Greek islands have been among most popular holiday destinations for years – after all, Greece has about two and a half thousands of them, including entire archipelagos and island groups such as: Dodecanese, Cicadas, or Sporades. Each of them has breathtaking places, but which of the Greek islands is the most beautiful?
The answer to this question is not so obvious.
Everyone who has traveled around the Greek islands, has their own private ranking. Some appreciate the largest and most-known islands, others just the opposite, taking delight with these tiny, completely non-commercial Greek islands.
Ranking of the most beautiful Greek islands:
Taking into account the taste of both, we have created a completely original TOP 10 ranking of the most beautiful, best and most popular Greek islands:
Santorini is probably the most recognizable Greek island in the world. Associated mainly with white buildings and blue domes of churches.
Pictures from Fira or Oia decorate most postcards and guides from Greece.
Santorini is a volcanic island with rocky cliffs, resulting in cascading construction.
This is by far the most popular island of the Cyclades archipelago.
You can walk through the narrow streets of local towns or visit the Akrotiri excavations with a history of over 5,000 years.
You can also see the volcano caldera itself and be sure to try locally produced wine from the assyrtiko grapes.
Santorini is also known for amazing views and romantic scenery, especially at sunset, and because of this reason, it is an island chosen very often for weddings.
The only thing to remember is that the island doesn’t have breathtaking beaches.
Yes, you can find even black (Perissa, Kamari) and red beach (Akrotiri), but this is not the main magnet of Santorini. Its popularity and the fact that it is often visited by world-class stars has meant that it is not cheap here and prices can surprise.
It is also worth visiting the official site of the island of Santorini to learn more about the tourist attractions on Santorini.
Let’s summarize this video showing Santorini from a bird’s eye view:
We also attach a map for each of the islands below – here is a map of Santorini:
Below is another of the beautiful Greek islands, Crete.
Crete is the largest Greek island and also the cradle of European culture. Praised above all for the multitude of monuments and beautiful beaches, which very often are at the forefront of the most beautiful rankings.
Crete means also an excellent cuisine, which is considered one of the healthiest. It is not expensive here, so you can afford to dine in tiny taverns.
The island has everything that Greece has good to offer – mountains, olive groves, beaches, blue sea, great weather and local vineyards.
A week is definitely too short a time to get to know it and visit it.
Chania is waiting for tourists with its port and old town, but also Rethymnon with the historic fortress or Samaria gorge. It is also worth going to Herakion to see the Palace of Knossos.
When it comes to beaches, it’s definitely worth seeing the famous Balos Lagoon, Elafonisi and Vai. If you are looking for nightlife and discos pulsating with loud music then choose the famous Malia for your base. More on the official site of the island of Crete where you will find out what interesting places and tourist attractions are worth visiting and seeing.
Map of Crete:
Zakynthos – an island associated mainly with the Wreck Bay. However, its real symbol is the sea turtle – caretta caretta, which has chosen Zakynthos for its breeding place. On sections of the coast in the bays of Laganas and Gerakas, it lays its eggs, and for this reason these parts of the beaches are closed to tourists periodically.
There are also some monuments and tourist attractions – the capital of Zante is the church of St. Dionysus, ruins of the Venetian fortress, the Byzantine Museum and the Museum of Dionisios Salomos, author of the Greek anthem.
However, what attracts the most on Zakynthos are the beaches.
These sandy beaches and ideal for families with children are available on the eastern part of the island (ex. Tsilivi). There are no beaches on the western side, only steep, rocky cliffs that are at the same time very photogenic.
If you are looking for night life, we recommend a seat in Laganas. Events last there until dawn. For more information, please visit this address where the Greek island of Zakynthos has been described along with its monuments and interesting content.
Map of Zakynthos:
Mykonos – another island in the Cyclades, spotted by world-class stars and associated with luxury. Its character is defined by the sixteenth century windmills, which somehow justifies the nickname – the island of winds.
Currently, however, the term party island is more suitable, because the fun lasts almost 24 hours a day. There are plenty of bars and discos, nudist beaches and a truly luxurious accommodation base (boutique hotels considered to be one of the best in the world).
The other very famous place on the Greek island of Mykonos is the Alefkandra district, called Little Venice, because the buildings stand directly on the water. It’s the perfect place for a meal, especially at sunset. Mykonos with its architecture of white houses, is very similar to Santorini, also in terms of price levels.
For more, please refer to the video below, where you can see monuments, beaches and interesting places as well as to this address to the official website.
Map of Mykonos:
Corfu – called the least Greek of the islands, as evidenced by buildings in a more Mediterranean (Venetian) style than traditional Greek one.
The island is distinguished by exceptionally green nature, with supposedly a million olive trees planted. However, the plant symbol izing Corfu is definitely kumquat – that is, a fruit that looks like an ovoid mandarin, only hellishly bitter. Alcoholic products based on kumquats are available in every corner of the island.
