word beauty with calm blue water and soft sandy shores.

Along the coast, there are a few hotels and restaurants. But the beach remains pure and out of the clutches of over-tourism. But it has a couple of incredible beaches with shallow waters.

Other beaches include Aliko Agios Georgios, Aliko, Orkos; Pyrgaki, and Agios Prokopios beach (which is close to Plaka.)

With over 20 beaches on Naxos, it is easy to find one that fits your needs.

Naxos is one of my favorite islands in the Cyclades.

Naxos is a great island for couples, families, and budget travelers. There isn’t much of a backpacker scene on Naxos. But if you are looking for a laid back island, you can’t beat it. And it is also the best destination for windsurfing in Greece.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Naxos



Where to Eat

  • Su E Giu ( $$)
  • Rendez – Vous ($$)
  • Scirocco Cafe ($$)

Naxos Facts

Distance: 132 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Islands

How Long to Stay: 3-4 Days

Airport: Naxos Island National Airport (JNX)

Naxos Ferry Info

Ferry Ports that Serve Naxos:

Athens, Amorgos, Andros, Astypalea, Anfi, Crete, Donoussa, Folegandros, Ios, Iraklia, Kalymnos,Karpathos, Kasos, Kastelorizo, Kea, Kimolos, Kos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Leros, Lipsi, Milos, Mykonos, Nisyros, Paros, Patmos, Santorini, Rhodes, Schinoussa, Sifnos, Sikinos, Symi, Syros, Thessaloniki, Thirassia, Tilos, Tinos

Ferry from Athens: 4-5 Hours

Ferry Ticket: €25 -€40

Best Beaches on Naxos

  • Plaka beach
  • Aliko Agios Georgios
  • Aliko
  • Orkos
  • Pyrgaki


Lying off the Cape of Malea sits the tiny, yet powerful island of Elafonisos. And while the island small, it’s only 7 square miles, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting.

This scenic little island has some of the longest beaches in Greece. Simos beach; the best beach and the highlight of the island. The narrow beach curves around the coast to a large group of rocks and dunes.

Simos isn’t just one beach. But a collection of them. And they stretch far along the coast of Elafonisos. These are some of the most gorgeous beaches in Greece. (if not the most beautiful). And they have an easy-going vibe; you can even camp on Simos.

A few other beaches to check out are Panagia, Pavlopetri, Kato Nisi.

With unforgettable beaches and charming small towns, Elafonisos is one of the best islands in Greece for beaches.

Getting to Elafonisos might seem a little tricky. You can’t reach the Ionian Islands directly by ferry from Athens. But don’t lose hope! You still have two options.

And that is to catch the ferry from Pounta to Elafonisos. You can also fly to Kythira and take a ferry to Elafonisos. And catching the  And these islands have everything from traditional villages, to lush greenery.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Elafonisos




Where to Eat

  • Sta Kala Kathoumena ($$)
  • Ta Nisia tis Panagias ($$)
  • Sailing cafe bistro ($$)
  • Mpoúkas ($$)
  • Simos Camping ($)

Elafonisos Facts

Distance: 215 miles from Athens

Nearest Airport: Kythira (KIT)

How Long to Stay: 2-3 Days

From Athens: 4-6 hours by Bus/Ferry

Ferry: From Pounta to Elafonisos

Things to do on Elafonisos

  • Simos Beach
  • Kastania Cave
  • Kato Nisi Beach
  • Cave of Diros
  • Fourni
  • Pavlo Petri (underwater settlement)
  • Panagia Beach


Let’s face it; if Greece has an abundance of anything, it’s rocks and hills. They surround many of the beaches in the country. Leaving little to no vegetation or shade. (Just look at the pictures on other islands above! Not a tree in sight.)

That all changes in Skopelos.

Trees cover many of the beaches. Which sets them apart from many beaches on the Greek islands.

And a haven from the brutal sun. In Skopelos, the sky seems bluer, the water clearer, and the towns more rustic.

Skopelos sits in the western Aegean, north of Euboea. And all you Mamma Mia fans with recognize Skopelos; where they filmed a significant portion of the movie.

If you’ve seen the movie, then you know how stunning the landscape, nature, and beaches are.

I wouldn’t spend a massive amount of time traveling Skopelos. After all, there are a lot more of the best Greek islands to visit. But Skopelos is worth a few days.

Of course, if you’re a beach bum you could spend your whole Greek holiday hopping around the best beaches in Skopelos (there are a lot of them.) And it would not be a wasted holiday.

A few of the best beaches on Skopelos are Panormos, Stafilos, Kastani, Milia, and Hovolo. But the island has many more beaches to discover.

Getting to Skopelos takes a little more work than other islands. No direct ferry from Athens to Skopelos exist. And the island doesn’t have an airport so there are no frequent flights. But it isn’t too difficult; it just adds one more leg to your journey.

Head to Agios Konstantinos, in central Greece. From here catch the ferry between Volos and Skopelos.

Other Travelers Who Will Love Skopelos




Where to Eat

  • Sta Kala Kathoumena ($$)
  • Ta Nisia tis Panagias ($$)
  • Sailing cafe bistro ($$)
  • Mpoúkas ($$)
  • Simos Camping ($)

Skopelos Facts

Distance: 172 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Sporades Islands

How Long to Stay: 2-3 Days

Closest Airport: Skiathos Island Airport (JSI)

Ferry: Volos to Skopelos – 2 Hours

Ferry Ticket: €20 -€30

Things to do on Skopelos

  • Skopelos Town,
  • Agios Ioannis Church
  • Panormos Beach
  • Venetian Castle
  • Evangelistria Monastery
  • Senoukia Carved Graves


And for windsurfing, head to Agios Ioannis. The strong winds are perfect for riding the waves.

While Lefkada is one of the best Greek islands for beaches, it has more than sandy shores and blue waters.

The islands coastal towns and seaside villages are great for embracing the slow pace of island life and meandering around.

And since the island lies off, the tourist track only increases Lefkadas appeal.

Lefkada has perfect weather in September.

It is also a family-friendly island. And since gets little tourism, making it one of the cheapest islands to visit in Greece.

No direct ferry to Lefkada exist. But you can get there via a small bridge connecting it to the mainland. This means you can rent a car and drive straight from Athens (or wherever you are on the mainland.)

Other Travelers the Will love Lefkada




Where to Eat

  • Taverna ‘Ta
  • Kanioria ($$)
  • Pantheon Restaurant ($$),
  • T’Aloni ($$)
  • Tavern Zolithros ($$)
  • Sivota Bakery Cafe ($)

Lefkada Facts

Distance: 240 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Ionian Islands

How Long to Stay: 3 Days

Nearest Airport: Aktion Airport (PVK)

Ferry: No

Driving Time: From Athens takes 4-5 hours.

Best Beaches on Lefkada

  • Porto Katsiki
  • Egremni
  • Kathisma
  • Agios Ioannis
  • Agios Nikitas
  • Mylos
  • Agiofili

Things to do on Lefkada

  • Monastery of Panagia
  • Faneromeni
  • Nydri Waterfalls
  • Milos Beach
  • Archaeological
  • Museum of Lefkada
  • Cape Lefkatas

Best Islands in Greece For Families


Paros is a conundrum. On the one hand, much of the island lies off the beaten path. But on the other hand, Paros acts as a launching off point to get to other islands in Greece.

So the island gets a fair amount of tourists. Most of them just passing through while waiting for another ferry and never taking full advantage of what the island has to offer.

The first and last stop for most people is Paros Town. Many people fall in love with this harbor town. (I was one of them and extended my stay on the island.) It’s a lovely port with whitewashed alleys and streets that form an impossible maze. But Paros Town offers just a small glimpse of everything the island has tucked away.

Paros isn’t just a gateway to other islands. It’s a gateway to small villages, sandy beaches, and unforgettable day trips.

The island holds all the beauty of its counterparts Mykonos and Santorini. Yet it shys away from the craziness; making it a great option if you are traveling with a family.

Naoussa – No, not Naoussa Australia, although they both have a lot of yogurt and wine – acts as one of the most scenic villages on the island. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, and lounges. It’s a great setting to open a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.

Other villages to visit are Lefkes. A beautiful town nestled between two mountains. Lefkes has an authentic air to it. There’s the charming fishing village of Pisa Livadi and Drios.

There are also day trips to smaller islands like Anti- Paros, Naxos, and Delos. Plus many more islands.

Paros is also known for its beaches. Namely, Kolymbithres beach which has strange rock formations. For sunbathing head to Santa Maria. If you want something more laid back visit Ai Yannis. Paros is another great choice for a relaxing couples holiday. And because most ferry routes stop at the charming village on the dock, it is easy to get to. 

