The Greek islands are some of the most stunning and varied locations in the world. Any traveler to Europe would be mad to miss out on the opportunity to visit these fascinating and naturally beautiful islands. The Greek Family Island Cheats endless summer with great weather all year round.
There are over 6000 islands that belong to Greece but only a small proportion of them are visited by tourists. In fact only 227 of them are inhabited at all! Below are the 7 most popular Greek islands.
1. Corfu is one of the most popular Greek islands with millions of Europeans and Americans travelling there every year. It is just to the west of Greece and was one of the first tourist destinations within the Greek islands. Corfu has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Greek islands as well as an extremely lively nightlife. A great vacation destination for people of all ages. The north and North West Corfu have the best beaches with long stretches of sand.
2. Crete is the biggest of the Greek island by land area and is another popular tourist destination. It is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is also a popular cruise ship port. Heraklion is the largest city and capital of Crete. Crete receives more than 2 million visitors a year with the vast majority arriving via the capital. Crete has magnificent mountains and a remarkably rich history. Like most of the Greek islands, Crete has a great night life as well as long relaxing beaches but it also has the added bonus of the mountains.
3. Zante, or Zakynthos as the Greeks call it, is the most southerly of the Ionian chain of holiday islands that follow the coastline of western Greece. Zante is a typical Greek island in that it has great beaches and a superb relaxed atmosphere. The island has fertile plains, rough hills, wild cliffs and sweeping sands. If you dig a little deeper and stray away from the Holiday resorts you will find sleepy fishing villages and stunning rugged countryside. Well worth a visit.
4. Kos is in the middle of the Dodecanese chain that sits just off the coast of Turkey. Kos is extremely popular with British tourists especially along its east and south coast. The island is only 45Km long and has some magnificent beaches. The island as a whole is extremely flat and consists mainly of flat plains. The flatness of Kos makes cycling an ideal form of transport. The whole island is accessible by bike.
5. Rhodes It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population. Over half of the population live in the capital, homonymous. Rhodes boasts 300 days of glorious sunshine every year so you can expect great weather whenever you visit. Popular resorts, such as Faliraki, are now almost totally devoted to package tourism and as such the nightlife is extremely good but the local culture is somewhat lacking.
6. Skiathos is a small island in the Aegean Sea. It is the westernmost island in the Northern Sporades group of islands. Skiathos is a sunbather’s paradise with over 60 sandy beaches dotted around its coastline. Much of the island is forested with farmland surrounds. The island of Skopelos can be seen from Skiathos with the more distant islands of Euboea and Scyros also visible in clearer conditions. Skiathos is a quieter island and not as popular with the tourist and some of the Greek culture still exists beyond your typical package holiday.
7. Santorini is a less well known Greek island but is a stunning destination that is popular with cruise ship operators. The island was born from an active volcano and fumes still plume out of the offshore volcano. The sunsets at Santorini are stunning and are known throughout the world. Santorini has a number of hostels and thousands of independent travellers take advantage of this. There are bargains to be had.