It's hard to beat a Greek getaway. A villa holiday in this glorious destination offers slow-paced moments to explore cobalt coastlines, wander through whitewashed towns and sample delicious local cuisine. More than anything, it's a time for utter rest and relaxation.
But with more than 200 inhabited ones to choose from, which Greek Islands are the very best? Don't panic - we've narrowed it down so you don't have to. From Corfu's exquisite waterfront tavernas to Rhodes' Insta-worthy backdrops, here are some of our top-rated Greek islands. If you're looking for recommendations on where to stay in 2024, make sure to check out all our Greece villa holidays.
Best for food & wine
Food in Corfu is usually a beautiful fusion of Greek and Venetian cuisine. Dishes are mainly based on seasonal vegetables and fish, locally made in a delightfully simple fashion. The feta salads, mezes and souvlaki dishes of the mainland are still popular here – but there’s also plenty of Italian flavours on the island, too, alongside other international dishes. One island speciality is pastitsáda, veal served in tomato sauce with pasta, which can be found in almost any restaurant. The best seafood tavernas, matched with twinkly harbour lights, can be found on the coast, including Agni, St Stephano and Kassiopi. The best way to end a meal is with a delicate shot of Corfu's striking-orange kumquat liqueur, a much-loved island ritual that pairs best with a sunset.
Best for endless beaches
Grab your suncream. The largest island in Greece is renowned for its beautiful beaches, endless sunshine and glorious natural beauty. Some of Europe's most stunning beaches can be found here, whether it's a long stretch of sand or pristine lagoon you're after. A particular favourite among tourists and locals is the spectacular Elafonisi, best known for its pink sands and shallow, crystalline waters. Here, guests can enjoy a range of water sports like kite surfing and windsurfing, or just relax and take in the sights. On the northern coast, head to Falasarna and the Barbados-like Balos - often listed as one of the best beaches in the world. Meanwhile, endless golden sands surround Ierapetra, while the beaches of Elounda and Agios Nikolaos are also not to be missed.
Best for tranquil escapes
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands, drenched in sun, sand and natural splendor. It's also a very laid-back destination, ideal for a tranquil retreat. The villages here ooze fairytale charm, particularly at Fiskardo and Assos. These little villages are perfect for slow afternoons spent taking in the enchanting scenery, gazing upon the pretty colored houses, and sitting at a taverna for a while to taste some of the island's delicious delicacies. Leisurely exploring Assos' quiet streets is a delight in itself, and here you'll find several little gift shops for picking up souvenirs. The capital, Argostoli, is one of the best spots for a peaceful evening out, with a tremendous waterfront that is ideal for an idyllic evening stroll along the shore.
Best for unspoiled scenery
Visitors on the southernmost Ionian island often come for the iconic beaches and varied scenery. There are dramatic beaches, lime-green hills that melt into the deep blue of the ocean, bubbling underwater springs, rows of pine trees, and rugged crags. If a boat trip takes your fancy, Skinari is a great starting point - from here you can head to some of Zakynthos' most glorious landscapes - Shipwreck Beach and the Blue Caves. The more mountainous parts of the island are also great for hiking and biking - on a day of wandering you'll come across sleepy villages, Venetian castles and plenty of opportunities for panoramic pics.
Best for Insta-worthy pics
Rhodes is characterised by its picturesque coastline, lush forested valleys and mountain villages. A villa holiday in Rhodes is all about the sights, with its breathtaking coastal towns, fascinating historical landmarks, and pristine beaches. The white city of Lindos is probably the most Instagrammable place in Rhodes, with its tumbling hillsides of white houses adorned with pretty pink flowers. The walk up to the Acropolis is definitely worth your while, with breathtaking architecture and wonderful views that make for an exceptional backdrop. From here, head to Anthony Quinn Bay, with its crystal clear waters and sloping beach. The best time to visit is around sunset, since most people have left for dinner by that point.
Just like the Greek islands, every one of our villas is unique. If one of our Grecian properties has taken your fancy, make sure to call and speak to one of our Villa Specialists, or send us an enquiry today.