When you go to Greece, it's really a must to hit the Greek islands. Not only is it what the country is famous for. Each of the Greek islands has something unique, and each of them has its own, good reason to go to it.
A great way to spend your time in Greece is to split your stay between the mainland and visiting the Greek isles. There are 6,000 islands and islets scattered across the Greek Seas, only 227 of them are inhabited. Some are familiar due to their Instagram popularity, while others are lesser known but no less beautiful.
Here are six Greek islands that we think you should add to your must-see list:
Milos: Have you ever been to a beach with sand that's so white it looks like snow? That's Milos – an unreal, un-crowded Greek island that's like something out of a movie – or maybe an alien planet. From beach relaxation to cliff jumping for the adrenaline junkies, Milos has it all!
Mykonos: Here’s the classic Greek party island. Overrun and overcrowded? Maybe. But there's a reason. Mykonos is the place to be in the Aegean. Nightlife galore. Food to die for. Pristine white buildings that feel like a movie set. This island has it all, and well earns its crowds! However, unlike some of the smaller, laid-back Greek
islands, you can’t just show up here and expect to find a decent accommodation. For the best hotels, book with 3-6 months of anticipation.
Naxos: This is one of the more picturesque islands in the Aegean. Here you can drive (or hike!) up into the hills and catch a spectacular view of a delightful, quaint town across the valley. Perfect for families, this is an island where you can bring your kids to relax – or run all around, if that’s what the kids prefer doing!
Paros: This island is the ideal place to take a break from all the running around to ancient ruins. And just chill. Where else can you stand on a stone dock on the shores of the Mediterranean, and gaze at the pile of vibrant white houses on the hill beyond, topped by a two-spited white cathedral? A less touristy island than many,
the locals here are fantastic. And the food – often straight from the sea – is, if possible, even better. A must-see in this stunning country.
Antiparos: Does this name resemble any other island we’ve talked about? Paros, maybe? Well, as you might suppose, Antiparos is located right next to Paros – a mere five minute ferry ride away. But in terms of tranquility, it’ll feel like you stepped into Heaven. Not that Paros is a bustling metropolis, but Antiparos is even more tranquil – and the water is, somehow, even more translucent and blue!
Sifnos: If you’ve never tried Greek cooking, you’re going to want to, on Sifnos. This island’s most famous inhabitant is Nicholas Tselementes, who – in 1910 – wrote the first Greek cookbook. And on this island, a feast is just a matter of course. It’s not just moussaka; it’s stewed capers and chickpea croquettes and stewed capers are taverna staples, and potteries that produce the casseroles used for revitháda (baked chickpeas) and mastello (lamb with red wine and dill).
Whether you decide to catch a ferry (from Athens, Patras, or another port), hop on a flight (some islands have an airport), or join an island-hopping cruise, your trip to Greece is not complete without experiencing the islands.