As Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis stated in his novel, Zorba the Greek, ‘Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea’. There are over 6,000 Greek islands scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, with their beauty the stuff of legend and mythology. Here are some best Greek islands for modern-day getaways.
There’s an otherworldly quality to the island of Milos. It regularly ranks as one of the best Greek islands for outdoor enthusiasts. In hues of rust and sun-bleached white, volcanic rock formations lend a lunar ambience to the terrain. Charming whitewashed fishing villages are scattered on the route down to the azure waters below, while craggy cliffs loom overhead. Visit the home of the Venus de Milo statue in Tripiti or explore the island’s secret coves by fishing boat.
A favourite getaway for the Athenian elite, Hydra is a hidden gem in the Saronic Gulf. With cars and motorbikes banned from the island, you’ll need to get around the old-fashioned way: by donkey or boat. Naturally the island’s also a pleasure to explore on foot, particularly in the narrow cobblestone streets of Hydra port. Linger over a glass of wine in a harbour-side taverna or spend the afternoon gallery hopping. Hydra’s laid-back beauty draws numerous artists from throughout Greece to its pebbled beaches.
Byzantine-era architecture and a buzzing nightlife are just a few reasons to buy a house in Rhodes. As the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes offers no shortage of verdant valleys and bustling beaches like Faliraki. Stroll through the Old Town’s warren of narrow lanes or visit postcard-perfect villages like Lindos, home to colourful cubic dwellings and the Temple of Athena. Some of the island’s most desirable properties overlook the turquoise-tinted Bay of Ixia, like this magnificent Mediterranean villa. The combination of convenient city amenities and medieval architecture make this a prime spot for real estate. If you long to buy a house in Rhodes, view our properties here.
A jewel of the Cyclades, Syros is marked by its colourful capital, Ermoupouli. You can watch the world go by in the main square here, or take in a live bouzouki show in the tiled cafes. Venture up Syros’s main hill to the Venetian-built town of Ano Syros. From here, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of the neighbouring rocky islands, ringed with palm fronds.
For those with a passion for gastronomy, Crete is one of the most alluring of the Greek islands. Apart from its bewitching beaches, imposing canyons and olive groves, many choose to buy a house in Greece here for its cuisine. You can spend your days here following gourmet trails across the countryside. Fresh, crumbly sheep milk cheese, fruity olive oil, and savoury cuts of meat are all prepared by hand in local villages. Enjoy the simple pleasure of dipping bread in clear honey with a hint of mountain herbs, or finishing a meal with a shot of the fiery raki liqueur.
From serene beaches to ouzo-fuelled nightlife, the best Greek islands offer the perfect blend of centuries of culture and breath-taking natural beauty. If you wish to buy a house in Greece, the islands on this list are an idyllic place to start.