It is worth visiting the old town in the capital (inscribed on the UNESCO list), as well as the nearby palace of the Empress Sisi, or the Kanoni viewpoint. The island of Corfu is also more interesting places that are worth seeing and visiting. Also read us a guide where we have described the current prices in Corfu.
When it comes to sunbathing, you have to go to one of the prettier beaches in Paleokastrica to get to the Chomi beach cut off from the world. For lovers, a must-visit point will be the Love Channel in Sidari (we do not recommend swimming), and party people are invited by Kavos, famous among British youth. For more, of course, we refer to the official site here.
Thassos – less known and at the same time less commercialized, mountainous island. Its main attraction are sandy beaches, tiny deserted villages and no crowds. An ideal place to relax and stay in touch with nature.
However, no one will be bored here.
Worth seeing is the capital of the island of Limenas, and in it the Archaeological Museum and ancient excavations. An interesting sacred object will also be the monastery of Archangel Michael, where a nail is preserved, which was supposedly nailing Jesus’ right hand to the cross.
However, the most recognizable place on Thassos is Giola, a natural pool, carved in the rock.
The most popular and suitable for families with children is the Golden Beach, with a gentle entry to the sea and full infrastructure.
In search of ancient remains, it is also worth going to Aliki, where you can see the ruins of an ancient temple and two Byzantine basilicas, and the remains of a quarry where marble was once mined.
Map of Thassos:
Rhodes – a popular island of the Dodecanese archipelago. Often called the island of the sun and it’s a fitting nickname, because it’s probably one of the warmest places in Greece.
The season starts here even in April and lasts until October. Rhodes is a great place for a family vacation, with its beaches, water park and mild climate.
The Prasonisi peninsula is the mecca of all wind and kite surfers and a great place for other water sports.
The real sunbathers will surely like Tsambika Beach more. The island is also wonderful monuments that await sightseeing enthusiasts. It is enough to mention the Acropolis in Lindos, or the capital of Rhodes with the old city and the Palace of the Grand Masters and the Suleymaniye Mosque.
It is also worth going to the Valley of Seven Springs or Valley of the Butterflies. For those interested in fun after dawn and events is the local town of Faliraki. All details about the island of Rhodes, its tourist attractions, monuments and other relevant information can be found at this address on the website.
Cephalonia – supposedly the least crowded Greek island. Some may associate it with the movie with Nikolas Cage and Penelope Cruz – Captain Corelli.
Perfect for long romantic walks, especially for newlyweds. The biggest treasure of Cephalonia are the local beaches, especially the charming Myrtos and Xi with white cliffs and reddish sand, or Platia Ammos, to which access was blocked by an earthquake that destroyed the stairs leading to it.
It is worth visiting the capital of Kefalonia Agrostoli and the most picturesque village on the island – Fiskardo.
A must visit is the local caves – Melissani surrounded by forest, with a lake in the middle and Drogarati behind stalactites and stalagmites. You should also try the local white wine produced from robola grape, which is valued in the world. More on the official website.
Map of Cephalonia:
Lefkada is an intimate island with white beaches and high cliffs, the only Greek island connected by a bridge to the mainland. Ideal for all water sports – especially the bay in Vasiliki.
It took its name from the white cliffs that appear on it.
The main attraction of the island are the beaches, especially the most famous Porto Katsiki to which you have to go down the high stairs, or the long Egremni Beach.
It is worth seeing the ruins of the castle of Agia Mavra, but also the atmospheric village of Agios Nikitas, or the town of Karia known for its lace. You must see the lighthouse at Cape Lefkada and visit the waterfalls at Nidri.
Lefkada is a universal holiday destination. It is good for people looking for peace on vacation, but also for those who spend their free time actively.
It’s also quite a budget proposition, because you can spend your vacation here relatively cheaply. Traditionally, we invite you for more at this address, where you can learn more about tourist attractions, monuments and interesting places in Lefkada.
Map of Lefkada:
Last but not least, Kos is the birthplace of Hippocrates. With a 120-kilometer coast, a stone’s throw to the Turkish Bordum (25km) and quite close to the islands of Nisiros and Kalimnos.
There are favorable conditions for water sports (including diving), but also for bike rides or running. The island is not very mountainous and hides several monuments.
One of them is definitely the castle of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem or the tree of Hippocrates in the capital. It was on Kos that the oldest medical school, namely Asclepeion, was located.
When it comes to beaches, Paradise Beach, Camel Beach and the long beach at Tigaki are the most popular. Other tourist attractions on the island of Kos include a visit to the local vineyard and honey parlor, it is worth going to the mountain village of Zia and the Plaka Forest, where peacocks live in the wild. Details on the official website of the island of Kos.
Map of Kos:
Finally, one more video showing how beautiful the Greek islands are.
We look forward to your opinions from the holidays spent on one of the best islands of Greece. Perhaps you were on another island that was not in our ranking of the best Greek islands? Let us know in the comments! Your opinion counts the most! Greek islands are beautiful. Let’s discover them together.