Comprising up to 6,000 islands in total, the enigmatic Greek islands are scattered in the Ionian, Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. From Kefalonia to Rhodes and Skiathos to Mykonos, there is a Greek Island to suit everyone. Visitors seeking golden sandy beaches, ancient towns, archaeological sites, whitewashed villages or lively nightlife will find a Greek Island perfect for them.
Visitors wishing to delve deeper into Greek mythology and history should explore the islands of Crete, Naxos, Rhodes and Kos. They have some of the best preserved archaeological sites in the country. If staying on Mykonos, a day trip to the island of Delos is also recommended. Its unique archaeological museums and open-air sites are only open to tourists during the daytime. Sun worshippers and watersports fanatics will be looking for the best beaches. These can be found in Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Rhodes, Ios and Corfu. Also, don’t overlook the natural beauty of Kefalonia which has featured in many movies, books and poetry, and Zakynthos with its Loggerhead Sea Turtles and National Marine Park. Honeymooners and romantic couples will enjoy the crystal-clear aquamarine waters and beautiful whitewashed towns of Spetses, Symi, Rhodes, Milos and Corfu. While party-goers should head to Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos and Crete. There are many highlights on the Greek Islands, as even the small non-touristy islands have special qualities and hidden gems. However, on the larger islands here are attractions visitors won’t want to miss. The Windmills of Mykonos and Little Venice, Rhodes Town and Lindos, Oia Town in Santorini, Melissani Cave in Kefalonia and Knossos in Crete are all must see highlights.
Most of the larger Greek Islands have their own airports with direct International flights. To access the islands, head to the port of Piraeus, 11 kilometres from Athens. The port is accessible via taxi or Uber and bus or train from Athens Railway Station. Up to 154 crossings leave for Crete each day and the Dodecanese Islands of Rhodes, Kos, Patmos, Symi and outlying islands. Ferries to Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Lesbos, Hydra and Spetses can also be accessed from Piraeus. Once on each of the islands, taxis, motorcycles and bicycles are available to hire. Many larger islands operate public bus or boat services.
The Greek Islands are divided into groups. The Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Saronic and Sporades. There are also several standalone islands which include Crete, Lesbos and Limnos. Up to 227 of the thousands of islands are inhabited, the largest being Crete in the south Aegean Sea. Each island has its own fascinating history, architecture and legends. Visitors exploring the Greek Islands for the first time will be planning their next visit before they leave.