Greece has a large amount of territory. Most of it is spread across hundreds of islands. This fascinating, historic region could easily be explored for months!
While some islands are known for their natural beauty and beaches, others are well-known for their rich cultural heritage or vibrant nightlife.
You can group the islands into large clusters. While many of them are inhabited there are plenty of smaller outcroppings and islands in the ocean where no one lives.
This guide contains helpful tips and tricks for visiting the Greek islands. I have been to many wonderful destinations in Greece.
What to Expect on the Greek Islands
The Greek Islands have a laid-back culture, where people are able to enjoy life and all it has to give. You can expect lots of delicious food and drinks on your trip to Greece.
Certain islands have a stronger tourist culture than others. This can impact how many English-speaking people you will encounter.
Many islands are volcanically formed, giving them a unique and striking landscape. This is especially evident in Santorini which boasts stunning villages and is one of the most romantic islands.
About the Greek Islands
There are total 168 Greek islands that have been inhabited. They are located in the Aegean, Ionian and Ionian Seas. These islands have been divided into eight main groups.
Crete, the largest Greek Island, draws many tourists. The Ionian Islands are home to popular destinations like Corfu and Kefalonia. This island chain is home to many of the most popular resorts and the best destinations for nightlife.
The Cyclades Islands offer the most variety of inhabited islands, with Santorini being famous for its villages and towns, while Mykonos and Paros are home to beautiful beaches.
How to Get Around the Greek Islands
Some larger Greek Islands will have international airports. The largest airports are in Rhodes and Corfu, which offer the most flights.
If you plan to visit different islands or explore different parts of the area, the best way to get around economically is to ferry.
It is a vast area so there are many ferry companies that serve different areas. Prices and schedules can be very varied, especially if you travel outside of peak tourist season.
Consider Travel Time in Your Account
If you’re traveling from one Greek island or another, it’s easy to mistakenly assume that it will be a quick boat trip. There are hundreds of islands that can be inhabited, but they cover a large area.
Some journeys can take up to ten hours by ferry, especially if you start the journey at the port of Piraeus (the main ferry port to Athens).
How to budget for your trip
The budget you can create will depend on your flexibility, where you plan to stay and whether or not you want to eat at high-end restaurants.
Hostel rooms are usually available for as little as ten euros per night. Budget hotel rooms, however, can be found starting at twenty-five euros. Remember that prices tend to rise in larger resorts and destinations, especially during peak season.
You can live on just ten to twenty euros per day for food and drinks if you avoid fancy cocktails and instead eat street vendors. Budgeting for activities is also important, especially if you plan to visit the most beautiful beaches and major historical sites.
A Quick Guide to the Best Greek Islands
Here is a quick guide to the top Greek islands offering unique experiences.
- Naxos & Paros are the Best Beaches
- Crete: The Best Natural Beauty Products
- Antiparos is the Best for Low-Key Luxury
- Hydra is the Most Charming
- The Most Romantic Place: Santorini
- Ios is the best college-aged partying option:
- Mykonos is the best place to party for 20-30-somethings
Learn more about my top picks and my quick guide to the best Greek Islands!
Are there any tips you can share about traveling to the Greek Islands? Comment below to let me know your tips for traveling the Greek Islands.