Of all the amazing destinations that the Mediterranean has to offer, from the charming hill towns of Tuscany to the vibrant Balearics, the islands of Greece are possibly the most remarkable. This collection of rocky specks in a turquoise sea is genuinely stunning and is one of the few famous vacation destinations in the world that truly lives up to the hype.
There are somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 Greek islands, depending on who you ask and how you count, ranging from large, developed spots like Crete and Kos to tiny islets with not much more than goats and greenery. They offer some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, as well as rich historical artifacts, amazing food and wine, and beaches that bear comparison with the best in the world.
So if you’ve been waiting to tick something off your Greece bucket list and want to discover one of the most exquisite places on the planet, take a Greek islands cruise and embrace the history, culture, cuisine, and staggering beauty of the cradle of western civilization. Here are some of the best Greek islands to visit.
One of the most instantly recognizable of all the Greek islands, the famous blue-domed churches of Oia remains breathtaking even after thousands of Instagram shots. The centuries-old villages of Santorini are perched precariously on whitewashed cliffs above the shimmering-blue sea and make for a truly stunning visual experience, while the archaeological site of Akrotiri is another great reason to visit.
Immortalized in song by the British band Mumford & Sons, Mykonos has a reputation as something of a party island. Home to some of the best clubs, bars, and restaurants in the Mediterranean, it is a lively and vibrant option that offers amazing beach parties set against a gloriously picturesque backdrop.
Arguably the quintessential Greek island, Corfu is the main highlight of the Ionian islands and offers a little bit of everything. From traditional Greek villages and gorgeous hidden beaches to glitzy nightclubs and championship golf courses, Corfu is one of the best places to start exploring the islands of Greece.
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands and boasts a staggeringly rich history and culture. The Minoan civilization on Crete dates back thousands of years and forms a foundational part of some of the main myths and legends of ancient Greek mythology. The remains of the palace and labyrinth at Knossos are one of the best-preserved and most interesting archaeological sites in Europe. The rest of Crete is spectacular too, with wild landscapes and rocky coastlines galore, perfect for exploring.
The dramatic, rugged coast of Kefalonia is one of the most impressive in the whole of Europe, and certainly boasts some of the Mediterranean’s best beaches. Thanks to the craggy mountain peaks that form a stark backdrop, Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful of all the Greek islands.
So pick your Greek island getaway and let your journey begin! Explore the wonders of the Mediterranean in all their splendor, and drink in the extraordinary atmosphere of this perfect corner of Europe.