A-Z List of Greek Islands

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Greece has so many islands it’s almost inconceivable. To help you get your head around it, here’s a list of inhabited islands – plus some of the major uninhabited ones – to start you off.

Aegina and Moni

Temple of Aphaia, Aegina.

Where is it? Aegina of the closest islands to Athens, part of the Argo-Saronic island group. 

Notable for? Its short ferry journey, the Temple of Aphaia (pictured above), amiable seaside villages, walking routes.

Moni is a small islet between Aegina and Agistri with beautiful turquoise water.

Agathonisi

Where is it? South of Samos, not far from the Turkish coast. 

Notable for? Being tiny and very quiet – it’s not on a main ferry route so very few ever come here.

Agios Efstratios

Where is it? In the middle of the Aegean Sea, somewhat near Lemnos and Lesvos.

Notable for? Its history as an island of exile, visited by very few tourists.

Ammouliani

Where is it? Just off the coast in Halkidiki.

Notable for? Laid-back vibe and lovely beaches. Usually visited on a day trip.

Agistri

Skala beach, Agistri.

Where is it? In the Argo-Saronic island group, past Aegina.

Notable for? Its peaceful and pine-laden atmosphere.

Amorgos

Amorgos.

Where is it? On the far eastern side of the Cyclades island group.

Notable for? Its long spindly shape and steep hills, offbeat atmosphere, the famous shipwreck beach from Luc Besson’s The Big Blue.

Anafi

Anafi at sunset.

Where is it? Due east of Santorini.

Notable for? Being one of the quietest and hardest to reach islands in the Cyclades group.

Alimia

Where is it? North of Rhodes in the Dodecanese island chain.

Notable for? Peace and quiet – Alimia is only inhabited by goats and sheep. Private boats sometimes drop anchor here for a swim.

Alonissos

Alonnisos.

Where is it? The eastern side of the Sporades island group.

Notable for? Diving, snorkelling, and seal-spotting – its surrounded by the National Marine Park of Alonnisos. There are several (mostly) uninhabited islands offshore, the largest are Peristera and Skantzoura.

Andros

Andros Chora.

Where is it? The northernmost island of the Cyclades, between Evia and Tinos.

Notable for? Its shipbuilding families, neoclassical architecture, and hiking trails that crisscross the island.

Arki

Where is it? South of Samos in the Dodecanese island chain.

Notable for? Being the biggest island of part of tiny Lipsoi-Arkoi Archipelago which is made up of 37 small islands and islands. There are several inhabited islands near Arki, including the blissful Marathi which is popular with visiting yachts.

Astypaleia

Astypaleia.

Where is it? Half way between the Cyclades and the rest of the Dodecanese islands.

Notable for? Its butterfly shape, awkward ferry times, pretty whitewashed buildings, and quiet bohemian atmosphere.

Chios, Inousses, and Pasas

Pyrgi, Chios.

Where are they? Close to Izmir on the Turkish Coast

Notable for? Mastic trees and unique medieval villages on Chios, shipbuilding families on tiny satellite islands Inousses and Pasas. Chios is one of the largest but least visited islands in Greece.

Chryssi

Beach on Chryssi.

Where is it? A small uninhabited island off the south coast of Crete, near Ierapetra.

Notable for? Whiter sand beaches and turquoise waters, often visited by tourist boats.

Crete

Preveli, Crete.

Where is it? The southern end of the Aegean. It’s the largest Greek island – you can’t miss it.

Notable for? Ancient Minoan history, fantastic beaches, old Venetian cities, varied scenery and microclimates, and excellent food.

Corfu

Paleokastritsa beach, Corfu.

Where is it? Part of the Ionian island group, Corfu is at the northern end of Greece’s west coast.

Notable for? Beautiful lush coastline, Italianate architecture, and sandy beaches popular with European tourists.

Delos and Rineia

Ancient statue at Delos.

Where is it? West of Mykonos, the spiritual centre of the Cyclades.

Notable for? Being one of Greece’s most famous and popular ancient attractions. The whole island is an archaeological site, as is Rineia, the larger island next door. There are less excavations on Rineia but it’s popular with tourist boats from Mykonos.

Donousa

Beach on Donousa.

Where is it? One of the Little Cyclades, located between Naxos and Amorgos.

Notable for? Its low-key boho scene and annual trail running race.

Diapontia Islands

Beach on Othonoi.

Where are they? Off the northwest coast of Corfu.

Notable for? Being the westernmost Greek islands. Usually a daytrip destination, Mathraki, Othonia, and Erikousa are a short sail from Corfu and it’s possible to stay overnight.

