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Top Attractions in the Greek Islands

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Join millions of travelers who have wandered these islands looking for sun-bleached remnants of grand amphitheaters or the perfect beach among many contenders or serene temples. Bright summer days will forever remind you of your journey here.
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Φηρά, Thira 847 00, Greece
The elemental drama of Santorini’s volcanic landscape draws more than 2 million visitors every year. For more than 3,500 years, this mineral-rich terroir has also produced outstanding wines. There are around 50 indigenous...
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Nisiros 853 03, Greece
Santorini’s flooded caldera hogs the headlines, but the smoldering crater on Nisyros is equally dramatic. In fact, this entire Dodecanese island is an active volcano, with a 2.5-mile caldera surrounded by several smaller craters....
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Symi, Simi 856 00, Greece
A 90-minute ferry ride from Rhodes and just five nautical miles from Turkey, Symi feels more like the Amalfi Coast than Greece. Elegant mansions in every hue of peach and pink are reflected in the horseshoe harbor. Built by 19th-century merchants...
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Mikonos 846 00, Greece
Watching a movie by moonlight with a cold beer is one of the joys of Greek summer. For smokers, it’s an even greater pleasure: Viewers are free to light up at the outdoor cinemas planted on rooftops, beachfront plots, and breezy parks...
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Vardaka Square, Ermoupolis, Syros, Ermoupoli 841 00, Greece
The island of Syros, the administrative, commercial, and cultural capital of the Cyclades, was a major shipbuilding center before and after Greece won its hard-fought independence in 1821. During its 19th-century heyday, its neoclassical...
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Patmos 855 00, Greece
A retreat for Orthodox pilgrims and publicity-shy celebrities, Patmos owes its mystical aura to the 11th-century Monastery of St. John, which dominates the UNESCO-protected settlement of Chora. Follow wafts of incense into the mosaic-paved...
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Skopelos 370 03, Greece
Blame actress Meryl Streep for putting this chapel on the map. Teetering atop an outcrop of rock adrift the northeastern coast of Skopelos, the church of Agios Ioannis tou Kastri (St. John of the Castle) is where Streep serenaded Pierce Brosnan...
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Irakleia, Iraklia 843 00, Greece
Once upon a time, the only way to get to the Greek islands was on torpid ferries that seemed to stop at every speck in the Aegean. These days hydrofoils, high-speed boats, and airplanes zip between most of them. But the Express Skopelitis, a...
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Delos 846 00, Greece
Of all the awe-inspiring antiquities in Greece, Delos is in a league of its own—a whole island of splendid ruins just an occasionally choppy half-hour boat ride from the hurly-burly of Mykonos. The most sacred sanctuary in ancient Greece,...
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Egina 180 10, Greece
Only an hour’s boat ride from Athens is a temple that dates back to the 5th century B.C.E. The Temple of Aphaia, on Aegina, is just as majestic as the Parthenon and Poseidon's temple at Sounion, and provides views of...
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840 11, Greece
The ancient Greeks called Folegandros "iron hard," but this Cycladic island has a mellow soul beneath its edges. The northern part is the wildest, where locals still scrabble a living making cheese from their goats, threshing grain with mules, and...
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Andros 845 00, Greece
Wearing a simple caftan with fine gold embroidery, studded sandals, and no makeup, Kiki Sinteli is effortlessly chic. She’s also the best advertisement for her boutique in the handsome Chora of Andros, a lush island with an abundance of...
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Huge, lush, and kept hush-hush by the local shipping families, Andros is only two hours by ferry from Athens. The main town, with its neoclassical mansions, fine-art museums, and yacht club, is more Downton Abbey than Aegean village. The...
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Vassiliki, Lefkada 311 00, Greece
Although Lefkada is the only Greek island accessible by land (via a causeway first built in 500 B.C.E.), its main attractions are the incredible white-sand beaches Porto Katsiki, Kathisma, and Egremni, which are featured on countless Greek tourism...
