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Best Greek islands guide and how to choose the right one for your holiday

Mirror logo Mirror 10/08/2018 Julie Delahaye

© AWL Images RM The Greek islands offer everything you could want for a dream holiday; incredible beaches, crystal clear swim-friendly waters, delicious food and resorts catering to everyone from families to honeymooners.

However, with literally hundreds of inhabited islands to choose from, finding the right one for your holiday can feel like a pretty daunting task.

To give you a helping hand we take a look at some of the best Greek islands and which holiday types they're best suited to whether you're looking for an all-inclusive family break, a romantic spot for two, or somewhere with heaps to explore.

And that's not all, as we've also searched out some of the best places to find top deals on each of the islands.

Check out our top picks below - happy holiday hunting!

1. Rhodes

BEST FOR: Family holidays, all-inclusive resorts, beaches

a small boat in a body of water © Credits: The Image Bank One of the largest Greek islands, Rhodes is ideal for families looking for a sunshine holiday that's fuss-free, most notably because of its impressive offering of all-inclusive resorts.

Those who want to go exploring will find plenty of historical sites such as the Acropolis, while Rhodes Town has plenty of local boutiques, bars and restaurants to explore - the medieval town is a must-visit for any history buff.

Brits won't struggle to find family-friendly resorts boasting huge buffets, pool complexes and the occasional water park, but if you prefer the beach to poolside then Rhodes won't disappoint, with its coast boasting everything from sandy beaches to pebbled coves.

Feeling tempted? First Choice is one of the best places for finding all-inclusive Rhodes holidays , while Thomas Cook also offers pretty impressive holiday packages for families .

2. Crete

BEST FOR: Exploring, food, beaches

a body of water © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Crete is quite a big island, meaning it can cater to a whole host of holiday types whether you're after a lazy beach break, or want to go exploring.

And there's plenty to explore on the island which is home to some fascinating cultural spots and historical sites, from the Knossos ruins to the monasteries.

Then there's its striking natural landscape - Mount Ida stands tall towering above the island, not to mention that the coast is filled with spectacular beaches with everything from turquoise lagoons to eye-catching red sands.

Oh, and foodies won't be disappointed either; Crete is renowned for serving up some seriously delicious local grub.

Feeling tempted? TUI can be a good source for those luxury beach breaks , but if you're looking more for a hotel which can be a base as you go off exploring, then TripAdvisor has some budget-friendly options .

3. Mykonos

BEST FOR: Nightlife, luxury holidays

a small boat in a large body of water © Credits: Tetra images RF Mykonos is renowned for its epic party season during the summer months, from boat parties to its glamorous bars and clubs - no wonder it's such a hit with celebrities. (In fact, it was the setting for Millie Mackintosh and Hugo Taylor's honeymoon ).

It's not all 'party party' though - the island is home to some quieter beaches, as well as picturesque historic sites and a museum or two.

There are some great luxury hotels to be found across the island but it is possible to find slightly more budget-friendly accommodation if you consider self-catering and B&B options.

Feeling tempted? TUI has some pretty swish resorts on the island, but if you're after a deal then could be a good source.

4. Corfu

BEST FOR: History, culture

a group of people at a fruit stand © Credits: iStock Unreleased Corfu is ideal for those who are looking for a holiday with more of a laidback vibe rather than action-packed itineraries and parties. (Although Sidari is known for its nightlife if that is what you're after).

That's not to say there's not much to do on the island - on the contrary, there's plenty to visit from the awe-inspiring Achilleion to the tiny island of Pontikonisi.

Meanwhile, Corfu Town has plenty going on if you do want bars and restaurants, and also offers up quieter streets with markets and local foodie gems nestled away.

And of course fans of the TV show The Durrells can go and visit all of the show's filming locations for something a little different.

Feeling tempted? Olympic Holidays offers a wide range of packages whether you're after a cultural break or looking to make the most of the beach. On a budget? Jet2holidays has some tempting deals for families.

5. Santorini

BEST FOR: Couples, luxury holidays

© Credits: Getty With its white-washed buildings, iconic blue domes and luxury hotels, it's no wonder Santorini is often hailed as one of the most romantic spots in the world .

