How to Visit the Greek Islands

Опубликовал Admin
2-10-2020, 05:10
A vacation to the Greek Islands is a dream for many people. The warm weather, beautiful beaches, and stunning architecture draws thousands of visitors a year. When considering a vacation to the Greek Islands, you have a ton of different choices. If you narrow down which islands you want to visit and plan your trip correctly, you can have a fantastic Greek vacation.

Deciding Which Islands to Visit

  1. Go to Crete to visit the largest island in Greece. Crete is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Greek Islands. The island has beautiful natural parks, mountains, old cities, and nightlife. The island offers the largest array of different activities and sights for a vacation-goer.
    • The islands of Mykonos and Santorini Islands in the Cyclades are both accessible to Crete via ferry boat, so you can visit multiple islands if you decide to visit.
  2. Visit the Cyclades to island hop. The Cyclades is another famous tourist destination and includes two of the most popular Greek Islands, Mykonos and Santorini. This archipelago includes 24 islands that have beautiful beaches, historic architecture, nightlife, camping, and local villages. There are ferries that connect many of the islands together, making it a great option if you plan on visiting more than one island.
  3. Visit the Saronic Gulf Islands to avoid tourists. The islands in the Saronic Gulf are filled with traditional bars and small boutiques. These islands are accessible from Athens and are less of a tourist destination. If you want to take in the beauty of the Greek Islands without the nightlife, events, or large crowds, consider visiting one of these islands.
    • Two of the most popular islands in the Saronic Gulf are Hydra and Spetses.
    • The beaches on these islands are rocky, not sandy like other Greek Islands.
  4. Visit the Ionian Islands for a unique cultural experience. The Ionian Islands are some of the most culturally diverse islands in Greece. The islands boast a vast array of cultures, foods, and art styles. The island is green and covered by large lush forests. If you're interested in one of the most culturally diverse and interesting Greek Islands, you should consider visiting the Ionian Islands.
  5. Travel to the Sporades to get closer to nature. If you enjoy nature you can visit the islands in the Sporades to birdwatch, fish, bike, or hike. The Sporades is home to the National Marine Park on the island of Skopelos. Visit this cluster of islands if you want a more low-key vacation.
    • The island of Skiathos also has beautiful beaches.
  6. Go to The Northeast Aegean Islands for beautiful beaches. The Northeast Aegean Islands have hot springs, fortress villages, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the Greek Islands. In addition to the beautiful weather, the island also has a rich and long history with many historic sites that you can visit.
    • The main islands are Ikaría, Sámos, Límnos, Lésvos, and Chíos.
  7. Research the lesser known Greek Islands. There are over 200 inhabited Greek Islands that you can visit, which mean that your options are vast. If none of the popular islands interest you, consider researching some smaller, lesser known islands.
    • If you are island hopping and want to make traveling between islands easier, you should pick islands within the same cluster.
    • Visit to get more information on the smaller Greek Islands.

Planning Your Trip

  1. Plan the date for your vacation. While you can visit Greece during any time of the year, the most popular times to visit the islands are between July to September. If you plan on going to Greece during this time, make sure that you book your travel tickets far in advance. The Greek Islands are the warmest between the months of June and September and these months are perfect for swimming. If you want warm weather that's good for sight seeing, you should travel to the islands in the months of April, May, October, and early November.
    • To save money and enjoy good weather, try taking your vacation a little before or after July to September.
  2. Research ferry routes. Not all Greek Islands have ferries that will let you connect. Athen's three main ports are Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrion. Once you decide which islands you want to visit, make sure to plot out different ferry routes and choose a port in Athens that connects to your desired island. To research ferry routes, visit or the ferry website for the specific island you plan on visiting.
    • You can purchase ferry tickets to the Greek Islands at,, and
    • Crete, the Cycladic Islands and the Northern Aegean Islands, are easily accessible from Piraeus.
    • When traveling to the Northern Cycladic Islands, leave from Rafina.
    • If you want to go to Kea or Kythnos, you should leave from Laviron.
  3. Purchase plane and ferry tickets in advance. It's advised that you book your travel tickets at least 6 months in advance. Sometimes you can get discounted ferry tickets by buying them the day that you travel, but this is risky because they might fill to capacity. When traveling during peak vacation season, make sure to get your plane and ferry tickets in advance.
  4. Purchase plane tickets to travel to the islands. If you live outside of Greece and Europe, you can fly to one of the islands directly. Search online and find tickets to the island that you want to visit. You can choose to fly directly onto one of the main islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Crete, Rhodes, Lesvos, and Corfu or you can get tickets to fly to Athens and take a ferry to the island that you want to visit.
    • There are other Greek Islands that you can fly directly to including, Skiathos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos.
  5. Book lodging or hotel accommodations. Search online on reputable hotel aggregate websites and find hotels on the island that you want to stay on. When choosing a hotel to stay in, make sure you choose a hotel that is near the main town and use Google street view to get an idea of what the area looks like around your hotel.
    • You may also want to call the hotel to see if it's kid-friendly or if there are any special promotions.
  6. Get the proper travel documents. Residents of the EU only need an identification card in order to travel to the Greek Islands. If you live outside of the EU then you must have a passport to travel to the Greek Islands. If you live outside of the US, EU, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you'll also need to have a valid visa. In order to get a visa, contact your country's tourism office. You can find a list of their contact information at
  7. Walk, use taxis, and take the bus to get around on the islands. Many of the Greek Islands are small enough that you can usually just walk to where you need to go. If you're visiting a larger island, however, you may need to take a bus or use a taxi. Go to main bus terminals to find schedules and routes. If you need a taxi, hail the yellow cabs with TAXI on the top of them to get a ride.
    • If you're still unsure about your bus route, you can ask a bus driver for help.
    • Fares are higher between midnight and 5:00 am
    • If you are using a taxi in a rural area, make sure that you agree on a price before starting your ride.
  8. Make a daily plan so you can see everything you want to. Having a daily itinerary will help you stay on track and will ensure that you get to see all of the sights and events that you want to while you're there. Before visiting, make sure to go to the island's official website so that you can get a list of fun activities, events, restaurants, and historical sites. Make a loose plan for each day in your vacation and write it down.

Doing Fun Activities

  1. Visit ancient architecture. Islands like Crete, Delos, Naxos, and Rhoades are filled with ancient architecture and ruins. If you enjoy historical tours and want to understand the history of the Greek Island better, these are the best islands to visit.
    • Crete contains the ancients sites of the Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.
    • Both Naxos and Delos are located in the Cyclades and contain ancient Greek ruins.
  2. Enjoy the nightlife. Islands like Paros, Corfu, and Crete are filled with different bars, nightclubs, and music. If you are visiting the Greek Islands to party and enjoy the company of others, consider one of these islands.
  3. Eat local cuisine. The cuisine in Greece includes fine wines, lamb, and cheeses. Some popular Greek dishes include paidakia, a grilled lamb dish, and moussaka, a traditional eggplant dish that has minced beef, creme, and potatoes. When you visit, go out to different local restaurants and try things that you've never had before.
  4. Go to the beaches. Many of the Greek Islands have beautiful beaches where you can sunbathe or swim in the clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Some of the most popular beaches are on the islands of Crete, Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros. If you are traveling to Greece for the beaches, consider one of these islands.
    • The most famous beaches on the Greek Islands include Elafonisi Beach, Platys Gialos Beach, and Plaka Beach.
  5. Relax in nature. Crete, Naxos, Alonnisos, and Skopelos are some of the best islands to enjoy nature. These islands have canyons, mountains, and hiking for visitors. You can also visit the National Marine Park on the isle of Skopelos.
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