Greece has contributed a great deal to western civilisation. From the chin-rubbing philosophical musings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to the invention of the wheel, we all have a lot to thank Greece for. This gratitude will magnify if you’re lucky enough to clap eyes on any of the aesthetically stunning islands that populate the country.
No holiday in Greece would be complete without a tour around these territories – which, within themselves, are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the nation has to offer. However, whether you decide to settle in one location or go island-hopping for a full Grecian experience, any of these locales are a must-visit.
No doubt you are familiar with the Venus de Milo. This sculpture was based upon Athena, the Greek goddess of beauty. This makes it fitting that the birthplace of this art, the island of Milos, boasts landscapes and coastlines worthy of the goddess herself.
Milos is a lesser-known Greek island, dominated by beaches. The cliffs found in Sarakiniko are particularly striking, while the scenery of Mandrakia and Klima also offer bags of inspiration for artists and photographers. Also be sure to visit Plaka, the capital, for a glorious view of the sea.
Even the shape of Milos is fascinating and eye-catching. The island was created by a volcanic eruption some three million years ago, leading to numerous distinctive rock formations. The volcano remains active to this day, ensuing that Minos is home to countless hot springs, but rest easy – Minos is every bit as safe as it is beautiful.
Santorini may not be the hipster’s choice of Greek island getaway, as it’s arguably among the most popular of all. Whenever you travel to this island, expect to be flanked by couples and families seeking respite from reality. However, if you can block out the background noise, you’ll be rewarded.
Santorini is popular for a reason. Much like Minos, this island is the product of a volcanic eruption. This has left a picture-perfect spot in its wake, as well as a raft of hot springs. In addition, the views of the skyline throughout Santorini are astonishing – especially when paired with the premium-quality local food and wine.
Santorini is arguably the most romantic location on our list. If you’re seeking a honeymoon destination, you could fare worse. Do not write Santorini off as a tourist trap, though. The sights it offers are every bit as impactful as the other, lesser-known islands.
To ignore Crete when discussing the most beautiful islands in Greece would be tantamount to a crime. This is undeniably the most famous island in the nation. Thankfully, this fame is well deserved.
Crete is best enjoyed by heading toward the south of the island. This way, you’ll avoid the overpopulation of wealthy landowners that have gentrified the north, sapping the region of some of its local character. The south is where natural beauty remains; the beaches in this territory are unspoiled by developers and properties, packed with dunes and relaxing activities.
Crete is also a must-visit for lovers of history. To visit Crete is to truly embrace Greece’s past, both factual and mythological. Wherever you station yourself on this island, something will capture your imagination and invite a Kodak moment.
Mykonos is the perfect destination for anybody looking to marry thrillseeking with sightseeing. By day, this island is host to sandy beaches, blue skies and historical monuments, including monasteries and windmills.
Once the sun goes down, however, Mykonos becomes the party capital of the Mediterranean. Expect to dance the night away, quite possibly whilst rubbing shoulders with a celebrity.
If you’re a historian, the tiny island of Delos is also a must-visit. Just a short ferry ride from Mykonos, this uninhabited island hosts countless ruins and archaeological sites. If you find beauty in the aged, Delos is the most mesmerising location of all.
Corfu is among the best-known of the Greek islands. This means that, if you’re looking for a quiet period of R&R, stick to the north. The further you drift toward Kavos, the likelier you are to encounter rowdy groups of holidaymakers. The fishing villages to the northeast of the island are nicknamed, “Kensington on Sea” for a reason, though.
The fact that Corfu boasts breathtaking beaches can be taken as a given. It’s the buildings that really set this island apart. Corfu is steeped in mythology, ensuring that celebrations of legend – especially Poseidon, God of the Sea – abound. What’s more, the island’s beaches back onto charming cobbled streets and villages.
Corfu offers arguably the ultimate amalgamation of beauty. Natural splendour, in the shape of golden sands, blue skies and staggering cliff faces; and man-made, such as the Vlacheraina monastery and Angelokastro castle. Corfu has hosted a melting pot of visitors over the years, and these multiple influences make it a glorious visit today.
The Gallic film director Luc Besson is best known for movies that celebrate violence and villainy. Before his, however, he made his name with diving drama The Big Blue. Revered for its stunning visuals and glorious scenery, this picture was filmed in Amorgos.
Once you set foot on this island, you’ll see why movie lovers throughout the world fell in love. Despite its commitment to film, Amorgos remains comparatively unknown and undisturbed. This means that tourist traffic is few and far between, and you’ll be left alone to bask in the glorious blue waters of the island’s beaches.
There’s more to the beauty of Amrogos than just the scenery, though. Be sure to stroll around the village. This location is home to countless architectural marvels that will transport you back to a simpler time.
This concludes our tour around the islands of Greece – though plenty of additional territories remain available for discovery for intrepid travelers. Whichever part of the sun-kissed country, you end up visiting, be sure sure to pack your camera. These are all beautiful islands, and you’ll want to maintain a memento of their aesthetic splendour.