Other Travelers Paros is perfect for





Where to Eat

  • Ydroussa Restaurant ($$)
  • Koralli Restaurant – Ouzeri ($$)
  • Soso ($$)
  • Siparos ($$)
  • Mediterraneo ($$)
  • Siparos ($$$)

Paros Facts

Distance: 136 Miles for Athens

Where: Cyclades Islands

How long to Stay: 3-4 Days

Airport: Paros National Airport (PAS)

Paros Ferry Info

Ports that Serve Paros:

Athens, Amorgos, Andros, Astypalea, Anafi, Crete, Donoussa, Folegandros, Ios, Iraklia, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Kastelorizo, Kea, Kimolos, Kos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Leros, Lipsi, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Santorini, Schinoussa, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Skiathos, Symi, Syros, Thessaloniki, Thirassia, Tilos, Tinos

Ferry Time from Athens: 4-5 hours

Ferry Ticket from Athens: €26 -€39

Things to do on Paros

  • Kolymbithres Beach
  • Lefkes Village
  • Naoussa
  • Panagia Ekatontapiliani
  • Paros Park
  • Faragas Beach Bar

Paxos (Paxoi)

Paxos (or Paxil) has a reputation for its beauty. But so do all the best islands in Greece.

What sets Paxos apart that it’s less commercial than many other Ionian Islands and has a rich artistry culture.

Paxos has a strong Venetian influence. This gives the island an Italian flair and sets it apart from many other islands in Greece.

The island has spots for swimming, relaxing, snorkeling, and boating.

The locals gear the tourism on the island towards creating a relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere.

Popular family outings on Paxos involve venturing into the different villages.

Lakka, a postcard-worthy village, has a lot of things to do like markets, bakeries, boat trips, and swimming spots.

The whole family will love Logos, which has a lot of restaurants, taverns, and beautiful views. The capital of Paxos, Gaios, is worth exploring. It’s a sleepy little capital that speaks volumes about the island. One of the biggest sites is Antipaxos a small island full of white sandy beaches.

Like most of the Ionian Islands, you can’t get a direct ferry from Athens. The easiest and quickest way to get to Paxos from Athens is to fly to Corfu and take the ferry. You can also do a bus ferry combo from Athens. Or a train/bus/ferry combo.

Other Travelers Paxil is perfect for





Where to Eat

  • Erimitis Bar & Restaurant ($$)
  • Ταβέρνα Βασίλης, Λογγός Παξοί ($$)
  • Taverna Nionios ($)
  • The Bournaos ($)

Paxos Facts

Distance: 318 miles from Athens

Where: Ionian Islands

Closest Airport: Corfu ( CFU)

Bus/ Ferry : 8 hours

Bus Ferry Price: €53 – €71

Best Family Outings on Paxos

  • Paxos Boat Trips
  • Virka Beach
  • Mongonissi
  • Lakka
  • Loggos


Kea’s a lesser-known Cycladic Island. And If you’re looking for a serene island for a relaxing holiday with the family, then Kea should be at the top of your list.

Kea’s filled with untouched nature, great views, and picturesque landscape.

More than that there’re some great villages. And one of the highlights of Kea is the authentic atmosphere.

Trade the touristy shops selling Greek playing cards and spartan helmets for real souvenirs like colorful local handmade clothes, sarongs, and local produce.

Kea feels like the real Greece. Or rather what Greece used to be like before the massive wave of tourism crashed into its shores. The islands have beautiful, well-preserved temples. Hidden beaches, exclusive cuisine, and charming towns. It is an island the whole family can enjoy.

A few things you shouldn’t miss are the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon (from the 5th century). And the historical temple of Sounion nestled beside the water. Which is also great for sunset views. There is also Monastery of Panagia Kastriani up in the hills.

For beaches, check out Koundouros and Xyla.

Because it is so far off the tourist trail, Kea is also one of the cheapest islands to visit in Greece.

Other Travelers Kea is perfect for




Off Season

Where to Eat

  • Kylix Food and Wine ($$)
  • Porto Koundouros ($$$)
  • To Tziotiko Ravaisi ($)
  • To Steki ($$)
  • The Piatsa ($$)

Kea Facts

Distance: 67 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Archipelago

Airport: No

Ferry Ports: Lavrio – Kea

Ferry Time: 1 -2 Hours

Ferry Ticket: €8 -€13

Best Family Outings on Kea

  • Temple of Sounion
  • Xyla Beach
  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Gialiskári
  • Μονοπατι Νο6 Προς Αρχαια Καρθαια


Hydra’s a great choice for families traveling around the best islands in Greece.


Well, a few things make Hydra an ideal option.

First, the islands in the Argo-Saronic Gulf, near Athens. Yep, no long ferry ride for the little ones.

Hydra’s also small; the island so tiny it doesn’t even allow cars. Meaning no long bus rides or taxis.

Plus, the lack of cars eliminates the worry some crazy driver will come speeding around a curve while your kids are crossing the street.

Everything you’ll want to do in Hydra is within walking distance. Or via local transportation, a.k.a donkeys.

Popular things to do for families on Hydra include; taking handcarts and donkey rides around the island. Or wandering the scenic port area, or hiking village to village.

Hydra has a rich history and it’s a town frozen in time. (much of the island hasn’t changed in over 100 years.)

To learn about this history, you can visit the Independence Museum or the Byzantine Museum.

For outdoor lovers, Hydra has great hiking paths, although not all of them are suitable for youngsters. You can also explore the many monasteries and churches around the island.

Hydra loves to celebrate! And many family-friendly festivals are held throughout the year. One of the best is the festival of the Almond Tree in February. This festival showcases a lot of local music and dances.

Hydra also celebrates carnival during the spring. When both kids and adults alike dress up as masqueraders and celebrate lent.

For concerts and a lot of unique cuisines then visit Hydra during the May Day celebration. This is the best time for foodies to visit.

Other Travelers Hydra’s perfect for



Beach Bums

Hydra Travel Facts

Distance from Athens: 47 Miles

Where: Part of the Saronic Islands

Hydra Size: 19.15 mi²

Airport: No

Ferry: Athens to Hydra

  • Ferry Length: 45 -55 Minutes
  • Ferry Price €20 -€26

Best Family Outings on Hydra

  • Donkey Riding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Monasteries
  • Visit the Museums
  • Walk from Kamini to Hydra Town
  • Chill on the Beaches


Lying in the Dodecanese is the tiny island of Astypalea. And when I say small, I mean it. Astypalaia only has 1,334 residents and only covers 37.41 mi².

Due to the size, the island has remained secluded and off the tourist radar.

Astypalea has become an alternative destination.

A haven for families, couples, and off the beaten path travelers. Instead of catering to the backpacking and party crowd.

While small, Astypalea has everything you expect when traveling to the Greek Islands.

The towns have the iconic Cycladic architecture.

With narrow alleys lined with cube-shaped white houses and dark blue shutters. And let’s not forget the rugged wooden balconies.

The capital of Astypalea, Chora, is where you and your family will want to spend most of your time. Chora acts as the cultural center and houses most of the restaurants, shops, and hotels on the island.

From the top of the highest hill in Chora, you get stunning views of the Aegean. And the Venetian style castle – Querini castle. This castle is the major attraction of the island and is a remnant of medieval times.

The island has a variety of beaches that will appeal to all types of travelers. Actually, a variety might be an understatement. You could visit three beaches a day, and it would take you over a week to see them all.

But to save you some time wandering from shore to shore, I’ll share the best ones. Pera Gialos, Livadi, and Schinontas are the most beautiful beaches on the island.

But the beaches of Agios Ioannis Plakes, Vthi, and Verses are all good runner ups.

Besides beaches, there are also a variety of other things to do.

Such as sea sports, hiking, traditional windmills, Drakos Cave, the Monastery of Saint John, and Museums.

Other Travelers Astypalea’s perfect for

Beach Bums


Budget Travelers

Where to Eat

  • Akti Restaurant ($$)
  • Αγονη Γραμμη ( $$)
  • Ouzeri Anastasia ($$)

Astypalea Facts

Distance: 216 miles from Athens

Where: Dodecanese Islands

Airport:(Only in Summer) Astypalaia Island National Airport (JTY)

Ferries: 3 Times a Week from Athens

Ferry Length: 9 Hours

Best Family Outings on Astypalea

  • Venetian Castle,
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Drakos Cave
  • Windmills
  • Church of Panagia
  • Portaitissa

Other Travelers Astypalea’s perfect for



Beach Bums


Where to Eat

  • Avli ($)
  • Alkyonis ($)
  • Panos ($)
  • Prosilio ($$)
  • Escape ($)
  • Pirounaki traditional restaurant ($)
  • Lofos Restaurant ($$)


Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, located in the Ionian Sea. It is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush green landscapes. The island has a rich history and culture that dates back to ancient times.

The main attractions on Zakynthos are its beaches. Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach.

