Seven best Greek islands
With crystal-clear waters, culture and cocktails, these islands are the perfect base for your next holiday
With more than 6,000 Greek islands, it can be difficult to pick which paradise to visit. Here are some of the best.
Whether you’re a history buff or a sun worshipper, Milos has something for you. Home to the famous Venus de Milo (or Aphrodite of Milos), one of the most famous works of Ancient Greek sculpture, and 80 different beaches, as well as fishing villages and jewel-coloured waters, there’s something for everyone to see here.
If you want to live like a local rather than a tourist, Lefkada is where Greeks go for summer holidays. According to TourRadar, Lefkada is “the fourth largest island of the Ionian Sea and is connected to the mainland by a small bridge and features crystal clear waters in a bright blue hue that you might expect in the Caribbean, but definitely not in Europe.” If you’re looking for delicious food on your holiday, Lefkada’s plateau of Englouvi is famous worldwide for its lentils, which are cooked with garlic and oregano to a thick, creamy consistency.
Only a one-hour ferry ride from Milos, fans of isolated, quiet beaches will love this little island. Folegandros is home to more small, remote beaches and shiny churches than inhabitants. Be prepared to take a boat from one to the other. Because Folegandros was discovered quite late by tourists, the island has preserved much of its original character. Perhaps the most charming aspect of this island is the old village on top of the mountain, Hora (or Folegandros town).
Fans of art will love this exclusive island. Many of Greece’s richest shipowners call this island home, which has led to the opening of many art museums in Chora, a town that frequently hosts world-class exhibitions. Take a stroll through the museums or, if you have had your fill with art, on one of the island's beautiful beaches.
The famous party capital of the Aegean sea is a favourite among celebrities, models and Instagrammers. If you want to go star-spotting, head to the beaches of Psarrou, Super Paradise and Panormos. Enjoy a cocktail at one of the world’s most photographed spots, Little Venice, or shop for the latest trends at Matogiannia.
If you’re looking for a quintessential, picture-book Greece town, this is it, adorned with tiny houses, buildings with contrasting white paint and brightly coloured doors and windows, hypnotising windmills, countless beautiful beaches and the romantic village of Parikia. Not to mention its excellent nightlife, which rivals Mykonos (but with fewer tourists). You can party all night at Pounta Beach, or windsurf at Chrissi Akti Beach.
The northern-most of the Ionian islands is home to one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Corfu is famous for its capital and main port, Corfu Town, which is one of the most elegant and impressive Greek towns with architecture influenced by every civilisation that once occupied the island, including the Venetians, the French and the English, says TourRadar. Live like the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who had her summer residence, the famous Achilleion, on the island back in 1890.