There are so many islands in greece I couldn’t find any reliable information on their exact number. If you look closely at a map, it seems that the southern part of mainland Greece has fragmented into thousands of pieces floating on the sea. It is estimated that between islands and islets there must be about six thousandof which – this figure is indeed correct – there are 227 inhabited. In other words, if you have to choose the one that best suits your way of traveling, be patient: a hard day’s work awaits you.
It must be taken into account that the Hellenic country has two seas, the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea. The first is west of Greece, east of Sicily and south of the Adriatic, and the second is the part of the Mediterranean Sea between the Turkish and Greek coasts. Both are dotted with several groups of islands (archipelagos) such as the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, those of the Saronic Gulf, the North Aegean (the furthest), the Sporades and the Ionian Islands.
How to get to the Greek Islands
A few years ago, to get to one of these islands, the most common thing was to travel by plane to Athens airport and from there by ferry to any small island. Currently many of these islands have their own airport, which makes it possible to shorten the journeys by boat. For example: Crete go to the southernmost part; Mykonos in the Cyclades; Rhodes in the Dodecanese; or finally Corfu to reach the Ionian Islands. It all depends on whether you book the flight in advance or not, and then because you can fly directly to Athens and fly later to one of the islands mentioned above, or directly with flights to airports such as Mykonos, Crete or Corfu.
The cliffs of Leucada in the Ionian Archipelago
The first thing to decide if you plan to embark on the adventure of the Greek islands is to choose which sea: the Ionian Sea or the Aegean Sea? They are different, but both have a common denominator: the landscapes of both are of undeniable beauty. However, the Ionian Islands, as a rule, are more rugged, mountainous and characterized by a steep coastline with waters of a more intense turquoise color than in the Aegean Sea.
The Ionian Sea is located in the northwestern part of mainland Greece. Some of its most famous islands are Corfu, Paxos, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Kythera and Zante. But if we had to choose one, it would be Leucada, Lefkada Is Lefkada. And above all, we would opt for the white of their cliffs – its name is related to leukós, which means ‘white‘ – , on the west coast, silhouetted against the sapphire blue of its waters. Legend has it that the poetess Sapfó committed suicide there by jumping into the sea from a rock, while her love for Faón was not reciprocated. Lefkada (in ancient Greek) is also known for its wines, oils and fine embroidered lace. Nearby we can land on the island of Skorpios, where the sumptuous mansion of the late tycoon Onassis is located.
Alonissos monk seal in the Sporades Islands
And from the Ionian Sea we jump to the Aegean Sea, more precisely to the Sporades Archipelago, whose significance has to do with the scattered arrangement of its islands (like spores), and in whose landscape reigns the green of its pines and olive groves, and its beaches are made of pebbles. There are eleven major islands in total, of which only Skiathos, Skopelos (by the way, many sequences of the film were shot there Mom Mia), Skyros and Alonnisos are inhabited. And we would like to highlight the latter for his dedication to responsible tourism.
After Skiathos and Skopelos, Alonissos he is the third member of the Northern Sporades. As I explained before, this island is perfect for those who like to observe marine fauna in the wild. They try to protect endangered species. So much so that they have one of the largest marine parks in Europe in the north of the island (Northern Sporades National Park), where you can see Audouin’s gulls, crested cormorants and monk seals, of which only one of hundreds of specimens remains. throughout the Mediterranean. To disembark here you need to request permission, but you can take a boat trip in which, with luck, you will be accompanied by a pod of dolphins.
Amorgos and “The Big Blue” in the Cyclades
In the north of Crete, in the mythical Aegean, the cyclades They consist of 220 islands. Most tourists rush to the beaches of Santorini without thinking, or to have a good time at night in Mykonos, but few know the low-key charm of Amorgos. It is one of the largest islands, but it is also one of those fewer people per square meter. In other words, the density is really low. There are very few tourists. Almost no cruise ships or ferries arrive in its ports. The beaches are intimate, and there are several typical Greek villages with white houses and blue doors where nothing ever happens, only the sea breeze blows and the atmosphere is full of the smell of grilled fish.
It is advisable, once there, to rent a motorbike and move freely on the island. The size is very manageable, it has an elongated shape, and the distances do not exceed 40 kilometers. The goal is to go from beach to beach, from creek to creek, and let yourself be carried away by the sea breeze. The possibilities are many, but it is advisable to go to the western part, next to Katapola and Potamos. The beaches of Agios Pavlos, Maltezi or Kalotaritissa in the south are worth it. You should also go to Agia Anna beach, where the sensational film was shot The big Blue (the big Blue), by director Luc Besson. And it’s true, the color blue of its waters seeing it live and live is even more unlikely.
Alone on a donkey through Hydra in the Saronics
the saronic islands, on the Saronic Gulf, are Athenians’ favorite weekend getaway. The reason is that they are very close to the capital. For example, the ferry trip from Piraeus (port of Athens) and the island of Hydra does not exceed two hours (even less if you opt for a quick trip). Among the main Saronic islands – Salamina, Aegina, Angistri and Poros – we specifically highlight Hydra, in the Peloponnese.
Hydra it is a unique island. There is no other like her. You can breathe an atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else. There is almost no noise and relaxation is absolute. And the reason is that the circulation of cars and motorcycles is not allowed – only garbage trucks are allowed -, which are replaced by donkeys or bicycles. The cobbled and steep streets, the rural paths, the fishing ports and the clean waters are its qualities, but the lack of tourists is due to the fact that there are no sandy beaches but pebbles.
The Blue Cave of Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese
Although its name suggests otherwise, the dodecanese islands They are not twelve, but many more. Its location in the southeastern Aegean, almost touching the Turkish coast, makes it the easternmost archipelago. The great and mythical island of Rhodes is its capital. Kos, about three kilometers from Turkey, and the small island of Symi are also well known to more seasoned tourists. However, from here we would like to recommend Kastellorizo or Megisti, east of Rhodes.
Kastellorizo has a great tourist attraction, the blue grotto, quite an adventure if you travel to the Greek islands. The experience is one of those that are not forgotten. La única manera de acceder a su interior – de unos 50 metros de largo por 30 m de ancho y 25 m de altura – es en barca, y lo aconsejable es hacerlo pronto por la mañana, cuando el sol ilumina su interior creando increíbles destellos de Blue color. The effect simulates as if the stalactites are dancing to the sound of the sun’s rays.
The green island of Thassos in the North Aegean Sea
In the northern part of the Aegean Sea. To the south are the Dodecanese islands and to the west are the Cyclades and the Sporades. Some islands belong to Greece and others, like Rabbit Island, belong to Turkey. in the thracian seaattached to the north coast, are Samothrace and Thasos (or Thasos). The latter is our chosen one, and it is known as “the green island‘ due to the large number of pine forests that give it that characteristic color. Taking a bath surrounded by greenery offers a feeling of naturalness.
It is curious to note how little tourism lands in its port. Almost all national. It is located 12 km from the port of Keramoti and is easily accessible by ferry from the beautiful city of Kavala. The landscapes are amazing, extraordinarily unique, not only because of the abundant greenery, but also because of the white marble rocks that contrast with the green of the beaches. Its shape is almost round, and from one end to the other there are no more than 100 kilometers, which makes it a very affordable trip. It should be noted Giola, one of the natural lagoons the most fabulous on the planet. And of course there are also fascinating beaches like the Golden Beach – 12 kilometers from Limenia – or Skala Potamia.
There are so many islands in Greece that I couldn’t find any reliable information on their exact number.