Greek Island Vacations: The Ultimate Guide

Greek Island Vacations: The Ultimate Guide

Written by: melina on: January 19, 2022

The Greek island vacations have been rightfully associated with unique images and memories: the blue sky, endless sandy beaches, carefree moments, historical monuments, and much more. Everyone who has visited one of the many Greek islands has witnessed immense natural beauty. People cannot compare this beauty to anywhere else in the world.

Although all the couple-friendly Greek islands present an unforgettable charm, each island is unique without resembling one another. By choosing the Ionian Islands, you will be taken aback by the strong Venetian influence. Additionally, if you visit the Cyclades, you will be overwhelmed by the trademark traditional style that prevails.

If you want to spend your holidays in the Greek islands, you have many options. Wherever you go, you will find what you are looking for. That happens because all the islands offer something different for everyone, even the most demanding visitors. So rest assured that your romantic escapade or even your Greece honeymoon to the Greek islands will be unforgettable.

When to visit the Greek islands

Couple in an infinity pool – credits: Sven Hansche/

If you have not yet decided which month you are going on your Greek island vacation, we are here to offer our advice. It is essential to determine the best time to take advantage of your annual leave. To make a long story short, the best months to visit Greece are spring, early summer, and autumn. Namely, the ideal month is May or June.

On the other side, the months of July and August are probably the worst. That is due to the massive tourist waves and the unbearable heat. During the high-season months, there are many people on the islands.

Moreover, it is difficult for room reservations and offers zero relaxation. If you’re not convinced just yet, here are some reasons why choosing less busy months, such as June, for your Greek island vacations is the best idea.  

Fewer tourists

Compared to July and August, ports and airports will be less crowded and much less stressful during off-season months. It will be even quieter, especially if you can travel midweek. By doing so, you will avoid overcrowded ships to have a more tranquil journey to your destination.

Attractions are less crowded, and you are more likely to find a good table in a restaurant. You will also be able to book better rooms for less money. Fewer people also promise more peaceful nights in the alleys of the islands.

Better weather

June is the brightest month of the year. What does that mean? It means that the sun illuminates the beaches for more hours, and the sunset sets late at night.

June offers an excellent opportunity for anyone who loves photography to capture more enchanting sunsets! June is also as dry a month as the high-season months of July and August in all Mediterranean countries. The rain chances are much lower at the beginning of summer than at the end.

At the same time, during late spring and early summer, the temperature has not yet reached its peak. In the middle of summer, the temperature can climb up to 40 degrees. The heat is enough to allow an enjoyable sunbathing experience.

At the same time, it is not so much that it will end up preventing you from walking around the islands’ sights. Not to mention that the mild temperatures will allow you to sleep well at night. No one should have to deal with the unhealthy assistance of the air conditioner.

More greenery

It’s all a matter of taste, of course, but most prefer green and floral landscapes. Somehow this is the landscape in the Mediterranean in late spring. In contrast to the middle of summer, when the endless weeks without rain have begun to affect the vegetation, the landscape has an entirely different picture.

The change is visible in the landscape and its people. It may be just a sensation, but accommodation, hotels, and restaurants seem to have something different in June. The locals are more hospitable and have more energy. Therefore expect your Greek island vacations to offer better hospitality and more care in your hotel and other dining places.

Which Greek islands should I select for my vacations?

The island complexes


Naoussa, Paros – credits: Aerial motion/

The islands of the Cyclades are the most famous holiday destination for Greek island vacations. These are 39 islands, of which 24 are habitable. All of them are famous for the whitewashed churches that dominate the scenery.

Those create a stunning contrast with the deep blue of the sky and the sea. Among them are some of the most popular islands of Greece, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, and Paros. Those are also the most beloved of local and foreign tourists.

Read also: Mykonos Vacations Guide and Santorini Honeymoon Guide

Apart from the remarkable points of interest, you can visit, they offer their visitors many entertainment options. Some of those are the bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs, and the possibility to develop any leisure activity.


The medieval town of Rhodes – credits: Philippos Philippou/

The Dodecanese islands are located at the northeastern tip of the Aegean and are another popular tourist destination. In addition, they offer excellent destinations for enjoyable holidays. Rhodes, Kos, Symi, and Karpathos are among the largest and most famous islands of the Dodecanese.

As a result, they attract a large number of visitors every summer. With beautiful beaches and interesting sights to visit, the islands offer something exceptional to their visitors.

They combine natural beauty with a remarkable history. They also provide unique tourist scenery and many options for both quiet or extravagant -but always romantic- Greek island vacations.

Northeast Aegean islands

Lesvos – credits: Nejdet Duzen/

Another distant tourist destination in the Greek seas is the islands of the Northeast Aegean. Although many islands are relatively famous, all are ideal holiday destinations with a quintessentially Greek character.

Among them, you can find Chios, Lesvos, and Samos. They are islands with endless sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and unique natural landscapes. They will make your Greek island vacations a dream come true.

Each island has its beauty and charm and offers its visitors an alternative life. Additionally, they provide a wide variety of entertainment options that have nothing to be jealous of compared to the more advertised Greek islands.

The Northeast Aegean island complex is one of Greece’s most sought-after island complexes. The visitor can enjoy a quiet vacation and relax away from the stress of everyday life.

Ionian Islands

Assos beach, Kefalonia – credits: Rad Radu/

The Ionian Islands are at the western end of the Greek seas, where the Venetian element creates an imposing scenery. The architecture of the buildings is a typical example of the past domination of the Venetians in the region. Especially in the old town of Corfu, which is one of the island’s most important attractions, the unique sight will leave you in awe.

Apart from Corfu, all the Ionian Islands, such as Zakynthos, Kephalonia, and Ithaca, have to show their distinctive beauty that is utterly different from the Cyclades.

The stunning natural beauties of the Ionian islands, such as the endless beaches with turquoise waters and golden sand, are unforgettable images. They make memories every visitor will take as a souvenir back home from their Greek island vacations.


Hydra island – credits: S-F/

The islands of the Saronic Gulf are one of the busiest tourist destinations with effortless access as they are located very close to the port of Piraeus and the coasts of the Peloponnese.

Aegina is the largest island of the Saronic Gulf and the closest to the port of Piraeus, while Spetses, Poros, and Hydra are a bit farther away but just as magical. The Saronic islands have lovely beaches ideal for summer excursions and unforgettable romantic moments.

Whichever of the Saronic islands you visit, be sure to enjoy every moment there as each has its unique beauty and charm.

Read more: Couple-friendly islands near Athens.


Skyros – credits: yiannisscheidt/

The visitors who travel to Central and Northern Greece can visit the beautiful islands of the Sporades with great ease. These include Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, and Skyros, which are destinations of unique natural beauty and tranquility.

Swamped in lush vegetation, they offer the visitor moments of relaxation, peace, and quiet away from the intense pace of everyday city life.

The island of Skyros presents a peculiarity: it belongs to the Sporades and lies northeast of Evia. It is a beautiful island with authentic character natural beauties. It also boasts excellent tourist infrastructure, ideal for relaxing and romantic Greek holidays.


Limania Beach, Chania, Crete – credits: Robertek/

Sailing in the Mediterranean, right before one reaches Africa, they will come upon beautiful Crete, the largest island in Greece. Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African, with most of its characteristics deriving from the former. Due to its size, Crete is a small state where each region has to show something special.

In Crete, visitors can find the vacation of their dreams no matter what they’re looking for, depending on the area they choose. In some parts of the island, you will experience utter calm. On the contrary, you will experience an intense lifestyle, nightlife, and fun in other parts of the island.

If you love adventure, Crete is the ideal destination for exploring and wandering, even in the most inaccessible parts of the island. Especially in them. All you have to do is be daring and open to new adventures alongside your partner.

Check out: Best islands to party in Greece.

Best Greek islands to visit depending on your type of vacations

Couple in Oia, Santorini – credits: fokke baarssen/

You have decided that the Greek islands are ideal for your romantic exploits. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to experience them the same way as the rest of the world. Depending on the type of vacation you want to enjoy, certain islands potentially better fit your needs.

The islands of the Cyclades are the first choice in the preferences of visitors, with Mykonos being the most popular holiday destination worldwide.

The island mentioned above is perfect if you’re looking for a cosmopolitan island with a solid Cycladic character, crystal clear beaches, and wild nightlife. It will be the ideal match for you if you’re not afraid of large crowds and busy beaches and streets.

Read on: Mykonos Vacations Guide

On the other hand, Naxos is the largest and most fertile island of the Cyclades with a rich historical past. Therefore, it combines a little bit of everything, and it offers a more tranquil setting than the rest of the Cyclades.

Paros is also a popular holiday destination with picturesque traditional settlements and sandy crystal clear beaches. It is a local-favorite destination and attracts young crowds who want to party.

Couple hugging in Santorini – credits: Santorines/

For striking beaches:

Crete, Lipsi, Cephalonia, Skiathos, Mykonos, Koufonisia

Almost every Greek island has lovely beaches, but one has a Venetian castle, such as Frangokastello in southern Crete. Famous for its turquoise waters are Platis Gialos in Lipsi, Pori in Koufonisia, and the bay of Myrtos in Cephalonia.

