Which is the best Greek Island holiday destination (Greece)?
  • happytraveller - your Greece trip sounds amazing. Which islands did you visit - any favourites? How did you get around?
  • I am going to Greece next April, I would like to see orthdox easter celebrations, is there a place where tradition is not spoilt by tourism ? Any recommendation island or mainland, not yet booked.
  • Hi
    If you want a taste of greece go to utube :anita 1938: and see my videos on our travels around greece
    We have visited about 48 islands and also the mainland every island has its own individual charm, but the place that the Greeks like to keep secret is the Pelion Peninsular on the mainland were it is pure magic.
  • We had almost 5 weeks in Greece just over two years ago and I'm yearning to go again. Two of those weeks were spent on Santorini and Folegandros. We hired quad bikes to get around Santorini. The island lived up to what I had anticipated and I loved every minute. The sunsets were unforgettable. Folegandros is a virtually untouched island with three distinct areas - the Port of Karavostasis, Hora and Ano Meria. It is a place where you can meet the locals, have home cooked meals, see greek culture first hand and really relax. Next time Crete.
  • One of the most beautiful islands in Greece is Lefkada, which lay in the Ionian sea. The beaches are absolutely amazing, spectacular. There is a perfect combination between the green mountains and the turquoise waters of the sea.

    For the guest who wants to see some greek orthodox easter celebrations i would say that everywhere in Greece is overcrowded during these celebrations. The most famous place is Corfu island.

  • hello , me and my partner and our two 12 year old twin daughters are planning a week holiday to Greece in the summer ( july-august ), we have been looking on the internet for apartments and villas and fancy one of the greek islands , trouble is there are so many to choose from. a good sandy beach suitable for swimming is a must for the girls , and we don't want anything to busy with a lot of nightclubs and your typical english larger louts! basicly we're looking for a quiet, relaxing family holiday, that doesn't push our budget. Anybody have any suggestions ?

    best wishes
  • Hiya everyone, hope you can help. I am longing to visit a greek island and as there are so many to choose from I could do with some advice. I am newly single, so I dont really want to visit romantic soppy places, however I am not a mad partygirl either, I just want some well deserved rest and relaxation.....any suggestions? Thank you x
  • I am going to Athens in June, and I am interested in taking a ferry from Athens to Ios, staying there for a couple nights, then taking a ferry to Mykonos. I can't find any information on the ferry schedules from Athens to the Greek Islands, and ferries between the islands. Could someone please help me out, possibly offering a schedule of the ferries in the summer, or any other advice? Thank you!
  • Yesir3 - I too have the same concerns. I have been unsuccessful finding information regarding the ferry schedules from Athens to the islands. I will be arriving in Athens mid-afternoon , but this worries me because I feel I will not be able to make the ferries heading out to the islands. I am interested in Mykonos, and then from there we'll see the next destination. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • I have visited Corfu, Andros, Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, Limnos, Chios and Karpathos. I prefer quiet, not overcrowded places. With nice beaches,nice villages, little traffic, interesting landscape and the possibility for exploration of the island.
    With that in mind I can recommend most of these islands. But Skiathos, Skopelos and Corfu is a little to crowded for me.My number one would be Karpathos. Fantastic scenery, wild mountains, all kinds of beautiful beaches, lovely greek mountain villages, and a relaxing and romantic family atmosphere all over the island. And a capital of 25oo inhabitants. A perfect size for quiet evenings at the local tavernas. Still a towncenter, where you can enjoy local life and mingle between locals and tourists. If you need parties and heavy cultural sightseeing you should pick another island. An average tourist on Karpathos is there for the fifth time I would guess. Once Karpathos, always Karpathos.
    Chios is authentic and bigger, with lots of culture to see. The tourism is very moderat. You can explore Chios for weeks. The beaches vary, but I would not visit Chios if I just wanted a beach-holiday.
    Limnos has mostly greek tourists. Quiet and with nice beaches. But the island is rather flat, and in my opinion a little boring to explore.
    Still I can recommend these three island for people with the same approach as mine.

