If you are looking for an exotic travel destination in Europe, then the Greek islands should be your first choice. Filled with beautiful mountains, picturesque bays, whitewashed villages with blue roofs and sandy beaches on azure seas, the Greek islands in the Mediterranean are the perfect holiday destination. There are thousands of islands, dozens of which are inhabited and suitable as holiday destinations, but which are the most beautiful and best Greek islands to visit, especially for couples? We teamed up with international travel bloggers to create a list of the most beautiful Greek island destinations.
Island hopping in Greece
If you want to visit the Greek islands, you have two options: you choose one specific island as your destination or you go island hopping and visit multiple Greek islands on one trip. The great thing is that each of the islands lends itself to both options.
The Greek islands are all destinations where you can easily enjoy yourself for an entire trip. You will often find several towns on an island and Crete for example, as the largest island with 8300 km², is a destination big enough to entertain you for weeks. If you opt for one island destination, we recommend that you book a combination deal with flight, accommodation and rental car. Many islands have beautiful bays, hidden beaches and cute villages scattered around the island and with a rental car you can easily visit them all. For Dutch travelers like us, ‘Eliza was here‘ is highly recommended and we often book our trips with them, as they are usually the cheapest option.
If you’re planning to visit more than one island? Then go island hopping by ferry! The islands are grouped into archipelagos. You have probably heard of the Cyclades (with Santorini and Naxos) or Ionian islands (with Corfu and Lefkas). Choose an archipelago and make a tour of the most beautiful Greek islands in that area, using the ferry as transport between the islands. You can book such an island-hopping trip with a travel agency, but you can also easily organize your own trip. You can book your ferry tickets online or on the spot. We recommend the Greek Ferry Pass from Interrail – you might know Interrail for its European train ticket offering the opportunity to travel around Europe by train. There are two Interrail passes: four travel days within a month (90 euros) or six travel days within a month (176 euros). Directferries.com is a great website if you are looking for individual tickets, but also want to check the departure times, sailing time and prices.
10 best islands to visit in Greece for couples
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Lefkas is for sure our favorite island in Greece. This beautiful place in Greece is surrounded by blue seas, has idyllic bays and is still relatively unknown to travelers. Spend at least a week on this island to explore all remote beaches and bays and to enjoy the adventurous activities on Lefkas.
Of all the islands in Greece, we visited Lefkas the most. Or island, actually it is a peninsula. Lefkas is therefore also accessible by car, although it is easiest to fly to Aktion International Airport and get a rental car from there. Given the size of the island, it is highly recommended to use a car. This way you can easily explore all the bays, villages and secluded beaches. If you don’t have a rental car, then rent a scooter to discover the interior and explore the island. You can rent one in almost every large town.
We booked a package trip to Lefkas from the Netherlands (with Eliza was Here, organizing both our flight, place to sleep and rental car for an extremely low price) and stayed at the idyllic Casa Campos during our first trip. It is within walking distance of Lefkada Town and the beach. A second time we slept close to the village of Vasiliki at Amarandos Villas. It is in a picture-perfect location: a secluded spot overlooking a beautiful bay, so you can jump in the water straight out of bed early in the morning. For the next trip, the olive grove Olivetto Villas is on our wish list. This romantic location near Lefkada Town has its own swimming pool and large garden.
The island is especially popular with locals for holidays. So don’t picture Lefkas with touristy beach clubs or as a party island. You will mainly find Greeks on Lefkas, giving a trip to this Greek island an authentic holiday feeling. Restaurants are therefore not aimed at tourists as well, so they have a Greek menu and local atmosphere. Our favorite is Taverna Seven Islands, run by a Greek local with his Dutch wife.
Like other Greek islands, Lefkas has beautiful beaches and picturesque bays. The best beach is Porto Katsiki, although the other beaches are also beautiful and have restaurants as well. What is special about Porto Katsiki is how it’s only accessible by boat or via a steep staircase along the rocks.