Zakynthos Facts

Distance: 200 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Ionian Islands

Airport: Zakynthos Airport (ZTH)

Ferry From: Kyllini (Eastern Peloponnese) to Zakynthos

Ferry Time: 1 Hour

Price: €22

Things for Families to do on Zakynthos

  • Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove)
  • Porto Azzuro
  • Snorkel With Turtles
  • Gerakas Beach
  • Venetian Castle
  • Porto Limnionas
  • Alykes Beach
  • Cliffs of Keri
  • Boat Tour


Skiathos is the most well-known island in the Sporades. But that doesn’t mean it’s touristy.

And while Skiathos’s the largest island it is still small and only covers an area of 18.53 mi². It’s also the neighbor to Skopelos (Mamma Mia island we talked about earlier).

I feel like when talking about every island I am talking about the epic nature. (But nature is a key factor in finding the best islands in Greece.)

And Skiathos isn’t different. When visiting Skiathos expect unspoiled sandy beaches, forested hillsides, and rocky hills.

The island has over 60 beaches to choose from. With so many beaches (and some of them the best in the world) it’s no surprise that they are the major attraction of the island. The island is a beach lovers mecca. But Koukounaries, one of the top ten beaches in the world, is reason enough to visit.

Other than Koukounaries families will want to check out these other sites. Things like a day at Kechria Beach, road tripping around the island, and taking day trips to Alonnisos and Skopelos. The mountain village of Haiti (on Alonnisos) can’t be missed.

This island has carved out a niche as a family-friendly island. Kassandra Bay has spacious rooms, great views, three pools, and two restaurants. Making it the best resort for families.

Skiathos takes a little more effort to get to other islands in Greece. But that shouldn’t deter you and your family from visiting.

Other Travelers Skiathos’ perfect for

Beach Bums



Where to Eat

  • Amfiliki ($$)
  • Ergon ($$)
  • Alexandros ($)
  • Paraxenos ($$)
  • Marmita ($$)

Skiathos Facts

Distance: 156 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Sporades Islands

Airport: Skiathos International Airport

Ferry: Agios Konstantinos ( Central Greece) – Skiathos

Ferry Time: 2 hours.

Ferry Price: €23

Things to do on Skiathos

  • Paralia Lalaria
  • Koukounaries Beach
  • Monastery
  • Day Trips
  • Hayati Village
  • Road Trip


Alonissos differs from the rest of the Sporades. Actually, the island’s unique from every other one in Greece. The first thing that sets Alonissos apart is the location; residing in one of the top marine parks in Europe.

Next, is the atmosphere. The island’s pure, set in its ways, and doesn’t cater to tourists. And while the island welcomes the little tourism it gets, Alonissos goes about its business unaffected by them.

The casual attitude towards travelers gives the island an air of innocence and makes a quiet holiday with your loved ones. It’s the best place in Greece to experience local island life and have an authentic holiday. And makes it less of a cash grab.

The quaint old village of Chora is picture-perfect. Take a boat trip to appreciate the scenery or learn history at the Alonissos Museum. For adventurous families, spend your time scuba diving, hiking, and exploring the untouched beaches.

Beach bums will love the uncrowded beaches on the island.

And if you are looking for the best islands in Greece to visit in September, then Alonissos needs to be on your list.

Other Travelers who will love Alonissos


Beach Bums

Off Season


Where to Eat

  • Restaurant Corali ($$)
  • Panselēnos ($$)
  • Fanari Fish Tavern ($)
  • Restaurant Πανουλης ($$)
  • Fish House”Ta Kalamakia”($)

Alonissos Facts

Distance: 192 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Sporades Islands

Airport: Skiathos International Airport (JSI)

Ferry From: Agios Constantinos or Volos

And the Ferry Time: 2-3 Hours

Ferry Price: €30

Things to do on Alonissos

  • Paralia Rousoum Beach
  • Kokkinokastro Beach
  • National Marine Park
  • Agios Georgios Island
  • Scuba Diving
  • Boat Trip

Best Islands in Greece in September

You might be asking, “Stephen, why are you dedicating a whole section of the best Greek Islands to visiting in September?” It seems strange, right? But stick with me there is a good reason. So why September?

Well, it is the best month to visit the Greek Islands. September is the start of shoulder season as the peak tourist season is winding down.

The throngs of tourists have left. (Most of them). The weather is cooler, but still warm enough for the beach time. The prices are lower, and the hotels and resorts less crowded.

The colors are changing to beautiful golds and browns. The water still warm from the summer months makes the sea like the largest bathtub in the world. September is also the grape harvest in Greece, so you will get fresh wine.


Kefalonia’s one of the best islands in Greece to visit in September. The weathers pleasant, the humidity mild, and the 12 hours of daylight give you plenty of time to explore.

Kefalonia’s the largest of the Ionian Islands and in the middle of the Ionian Sea. Kefalonia has a few claims to fame. We know it for sandy beaches, local cuisine, hidden bays, quaint villages. Perhaps its biggest claim to fame is a natural beauty. As seen on postcards all throughout the country.

Being so beautiful most of the sightseeing revolves around the landscape.

Melissani cave’s a perfect example.

The stunning cave, close to Karavomilos village, which you can only via an underground path and boat ride.

People have admired its beauty for thousands of years. And archaeological remains dating back to the 4th century B.C. has been found in the cave.

Another cave to check out is Drogarati Cave. The cave houses an enchanting beauty with a massive cavern full of stalagmite formations. No one knows the age of the cave, but the best guess is 150 million years old.

Other things to do on the island include.

De Bosset Bridge, the Archaeological Museum, and Saint Theodoroi Lighthouse. And Mount Ainos (Or mount Aenos) , Agios Gerasimos Monastery, Katavothres.

For adventurers, there are watersports, canoeing, scuba diving, and sailing cruises.

Sun soakers will want to visit the beaches of Myrtos, Antisamos, Makris Gialos, and Skala.

If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, then don’t worry. There are a lot of wineries and places to get massages.

If I had to put Kefalonia into other categories in this post, it would fall under the best Greek Island for beaches and food.

In short, Kefalonia’s a great stop of anyone and everyone.

Other Travelers who will love Kefalonia



Beach Bums


Distance: 284 miles from Athens

Where: Ionian Islands

Airport: Kephalonia International Airport ( EFL)

Ferry Ports: Killini (Western Peloponnese) Astakos ( Summer Only) Vassiliko LefkadaFerry

Price: €9 -€14

Things to do on Kefalonia

  • Melissani Cave
  • Drogarati Cave
  • Myrtos Beach
  • De Bosset Bridge,
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Saint Theodoroi Lighthouse
  • Antisamos Beach


Welcome to one of the most (if not the most) beautiful islands in the entire Dodecanese. Another perk; Karpathos isn’t overly touristy…yet. But I have a feeling that will change in the near future. The island’s so beautiful and has the potential to become Greece’s next hotspot.

So If you’re a traveler wanting to explore the best Greek islands that aren’t consumed by other tourists, then you can’t beat Karpathos.

Karpathos’ rooted in tradition. The island maintains its local, customs, music, dances, and food.

This gives Karpathos its own unique atmosphere. And makes it feel like your traveling back in time.

For you landscape lovers, the island’s a paradise (which Greek island on this list isn’t). But the biggest highlight on Karpathos are the 12 charming mountainside villages.

For the best views head to the ancient Acropolis of Arkassa. Which also doubles as the ruins of the Temple of Lindia Athena.

Ancient Potideon, the remains of an ancient city, should also be on your bucket list.

The island has a notable cave to visit, where followers of Poseidon gathered for ceremonies.

Because of its influential local culture, there are a lot of special foods, and festivals to enjoy.

Karpathos has great shopping and outdoor adventures like horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

For travelers who don’t want to stray too far from the water, there’s surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing

Apella’s a sandy beach that has a few places for shade. Kyra Panagia beach, close to Achata, has nearby taverns, b&bs and a little shop, which makes it a good base.

What makes Karpathos one of the best islands in Greece to visit in September?

The weathers perfect, there’s a cultural festival, and there is even fewer tourists.

Other Travelers who will love Karpathos




Beach Bums

Where to Eat

  • Cafe Karpathos ($)
  • Sofia’s Taverna & Paradise Rooms ($)
  • Taverna Ammos ($$$)
  • Thalassa ($$)
  • Kelaria Kyra Panagia ($$)

Karpathos Facts

Distance: 378 Miles From Athens

Where: Dodecanese Islands

Airport: Karpathos Island National Airport (AOK)

Ferry from Athens

The Ferry Time: 17 Hrs

Ferry Price: €45

Things to do on Karpathos

  • Potideon
  • Apella
  • Kyra Panagia
  • Water Sports
  • Hiking
  • Festivals
  • Eat!


Where to even begin with Rhodes? The island’s famed throughout Greece. Known for its charming towns, excellent restaurants, and epic castles.

