Best Greek islands and destinations
Here is our list with the best Greek islands and mainland destinations in Greece. A country of amazing beauty, Greece is one of the most popular places in the world for summer holidays. The Greek destinations vary from cosmopolitan Greek islands to secluded places in the mainland. In order to visit as many Greek destinations as possible, many visitors actually hop from one island to the other during their holidays, or drive around the mainland to get off the beaten track.
This is a guide with the best Greek islands and mainland destinations, ranked by popularity. This ranking is based on our data as a travel guide and not on the official data and statistics of the Greek Ministry of Tourism. You can also filter the list by best Greek islands or best mailand Greece destinations.
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The capital of Greece, Athens is famous for its long history and the amazing sightseeing. A trip to Greece is not complete without a visit to Athens. The best place for walking, as all sightseeings are found in close distance to each other, Athens is also a transportation hub to the Greek islands.
The best island in Greece and frequently included among the most romantic destinations in the world, Santorini is visited by millions of tourists every summer. You will get impressed by the steep caldera and the amazing sunset. Do not miss a trip to the volcano, whose top can be seen from any spot of the caldera. For swimming, head to the southern side of Santorini, where most beach resorts can be found.
Famous all over the world for the exotic beaches and the crazy nightlife, Mykonos is the second best island of Greece, after Santorini. In the day, relax under the hot Greek sun and dance in the beach bars of Paradise and Super Paradise. In the evenings, head to Mykonos Town and see the sunset from Little Venice, walk around the narrow streets and have fun in the all-night bars.
The region of Heraklion has lively beaches on the northern side and secluded, family places on the southern side. In between, visitors will drive by mountainous villages that keep the traditional paces of life and interesting ancient sites, including the world-famous Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaestos.
The best and most cosmopolitan island of Dodecanese, Rhodes is located in the south eastern side of the Aegean. This island is perfect for all ages and tastes. You will find both organized and secluded beaches, busy waterfronts and small portsides, monasteries and ancient sites. Most of all, you will love the Old Town. Walk along the paved streets of the Old Town and you will have the sense that time has stopped in the time of the Knights.
Kos is among the most popular islands of Dodecanese, second to Rhodes. This is a place with many diversions: you will find both busy, crowded beach resorts great for wild youth as well as calm, secluded spots ideal for families. Although Kos is large enough for long summer holidays, it also serves as a good base for daily trips to other islands of Dodecanese.
The most cosmopolitan island of the Ionian Sea, Corfu was among the first Greek islands to open to tourism. With an amazing town of Venetian architecture, many sightseeings and wonderful beaches, Corfu attracts thousands of visitors every year. Paleokastritsa is the most famous resort, but beautiful places to stay can be found all around the island.
Over the last years, and especially after the filming of the Hollywood movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin on the island, Kefalonia is getting more popular as a world destination. Famous for the exotic water and the green landscape, Kefalonia is a great summer destination for families and couples. Myrtos is the most photographed beach of Kefalonia, but equally beautiful are the beaches of Antisamos, Makrigialos and Lourdas.
Famous for the wonderful beaches and the lively nightlife, Zakynthos is a great destination for all ages and tastes. The youth will love the organized beaches and the noisy bars of Laganas, while families will relax in the resorts of Vassilikos. The most famous spot of Zakynthos is certainly Navagio, a gorgeous bay with exotic blue water and a rusty shipwreck on shore.
One of the most cosmopolitan islands of Cyclades, Paros is famous for its pure Cycladic architecture, the wonderful beaches and the vivid nightlife. A drive around the island will bring you to traditional villages with white sugar houses and paved paths, while the countryside is scattered with small chapels. Golden Beach and New Golden Beach are very popular for windsurfing, while great beaches are also Kolymbithres and Santa Maria.
Although it is surrounded by popular islands, Naxos has kept its family style. Located in the centre of Cyclades, Naxos has amazing beaches on the western side and picturesque mountainous villages in the countryside. All beaches of Naxos have exotic water and soft sand, while Mikri Vigla is considered the best windsurfing and kitesurfing spot in Cyclades.
The westernmost region of Crete, Chania amazes visitors with the Venetian-style Town, the beautiful beaches, the interesting sightseeing and the lovely nature. Do not miss the Venetian port of Chania Town and the trips to Balos and Elafonissi, two beaches with exotic crystal water.
Famous for the amazing beach resorts and the lovely nature, Halkidiki gets very popular in summer with both Greek and foreign visitors. The first peninsula of Halkidiki, Kassandra, has the busiest resorts, while the second peninsula, Sithonia, is more calm. The third peninsula, Mount Athos, is a monastic community and entrance is allowed only after special permission.
Among the most popular islands of Greece, Samos keeps its family atmosphere even in high season. Due to its large size, tourism on Samos is spread and not concentrated in few resorts. Visitors are charmed by the blue-green water, the traditional villages and the interesting ancient sites. Hiking is also popular in Samos, with many trails leading to secret coves, waterfalls and small villages.
Called the Emerald of the Aegean, Thassos is located on the northern side of the Aegean and very close to the mainland. With lush forests and fabulous beaches with blue-green water, this island attacts many families and romantic couples. Thassos is also popular with hiking, as the hiking trails will lead you to Byzantine towers, nice caves and secret coves.
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