Greek island holidays

Greek island holidays

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Greek island holidays remain the top choice for sun lovers, foodies and adventure seekers. With balmy sunshine, ancient sites and harbourside tavernas, these rugged beauties know just how to reel you in. 

And when you’re not lapping up blue skies on sandy coastlines, or trekking through whitewashed mountain villages, you’ve got the best nightlife in the Mediterranean at your feet. From their stunning good looks to the endless things to do, it’s no wonder Greek island holidays are a summertime favourite.

Greek islands at a glance

• Watch the sunset over the blue domes in Santorini

• Rub shoulders with A-listers in party hub Mykonos

• See loggerhead turtles in under-the-radar Kefalonia

• Uncover the medieval city of Rhodes

All the Greek islands have their own unique charm, but which is right for you? Let's dive in...

Best Greek island holidays for hopping

• Crete

• Kos

• Corfu

Always fancied island hopping? Why not pack multiple destinations into your Greek island holiday? Touch down in Crete and board the direct ferries for a day trip to Santorini, or from Kos to Rhodes. Or stay in Kavos and springboard to the tiny islands of Paxos and Antipaxos.

Best Greek island holidays for peace and quiet

• Kefalonia

• Lefkas

In search of less touristy Greek island holidays? Step away from it all with a peaceful stay in Kefalonia. You can spot sea turtles in Katelios Bay, ride horses through the Sami mountains and descend into the Drogarati caves, 60 metres below ground.

Laid-back Lefkas (or Lefkada) is another under-the-radar destination for those seeking quieter holidays to the Greek islands. This rugged beauty boasts pastel-coloured boulevards, fringed by wild waterfalls and striking natural caverns.

Best Greek island holidays for romance

• Santorini

• Corfu

For first-timers and romantics, Santorini is a must. All blue-dome chapels and whitewashed walkways, this has to be one of the most magical Greek island holidays for couples. Take the 300-step descent down to Amoudi Bay for a swoon-worthy sunset stroll.  

Corfu is another island that will sweep you off your feet! Fall in love with sunbathing sessions in the Kassiopi Coves and horse rides through the olive groves in Sidari.

Best Greek island holidays for party animals

• Mykonos

• Kos

Holidays to the Greek islands aren’t limited to sun lounging and feta-eating. If you’re looking for a party scene to rival Ibiza, Mykonos is it! Behind its pretty facade, this island is host to the wildest celeb hotspot in the Med.

Kos is another must-visit nightlife hub with superstar club nights and lively bars. For all-night blowouts, make your way to Kardamena.

Best Greek island holidays for families with kids

• Rhodes

• Zante

Rhodes is one of the best Greek islands to explore with the kids. Alongside its sheltered beaches and shallow waters, its Old Town feels like an endless museum, with knights and ancient relics galore.

Away from party-central Laganas, Zante is another one of the best Greek islands for a family holiday. Watch turtles nesting on Kalamaki Beach, find thrills at Water Village and take in the sights from the Trainaki train. Why not make the most of your trip with a Greek island holiday package.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including CorfuCreteKefaloniaKos | Lefkas | LesbosMykonos | Rhodes | SantoriniSkiathos | Skopelos | ThassosZante 

Map of Greek islands

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11°C - 38°C

Sun-seekers rejoice! You can soak up balmy temperatures from June and August. For cooler days, book your Greek island holidays for spring or autumn.

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Approximately four hours
The main Greek islands have their own airports, with varying transfer times. See our individual destination guides for more information.

The Greek islands are best for...

History buffs: A Greek island holiday is perfect for history lovers. With a rich ancient heritage, archaeological treasures like the Acropolis, Minoan ruins, and Byzantine churches, you can immerse yourself in millennia of captivating culture.

Sun-seekers: Stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant sunshine. The islands' idyllic coastal scenery and warm Mediterranean climate is made for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxation.

Families: With a mix of child-friendly beaches, family-oriented resorts, and attractions like water parks, boat trips, and cultural sites, a Greek island holiday is a must for families.

Fast facts for the Greek Islands

Language: The official language spoken in Greece is Greek. While English is widely spoken in most resorts, locals in more rural areas may have a limited use of English, so it’s always a good idea to learn some basic phrases in Greek.

Currency: The currency on the Greek islands is the Euro (EUR).

Local time: The Greek islands are 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time. 

Fly to: The main Greek islands have their own airports, with varying transfer times. See our individual destination guides for more information.

Corfu | Crete | Kefalonia | Kos | Lefkas | Lesbos | MykonosRhodes | Santorini | Skiathos | Skopelos | Thassos | Zante

Flight time from the UK: The average flight time to the Greek islands is 3 to 4.5 hours from the UK.

Tourist information: You can find more tourist information on the official website for tourism in Greece.

Travel advice: You can check out the latest advice before you travel by heading to The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Getting around the Greek islands

By public transport: Most Greek islands don’t have a rail network. But you can visit the main towns, villages and attractions using local bus services.

By ferry: One of the best ways to experience the Greek islands is by boat. You can book a ferry to nearby islands, or a boat trip to uncover nearby islets and hidden coves.

