Greek islands & Mainland

Discover our travel guides to the 90 Best Greek islands & Mainland Greece destinations, and learn all their secrets!
Use the filters to help you find your ideal holiday destination based on your preferences. Alternatively, you can see our lists with the Best Greek islands and Best Greek mainland sorted by popularity.
Looking for an island-hopping trip? Check the most popular Greek island-hopping itineraries.

Map view

Cyclades islands

Dodecanese islands

Dodecanese Photo

Ionian islands

Ionian Photo

Sporades islands

Sporades Photo

Saronic islands

Saronic Photo

Eastern Aegean

Eastern Aegean Photo

Sterea

Sterea Photo

Thessaly

Thessaly Photo

Epirus

Epirus Photo

Macedonia

Macedonia Photo

Crete island

Crete Photo

Peloponnese

Peloponnese Photo

Best Greek islands & Mainland destinations by category

No idea where to go? See below in a glance the best destinations by category.

  • Best for First-Timers: Athens • Santorini • Mykonos • Paros • Naxos
  • Best for Beaches: Mykonos • Naxos • Ios • Paros • Koufonisia • Chania (Crete) • Rhodes • Lefkada • Zakynthos • Skiathos
  • Best for Couples: Santorini • Milos • Hydra • Spetses • Monemvasia
  • Best for Families: Naxos • Paros • Rhodes • Hydra • Nafplion • Crete
  • Best for Luxury: Mykonos • Santorini • Rhodes • Heraklion (Crete) • Corfu • Halkidiki
  • Best for Party: Mykonos • Ios • Kos • Zakynthos • Skiathos • Heraklion (Crete)
  • Best for Honeymoon: Santorini • Rhodes
  • Best for Gastronomy : Crete • Naxos • Tinos
  • Best for good Restaurants: Mykonos • Santorini • Rhodes • Athens • Corfu • Chania
  • Best for Sea Sports: Naxos • Lefkada • Paros • Mykonos • Crete • Rhodes
  • Best for Photography: Santorini • Milos • Meteora
  • Best for Island Hopping: Take the Greek Ferries and visit the most popular islands: Santorini • Naxos • Paros • Ios • Mykonos • Milos

Best Greek islands to visit

In numbers, Greece has 16.000 km total coastline, more than 6.000 islands in total, scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which 227 are inhabited. The best beaches in Europe are definitely here!
Spreading in two main seas, the Aegean sea on the East and the Ionian Sea on the West, the Greek islands are divided into smaller groups: Cyclades, Crete, Ionian, Dodecanese, Sporades, Saronic and Eastern Aegean islands.The most popular island group is certainly the Cyclades islands on the Aegean sea. Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, picturesque villages and whitewashed houses are just some of the elements that make the Cyclades so special. Santorini is a top romantic destination worldwide, while Mykonos is a party island with the most amazing beaches and fancy restaurants. Paros, Naxos, and Ios are also famous all over the world. The rest of Cyclades keep a lower profile in tourism development and offer calm and carefree holidays.

The islands of the Dodecanese and especially Rhodes and Kos are also very touristic and ideal for family vacations.

The Ionian islands of Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada and Kefalonia are of unparalleled beauty. Their famous emerald waters and amazing landscapes, are breathtaking and a bucket list destination for many people.

Other famous islands are located in the Saronic such as the instagramic Hydra and Spetses, while the Sporades and Eastern Aegean islands are becoming more and more famous every year.
Crete is also very popular. It is a land rich in history, gastronomy and has amazing landscapes, not to mention the countless idyllic beaches.

Overall the Greek islands are the ideal destination for every taste, from luxury to budget holidays. Despite the tourist development, their original character remains and is strictly preserved, providing a wonderful atmosphere of high quality holiday to visitors.

View more: List of Greek islands by popularity

Best Mainland destinations

The Greek Mainland is basically famous for its rich history of more than 2.500 years. The most important ancient sites and temples of Ancient Greek Civilization are located here and the majority of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are some: the Acropolis in Athens, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Tombs at Mycenae, the stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia in Peloponnese, Delphi in Sterea, Ancient Dodona in Epirus, Dion and Ancient Philippi in Macedonia and more.
Most of them can be easily accessed with tours from Athens.

Although mainland Greece is not as popular as the Greek islands, it provides interesting sightseeing, amazing landscapes, beautiful towns and wonderful beaches. The amazing and mysterious Meteora are located in the Greek Mainland as well and is one the most visited places in Greece. This amazing natural wonder will leave you speechless and is a top destination for hiking, climbing and landscape photography.
The most tourist developed places in the mainland are Halkidiki and Parga with amazing beaches and crystal blue waters. Various coastal towns of the Peloponnese such as Nafplio, the first Capital of Greece and Kalamata, are gaining huge reputation especially for family holidays.

Last but not least, the mainland has potentials to develop tourism all year round. It provides gorgeous nature to hike in spring, sightseeing to explore off the beaten track and even ski centers for the wintertime, whereas Athens and Thessaloniki are very popular City Break destinations.

View more: List of Mainland destinations by popularity

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