Greece: Here are the 20 best Greek holiday islands is written by The editorial staff, RejsRejsRejs.
Readers' island favorites in Greece
Greece is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The country offers much more than the Acropolis and Athens. There is something for everyone; everything from sunny beaches in Corfu to wild taste experiences in Crete, and a lot of cultural-historical experiences on both islands and the mainland.
If you travel to Greece by scheduled flight, you can easily get from Denmark to the capital Athens, Kalamata on the peninsula of the Peloponnese and Thessaloniki in the northern part of the country. In addition, there are countless charter routes to the popular islands.
Every Greek holiday island - both large and small - is a sought-after destination for tourists from all over the world. Some of the editorial staff's own Greek favorites are Hydra, Chios, Volos og Kefalonia, and here in this article we have using our common travel group on Facebook selected 20 islands in Greece you must experience.
Corfu - from tumultuous history to popular holiday idyll
At the entrance to the Adriatic Sea right up in the northwestern corner of Greece is a Greek holiday island, which is one of the Danes' clear favorites: Corfu. The island is actually closer to Albania than to Greece, but it is as Greek as it can be.
Ever since ancient times, Corfu and the other Ionian Islands have played an important role in the development of both Greece and the Mediterranean. While the city-state of Venice was one of the most powerful powers in the Mediterranean, Corfu was under their control when the island was seen as the gateway to the Adriatic and thus to Venice itself.
Throughout the ages there has been a long streak of battles and battles over Corfu, but now the island is an idyllic and peaceful Greek holiday island with white beaches, blue water and colorful drinks.
At the same time, there are plenty of historical relics to see from the ancient Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and much more, so there is plenty to make time go by. It is no wonder that Corfu is high on the favorites list.
Zákynthos and Kefalonia - paradise islands in Greece
South of Corfu, but still part of the Ionian Islands, lies Zákynthos and Kefalonia. Both islands, like Corfu to the north, have undergone a lot of historical upheavals and are now enjoying the peaceful times. It is no longer large armies of foreign soldiers who invade the islands, but instead small armies of sun-loving tourists…
In fact, the islands are not overrun yet, so you can still get some Greek holiday island idyll almost to yourself on Kefalonia in particular.
Zákynthos is nowadays best known for the beach Navagio, which in 1980 was visited by the ship Panagiotis, which ran aground and is still on the beach. The shipwreck and the beach have been a popular tourist destination ever since. But there is plenty of other things to throw yourself over - not least on and under the water along the dramatic coast.
Meganisi and Lefkas
If you want it even more local and undiscovered on your holiday, then you can hop in towards the mainland and visit the islands of Lefkas and Meganisi. We are still in the Ionian Islands, and you can reach Lefkas by car from the mainland, as the island is stuck via a long isthmus and a floating bridge.
'Little sister' Meganisi can be reached by ferry, and the island will definitely be high on the wish list of many Danes in the coming years - not least because it has been on the program for charter holidays from Aalborg.
It is not without reason that Meganisi has attracted the attention of the agencies lately as the island is ideal for pure relaxation and enjoyment of life.
Agistri - an excellent green getaway from Athens
Just off Athens are the Saronic Islands, one of which is the small green island of Agistri. It's hard to spot on a map, and that might be the island's luck. This means that locals and Athenians on weekend trips can be allowed to take care of themselves and live the sweet Greek island life right next to the million-strong city on the mainland.
It is easy to get to Agistri via the somewhat larger neighboring island of Aegina and from Athens' major port city of Piraeus. It is obvious to combine the city break in Athens with a little island relaxation on Agistri an hour's sailing from there.
Lay your legs up at the water's edge, eat your fill of squid and fish, go hiking between the pine trees or dive into the blue world below the surface. It's all at your fingertips and right at Athens.
Skiathos and Skopelos - pure Mamma Mia
It is impossible not to get ABBA songs on the mind when arriving in Skopelos and Skiathos. At least if one has seen the Mamma Mia movies; this is where they are busy. The church of Agios Ioannis plays a very special role in the films, and there are plenty of churches to visit on both islands.
Besides churches, there is of course plenty of coziness and beach atmosphere, and if you want to be in the city and be 'Dancing Queen', Skiathos is the most obvious of the two islands. When it's time to say 'Thank you for the music' and relax, slip over to Skopelos.
Skiathos and Skopelos are located in the archipelago Sporades just east of Volos and Pelion on the mainland and north of Athens. There are ferries from Volos and Thessaloniki and there is an airport on Skiathos.
