Greece has more than 6,000 islands in the Aegean Sea and Ionian Sea and only 240 of them are inhabited. They are divided into different areas: the Ionian Islands, the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the islands of the Gulf of Saronic and the Cyclades. The Greek islands are a true paradise with unique landscapes! On board your sailboat or catamaran, you will enjoy the varied and authentic landscapes that are a real treat for the eyes. Among heavenly beaches, beautiful nature, an intense blue sky, a culture rich in history and traditions, your holidays in Greece will be unforgettable, no matter which island you choose. Discover in this article the best islands in Greece and a selection of our 6 favorite islands!
1. Crete and its incredible landscapes
Crete, which has been part of Greece since 1913 and was formerly known as the "island of Candia", is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. Crete is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and it is easy to understand why: among paradisiacal beaches, wild nature, an exceptional historical and mythological heritage, Crete is an essential destination for a cruise in the Greek islands. If you are looking for a different landscape, you'd better opt to hire a boat in Crete! Take advantage of your stay in Crete to relax on its magnificent beaches, visit its capital Heraklion, go hiking in unspoiled nature and enjoy the delicious local cuisine.
2. Milos, the volcanic island with its enchanting landscapes
Also named "the island of colors" and located in the Cyclades archipelago, the island of Milos is also one of the best islands in Greece. Much less popular than the other islands in the vicinity, the island of Milos will surprise: during your cruise, you will discover unusual landscapes, an exceptional coastline, 70 breathtaking bays, authentic fishing villages and the cliffs of Kleftiko, an ancient landmark for pirates accessible only by boat! Milos is also the island where the Venus of Milos was found in 1820.
3. Paxi, the secret island in paradise
You've never heard of this island? Often obscured by the famous Corfu, the island of Paxi is also one of the best islands in Greece. Covered by 300,000 olive trees, the island of Paxos is a small paradise: a beach of irresistible beauty, a quiet atmosphere, imposing cliffs, enchanting harbours, crystal clear waters. A real oasis of quietness that you can discover hiring a sailboat in Paxi, ideal for couples looking for peace and intimacy, but also for all those who love nature and who are looking for a small quiet island to chill out. According to legend, it was Poseidon himself who created this island to protect his love for Amphitrite.
4. Ikaria, the island symbol of the beauty of nature
Located about 9 hours by boat from Athens, the nearby island of Samos and Mykonos, Ikaria is considered the most beautiful Greek island in northern Greece and one of the best islands in the country. Still not so popular among tourists, this island is also named "the island of the Greek centenarians" because a third of its population is over 90 years old! If you like to get off the beaten track and mass tourism is not your cup of tea, you might be fascinated by this island. Hard to reach, the island of Ikaria is worth a visit: breathtaking wild nature, small bays and coves with turquoise water, hot springs but especially its inhabitants who love to enjoy life without stress and whose hospitality is extraordinary!
5. Skyros, the forgotten paradise
Located in the Sporades archipelago, an hour and a half from Athens, the island of Skyros is not among the most famous islands, but it ranks among the best islands in Greece. Skyros is an island of incredible beauty and completely far from mass tourism. You will discover a wild and typical Greek island that will amaze you. It is said that Skyros resembles several Greek islands at the same time: its traditional architecture recalls the Cyclades, the forests recall the island of Evia, the pastoral culture evokes Crete. It is an ideal destination for couples and families with small children who will surely be fascinated by the pony Skyros, a very popular species of Skyros. Welcome to another world!
6. Symi, the Greek beauty
Located in the Dodecanese, near Rhodes, the island of Symi is of breathtaking beauty. Despite the increasing number of visitors each year, the island of Symi has remained largely authentic. Here the inhabitants live from tourism, fishing and agriculture. During your stay on the island, you will learn more about the fascinating legends surrounding the island: according to Greek mythology, the princess of Rhodes took refuge in Symi with the god Glaucos because her father did not approve of their union. The island is rich in beaches and small coves bathed in turquoise water and most of them are only accessible by sea. On this island you will forget about the rest of the world.
When you hire a boat in Greece, you must stop in the Greek islands that embody a dream destination among paradisiacal beaches, pristine corners, authentic villages, inhabitants with unique hospitality, local cuisine and much more! If you are not yet determined, be inspired by our selection of the 6 most beautiful Greek islands chosen from among the less touristy and authentic islands. You'll fall in love with Greece and its islands and you would like to go back there.