By car/ scooter: If you want to explore as much of the island you're visiting, hiring a car or scooter will give you so much flexibility. Remember to drive on the right!

Events on the Greek Islands

Corfu: The Corfu Carnival, a lively festival in February/March, features colourful parades, music, and dancing, with locals and visitors celebrating together in vibrant costumes.

Crete: The Cretan Diet Festival, held in summer, showcases the island's culinary traditions with local delicacies, wine tasting, and cooking demonstrations for foodies.

Rhodes: The Medieval Rose Festival, occurring in May, brings Rhodes' rich history to life with medieval reenactments, jousting tournaments, music, and theatre.

Greek island safety and security

Do I need a passport?

You will need to carry a full UK passport when travelling to the Greek islands. You can find out more about passport validity with our handy guide

Do I need a visa?

If you are a British citizen you won’t need a visa to visit the Greek islands as a tourist. For up-to-date advice on entry requirements please visit the FCDO website.

Should I get travel health insurance?

It’s always recommended to take out travel health insurance. This will protect you financially in the case of an accident or illness while on holiday. Travel insurance helps pay towards the cost of things like medicine, treatment and even returning to the UK, if necessary. Always check your policy to see what your cover includes.

For up-to-date advice on travelling to the Greek islands, please visit the FCDO website.

Greek islands weather

Temperature: The temperature averages from 10°C in the winter to 28°C in the summer.

Best time to go?

Between June and the end of August, the weather in Greece hovers arounds the mid 30s. The sun-drenched days create an ideal setting for beach lovers, while cool sea breezes provide some relief. March and May cool off to a pleasant 24 - 25°C. Clear skies and minimal rainfall make it a paradise for outdoor activities and exploring ancient ruins.

 

Best hotels in Greek islands

Discover the best destinations to visit in Greek islands

FAQs
FAQs
What is the best month to go to Greece?

The best time to visit Greece is in late spring or early summer when the weather is mild, from April to June. This will also be the time when Greece is less crowded and reasonably priced.

Some of the mainlands are a bit chillier during the spring and autumn, but the Cyclade islands and Crete will still be nice and sunny, with the odd overcast rainy day. You're looking at average temperatures of 9 - 17°C in March, 12 - 20°C in April and a toasty 16 - 24°C May. Temperatures hover around 27 - 19°C in September, 16 - 24°C in October, and 13-19°C in November. With warm sun and seawater often throughout November. If you want a 30°C scorcher, summer offers almost pure sunshine.

Which part of Greece is best for a holiday?

It’s hard to pin down the best destination for a holiday in Greece. Whether it’s on one of the thousands of coast-hugging islands, like Mykonos and Santorini, or on the history rich mainland, with must-see Athens and Delphi.

Corfu boasts picturesque villages like Perithia and the UNESCO-listed old town, rugged mountains, fabulous food and a rich heritage. Crete has its Venetian harbour, minoan settlement, waterparks and famous pink-sand beaches. Rhodes is best for 14th-century knight-houses, medieval inns and lively modern bars.

Zante has its famous shipwreck, horse-riding and loggerhead turtle expeditions.  With ancient ruins, turquoise waters and stunning beaches, it’s no wonder that Greece is one of the top places to visit in the world.

What is Greece known for?

Greece is known for its soul-stirring scenery, warm hospitality, unrivalled food, cliffside churches, pine-clad coves, crumbling ruins, and whitewashed sleepy villages.

Wander through narrow cobblestone streets, tuck into traditional cuisine in charming tavernas, nose around ancient sights, seek out impressive marine life, hike beautiful olive groves, relax on scenic beaches, make a splash at the waterparks, or even party on down in hotspots like Faliraki, Kardamena and Laganas. Holidays to Greece offer everything you could want from a getaway, paired with rural beauty and must-see archaeological ruins.

What is the food like in Greece?

The food in Greece is known for its use of fresh, simple ingredients that come together to create delicious and healthy dishes. Traditional Greek dishes often include fresh vegetables, herbs, olive oil, and seafood.

Some of the most popular dishes in Greece include tzatziki, a creamy dip made with yogurt and cucumbers, souvlaki, skewered meat grilled to perfection, moussaka, a layered casserole with eggplant and minced meat, and spanakopita, a spinach and feta cheese pastry. Greece is also famous for its olives and olive oil, which are staples in many of its dishes. Greek cuisine is a testament to the country's rich cultural heritage and the natural bounty of its land and sea

Are holidays to Greece family-friendly?

Holidays to Greece are family-friendly, and for good reason. The country offers a combination of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that has mega appeal to visitors of all ages. Its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and crystal-clear waters are perfect for family-friendly activities like swimming, boating, and snorkeling.

Greek cuisine is also diverse and flavorful, offering a range of dishes that can suit even the pickiest eaters. Furthermore, many Greek resorts and hotels offer amenities and activities specifically designed for families, such as children's pools, playgrounds, and kids’ clubs. With its welcoming culture, beautiful scenery, and abundance of fun activities, Greece is a perfect destination for a memorable family vacation.

