The 15 best Greek Islands for couples are Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Zakynthos, Crete, Milos, Hydra, Rhodes, Naxos, Paros, Sifnos, Antiparos, Patmos, Ios, Folegandros. But which Greek Island is best for your next romantic trip or your honeymoon? Read on to discover which of these 15 Greek islands is best for you, and the best tours, activities, and accommodation on each island paradise.
Santorini: No.1 for romance
Where: Cycladic island chain, southern Aegean Sea, 200 kilometers (120 mi) southeast of the Greek mainland.
Best for: sunsets, romance, sailing, architecture, weddings and honeymoons
At the top of this list is the most romantic landscape for couples in the whole of Greece– the stunning island of Santorini. At the heart of its attraction are its location, architecture, and sunsets.
Like all of the villages perched along the caldera, Oia and Imerovigli look down upon Skaros Rock and the tiny port of Amoudi Bay. They look across the Aegean at the volcano and as a result, the sunsets are just incredible.
Best couples activities in Santorini
Corfu: A touch of Italian romance
Where: Ionian island chain, Ionian Sea, northwestern Greece.
Best for: Architecture, beaches, and all-round charm
Known to the ancient Greeks as Korkyra, the Ionian Island of Corfu attained fame as a heavily fortified Venetian bulwark against the Ottomans, and to this day Corfu Town is classified as a kastropolis or castle city by the Greek government.
Known for its beaches, harbors, and forests, Crete boasts a varied landscape which is perhaps why more foreigners live on Corful than any other Greek island.
Couples keen on history should begin at the Old Venetian Fortress that stands in the middle of the town.
Another heritage highlight is the Achilleion palace museum and its attendant gardens. And if you’re both a fan of a good hike, there’s always the monastery high at the top of Mount Pantokrator.
Additionally, there’s also the island’s coastline to explore, including the aptly named Canali D’Amour which, incidentally, might be a great place to propose…
Best Couples Accommodation in Corfu
Kontokali Bay Resort and Spa
Kairaba Mythos Palace – Adults Only
Mayor Mon Repos Palace – Adults Only
Best couples activities in Corfu
Zakynthos: The best beach in the world?
Where: Ionian island chain, Ionian Sea, 20 kilometers (12 mi) west of the Greek mainland.
Best for: Iconic Unspoiled Beaches
One stormy night in October 1981 (while on a very dubious mission) a coastal trader called the Panagiotis ran aground off the Ionian Island of Zakynthos.
The crew could not have known at the time, but this unhappy accident created what many have rated one of the best beaches in the world.
Navagio (or Shipwreck) Beach is a secluded cove, its clear water running up against fine white sand ringed by towering cliffs. The rusting wreck of the Panagiotis is the centerpiece of the beach and makes for truly stunning Instagram opportunities.
Nature lovers might also make their way to the uninhabited islet of Marathonisi, a breeding ground for both the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus).
Zakynthos is loved by couples of all ages – quieter than the bejeweled Santorini and Mykonos with small villages where you can feel a million miles away from the craziness of the Greek islands in the summer peak period.
Best Couples Accommodation in Zakynthos
Lesante Blu – Adults Only
Zante Maris Suites – Adults Only
Ionian Hill Hotel
Best Couples Activities in Zakynthos
Hydra: Step back in time
Where: Saronic island chain, Aegean Sea, 20 kilometers (12 mi) separated from the Peloponnese by a thin channel of water..
Best for: A Traditional Greek Experience
Located just off the Greek mainland, Hydra is separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow channel. But despite being only a ferry ride from Piraeus, stepping on to Hydra is like stepping back in time.
The only motorized vehicles allowed on the island are garbage trucks, with people getting around by donkey and boat.
It’s probably for the best then that the port of the same name is the only real settlement on Hydra. The songwriter Leonard Cohen once remarked that “nothing offends the eye” in the harbor, where one can spend hours exploring cozy little shops and marveling at its exquisite architecture.
Adventurous couples can even head up to the donkey tracks which honeycomb into the island’s lonely interior, perhaps even to the island’s summit where the solitary Profitis Ilias Monastery sits.
Best Couples Accommodation in Hydra
Angelica Traditional Boutique Hotel
Cotommatae Hydra 1810
Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites
Best Couples Activities in Hydra
Mykonos: The party island
Where: Cycladic island chain, Aegean Sea, 150 kilometers (93 mi) east of Athens.
Best for: Amazing nightlife and bars and the sacred island of Delos
The first tourist to Mykonos might have been Hercules, who came here in the Age of Heroes to battle the might Giants.
Nowadays Mykonos is widely known as a tourist mecca: with its vibrant LGBT-friendly nightlife and stunning natural beauty, Mykonos makes a great place for a romantic getaway.
Why not start out at the famous Paradise Beach for the morning sun before the crowds set in? Then stroll hand in hand down quaint Matoyianni Street for an authentic souvenir.
You can end the day together at Little Venice, where the old merchants’ houses look out towards the setting Cycladian sun.
