If there is one island hopping region you must put on your travel bucket list, it’s the beautiful Greek Islands. This gorgeous destination makes up 6,000 sovereign islands peppered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. But only 227 are inhabited.
These stunning islands and islets invite paradise, mystery, and adventure for the travelers who experience them.
From rugged shore-lined cliffs to whimsical fairytale settings to ancient harbors and fishing villages, here are the most coveted islands of Grecian culture.
The Most Beautiful Greek Islands Await You
These are the most breathtaking Greek islands to explore. You’ll enjoy hopping from island to island for traditional Greek cuisine and cocktails and a plethora of beauty and culture.
You’ve read about Crete in the history books. But visiting this charming Venetian port is magical. Crete is the largest and most populated Greek Island and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
This lovely Greek island is filled with olive groves scattered along the coastline. On your journey, you’ll view crumbling ancient harbors that give way to traditional towns with lively tavernas.
Pick olives in olive groves that spread along the verdant seashore making its landscape a brilliant green. Gaze at Mount Ida and other sun-drenched peaks and well-defined canyons in this mythological destination.
Explore the depths of Samaria Gorge and Lefka Ori’s sparkling ridges. Then head to the beach for some sun.
In the west, you’ll find the rugged Falasarna or visit Elafonsii along the Libyan Sea. Looking for lively entertainment? Head to Malia or Heraklion.
Home to the ancient Phoenicians and the God Poseidon, this destination in the Ionian sea is one of the most beautiful Greek Islands.
On this awe-inspiring island, you’ll find pebble-filled coves, the architecture of the Byzantine Era and the British Empire rolled into one magnificent canvas. View steep cliffs punctuated by green foliage.
While the land is absolutely beautiful, it’s the majestic facades that impress the savviest of travelers. Explore the picturesque Vlacheraina Monastery and Mandraki Marina. Then head to Angelokastro Castle for the view of a lifetime.
You’ve seen this Grecian majesty in photographs and postcards. Now you can experience this beautiful Greek island adorned with its contrasting in all its glory.
In Santorini, discover picture-perfect whitewashed villages and the blue domed churches of Oia. Witness how the villages cascade over the island’s volcanic cliffs against the turquoise waters.
Tour the archaeological dig site of Minoan Akrotiri and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. One of the most dramatic seascapes in the Mediterranean, this island is home to notable scuba diving sites and boasts mouthwatering Turkish-inspired fare.
Experience the most famous cosmopolitan Greek island. This whitewashed beauty in the heart of the Cyclades Islands has a story of its own.
Apparently, according to ancient legend, Mykonos took shape after Hercules killed the giants. The island gets its name from Apollo’s grandson, Mykonos.
On this island, everyone mingles from families to celebrities to university students to celebrate the famed Greek summer.
Whether you’re here for the sun-kissed beaches, the Grecian cuisine or the history and mythology of the island, Mykonos is by far one of the most beautiful Greek islands to visit.
Kefalonia boasts to be the largest island of the Ionian Isles. This idyllic paradise is a haven for nature lovers yearning for a bucolic life. If you’ve seen Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, you’ll recognize Kefalonia.
Visit the sleepy fishing villages in Fiskardo and Argostoli. You can’t miss the fragrant olive plantations that line the shore. Enjoy a view of towering Mount Ainos. It’s a site to see!
Although the mountains are stunning, one can’t deny the star of the show is the magnificent coastline displaying powder white cliffs meeting with crystal blue waters.
Visit Myrtos and Skala beach engulfed in rugged rock formations and cypress enshrouded walls.
Zakynthos is by far one of the most versatile destinations of the Greek islands. Housing the famed Shipwreck Bay, featuring emerging ivory rock walls only accessible by boat.
Nature buffs love the wild mountains and the rustic tavernas that contrast with the turquoise sea. Visit turtle beaches or enjoy the Vassilikos Peninsula that showcases rocky coves.
Party-goers like to head for Laganas and Kalamaki Streets for the party of a lifetime. The Greek Island of Zakynthos offers bliss and entertainment for travelers of every age.
If you’re looking for a Greek island that’s a hidden gem, Lefkada in the Ionian Sea will delight you. Off the beaten track, this island is laid back yet gives visitors a true portrait of rural Greek island life.
Named for its white cliffs, Cape Lefkada is believed to be an ancient temple of Apollo famous for the poet Sappho who jumped off the cliff into the sea.
Inland in this mythological spot, you’ll find local villages atop rugged cliffs. And it’s all surrounded by a thick forest of cypress, olive and juniper trees.
Stroll along the shore and explore hidden coves. Talk to fisherman in the fishing villages of Porto Katsiki or Kalamitsi Beach.
Tour the abandoned monasteries on Odysseia, a Greek warship. Get wet under the Nidri Waterfalls. Or take a dip in the brilliant turquoise Ionian Sea.
The Takeaway on the Most Beautiful Greek Islands
Whether you’re visiting colorful islands in the Aegean Sea or the Ionian waters or both, now you know the most beautiful Greek Islands for island hopping and exploration.
In this mythological and magical European region, you’ll find an unforgettable vacation that awaits you. The islands of Greece are a must on every savvy traveler’s bucket list.
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