Diaporos

Where is it? Off the eastern shore of the Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki.

Notable for? The largest of a number of islets along, Diaporos is a short paddle from shore and surrounded by shallow turquoise waters,

Elafonisi

Simos beach on Elafonisi.

Where is it? Just off the southern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula, towards Kythira.

Notable for? Stunning white sand beaches and fantastic fish restaurants.

Evia

Thapsa beach on Evia.

Where is it? Cunningly disguised as the mainland, Evia is just off the north coast of Attica – not far from Athens at all.

Notable for? Untouched nature, campsites, and traditional beach villages.

Farmakonisi

Where is it? Very close to Turkey, north of Bodrum.

Notable for? Being a military post – no civilians allowed. A young Julius Caesar was once kidnapped and held for ransom here. 

Folegandros

Folegandros Chora.

Where is it? In the southern Cyclades, between Ios and Milos.

Notable for? Its stark beauty, sunsets, and increasingly chic clifftop town.

Fourni and Thimena

Where is it? Between Ikaria and Samos.

Notable for? Its straggly shape and mulberry trees. Fourni Kourseon and Thimena are the two largest of a mini archipelago (known as Fourni) with a quiet and traditional atmosphere. There are 10 smaller islets and lots of offshore shipwrecks.

Gavdos

Beach hammock on Gavdos.

Where is it? South of Crete.

Notable for? Sandy beaches and hippies.

Halki and Alimia

Nimborio harbour, Halki.

Where is it? North of Rhodes in the Dodecanese island group.

Notable for? Its rocky barren landscape and small neoclassical harbour called Nimporio.

Hydra and Dokos

Hydra Town.

Where is it? South of Athens, in the Argo Saronic island group.

Notable for? Its particularly beautiful harbour town, donkeys (vehicles are banned) and celebrity connections – Leonard Cohen lived here in the 60s. Dokos is a rocky uninhabited island between Hydra and the mainland.

Ikaria

Seychelles beach, Ikaria.

Where is it? In the middle of the Aegean, between Mykonos and Samos.

Notable for? Longevity (Ikaria is one of the Blue Zones). Being a mountainous island with an alternative spirit. 

Iraklia

Iraklia beach.

Where is it? One of the Little Cyclades group between Naxos and Ios.

Notable for? Its tranquility. Despite its picturesque looks, Iraklia has somehow escaped the crowds.

Ithaca

Vathi, Ithaka.

Where is it? Off the north east coast of Kefalonia.

Notable for? Its lush green landscape, pretty harbour villages, and being the alleged home of Odysseus.

Ios

Ios Chora.

Where is it? In the Cyclades group, north of Santorini.

Notable for? Its whitewashed hilltop town, untouched beaches, and the party scene at Mylopotamos.

Kea

Beach on Kea.

Where is it? In the western Cyclades.

Notable for? Being one of the closest islands to Athens – Kea is a popular weekend and summer destination. The ferry only takes 1 hour from Lavrio.

Kalamos and Kastos

Where are they? Two minor islands in the Ionian island group, located between Lefkada and the mainland.

Notable for? Being small and peaceful, mainly visited by daytrippers or sailors. 

Kalymnos and Telendos

Rock climbing on Kalymnos.

Where are they? In the Dodecanese island group, north of Kos.

Notable for? Its sponge-diving heritage, laid-back tourism, and rock-climbing scene. Telendos is an inhabited satellite off the north west coast of Kalymnos with a distinctive shape. Small boats connect the two at Myrties.

Karpathos, Kasos and Saria

Where are they? In the Dodecanese island group, between Crete and Rhodes.

Notable for? Karpathos is known for its dramatic mountainous scenery and traditional way of life. Saria is a beautiful islet to its north with a tiny farming population. Kasos is to the south of Karpathos and has a wild and traditional feel.

Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo harbour.

Where is it? The easternmost Greek island, far beyond Rhodes and tucked under Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.

Notable for? Its pretty neoclassical harbour and often being the focal point for tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Kefalonia

Fiskardo, Kefalonia.

Where is it? In the middle of the Ionian island group, off the west coast of Greece.

Notable for? Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, great wine, rugged mountain scenery, blue caves, Venetian villages, and low-key beach tourism.

Kimolos

Beach on Kimolos.

Where is it? In the Cyclades island group, between Milos and Sifnos.

Notable for? Its small size – Kimolos is one of Milos’ satellite islands. It has sandy beaches and charming whitewashed streets.

Kos

Beach beds on Kos.

