5 of the Best Greek Islands for the Top of Your Travel Wishlist

best greek islands to visit first santorini alexandra tran woman looking at view of ocean

Which is the best Greek island to visit first? This question is not the easiest to answer because there are so many fabulous considerations! If you are looking to experience the nightlife, Mykonos has a famous party scene. Perhaps you’d rather relax and enjoy delicious local cuisine? Then Santorini is a great option with beautiful scenery and water sports activities. If you want to experience something unique, visiting Lesbos will give you good bragging rights when you go back home. You will need to assess which island suits your needs the best because every location in Greece is amazing and there is no wrong place to visit. If you need some help deciding where to visit, here is a list of 5 of the best Greek islands to consider as your first stop.

5 of the Best Greek Islands to Visit First


Crete is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea. It is also the largest island in Greece with the biggest population. This island is a tourist magnet and there is so much to do here. Crete is full of buzzing cities, gorgeous beaches, and ancient ruins. The beaming sun, the ocean, and the sand are what draw people to this destination.

If you are thinking about visiting, check out Knossos’ famous archaeological museum and rich history. You will find the world’s finest collection of Minoan art at their famous museum so it is definitely worth a visit. Booking a ticket to this popular ferry destination is simple with LetsFerry, and all of the above are very good reasons why it is so. There is also amazing food and wine to enjoy. Popular restaurants that you should visit on your trip include Zorbas café and wine bar and Veneto. 

best greek islands to visit first most popular beach crete greece
Crete, Greece (Photo by Eleni Afiontzi)


Santorini is without a doubt the most popular and frequently visited island in Greece. This island is world-famous for its beautiful ocean view from the steep hill full of beautiful white houses and churches kissed with blue accents. Santorini is located in the Aegean Sea and to get to this island you will need to take an 8-9 hour ferry or a 45-minute direct flight. Considered one of the most romantic islands in Greece it is a fabulous choice for honeymooners. The breathtaking sunsets that light up the sky and sea in beautiful pink and orange hues will blow you away. When in Santorini, you can enjoy delicious local cuisine and wine produced on the island. Wine tasting, hiking, and shopping are popular among tourists when visiting Santorini.

Santorini, Greece (Photo by Jennvmy_)
Santorini, Greece (Photo by Jennvmy_)


If you are a lover of art and music, Hydra, located in the Saronic Islands, is the place for you. There are no airports here so you will only be able to reach the island via a ferry. Considered the Artistic muse of the Greek Islands, Hydra is known for being an artist hub. When visiting, you will find art collectors and exhibitions are common here. People generally fill this town on weekends. And a very unique aspect of this island is that you will not find any cars or vehicles anywhere on the island. Instead, people get around via mules, donkeys, and water taxis. You should go horseback riding while in Hydra and admiring the local architecture is a must. 

best greek islands to visit first Hydra, Greece (Photo by Mauricio Muñoz)
Hydra, Greece (Photo by Mauricio Muñoz)

orchidea sculpture koket wall art


You will find the island of Milos in the west part of the Cyclades and it is home to around 6000 inhabitants that are scattered over several towns. You can get to Milos by way of a ferry from mainland Greece and this island is famous for its photogenic scenery and “dramatic” coastline. There are over 70 beaches on this volcanic island and there are even multiple hot springs for tourists to enjoy. The architecture on this island is beautiful and this island is considered the most romantic island in all of Greece.

best greek islands to visit first Milos, Greece (Photo by Johnny Chen)
Milos, Greece (Photo by Johnny Chen)


Located on the western side of Greece is Corfu and this island is tucked far away from most of the Greek islands. You can reach Corfu by hopping on a ferry from the mainland or you can take a plane. This stunning island is big and leaves much room to explore. You can explore Cape Drastis or enjoy a scroll through Corfu Town.  There is also no shortage of fabulous local restaurants to wine and dine at.

best greek islands to visit first Corfu, Greece
Corfu, Greece

While we think these are some of the best Greek Islands to visit, you really can’t go wrong, so just go with what appeals most to you for your first visit and then plan more!

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