Rhodes; the largest island in the southeast of Greece is the most visited island in the Dodecanese. And the island embraces its touristy side.

But, that doesn’t mean that Rhodes isn’t worth visiting. You will fall in love with the food, sights, and people of Rhodes.

The island moves at its own pace. And doesn’t try to fit in with the other islands in Greece. Rhodes has its own culture and style of doing things making it different from other islands in Greece.

Actually, it feels like you’re visiting a different country.

It has a long and exciting history. Long ago, the isle housed the Colossus of Rhodes. A massive statue, even by today’s standards, that guarded the entrance to the harbor.

But sadly, the statue has been destroyed.

Rhodes has beautiful beaches, interesting archaeological sites, and medieval buildings. The towns have stone-paved streets, castles, and medieval houses.

Birthing the nickname the Knights Island.

Visiting Rhodes is like time traveling back to the medieval era.

The sights, architecture, and history have brought a massive wave of travelers to Rhodes.

But while touristy, in September there are fewer people, cooler weather, and lower prices.

Other Travelers who will love Rhodes






Where to Eat

  • Kerasma ($$)
  • Mavrikos ($$)
  • Archipelagos Bar-Restaurant ($$)
  • Marco Polo Café($$)

Rhodes Facts

Distance: 378 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Dodecanese Islands

Airport: Rhodes International Airport (RHO)

Ferry: Athens to Rhodes

Ferry Length: 14 -17 hrs

Ferry Price: €60

Things to do on Rhodes

  • Rhodes Acropolis.
  • Palace of Grand Master
  • Acropolis of Lindos
  • Monastery of Filerimos
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Valley of Butterflies


Symi often called Simi, is a little known island in Greece. Lying in the Dodecanese and only a stone throw away from Rhodes (If you could throw a stone 26 miles).

Symi doesn’t have all the popularity of its best Greek Island counterparts. But Symi’s a great place to experience real Greek life and pristine nature.

The hillside cities on the island look like someone picked them up from the Italian Riviera and placed them here.

The island has stunning views, coastal hikes; local shopping, and cuisine. And no heavily touristy area exist on the island.

Instead, you’re a traveler living among the locals and sharing in their daily lives. You eat at the same restaurants, take the same transportation, get your groceries at the same markets – and most importantly pay the local prices.

September is the best time of the year to visit the island. The winds are still gentle- the wind gets stronger in October. The temperates comfortable, and all the shops and restaurants are still up and running.

Other Travelers who will love Symi





Where to Eat

  • Taverna to Spitiko ($$)
  • Taverna Dafnes ($$)
  • Toli Beach Symi ($$)
  • The Olive Tree Cafe ($$)
  • Pantelis ($$)

Symi Facts

Distance: 350 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Dodecanese Islands

Closest Airport: Rhodes International Airport (RHO)

Ferry: From Athens to Rhodes

Ferry Time: 45 Minutes

Ferry Ticket: €16

Things to do on Symi

  • Explore the Islands Capital
  • Take in the View from Kastro
  • Visit the Symi Archaeological Museum
  • The Symi Festival ( July through September)
  • Hike Across Symi
  • Visit the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis


Christians flock to Patmos to see the cave where John the Elder saw his visions that inspired the book of revelation. Being a spot for religious pilgrims has caused prices in Patmas to rise.

And now the island has a reputation as one of the most expensive islands in the Dodecanese – if not all of Greece. You can travel Patmos on a budget, but it’s not easy.

Even if you’re not religious, you can find beauty in visiting Patmos. Local traditions run deep. And the volcanic landscape has left some stunning scenery that holds a strange beauty.

And while the island does get a lot of visitors, most of them are passing through on cruise ships. So many of the nooks and crannies of the island remain off the well-traveled trail.

Patmos has enough things to do that you could easily spend a week on the island. And split your time between all the things to do on the island and the beaches.

Although, budget travelers won’t want to stay that long. The island caters to couples and cruise ship guests, meaning higher prices than the other islands on this list.

Patmos is good for couples. luxury travelers and families. But bad for backpackers, and travelers on a tight budget.

Travelers who Should Visit Patmos




Patmos Facts

Distance: 202 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Dodecanese Islands

Closest Airport: Kos Airport (KGS)

Ports that Serve Patmos:

Athens, Syros, Symi, Rodos, Marathos, Chios, Ikaria, Lesvos, Samos, Kavala, Naxos, Paros, Kos, Leros, Lipsi, Agathonisi Arki

Ferry Length: From Athens 7 – 8 Hours

Athens to Patmos Ferry Price: €41

Things to do on Patmos

  • Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
  • Cave of the Apocalypse
  • Agriolivadi Beach
  • Paralia
  • Agri Olivado
  • Paralia
  • Lampi


What makes Syros one of the best Greek Islands to visit in September?

Well, Syros has interesting architecture, scenic ports, and a rare allure. When I think of Syros, I think of sipping a drink while watching boats bob up and down in the harbor at sunset.

Another reason to visit; Syros holds all the perks of the other Cycladic islands, without all the crowds. You can find an authentic Greek experience on Syros.

Hermoupolis, the main city, acts as the capital of the Cyclades.

Ermoupolis (Hermoupolis) full of charm, history. The city’s clean and full of kind-hearted locals.

Syros has smaller towns and villages that lend to a relaxing, non-touristy holiday. You can find an authentic Greek experience on Syros.

And while the island’s a solid choice at any time of the year, September is the best time to visit. Crowds are smaller and the mild weather sits in the 70s or 80s.

Syros is a seductive island with a wonderful culture and amazing beaches of Europe. All this makes Syros one of the best islands to visit in Greece.

Travelers who Should Visit Syros





Where to Eat

  • Laoutari ($$$)
  • Talaras Taverna ($$)
  • Kastri ($)
  • Kouchico ($)

Syros Facts

Distance: 109 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Island

Airport: Syros Island National Airport (JSY)

Ports that Serve Syros

Athens, Ios, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Schinoussa, Sifnos, Sikinos, Tinos, Jos, Leros, Patmos, Rhodes, Samos, Limnos, Lesvos, Ikaria, Chios, Fourni,Heraklia, Kea, Kimolos, Koufonissi, Andros, Anafi, Amorgos, Kavala

Ferry Length from Athens: 3 – 4 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: €33

Things to do on Syros

  • Explore Ermoupolis
  • Ano Syros
  • Apollon Theater
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Beaches
  • Day Trip to Delos, Milos, or Santorini


Koufonisia -sandwiched between the Greek Island heavy hitters of Mykonos and Santorini – is often forgotten.

But since it’s often forgotten it means its the perfect reason to visit. Koufonisia’s filled with beautiful landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere. The island paradise embodies all the beauty of the Greek Islands for a fraction of the cost.

When people refer to Koufonisia, they’re talking about three different islands – Pano Koufonisi Kato Koufonisi, and Keros.

I’ve grouped them all together in this section because….well because everyone does. Everyone calls the three islands Koufonisia.

You will want to spend most of your time on Pano Koufonissi; which has the most people, sites, and restaurants.

Kato Koufonissi is sparsely inhabited and it suitable for a day trip but not an extended stay.

Keros is uninhabited. I’ve never visited Keros, but I am sure you could easily find a boat to take you for a day trip.

Like I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, Koufonisia’s forgotten by most travelers. The islands are quiet and still follow old customs and traditions.

Only around 400 people live on the islands. And they’re a good sink your claws into the culture. To meet locals, immerse yourself in culture, and have a private holiday.

By September, the small crowds that Koufonisia gets are already gone.

As you can probably guess, if you want massive parties, nightclubs, and DJ’s, then Koufonisia aren’t the islands for you. But while the islands have little in the way of nightlife, some beach bars and taverns are spread around the islands.

The Eye of the Devil, a natural pool that’s good for cliff jumping, brings in most travelers. But it’s never packed.

The islands are also known for Bazeos Tower, the white sandy beaches, and awesome wineries.

If you are looking for a secluded spot for a romantic getaway far from the large crowds of Santorini and Mykonos, then Pano and Kato Koufonisia’s are a great choice.Good for exploring an authentic culture or stretching your funds further, Koufonisia never fails to impress.

Travelers who Should Visit Koufonisia




Where to Eat

  • Neo Remezza ($$)
  • Capetan Nikolas ($$)
  • Φως Φανάρι – Fos Fanari ($)
  • To Steki Tis Marias ($$)
  • Niketouri Fish Tavern ($$)

Koufonisia Facts

Distance: 167 Miles From Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Islands

Closest Airport: Naxos island Airport (JNX)

Ports that Serve Koufonisia:

Athens Amorgos Donoussa Folegandros Ios Milos Irakha Mykonos Naxos Santorini Paros Sifnos, Syros Schinoussa

Ferry Length from Athens: 7 – 8 Hours

Price from Athens: € 76

Things to do Koufonisia

  • The eye of the Devil
  • Bazeos Tower
  • Livadi beach
  • Venetsanos Winery

Katergo Beach; the best beach on Folegandros. And if you visit in September, you won’t have to share this epic beach with anyone.

