A spot of island hopping is the best way to soak up Greece’s beautiful beaches and rich history. The land of rich mythology and strong sunshine has lots to offer, especially for those with an appetite for traditional foods and adventure. It’s also a trip worth taking if you’re the kind of traveller that likes to indulge in some culture, too.
If taking a journey around some of Europe’s most idyllic islands sounds like the perfect way to spend your summer, here’s a round up of the best ones to fall in love with…
🐾 Dog-friendly: The Greek Islands are fairly dog-friendly, with dogs allowed on most ferries (check the individual rules) and no rules prohibiting dogs from beaches (although ideally visit an uncrowded beach with your dog).
Zakynthos is famous for its buzzing nightlife, but the party island has so much more to offer. Behind the bright lights and fruity cocktails, there are some breathtaking sights to discover. The most popular of which is Navagio beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach. Here, you can climb new heights by hiking up its cliffside, or bask in the sunshine on the small spot of sand that overlooks miles of ocean. This hidden wonder is only accessible by boat and there are many other coves and caves to explore here too. Taking a dip in the turquoise water is a must, and there are plenty of low budget tours available.
The romantic island of Santorini boasts stunning white and blue buildings and volcanic cliff tops. This is a desirable Greek island where sunsets are good for the soul, and the warm sand fits snugly between your toes and is the perfect place for a long weekend getaway. Santorini is also home to some of Europe’s best wineries and offers dining experiences like no other. To Psaraki is a great place to start for fresh seafood under the stars at affordable prices. Eating above sea level never tasted so good!
Check out more ideas of what to do in Santorini, including the best beaches on the island
Kefalonia is the ultimate destination to brighten up your Instagram account, mainly due to its clear waters and stunning views. The island is often overlooked, but the holiday destination is popular with those who visit; it was even the setting for Captain Correlli’s Mandolin. Kefolonia’s hotspot is Melissani Cave, where you can expect to cause some major envy from your holiday snaps. The cave, surrounded by forest, covers Melissani Lake and opens up over the crystal clear waters. Try to go when the sun is shining for a light show like you’ve never seen before.
Crete is one of Greece’s most relaxed islands, and by far one of the prettiest. It’s famed for its nature, ancient history and tropical-like waters which are best enjoyed at beaches such as Elafonisi. Once you’ve made the most of some ‘you time’, there’s so much lively history to see, from castles to ancient ruins and treasures. Surprisingly, Crete is actually home to some impressive deep gorges and flourishing wildlife. Hiking is a popular activity for tourists wanting to make the most of its natural landscape.
Last, but not least, Mykonos should make its way onto your island hopping shopping list. You can expect to take in beautiful blues from the surroundings much like Santorini, indeed pictures from here can often look very similar to its sister island. What’s really special about Mykonos, however, is its small town vibe, with quirky gift shops and friendly locals who make you feel at home right away. It also has quite the reputation for its delicious Greek cooking, giving visitors a taste for traditional dishes through foods that are bursting with flavour.