What is a popular holiday in Greece?

Greece is a popular holiday destination with a variety of destinations to choose from. Some of the most visited hotspots include Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, and Athens. Santorini is known for its stunning views, whitewashed houses, and beautiful sunsets, while Mykonos is famous for its nightlife and sandy beaches.

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and is celebrated for its pink-sand beaches, ancient ruins, and traditional villages. Corfu and Rhodes are popular islands for their rich cultural history and beautiful beaches. Finally, Athens is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts with its ancient landmarks such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Which is the safest Greek island to visit?

Greece is generally a safe country for travellers, as are most of its islands. Some islands are known for their lower crime rates and safety, making them popular destinations for tourists.

One of the safest being Naxos, located in the Cyclades. Naxos is known for its friendly locals and tranquil atmosphere. Other safe Greek islands include Paros, Skiathos, and Skopelos. These islands offer a relaxing and peaceful environment, as well as beautiful beaches and stunning scenery.

Crete, Rhodes, Zante and Corfu are generally considered safe to visit for tourists. However, travellers should still exercise basic safety precautions, such as being aware of their surroundings and belongings.

Where should I stay in Greece for the first time?

If you're visiting Greece for the first time, there are so many destinations that will give you a memorable and authentic experience. Athens is a must-visit for history buffs, with the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

For island destinations, Santorini is loved for its iconic whitewashed houses and sunsets, while Mykonos is famed for its vibrant nightlife and party beaches. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands with two pink-sand beaches (Balos and Elafonissi), Minoan sites, palm-tree forests, Raki (strong liquor), and the most Blue Flag beaches in the EU (112). Corfu and Rhodes are also popular destinations with lush greenery, historic monuments and soft sand spots, perfect for families.

What is the nicest Greek island to visit?

The nicest Greek island to visit depends on what you’re looking for. Santorini is without a doubt the best for honeymooners, with its romantic views over the famous caldera (volcanic crater), white-washed cave houses and iconic blue domes. Best for its cosmopolitan vibes is Corfu.

Amongst the verdant landscapes, rolling olive groves and pastel villages are vogue cocktail bars and world-renowned bistros. The best Greek island for families is Kefalonia. Loved for its laid-back sandy beaches (Avithos, Trapezaki and Lourdata), marine life, underwater lakes and short flight times.

Which Greek island is the cheapest?

The cost of travelling in Greece will vary greatly by destination and time of year, but there are some islands that are generally considered more affordable than others. One of the cheapest Greek islands to visit is Crete, which offers a mix of sandy beaches, spectacular natural scenery, and those traditional sleepy villages.

Paros and Naxos are the low-key affordable islands with a laid-back atmosphere, cheaper authentic food and plenty of pretty villages and ancient sights to explore. Ultimately, the cost of travelling in Greece will depend on your travel style, but these islands can offer  great value for budget-conscious travellers.

Is it cheap to holiday in Greece?

If you're looking for a destination that won't break the bank, then Greece might just be the perfect spot for you. There are several reasons why it's relatively cheap to holiday in Greece.

First of all, there’s a wide range of budget-friendly hotels and apartments. The cost of food and drinks in Greece is also relatively low, and there are plenty of delicious and authentic dishes that won't cost a fortune. Lastly, many of the best attractions in Greece, such as the stunning beaches and ancient landmarks, can be enjoyed for free or at a low cost. So why not book that trip to Greece and experience all that this beautiful country has to offer without breaking the bank?

How long does it take to fly to Greece?

The flight time from the UK to Greece is about three to five hours, depending of course on which airport you fly from.

Which part of Greece has the best beaches?

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so it's difficult to pick just one. Here are a few of our favourites: 

  • Zakynthos Island: Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is famous for its beautiful beaches with turquoise waters and white sand, such as Navagio Beach (aka shipwreck beach) and Gerakas Beach (a protected beach where sea turtles lay their eggs).
  • Crete Island: Crete is Greece's largest island and has a wide variety of beaches, from long sandy stretches to secluded coves. Some of the most famous beaches on Crete include Elafonisi Beach, for its pink sand, Balos Beach for its rolling white sand dunes, and Vai Beach for its 5,000 palm trees, a rare sight in Europe.
  • Mykonos Island: Mykonos is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and beautiful beaches, such as the iconic Paradise Beach, a lively party spot which can only be reached by boat or on foot, and Super Paradise Beach, a popular LGBTQ+ hotspot.
  • Santorini Island: Santorini is famous for its stunning volcanic landscape and unique black and red sand beaches, such as Perissa Beach and Kamari Beach.
  • Corfu Island: Corfu is known for its green hills and beautiful beaches, such as Paleokastritsa Beach, loved for its sea caves and mythology, and Glyfada Beach for romantic sunset strolls and energetic atmosphere.
Where are the most secluded parts of Greece for a quiet holiday?

Lefkas is a quiet island with traditional pastel coloured towns and beaches that have remained unchanged for centuries. Kefalonia is also known for its secluded beaches, clear blue waters, and charming villages.