Lesbos and Samos
Right on the Turkish coast are Lesbos and Samos along with a lot of other Aegean islands. Both Lesbos and Samos are very popular holiday islands, and it is easy to find trips there with Danish agencies.
On Lesbos you can experience the island's beautiful waterfalls and the southern lush and green areas. The island is also known as Mytilini, which is the name of the capital of the island. It is Greece's third largest island and the landscapes and vegetation vary a lot, so it's just about to go around and explore.
In Greek culture, Lesbos is especially known for poetry and ouzo - a very nice combination of the holiday in general.
The genbo Samos further south is connected by ferries to both the Greek mainland and the neighboring islands and also to Turkey. The island is ideal if you want to be a little active on holiday, as there are plenty of hiking trails, mountain bike trails and water sports. Plus of course relaxation and pampering afterwards.
Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos
Right in the middle of the Greek archipelago lies the Cyclades archipelago, and like three pearls on a string you will find Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini from north to south. The Cyclades consist of over 200 islands, but the three here are among the most popular when we go on holiday in Greece.
Santorini is the picturesque island with the iconic white houses and blue roofs up and down the cliffs. You get the best pictures in the towns of Fira and Oia, but it can be quite crowded with tourists - especially at sunset.
Santorini is actually the edge of a large volcano, and the island itself is really an attraction in itself. Go exploring on foot or on wheels and enjoy and breathe in both the Mediterranean scents and the history around you.
Naxos is the 'big brother' of the Cyclades and best known for the island's marble, which also means that there are quite a few temples and statues to see on the island. Of course, you will not be fooled by delicious beaches and delicious food - that's clear.
If you are into partying and colors, then Mykonos is for you. The island is widely famous for party-party not least in LGBTQ circles, and it is always going on somewhere. There are also plenty of activities to keep hangovers at bay, so Mykonos has something for everyone.
One of the most famous inhabitants of Mykonos is the Pelican Petros, who settled in the harbor in the 1950s and still lives there. Although pelicans can get very old, however, the bird itself is no longer the same; a new 'Petros' has been chosen a few times…
Kos, Leros and Halki - the southeastern islands of Greece
At the southeastern end of the archipelago, we find the Dodecanese close to Turkey. The archipelago consists of many of the famous holiday islands, and we are content here with a handful.
Kos is at the very top among the popular travel destinations, and the island is mostly for party-loving young people. Kos, as the most important island in the area for centuries, has been the scene of upheavals and has been under Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Italian rule, among others; this historic mix can be seen everywhere on the island.
Leros and Halki at each end of Kos are small and simpler islands. They offer pure relaxation for the soul for the soul of Leros and an obvious destination for families with children as far as Halki is concerned.
The Dodecanese is the most remote archipelago from Athens and the mainland, and although there are ferries from Piraeus to many of the islands, most tourists arrive here from the north by plane to one of the major islands.
Rhodes and Karpathos
The two largest islands in the Dodecanese are Rhodes and Karpathos. Rhodes is full of ancient history, and already in antiquity the island was an excursion destination. It was here that of the 7 wonders of the world from antiquity stood - namely the Colossus of Rhodes; a bronze statue the size of the Round Tower.
The colossus is no longer there, but you can easily get your desire controlled if you are to relics from antiquity. At that point, Rhodes delivers to the fullest.
Karpathos is the quieter little brother to Rhodes, and you can experience lots of small fine beaches and a car-free mountain town, Olympos, where time has almost come to a standstill.
On Karpathos you have good conditions for windsurfing, diving and other water activities.
Crete and Elafonisi - the largest island in Greece and its small neighbor
By far the largest Greek island is Crete, and the island is like a whole country unto itself. Crete has a unique history and a unique culture, which draws threads back to the first civilizations, and there is plenty to get started with for those interested in culture and history. Start with the ancient city of Knossos and the capital city of Heraklion to get a good insight into the long and significant history of Crete.
For nature lovers, there is also good reason to go to Crete on holiday. The Samariá Gorge is perfect for exploring on land and at sea: Experience the national park with hiking boots or canoe in the lake in beautiful and dramatic surroundings.
Off the west coast of Crete lies the small island of Elafonisi. Here you can round off your Greek island adventure by sticking your feet in the sand on the beautiful pink sandy beaches. Then it will not be more Greek and holiday island idyllic at the same time.
Have fun island hopping in the Mediterranean and enjoy Greece!
Holidays in Greece - these are the places to visit:
- Crete and Elafonisi
- Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos
- Lesbos and Samos
- Skiathos and Skopelos
- Meganisi and Lefkas
- Zákynthos and Kefalonia
- Rhodes and Karpathos
- Kos, Leros and Halki
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