How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

It’s a fact! You’re going to Greece! And I’m sure you’re really happy about that but you now find yourself glued to your computer checking out the latest trends in travel. You’ve asked your friends and families about recommendations. You’ve gone through dozens of TikTok posts and still you’re wondering which Greek island or islands to visit on your vacation.

And rightfully so. With so many islands to choose from, even we Greeks have a hard time picking the Greek island that will fulfil our dreams and meet our needs. 

⛱ Excited already, book the best Greek island hotel and keep reading.

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

I know I do. Each year I spend hours mulling over this decision and I can understand why someone who is coming from the other side of the planet would do so too. Plus you’re putting all your savings into this trip, so it has to be the right pick

And that brings me to today’s post. To simplify the process and to pull you out of chaos, I’ve listed my Top 10 tips on how to choose the perfect Greek island or islands for your vacation to Greece. 

Have in mind that though Greece has some 6,000 islands and islets only 227 are inhabited and probably the ones you’ll be going to. What’s more, each one has its own charm and appeal, weather and landscape, character and attractions, traditions and lifestyle. 

That’ said let’s get started!

Once you’re done reading this post, check out my Easy to Pick Greek island(s) for Your Vacation’ suggestions for each of the categories below.

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

1. What’s your travel tribe? 

I mean clarify in your head beforehand whether you’re an outdoorsy type, an adventure lover, a foodie, a party animal, a history and archaeology buff, a hiker, an artist, a camper, a couple seeking romance, a senior looking for comfort and ease, a family with kids, a loner, a music lover … and the list goes on.

Solo Female Traveler? Go to Greece

2. Location and size

Are you looking for lush landscapes, trees touching the shoreline, or barren dry islands home to those iconic white-washed houses you’ve seen in postcards. Are you ok with humidity or do your prefer dry weather, want a flat landscape or some mountains for fun?

► Visiting Greece? The Top Things to Know

3. History and Culture 

Yes, it’s true, almost all of the Greek islands have some sort of ancient site to visit but some like Kos, Rhodes and Crete, due to size have so many things to see that you could literally spend all your time visiting sites and museums.

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

4. The Perfect Beach 

Do you like soft-sand beaches, endless coastlines, or wild untouched beaches with stones, pebbles, or even cliffs? Turquoise waters that are shallow or dark blue waters that get deep fast? Here you should also think about whether you prefer comfort on the beach like the protective shade of an umbrella and the ease of a sun bed; do you enjoy being served food and drink on the beach, or are you the type that loves to discover isolated beaches that have no amenities but offer privacy and a feeling of being lost. Are you a sea sports lover seeking strong winds or do you have kids and want to be carefree as they play safely in the sand. Are you ok with waves or are calm waters (usually the southern shores) your thing?

10 Plus 1 Naturist Beaches in Greece

5. Greek Island Accessibility

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

Before you decide on your Greek island(s) of choice make sure to find out how far it is. Many islands are hard to get to and have no airports. Others may need hours to get to on board a ferry and then there are some you can even drive to from Athens.

Also think about transportation. Will you be driving? Some islands have pretty treacherous roads. Will you be ok with the public bus service? Are you planning to use a taxi, a bike, your feet? 

And lastly, I need to stress here that most of the smaller far-off Greek islands are not disability-friendly. Greek hospitality and the help of locals usually goes a long way in this direction but many of the villages on smaller, more remote islands have narrow stone footpaths that make wheelchair-use near to impossible. Larger islands and resort-style hotels do offer accessibility and efforts are being made to improve access with the installation of ramps at some 200 Greek beaches last year. This site should provide some useful info.  

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

6. Budget rules

The most important part of planning your trip to Greece is your budget. Fortunately, there are Greek islands for every pocket. So go back to your checklist and think about what it is you want and can afford and how much you are willing to spend on your #nextgreeeceadventure. Draw up a budget range that includes airplane tickets, transportation to and from the island(s), transportation on the island(s), food and drink, entertainment and experiences like a sailing day trip or a visit to a site, and accommodation, and add some extra for souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.