Note: Katergo Beach doesn’t have sand. Rather it’s a white pebble sandy beach. Along the coast are some tall rocks perfect for jumping into the sea.

Travelers who Should Visit Folegandros




Where to Eat

  • Chrysospēliá ($$)
  • Zefiros Anemos ($$)
  • Mama’s Pita, Souvlaki House ($)
  • the Homemade ($$)
  • Taverna Agkali ($)


Folegandros is a small island located in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Greece. It is part of the Cyclades group of islands and is known for its stunning natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere.

The island has a population of just over 1,000 people and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

Folegandros Facts

Distance: 151 miles from Athens

Where: In the Cyclades Islands

Closest Airport: Santorini island Airport (JTR)

Ports that Serve Folegandros: Athens Amorgos Ios Kea Anafi Kimolos Milos Mykonos, Naxos Kythnos Paros Santorini Syros Sikinos Thirassia

Ferry Length from Athens: 4 ½ Hours

Ferry Price From Athens: €63

Things to do Folegandros

  • Explore the Old Town of Chora
  • Livadaki, Katergo, and Agios Nikolaos Beach
  • Church of Panagia Folegandros
  • Lantinaki Beach
  • Folklore Museum of Folegandros
  • Hike
  • Wine, wine, wine.
  • Eat the Local Pasta
  • Scuba Dive and Snorkel


Sifnos is an island in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece, located between Serifos and Milos. It is known for its stunning beaches, traditional villages, and delicious cuisine. The island has a rich history that dates back to ancient times, and it was once home to some of the most famous pottery makers in the Mediterranean.

Chickpea Soup. This soup served exclusively on the weekends can only be found on Sifnos and rooted deep into the island’s culture.

The chickpeas are slow-roasted in a clay pot, with herbs, until they are soft. Every spoonful melts in your mouth.

And if you are lucky, you might find leftovers on Monday. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Sifnos is also cheap. It hasn’t felt the price hikes of some of the other nearby islands.

Other Categories Sifnos is in…




Where to Eat

  • OMega 3 ($$)
  • Meropi ($$)
  • Simos ($)
  • Caludios ($$)
  • Italian Restaurant ($$)
  • Kelari ($$)
  • Drimoni ($$)
  • Absinthe ($$)

Sifnos Facts

Distance: 118 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the Cyclades Islands

Nearest Airport: Milos Airport (MLO)

Ports that Serve Sifnos:

Athens, Amorgos, Folegandros, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Koufonissi, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Sikinos, Syros, Crete

Ferry Time from Athens: 5- 6 Hours

Price from Athens from Sifnos: €36 -€40

Things to do Sifnos

  • Church of the Seven Martyrs
  • Chrisopigi Monastery
  • Vroulidia and
  • Kamares Beach
  • Archaeological Museum of Sifnos
  • Eat Chickpea Soup

Lesvos (Lesbos)

Lesvos (often called Lesbos) offers more than the typical Greek Island. And weighs in as the third-largest Island in Greece, so there is a lot to explore.

The Island’s a lush paradise; full of pine forest, spectacular beaches, and over a million olive trees.

Lesvos also has a variety of different wildlife (birds mostly) medieval castles, quiet harbors, and two art museums.

But since we are exploring the best Greek Islands for Food lets focus on our taste buds. And discover the best foods to eat in Lesvos.

Lesvos has made a reputation across the Greek islands for its simple yet well-prepared food. If you’re traveling to Greece, indulge your taste buds in a variety of flavors and cuisine, then Lesvos won’t disappoint.

With over a million olive trees on the Island, they base a lot of the cuisine around olive oil (known as the best in Greece).

Two dishes you need to try are the beets with garlic sauce, and deep-fried Zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese. And try any fresh seafood dishes that come with green beans, lemon, and oil.

Lesvos is another island unaffected by mass tourism in Greece. And a great destination for travelers who want to experience local life on the best Greek islands. To get away from the touristy sites and large beach crowds.

Other Categories Lesvos is in…




Where to Eat

  • Kalderimi ($)
  • The Women’s Cooperative ($)
  • Tropicana ($)
  • The Anaxos Bar & Restaurant ($$)
  • Vafios Taverna ($$)
  • Antonis Ouzeri ($$)

Lesvos Facts

Distance: 290 miles from Athens.

Where: Northeastern Aegean Sea.

Airport: Mytilene International Airport (MJT)

Ports Serving Lesvos:

Athens Ag. Eystratios Chios Fourni Ikari Kavala Limnos, Mykonos Patmos Psara Samos Syros

Athens to Lesvos: 7 Hours

Price from Athens: €48

Things to do Lesvos

  • Church of the Seven Martyrs
  • Chrisopigi Monastery
  • Vroulidia and
  • Kamares Beach
  • Archaeological Museum of Sifnos
  • Eat Chickpea Soup


Chios needs more than just two or three days to sample everything it offers.

The island, packed with fun things to do, medieval villages, road trips, endless beauty, offers summer fun.

Chios has a rich history and strong culture.

But since we’re talking about the best Greek Islands for food. So let’s focus on the cuisine.

Chios is all about fresh seafood; like mussels, shrimp, octopus, and a variety of fish.

But when I think of food on Chios, my mind goes straight to cheese.. glorious cheese.

The cuisine on Chios is centered around it. Like the local cheese pies, cheese balls, Mastelo cheese, or Mastelo cheese with honey.

For those with a sweet tooth, end every meal with loukoumades. Little fried dough balls covered in honey, cream, Nutella, or ice cream (or maybe a mix if you’re feeling brave).

Beside Baklava it’s my favorite dessert in Greece but are only found on a handful of islands.

If you’re still looking for the best beaches in Greece, then add Chios to your itinerary. Like the other islands in Greece, the island has dozens of soft sandy beaches flanked by light blue waters.

The oddest one is the black pebble beach of Emporios Mavros Gialos.

Karfas a stunning beach, but the busiest beach during tourist season. Or if you don’t want to stray too far from Chios town, you can head to pebbly Vrontados Beach.

Other Categories Chios is in…




Where to Eat

  • To Apomero ($$$)
  • Meltemaki Fish Tavern ($$)
  • Taverna Mouria ($$)
  • Taverna Fabrika ($$)
  • To Tsikudo ($$)
  • Pes Alevri ($)

Chios Facts

Distance: 196 miles from Athens

Where: Part of the North Aegean islands

Airport: Chios Airport Omiros ( JKH)

Ferry Ports that Serve:

Athens Mykonos, Naxos, Paros Kavala Thessaloniki Agios Efstratios Ikaria Lesvos Limnos Oinousses, Psara Samos

Ferry Time From Athens: 10 Hours

Price From Athens: €40 -€45

Things to do Chios

  • Windmills
  • Medieval Castle
  • Castle of VolissosMuseums
  • Homerus Stone(Where Homer narrated his poems)
  • Agio Gala Cave


Lemnos (or Limnos) has beautiful harbors, a stunning coastline, and a mountainous landscape. The Island located in the Northern Aegean is associated with many characters in Greek mythology.

In mythology, Hephaestus – the god of fire and volcanoes – had a workshop on Lemnos.And the Island is right across Troy, on the coast of Turkey. The legend says Jason made a stop on Lemnos when searching for the golden fleece.

Other myths says that Limnos was the home to the deadly female warriors – The Amazons.

It also has one of the oldest settlements in the Aegean.

Food on Lemnos means innovative. And the locals utilize natural ingredients found on the Island to make some creative dishes.

Seafood abounds on all the Greek Islands, and Lemnos isn’t different.

But a few dishes unique to Lemnos are dishes like Kilikia, my favorite snack, are swirl shaped pastries filled with feta cheese. Make sure to try the pumpkin Pie (not the Thanksgiving Kind). This pie’s stuffed with Lemnos famed kalathaki cheese, onions, eggs, and of course pumpkin.

If you have a sweet tooth as bad as mine, then the first thing you’ll want to try is Katimeria. Similar to pancakes (though it is eaten as a dessert rather than breakfast) and covered with cheese and syrup. There is also Venizelika ( which might be a little hard to find). This is chocolate/ almond treats covered by a thick layer of vanilla icing.

