Opa! 5 Greek Islands Worth Visiting (Other Than Mykonos and Santorini)

Opa! 5 Greek Islands Worth Visiting (Other Than Mykonos and Santorini)
A view of Palaiokastritsa, Corfu. Getty

In case you haven’t noticed yet, we’ve very much returned to the European summer travel trend here in Australia and although some of us are sitting at home feeling mighty jealous, there are likely a few of you planning to take advantage of the opportunity to head abroad once again. As recent travel trends have highlighted, Europe is on the brain for loads of travellers and data shared by travel comparison site GoSee indicates that Greece (and her many islands) is one of the most popular spots right now.

According to the site, Greece bookings are up 89 per cent (with Italy following at 83 per cent), and the Google search terms support that suggestion with ‘best islands in Greece’ increasing in search interest by 850 per cent at the time of writing.

In short, a lot of you really want to learn about which Greek islands to visit during the European summer months. So, we consulted Visit Greece to source some expert insight. Here’s what we found.

5 of the best islands to visit in Greece

Per the Visit Greece website, there are some 6,000 islands and islets sitting in the Greek Seas. Only 227 islands are inhabited, but that still makes for quite a long list of options when visiting.

Now, most tourists heading to Greece will be familiar with destinations like Mykonos and Santorini. And while they’re both beautiful places to visit, we’re not going to include them in our list – because why suggest spots you already know?

Here, we’re going to explore five of the best lesser-known Greek islands to visit, according to the recommendations of the tourism board.

Skopelos

Skopelos emblematic point
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Skopelos is an island best known as the filming location of Mamma Mia! If you watched the movie, you’ll know it is absolutely stunning. But more than that, Visit Greece highlights that it’s got a seriously impressive food scene (try the strifti cheese pie), as well as stunning pine tree-lined beaches.

Corfu

best islands in greece
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If you’re one for the history of academia, Corfu is certainly the place for you. Home to the first Greek University (the Ionian Academy), the first Philharmonic Orchestra and the First School of Fine Art, this island is rich with opportunities to learn.

Here, you’ll find UNESCO world heritage site, the Old Town of Corfu, along with clear seas and a lively gastronomy scene. Visit Greece writes:

“Let Corfu weave its spell over you with its historic monuments, rich multi-cultural heritage and stunning natural landscape.”

Samos

Samos island best islands in greece
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For those looking for a dose of Greek mythology, Samos is known as the birthplace of Hera (wife of Zeus).

Visit Greece writes that it is also “the island of the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus”. Some big names, there.

When visiting, you can expect dramatic views, a rich cultural scene and loads of opportunities to taste local wines.

“Whether in the imposing mountains, such as Mt. Kerkis and Mt. Ambelos – with alpine winter temperatures and endless rain – or in caves and canyons, the environment of Samos reminds one of the Greek hinterland in miniature.”

Zakynthos (aka Zante)

Zante island best islands in greece
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Zante is referred to as “the flower of the East” by Visit Greece and is known as an area of particularly beautiful beaches. It’s also home to the engangered caretta aretta sea turtle and the monachus monachus seal.

In a nutshell, however, this is how Zante is described:

“One could say that Zante is synonym to superb beaches, great nightlife, beautiful scenery and ideal watersports destination. What more can you ask when on holiday?”

Rhodes

Opa! 5 Greek Islands Worth Visiting (Other Than Mykonos and Santorini)
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This Greek island is best known for its medieval town, the City of Rhodes, wine and its beautiful countryside. It’s also one of the larger islands you can visit.

If you enjoy historic art, you can also find the well-known Colossus of Rhodes statue here.

Milos

Milos island best islands in greece
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Water babies will love Milos. Here, you can find thermal springs and underwater caves ready for divers to explore. The beaches are also known for striking rock formations if you’re keen to get some solid photography opportunities.

Visit Greece says of this island:

“Don’t forget to visit Apollonia, on the northwestern tip of the island. Rent a boat from its picturesque little harbor and explore the shores and the nearby island of Kimolos!”


Feeling inspired to book a visit to Greece with this list of the best islands to visit yet? We certainly are. Guess we’ll be watching Mamma Mia! on repeat for the next few months.

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