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Panormos 842 01, Greece
With more than 60 classic Cycladic villages on Tinos, it’s hard to pick a favorite. The largest, Pyrgos (or Panormos), is the hub of the island’s marble sculpture, a tradition that dates back centuries. Every doorway and lintel is...
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Naxos 843 00, Greece
The ancient historian Herodotus described Naxos as the "happiest of islands." It’s certainly hard not to have a good time on the largest of the Cycladic islands, with its antiquities, medieval watchtowers, mountain trails dotted...
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Platia Brouk, Chora, Πλατεία Μπρουκ, Χώρα, Skyros - Chora 340 07, Greece
A bit removed from the other Sporades islands, Skyros is deeply traditional. Old ladies in yellow headscarves sit on their stoops, bent over embroidery. Carpenters chisel the distinctive wooden skamnakia (miniature chairs carved with...
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Aptera Apokoronou, Box 411, Chania, Khania Crete, Aptera 730 03, Greece
While the (admittedly stunning) Minoan Palace of Knossos is overrun with bus tours, ancient Aptera—once the most powerful city-state in western Crete—is mostly, miraculously empty. Surrounded by two miles of fortified walls,...
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Φλώρου Ζουγανέλη 23, Mikonos 846 00, Greece
Of all the Greek islands, sybaritic Mykonos has the most to offer big spenders. Instead of worry beads and flip-flops, the shopping scene is more Louis Vuitton and Lalaounis jewelry. Ergon, a stark white concept store with rag rugs installed...
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Nomikos Street, Oía 847 02, Greece
Dreamed up by a pair of American philosophy majors, this atmospheric bookshop a few steps down from Oia’s pedestrian "main street" is packed to the rafters with novels, travel books, rare first editions, and, of course, Greek mythology...
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Unnamed Road, Milos 848 00, Greece
Locals claim there are 75 beaches on volcanic Milos, ranging from brilliant white to black, red, and gray. Hidden fjords, hot springs, and underwater caves make a stunning setting for kayaking, scuba diving, and sailing. The...
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Amorgos 840 08, Greece
Hozoviotissa Monastery was built in 1017 C.E. as a feat of sheer willpower. It’s hard to fathom how the eight-story building was carved from the cliff face, 984 feet above the sea. It’s a spectacular hike, up hundreds of...
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Mastic—the fragrant resin cultivated exclusively on southern Chios—gives local cuisine a distinctive flavor. Used in everything from cakes to liqueur, mastic has been the mainstay of the local economy since the Middle Ages. The ...
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Thera 847 00, Greece
Santorini may be overrun with cruise ships, honeymooners, plunge pools, and selfie sticks, but there are still places where you can marvel at the intense, otherworldly landscape in peace. A dizzying 5.5-mile footpath follows the contours of...
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Astipalea, Greece
There’s only one proper road on Asytpalea, the westernmost island in the Dodecanese, and even that peters out in the middle of nowhere. Dirt tracks lead to isolated pebble beaches such as Vatses and Kaminakia. (In Kaminakia, stop by...
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Mitilini 811 00, Greece
Ouzo is produced primarily on the Greek island of Lesvos. The lively neoclassical port of Mytilene is awash with delightful ouzeries that offer dozens of varieties of the liqueur alongside saucers of salted sardines, cheese cured in olive...
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Craggy, car-free, cosmopolitan Hydra has always been an island of artists. Brice Marden, Juergen Teller, and Adam Cohen (son of Leonard) all have homes here. The Athens School of Fine Arts runs a summer residence program in a vast mansion that...
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Corfu 491 00, Greece
When you arrive in Corfu, you may notice it doesn't look a great deal like the other Greek islands—in fact, it has a distinctly Venetian feel. That's because, unlike the rest of Greece, Corfu was never ruled by the Ottomans. The...
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Greek mythology claims Paxi was once part of Corfu but became separated when Poseidon broke off the tip of the island with his trident. Despite the fictional nature of the tale, there’s no denying that Paxi—the smallest among the...
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Part of the Cyclades, this Mediterranean retreat is complete with white beaches and crystal blue waters, pottery making that dates back thousands of years, and villages that uphold ancient traditions. But what really makes this island stand out...