Where is it? In the middle of the Dodecanese island chain.

Notable for? Being the home of Hippocrates. Long white sand beaches. Windsurfing and kitesurfing. Lots of cycle path.

Koufonisi

Beach on Koufonisi.

Where is it? In the Little Cyclades group, between Naxos and Amorgos.

Notable for? Being the most well-known of the Little Cyclades mini island group. Increasingly popular with island-hopper for its white sands, turquoise beaches, and carefree spirit.

Kythira and Antikythera

Steps to beach on Kythira.

Where is it? Technically part of the Ionian group, it’s nowhere near the other islands – instead it’s between the Peloponnese region and Crete.

Notable for? Its awkward location, Venetian castle, lovely landscape, and low-key tourism.

Antikythera is a small and remote island on the way to Crete, famous for its shipwreck which yielded the world’s oldest known analog computer.

Kythnos

Kolona beach on Kythnos.

Where is it? Western Cyclades, just past Kea.

Notable for? Being quiet and unspoiled – its usually overlooked by most visitors heading to the more famous islands in the Cyclades.

Lefkada

Beach on Lefkada.

Where is it? In the middle of the Ionian chain, north of Kefalonia.

Notable for? Its dazzling cliff beaches and fantastic watersports. Lefkada is connected to the mainland by road so no ferry required.

Leros

Pandeli, Leros.

Where is it? In the Dodecanese chain, north of Kalymnos.

Notable for? Military history and Italian rationalist architecture. Inspiring the film The Guns of Navarone. Its acoustic mirror.

Lemnos

Myrina, Lemnos.

Where is it? In the middle of the north Aegean.

Notable for? Windsurfing, wine, vast unorganised beaches, and its unique sand dune desert.

Lesvos

Molyvos harbour.

Where is it? In the North Aegean group, just off the Turkish coast.

Notable for? Sardines, solidarity (islanders were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their response to the refugee crisis), ouzo, the lovely harbour town Molyvos, and traditional beach tourism.

Lipsi

Where is it? In the Dodecanese island chain, 

Notable for? Being off the beaten track. Lipsi is small traditional island with an attractive harbour, surrounded by islets.

Makronissos

Where is it? Just off Lavrio on the Greek mainland.

Notable for? Its dark history – it has been a concentration camp, a quarantine island, and a notorious political prison.

Meganisi

Empty beach on Meganisi.

Where is it? In the Ionian island group, just off the east coast of Lefkada.

Notable for? Its pristine scenery and relaxed atmosphere.

Messenian Oinousses

Where are they? A small group of uninhabited islands off the south west coast of Peloponnese. Technically part of the Ionian. Sapientza and Schiza are the largest.

Notable for? The area’s many shipwrecks. They now form part of a nature reserve.

Milos and Polyaigos

Boat garages on Milos.

Where is it? The south west corner of the Cyclades.

Notable for? Milos is a volcanic island known for its unusual lunar landscapes. It has many sandy beaches and unusual colourful boat garages called klima.

Polyaigos is an uninhabited satellite island off the north east coast of Milos with spectacular rocky seascapes. It’s often visited by tourist boats.

Mykonos

Plati Gialos, Mykonos.

Where is it? In the middle of the Cyclades island group.

Notable for? Its glamorous beach parties, windmills, and the large whitewashed old town in Mykonos Chora.

Naxos

Naxos portara.

Where is it? In the Cyclades island group.

Notable for? Being the largest and greenest Cycladic island, with an attractive Venetian old town, prolific agricultural industry, mysterious portara doorway, and fabulous sandy beaches.

Nisyros and Giali

Where are they? In the Dodecanese island group, south of Kos.

Notable for? Nisyros is a volcanic island with rocky scenery and intriguing villages, often visited as a day trip from Kos but worthy of a longer stay.

Giali is a sparsely-inhabited satellite island to its north with large pumice mines.

Paros and Antiparos

Beach on Antiparos.

Where is it? In the Cyclades island group, west of Naxos.

Notable for? Its whitewashed towns and villages, sandy beaches, windsurfing scene, and cosmopolitan nightlife at Naoussa.

Antiparos is a small satellite island to its southwest with a bohemian beach crowd. Tom Hanks stays there, if you haven’t heard.

Uninhabited satellite island Despotiko is now the site of archaeological excavations.

Poros

Poros Town.

Where is it? Not to be confused with Paros, Poros is a lush island in the Argosaronic island group.

Notable for? The narrow and picturesque channel that passes between Poros Town and the mainland. Lots of boats and pines.

Paleo Trikeri

Where is it? At the very end of the Pelion Peninsula in central Greece.

