The Greek islands are among the top destinations in the world for summer holidays, due to their incredible landscape and warm hospitality. Most Greek islands combine mountainous backgrounds with fertile plains and forests, as well as amazing beaches, creating a magical scenery, perfect for walking and hiking.
The nature is green and beautiful and hikers can enjoy some sightseeing along the way. The ideal time for a hike in the Greek islands is from March to June and from September to November, when the weather is not too hot or rainy. Walking is a fantastic pastime in all Greek islands, as you pass through ancient stone ways and encounter many sights.
In some islands, walking is a more organized activity and there are a lot of signposted hiking trails. Here are our suggestions of the best Greek islands for walking and organized hiking.
Kefalonia, in the Ionian Sea, is a very fertile island. In summer, there are direct and low cost flights from various European airports. The largest part of the island remains undeveloped, with large areas of verdant greenery, impressive mountains, dense forests and wonderful beaches.
Kefalonia is one of the best Greek islands for walking with various signposted routes. Hiking has developed a lot, as it is the perfect way to explore the island’s stunning scenery and picturesque villages. The most popular walking trails in Kefalonia are spread in the centre of the island and many lead to the top of Mount Ainos or the famous Myrtos beach.
A hiker’s paradise, Corfu island has diverse landscape. There are more than 60 hiking trails and footpaths across the island that pass through olive groves, mountains, small villages and tourist towns. A very popular and well-organized hiking route is the Corfu Trail, established in 2001, which starts from the Old Town of Corfu and reaches the top of Mount Pantokratoras, after 220 km of walking.
Crete is among the best Greek islands for walking. Due to its large size, it has diverse landscapes, amazing nature and rich history. The best way to get to know the true Cretan countryside is to follow one of the innumerable hiking trails. Hikers can choose between routes high up on the mountains or through deep gorges and ravines, as these are the most characteristic aspects of the Cretan scenery.
Samaria Gorge is a very famous hiking trail, visited by thousands of people from all over the world. There is a unique footpath through the gorge, with 18 km length. Samaria Gorge in western Crete is only open from May to October, months with limited rainfall and snowfall. Another demanding hike that crosses Crete is included in the European E4 walking route starting from Portugal.
The magnificent island of Santorini is considered one of the best Greek islands for walking. Its distinctive volcanic background and the famous water filled crater (also known as caldera) create the perfect setting for romantic walks and relaxing hikes. The caldera hiking path from Fira to Oia is very popular and promises spectacular views of the volcano.