Have you taken the opportunity to explore Europe or Greece? Perhaps you have already been to Athens, but have you taken the time to explore any of the Greek islands? With a variety of options to choose from, each island boasts its own unique attractions. If you are considering the Greek Islands as your next travel destination, this post provides an insightful description of each island’s major attractions. To commence our journey, let’s start with the mesmerizing Santorini.
This picturesque island in the Aegean Sea is known for its white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, as well as its stunning sunsets and volcanic beaches. The island is known for its picturesque, whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, stunning sunsets, and beautiful beaches. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Santorini:
Oia is a picturesque village on the northern tip of Santorini, and it is known for its stunning sunsets and incredible views of the Aegean Sea. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, admire the traditional architecture, and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants with panoramic views.
Fira is the capital of Santorini and is located on the western side of the island. It features a mix of traditional and modern architecture, and visitors can explore the narrow streets, visit the local shops and galleries, and enjoy the incredible views of the caldera.
The Akrotiri Archaeological Site is impressive because of the history of the Minoans. An ancient Minoan settlement was buried by volcanic ash in the 17th century BCE and was only rediscovered in the late 19th century. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city, including multi-story buildings, frescoes, and pottery.
Red Beach is located near Akrotiri and features striking red volcanic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the clear waters and take in the stunning views of the surrounding cliffs.
Santorini is known for its distinctive wine, which is made from grapes grown in the volcanic soil of the island. Visitors can visit the many wineries on the island, taste the local wine, and learn about the wine-making process. Santo Wines: Santo Wines is a cooperative winery located near the village of Pyrgos. It offers wine tastings, guided tours of the vineyards and the winery, and stunning views of the island and the Aegean Sea. Here are a few of the other wineries to consider.
Gaia Wines is a family-owned winery located in the village of Exo Gonia. It produces a variety of wines, including Assyrtiko, a popular white wine grape variety grown on the island. Estate Argyros is a family-owned winery that has been producing wine for over 100 years. It is located in the village of Episkopi Gonia and offers wine tastings, guided tours of the vineyards and the winery, and traditional Greek snacks.
Venetsanos Winery is a modern winery located in the village of Megalochori. It is built on the side of a cliff and offers panoramic views of the caldera and the Aegean Sea. It offers wine tastings, guided tours of the vineyards and the winery, and a restaurant serving traditional Greek cuisine.
Gavalas Winery is a family-owned winery located in the village of Megalochori. It produces a variety of wines, including Assyrtiko and Vinsanto, a sweet dessert wine made from sun-dried grapes. Maybe a wine museum is something you want to check out.
The Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is a unique museum located in a natural cave in the village of Vothonas. It offers a tour of the history of winemaking on the island and includes a wine tasting of four different wines.
Kamari Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Santorini, and it features black volcanic sand, clear waters, and plenty of amenities, including restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Another popular Greek island, Mykonos is famous for its lively nightlife, beautiful beaches, and traditional, white-washed architecture. There are plenty of area attractions for you to consider on this island.
Little Venice is a picturesque neighborhood in Mykonos town, located on the waterfront. The area is known for its colorful buildings, charming cafes, and incredible sunset views. It is called "Little Venice" because of its resemblance to the Italian city of Venice, with its buildings standing right at the water's edge, overlooking the sea. The houses in Little Venice were built by wealthy merchants and captains in the 18th century, and they were used as warehouses and shops. Some of these buildings have been converted into cafes, restaurants, and bars, and they offer stunning views of the sunset over the Aegean Sea. The area is also known for its colorful balconies and flower-filled courtyards, adding to its charm and character.
The Mykonos Windmills are iconic landmarks on the island and are located on a hill overlooking Mykonos town. They were built in the 16th century and were used to grind wheat. Today, the windmills are no longer used for this purpose, but they remain as a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the island's history and culture. The windmills are located on a hill overlooking the main town of Mykonos, and visitors can climb up to the top of some of the windmills to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Aegean Sea.
Delos is a small island located near Mykonos, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Greek city, including temples, theaters, and marketplaces.
Paradise Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Mykonos and is known for its clear waters, soft sand, and vibrant party scene. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports during the day, and partying at the many beach clubs at night.
Panagia Paraportiani is a stunning white-washed church located in Mykonos town. It is a unique example of Cycladic architecture, with its five different churches built on top of each other.
Ano Mera is a charming village located in the center of the island, and it offers a glimpse of traditional Greek island life. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, visit the local shops and cafes, and admire the beautiful architecture of the village.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete has a rich history dating back to ancient times, and is known for its beautiful beaches, rugged landscapes, and charming villages. Crete is the largest island in Greece and has a rich and complex history that spans more than 4,000 years. The island was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period, and its strategic location in the eastern Mediterranean made it an important center of trade and culture. One of the most notable periods in Crete's history was the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island from around 2600 BCE to 1400 BCE. The Minoans were known for their advanced art, architecture, and technology, and their civilization was one of the most powerful in the ancient world. The palace at Knossos, located near the modern city of Heraklion, is one of the most famous and well-preserved examples of Minoan architecture. After the decline of the Minoan civilization, Crete was invaded and occupied by a number of different powers, including the Mycenaeans, the Dorians, and the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the island was ruled by the Byzantine Empire, and then by a succession of Venetian, Ottoman, and Egyptian powers. Today, Crete is part of Greece and is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. The island is also home to a number of archaeological sites and museums that showcase its fascinating past. Here are a few of the major attractions on Crete.
