10 Best Greek Islands for your summer vacation

The time has come that everyone starts thinking about their summer vacations and Greece always comes to mind. The best time to visit is between May and September. Even in mid-September, the weather is quite hot and many choose this month for a crowded-free vacation.

Greece is the most popular summer destination in Europe with almost 6000 islands for you to visit. There is a little something for everyone. If you want an intense nightlife you go to Ios, Mykonos or Zakynthos. If you want to go somewhere quiet with your family, you go to Chios or Corfu. Or if luxury is your thing, Santorini and Crete will not disappoint you.

Each island is unique in beauty. The crystal clear blue waters, the sandy beaches, the delicious food and the gorgeous blue and white island houses will take your breath away.

1. Santorini

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Sunrise, wine, volcano, fava

What to do: Sunset in Oia, Wineries, Red Beach

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2. Crete

Location: Crete

Famous for: Traditional dialect, Raki, Mantinades, History

What to do: Elafonissi beach, Balos Beach & Lagoon, Knossos Archaeological Site, Gramvousa Fortress.

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3. Zakynthos

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Intense nightlife, raisins, olives, honey, herbs

What to do: Navagio beach, Porto Limnionas beach, Xygia Sulphur Beach

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4. Kefalonia

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Wines, Olives, Turtles

What to do: Assos, Myrtos Beach, Venetian Lighthouse of Fiscardo

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5. Paros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Architecture, Golden sand, exotic beaches

What to do: Parikia Town, Kolymbithres Beach, Lageri beach

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6. Chios

Location: Aegean Sea

Famous for: Mastic, Mastello, Architecture

What to do: Pyrgi, Mavra Volia, Vrontados, Daskalopetra

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7. Milos

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Rocks, Volcano origin, Caves

What to do: Sarakiniko Beach, Kleftiko Beach

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8. Lefkada

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Crystal clear beaches, Historic sites, Landscape beauty, Savoro

What to do: Egremni Beach, Kathisma Beach, Nydri Waterfalls

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9. Folegandros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Wine, Matsata, Souroto, Kalassouna, Karpouzenia

What to do: Livadaki Beach, Latinaki Beach, Agios Nikolaos Beach

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10. Ios

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Crazy nightlife, Chora, Traditional Food

What to do: Mylopotas Beach, Manganari Beach, La Tomba di Omero

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Exploring Fira & Oia in Santorini

Santorini is by far one of the most magical islands in Europe, with thousands of tourists visiting every summer. What makes this Greek island so special, are the majestic views, the insanely delicious food and the perfect combination of blue and white.

Santorini can be easily explored within 3 days and most of its villages are worth visiting. If you are limited in days, you can skip the Akrotiri, Emporeio and Kamari.

Fira

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Fira is the capital of Santorini and is located almost in the middle of the island. It is the place to be for a night out, filled with bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

During the day you can find numerous cafeterias with great views. As for the evenings, it is one of the perfect locations to admire the sunrise.

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Oia

Ohhh Oia!!! There is no place like Oia!! I fell in love with its beauty. I was simply captivated. Oia is the place you MUST visit while in Santorini. Be sure to visit it both during the day and afternoon.

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Oia is known for all the luxury hotels and restaurants. You will find a few cheap choices, but mostly you should come here for expensive dining. Anywhere you go for a drink or dinner, you will certainly have one of the best views. The hotels around are all resorts with private pools and jacuzzis and the prices for about 7 days are more than 3000 euros.

What is special about Oia is the characteristic white and blue everywhere. White houses, hotels and shops, combined with the blue of the sea and sky. A perfect combination that can hypnotize you.

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Oia is by far the best place for a photographer. During the day you can embrace the white, while during the night, you can emphasize on the nightlife.

The perfect time to visit is around 5 or 6 in the evening. You have plenty of time to see everything, and still be there for the sunset at 8 o’clock. Around 6 people will start gathering from all parts of Santorini, to see the enchanting sunset. At 8:15 it is almost impossible to leave since there are hundreds of people struggling to get out.

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What makes this sunset so special, that makes people visit Santorini from all over the world? Truly, it is breathtaking. Being Greek, I have seen a lot of beautiful sunsets in my life. No sunset can take my breath. But this one did.  Now, I understand why it is so special to the foreigners.

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5 minutes before the sunrise, hundreds of people just stop moving and talking. There is so much quiet and everyone is looking at the sky in awe. Just a few magical minutes, where you see the sun falling in the water and creating a breathtaking view. Yes, it is a pretty sunrise, but I have seen many. However, I have never felt such peace and calmness.

Exploring West Santorini

Santorini is by far one of the most magical islands in Europe, with thousands of tourists visiting every summer. What makes this Greek island so special, are the majestic views, the insanely delicious food and the perfect combination of blue and white.

The island can be easily explored within 3 days and most of its villages are worth visiting. If you are limited in days, you can skip the Akrotiri, Emporeio and Kamari.

Akrotiri

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On the southwestern peninsula of the island, you will find Akrotiri and in the very last point of it, the Lighthouse. The Akrotiri Lighthouse is among the oldest lighthouses in Greece and was constructed way back in 1892. It is nothing special, but the view there is amazing. The best time to visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse is during sunset. Actually, everything is better visiting during sunset in Santorini.

Red & White Beaches

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When you leave the Lighthouse, your next stop MUST be the Red Beach, one of the most famous and beautiful beaches of Santorini. It is called red, due to the red stones in the mountain and the beach, which are basically rocks from the volcano.

The red and steep hills, give a captivating and wild scenery. Along with the crystal clear blue waters, this beach will for sure take your breath away.

To be fair, access is not the easiest, yet not the most difficult. You just need to hike for a while by stepping into big stones. But once you get there, it is so worth it. From the Red Beach, you can visit the White Beach, which is also gorgeous, but only accessible in two ways. You can either walk from Cambia Beach but the path is not easy to cross or go by boat from Red Beach.

Emporeio

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15 minutes away is Emporeio, a place where there is nothing for you to do, but this small village across the hill is truly beautiful and is definitely recommended for photography lovers. We didn’t make all the way to the top because the heat was insane that day.

Vlychada

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Vlychada is also a very nice area. Most people visit Vlychada Beach, but we decided to visit one of the most known beach bars, called Theros Wave Bar. Be really careful with the streets, because if you end up taking the wrong turn your car may get stuck in the sand unless help comes.


Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari have the best beaches on the island. They are the only ones, that you do not have to go hiking in order to access them and you can actually have a good time there. Relax, enjoy your cocktail and sunbathe.

All three places are great during the day for lunch and swimming. But only Kamari is nice visiting during the night. There is nothing to do in the other two, other than go for a small walk.

Perivolos

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Although it may not be something special, it is one of the beaches you can actually enjoy on the island. You go chill for a few hours and after that, you can go shopping for souvenirs or eat in one of the local taverns.

All the beach bars are organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. In some you have to pay, but not in all of them. The prices vary from 3-10 euros for 2 sunbeds.

Perissa

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Perissa is one more of the best beaches in Santorini. For me it is by far the best one, considering water temperature, view, and location. The view is breathtaking and relaxing. The location is great since it is easily accessible from any point on the island. As for the water temperature is was the warmest one.

Kamari

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Kamari is somewhat located in the middle of the island and it is very close to the airport. The beach is beautiful with black sand from the volcano. This area is full of hotels, restaurants, taverns, bars and souvenir shops. It is extremely enjoyable for a quiet evening.

When in Kamari, make sure to visit Pinakio.

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