Notable for? Olive trees and old mansions. Lack of cars. Trikeri also has a dark past as a concentration camp.

Patmos

Beach on Patmos.

Where is it? Towards the northern end of the Dodecanese island group.

Notable for? Being the place where John wrote the Book of Revelations. The fortified hilltop 11th century Monastery of Saint John. Pretty good beaches.

Paxos and Antipaxos

Gaios harbour, Paxos.

Where is it? In the Ionian island group, south of Corfu.

Notable for? Lovely green landscapes. Paxos’ harbour villages are a favourite with the yachting crowd. Antipaxos has incredible beaches with dazzling turquoise waters.

Psara

Where is it? West of Chios.

Notable for? Its shipbuilding heritage and tragic history – most of the population were massacred by the Turks during the Greek War of Independence.

Pserimos

Beach taverna, Pserimos.

Where is it? Between Kos and Kalymnos.

Notable for? Its sandy beach lined with tamarisk trees and tavernas. Pserimos only has one settlement and is usually visited by daytrippers from Kos although there are rooms on the island.

Rhodes

Palace of the Grand Masters, Rhodes.

Where is it? At the southern end of the Dodecanese chain.

Notable for? Medieval Rhodes Old Town with its blockbuster Crusader castle, ancient sites, and popular beach resorts.

Salamina

Where is it? Really close to Athens.

Notable for? The Battle of Salamis – one of the most famous naval battles ever. These days it’s a part of greater Athens and has a naval base and large population.

Samothraki

Temple on Samothraki.

Where is it? In the North Aegean.

Notable for? Being forgotten about, as it’s not on a ferry route to anywhere else. Green and mountainous, much of its landscape is protected. It has an ancient temple complex and plenty of waterfalls and hot springs. 

Santorini

Blue domed churches on Santorini.

Where is it? The southern end of the Cyclades. North of Crete.

Notable for? Being ‘the famous one’. A volcanic island with unique rock-hewn architecture, blue-domed churches, and an upmarket hotel scene. Oh, and the wine.

Samos and Samiopoula

Kokkari, Samos.

Where is it? One of the large North Aegean islands, Samos is just off the Turkish Coast near Kusadasi.

Notable for? Its ancient history (Samos was the home of Pythagoras), muscat wine, rugged green landscape, and charming harbour towns.

Samiopoula is a small islet off the south coast of Samos with turquoise waters and a beach taverna.

Schoinoussa

Where is it? In the Little Cyclades island group, south of Naxos.

Notable for? Being small, serene, and little-visited.

Skorpios

Where is it? In the Ionian islands, just off the east coast of Lekfada.

Notable for? Being Greece’s most famous private island. Once owned by Aristotle Onassis, Skorpios has recently been sold and is set to become an ultra-exclusive luxury tourist escape.

Serifos

Serifos Chora.

Where is it? The Western Cyclades.

Notable for? Its photogenic old town, and windmills, and unspoiled sandy beaches. Serifos has somehow remained under the radar.

Sifnos

Kamares, Sifnos.

Where is it? The Western Cyclades, south of Serifos.

Notable for? Immaculate sandy beaches, charming villages, vertiginous scenery, and some of the best food in Greece.

Sikinos

Sikinos harbour entrance.

Where is it? The southern Cyclades, between Folegandros and Ios.

Notable for? Being the least-visited and most traditional of all the major islands in the Cyclades group. 

Skiathos

Banana beach, Skiathos.

Where is it? Close to the Pelion region in the Sporades island group.

Notable for? Its many sandy beaches, pine forests, lively summer scene, cosmopolitan Skiathos town, and hair-raising airplane landings.

Skopelos

Rugged coastal landscape on Skopelos.

Where is it? In the Sporades island group, east of Skiathos.

Notable for? Being one of the main filming locations for Mamma Mia. Beautiful pebble beaches, pretty villages, and green scenery. 

Skyros

Skyros beach scene.

Where is it? Part of the Sporades island group but located further out than the rest, off the northern shore of Evia.

Notable for? One of the rarest horse breeds in the world. A diverse landscape. And a well-established alternative community.

Spetses

Waterfront in Spetses.

Where is it? Part of the Argo-Saronic islands, not far from Hydra.

Notable for? Its naval and shipbuilding heritage and an upmarket summer scene.

Spinalonga

Where is it? Off the north coast of Crete near Agios Nikolaos.

Notable for? Being the site of Venetian fortress and leper colony, as immortalised in fiction by Victoria Hislop. Often visited as a day trip.