Other Categories Lemnos is in…




Where to Eat

  • Glikanisos ($)
  • Pantelis Beach Bar Thanos ($)
  • Kosmos Taverna ($$)
  • Slo Kastro ($$$)
  • Pezoula Cafe ($$)

Lemnos Facts

Distance: Lemnos is 226 Miles from Athens

Where: North Aegean Sea

Airport: Lemnos International “Hephaestus” (LXS)

Ports that Serve Limnos:

Athens ( Lavrio) Kavala, Thessaloniki, Agios, Efstratios, Chios, Ikaria, Lesvos, Samos, Patmos, Naxos, Paros

Ferry Length Athens ( Lavrio Port)

Ferry Price From Athens to Limnos: €30

Things to do Lemnos

  • Polopchne (Ancient Settlement)
  • Visit Myrina,
  • Ancient Ifestia
  • Temple of Kavirio
  • Village of Moudros and Kotsinas
  • Rihanna Nera, Agios Ioannis, and Nevgatis Beaches.


Most travelers only see Tinos from the deck of a ferry as they sail to some of the other best islands in Greece. Leaving Tinos relatively unexplored. But the lucky ones, who take the time to stop are in for a pleasant surprise.

The villages and cities carry an air of authenticity. This is what Greece must have been like before it becomes one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Europe.

The mountainous landscape and endless beaches hold endless beauty. The best part is that since Tinos doesn’t get a lot of other tourists, you will feel you’re the first traveler to discover all this beauty.

Tinos often called the island of miracles, has a culinary scene bursting at its seams. The cuisine changes and focuses on whatever local produce is in season.

Tinos has rich culinary traditions and history. A few of their famous products lie in the honey and Raki. There is also a microbrewery on the island.

Popular dishes are fortalia (big omelets), artichokes soaked in olive oil and lemon, mastelo cheese, and the Katoi

Other Categories Tinos is in…




Where to Eat

  • The Holy Goat ($$)
  • Malamatenia ($$)
  • Symposion ($$$)
  • Edesma ($)
  • Kafenio Tis Kyra Lenis ($)
  • Tirantaraki ($)

Tinos Facts

97 miles from Athens.

Where: South Aegean

Airport: No

Ferry Ports that Serve Tinos:

Athens, Andros, Crete, Fourni, Ikaria, Ios Kea, Kavala, Kos, Kthnos, Limnos, Mykonos, Nisyros, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Serifos, Sifnos, Skiathos, Symi Syros, Tilos

Ferry Length from Athens: 4-5 Hours

Price of Ferry From Athens: €40 – €50

Things to do Tinos

  • Dovecotes
  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Archaeological Chalepas and Tinian Museums
  • Church of Evangelistria
  • Ursulines and Jesuit Monastery
  • Beaches
  • Hikes

Best Islands in Greece For Budget Travelers


Andros is further north than any other Cyclades island. It’s a long and narrow, full of lush valleys, jutting mountains, serene beaches, and good museums.

However, the price tag’s a major reason to visit Andros. The island acts as a haven for budget travelers and backpackers.

Is the low cost a result of Andros being out of the way of major hotspots in the Cyclades like Santorini?

Or maybe it’s because Andros isn’t overrun with travelers?

I’m not sure. But whatever the reason, I’m glad that Andros has remained undamaged by mass tourism.

The island keeps its charm, traditions, and rich culture. And you get all this for a fraction of the price when compared to other Cyclades islands.

In the port city of Gavrio relax and walk through the little shops, eat at cheap restaurants, and share a drink with locals at taverns.

It’s a quaint and peaceful village. The small fishing village of Batsi the most visited place for travelers. This is a small fishing port that has some of the best waterfronts on the island.

The capital city Hora (also referred to as Andros) is different from many other cities across the Aegean. You won’t find whitewashed and blue-roofed houses here. Instead, the city holds a more classical architecture. There are a lot of places, shops, and restaurants to try in Hora.

You could easily spend 4-5 days in Andros.

In searching for the best Greek Islands, we have to mention beaches….. I know, I know. I feel like I have mentioned a million beaches already.

But the beaches to check out in Greek Andros are Batsi, Tis Grias Piso Giala, Fellos, Neimporio. These are not only the best beaches on the island but the best this entire area of Greece.

The island has good hikes, sweeping views, medieval villages, windsurfing beaches, and day-long boat trips.

For those looking for cooler weather, and a more local experience then this is one of the best islands in Greece to visit in September.

Cheap, beautiful, and some of the best beaches in Greece. What do you have to lose?

Other Categories Andros is in…



Where to Eat

  • Apomero ($)
  • Laas Cafe ($)
  • Lithi ($$)
  • Oti Kalo ($$$)

Andros Facts

Distance: 152 Miles From Athens

Where: Northern Cyclades

Airport: No

Ports to Andros: Athens ( Rafina / Lavrio) Crete Kea Kimolos Kythnos Milos

Ferry Length: 5 -6 Hours

Price: €15 €-20

Things to do Andros

  • Tis Grias To Pidima
  • Άχλα Beach
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Andros
  • Achla Beach
  • Monastery Panachrantou


Aegina, not only one of the cheapest islands in Greece, but it’s also convenient and easy to reach. The island’s only an hour away from Athens. Meaning, even the ferry’s cheap!

Aegina has a fair amount for budget travelers and backpackers to see and do. The island has decent beaches, nightlife, and scenic towns to wander and ruins to explore.

You can reach most of the beaches via public transportation, further keeping costs down, like some of the best French Riviera Beaches.

The Temple of Apollo – a stunning ruin on Aegina – is within walking distance from the main town. (Also called Aegina.)

Along the coasts are rocky and sandy coves within walking distance of town.

Cheap to get to, visit, and get around means that visiting Aegina’s affordable. And you don’t have to sacrifice the things you traveled to Greece for in the first place.

Another perk of Aegina; it’s chill. Aegina, known for its produce, and grows some of the best pistachios in the world.

You should take a side trip to Agistri if your budget allows. This island is like Aegina.

Aegina’s a great island to visit if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway from Athens. Or if you are traveling Europe cheaply.

Other Categories Aegina is in…




Where to Eat

  • Nontas Fish Restaurant ($$)
  • Babis Aegina ($$)
  • Ammos, Remetzo ($$)
  • La Palma ($)
  • Pitsi’s Coffee and Food ($)
  • Vakchos ($)

Aegina Facts

Distance: 34 Miles from Athens

Where: Saronic Islands

Airport: No

Ports that Visit Aegina:

Athens, Agistri, Methana Poros

Ferry Length: 45 min

Ferry Price: €14

Things to do Aegina

  • Christos Kapralos Museum
  • Temple of Apollo
  • Temple of Aphaia
  • Cathedral Of Saint Nectarios
  • Agia Marina Beach


Kimolos sits in the southwest part of the Cyclades. It’s another volcanic island and considered a natural wonder in Greece. Known for its white cliffs and pearl colored rocks.

The landscape’s made of mountainous terrains, numerous caves, hills, and plains.

Once Kimolos was part of Milos but broke off in the 1st century AD after a huge earthquake.

The island has a small, easy-going island. And it’s cheap.

There’s a downside to Kimolos. Food, drinks, and getting around are cheap. But accommodation is expensive.

But there are some affordable Airbnbs on the island (Plus you can save $40 off your first stay using this link).

If you are on a super tight budget, the island has free camping (like when camping in Big Sur) on Aliki Beach.

When visiting Kimolos, you can check out the Archaeological and Folklore Museum. ( the Folklore Museum is inside the Castle.)

There are also a bunch of beaches to laze out on like Agios, Aliki, Psathi, Bonanza. And sightseeing the famed white cliffs is a must.

Small, beautiful, and cheap this is one of the best islands in Greece to visit on a budget. You get all the perks without the hefty price tag.

Other Categories Kimolos is in…



Off Season

Where to Eat

  • Sardis Restaurant ($$)
  • Kali Kardia “Bohoris” ($$)
  • Stavento Ice Cream Parlour ($)
  • Meltemi Restaurant ($$)
  • Prasonisi ($$)

Kimolos Facts

Distance: 155 miles from Athens

Where: Cyclades Islands

Airport: Closest Airport is Milos Island National Airport (MLO)

Ports that serve:

Athens, Andros Folegandros Ios Kea Kythnos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Santorini Serifos Sifnos Sikinos Syros

Ferry Length from Athens: 7 – 9 Hours

Ferry Cost: €36 –€40

Things to do Kimolos

  • Museums
  • Beaches
  • Hikes
  • Caves

Get Your Ferry Tickets


Poros – Kalavria, and Sphairia – have it all. These islands, an hour away from Athens, sit in the Saronic Gulf.

Today the islands are connected to each other by a bridge, and most people consider Poros one island.

The Kalavria part of the Poros is full of lush green hills and tall trees. covered in trees. While Sphairai comprises mostly of volcanic rock.

Few people focus their trip on traveling the Saronic Gulf, which is one reason Poros remains budget-friendly.

There are all the typical things to do on the best islands in Greece – beaches, ruins, and small towns.

But Poros also has monasteries, temples, colorful towns, and a fantastic clock tower. The towns aren’t the typical white and blue houses. (Though those houses exist on Poros.)

