Many people vacation to Greece for the ease of island hopping. Tourists enjoy visiting islands because of the beautiful beaches, caves, and picturesque towns. Many island beaches are certified with a "blue flag" under the Blue Flags Europe Program, meaning they are safe for swimming and various activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing and windsurfing. With over 6000 islands, it may be hard for couples to choose which one to visit.
The Greek islands are grouped in separate clusters. The closest to Athens is the Argo-Saronic Islands in the Saronic gulf. Closer to the Aegean Sea are the Cyclades. Off the west coast of Turkey are the North Aegean Islands, and between Crete and Turkey are the Dodecanese. Off the coast of Euboea is Sporades and the Ionian Islands are on the west of the Ionian Sea.
There's something about Greek Islands that make them ideal for honeymoons or newlyweds. Perhaps it's the crystal blue waters or the atmosphere of Greek living that makes it ideal. Although the islands of Santorini and Mykonos are the immediate-thoughts when mentioning "Greek Islands", there are more beyond the two most popular ones. Some of best islands to visit for couples are Santorini, Hydra, Koufonisia and Crete.
Santorini is the perfect island for romance and luxury. Located just 200km southeast of Athens, most people opt to either take a ferry ride (5-8 hours) or a flight from central Athens (less than 1 hour). The most popular tourist towns in Santorini are Fira and Oia. The population of Santorini is around 15,500 and it takes around 45 minutes to drive from Santorini one end to the other.
There's a reason why Santorini is the first island that comes to mind when thinking about honeymoons or romantic vacations. The island consists of a series of cliffs, and intense blues and whites. The contrast between the houses and the sea, making the cliffs, whitewashed houses and the sea one of the most beautiful landscapes to ever witness.
Things to do
Couples have a wide selection of activities to do on the island as Santorini has a large collection of luxury hotels, fine-dining restaurants, spas, hot springs and beaches. Couples can also go on excursions such as wine tours, sailing cruises or water activities such as parasailing or windsurfing. There are plenty of leisure activities to participate in, from riding donkeys, to taking strolls around alleys, trying local dishes, hiking on trails, going on bike trails, or even visiting ancient sites - there is something for everyone on this island!
For privacy, couples are recommended to book in smaller caldera villages or inland to quieter villages as beach-side resorts are typically booked up and full. However, for a hotel that is close to the city center and has amazing amenities, we recommend Alti Santorini Suites. This hotel is for adults only, providing a quieter and more secluded environment, as well as private pools and beautiful views of the sea.
Hydra is located in the center of the Argo Saronic Gulf. It is a popular destination as it is located very close to Athens, so it's easily approachable within 2-4 hours. There is not an airport there, so you will have to take the ferry to visit the island. Hydra is often a major stop for local boat tours.
Hydra is also known for its beautiful beaches and charming town. It is sometimes called the "unspoiled island" because no forms of automobiles are allowed on the island, meaning people must walk or ride donkeys.There is a "Little England" on the island that has architecture similar to European flare. Former residents such as Leonard Cohen made the island seem more bohemian.
Things to Do
"Hydra" means "Water" in Greek and it was named after the natural springs. Hydra is one of the best places to enjoy water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or swimming because of the abundance of surrounding beaches and crystal clear waters. However, if you are looking for organized activities to join, this place is not for you. Organized activities are extremely limited and run out months in advance. Other than water activities, there are plenty of monasteries, nunneries and art galleries to visit.
A hotel we recommend is the Bratsera Hotel & Restaurant. This adults only resort is ideal for couples with plenty of facilities including swimming pools and restaurants.
Koufonisia is a small island that sits in the center of the Aegean Sea and a part of the Cyclades Island Group. In fact, Koufonisia is a complex of islands, Ano Koufonissi and Kato Koufonissi. Ano Koufonissi is where everything happens, while Kato Koufonisi is a separate uninhabited island and can only be reached by boat from Ano Koufonissi.
This small island is a well-kept secret! You won't be surrounded or crowded with tourists and will feel comfortable walking from corner to corner of the island (only 3.5km long). However, it's still populated enough to feel like you're not in an abandoned town. Being away from the city has also given it extremely clear waters and visitors the ability to stargaze.
Things to do
There is not much to do on this tiny island other than walking and water activities. There are plenty of getaway activities to choose from, such as just relaxing on its white sand beaches while overlooking the bright waters, snorkeling, renting a bike or taking boat trips around the island. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and Instagrammable locations to explore.
For accommodation, we recommend Koufonisia Hotel & Resort. This couples resort even includes a traditional breakfast!
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It has a population of over 600,000 people and the capital city is called Heraklion.
Crete has beautiful beaches, unbelievable ancient sites and popping tourists all year round. Crete is a natural beauty especially along the coastline, with amazing beaches and views of the Mediterranean. There are plenty of mountains, valleys, gorges and rivers for the nature lover. Especially for couples who enjoy partying and vibrant nightlife, Crete is the ideal place to go.
Things to Do
As Crete is a luxury destination, it is fantastic for shopaholic couples. If you are planning on surprising your significant other with an elaborate gift on this trip, then you have to the ideal place.
There are also plenty of boutiques and small unique stores in the smaller towns. Like all other islands, there are plenty of water activities to choose from that will keep you entertained through your trip! Tourists can choose to go snorkeling, diving, swimming, parasailing etc.
For couples, we highly recommend the luxurious and spacious Blue Bay Resort Hotel. Situated on the beach and very close to public transit makes it very easy to navigate around the island. There are both indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a tennis court and full spa and bar, making it the ideal couples getaway!