The Greek Islands; I mean, could you imagine a more idyllic setting to spend part (or if you’re very lucky, all) of your Summer?
The only problem is, there are just so many damn islands (over 6000 of them!) that when I made the decision to spend part of my Summer in Greece last year I was completely dumb founded when it came to choosing which islands to visit.
I may not be an expert of the Greek Islands but I have been lucky enough to have seen a few of them and hopefully with some of my recommendations I can perhaps persuade, and in one instance dissuade, you to pay a few of them a visit if you ever find yourself in this magical part of the world.
Let’s start off with the all time classic shall we?
Ah Santorini, arguably the most iconic of the Greek islands and of course, one of the settings of the equally iconic major motion picture The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (okay, maybe just iconic in our hearts).
Santorini is without a doubt my favourite Greek Island. I mean, how can you compete with the whitewash houses set atop cliff faces amid the blue sea and sky? You can’t.
If you ever find yourself in Santorini and if your budget allows it for it, try and stay in Oia. The rest of the island, although more affordable, doesn’t hold a candle to the beauty of Oia. My friend and I decided that we were going to suck it up, dip into our savings and invest in our accommodation in order to get the most out of Santorini and properly enjoy our stay. Do I regret it? Not even for a second.
In terms of what to do on the island and in Oia, there are many options including hiring ATVs (quad bikes) to see the rest of the island, securing the perfect spot to see the world-famous Santorini sunset and visiting one of the many cocktail bars to soak in the picture perfect surroundings. I simply loved walking around the town at my own pace and stopping every 5 seconds to take photos because, let’s face it, there isn’t a more Instagram-worthy place on the planet.
Click here to read a more in depth guide to Santorini.
Mykonos is up there with Santorini as one of the most famous and well known Greek islands, and for good reason. A tourist favourite, Mykonos is a party paradise that can also double for a relaxing getaway.
The town centre is picture perfect with those whitewash walls, blue shutters that we all know and love, stone pathways and streets lined with bougainvillea, it’s easy to see why people come to Mykonos and fall head over heels in love.
Yes, like Santorini, Mykonos is filled with tourists but despite this it’s one of my favourite destinations. Whether you choose to spend your time partying, or strolling through the town and taking it easy (or both!), Mykonos will definitely not disappoint.
If you like to consider yourself a bit of a party animal, you’re in luck because this is the island for you. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve made some bad decisions in life and travelling to Ios solo was definitely one of them.
Don’t get me wrong, going with a group would have been a blast I’m sure but I have to admit that I felt a little out of place here by myself. The town centre is quite striking and bares a resemblance to Mykonos (although on a smaller scale) and I thoroughly enjoyed spending my days at the beach.
If you’re after a relaxing beach trip, there are better islands to choose from but if you’d like to party with your friends for a few nights and swim off your hangover during the day, Ios is your kind of place.
Now I’m going to be honest with you here, I found Paros to be rather… disappointing. I’m not sure whether I was missing something when I visited the island but I found I had absolutely no idea what to do.
I love the beach as much as the next person but after spending the majority of my time lazing around in the sun I was a little bored. Admittedly, the town centre was lovely and made a good day out but out of all the islands I visited, and I hate to say it, this was my least favourite.
Have you been to Paros and loved it? I’d love to hear what your recommendations are if you have any! Leave them in the comments below.
As I write this I’m sitting in my hotel in the beautiful Crete. Granted, I’ve only been here for a few days but I can safely say that I’m in love. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands which means one thing: so much room for activities.
Crete is in no way similar to the picture-perfect Mykonos and Santorini but it’s beautiful in it’s own way. Instead of the all-white buildings that we’re used to seeing on Greek postcards, Crete is more about sweet, picturesque towns, great cafes with even better food and most importantly, beautiful beaches.
I don’t want to give too much away about Crete as I’ll be writing a blog post about it soon! Watch this space.
Have you ever been to any of the Greek islands, if so where have you been and what recommendations do you have? Leave them in the comments below!