The Palace of Knossos is a famous archaeological site that dates back to the Minoan civilization, one of the oldest in Europe. Visitors can explore the ruins of the palace, which include elaborate frescoes and a maze of rooms and corridors.
The Samaria Gorge is a popular hiking destination that stretches for 10 miles through stunning landscapes and natural beauty. The hike takes about six hours to complete and offers breathtaking views of the gorge and surrounding mountains.
Elafonisi Beach is a stunning pink sand beach located on the southwest coast of Crete. The beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and unique pink sand, created by a mix of white and pink shells.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Greece and is home to an extensive collection of Minoan artifacts and treasures.
The Old Town of Chania is a charming area with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and a picturesque harbor. Visitors can explore the winding streets, visit the Venetian lighthouse, and enjoy the local shops and restaurants.
Balos Lagoon is a stunning natural attraction located on the northwest coast of Crete. It is known for its turquoise waters and white sand beaches and can only be reached by boat or by a challenging hike.
Spinalonga Island is a small island located off the coast of Crete. It is known for its Venetian fortress and its use as a leper colony in the early 20th century. The fortress features massive walls, bastions, and towers, as well as a network of underground tunnels and cisterns for storing water. Over the centuries, the fortress changed hands several times, falling under Ottoman control in the 17th century and then being occupied by the Germans during World War II. Today, Spinalonga Fortress is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the ruins of the fortress and learn about its fascinating history. The island can be reached by boat from the nearby towns of Elounda and Plaka, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding sea and coastline.
The greenest of the Greek islands, Corfu is known for its stunning beaches, historic old town, and lush countryside. It is probably best known for the Venetian Fortress, shown above, but there are many other attractions for you to see on this beautiful island. The fortress was built by the Venetians in the 15th century and served as a stronghold against invading Ottoman forces. The fortress is located on a small peninsula that juts out into the sea, offering commanding views of the town and the harbor. It is surrounded by high walls, which were built to withstand cannon fire, and features a large moat that was once filled with water. The fortress is accessed via a stone bridge that leads to a large gatehouse. Inside, visitors can explore the maze-like interior, which includes tunnels, dungeons, and staircases that lead to the ramparts. There are also several bastions and towers that offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
Corfu Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Corfu Old Town is also known as Kerkyra and is one of the most charming places to visit in Greece. Visitors can explore the narrow streets, admire the Venetian architecture, and visit the many shops and restaurants.
The Achilleion Palace is a stunning palace located in the village of Gastouri, and it was built in the 19th century for Empress Elisabeth of Austria. If you have visited Vienna, you probably have heard about Sisi quite a bit. Visitors to the Achilleion Palace can explore the palace's ornate rooms and gardens, which feature statues and artwork inspired by Greek mythology.
Paleokastritsa is a picturesque village located on the western coast of Corfu, and it is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and water sports, and visit the nearby Monastery of the Virgin Mary.
The Kanoni Peninsula is a scenic area located near Corfu town, and it offers incredible views of the Ionian Sea and the Vlacherna Monastery. Visitors can take a boat tour to the nearby Mouse Island, which is named after its unique shape.
The Vlacherna Monastery is a small 17th-century monastery located on a small islet near the Kanoni Peninsula. The monastery is one of the most iconic landmarks of Corfu and is often featured in postcards and travel brochures. The Vlacherna Monastery was built in the 17th century and is named after the Vlacherna icon of the Virgin Mary, which is kept inside the monastery. The monastery is surrounded by cypress trees and has a peaceful courtyard with a small fountain. Visitors can reach the monastery by crossing a narrow causeway that connects the islet to the mainland. The causeway is lined with souvenir shops and cafes, and it offers great views of the surrounding area. The Vlacherna Monastery is also famous for its location, which offers stunning views of the nearby Pontikonisi (Mouse Island), another iconic landmark of Corfu. Pontikonisi is a small rocky island that is said to be the petrified ship of Odysseus, the legendary Greek hero from Homer's Odyssey.
This island in the eastern Aegean Sea is famous for its medieval old town, beautiful beaches, and ancient ruins. It also has many attractions, but the Colossus of Rhodes is, unfortunately, not one of them. The Colossus of Rhodes was a monumental bronze statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and stood for only 56 years before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC. The statue was approximately 33 meters (110 feet) tall, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. It was built to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, and was financed by the sale of the war machines left behind by the defeated army. According to the historian Strabo, it took 12 years to complete the statue, and it was placed at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes was a remarkable achievement of ancient engineering and was admired for its size and beauty. It depicted Helios, the god of the sun, standing with one leg on each side of the harbor entrance and holding a torch in his right hand. The statue was so large that ships could sail between its legs, and it was said that the statue's thumb was the size of a man. After the earthquake in 226 BC, the statue lay in ruins for centuries. Some parts of the statue were sold as scrap metal, while others were left on the ground. Over time, the statue became a symbol of Rhodes, and its remains were visited by many travelers throughout the centuries. In the 7th century AD, Arab invaders sold the remains of the statue to a Jewish merchant who reportedly used 900 camels to transport the bronze to Syria. Despite no Colossus of Rhodes, there are plenty of attractions waiting for you on Rhodes.
