There are so many Greek islands scattered in the Aegean and the Ionian seas that making the right choice for your next summer holidays may seem daunting. Whether you’re looking for a remote small island or the hottest destination you’ve seen trending on Instagram, we have you covered.

Greece is home to 6,000 islands separated in 6 different clusters. The Cyclades in the central part of the Aegean Sea and the Ionian islands on the west coast are by far the ones that attract most visitors every summer. Here’s a rundown of our 7 most favorite islands for this summer.

The Top Greek Islands to Visit


Santorini is the starlet of Greek islands. It’s one of the most photographed islands and certainly the one that holds the first place on Instagram. It’s a favorite destination for bloggers, fashion icons and travel writers from all over the world and has thus gained great popularity. The island’s main cities Fira and Oia are built on 980 feet-high (300-meters) steep cliffs and are dotted with the traditional Cycladic white and blue houses. Well, lately, numerous luxurious hotels with infinity pools have popped up on the hills. And while some argue that they destroy the island’s authenticity, for others they are reason enough to visit the majestic volcanic island. Santorini is popular for many things but its black sand beaches and the magical view of the sunset from the top of the Caldera are its trademark features.


Some of Greece’s most spectacular beaches lie in Milos. The small volcanic island in the southwestern part of the Aegean Sea has a unique landscape that consists of rock formations, sandy coasts, otherworldly caves and thermal springs. The island’s most populous beach, Sarakiniko is known for its huge white and silvery rocks that create a really special scenery like no other in Greece. Locals call it the Moon Beach because the rocky landscape resembles the surface of the moon.


Equally popular to Santorini, Mykonos is one of the most crowded islands in Greece during summer. Home to dozens of nightclubs, beach bars, high-end restaurants and 5-star hotels, this Cycladic island is often compared to Ibiza. The island’s legendary beach parties take place in Paradise Beach with world-famous DJs spinning records from early evening until dawn. This Aegean island has been a pole of attraction for celebrities from all around the world already since the 60s and it still preserves its glamorous vibe. The island’s habitués rarely show up underdressed for their evening leisurely walks through Mykonos’ maze-like picturesque alleys.


Crete, Greece’s largest island boasts some of the country’s most breathtaking and diverse landscapes. As you drive from the easternmost point to the west you’ll come across sandy beaches, rocky mountains and gorges. The island’s main cities are Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia but you’ll find countless small picturesque villages in between. There are so many different types of beaches that even the most demanding wanderlusters are bound to find the one that will leave them astonished. The shallow-water Elafonisi beach, the rocky Matala beach, known for being a former hippie-hangout, and surfers’ favorite Falasarna beach are only few of the reasons why Crete is one of the top Greek islands to visit this summer.


Even though Ios is located close to Santorini it looks nothing like its glamorous neighbor island. Ios is like a Mecca for millennials and twenty-something-year-old locals and tourists. In the morning you’ll see them hiking, windsurfing or sunbathing at Mylopotas beach while when the sun sets, Ios’ main town Chora becomes the island’s hot spot. Ios’ sunset may not hold the reputation of Santorini’s but it’s equally impressive. Plus, you get to enjoy the view unbothered by the hundreds of selfie sticks tourists tend to bring along on the top of Santorini’s caldera.


Kefalonia, the largest Ionian island is blessed with sun-drenched coves, rich vegetation and magical caves. The Venetian-style houses in the alleys of the capital Argostoli bear testimony that Kefalonia – like every other Ionian island – was once conquered by the Republic of Venice. Taste the local seafood at the taverns of Fiskardo village and spend some moments of relaxation at Platis Gialos.


Despite being one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, Lefkada is usually overlooked by travelers. So if you want to spend your summer vacation away from massive crowds this is the place to head to. Lefkada, just like its counterparts, has jaw-dropping beaches painted with cerulean waters and golden sand coasts. Porto Katsiki is the most popular beach and the one that attracts most tourists, but it rarely feels overcrowded. Take a boat excursion to reach the remote beach of Egremni or drive to the northwest coast to dive into the turquoise waters of Kathisma beach.

The 7 Best Greek Islands to Visit This Summer photos courtesy of Pedro Szekely/Flickr, Kostas Limitsios/Flickr, Squirmy/Wikimedia Commons, Viaggio nel Mondo/Flickr, Kostas Limitsios/Flickr, shogun/pixabay, ioana_radu/pixabay, redakcaky_cz/pixabay