Your quick guide to the Greek islands
Sun, sea, sights and whatever else takes your fancy – the Greek islands have something for everyone, from laid-back nightlife to unspoiled beaches, gorgeous scenery and picture-book towns. In fact, there’s so much variety that it can be a bit daunting to choose – so we’ve prepared a handy guide to help you plan your dream Greek island getaway.
If you’re a fan of the Greek locations in Mamma Mia!, you’ll love Skiathos. The island provided the stunning backdrop for the successful film series, so you can do your best Meryl Streep impression. The island has spectacular beaches, crystal-clear waters and a huge range of bars and restaurants for those who like to sample a little nightlife.
One of the largest Greek islands, Rhodes has good flight connections and provides a great option for couples looking for a little bit of everything. You can enjoy lounging by the pool at an all-inclusive resort, with a few days exploring the shops, cafes and winding alleys of medieval Rhodes Town, or venturing along the coast to find quieter beaches and coves. Architecture lovers should pay a visit to the Kallithea Springs, the ancient spa.
Bustling, vibrant Naxos appeals to couples who want to do more than just sit on a beach. Hilltop villages, ancient temple ruins and archaeological sites provide plenty of opportunities to explore, while boat trips and the thriving main town will give you a chance to unwind from the daily 9 to 5. Of course, there are great beaches too!
If your idea of holiday bliss is sipping on a cocktail with your other half beside an epic sunset, Santorini is the place for you. The island is formed from black volcanic rock, giving the whole place a dramatic look against the whitewashed, dome-roofed local houses. Packed with waterfront tavernas, it’s the perfect romantic getaway if you don’t mind the steep hillside location.
This relaxed gem of an island offers a wide choice of resorts, lots of sandy shores and amazing ruins like the Neratzia Castle and harbours for memorable day trips. While it can be a little busy in summer, if you choose to go just outside of peak season you’ll be able to sample all the delights of this island without the crowds. It’s fairly flat for a Greek island too, making it an ideal option for those who enjoy exploring by bike. Check out the waterpark, too, if you’re travelling with the grandchildren.
It’s the largest Greek island with a well-established tourist trade, but that doesn’t make Crete any less special. Boasting some knockout beaches including the famous Balos Beach lagoon, and the striking Mount Ida dominating the landscape, this island also has plenty of cultural sites including the ancient ruins of Knossos.
It’s fair to say that some Greek holiday destinations are busier than others. If you want to be sure of escaping the crowds, opting for this more traditional Greek island is a great way to get off the beaten track. As well as amazing turquoise seas and great beaches, there are amazing thermal springs to visit, lots of historic sites and unforgettable cuisine to tempt your tastebuds.
Fans of TV show The Durrells will recognise the rocky coastline and inviting seas around this well-connected island. It’s one of the easiest Greek islands to get to, and it’s a place of contrasts with busy nightclubs and bars in Kavos, a peaceful village vibe in Old Perithia in the North, and quieter streets packed with markets and foodie treats in Corfu Town.
Whichever breathtaking Greek island you choose this year, quality travel cover is a must-have. Medical Travel Compared works with more than 40 specialist providers to find a policy that works for your unique set of circumstances, and we will insure most pre-existing medical conditions.