► Dreaming of Luxury Holidays in a Private Villa? Go to Greece

7. Weather 

The Greek islands are divided into island clusters or groups which share similar weather conditions, or should I say wind conditions. 

Before making your final choice, pick a season that’s right for you. I always say May and June and then late September and October are perfect. But if you’re the social type who wants to be in the action then the peak summer season is for you.

Again, think about whether you can tolerate a lot of heat. Greek summers can reach 45 degrees Celsius. Also think about what you will be doing on your Greek adventure: Swimming? Hiking? Climbing? Exploring? Water sports? Some of these activities like hiking are better done in the fall or early spring when there is less heat and humidity.

Swimming in Greece Fall or Winter: The Tips

8. Accommodation

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

Again based on your budget, pick the type of accommodation you can afford or if you can afford everything, think about the style you want. Is it an all-inclusive luxury resort or a boutique hotel for a more personal atmosphere, a hostel just for the stay or a traditional guesthouse, an Airbnb or a simple room with a view and fridge?

Also have in mind that many smaller islands and particularly those off the beaten track do not offer a wide choice of accommodation or extreme luxury such as helicopter access and infinity pools but the friendly hosts or owners usually make up for that more than you can imagine. During many of my stays in rooms-to-let I’ve been treated to homemade foods and sweets, veggies from the garden, flowers, and even home-distilled spirits!  

9. One Greek Island or Many?

This is the most common question I get from readers. And to be honest, I would say one or two at the most. Again, however, this depends on your budget, how many nights you plan to stay and your personality. I get it that you want to do as much as possible on this dream trip to Greece but I’ll be straightforward with you: you will enjoy Greece much more if you stay put. Do NOT think that you can do (and enjoy) island hopping from one day to the next. You will have to stay at least two days on each island if they are very small and then head to the next. For bigger islands like Crete, stay there. I’ve been to Crete several times and still I haven’t seen and done it all! And you will have to plan very carefully as ferry services are not daily for many far-off islands.

5 Ways to Get a Different More Rewarding Experience of Greece

10. Read Travel Blogs and Ask on Reddit 

From my experience as a traveler, professional bloggers offer the best and more objective info. I also use Reddit to ask questions and check out reviews on Tripadvisor. One word of caution however, make sure to check the dates of the reviews and don’t believe just one. Balance what you’ve read with other resources. Lastly, asking friends is a good idea but only if you know they have the same likes as you. Otherwise it won’t help and you’re bound to be disappointed. Below you’ll find the tools I use to plan my trips and booking from there will help support TheGreekVibe so that content remains free and at no extra cost to you. So thanks for that.

If love maps like I do, I recommend you get this easy-to-read and detailed waterproof adventure map of Greece by experts NatGeo. A great tool for your visit to Greece.

Start planning your trip to Greece now

These are some of the trusted resources I use when I travel in Greece and abroad.

  • 🏩 Expedia is my favorite when I want to find the best hotels and affordable accommodation.
  •  I always look for cheapest flights  🛫 from Kayak
  • For vacation home 🏠 rentals is love VRBO
  • I use Tripadvisor all the time for restaurant 🍔 and hotel 🏩 ratings and for things to do.
  • ⛴ Most of you visiting Greece will be visiting the islands. Ferryscanner is the easiest way to book your ferry tickets online? 
  • 🏕 Want to find the perfect campground in Greece? Campsaround is the ultimate go-to source and my personal favorite

*The Greek Vibe may receive commissions on purchases made through affiliates and partner links. Clicking affiliate or partner links comes at no additional cost to you but goes a long way in supporting our work.

I end today’s post with a song about travel here with popular Greek singer songwriter Nikos Portokaloglou who tells us in his “Taxidi” that the best trip starts inside of us, here and now!

Be well. Travel! 

How To Pick The Greek Island That's Perfect For You

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