    Have a nice trip!
  • Paleocastritsa in Corfu. Look it up. It also has adults only hotels and appartments.
  • I would reccomend Crete very interesting island where a lot of archeological sights to see, beautiful beaches and sea. And its quite big island you definetly wount be bored, and there are also excurions to Santorini you can go for 1-2 days there, it is a VERY BEAUTIFUL Island here some web-sites about Crete.
  • I would go for Crete too there are a lot of places to see. And they are all so different! And the local cousin is just the best!! Here you can see some information about Crete www.crete-hotels.us
  • I visited Kefalonia last year and I had a great time. I stayed at Assos, a graphic village, well organised but not too crowded. I went to Fiskardo, where I enjoyed an amazing sunset and I loved it. Myrtos, Petanoi, Makris Gialos and Antisami are the most beautiful beaches, which have crystal clear waters. Lastly, I visited Melisani Cave from where I took marvelous photos. For more info and photos you may visit my blog http://greektraveler-ifigeniaki.blogspot.com/.

    Lesvos is another beautiful island in Greece. The best spot to see the sunset is Molivos. Some beautiful beaches are Petra, Sigri, Eressos and Vatera. If you visit this island you should visit the fossilized forest in Sigri.
  • If you go to Crete head west and south away from the tourist traps in the north east. Go to the tourist strip and you could be anywhere with sun, neon lights, burger bars & countless shops selling all sorts of tat. West of rehymnon the real Crete begins and although Chania is touristy its a lot better than the reorts in the east.
    If you like the idea of an island hopping holiday it can be done on one island by using the ferries along the south coast from paleochora to Chora Sfakion A few small beautiful village paradises at least two can only be accessed by foot or ferry. Plenty of things to do & see & not a neon light anywhere. A bit more difficult to get there but well worth it< more like the real Crete.
  • I perssonally think that Kos is......with Kefalos being the best resort if you want peace and quiet and a nice chilled holiday.
    It is also one of the cheapest Greek Islands.......I have a friend who went to Znate in May and was paying 2.5 Euro for a beer this beer is 1.5 Euro.
    I came back from Kefalos at the end of June and the prices where the same as they where last year,apart from the petrol which is now on a par with England
  • My opinion is that you can go at Chania or Rethymno, the best places in Crete. It has wonderful beaches, amazing caves, historic monuments, and of course authentic Greek restaurants- tavernes, as we call them. Chania and Rethymno, which are close to each other, are two amazing places in Crete- actually is the half Crete- but if you have the time visit it all.

    Have a nice trip

  • Hi--

    I've been researching the islands suggested here, but I need help in picking ONE island close to Athens to see w/ my friends-
    We have limited time in Greece (3.5 days), plan on seeing Athens, and an island- What would you recommend to see??? We're going there in September-

    Also- any hostel/inexpensive Hotel recommendations?

  • Sorry can't help you with that one.......I didn't realise that you was on such a short time scale and wanted to be near to Athens...
    I have however done a search for you and come up with this site......

  • Hey, I'm researching on ideas too even though I'm Greek and I've done most islands mentioned here. Concerning S's question... Man your time is limited! So much to see in Athens alone! But thankfully all Greek islands are beautiful and there are a few that are very near to Piraeus [Athens' port]. Anyway, you can do both Aegina and Agistri, which are about only half an hour distance from Piraeus [with the fast ferry, called dolphin]. I used to go there over the weekend when i was working in Athens. I loved the second for a more quite one, it's also more green and you can do free camping. Aegina is bigger so you'll have more to do, but i don't think you have the time to do many things anyway... Have fun and welcome to Greece in advance!
  • Our group (4 adults) plans a trip to Greece next late March/early April. We only want to go to one island that is small enough to see most of in a week, but not so small there aren't English-speakers in town in case we need something other than food/drink/hotel. Little interest in visiting nightclubs, ruins, beaches or museums, but a lot of interest in beautiful seascapes, goats, local olive oil, lots of fish/seafood/sardines, and of course a few tavernas. If we can rent a sailboat for a day, that's even better as we are pretty capable with boat and map. Where to go?
  • Kos is definetly small enough to see in a week, but March /April is 'out of season' so depending where you are flying from you would have to get seperate flights and accomodation. Out of season can prove to be expensive for the flights with most having to change at Athens, maybe with a long break.
    The season starts the 1st of May...the old village of Kefalos offers some amazing views as doe Zia..Out of season fish is sold on the main street in Kefalos and there are many locals who would be willing to pass the time of day with you...and a lot have a good command of English.
    If you are intrested in going out of season join my forum and the members on there wil go out of their way to help you with your quest..
    Ka xx
  • I agree with benji
    Every island has its own individual beauty but Pelion is a unique place to go. It used to be a summer destination around early 90's, but now it's all year round. It combines winter holidays and summer holidays, since you get the sking center on one side and the beautiful beaches on the other.
    Needless to say that its location makes it easy to reach from both north and south Greece.
    A good website to check for accommodation is the following http://www.gopelion.gr