The island of Skiathos has 65 beaches, the most famous of which are Koukounaries. At the same time, Mykonos is full of hidden beaches that many do not know, such as Houlakia and Kapari.

Don’t forget to read our Best Greek islands for couples guide.

Skiathos – credits; Cara Foto/

For history buffs:

Rhodes, Delos, Corfu, Crete

You can not visit Rhodes without going through the Old Town, where the Knights of St. John ruled from 1309 to 1523, and explore the Palace of the Grand Master.

The tiny Delos, near Mykonos, was once dedicated to Apollo, today invites you to see the ruins of the sanctuaries for the gods and explore the rich mosaic of ancient houses.

For an active lifestyle:

Crete, Naxos, Alonissos, Skopelos

The largest island in Greece, Crete, offers a variety of terrain with gentle plateaus, gorges, and mountains. The gorge of Samaria, the largest in Europe with a length of 16 km, leads you to the homeland of the famous ibex of Crete, Kri-Kri.

Naxos has many paths that connect the villages of the central plain with ancient temples, towers of the Hellenistic era, and Byzantine churches.

For diving and snorkeling:

Karpathos, Milos, Paros, Kastelorizo

For organized diving in underwater caves, you can visit Karpathos. In addition, Milos has an impressive Diving Center that promises to bring you face to face with dolphins and seals.

See also our guide about travel to Greece for young couples.

For delicious food and drink:

Lesvos, Samos, Corfu, Folegandros, Crete

Lesvos is famous for its olive oil and ouzo -since it produces about 70% of all Greek ouzo. The national aperitif is served with various delicacies in traditional ouzo, combining the influences from the era of Ottoman rule with Greek seafood specialties. Lesvos also produces terrific wine, as does Samos, which is famous for its sweet muscat wine.

Read on: Best places to visit in Greece for your honeymoon

What to pack for your Greek island vacations 

greek-suitcases- greek-island-vacations
Suitcases in Greece – credits: MarinaD_37/

Apart from the essentials for a short or distant getaway, such as your passport, ticket, and of course, your clothes and personal belongings, there are some things that you will most likely neglect to take with you.

A good tip is to make a detailed list of what you will need on your much-anticipated Greek island vacations. This list will help you identify any omissions and deficiencies. But what are the seven key points that you should not forget?

The checklist

  1. Power converter. In many countries, you will not be able to plug the charger of your mobile phone or camera directly into the socket of your accommodation.
  2. First aid kit. A first aid kit should never be forgotten while traveling. Accidents can happen no matter where you are, and a first aid kit could be a great relief.
  3. Camera. Whether you prefer film or digital, the camera is something that no traveler would ever want to forget. Do not forget to get extra memory cards and a battery charger.
  4. Maps. Even if you have GPS on your phone, it is always a good idea to have a map with you. This way, you will have a sense of where you are. Subsequently, you will be able to navigate the various cities with ease.
  5. Personal items for entertainment. Some trips can be long and tedious, especially if your flight or car journey takes many hours. Take an iPod, an mp3 player, or a book with you. You can even bring card games to get through the boring part of your trip faster with fun.
  6. Security. Especially on a car trip, it is always a good idea to have your travel insurance details with you. They can come in handy and cover any accident or damage costs.
  7. Comfortable shoes. It is important to remember to bring a comfortable pair of shoes for the trip. After a day walking in the sights of a city, you will need some moments of comfort.

Local tips for your trip to the Greek islands

Couple gazing at the acropolis – credits: Aleksandar Todorovic/
  • If you have a long trip, over 8 hours, you may need to consider booking a cabin for a comfortable and relaxing trip.
  • Do not forget that children under the age of five travel for free. Additionally, children between the ages of 5 and 10 are entitled to a 50% discount.
  • Finally, it is good to have your supplies such as food and water. You will probably find something no matter where you are or how you’re traveling. However, everything is unreasonably expensive, especially at the airport or in the ferry boats.

There are more than 6,000 islands in Greece, and each has its unique character. The excellent climate, the diversity of the coasts, the archeological sites, the excellent tourist infrastructure are just a few of the reasons why our islands are preferred by domestic and foreign tourism.

Helpful resources:
Why you should plan your first couple vacation in Greece
20 Greek islands you may not have heard of
Visit Greece after covid19: Plan a safe trip
Best time to visit Greece on a honeymoon
Wedding vows renewal in Greece
Romantic things to do in Greece

Design your romantic getaway to Greece

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