Sip on cocktails at sunset and take in the stunning views from one of the waterside tavernas, wander through the picture-perfect streets (seriously, it's an Instagram dream) or go exploring the coves along the coast.

There are plenty of incredible hotels on the island too - such as the one with secret tunnels leading to infinity pools !

Feeling tempted? TripAdvisor has a round-up of the best romantic hotels in Santorini , while can also be a good source whether you're looking to splurge or stick to a budget.

Related: 10 of the most romantic date spots around the world (provided by INSIDER)

6. Kos

BEST FOR: Family holidays, beaches, all-inclusive resorts

© Credits: iStockphoto Kos has everything you could want for that classic beach holiday; long stretches of sandy shores, a plethora of family-friendly resorts, archaeological sites for those who want a day out, harbours where there are plenty of boat trips to be found... the list goes on!

It's also quite popular with cyclists thanks to the fairly flat landscape offering up some brilliant cycling trails along the beautiful coast.

During the summer months it can get pretty busy but still offers a relaxed, vibrant atmosphere - of course if you can travel outside of the school holiday dates, you'll get to enjoy the island's resorts and local bars/restaurants without having to face crowds.

Feeling tempted? is a great source for cheap Kos holidays, while Thomas Cook also offers a host of packages tailored to families.

7. Naxos

BEST FOR: Nature holidays, history and culture

a harbor with a city in the background © Credits: Moment RF If you get bored quickly just sitting on a beach all day, then you may want to check out Naxos for your next idyllic Greek getaway.

The island is packed with temple ruins, museums, archaeological sites, mountain villages, and long stretches of beach all waiting to be explored.

Meanwhile Naxos town offers up those white-washed cube buildings Greece is renowned for, and it's here that you'll find a vibrant atmosphere thanks to the local bars and restaurants, not to mention the harbour from which you can embark on plenty of boat trips.

Feeling tempted? Olympic Holidays and TUI offer everything from cosy hotels to beach resorts with plenty of opportunity for excursions and adventures to be added to your itinerary.

8. Skiathos

BEST FOR: Beaches, nightlife

a small boat in a body of water with a city in the background © Credits: The Image Bank If it's a beach holiday you're after, then Skiathos won't disappoint.

The island is filled with spectacular beaches whether you're after a sandy shore on which to soak up the rays, crystal-clear waters where you can take a dip, or picturesque coves to go and explore.

Meanwhile Skiathos Town offers up a wide array of bars and restaurants - the old harbour is where you'll find most of the action - not to mention its pedestrianised streets boast waterfront clubs for a brilliant nightlife.

Feeling tempted? For package beach holidays in Skiathos, LoveHolidays and On The Beach have a host of budget-friendly offerings.

9. Milos

BEST FOR: Adventure, off the beaten track

a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a beach © Credits: Photographer's Choice Holidaymakers looking to escape the crowds of tourists in the likes of Rhodes and Mykonos can find refuge on this picturesque island, where there's plenty of adventure to be had.

It's a bit more of a traditional Greek offering, with classic white-washed Cycladic villages, a seriously tempting food scene and plenty of historic sites and natural wonders to check out.

If you only do one thing while you visit, make it the glorious thermal springs to be found along the coast.

The best part is because it's not one of the most popular islands, there are some great holiday bargains to be had too.

Feeling tempted? and Expedia offer some great packages to Milos especially if you're considering shorter breaks to the island.

10. Hydra

BEST FOR: Exploring, day trips

a small boat in a large body of water © Credits: Moment RF Hydra's close proximity to Athens has made it popular with locals on summer weekends, and it's well worth adding into your itinerary if only for a day trip from the city.

Cars and motor vehicles are banned on the island, so the only way to get around is on foot making it ideal for those who love to hike or go exploring. (Alternatively, you can check out the coastal views on a boat trip!)

Beaches tend to be small coves rather than large stretches of sandy shores, so it can get crowded during peak season.

Feeling tempted? There aren't really resorts on Hydra, but you can find hotels and holiday rentals if you do want to stay there - HomeAway offers up plenty of villas and apartments there, while Expedia also has an impressive range for holidaymakers to choose from.

Related: Jet Lag–Everything You Need to Know About the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments (provided by Real Simple)


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