I realized that some of the information i collected during the past 14 years in travelling Greece may not be so very accurate anymore. This is the reason why i have so far only put travels from the last two years onto the site. I still feel that it would provide some value to put locations into context and compare them to each other. So this is my personal Greek islands toplist. All islands in the list are truly worthwhile going.
This is just such a beautiful island and although there was a big fire in 2000 that burned away a lot of the old olive and pine trees, the landscape is still stunning. It also has quite some decent mountains (1400m) and excellent pebble beaches. Food is rich and a bit tastier than in other regions of Greece. Best places to go are Kokkari and Pythagorio.
Santorini is pure magic! I may be a bit biased because i got married here, still the caldera view is quite unique. Anywhere from Thira (Firostefani, Imerovigli) you have a stunning view from the cliffs which can go as high as 300 meters. If you arrive by ferry, the villages look like snow on top of mountains. Hotels are often built into the rock which is an experience of its own. Be aware that it is an incredibly expensive place as well.
3. Corfu / Korfu /Kerkyra
I was simply stunned by Corfu’s landscape. It is to unbelievably green and olive trees form true woods here. They grow higher than on other islands and a larger in number as well. Corfu has a long tradition of tourism. This means that there are some areas which are probably better to be avoided. However it has managed to keep touristic infrastructure to a pleasant minumum in many other areas. If you avoid places like Sidari, Kavos, Acharavi, Gouvia and Dassia you can certainly spend an excellent holiday here.
4. Paros / Antiparos
Paros does not have a lot of nature. Its beauty is often man-made which results in some of the most beautiful villages and a harbour (Naoussa) that is definately among the top 5 of the agean. Antiparos is quite different, but equally nice.
This may be a bit controversal. Rhodos can be really horrible if you are in the wrong place. Rhodos town and Lindos are really beautiful places on the other hand. I am still amazed by Rhodos town which is one of the most exciting cities i have visited on any of the islands. Make sure you do not end up in one of the touristic, all-inclusive areas and get a car/bike to explore the island’s beauty.
A little gem for sure. While the island is only 12km long, it will not make you miss a thing. Skiathos has great beaches and plenty of entertainment options in Skiathos town.
According to the number of people that exit the ferry each time, Naxos seems to gain popularity by the year. It is bigger and certainly has more green and more exciting nature than Paros, still i would personally consider it to be the calm sister of Paros. It is more relaxed and actually also more affordable. Its beaches are quite popular, sandy and very nice indeed.
I have to be honest and tell you that we went to Kos to party – and i have to say that this is a pretty good place for doing so, entertainment options are plenty. Apart from that, the island has very nice beaches which may require a bit of a drive. You will find any option from full service (me no like) to areas which are much more natural. A visit to the Asklipion is a must (lazy folks can take the small train) as this was one of the first ‘hospitals’ built. It is a huge area and you still get the feeling when you are inside. I would personally recommend to stay close to Kos town which has amazing archaeological excavations.
Thassos is also gaining more popularity it seems. The island has some nice towns (Limenas was our favourite) and its beaches are gorgeous. There is a road that is going all around the island (90km) which is a great drive and opens up a lot of great nature to the travellers. It marble has made Thassos rich and famous in former times and the locals went as crazy as plastering the whole harbour (inside the water) with it. I can hardly imagine how impressive this must have looked to any visitor (like a gigantic swimming pool).
Obviously Mykonos is posh, do not expect anything else. However it is also posh in a quite funny way if you know how to take it. Its poshness also brought some of the best hotels to the island as well as plenty of entertainment options. Prices are a bit higher than elsewhere, but you can still find some affordable places. Its little venice waterfront is probably an exception where prices are just completely crazy not justifying the view at all.