Best Couples Accommodation in Mykonos
Arte & Mare Elia Luxury Suites & Villas
The Wild by Interni
Nissaki Boutique Hotel
Best Couples Activities in Mykonos
Paros and Naxos
Where: Cycladic island chain, central Aegean Sea, 150 kilometers (93 mi) southeast of Athens.
Paros – Best for: Nightlife and beaches
Naxos – Best for: Archaeology and beaches
The twin Cycladic islands of Paros and Naxos are only separated by a channel eight kilometers wide. Which one should you and your beloved choose?
Well, Paros is flatter while Naxos is more mountainous. Naxos has golden sandy beaches that stretch out for kilometers in either direction, while Parosian beaches are smaller, rockier, and more secluded.
The restaurants at Naxos are more casual, while those at Paros are more upmarket. The nightlife at Paros is livelier, while Naxos has more churches and archaeological sites that date back to the time of Neanderthals.
If you want my advice? Make time for both.
Best Couples Accommodation in Paros and Naxos
Holiday Sun Hotel Paros
Summer Senses Luxury Resort Paros
Astir of Naxos
Best Couples Activities in Paros and Naxos
Where: Cycladic island chain, southern Aegean Sea, 1.9 kilometers (less than 1 nautical mile) from Paros.
Best for: Exploring nature
Antiparos is, as the name hints, only a nautical mile off the west coast of Paros. Though often overshadowed by its larger neighbor, tranquil Antiparos is a great place for more intrepid couples.
Antiparos town (or Chora) is dominated by its historic Venetian castle but has its fair share of bars, restaurants, and tavernas.
Journeying around the coast there are ahost of beautiful sandy beaches which remain the island’s chief of attractions, ranging from the bustling Glifa Beach to the secluded Livadia.
Spelunkers should make their way to the famous Cave of Antiparos in the center of the island. The biggest vertical cave in Europe where the likes of Lord Byron, among a host of others, have carved their names into its walls over the centuries.
Best Couples Accommodation in Antiparos
On the Rocks Antiparos
Best Couples Activities in Antiparos
Ios: Ancient and Storied
Where: Cycladic island chain, Aegean Sea, midway between Naxos and Santorini.
Best for: Cultural festivals and nightlife
To the south of Paros and Naxos is Ios, said to be the place where Homer finally paid the ferryman and crossed the River Styx.
If you’re a fan of the Iliad, you and your very own Helen or Paris can pay a visit to what’s supposed to be the ruins of Homer’s Tomb at Plakoto in the island’s north.
The island’s main port, Chora, is a shining Cycladic village with a cracking nightlife that emerges after the sun goes down.
If you’re visiting between May and September, venture outside Charos to the Homeric cultural festival held in the marble replica Odysseas Elytis Theatre.
Best Couples Accommodation in Ios
Ios Palace Hotel and Spa
Dionysos Seaside Resort
Best Couples Activities in Ios
Folegandros: An Isle of Tranquility
Where: Cycladic island chain, southern Aegean Sea, 244 kilometers (152 mi) southeast of Athens.
Best for: Quaint villages and natural beauty
Little Folegandros lies at the far southern end of the Cyclades and is far sleepier than famed Mykonos and Santorini.
Less than a thousand residents, its chief settlement is the village of Chora. Chora’s houses are packed together, hearkening back to a time when such a design was an essential defensive strategy.
Grab a romantic dinner in one of the town’s three intersecting squares before strolling up to the 13th Century Kastro in its center.
Three kilometers outside of Chora lies the port of Folegrandos: Karavostasis, where a pebbled (and semi-nudist) beach smooths out into the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean.
Best Couples Accommodation in Folegandros
Sifnos: A cultural experience
Where: Cycladic island chain, Aegean Sea, 130 kilometers (81 mi) south of Athens
Best for: A taste of Greece’s living heritage
There is said to be one church on the Cycladic island of Sifnos for every day of the year.
That number is disputed, but even if it’s an exaggeration, this picturesque island is filled to the bream with ecclesiastical sites, many dedicated to a particular saint.
Check your calendar before arriving on Sifnos, because if you’re arriving near the name day of a particular saint you and your better half can enjoy a lively feast and festival dedicated to them.
Apart from these celebrations, Sifnos is well known for its pottery, with a number of workshops scattered across the island. What better time to buy a souvenir or even learn the basics of pottery together?
Best Couples Accommodation in Sifnos
Gerofinikas Boutique Hotel
Windmill Bella Vista
Best Couples Activities in Sifnos
Crete: An ancient and thrilling heritage
Where: South of the Cyclades and separated from them by the Sea of Crete, 160 kilometers (99 mi) south of Athens
Best for: An all-around Aegean island experience – beaches, ancient sites, great accommodation. See Chania and Heraklion below
Greece’s biggest island, both by size and population, Crete offers tourists a bit of everything.
One of Greece‘s most significant civilizations, the ancient Minoans, grew up here and the island has some of the oldest and best archaeological sites in Europe.
Visitors can fly into either Chania or the capital at Heraklion. Direct flights from many European cities make this, like Rhodes, a good option if you don’t want to take a ferry from Athens to a Greek island.
