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18 of the Best Greek Islands to Visit in Your Lifetime

Not all islands are created equal, and the ones in Greece are all especially charming. Here are the best Greek islands you need to visit.

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Mykonos Town, Cyclades, GreecePhoto: Image Source/REX/Shutterstock


The Greek island Mykonos is known for having a trendy nightlife compared to other, more quaint spots. But don’t let that wild nightlife fool you! Mykonos is also one of the best Greek islands for people who want a stylish boutique-like hotel experience and beautiful beaches too.

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Holiday makers on the beach of Zakynthos, Greece - 25 Jul 2015Photo: Kostis Ntantamis/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock


This beautiful island is only accessible by boat. Although it’s known for getting a little crowded, it’s worth visiting to see the loggerhead turtles that breed on Gerakas beach. Make a note that Smuggler’s Cove, located in Zakynthos, is also one of the most photographed beaches in all of Greece.

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Corfu capital cityPhoto: telesniuk/Shutterstock


This Greek island has excellent beaches, museums, and a monastery. In addition, are a few unique activities including the Museum of Asian Art, a waterpark, and a donkey rescue centre.

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Greece Hydra Island - Aug 2014Photo: Orestis Panagiotou/Epa/REX/Shutterstock


This Greek island makes for a perfect day trip.—although the quaint streets and culture might convince you to stay longer than a day.

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Town, windmills, dusk, Oia, Santorini, Cyclades, GreecePhoto: Robert Haasmann/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock


Picture-perfect Santorini won’t disappoint visually. From gorgeous sunsets to the town of Thiria, this Greek island is a sight to behold. That might be why it’s popular with honeymooners. There are also vineyards and art galleries to explore for when you need a break from the beach.

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The lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos, a picturesque coastal town with colorful buildings around the port in the eastern part of the island Crete, GreecePhoto: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock


Farm-to-table lovers will appreciate this Greek island that offers tons of mostly-healthy food options. The traditional cuisine features must-tries such as Cretan cheeses, fried snails, smoked pork, and Sfakia pies. That puts the island at the top of the best Greek islands for foodies list.

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Anthony Quinn Bay on the island of Rhodes, GreecePhoto: gkordus/Shutterstock


Rhodes might not seem like a party destination, but the island can hold a candle to other spots like Mykonos. If catching some sun is more your speed, know that the sun actually shines in Rhodes about 300 days out of the entire year.

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View of Giardini-Naxos, Sicily, ItalyPhoto: BAO/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock


This rural island is ideal for people searching for a laid-back, leisurely pace. Isolated beaches and ancient cities are located throughout the island for you to explore.

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Church of Panagia Evangelistria at Tinos island in GreecePhoto: Panos Karas/Shutterstock


If beaches aren’t high on your priority list, head to this Greek island. Yes, they do have some beaches, but the main attractions on this island include various museums such as the Museum of Marble Crafts and Panayia Evanyelistria Cathedral and Museums.

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Beautiful view at Batsi village, Andros island, Cyclades, GreecePhoto: Kite_rin/Shutterstock


This island offers tons of different walks and hikes with gorgeous views of the ocean. You could also stumble through some orange groves, valleys, and streams while exploring, too.

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PatmosPhoto: Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock


This island offers a mix of great activities. In addition to the fabulous beaches and boutiques are gorgeous views and a well-known monastery. Note, however, that it isn’t easy to get there. Travel options include a nine-hour ferry, a helicopter ride, or various transfers from the Greek island, Kos.

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Motorboat mooring off beach, Lalaria Beach, Skiathos, GreecePhoto: OJOs/REX/Shutterstock


This tiny island is actually home to about 60 different beaches. Get out on the water with a kayak or boat to soak up the sun.

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Holy white blue greek church shining over Ikaria island at the mediterranean sea sourrounded by beautiful landscape and magical bays, Ikaria, GreecePhoto: Tom Jastram/Shutterstock


Ikaria might sound familiar because it’s inhabitants are known for living long lives. In fact, people living in Ikaria live on average ten years longer than those in the rest of Europe and America. Come for “the secret to aging gracefully” and stay for the sunshine and beaches.

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KEFALONIA, GREECE - September 30, 2017: Panoramic view of beautiful beach at Myrtos Bay on the Ionian island of Kefalonia. GreecePhoto: vivooo/Shutterstock


Wine-lovers rejoice! This Greek island is paradise for oenophiles. Plus, the stellar beaches provide a nice backdrop for sipping when paired with the low-key atmosphere.

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Small fishing huts, boats in front, Milos Island, Cyclades, Greece, EuropePhoto: Gerhard Zwerger-Schoner/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock


This volcanic island was once more of a hidden gem. And although it has become more popular recently, it’s still worth visiting the beaches.

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Ruins of Venetian fortress in Skopelos, GreecePhoto: Tomasz Czajkowski/Shutterstock


If you’re looking for a sunny island with beautiful villas and monasteries, Skopelos is a great destination. Not only was it the setting for Mama Mia!, but it also has lots of options for lodging and delicious fresh plums from island orchards.

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House of Hermes, Delos, GreecePhoto: Christian Handl/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock


This is one of the best Greek islands to visit for history-lovers. According to mythology, Delos is the birthplace of Apollo. The island features tons of temples, mosaics, and statues.

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greece kalymnos islandPhoto: LUC KOHNEN/Shutterstock


Hikers will enjoy this popular rock climbing destination. Picture wildflowers, limestone cliffs, and blue waters. Don’t worry—there are climbs for every activity level.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest