Visit any of the Aegean Islands to get away from the bustle of everyday life and simply relax on gorgeous beaches. The thousands of islands here are grouped into seven main clusters.
For some of the most popular beaches and nightspots, come to Mykonos or Santorini in the Cyclades. Bask on sandy beaches on sunny days and gaze down at rocky shoreline while enjoying cocktails and dancing with like-minded revelers during long, balmy evenings.
Select from the Northeastern Aegean Islands for specialized opportunities. Learn about the healthy Greek diet on Ikaria, where many people live for a century. Enjoy excellent seafood on Lesbos and great wine on Limnos.
The Sporades has islands known for wildlife and vegetation. See monk seals on Alonissos and Skopelos. Skiathos is very green, with many acres of fig and olive trees.
Close to the mainland, the Argosaronic Islands are especially convenient for short visits. Travel to Hydra, a quaint location where cars are not allowed, but donkeys and cats are plentiful. Agistri has great beaches, including one known for welcoming nudists. Aegina is a perfect microcosm of Greek island life, with beaches, ancient temples and exceptional food.
Closer to Turkey than Athens, the Dodecanese islands have the warmest climate among the Aegean Islands. Watch spongefishing in Kalymnos, observe traditional customs in Karpathos or snorkel around Kastellorizo.
Two larger islands have somewhat different atmospheres from any of the smaller Aegeans. Connected by bridge to the mainland, Evia or Euboea has its own fantastic beaches as well as hot springs and history ranging from Eretria’s ancient days to 17th-century Karababa Castle. Visit Crete for wide-ranging attractions from King Minos’ castle of Knossos to the biosphere reserve of the Samaria Gorge.
Fly to many of the islands’ larger cities. You can also travel by ferries, which connect from the mainland and between many of the Aegean Islands. For the ultimate vacation, craft your own island-hopping itinerary on a chartered sailboat.