If you want to skip lazing on the beach for something more active, sea kayaking is highly recommended. We kayaked to other islands – quite tough on the sea – and snorkeled in the most beautiful places. You are also in the right place for windsurfing, both for lessons and for renting a surfboard. Vasiliki is known as the best surf town on Lefkas. If you prefer to go for a more relaxed experience, take a boat trip. We reserved a place on the m/s Christina and spent a day exploring islands, spending our time snorkeling and eating good food (Tip: book well in advance).
recommended by: Megan from MeganStarr.com
One of the best Greek Islands to visit for couples is Santorini. While Santorini may not be off the beaten path and is a very renowned honeymoon and romantic destination, the reputation is certainly warranted with travelers looking for a getaway with their significant other.
Santorini is famous for having one of the best sunsets in the world that comes down over its deep, blue waters. You can venture to this Greek Island for however many days you’d like, but if you’re traveling on a romantic trip, it is recommended to stay at least 4-5 at a minimum.
The best way to get there is to fly from abroad. It will save you the hassle of a ferry and get you directly to the island. Alternatively, you can book a ferry from mainland Greece if you’d like a different experience. You can also take day trips from Crete to Santorini if you’re merely looking to include it as part of another island.
There is so much to do on Santorini that you will have no issue keeping occupied. There at boat trips, wine tours, and gastro tours if you’re keen to head out on something organized. Or, you can visit some of the top sights, like the Oia domes, the black sand beach of Perissa, or the prehistoric village of Akrotiri, independently.
If you’re a more adventurous traveler, be sure to sign up for a Santorini jet ski trip! You will leave from Perivolos Beach and head out to the extinct volcano. On the way, you will have a chance to pass Vlyhada, Red Beach, Kampia, Pharos of Akrotiri, and more before coming up upon Nea Kameni, the volcano. It also will give you a chance to snorkel a bit!
There are plenty of places to stay in Santorini and one of the top luxury places is On the Cliff Suites and one of the top budget places is the Antonia Hotel.
If you’re wanting a truly unforgettable getaway, escape to Santorini. There is a reason it is so popular with tourists!
recommended by: Emily Young from Emysway.com
One of the best Greek islands to visit as a couple is most definitely Corfu. Whether it’s renting a scooter to explore the island’s hidden gems, relaxing on one of its gorgeous beaches or watching a romantic sunset together: Corfu has plenty to offer.
Some places you simply must visit include Corfu old town, Rovinia beach and Porto Timoni. And if you’re travelling as a couple, you can’t possibly skip Canal D’Amour, a tiny beach with stunning clear blue water. Legend has it that couples who swim through the canal together, will stay together for the rest of their lives.
Corfu is one of the bigger Greek islands, so I recommend a stay of at least 3-4 days or even a week if you want to relax a bit more. If you’re planning on exploring the entire island and you’re not renting a car or scooter, staying in Corfu old town will definitely be the most convenient. Buses leave from early in the morning till late at night.
For couples who’d rather relax in one place, two of the best areas to stay are Paleokastritsa and Agios Georgios Pagon. Both can easily be reached by bus from Corfu town. If you’re looking for the best budget-friendly hotels in Corfu, there are two great options I can highly recommend.
I recommend Zefiros Traditional Hotel in Paleokastritsa. The charming old building gives an instant local vibe, while the rooms are very modern and clean. There’s also a super cute balcony that looks out over one of the many idyllic beaches you will find in the area.
Another amazing option is Elias & Vasili House in Agios Georgios Pagon. It’s right by the main beach, which isn’t overly touristy yet offers plenty of fun water activities. I absolutely loved the relaxed and laidback atmosphere of this town. While you’re there, Maria’s Snack Shack is the place to be for a healthy and delicious lunch.
recommended by: Dean and Laynni from Routinely Nomadic
Relatively close to very popular islands such as Santorini and Milos, unassuming Sifnos is an outstanding choice for couples who aren’t necessarily looking for a party scene. On Sifnos, the big highlights are the scenery and natural terrain. Featuring several fascinating historical sites, a number of quiet, pleasant villages and, of course, a few great beaches (it is a Greek island, after all), it has the wow factor to impress on a short visit but enough variety to keep you busy for a week or more.
However, it is the hiking on Sifnos that really sets it apart from the many other beautiful islands in the Cyclades. There are 19 well-marked trails and the tourism board offers a detailed map with trail descriptions. While every Greek island has some nice hiking trails, few are as organized and well-maintained as those on Sifnos. With a good range from easy strolls to longer day hikes, you’ll enjoy phenomenal scenery and probably have whatever trail you choose for yourself. Arguably the most impressive is trail #4, a challenging 4-hour loop out of the beach town of Platos Yialos that provides breathtaking views of Fykiada and Vathy bays before circling back along the shoreline.
