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Planning Your Trip To The Greek Islands

The Greek Islands are the dream destinations for almost everyone, and these more than 200 inhabited isles (and about 6,000 islands in total) surprise all their visitors with the variety of cultures, natural beauties, gastronomy, and magnificent landscapes. They are different from each other, and you will be amazed by the authenticity and charm of every town you visit.

From the Cyclades islands and their famous white-and-blue architecture to the Ionian islands and the beautiful greenery they offer, it is difficult to decide which is the best option to choose when planning your trip to the Greek Islands, and this is why we are here to help you. 

The islands are divided into six main groups plus Crete, the biggest and most populous of the Greek islands. Most travelers visit many of the islands during their trip, as you have many options to move from one to another and experience the beauty of them. 

How to get there?

Many of the Greek islands have airports, connecting one to the other or receiving flights from the capital, Athens. Other bigger islands have international connections, such as Santorini, Crete, or Mykonos, giving you the chance to fly there directly from cities in Europe or the Middle East. 

You can travel by ferry, which is very popular between the islands. You have the option to rent a car and take it with you on the ferry to be used on the different islands you visit. 

When to visit them?

As top destinations, the Greek islands are crowded during the months of July and August. If you want to avoid huge crowds, we recommend you plan your trip between the months of May, June, and September. During the high season, most of the restaurants and beach bars are open, and the number of flights and ferry routes is higher. 

Regarding the weather, it varies according to the different islands. For example, Crete is warm all year round, so you can travel there in any season and find moderate weather. On the other hand, the best times to visit Santorini are from September to October and April to May, when the weather is warm and the crowds are scarce.

The Cyclades islands

The most visited archipelago of Greece offers you the beautiful and famous islands of Santorini and Mykonos, and more than 220 isles (only 24 of them are inhabited). You might recognize the Cyclade islands by their architecture, as you will see in most of the towns the beautiful architecture of white churches with blue domes. 

Santorini offers you the romantic side of this group of islands, and it is one of the most photographed places in the world, no doubt why... This is where most honeymooners decide to travel after their wedding, as the luxury that you will find there is incredible. 

If you are looking for good clubs, exotic nightlife, amazing drinks, and paradisiac beaches, head up to Mykonos. The center of this beautiful island is very nice to explore, and you will see many windmills and winding lanes from centuries ago. 

For less-visited options, islands such as Naxos, Syros, or Milos are amazing options to visit. They have plenty of beaches to enjoy, and interesting monuments, churches, and places to explore. For example, Naxos is well known for its white sandy beaches, such as Agios Prokopios or Plaka, and it is a perfect destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing lovers.

From the breathtaking views and crystalline beaches to the wide variety of pubs, bars, and recreational sites, all of the Cyclade islands are amazing to explore!

Crete

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and it is famous for its ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and interesting towns to discover. The island of Crete is very accessible, as it has two main airports with many connections to Athens and other islands. 

There are so many things to explore in Crete, and we recommend spending some of your days there. From Chania, a stunning seaside city with Turkish and Venetian influence, to the top beaches to visit, such as Elafonissi and Elounda, this island will surprise you with the options it has to offer.

As mentioned before, Crete is also known for its ancient ruins, and the most popular one is the Palace of Knossos, home of the Minoan empire. The Moni Preveli is the most sacred monastery in Crete, and we highly recommend visiting it. If you want some adventure, go hike in the Samaria Gorge, a national park with about 15km of pathways and abandoned villages. 

Saronic Gulf Islands

This group of islands is less well-known than their neighbors, and they are the closest island group to Athens. The main inhabited islands are Salamis, Agistri, Aegina, Hydra, Spetses, and Poros.

It needs a short ferry ride from Athens to reach the Saronic islands, and it is the perfect destination for short holidays or if you are short on time. Aegina and Agistri can be reached in an hour or less by high-speed boats from Athens. In Aegina, you will find a large port town, beaches, and the Temple of Athena Aphaia

Poros is interesting to visit, with a nice town with a clock tower and great beaches around. Spetses is a nice island with yachts parked in the harbor and many green pine trees. 

The Ionian islands

One of the most visited islands by travelers, the Ionian islands are famous not only for their transparent water and the beautiful greenery in their surroundings, but also for their unique cuisine, architecture, and culture. You can reach them by flying to the airports in Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, and Kythera from Athens. 

Corfu is the most famous island, with a cosmopolitan old town (recognized by UNESCO), sandy beaches, and incredible landscapes. Zakynthos is very popular for its beautiful shipwreck beach and has blue caves to swim through. It is like paradise!

Lefkada and Kefalonia are also popular holiday destinationsThe first one has a cute town and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. On the other hand, Kefalonia is the largest in size, with beaches worth visiting such as Myrtos, Antisamos, Lourdas, and Skala. Both of the islands have delicious food and attract thousands of visitors yearly.

The Sporades Islands

Located in the northwest of the Aegean Sea, 24 islands make up the Sporades islands, but only four of them are inhabited. They offer a landscape full of green pine forests, beautiful white churches, and, of course, their turquoise beaches.

Alonissos is a beautiful island located at the center of the National Marine Park. Alonissos is home to the Mediterranean Monk Seal, with stunning beaches and very rich history, with some Byzantine ruins. This is a perfect island for those who want to stay away from crowds.

Skiathos is one of the most famous of the four inhabited islands, with great nightlife and some of the best beaches in Greece. You can get here by direct flight from Athens. Skopelos is one of the greenest islands in the Aegean, with extensive forests and stunning landscapes. The movie Mamma Mia was filmed in Skopelos, so you might find some of the places familiar. 

The fourth island, Skyros, is known for its ceramics, churches, a Venetian castle topping the mountain, and an impressive carnival. 

The Northeast Aegean islands

Ikaria, Samos, Limnos, Lesvos, and Chios are the most famous islands of the 13 Northeast Aegean islands in total. They are Greece’s closest areas to Turkey, and we advise you to visit the islands because of the natural wonders such as the volcanic rocks, the sand dunes, or the thermal springs.

Limnos, Lesvos, and Samos have international flights, while Chios and Ikaria have domestic ones. From Piraeus, the port of Athens, you can take a ferry and reach these beautiful islands.

There are some interesting ancient temples and castles to explore. In Samos, you will find the Temple of Hera, and in Limnos, the ancient city of Ifesia, which is definitely worth visiting. 

The Dodecanese islands

Twelve is the number of main islands that form this group, and you might have heard of Rhodes and Kos before. These two islands are the most well-known of the rest, as the other ten are less discovered. 

Rhodes has medieval architecture, with a walled city and castles. The wineries, beaches, and nightlife of Rhodes are very popular too. The famous Acropolis of Lindos is located at the top of the hill, and once there, you will get a breathtaking panoramic sea view. 

Kassos is a very quiet island with very tasty fish, cheese, great culinary specialties, and great hospitality from the locals. Karpathos is known for its hikes, windsurfs, and scuba diving. 

Live the experience of visiting the Greek islands and make sure to visit the ones that match perfectly with your expectations!










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