    Thank you for your time
  • it's very difficult to chose only one... every island is the best for some particular characteristics:

    -. Best neoclassical harbour: Symi

    -. Best for parties: Mykonos

    -. Best view: Santorini

    -. Best for food: Anywhere and nowhere

    -. Best uninhabited island: Farmakonisi

    -. Best for wildlife: Tilos

    -. Best classical site: Nas, Icaria

    -. Best for holiday reading: Corfu

    -. Best new age holiday: Skyros

    -. Best undiscovered island: Gavdos
  • if you are 35 years old and more ,and you are looking for quite and cultural places you should visit KARPATHOS.
    Karpathos is a quite island , with cultural villages , beautiful small beaches and not to warm.
    To karpathos you can go by air(athens ,rhodes ,amsterdam ,scandinavia and germany) and by boat(athens ,rhodes ,heraklion and santorini)
  • IF you are looking for undiscovered island its Gavdos. I have bin there already 3 times. More info you can find on http://www.gavdos.org/
    But take your time with you.
  • Visit the brand new Sifnos site http://www.welcometosifnos.gr to learn everything about sifnos island before visiting it..
    You can follow website at his facebbok page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Welcome-to-Sifnos/105674276165027
    to join the group and getting all latest news....
  • My opinion is that the best place is Corfu. And is Corfu because there you can find holidays for all the ages for all the cultures and for all the ... wallets. I was June and stayed in a newly build hotel with name Hotel Corfu Secret. I made online reservation here www.corfusecret.gr and i had a really wonderful week in Corfu. Ok an island can be famous for nightlife, other for nature and other for monuments. Believe me Corfu is famous FOR ALL.
  • Great debate guys!

    Having visited a few I would say my favourites would be Pefkos in Rhodes, Kefalos in Kos and Perivolos/Perissa in Santorini.

    Didn't really enjoy Halkidiki or Thassos as much as the above.
  • Guys & Gals,

    This seems like a great thread so I thought I would keep it going, myself and my girlfriend are visiting Greece in July/August for 3 weeks and are looking to do some Island hopping, we are in our 20's & early 30's so want to see lively and also quiet (romantic) places, also if we could do some diving it would be great.

    I'm also wondering what accommodation is like, don't mind doing hotels, hostels or campsites as long as they are clean and safe with a few bars close by.

    Also don't want to waste too much time travelling to each island but also happy enough to travel overnight and sleep on boat if needs be.

    Looking forward to any information or tips.

    Thanks in advance
  • HI, which islands could we go to via ferry or hover from RHODES? really loved our 1 day visit to RHODES town from a cruise ship so fancy staying for a week in RHODES and visitng another island -how do i find out which ferries i can catch to where from RHODES?

