Greek Island vacations
Strewn across the brilliant blue of the Aegean and Ionian seas, the Greek Islands are a mecca not just for beach bums but for lovers of the great outdoors. Here you can hike up hills beneath endless blue skies, watch for dolphins from the deck of a sailing ship, snorkel with sea turtles and explore shipwrecks in the deep blue depths. What’s more, island hopping is both a culinary and cultural adventure. Every isle, big or small, has its own distinct take on local cuisine, as well as its own monuments to a rich past, with the crumbling remains of ancient Greece a common sight.
Tours will take you to explore an island group – the Cyclades or Ionian islands, for example – or on an extended exploration of one the larger isles such as Crete or Rhodes, with sailing, walking and cycling the main means of discovery. Whichever island you choose, each is a unique example of Greek gorgeousness.
Our Greece Vacations
Walking vacationsThe Greek Islands are not just for swimming and sailing, they’re stuffed full of walking wonderlands, and a perfect way to get to grips with the soul of the islands is to take to the trails. You could spend your time in the hills and pathways of Rhodes or Crete for example, exploring the Butterfly Valley on the former and the White Mountains on the latter. Or you could hop from island to island in the Cyclades or Ionians, traveling by public ferry or on a combined sailing and walking vacation, where days will be spent cruising the deep blue waters, and anchoring near the shore to hike on land. On the Cycladic island of Syros, follow near deserted hilltop trails that take you through sugar-cube villages, past blue domed churches, mountain springs and deep gorges. Also ripe for Hellenic hikes is the mountainous, valley rich landscape of Lefkada, one of the beautiful Ionian Islands, the homeland of Homer’s Odysseus. Milos has rock formations and other fascinating geological wonders to explore while the hidden gem that is Evia is home to rugged mountains and sleepy villages.
The mainland may hold the most famous ancient Greek sites – the Acropolis and Olympia among them – but the islands have more than their fair share of ancient Greek goodies, as well as remnants from the Byzantine and Venetian eras. In Naxos, in the Cyclades Islands, Byzantine chapels, Venetian citadels and olive groves line ancient walking trails. In Crete you’ll find magnificent Minoan marvels including the palace cluster at Knossos; and Amorgos has the famous old capital Hora, with ancient churches, white stone houses and maze of alleyways, as well as a the white washed Hozoviotissa monastery, built right into the cliff face overlooking the Aegean.
Small ship cruisingThe quintessential Greek Islands adventure takes place on the water, and the islands entice people from far and wide to navigate their waters, whether they’re sailing a yacht to dock at the hedonistic island of Mykonos, or ferry hopping from island to island in the Ionians. You don’t need to be an expert sailor either to take to the seas. Small group vacations take you on everything from tiny and traditional gulets sleeping a maximum of 17 to sleek motorised yachts sleeping up to 50. Days start with a dip in the Ionian or Aegean Sea, perhaps followed by an exploration of olive grove covered hills or an ancient site, and then a beach barbecue at sunset, or a few drinks in a local taverna.
If that all sounds too laid-back, you could opt to muck in with all of the boat business on one of our smaller sailing trips, combine diving and cruising on a liveaboard yacht for the ultimate Big Blue experience, or mix boating with dolphin conservation in the Cyclades.
If you'd like to chat about Greece or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Family vacationsWith all those beaches, calm waters and fantastic food, it’s no surprise that the Greek Islands are a top choice for family vacations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending all your time at the beach or a hotel pool. More and more families are opting for multi activity vacations, for example. Take the kids to Rhodes and you can get your active kicks in a plethora of different ways. You could have a sailing lesson from a friendly boat captain, try your hands at windsurfing, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding, or head under the water on a scuba diving taster session. Alternatively, you could go for a week’s family sailing vacation in the Cyclades on a traditional Greek motorised sailing boat, anchoring in bright blue Aegean bays to swim in the sea, explore forts and ruins and visit laid-back fishing villages.
More about Greece
When is the best time to visit Greece? Summer (July to September) is idyllic, and we'll help you escape the crowds.
Our Greece travel guide is as smooth as olive oil, as appealing as a deserted Cycadean island in May, and, dare we say it, as interesting as a tour around the classical sites of the Peloponnese.
Learn where to go and make the most of your time as you pore over our Greece map & itineraries which will take you from Thessaloniki & Mt Olympus in the north to the Peloponnese, the Cyclades and Crete, further south.
Find out what Responsible Travel recommend for traveling in Greece with kids, including Minotaurs, the Med and magic mountains that should never be far from any family-friendly itinerary.
Discover our recommended things to do in Greece ranging from sublime sailing sites and Byzantine island churches to walking in the sandal steps of Ulysses, or paddling the pristine coastlines of Mediterranean island idylls.
If you’re interested in the myths and legends of the ancient world, the Greek mainland, including the Peloponnese, is certain to sate your curiosity.
Greece walking vacations take you along mountain trails and coastal paths with plenty of ancient sites and natural wonders to keep an eye out for along the way.
Greece self drive vacations put you in full control of how your vacation unfolds, whether you want to hike mountains or visit little out-of-the-way beaches for an authentic take on Greek life.
Discover the benefits of a Greece sailing vacation as you contemplate life in the Cyclades, and beyond, from an on board perspective that’s bound to be as relaxing as it will be exhilarating.
Small ship cruising in Greece is about experiencing island life at a relaxed pace, not about being bombarded by entertainment on a floating hotel.
Take yourself off for a week in Greece as you discover the delights of yoga vacations where the sun always shines and the food is just as fresh as the breeze skimming off the Aegean.
Rightfully popular and wildly beautiful, the Cyclades archipelago holds over 200 islands, which are largely mountainous and mostly uninhabited.
At just an hour and a half from Athens, the charms of the Peloponnese are well known to locals, but for international travelers, this peninsula lags far behind the Greek Islands in popularity.
While many people concentrate on the Greek islands, it’s well worth spending some time in the capital.
Wellness vacations in Greece connect you with the therapeutic powers of Mediterranean sea and sunshine – and its healing herbs and plants, which have sustained and revived since the time of the Gods.
Volunteering vacations in Greece give you the chance to work with animal charities that, thanks to the economic crisis, need all hands on deck.
Multi activity vacations in Greece are like an epic: you’ll sail the Aegean, battle your way through white water rapids, hike Olympic mountains, and swim in seas with ancient sea creatures.
Greece travel advice should always start with those who know it best which is why we’ve asked our suppliers to give us their recommendations alongside a few pearls of wisdom related to health & safety in Greece.
Everyone should want to find out how to travel right in Greece, which is why our responsible tourism in Greece page is devoted to helping you preserve the wildlife & environment of this gorgeous part of southern Europe.
From idyllic island-hopping to hiking between fascinating archaeological sites and sublime cycling, find your perfect vacation, and stacks of information on what to see and do, with all our Greece guides in one place.