Irini Pension is a terrific option located right on the beach of Platos Yialos. Or, if you are looking for more of a medieval old town vibe, then an apartment at Motivo is a great choice right next to the castle of Sifnos.
Despite its low profile, Sifnos is located right on several of the main ferry lines, making it easy to reach the pleasant port town of Kamares from Piraeus, Folegandros, Kimolos or Milos. It is best to visit before the end of September as many shops and restaurants begin to close in October.
recommended by: Paulina from Paulina On The Road
Regardless of its small size, there are a lot of things that this small island offers. Antiparos is situated in the Aegean Sea, near Paros island. Antiparos is a less-visited island that is even a popular summer destination for many Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks. It’s one of the reasons why Antiparos is a must-visit is its authentic islands. As said, it is less crowded and has a lot to explore.
Although Antiparos is a small destination, it is ideal for a long or even a small getaway. It offers a relaxing holiday by the sea. You can also visit the island on a day trip from the nearby islands. But if you want to cherish your vacation, it is recommended to at least spend two days and one night on Antiparos.
The Antiparos town of Chora is the heart of the island. You can start by taking a stroll through the town heading towards the main square. Later, you can get lost in the air of narrow whitewashed alleys. After that, you can enjoy the sunset at Sifnieko Beach. You can reach it by taking a walk through the main square and following the signs towards Sifneiko or Sunset Beach. Another thing to witness is the Antiparos Cave, one of the island’s top attractions.
The best places to stay in Antiparos are usually in Antiparos Town. Everything is at a small distance from here. The two top hotels are Kouros Village and Oliaros Seaside Lodge.
You can get to Antiparos easily by a 7-minute ferry ride from Paros. Staying in Paros can give you more options to explore. You could easily combine the two islands on one vacation.
recommended by: Maria & Katerina from It’s All Trip To Me
Amorgos is one of the lesser-known Greek Islands and among the most romantic destinations in the Aegean Sea. With its picture-perfect Old Town, the most pristine beaches and its breathtakingly beautiful scenery, Amorgos is perfect for an unforgettable vacation with your better half.
Chora, the Old Town of Amorgos, is a sight for sore eyes. Walking around the whitewashed alleys, past one picturesque café after another, and gazing at the rugged windmills as they tirelessly keep an eye on the island from their hilltop realm is definitely the best thing to do on the island, especially for couples in love.
Moreover, Amorgos is the ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts. The island’s ancient paths are now fully restored and you can literally walk around the entire island on foot. Another fantastic thing to do in Amorgos is climbing all the way up to the impressive Panagia Hozoviotissa Monastery, a historic place of worship that is entirely carved in a steep rock overlooking nothing but the deep blue sea.
Although Amorgos is relatively small, it’s ideal to spend a minimum of four days there if you want to take in its charms at a leisurely pace. There’s no airport in Amorgos. You can get there by ferry from Piraeus Port in Athens or from other nearby islands, such as Paros and Naxos.
The most romantic place to stay in Amorgos is Chora, the Old Town. Vorina Ktismata is an utterly enchanting hotel in Chora, ideal for couples who want to create memories to cherish for life. Alternatively, you can book a hotel at one of the island’s smaller villages, for a chance to get a taste of the local life in Amorgos. Vigla Hotel in Tholaria Village is a family-run hotel with fantastic views, while it’s home to one of the best restaurants on the island.
recommended by: Faye & David from Delve Into Europe
The west of Crete is breathtakingly beautiful, with some of the best beaches on the island, its most beautiful city, Chania, and a wild, mountainous section of south coast that you can only travel around by boat.
If you’re visiting this part of the island, we’d recommend a 10-14 day stay. The ancient harbor city of Chania deserves two or three days, giving you time to find your way around the labyrinth in the Old Town, with its layers of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman Turkish architecture. Chania airport is also where most flights to the west of Crete arrive, and a lot closer than Heraklion.
