Trying to choose which islands to visit on your Greek adventure is quite the daunting task with so many to choose from. Which ones are the best? Well that all depends on what you’re looking for. Let me just say from experience, not knowing what you’re looking way is the best way to ruin your vacation. Are you looking for a party? A great place to eat? Beaches? Hikes? First thing you need to do is write down what it is you want to do. Now let me help you narrow it down from there:
Best for Hiking
Crete, Folegandros, Naxos
If you love to hike, the Greek Islands have many options. Samaria gorge in Chania is one of the largest gorges in the world and will be an unforgettable hike for any enthusiast. Naxos, with it’s venetian castles, provides an easygoing hike for people of all fitness levels. There are many paths all around both Naxos and Folegandros that connect villages and provide hikers with well maintained trails and sightseeing opportunities. For more on hiking check out my guides to Samaria Gorge, and Folegandros
Best for Swimming
If you’re looking for those perfect crystal blue waters, sprawling beaches, and hidden swimming holes, look no further than Ikaria or Crete. Seychelles Beach in Ikaria has the bluest water you will ever see, while Elafonissi Beach in Crete, has some insta worthy stretches of pink sand beaches.
While you can’t go wrong eating anywhere in Greece, these two Islands were standouts for me. Both with their own unique cuisines emphasizing local, seasonal ingredients cooked traditionally. If you’re a foodie, do not miss these islands! Check out my guides to Ikaria and Crete for more
Best for Partying
I first came to Mykonos when I was in my early 20s and looking for all night parties. Mykonos did not disappoint. While now 30, I don’t quite go looking for party islands so skipped it this time around but it still has the same reputation it always had. Thankfully, Mykonos also has some wonderful beaches, and cafes in which to recharge after a long night out.
Best for History Buffs
Crete, Rhodes, Santorini
If you’re looking for a history fix, you can’t miss Crete. This is the cradle of Western civilization and the Minoan civilizations are one of the oldest and mysterious in the world. If you combine a trip to Crete with Santorini, you get a greater understanding of the power of nature, and why the Minoan civilization disappeared. If Ottoman history is more your thing, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Rhodes where Medieval architecture is perfectly preserved. Check out my guides for more details on Crete and Santorini
What do you think? If you have any other recommendations I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line in the comments and share your thoughts.