Best for: Hiking through Wilderness
If you’re coming to Chania, make sure to check out the old Venetian castle (known as the Firka Fortress) and the interlocking sets of walls that once surrounded the old city.
Nature lovers and hikers should make a beeline to Samaria Gorge, a rugged national park that is the home of the ancient Cretan goat or kri-kri, along with other rare breeds such as the bearded vulture, badger, and polecat.
Best for: Archaeological wonders
Just outside Heraklion sits ancient Knossos, an acropolis or palace complex that is one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. The palace is built upon the mythological labyrinth that imprisoned the Minotaur.
It is the most visited archaeological site in Greece after the Acropolis of Athens. Make sure to see its restored Throne Room for a taste of how the Minoan kings lived and reigned over 3500 years ago.
After these wonders why not head out to one of the many wineries in the area, and sample some local wines from the cellar door?
Best Couples Accommodation in Crete
La Mer Resort and Spa – Adults Only
Minos Palace Hotel & Suites – Adults Only
Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel
Best Couples Activities in Crete
Milos: Paradise rendered in marble
Where: Cycladic island chain, southern Aegean Sea, north of the Sea of Crete
Best for: Stunning views and beaches, lovely fishing village accommodations
Lying just north of Crete is the volcanic island of Milos.
Milos famously gives its name to the ancient Hellenistic sculpture the Venus of Milo now exhibited in the Louvre, and tourists can still visit the brilliant white quarries where sculptors and builders obtained their famous marble.
In addition to its historical heritage, Milos has a number of stunning beaches, including the clear blue waters and white cliffs of Sarakiniko Beach and the secluded sandstone caverns of Tsigrado Beach.
Best Couples Accommodation in Milos
White Coast Pool Suites – Adults Only
Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
Best Couples Activities in Milos
Rhodes – An historical marvel
Where: Dodecanese island chain, northeast of Crete, 363 kilometers (226 mi) east southeast from the Greek mainland and 18 km (11 mi) from Turkey
Best for: World Heritage site, mythology, archaeology, beaches. See Lindos below
Part of the Dodecanese and close to the Turkish mainland, Rhodes was once home to a Wonder of the Ancient World, the famous Colossus.
Though long since disappeared, Rhodes is still filled with monumental sites.
If you’re touching down at the international airport, Rhodes Town itself is the best place to start.
Encompassed by a set of fortifications built by the Knights of St John, the World Heritage-listed Old Town is the largest active medieval settlement in the world.
Best for: ancient and medieval architecture, beaches
Outside the island’s capital, there are a number of other beautiful and ancient sites to visit, chief among them Lindos, a settlement even older than Rhodes Town situated a little down the east coast.
Visit the medieval castle and ancient acropolis atop the promontory before grabbing a drink at one of the relaxed tavernas down below. And don’t forget to take a dip at Lindos Beach below.
Best Couples Accommodation in Rhodes
Gennadi Grand Resort
Sheraton Rhodes Resort
Mitsos Rodos Village Beach Hotel & Spa
Best Couples Activities in Rhodes
Patmos: A holy island
Where: Dodecanese island chain, Aegean Sea, 268 kilometers (167 mi) east southeast from Athens
Best for: A Religious Experience, peace and quiet, walking
Situated in the north of the Dodecanese island chain, the beautiful azure waters of Patmos make this a lovely island for beaches and seaside tavernas.
It was in Patmos that John the Theologian received the visions that formed the basis for the Book of Revelations.
Today you can visit the very place where that was said to have happened, the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Cave of the Apocalypse.
Couples can listen to a local monk who sits on the rock where John rested his head and narrates the story of the Apocalypse.
A little way up the hill is the Monastery of St John the Theologian, a 900-year-old structure that resembles more of a castle than a place of worship. Among its relics are over two thousand books and the skull of the Apostle Thomas.
Best Couples Accommodation in Patmos
Further Resources and Links
- Read about the Best Santorini Wineries and Wine-tasting Tours.
- Read where to stay on Santorini for the pros and cons of the 9 main villages and towns on Santorini, the best Luxury Cave Houses, and the Best 25 Santorini Hotels with Private Pools.
- Find out all about ferries and flights between Santorini and Mykonos
- See all of the best things to do in Santorini, from Get Your Guide
- Read about all the things you need to know before you book your trip to Santorini.
- You must see Ancient Akrotiri, Santorini’s buried Minoan city.
- Sail around Santorini – read how to choose and book the best sailing cruises.
- Read about the best Tours for Santorini Villages and Local Culture here.
- And make sure you take the incredible Fira to Oia Caldera Edge Hike.
- Greece is a land of ancient societies and ruins read about how to visit the best ones here with Best Ancient Ruins in Greece. In Athens, read about Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Acropolis: Acropolis Entrance Fees, Hours and Tours, the best Athens Ruins: Ancient Greek Sites of Athens, and Best Athens Hotels Near the Acropolis.
- See the Travel Resources page for all your travel booking needs.
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