There are several busy beach resorts on either side of Chania, but for the best beaches in the area you need to continue to the west coast of the island. Falassarna Beach is one of the most beautiful we have ever visited, hemmed in by mountains at either end. It’s such a romantic spot, with everything a beach lover could hope for – dramatic wild scenery, crystal-clear waters, several great beach bars and tavernas, and five beaches in one. The terrain changes from wide-open sand to rocky dunes to narrow bays to sheltered natural rock pools at the northern end.
Falassarna Village also happens to be a good base for exploring the other great beaches in this part of Crete. We stayed here at Falasarna Bay, a complex of studios and apartments with stunning views. Balos Beach is a very tough trek 10 km to the north – most people drive to nearby Kissamos and take the Balos beach ferry from there. The pink sands of Elafonissi beach can also be reached from there, an hour or so away by car.
We also recommend a few days on the south coast of Crete, specifically in the small resort town of Paleochora. It’s a wonderfully relaxed place on the only road in this part of the world, which happens to take you back to Chania. The only way beyond the beach village of Sougia to the east is by the ferry, which drops you off at Agia Roumeli, a tiny village below the soaring White Mountains which is also the endpoint of the famous Samaria Gorge Walk. Otherwise the onward ferry to Chora Sfakion takes you to the gorgeous whitewashed village of Loutro and the nearby beach at Glyka Nera.
recommended by: Charlotte from Bursting My Bubbles
Kastelorizo is an amazing hidden gem of Greece. It’s small, quaint, without huge towering buildings, filled with kind and friendly locals and it isn’t overrun by tourists. Kastelorizo is a tiny island with no airport, so the best way to access this beautiful unspoiled island is by flying into Rhodes or Turkey and get a boat from there.
As you arrive, be prepared to be swept up in all the local hustle and bustle. The main high street is fascinating to watch. Then when it’s all calmed down, this beautiful village will just hit you. Lined with gorgeous tavernas overlooking the harbor, filled with locals playing chess, having a drink and spending time with friends. Next is the stunning smell of all the local restaurants cooking fresh seafood caught that day and the traditional music filling your ears as you pass by.
The two best places to stay are the Poseidon Hotel near the harbor, the ultimate stay for the local experience. Set ever so slightly from the center, you get gorgeous views over the island and port! Or if you are looking for a more boutique stay, opt for the Megisti Hotel located on the East side of the harbor. It even has its own private snorkeling and swimming area.
To fully appreciate Kastelorizo for all it has to offer, you need to spend around 3 to 4 days on this tropical island, so you can truly soak up its stunning, relaxed atmosphere. Visiting the different hidden beaches, testing the different places to snorkel, and catch a glimpse of the stunning turtles as they swim in the bay. Not to mention being able to try all the amazing restaurants and the home-cooked food they have to offer!
recommended by: Chrysoula from Greece Travel Ideas
One of the best islands in Greece to visit with your other half is Naxos, the biggest island of the Cyclades group. There are so many things to do in Naxos. For starters, Naxos has some of the best beaches in Greece including Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and Plaka. There is also an abundance of watersports to choose from like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Apart from the sandy beaches and the turquoise waters, there are many archaeological sites on the island. Some of them are the temple of Apollo, also known as Portara at the port of Naxos, the giant statues of marble Kouroi seen in different locations, and the ancient temple of Demeter to name a few.
Naxos is also a mountainous island offering some great hiking opportunities and some picturesque villages. Apiranthos and Halki are two villages worth exploring. Finally, the Chora of Naxos is full of restaurants, bars, and great accommodation options. It is also home to a castle with winding alleyways and museums.
Chora also has a lovely beach called St George and for me, that is one of the best places to stay on the island. Thomais Studios and Korali Boutique Hotel are two great hotels in the area.
Finally, Naxos is famous for its delicious food. Apart from the meat and fresh fish you can taste delicious potatoes, local cheeses, and citron liquor.
You can easily reach Naxos by plane from Athens (35 min), by ferry from Piraeus port (4 to 5 hours), or from the nearby islands like Mykonos, and Paros.
recommended by: Rai from A Rai of Light
Zakynthos, well known for its beautiful landscapes, beaches with clear water, and interesting history, lies in the heart of the Ionian Sea. Located just off the west coast of the mainland, it is easily reached by a 1-hour direct flight from Athens or by ferry from the Peloponnese port of Killini.