Instead, the towns have yellow buildings with tan clay roofs. Colors more typical of countries like Italy or the best island in Croatia.

Poros isn’t just cheap. The island acts as a gateway to exploring some of the most notable sites in the Peloponnese. Places like ancient Olympia, Mycenae, Bourtzi Castle, Kastro, and Mystras are within reach.

Other Categories Poros is in…



Off Season

Where to Eat

  • Apagio ($$)
  • Karavolos ($$)
  • Kanali ($$)
  • Poseidon ($$)
  • Oasis ($$)

Poros Facts

Distance: 108 Miles From Athens

Where: Saronic Gulf

Airport: No

Ports that Serve Poros:

Athens, Aegina, Agistri Hermioni Hydra Methana Porto Heli Spetses

Ferry Time From Athens: 1 -2 Hours

Ferry Cost from Athens: €14 – €25

Things to do Poros

  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Lemon Forest
  • Clock Tower
  • Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi
  • Citronne Gallery
  • Russian Dockyard

Patanos and Pandeli

Patanos and Pandeli have a traditional vibe.

The islands has some great scenic spots that give you panoramic views of the island and sea. The beaches are clean but aren’t the best in Greece. Leros has a beautiful harbor area and historical monuments.

Leros does attract some tourism and keeps getting more and more popular. I fear that the price will keep going up.

But the unique characteristics, history, green landscape, folklore all make the extra money worth spending.

Leros is also a good island to hop in a car and take a mini road trip. Leros is a fantastic Greek island for people looking to save a little money. Time flows slower here, and life is laid back, but there’s enough to do and see that you won’t get bored.

Other Categories Leros is in…

Off Season



Where to Eat

  • Zorbas Taverna ($$)
  • Dimitris Ouzeri ($$)
  • El Greco Traditional Taverna ($$)
  • Lime beach bar Leros ($$)

Leros Facts

Distance: 230 Miles from Athens

Where: Dodecanese island

Airport: Leros Municipal Airport (LRS)

Ports that serve Leros:

Athens , Agathonisi, Chalki Fourni, Ikaria, Kalymnos Kasos, Kos, Lipsi, Paros, Patmos, Rhodes, Samos, Symi, Syros

Ferry Time: From Athens the ferry to Leros takes

Ferry Length: 9 -10 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: €40 – €45 Euros

Things to do Leros

  • Explore the Villages
  • Road Trip
  • Agia Kioura Beach
  • Hatzidakis Winery
  • Bellinis Tower
  • Museum Panagia
  • Castle
  • Beaches

Aegina and Hydra.

Being so close to congested and busy streets of Athens, the lush green scenery and quiet beaches might shock your system.

Agisiri’s known for affordable accommodation, awesome day trips, biking trails, horseback riding. Agistri’s a small island and doesn’t have a ton of sights to see.

The most prominent sites on the island are churches. The most famous churches are Agioi Anargyroi, the Church of the Virgin Mary, and Agia Kyriaki.

However, there isn’t anything special about these churches. They resemble many other churches in Greece.

As far as the beaches the best beaches are Aponisos, Chalikiada and Dragonera Beach.

You should also take some time to wander the island’s capital Megalochori – and the port of Skala. There’s also the quaint village of Metochi.

The travelers who will appreciate the island the most are beach bums and nature lovers. Agistri has some scuba diving spots if you feel so inclined.

You don’t need to plan on spending a lot of time on Agistri. Rather get in, relax, explore the island, and move on to your next destination.

Other Categories Agistri is in…




Where to Eat

  • To Agistri ($$)
  • To Madraki ($$)
  • CopaCabana ($)
  • Yialos Taverna ($)
  • Λίγο κρασί λίγο θάλασσα ($$)

Agistri Facts

Distance: 28 Miles From Athens

Where: Saronic Islands

Airport: No

Ports that Serve: Athens, Aegina

Ferry Length: 2 Hours from Athens

Ferry from Athens Cost: 11 -14 Euros

Things to do Agistri

  • Agioi Anargyroi
  • Agia Kyriaki
  • Scuba Diving
  • Water Sports
  • Be a Beach Bum,
  • Hang out in the villages
  • Shop for local produce


Hora’s the biggest town on Kythnos. And a maze white stony alleys lined by cafes, shops, and taverns. From the city center, it’s an easy hike to the pure white monastery of Panagia Nikous.

The port town of Loutra is worth exploring. Lourta’s where you will find the hot baths. Used for thousands of years, these hot springs have a legend saying they have healing powers. Due to their popularity, they are crowded (Hey, everyone wants to be healed, right!?.

However, if you’re looking for something more quiet head to Ag Irini bay, south of Loutra. Another small town – Drop sometimes called Syllakas – is worth visiting.

No trip to this Cycladic island is complete without a visit to the narrow beaches Kolonna and Fykiada. (two of the best beaches in Greece.)

Other Categories Kythnos is in…




Where to Eat

  • Aria’s Menu ($$)
  • Araxovoli ($$)
  • Fermina ($$)
  • Byzantio ($$)
  • Sofrano ($$)
  • Arapis ($$)

Kythnos Facts

Distance: 92 Miles from Athens

Where: Cyclades Islands

Airport: No

Ports that Serve:

Athens, Andros Folegandros Ios Kea Kimolos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Santorini, Sifnos, Serifos Sikinos Syros Thirassia Tinos

Ferry Length from Athens: 3-4 Hours

Price: 25 Euro

Things to do Kythnos

  • Katafiki Cave,
  • Byzantine Museum & Folklore Museum
  • Panagia Kanala Church
  • Church of Agios Ioannis
  • Loutra
  • Kolonna and Fykiada


While Ikaria gets some tourism, the island has stayed true to herself. Something that’s Rare anywhere in the world.

Ikaria moves at its own pace and refuses to be intimidated by the fast pace life of the western world.

Ikara is Ikaria, full stop. And won’t be influenced.

You can see this in the spirit of the locals. The people are happy, friendly, and carry an air of freedom that’s infectious.

The island has an odd yet beautiful landscape. (CNN named Ikaria the best island in Greece for nature, more than once). The beaches remain pristine, the landscape uncultivated, and the beauty unparalleled.

The island’s a showcases massive gorges, rocky landscapes, and forests. Other things to do on Ikaria are things like cooking classes, boat trips, water sports, wine tastings, and visiting archaeological sites.

Ikaria’s known for its rich culture, traditions, and celebrations. The most famous festival, Panagiria, great for experiencing local dancing, music, food, and wine.

Ikaria’s part of the Blue Zone, meaning it’s one of the top five places in the world where people live the longest happiest lives. Who knows, maybe because they shrug off the Western norms?

While Ikaria does see tourism, it’s still affordable. The island has a lot of budget-friendly options for places to stay and things to do.

A few notable sites are Halari Gorge. The large gorge, close to Nas Beach, the natural wonder on the island. Filled with still lakes and gushing waterfalls. (waterfalls are rare in Greece).

The Stone Houses, another site worth visiting, was a haven in the ancient world where Ikarians used to flee to protect themselves from their enemies.

The nearby temple of Artemis, although it is in tethers.

For better ruins, head to the Tower of Drankano, a well-preserved tower that dates back almost 2,500 years old.

Other sites include the church of Panagia Theoskepasti, Evaggelistrias Mavrianou Monastery, the Byzantine Odeon, and the museums.

Ikaria has a good nightlife, and it’s a good island to take in exactly where are you and live in the moment.

Other Categories Ikaria is in…




Where to Eat

  • ma’mu ikaria ($)
  • Tavern Paschalia ($$)
  • Mary Mary ($$)
  • Arodou ($$)
  • Thea’s Restaurant & Rooms ($$)

Ikaria Facts

Distance: 300 miles from Athens

Where: North Aegean islands

Airport: Ikaria Island National Airport (JIK)

Posts that serve Ikaria:Athens, Chios, Fourni, Kalymnos, Kavala, Kos, Leros, Lesvos, Limnos, Lipsi, Mykonos, Nisyros, Patmos, Samos, Syros Tilos, Tinos

Ferry Length From Athens: 6-7 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: 35- 40 Euros

Things to do Ikaria

  • Stones Houses
  • Beaches
  • Tower of Drankano
  • Halari Gorge


Most tourists don’t even realize that Nisyros, a volcanic island, exist. Making it cheap, unexplored, and the best place for budget travelers to have a great experience with mother Greece herself.

The city has well preserved (and stunning) ancient walls, byzantine churches, and panoramic mountain views. From coast to coast, Nisyros’s a natural wonder.

For those looking to people-watch, eat local delicacies, or pretend they’re a local head to Ilikiomenon Square – the center of town. Pastry shops, bakeries, and restaurants line the streets. A huge ficus tree sitting in the center of town.

To take in the best views of the island climb to the top of the fortress of Paleokastro.

Nisyros only has a handful of beaches, so beach lovers might want to steer clear.

