Oh beautiful Greece …. Now that the borders of Greece are reopening in mid-May, it starts to itch for me. I’ve been to Greece many times and can’t get enough. The people, the food, the temperature, the atmosphere … I like everything. Of all the islands I’ve been to, I wanted to list the 7 best ones. Incidentally, not immediately in order of preference because I have a hard time choosing. All islands in Greece have their own charm. At each island I give the highlights of that place and a nice place to spend the night. They are almost all of them Eliza was here , which I especially recommend with Greek destinations. Moreover, there is always a rental car already included, so price-wise I also think it is a good and economical option.
Lesbos is one of the larger Greek islands (there are two larger ones) in Greece and therefore also ideal if you want to go away a little longer. We stayed in the town of Petra, which is right next to the more famous city,Molivos. Easy to reach by car and you can find peace and quiet in Petra if you want. If you want more options for eating out in the evening, Molivos is not far.
Lesbos is located near the Turkish coast and in clear weather you can see some places on the island of Turkey. Lesbos has fantastic olive oil, olives, cheese and of course ouzo. A must are the stuffed zucchini flowers that we ate in Molivos. Delicious! Without a car, Lesbos is a bit difficult to travel. Apart from the freedom that a car gives you, you also come to places that are otherwise inaccessible. We rented a jeep and went off the road regularly. You will arrive at the most beautiful places in no time!
Skala Kaloni is one of the more famous coastal towns and you can eat the tastiest sardines and see flamingos here.
Lefkas – also called Lefkada – was the last Greek island I went to, too long ago. It is quite northern and is connected to the mainland by a bridge that can be moved. The area of Lefkada is 305 km2 and belongs to the Ionian Islands. The capital of Lefkada is Lefkada city.
Lefkas is particularly well known for its beautiful beaches and the fact that it is close to the famous island of the Onassis family, Scorpios. Do you want to know where you can eat well? Then check my post with the tastiest restaurants on Lefkas .
We stayed here in the Olivetti villa . A beautiful place in a good location, on the outskirts of Lefkada town.
Crete was once the very first Greek island where I stayed. I was 20 years old and besides falling in love with Greece at that time I also fell in love with a Greek. Haha. It was my first holiday love! So yes Crete has always kept a place in my heart, although nowadays I often choose the smaller islands.
Crete is of course the best known and the largest island in Greece. And with that – in normal times in any case – the most touristy. Of course there are still plenty of places to be found here without crowds of tourists, but you have to look a little better. The total area of Crete is 8303 km2. Compare that with the surface of Lefkas and you immediately know that you can wander around here for much longer without encountering the same thing every time.
Crete has many archaeological attractions such as Knossos, Phaistos and Frangokastello. Personally, I am a little less into “looking at stones” but if you are there anyway a visit is worthwhile. The length of Crete is 260 kilometers on the long side, so it is quite a drive. Certainly because the roads generally do not go straight and with all the bends and turns it takes much longer.
The capital of Crete is Heraklion and the most visited are Hersonissos, Malia, Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos. If you don’t like crowds, it is useful to find a place to stay that is not immediately nearby. Although we had a great week on the outskirts of Rethymnon. It just depends on what you love of course.
Of all the islands of Greece I have been to Samos the most. Three times to be exact. It was the first island where Tom and I went on vacation together. And since then we have gone back every few years. Samos has an area of 478 km2 and is therefore a lot smaller than Crete for example, but big enough for a holiday of a week or two.
We stayed in Phytagorion all three times. This is a fairly touristy town with a lovely boulevard and a pebble beach (renting beach beds is therefore recommended). Besides Phytagorion, Votsalakia, Kokkari and Ireon are popular destinations. You can cross most of the island with a moped, although I like a jeep a bit more. Especially with all the hair bends. You will not be the first to make a slide with such a thing.
From Samos you can visit Kusadasi on the Turkish coast or view one of the many sights on this beautiful island. The best travel period for Samos is from April to October, where it is still very quiet in April but can also be very chilly.
Our vacation to Zakynthos was booked quite spontaneously, without properly reading about this Greek island. That’s why we ended up in Laganas. Fortunately on the outside of the town, but you may also know Laganas from the series Sun, sea and drinking. I think that says enough. Laganas main street in particular is notorious for its many bars and nightlife and the drunken youngsters running around here (although running may not be the right word)
Fortunately, we slept in a nice apartment outside the city and so we did not suffer from all that noise, but something to take into account!
A highlight of our holiday on Zakynthos were the turtles that were laying eggs during the season we were there (is that a word ??) and thus swimming close to the coast. Ideal for snorkeling and swimming with these impressive animals.
Incidentally, there are also a number of so-called excursions that really bother the animals so pay close attention to where you are going to book if you want to join a boat. Especially in combination with all those drunken guests not necessarily a good match.
You may know Zakynthos from Shipwreck beach where the most famous shipwreck ever is (or I made it …)
The sandy beach of Laganas is 9 kilometers long, so you certainly don’t have to run into drunken bathers. Just pay attention where you lie down.
Technically, the Peloponnese is of course not an island but a peninsula. We chose this as a destination with the idea that we could drive around nicely to see all kinds of things. What we had not taken into account is the fact that it is also a huge mountainous area. A ‘short drive’ took a lot more time than we had estimated. As a result, we did not get as far as planned. So if you want to go to the Peloponnesos, it is useful to book multiple locations and not stay in one place. We stayed there for three weeks and that is just too long if you cannot leave that easily.
That being said; it is a beautiful mountainous area and definitely recommended to go here instead of to one of the islands. Incidentally, the Peloponnesos was once an island but was separated twice by all kinds of geological shifts and reunited with the mainland again.
Thassos is a lesser known island in the range and also a bit smaller than the above mentioned islands of Greece. It has therefore not yet been discovered by mass tourism.
The island does not have an island airport and if you want to get there you have to take the boat to get there. Usually you land at the Kavala airport on the mainland.
It is one of the greenest islands in Greece and definitely recommended for a week or so. In the summer months there are some providers that go that way. Eliza was not here so you can search for this island at booking.com .