Sphacteria

Where is it? A small uninhabited island at the entrance to the Bay of Pylos in the Peloponnese region.

Notable for? Being the site of several epic ancient battles.

Symi

Symi harbourfront.

Where is it? In the Dodecanese island chain, north of Rhodes

Notable for? Its particularly beautiful neoclassical port town.

Thirasia

Where is it? Opposite Santorini.

Notable for? Technically part of the same volcanic crater as Santorini. Few make it over here, so it feels like Santorini before mass tourism.

Tilos

Where is it? In the Dodecanese island chain, north of Rhodes.

Notable for? Remaining decidedly low-key and natural in the face of tourism. Increasingly eco-friendly.

Tinos

A beach on Tinos.

Where is it? Between Andros and Mykonos in the Cyclades.

Notable for? Pilgrims. Quiet beaches. Doveots. Lovely inland villages. Food trails and alternative wines.

Trizonia

Where is it? A tiny island in the Gulf of Corinth.

Notable for? Its picturesque harbour and lack of cars. 

Thassos

A sandy beach on Thassos.

Where is it? The northernmost island in the Aegean, Thassos is just off the coast near Kavala.

Notable for? Its dramatic mountain scenery, great beaches, top notch marble (there are lots of mines here), and laid-back beach tourism.

Zakynthos

Shipwreck Bay, Zakynthos.

Where is it? The southernmost of the Ionian islands off Greece’s west coast.

Notable for? That famous shipwreck beach. Turtles. Popular beach resorts.

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Image credits:

Aegina: © siete_vidas1 / Adobe Stock

Agistri: © Aerial-motion / Shutterstock

Amorgos: © kite_rin / Adobe Stock

Anafi: © Michael / Adobe Stock

Alonnisos: © sangriana / Adobe Stock

Andros: © Freesurf / Adobe Stock

Astypaleia: © kite_rin / Adobe Stock

Chios: © Iraklis Milas / Adobe Stock

Chryssi: © gatsi / Adobe Stock

Crete: © Georgios Tsichlis / Shutterstock

Corfu: © lukaszimilena / Adobe Stock

Delos: © Kartouchken / Adobe Stock

Donousa: © John / Adobe Stock

Diapontia: © Giovanni Rinaldi / Adobe Stock

Elafonisi: © Martin / Adobe Stock

Evia: © costas1962 / Adobe Stock

Folegandros: © jcfmorata / Adobe Stock

Gavdos: © gatsi / Adobe Stock

Halki: © lubos K / Adobe Stock

Hydra: © kokixx / Adobe Stock

Ikaria: © Thomas Jastram / Adobe Stock

Iraklia: © stockbksts / Adobe Stock

Ithaca: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Ios: © milangonda / Adobe Stock

Kea: © costas1962 / Adobe Stock

Kalymnos: © Iuliia Leonova / Adobe Stock

Kastellorizo: © sonyakamoz / Adobe Stock

Kefalonia: © Calin Stan / Adobe Stock

Kimolos: © kokixx / Adobe Stock

Kos: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Koufonisia: © aetherial / Adobe Stock

Kythira: © gatsi / Adobe Stock

Kythnos: © Mike / Adobe Stock

Lefkada: © Ljupco Smokovski / Adobe Stock

Leros: © Thomas Jastram / Adobe Stock

Lemnos: © Tanja Wilbertz / Adobe Stock

Lesvos: © dgiannisdim / Adobe Stock

Meganisi: © Chester Tugwell / Shutterstock

Milos: © gatsi / Adobe Stock

Mykonos: © moofushi / Adobe Stock

Naxos: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Antiparos: © Constantinos Iliopoulos/ Shutterstock

Poros: © sborisov / Adobe Stock

Patmos: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Paxos: © kite_rin / Adobe Stock

Pserimos: © virginievanos / Adobe Stock

Rhodes: © Vladimir Zhoga / Shutterstock

Samothraki: © vkara / Adobe Stock

Santorini: © AnastasiiaUsoltceva

Samos: © r_andrei / Adobe Stock

Serifos: © Freesurf / Adobe Stock

Skiathos: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Sifnos: © The Mediterranean Traveller

Sikinos: © vivoo / Adobe Stock

Skopelos: The Mediterranean Traveller

Skyros: © Stratos Giannikos / Adobe Stock

Spetses: © MaratYakhin / Adobe Stock

Symi: © timltv / Adobe Stock

Tinos: © costas1962 / Adobe Stock

Thassos: © Stefan Sorea / Shutterstock

Zakynthos: © GKor / Adobe Stock