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4 minute read

The Greek Islands have long been a haven for travellers searching for pure white sand and turquoise sea, but with over 200 idyllic islands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide! Here are 10 of the best Greek Islands to visit, and what makes each one stand out from the rest.

1) Santorini 

Best for: Envy-inducing photographs

Ah, Santorini. A postcard of white-washed houses clinging to rugged cliffs, Greece’s most iconic island never fails to conjure up images of pure paradise.

Come here for unforgettable sunsets, wining and dining and the frosting of fascinating archaeological sites scattered across the island.

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Whitewashed houses of the Greek island of Santorini

2) Crete

Best for: Exploring on foot

Greece’s largest island is also its most varied – a feature which makes it the perfect destination for walking holidays.

White sand beaches morph into craggy coves, rugged canyons and lush green mountains: Crete’s ever-changing landscape makes it so much more than a sun-kissed beach destination.

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Beautiful beach on the Greek island of Crete

3) Skiathos

Best for: A lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere

Have you ever watched Mamma Mia and wished yourself onto the set’s sandy white beaches? Well, a visit to Skiathos can make that dream come true. While most of the film was shot in neighbouring Skopelos – just a short boat trip away – Skiathos had a fair amount of screen-time too.

Known for its vibrant nightlife and buzzing atmosphere, Skiathos also has some of Aegean’s most beautiful beaches, dusted with soft sand and fringed by swaying palm trees.

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Looking down the beach on the Greek island of Skiathos

4) Zakynthos

Best for: Seeing Mother Nature in abundance

Zakynthos (or Zante) has become hugely popular over the years for its idyllic beaches, startlingly turquoise waters and vibrant nightlife. But if you step away from the crowds you’ll discover a different side to the island: forested wilderness, traditional villages, rugged coastlines and spectacular limestone cliffs.

The island is also home to the endangered Loggerhead Turtle, with Laganas Bay being the most important breeding ground in the whole of the Mediterranean.

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Famous Navagio Beach on the Greek isalnd of Zakynthos

5) Kos

Best for: Sightseeing galore

Kos is overflowing with treasures. Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins are scattered all over Kos Town, and the entire island is punctuated by millennia-old Corinthian columns.

Then there’s the 15th-century medieval castle that looms over the harbour, not to mention an array of fabulous museums. On your days off from the beach, there’s more than enough to keep you enthralled.

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The main sqaure of Kos Town on the Greek island of Kos

6) Corfu

Best for: Spectacular viewpoints

Known as the ‘Emerald Island’ of the Mediterranean, Corfu is defined by its rugged mountains, lush scenery and scenic walking trails.

While its beaches are studded with lively resorts, the island is large enough to escape the crowds if you wish. Buckle up your walking boots and explore the untamed beauty of Corfu for yourself. Medieval villages, undulating hills, ageless olive groves and sandy coves lie waiting to be discovered.

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Viewpoint from the Greek island of Corfu

7) Kefalonia

Best for: Unspoilt beaches

If you’re craving clean, tranquil and barely-touched beaches, Kefalonia is the Greek island for you. Its numerous stretches of pure white sand, coves and bays are hidden by the island’s convoluted coastline, many of which are only reachable by foot.

Myrtos beach is perhaps the most spectacular, tucked away at the base of towering limestone cliffs.

Join solo travellers in Kefalonia >>
READ MORE: Top 6 Best Relaxing Holiday Destinations >>

The peaceful and unspoilt Myrtos beach on the Greek island of Kefalonia

8) Ithaca

Best for: Immersing yourself in myths and legends

Just 18 miles from top to tail, the tiny Ionian island of Ithaca is best known as the home of Odysseus – one of Greece’s most famous mythical heroes.

The island is one of Greece’s calmest, scattered with various Odysseus-themed attractions – a cave, a spring, the ruins of a castle – which nudge shoulders with picturesque harbour villages and scenic walking trails.

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The picturesque fishing village of Kioni on the Greek island of Ithaca

9) Mykonos

Best for: A vibrant nightlife

At the heart of all the action, there is Mykonos. Decked out with trendy hotels, beach bars and restaurants, this buzzing island will deliver above and beyond your expectations if a lively atmosphere is what you seek.

Add sandy beaches and whitewashed villages to the island’s vibrant, cosmopolitan party scene, and you can easily see why Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in the Cyclades.

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View of the harbour on the Greek island of Mykonos

10) Rhodes

Best for: Ancient ruins

Rich in centuries of history, Rhodes is home to one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe.

On your days off from the beach, take a walking tour of the old fortified city, gawp at the Grand Master’s Palace and see where the Colossus of Rhodes, an Ancient Wonder of the World, once stood.

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The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights in the Greek Island of Rhodes

Still can’t choose? Browse our full selection of sun-kissed holidays to the Greek Islands today. From relaxing beach holidays and walking tours to golfing breaks in the sun, we have something to suit every taste and budget.

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