Lindos is a picturesque village located on the eastern coast of Rhodes, and it is known for its ancient Acropolis, stunning beaches, and charming white-washed houses. Visitors can hike up to the Acropolis and enjoy the panoramic views and visit the nearby beaches.
The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights is a stunning medieval palace located in Rhodes Old Town. Visitors can explore the palace's ornate rooms and learn about the history of the Knights of Rhodes.
Seven Springs is a natural wonder located in the interior of Rhodes, and it is known for its lush greenery and crystal-clear waters. Visitors can hike through the forest and enjoy the cool shade, and swim in the refreshing waters of the natural spring.
Butterfly Valley is a unique natural reserve located on the western coast of Rhodes, and it is known for its thousands of butterflies that inhabit the area. Visitors can hike through the valley and enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about the life cycle of the butterflies.
Naxos is located in the Aegean Sea, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning mountains, and charming villages. One of the main attractions is Portara but there are interesting things all over this beautiful island.
Portara is a huge marble gate that stands on a small islet just off the coast of Naxos Town. It is believed to be the entrance to a temple of Apollo that was never completed, and it offers stunning views of the town and the sea.
Naxos Town, also known as Chora, is the capital and main port of Naxos. It is a charming town with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Naxos is known for its ancient marble statues known as Kouros, which date back to the 6th and 7th centuries BC. There are several Kouros statues on the island, including the one at the entrance to the village of Melanes.
The Temple of Demeter is an ancient Greek temple located in the village of Sangri. It is believed to have been built in the 6th century BC and is dedicated to the goddess of agriculture.
Paros is located in the Aegean Sea, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, charming villages, and stunning landscapes. If you are a windsurfer, you probably know this island. Paros is considered one of the best places in the world for windsurfing, thanks to its strong winds and clear waters. Many windsurfing schools and rental shops can be found on the island, making it a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Here are some other interesting attractions on Paros.
Naoussa is a picturesque fishing village located on the north coast of Paros. It has a beautiful harbor, narrow streets, and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
Panagia Ekatontapiliani, also known as the Church of 100 Doors, is an ancient Byzantine church located in Parikia. It is believed to date back to the 4th century AD and is one of the most important religious sites in Greece.
Skiathos is located in the Aegean Sea, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush green landscapes. Skiathos is a lush, green island, with many forests, olive groves, and orchards. The island's natural beauty can be explored through hiking and biking trails that take visitors through some of the most scenic parts of the island. Skiathos is also well-known as a popular filming location. The island was the setting for the 2008 movie Mamma Mia!, and many scenes were filmed on location, including at the Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri, which has become a popular tourist attraction.
Koukounaries Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and is known for its crystal-clear waters and golden sand. It is located on the south coast of Skiathos and is surrounded by a dense pine forest.
The Old Town of Skiathos is a charming area with narrow streets, white-washed buildings, and plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The Bourtzi Fortress is a small fortress located on a small peninsula in Skiathos Town. It was built in the 13th century to protect the town from pirates and offers stunning views of the surrounding sea.
Lalaria Beach is a beautiful pebble beach located on the northeastern coast of Skiathos. It is accessible only by boat and is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations.
Evangelistria Monastery located at Skiathos which is one of the Greek Sporades islands in Greece.
The Monastery of Evangelistria is an important religious site on the island and is located on a hilltop in the center of Skiathos. It was built in the 18th century and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Kastro is a medieval town located on a hilltop on the northeastern coast of Skiathos. It was built in the 14th century to protect the island from invaders and offers stunning views of the sea.
Zakynthos is located in the Ionian Sea, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. Zakynthos is one of the most important nesting sites for loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. The turtles come to the island's beaches to lay their eggs between May and August, and visitors can often see the hatchlings making their way to the sea. Zakynthos is also known for its high-quality olive oil, which is produced on the island. The island's olive groves are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can often take tours to learn about the production of olive oil. Here are some other things for you to check out when you visit.
The Blue Caves are a series of sea caves located on the northern coast of Zakynthos. They are known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations.
Zakynthos Town is the capital of the island and is known for its beautiful architecture, traditional squares, and charming streets.
Keri Caves are a series of sea caves located on the southwestern coast of Zakynthos. They are accessible only by boat and are known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations.
Marathonisi Island is a small island located off the southeastern coast of Zakynthos. It is a protected nature reserve and is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Alykes and Alykanas Beaches are two of the most popular beaches on the island. They are known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery.
This was a very long post, but I wanted to cover all of the major Greek Islands you might want to consider. Are you exhausted from all the possibilities? Maybe you should try to visit a few of the islands? There are also cruises that take you to many of these islands. Whatever you do, you will definitely enjoy a vacation destination in the Greek Islands.