    also should we stay in Ixia, Lindos or rhodes town itself. we like nice restaurants, plenty going on (but not clubbers or young!), good bars and the chance to talk to local people

    we stayed in AG NIk Crete a couple of years ago and really loved the balance of quality harbour bars and fun bars, cafes-we stayed a 20min walk from centre and seemed to have the best of both worlds-lovely hotel, walk to town past authentic restaurants where we met greek people running their businesses with pride and quality and plenty to watch/see and do in the centre of AG NIK -hubby wants to go same again but I want to see more of this wonderful part of the world!
  • Why has no one mentioned KALYMNOS. We have been going there for nearly 20 years now & I know others have been going for even longer. Known as the Sponge Divers Island. Tourism is very low key. The people are extremely friendly.
    It is cheaper even than Kos. Has some spectacular views. Met a young couple on the way out this year who were Santorini fans. Spoke to them on the way home & they had loved their holiday in Kalymnos. Try it.
  • Help I am stuck where to go in greece would like nice beach and scenery and a lively nightlife but not lager louts. I am thinking of crete but don't know which resort is best. Also is Kardemena in Kos ok in September or will it be all lager louts or is there anywhere better suited to a lively 40 year old, with nice bars, restaurants and scenery? Please help
  • There is a terrific place on the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese named Monemvassia. Very nice beaches to visit in the village or some kilometers far like Elafonisos, Plytra, etc. Monemvassia is a magnificent still alive castle with tavernas, cafes, bars, small shops. I think very romantic and scenery and not too noise. It is easier if you rent a car from the airport in case you have many days of spending in Greece, because you will have the chance to go around visit many places of Pelloponnese, such as Sparta, Githion, Kalamata, Nafplion, etc. I suggest to give all these names in google and see photos. Each place has its own butty. Good Luck!
  • I have been to Rhodes, Kefalonia, Zante and I'm going to Crete tomorrow! Kefalonia and Zante are the smallest, Kefalonia is quite a bit nicer and more interesting with the mountains and the history and the remains of the earthquake in the 80's. Zante I can't remember to well as I was 7.... the only thing I remember about it was breaking my nose on the swimming pool steps! Rhodes is quite a bit bigger and busier however there is more to do and Lindos is amazing (go there later in the day otherwise it gets too hot!). There are many beaches and picturesque landscapes with a lot of nice bars and restaurants, I stayed in a villa in a village called Psinthos (http://www.villa-greece.co.uk/villa-madeline-rhodes-greece.php) and it was spectacular with the views as it was right on a hill. Also it was one of the only 2 villas in the village so as it had no hotels it had almost no tourists what so ever (apart from us and a german family) and you really experienced greek life, but somehow it had 7 restaurants! Only a 10 minute drive from a brilliant beach, so if you want a quite holiday with beaches and sun go to Rhodes! :D
  • Me and my boyfriend are thinking on going on holiday in early september (which is in two weeks away as we want a last minute deal) and i have no idea which Greek island to choose.
    We are both in late twenthies and would like something with nice beaches, culture and things to do as we both like to explore not just sit by the pool. I def wouldnt like place too crowded with lager louts...but restaurants, pubs and bars would still be needed (but not crowded with lager louts) readign the comments i am thinking of Lefkada but not sure.
    Any help or advise would be very much apprecited. Thank you very much :)
  • I was in Lefkada two weeks ago.This year's pick for summer holidays. I was nicely suprissed. I didn't expect that the "mainland island" as we call it here (i'm Greek) would have some of the most beautiful beaches i have ever seen. The most famous beach is "porto katsiki" but i was more impressed by "egremnee"(?????????) which is the Greek word for "cliffs" since the beach is situated at the bottom of a quite steep cliff (there are steps of cource). Lefkada city is very beautiful and full of bars, the atmosphere is very civilised ( no drunk people screeming and puking). Nydri is another lively town full of real italian restaurants (owned by italians) and greek tavernas with excellent fresh fish. Prices are a little higher than average but well worth it.
    Lefkada is a very good choice. IMO it's better to stay in the east side of the island (Lefkada is divided in west and east by a mountain) which is more lively at nights and go visit the incredible beaches at the west side during daytime.
  • I don't think there is a best Greek Island holiday destination. It really depends on your tastes...