Other Categories Nisyros is in…



Where to Eat

  • Aphrodite Restaurant
  • Nisyros ($$)
  • Irini ($$)
  • Tzivaeri- Nisyros ($$)
  • Bacareto in Busa ($$)
  • Capitans House ($$)
  • Bengos ($$)

Nisyros Facts

Distance: 306 miles from Athens

Where: Dodecanese Islands

Airport: The closest airport is located on the island of Kos (KGS)

Ferry Ports that Serve:

Athens Astypalea, Chalki Fourni, Ikaria, Kalymnos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Naxos Paros, Rhodes, Symi Tilos, Tinos

Ferry Length from Athens: 13 Hours

Average Price From Athens: 36 Euros

Things to do Nisyros

  • Visit the Volcano
  • Gyali
  • Pacheia Beach
  • Monastery
  • Day Trip to Kandelioussa
  • Nisyrou Paralia
  • Chochlaki Beach
  • Stefanos Crater


Thassos’s a favorite island among budget travelers. More visitors return to Thassos than any other island in Greece.

Brimming with charm and beauty the island draws you into its warm embrace and captivates you.

But what makes Thassos so different from the other best islands in Greece?

Maybe it’s the mountain villages with traditional buildings?

Maybe it’s the natural landscape full of fantastic hikes, caves, and castles? There are lots of things to do. From diving into the depths of the ocean to hiking to the top of the mountains. Or the sweeping view at the Monastery of Archangel Michael.

Whatever the reason Thassos has a lot of things to see and do for any traveler.

Rather trade adventure for relaxation, well Thossos’s good for that too. And you spend your holiday indulging in the local food or hanging on the beaches.

There is also a lot of sightseeing. If you’re into Greece’s history, you’ll want to spend time at Alyki The site of remains from an old kingdom dating back to Antiquity. And the Ancient Agora and Theater; the Cave of Pan, a man-made cave used as a place of worship for the god.

A site unique to Thassos is the Ancient Marble Quarry. (Greece has a ton of marble, which is how we get all those awesome statues).

Thassos’s a touristy island, so expect everything that comes with it. Like restaurants, water sports, horseback riding on the beach, shopping, and more.

But the prices stay remain reasonable. And the island remains a favorite among families and budget travelers.

Other Categories Thassos is in…





Where to Eat

  • Thassian Doukas ($$)
  • Palude Taverna ($$)
  • Plus Minus ($$)
  • Masabuca ($)
  • Krambousa ($$$)

Thassos Facts

Distance: 466 miles from Athens

Where: North Aegean Sea

Airport: Kavala International Airport (KVA)

Ferry Ports that Serve: Kavala, Keramoti

Ferry Length from Kavala: 1 – 1 1/2

Things to do Thassos

  • Old Port
  • Ancient Agora
  • Alyki
  • Ancient Theater
  • Marble Quarry
  • Monastery of Archangel Michael
  • Folklore Museum
  • Cave of Pan
  • AncientTowers
  • Hiking
  • Beaches
  • Diving

Best Islands in Greece For Backpackers

Ios – The Party Island

Ios has earned the title as the backpacker island in Greece. The nightlife gets out of control. (And affordable.) The accommodation and food are cheap. During the summer the islands booming with parties, travelers, and events.

Ios is wild, but all this fun comes at a price of authenticity. (At least in the major cities)

But Ios offers a lot of more than just wild parties. Once you wander away from the bars and clubs vying for your attention with free drinks, you find a wonderful island with great sites and culture.

There are some cool sites to see on the island.

The island’s great for road trips by either car or ATV. And worth a stopping over for a few days if you are heading towards Santorini.

The most popular to do on Ios during the day is hang out on the beach nursing your hangover before going out again.

And with over 30 beaches you could spend your whole time on Ios exploring beaches and not get bored.

However, if you want more than beaches and bars then head to these sites. Skarkos, a Bronze Age settlement on a tall hill.

There are also the classic windmills you expect when traveling to Greece. The Tomb of Homer, castles churches, and theaters.

Being a backpacker Island also means that Ios is one of the cheapest islands to visit in Greece.

Where to Eat

  • Hellenic Social Ios ($)
  • Safran ($)
  • Pleasure ($)
  • Grandma’s Restaurant ($)
  • Katogi Taverna ($)
  • Nutelleria ($)
  • Allo Bar ($$)
  • Lord Byron ($$)

Ios Facts

Distance: 165 miles from Athens

Where: Cyclades

Airport: Nearest Airport is Santorini (JRT)

Ports that serve:

Athens, Amorgos, Anafi, Crete Folegandros, Kea, Kimolos, Kouronissi, Kythnos, Milos Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Syros, Thirassia, Tinos

Ferry Length (from Athens): 6 -8 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: 40 -50 Euros

Things to do Ios

  • Odysseas
  • Elytis Theatre
  • Agia Aikaterini
  • Tomb of Homer
  • Venetian Castle
  • Skarkos
  • Windmills
  • Magganari, Agia, and Koumpara Beaches

Where to Party on Ios

  • Disco 69
  • Fall Out Beach Club
  • Red Bull Bar Ios
  • Los – Sunset
  • Dining Bar
  • Fun Pub
  • slammer


Kos is known for its monuments, historical sites, and beaches. When people talk about Kos, they often say it’s the island where everyone can find something they love!

The island has biking and hiking paths, medieval castles, ancient sites, there are also beaches, peacocks, nightlife, water sports, and resorts.

It’s a big island, which helps it feel less touristy, and you can get off the beaten path pretty easy. The size also helps the island stay cheap.

So whether you are a solo budget traveler or exploring with a family, the island has something for you. There’s enough stuff on Kos that will fill up your calendar with unforgettable experiences.

Kos is also great to visit in September.

Other Categories kos is in…


Off Season


Where to Eat

  • Hellenic Social Ios ($)
  • Safran ($)
  • Pleasure ($)
  • Grandma’s Restaurant ($)
  • Katogi Taverna ($)
  • Nutelleria ($)
  • Allo Bar ($$)
  • Lord Byron ($$)

Kos Facts

Distance: 165 miles from Athens

Where: Cyclades

Airport: Nearest Airport is Santorini (JRT)

Ports that serve:

Athens, Amorgos, Anafi, Crete Folegandros, Kea, Kimolos, Kouronissi, Kythnos, Milos Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Serifos, Syros, Thirassia, Tinos

Ferry Length (from Athens): 6 -8 Hours

Ferry Price from Athens: 40 -50 Euros

Things to do Kos

  • Odysseas
  • Elytis Theatre
  • Agia Aikaterini
  • Tomb of Homer
  • Venetian Castle
  • Skarkos
  • Windmills
  • Magganari, Agia, and Koumpara Beaches
  • Paradise Beach
  • Marmari Beach

Thasos – Mamma Mia Island and one of the greenest islands in Greece

Thasos, also known as Mamma Mia Island. Making it a popular destination.  And is one of the most beautiful and greenest islands in Greece. Located off the coast of northern Greece in the Aegean Sea, Thasos is a popular destination for tourists seeking to experience the beauty and culture of Greece.

The island is known for its lush forests, crystal-clear waters, and stunning beaches.  And the perfect destination for fans of Mamma Mia.

Marathonisi Island

Marathonisi Island, located in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece, is a stunningly beautiful island that offers visitors an unforgettable experience. With its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, Marathonisi Island is one of the best islands in Greece to visit.

The island is home to a variety of wildlife including loggerhead turtles, which nest on the beach during certain times of the year.

1 thought on “42 Best Islands in Greece For All Types of Travelers”

  1. I also wanted to give a shout out to a small village in Western Greece. SIVOTA, Greece. On the IONION Sea. Across from CORFU. Quiet town but the beaches are unforgettable.
    We were just there and stayed at an amazing hotel recommended by friends and strangely enough owned by Greek Americans SIVOTA GOLD. The hotel is nestled on a private (but public) beach right next to ZERI Beach We rented boats and went to the Blue Lagoon (Pessina??) and MOST SPECATCULAR little beach called ALATI – To Die For . . . I think I left my heart in ALATI. We took a day excursion to PAXOS and ANTI-PAXOS. Spectacular. Went to PARGA at night (gorgeous – Italian feel – delicious Capura fish at Aegean Restaurant) Taxi was a 35 minute ride. Drove to LEFKADA. There is a great Spring called thee Atheon Springs. Water was freezing. So beautiful. Went to METEORA Monastery topped on on top of the hills and mountains. I felt like I was living in another century. AND, as our host mentioned LEFKADA (paradise) there are no words. . . Magnificent – so much to do and see and only 2 hours from Sivota Greece, SIVOTA offers a little bit of everything the Greek Islands has except for the scenic whites but going to SIVOTA was the best trip I ever had. I cant wait to go back and SIVOTA GOLD is the BEST place to stay!

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