Greece: Which Island to Choose

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Aina Martin

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If you have decided to visit Greece but cannot choose which island to go to, I tell you that it is perfectly normal. In fact, Greece has more than 200 islands all beautiful and with marvelous sea, so it is really difficult to choose.

Fortunately, the Greek islands are not all the same, indeed they can be many different from each other, each in fact has its own characteristics and there is really something for everyone, so the choice depends mainly on the type of holiday you are looking for: crystal clear waters, dream beaches, nightlife, culture or a bit of romance?

It is therefore necessary to take into account your preferences, but also the costs, the period of stay and how to reach the chosen island. For example, there are some destinations connected with direct flights, while others require a stopover or even a ferry.

So let's take a virtual trip between the main Greek islands and see which one to choose according to your needs.


Crete is the largest island in Greece and is the perfect destination for an itinerant holiday to discover the splendid beaches, nature and archaeological sites.

Crete is so rich in attractions that the time available is never enough, the ideal would be to stay for about 2 weeks and divide the trip into several stages in order to optimize travel and visit as many things as possible.

There is no shortage of lively places with clubs, pubs and restaurants; perfect for visiting the main attractions during the day and enjoying the evenings.

Furthermore, Crete is a good choice even out of season, for example late September and October are great times to explore the island, the climate is good and it is not full of tourists.



Rhodes together with Crete is ideal for lovers of sea ​​and culture, but it is also very popular with young people looking for a bit of nightlife.

The island is much smaller than Crete so if you have fewer days available it may be the right choice. The best thing is to choose a strategic base to stay, rent a car and explore the island to admire its unique landscapes and discover its ancient history. Do not miss Lindos, St Paul's bay and the city of Rhodes.

An island that satisfies any need and is suitable for young people, families or couples.


Kos is an island of the Dodecanese much appreciated by young people for the evening life, concentrated in the two localities of Kos Town and Kardamena.

Kos is also known as "The Little Rhodes" and like its bigger sister, it is rich in ancient history, with several archaeological sites, and beautiful beaches, especially in the southern area.

Its small size makes it easy to turn around by renting a car or scooter. Another advantage of Kos are the low prices, you can often find very affordable flight + hotel offers.

If you want to combine fun with a little relaxation and culture, Kos is the one for you.



Santorini is the best island for a romantic getaway. What is most striking is its spectacular landscape, the sunsets over the Caldera and the unmistakable Cycladic architectural style, with the typical white and blue houses.

On the other hand, the beaches are not the best in the archipelago, especially since Santorini is a volcanic island, consequently the sand is dark and the water is not so clear.

But Santorini remains a unique place in the world, with a magical atmosphere. And if you are looking for crystal clear sea, you can decide to visit other nearby islands such as Ios, Mykonos or Naxos.


Mykonos is the quintessential entertainment island with the best clubs and a vibrant nightlife.

This does not mean that the sea is not beautiful, on the contrary there are wonderful beaches with crystal clear waters.

So Mykonos is very popular with those who, in addition to having fun, also want to explore the island and its beaches. It is also easy to reach with direct flights.

The only drawback of Mykonos is the high costs and the overcrowding in the high season.


If fun remains the primary focus of your vacation, but the budget isn't high, Ios is the place for you. The island is very coveted by the very young, the best destination for a graduation trip.

In recent years, however, Ios is changing, especially in August, the average age has risen and services have improved, promoting tourism also for couples and families.

The island is characterized by the classic Cycladic style, offers beautiful beaches and sea, is small and can be easily navigated.


If you are looking for a discreet but not too chaotic evening life, beautiful beaches and clear sea the best choice is Paros. Perfect for a relaxing yet fun couple's holiday.

The only thing is that there are no direct flights to Paros.


Still haven't found the Greek island that's right for you? Do not despair because as we have said there is something for all tastes.

Naxos for example is the best place for a relaxing holiday in the name of the beautiful sea and with a moderate nightlife. There are beaches of clear sand with transparent sea and sheltered from the wind.

Naxos is recommended for a family vacation or for anyone looking for a calm and peaceful atmosphere, let's say a slightly softer Paros.

Also here as in Paros there are no direct flights.



Kefalonia is the Ionian island with the best beaches, well connected, ideal for a relaxing stay away from the chaos, also recommended for families with children. If you have more days available, you can also combine an overnight stay on the other islands such as Zante the Lefkada.


Corfu is the island for everyone: families with children, couples or young people looking for nightlife. Just choose the right area to stay. For young people the funniest place is definitely Ipsos.

The beaches are not the best in Greece but there is no shortage of coves with crystal clear waters. Don't miss a tour of the old town.

The costs are not excessive as in other islands of Greece.



Not too crowded sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a decent nightlife, all this is Skiathos. An island not too big and well connected with direct flights.

Suitable for young people who are looking for beautiful beaches and a bit of evening life that is not as excessive as in Mykonos. Also recommended for families with children.


Calcidia Peninsula

Finally, an often little-considered destination for a sea trip in Greece is the Halkidiki peninsula, in particular the area of ​​Sithonia is very beautiful, with sandy beaches and clear waters.

It is never a crowded and cheap destination, there are flights to Thessaloniki at affordable prices and from there you can move around by renting a car.

Start with the Best Guide to the Greek Islands

Tips and Information for Traveling between the Greek Islands
Don't leave without Lonely Planet!

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