Greek Islands! The name brings to your mind, vistas of iridescent waters and alabaster houses with blue domes perched on top. This archipelago attracts droves of customers every year for its serenity, crazy nightlife and food melange.
But to choose among these hundreds of islands can be a task. So here is a list of top 10 Greek Islands that have been voted the best among the lot, for various reasons.
If you are looking for a gorgeous island to throw money at luxury hotels and decadent parties, Mykonos is just the place. The place has been a haven for hedonists and party animals since the sixties.
Today, its aura has shifted from bohemian to extravagant. Fancy yachts hit the shores in plenty, as celebrities and supermodels hit the stylish nightlife here. The northern beaches are for peace lovers, serene and tranquil. While the south is for adventurers and party lovers.
Try Kiki’s Taverna, a popular grill shack, to get a nice meal in the daytime. During sunset, enjoy a spectacular view by booking a cabana at the Scorpios. To after-party, head on to Astra. You might be lucky enough to run into your favorite rockstar.
Try out water sports like jet ski, ski, para-sailing and windsurfing in the clear waters.
The most recommended for honeymooners and first time travelers to Greece, Santorini is all scenic and romantic. You may have seen the place in thousands of Greek Island postcards, turquoise waters and clear blue sky, with white washed houses perched on the mountains. But a live encounter of this spectacle will still take your breath away.
Book a fancy hotel in Oia or Pyrgos. Then hire a boat trip to Nea Kameni, the blazing crater, and Palia Kameni, for its hot springs. Check out the popular cafe bar Franco’s, and then grab a fancy meal at Selene.
Other than this, there is really not much to do around, except marvel at the beauty of this island.
Corfu is the most urbane and metropolitan island of the Greek islands. Perfect for a family vacation, Corfu is replete with pastel villages, olive groves and grand mansions. The remains of Byzantine Churches and ancient Greek temples attract a lot of historians to this area. The legendary Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site full of ancient touch- cobblestone alleys, tiny shops selling wooden stuff and embroidered fabrics.
Agni, a tiny fishing village, has started to get recognition recently. Myrtiotissa, a lovely beach with gigantic cliffs in its backdrop, is idle to let your kids building a sand castle. Besides that, the mineral mud of Canal D’Amour is the best natural spa for you.
Visit Ambelonas, an engaging restaurant, winery and cooking school is a must-go. Don’t miss out on the offbeat and delicious Corfiot dishes like shrimp with chickpea and turmeric mousse.
The typically laid back travelers who expedite for sheer leisure would absolutely love Cephalonia. Home to Odysseus, this historic isle showcases a remarkable Archaeological Museum in its main town Argostoli.
Aside from the lovely beaches like the milky white Myrtos and the pine- fringed Horgota, you can get some really excellent wine here. If you are up to splurge some bucks out, rent a room in one of the private beach resorts. You can even rent a glass bottom boat and explore Ithaca, the birthplace of Ulysses. Don’t miss out on the Grottos, an unconventional natural phenomena of the sea disappearing into swallow holes.
An extremely eco friendly isle, Hydra is a listed architectural reserve where any form of new construction is banned. That and motor vehicles. So you can imagine the calm and quiet here, with only the hooves of mules making some noise.
In close proximity to Athens, the isle fills up with chic Greeks on weekends. You can cliff jump from one of the many rocks to feel the adrenaline.
Hydra has recently gained a much earned reputation of an art circuit at international level. There may not be those fancy museums around, but simply strolling to the picturesque streets will be great.
This tiny and secluded fishing village has more boats than people. It’s is a perfect definition of a lovely European village. There are no real roads. So you either walk or cycle. This inexpensive summer holiday spot has recently climbed up the charts, thanks to the peace-loving Athenians.
The nudist beaches are quite a thing among the youths. You can take a day trip to Naxos and Amorgos for some beach fun. Get some memorable clicks at the windmill perched on the harbour entrance. The adventurers can hike up to Pano Meria starting from Chora.
Symi has the cutest little harbour, colorful and vibrant. This headland is like time travel. You will feel going back to the neo-classical age, with pastel colored mansions, taverns and chic boutiques. It is one of the favorite places for French and Italian sailors, and gluttons.
Make sure you are fit enough to explore the city on foot; the roads can be a bumpy. Panormitis monastery is a major pilgrimage site here. The most ravishing beaches are Ayios Yorgos Disalonas and Marathounda, accessible only by boat or on foot. In the bushy boondocks, behind the pine and cypress forests, you could explore hundreds of monasteries.
Try Tholos, a restro offering magnificent harbour views accompanied by delicious flash-fried baby shrimp, a popular local delicacy.
Serendipity is a well-known brand offering luxury villas with spectacular views.
Zakynthos is a paradise for its unparalleled beaches and crystal clear waters. The Shipwreck Bay, accessible only by boat, beats even Myrtos of Cephalonia for its untouched grace.
The north and west of the isle is what stores the most natural beauty. But if you are in a party mood, the south is waiting for you. The island is high on music. Every now and then, you can come across concert or a music festival.
The Gerakas Beach is home to loggerhead turtles. You could swim with them in the underwater caves while enjoy the white sand beaches. If you rent accommodation on the Vasiliko Peninsula, you will go speechless with the views. The people are extremely warm and friendly. An insight into the Zakynthian life will make your vacation all the more memorable.
This is the largest of the islands in Greece, flooding with accommodations, restaurants and nightclubs. Popular for its ancient ruins, plenteous beaches and snow-caped peaks, Crete is all for adventurers and sun-bathers. The gorgeous beaches, majestic mountains and gorges offer a lot of activities for tourists like hiking, horse riding, gorge trekking, water sports and much more.
Agro-tourism is growing on this side of Greece. Avocados and bananas are inherent in the local produce, and the island is largely famous for bringing some color to the Greek cuisine with its flavored rusks, fresh meats and edible weeds. Raki, and excellent distilled clear spirit made of grape pressings is worth a try.
The Minoan Palace of Knossos and Samaria Gorge teem with pilgrims and tourists. Other than these, there are 50 more canyons to explore in this archaeologically significant island. Head on towards the southern edge and you will find miles of isolated sand dunes with multiple Yoga retreats. Don’t miss out on the plenteous mountain villages in the vicinity to make memories of a lifetime.
Rhodes is the most popular tourist spot on the eastern edge of Greek archipelago, with the most efficiently preserved medieval village of Europe. Both the island and the medieval city (bearing the same name) attract thousands of tourists for their beaches, bars and ancient sites. There’s Temple of Apollo, the Acropolis of Lindos, the Governor’s Palace and the Rhodes Footbridge among other major spots.
Being in close proximity to Turkey makes the aura of the island ghastly Turkish. The place is replete with exotic resorts and charming villages.
Prassonissi is essentially popular for its sporting activities like Windsurfing and Kitesurfing. It is also the place where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean. You can rent a ferry and hop onto hundreds of nearby islands to get some peace of mind. The weather is favorable around the year.