Millions of tourists and visitors flock to the stunning Greek Islands every year, eager to experience their charm and the hot sun. All the islands are rich in history and as befits a place known as the birthplace of Western civilisation, have got numerous stories and legends attached to them. Their mix of history, sun, beautiful scenery and friendly locals is hard to beat.
But with so many fantastic islands to choose from which ones are the best to go to first? We take a look at the ten most awesome Greek Islands to visit and soak up some culture and good weather in:

10 – Kos

Kos

Kos – By kallerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kos is the first name on our list and a truly lovely place to travel too. Famous for its long strips of sandy, white beaches it offers a great place to enjoy the sea and fully relax on a sun lounger. If you prefer to check out the local culture, Kos has that in spades also. The backdrop of fig and olive groves makes for great exploring when the heat drops. In addition, the stunning attractions like the ancient marketplace or the ruins of the 14th Century Fortress built by the Knights of Saint John of Rhodes will leave you speechless.
As well as all these things to keep you busy in the day, Kos also has plenty of lively bars and restaurants at night for when they sun goes down. This is definitely one place you won’t want to leave!

09 – Paros

Paros

Paros – By Dimorsitanos; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:05, 20 September 2010 (UTC) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Paros is one of the most lovely islands to visit in Greece, not only for its vista of rolling bougainvillea’s and whitewashed buildings but also its location. With its many handy ferry crossings, this is a great base for island hopping around the other Greek Islands if you want to check them out also. There is a selection of beaches from busy to quiet and all with soft sand so you can pick the right one for you.
Water sports are very popular here particularly wind-surfing so if that’s your thing then beautiful Paros may be the choice for you. With its old school charm and bustling nightlife, this island has a bit of everything.

08 – Mykonos

One of the most cosmopolitan of the Greek Islands, stunning Mykonos will make you fall in love with its white washed buildings and maze of tiny streets. Mykonos Town (or Chora as some call it) has a unique charm all of its own and its many bars and boutique shops are fantastic.
If you like clubbing then the famous Cavo Paradiso nightclub is located here also. If you’re going to Mykonos this is well worth checking out with its dance music and all-night parties. A superb place to holiday, Mykonos will have you coming back for more year after year.

07 – Chios

Chios

Chios – By Cllueca (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wonderful Chios is part of the Northeastern Aegean Islands and is a great place for culture vultures to stay. Separated from Turkey by a narrow stretch of water, it offers some great sightseeing opportunities. Chief amongst these is Nea Moni, an 11th century monastery found in the centre of the island that you can visit.
The south of the island contains the islands old medieval villages and these are definitely worth a look with their historical walls and towers. Interestingly enough, there are also colourful tulips grown on Chios at certain times of the year which only adds to the charm.

06 – Corfu

Corfu

Corfu – By Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Corfu is probably one of the most well-known islands on this list and with good reason. The island as a whole offers something for everyone whether it’s partying or staying in the quieter bits to relax. The stunning landscape will delight you and Corfu has as rich a history as any of the Cyclades.
Steeped in Byzantine and Greek Mythology, there is a real mix of architecture and cultures that add up to an intoxicating potion. With some of the best beaches in Greece also, Corfu can offer the perfect place to chill out and relax with a cocktail if that is the holiday you like.

05 – Skiathos

Skiathos

Skiathos – By Wisniowy (Own work(own work by uploader)) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A truly enchanting place, Skiathos offers visitors great views with its rolling hills and lush pines. As you would expect from one of the Greek Islands, it has great weather especially in the summer so you will be able to relax in the suns healing rays. Part of the Sporades, it is one of the most Northerly of the islands in Greece and a great place to visit.
As well as the lively bars and sandy beaches, it also has a wildlife reserve and so gives nature lovers something to do. The many different animals and birds will leave you astounded and give this lovely island an extra dimension. If you include the ancient monasteries and churches also, you can see why Skiathos is so popular.

04 – Crete

Crete

Crete – By Moonik (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunny Crete is one of the biggest and most populated of the Greek Islands. As such it makes a great choice if you like lots of different things to do and amenities close by like shops and bars. There is lots of types of accommodation on the island to so you can stay somewhere you will have the time of your life.
One of the top attractions here is the many gorges and hillside walks people can indulge in. Hiking, walking, horse riding and gorge walking are all popular past times on Crete to take full advantage of the surrounding area. There are also plenty of lovely beaches to relax on also for when you are tired from all that activity!

03 – Rhodes

Rhodes

Rhodes – By Jebulon (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Rhodes is a great place for history lovers as it has so much to see and hear about! Located close to Turkey and one of the northerly islands, it has many old treasures to check out. The best-known ones are the Acropolis of Lindos, the Temple of Apollo and the Governor’s Palace. Walking around these amazing buildings will transport you right back to the time of Plato and Socrates!
The locals on Rhodes are particularly friendly and you will feel at home in no time as you wander around the charming villages and towns on the island. With its rich history and exotic Turkish influences, Rhodes is one island you will not regret visiting.

02 – Samos

Samos

Samos – By Pe-sa (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Just missing out on the top spot is gorgeous Samos. Famous for its crystal clear blue waters and pebble beaches, this attracts many visitors each year. As you would expect for a Greek Island it has lots of baking sun so you are sure to go home with a good tan! Due to the clarity of the water, activities like snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular here if you like that type of thing.
There are lots of ancient sights to see also especially the fabulous Temple of Hera. The Eupalinian Aqueduct is also found on Samos and this is considered one of the engineering marvels of the ancient world. This is just a beautiful place and one that will never leave you bored or wanting to leave.

01 – Santorini

Santorini

Santorini – By Pedro Szekely (Flickr: Oia, Santorini) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Famous for the amazing blue domed churches, Santorini is a deserving number one on our list. Other attractions include the clear blue water, dramatic views and gorgeous weather. It also has an active volcano on the island but don’t worry, there’s nothing to fear! The capital of this island is Fira and if you’re feeling energetic you can climb all 588 steps up to the top of the town. There is a cable car If you’re too tired though!
The beautiful architecture and charming tavernas on the island make this a special place to see and you will love chilling out and watching the world go by on the cobbles streets. If there is just one Greek Island you ever visit then make it this one!

The Greek Islands have been popular tourist hot-spots for centuries due to their beauty and historical importance. Whether it is relaxing with a drink, getting a tan on the beach or indulging in some sight-seeing, you will have the time of your life if you visit any of the above. Just remember your sun cream as it gets hot, hot, hot during the summer months!

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