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The 5 best Greek Islands

16 October 2018 ( 23 May 2022 )

From the sparkling beaches of Kefalonia to the wildflower-strewn plateaus and rugged mountains of Crete, we've compiled a list of the five best Greek islands.

Mareblue beach resort in Corfu, Greece
Mareblue beach resort in Corfu, Greece

If you’re dreaming of idyllic Greek holidays, then you’re in the right place. With its beautiful blend of ancient history and warm weather, Greece has always been one of our most popular destinations.

Putting together a list of the best Greek islands is no easy task – in fact it’s almost impossible. 

There are hundreds of inhabited islands in Greece, and everybody has their own favourite. We could write another blog tomorrow with five different choices and then keep doing that for a month without reaching a definitive verdict! 

Whichever destination you love most, you will surely agree there is something magical about a Greek island holiday.

Booked your holiday? Protect it from the moment you buy Saga's Travel Insurance.

1. Rhodes

The largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, Rhodes is a superb place to relax and enjoy the things that Greek life is famous for; relaxing in the sunshine, eating out, and socialising with friends and family. 

 For centuries, this popular destination has also drawn those in search of history and culture.

The island was once home to the Colossus of Rhodes – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – and the medieval city of Rhodes is now a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

As relaxing holiday islands go, it doesn’t get much better than Rhodes: it is a lovely place to walk around by day, and the old quarter of Rhodes town is very atmospheric in the evenings. 

With so much history and beauty to choose from, you may find it difficult to decide where to start your trip to Rhodes. Find out more about holidays to Rhodes here

Discover the top things to do in Rhodes

2. Crete

One of the largest islands in Greece, Crete is a many-layered destination. 

The Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Malia are among the finest attractions on the island, but you will find many different influences including the Roman and Byzantine Empires. 

For a whistle-stop tour of Crete’s history and heritage, visit the Heraklion museum where there are thousands of artefacts on show.

Along with the hundreds of archaeological sites that will fascinate keen historians, there are some impressive natural wonders too. 

It’s hard to ignore the turquoise waters of the Aegean glittering in the sunshine when you visit the island, and the beaches are a heavenly place to read a book or sip a cocktail.

3. Corfu

One of the lushest of the Greek islands, Corfu is a favourite holiday destination of the rich and famous. It’s easy to see why – it is a truly beautiful location to get away from it all. 

From its twisting coastline to rolling hillsides blushing with olive trees, there is plenty to appreciate. 

Keen walkers will love the Corfu Trail, which winds its way from north to south offering walkers a chance to see many different sides of this enduring island.

Discover the top things to do in Corfu

4. Kefalonia

This stunning island was the setting for the best-selling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Of course, the landscapes here are even more impressive in real life than they appear onscreen. 

Be sure to pay a visit to Myrtos Beach, in the north-west of the island, where a crescent of picturesque, pristine white sand lies at the bottom of two mountains, Agia Dynati and Kalon Oros. 

Stunning scenery and picturesque villages... and you’ll find Kefalonia has it all. Find out more about holidays to Kefalonia here

5. Skiathos

Many people visit Greece to go on walking tours, and Skiathos is one of the best parts of the country to do this. 

The rugged interior of the island is full of pretty villages, pine forests and trails of different sizes for the beginner or expert walker.

Other people come to the island for its pretty coastal towns and fishing villages which are jostling with white painted houses, narrow little streets and charming old church buildings.

Tempted by a holiday to Greece and her islands? Find out more about Greek holidays here


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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.