Once here, couples will find a multitude of things to do. Top attractions include the Venetian Castle, the Port of Zakynthos, and Dionysios Solomos. Adventurous couples will enjoy exploring the coastal regions, swimming in the cool waters, or engaging in the many activities on offer at any time of the year. Blessed with pleasant weather and long sandy beaches, beach hopping is an essential activity with the best among them being Kalamaki, Tsilivi, and Porto Zoro.
Those looking for a bit of culture should make a stop at Zante Town. It is the capital and commercial center of the island with a long and dire history. A ruined castle overlooking the city bears witness to its turbulent past and continued zest for life. This is also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants.
With such an abundance of sights, it is recommended to spend at least 4 days exploring the region and its surroundings. The best areas to stay include Agios Nikolaos and Vasilikos. Couples will want to avoid the overcrowded east and opt for the quieter northern areas instead, which still have a variety of modern facilities and developed beaches.
Among the many island paradises, Zakynthos stands apart for its island setting and compelling places and is well worth taking the time to get to.
recommended by: Elena from Travel Greece Travel Europe
Situated in the Aegean Sea, Paros is one of the most fabulous and cosmopolitan islands of the Cyclades. Boasting a beautiful natural landscape, Paros boasts a great choice of paradisiacal beaches, blooming mountains, and a hilly landscape dotted with small traditional villages. The combination of modern and traditional Cycladic architecture makes Paros a very picturesque island, with a remarkable romantic atmosphere. Whether you are after a tranquil holiday or you are more of a thrill-seeker, Paros has the best of both worlds.
Naoussa and Parikia are the two main villages of the island, both picturesque and with their own charm, these villages are dotted with white houses, bloomed alleys, an abundance of boutique shops tucked away in cute corners, luxurious restaurants and taverns and sophisticated bars. If crowded places are not your thing, you should try visiting the traditional villages of Lefkes and Marpissa.
Although all the beaches in Paros are worth visiting, you should not miss the unusual beach of Kolymbithres, the Kalogeros Beach where you can make your DIY mud mask, and Santa Maria Beach, known for its shallow clean waters.
As the island is large in size, there are so many things to do and see that you will find yourself reluctant to leave. 4 days on the island should be enough, however the more the better.
Accommodation wise we recommend the Argonauta Hotel located in the heart of the island or if you are looking for a more luxurious stay you should have a look at Astir Paros. There are two ways of reaching the island, by airplane or by ferry, which takes 3,5 to 5 hours, depending on the type of boat. As Paros is close to other famous islands of the Cyclades, such as Mykonos and Santorini, the island offers the excellent opportunity for island hopping by ferry or even by a private day cruise – very romantic!
recommended by: Lavina Dsouza from Continent Hop
Known as the party island, Mykonos is one of the many islands in Greece that may be crowded at times but is still worth a visit due to its sheer beauty. However, its reputation shouldn’t deter couples from visiting the island as there’s a lot to do here and no matter where you go it is very picturesque and romantic!
The easiest way to get here is by direct flight, which is available from most European cities, especially in summer. Another way you can get here is by ferry from Santorini, which takes about 45 minutes to get here. Cavo Tagoo and Petasos Beach Resort and Spa are two amazing and highly recommended hotels worth considering for your stay.
Once you’re here, start at Little Venice, which has been featured in many movies making it one of the top spots to visit on the island. A quick walk away is the Chora windmills that are worth a stop too, with Paraportiani Church located 2 minutes away from the windmills.
The streets in Mykonos are whitewashed with shops adding a burst of color, making it all very instagrammable. For couples who are foodies, the restaurants here have some authentic local fare with the salads being some of the best on a summer day. If you get tired of exploring beaches like Ornos and Kalafati, where you’ll also find shipwrecks if you go diving, are great to relax.
Enthusiasts of history, culture and architecture needn’t fret as Delos, the island where Apollo, the Greek God, was born, can be reached via ferry, making for a great day trip.
It’s worth spending at least 3-4 days in Mykonos and heading off to the East side of the island to places like Profitis Ilias if you’re looking to explore areas that are less crowded yet have lots to do.