    If you want more information about Greek islands, i suggest you visit this site:
    www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Greece or
    You can have a look here, where we have a list of all the holiday resorts in Greece
  • There is a really useful discussion here on best Greek Island holidays destinations:
  • Try to come in Paxos, deserves every penny from your Holiday budget. In Paxos you can see one of the most beautiful sunset you imagine, you can go to Antipaxos, a small Paradise only 20 min. with a boat, where many people everyday go and have their daily swim.

    I went there twice last year, one in Easter and one in first days of September, never had such a good time.
  • All I can say is SPETSES SPETSES SPETSES! I can't say it enough times! Only 3 hours from Athens so easy to get to and it is so beautiful! It is not really a foreign tourist destination but where the Greeks go on holiday!! Great food great people, great beaches. You can make it as relaxing or as busy as you like. The island is very small so easy to get to most places by either motorbike, bicycle, boat or you can take a horse and cart! You can people watch in the main town or easily find a secluded and private spot on one of the coves round the island. And in reply to a previous post (apologies if someone has already answered this) Phraxos Island in The Magus written by John Fowles is SPETSES. And if you have read the book you will actually be able to go and visit the places that are mentioned).
  • Hi
    I have been twice in Spetses its fantastic island I can admit that, but its not the best island
  • Hmm try going to somewhere that is very historical. It might amaze you.
  • There is no single best Greek island--there are so many, with such different histories and geographies. If I were picking one as my only visit I would go to Santorini/Thira. It has a volcano to visit by boat, a gorgeous black sand beach, and one of the best archeological sites in the country. http://www.santonet.gr/archaeology/akrotiri.htm The volcano preserved details you don't expect in a 5000 year old city. I'd stay in Oia on the Northern tip, where you can enjoy the spectacular view and eat in tavernas carved into the volcanic tuff.

    For a change from the usual dry white Greek island, you could visit one in the Northern Sporades where lovely beaches spread out from forested slopes. After Mamma Mia this group is much better known than before, but you can move on from Skiathos to one of the lesser visited islands in the group, Skopelos or Alonisos.
  • My husband and I would like to visit the Greek isles in Sept or October ...we are renting a villa in Sicily from the 22nd of Sept to the 29th, 2012. Any suggestions re preferred time to do the islands ... before or after our time in Sicily. Is the weather significantly different? Which islands are not to be missed. We want to see about 3-4 islands, stay one or two nights in each. Does anyone know if there are ferries or flights from Sicily to any of the Greek Islands? We love history, architecture, ruins, art, quaint villages; we enjoy meeting locals and experiencing the local life, good food and quiet taverns, not into partying. I am having trouble finding info on ferries or any groups that sponsor this kind of trip.. Also need guidance re hotels, B and B's, do we need a car to get around, etc. Any help would be most appreciated.
  • I would recommend the islands of Crete and Rhodes in Greece for the whole package! Amazing historical attractions and archaeological sites as well as natural beauty and cultural riches. The best time to go is after the summer rush, in September, in my opinion.
  • I am going to greek islands last 2 weeks Sept with a friend. Don't know which one to pick out of so many. We've both been to the islands before but not together. She's 70 and I'm 50 we're not boring old farts, but we're not old swingers either... we would like entertainment some evenings, some sight seeing/nice beaches/tavernas... obviously not over the top like Kavos /Malia. Any helpful advice for good places to stay would be great.
  • I would say that most of you are so right about all that, but pls tell me did you ever been in Antipaxos? its a small paradise that during summertime there is party everywhere, also the beaches there are green, it looks like Carribean but I think its better there.

    Georgios F
  • hi there

    I think Paros is a worth visiting island with a vast field of interests and for all ages to enjoy!
    you can do from horseback riding, yoga, scuba diving, kite/wind surf, hicking, visit historical and ancient sites, take walks on picturesque villages, or just lay under the sun!
    Paros has many many beaches to discover. i live here many years and still have beaches to find out!!
    there are plenty beach bars also! some are full party style, some more chilled.
    Paros has nice nightlife with multiple choises in music styles!
    multi budget accomodation helps you get what you want, and last but not least food! never a problem in Greece!!

    Happy holidays!

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