When you think of Greece, the first thing that pops in your mind is summer on a sunny Greek island.
So, you get excited and start planning your vacation, right? But here comes the difficult part. Which Greek island is the ideal one for you?
Greece has over 6,000 islands and islets, from which 227 of them are inhabited. This means that wherever you are in Greece, it takes no longer than 1,5 hours to reach the sea. Whether you are a family, a honeymooner or a lonely backpacker, there is an ideal Greek island out there waiting for you!
Family trip in Crete
When you plan a family trip, you need a place where young and old can be entertained. Thus you want an island big enough with many places to visit. The first thing that comes to mind is Crete! Crete is the second biggest island of Greece, making it an ideal place to explore and attempt to discover all of its beauties.
Crete also perfectly combines sea and mountain scenery, luxury vacations and activities for adventure enthusiasts. In a nutshell: Crete has everything you want, starting with the picturesque city of Chania, where you can take long walks around the narrow streets of the old town and the beautiful harbor. Chania is a colorful city, where you can find whatever you want but without losing the feeling that you are on an island. Are you more of a city-lover? Heraklion is the place for you! Heraklion is also where you will find the ruins of Knossos and the big city vibe but with beaches and the sea always next to you!
If you are a fan of adventure, Crete is the answer too. The view from above the gorge of Samaria is breathtaking. This beautiful spot is a National Park and a very popular day hike. The path starts from an altitude of 1,250 meters and ends up next to the Mediterranean sea. It is 150 meters at its widest and 3 meters at its narrowest. The whole hiking trip will take around 5 hours. So, prepare yourself with appropriate shoes and clothing.
Now what’s Greek summer without crystal-clear beaches? Crete has some of the best beaches in Greece. Starting with Elafonisi and its pinkish sand, to Falassarna and Preveli with the exotic palm trees scenery. There is no doubt that you will find the perfect beach for you and your family in Crete.
Speaking about family trips and children, the itinerary should have some visits to historical places. Knossos, the oldest city in Europe should be your first stop. Walking through the remains of this ancient city is an unforgettable experience. After that you should make a stop to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, where most of the discoveries from Knossos are exhibited.
On the other part of the island, in Agios Nikolaos, you can visit Spinalonga.
Spinalonga is an islet so very close the Cretan land with a deep and sorrowful history. This is where Venetians built their castle during their occupation and after that, this is where all the lepers were sent in order to keep them imprisoned and prevent the“disease” from spreading.
Honeymooners in Milos island
We know that the first thing that comes to mind when we are talking about honeymoon and Greece is Santorini. And you are right! Santorini is an eternal love for us too. But there are more beauties in Greece that need to be highlighted. One of those is Milos island, which is one of the most romantic islands in the country.
Milos is located in the southwestern part of the Aegean sea. Maybe the name of this island rings a bell for you? The famous exhibit at the Louvre museum in Paris, Venus de Milo, is the statue of goddess Aphrodite, which was found on the island of Milos.
The island is full of white-washed buildings and bougainvilleas. The perfect romantic scenery is completed by emerald waters and amazing sunsets. Milos, like Santorini, is also a volcanic island and has many places, where you can enjoy the best sunset of your life.
The first one is the church of Panagia Korfiotissa at Plaka village. This church is located on the edge of a cliff, from where the sunset colors mix perfectly with the Aegean blue. The second one is the Utopia Cafe in Plaka. This cute, white cafe has a balcony with a view of the Aegean, where you will want to stay forever, if you are lucky to find a seat.
Undoubtedly, Milos’ greatest asset are the beaches. Two of them that should not be missed are Sarakiniko and Kleftiko. Sarakiniko beach is famous for its big white rocks, which resemble a lunar landscape. The second one is not a beach but a rock complex named Kleftiko. This can be reached only by boat. Get the chance to make this daily cruise and you will find yourself in emerald waters and underwater caves, which you can explore.
Party travelers in Mykonos
Mykonos is the most famous island in Greece. Although it has many beauties, this island got its popularity from its vibrant lifestyle. This is the island where the party never stops. You will find a party in almost every beach bar that lasts until the morning after. If you want a“go wild” type of vacation, this is the place for you!
Even if you go out after midnight, the narrow streets of Mykonos or Matogiannia will be crowded with people heading to a party. There are so many going out places that everyone can find the perfect one according to their preferences. During the high season, famous people from all around the globe choose to visit Mykonos for their vacation. Also, the most famous DJ sets are found in Mykonos during the summer season, waiting for you to enjoy.
Backpackers in Samothrace
Samothrace is a small island in the northern part of Greece close to Kavala city. The island got famous from the statue Nike of Samothrace, which means victory in Greek. The sculpture is exhibited at the entrance of the museum of the Louvre in Paris.
This is the ideal Greek island for those that want to enjoy nature at its wildest. There are only a few people that stay here throughout the whole year and a raw beauty visitors instantly fall in love with! You will find only a few hotels and rooms to let, as people who visit Samothrace, choose camping as their way of accommodation.
The main characteristic of Samothrace is its wild nature, as it is full of thick forests, lakes, and rivers. On the mountain Saos, the rivers form small or bigger waterfalls. The pouring water from the waterfalls form stone basins, or as they are called in Greek“vathres”. These stone basins are the most famous attractions of the island. The visitors prefer to swim in these cold waters instead of the sea.
Don’t be surprised if you find people camping in the forest next to the waterfalls. They want to get in touch with mother nature, as much as possible, by living in the simplest way without any amenities. Samothrace is also the paradise of those who seek adventure while they are on vacation. Due to its wild sceneries, the island is perfect for crossing gorges, trekking, mountaineering and mountain biking. In addition, the water-lovers can spend some time rafting, kayaking, and diving into the ice-cold water of the“vathres”.
As you can not consider a Greek place explored without visiting an ancient site, you cannot go to Samothrace without visiting the Sanctuary of Great Gods. This sanctuary dates back to pre-Hellenic times and was a site of worship for Anatolian deities.
Planning your upcoming summer vacation is a big deal! Although Greece has so many beautiful islands, you have to make the proper choice, the one that suits you best. This was just a small guide to help you find which Greek island you are visiting next. Let us help you plan your next vacation!
Don’t forget! What Greek island is best for you?
Our complimentary guide to the Greek islands was made to help you find which island suits your style of travel more. Explore 60 famous and not so famous destinations and claim yours below!
Hello! My name is Erilda Goga, but they all call me Eri and I live in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. Although not my actual hometown, Greece has stolen my heart and made me feel like home for the past 20 years. I am a recent graduate of International and European Studies Department with interests in politics, human rights, books, and travelling. Travelling through Europe made me want to learn more about other cultures and more importantly made me appreciate even more the beauties of Greece. Through this blog, I want to try to introduce you to the things that made me love this country. So stay tuned!
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