Greece holds a special place in my heart as the perfect place for couples seeking an enchanting getaway. I’ve discovered its beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, and the rich tapestry of historic sites. The Greek Islands, in particular, rank among the most romantic destinations in the world.
In this post, I detail the ten best Greek islands for couples. Having explored these destinations, I can attest to the unique qualities that make each island special. This guide will share my favorites as well as important tips and romantic hotels, guaranteeing a fantastic trip with your loved one!
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Best islands in Greece for couples: Quick comparison
Santorini is one of the most romantic Greek islands, making it a popular choice for honeymooners. Some of the top activities here include wine tasting tours, sunset cruises, and visiting the iconic black sand beaches.
Additionally, you can find various traditional Cycladic towns here, most famously Fira and Oia. Fira is the largest town and where you’ll find most accommodations. However, Oia is the biggest attraction, well-known for its luxury resorts with infinity pools.
Recognizable for its postcard-worthy whitewashed houses, Oia offers breathtaking views over the caldera. With this in mind, Santorini ranks as the number one Greek island for beautiful sunsets.
If you’d like to spend time relaxing in the sun, head to the southeast coast to discover Santorini’s distinctive black sand beaches. For example Kamari Beach, Perissa Beach, and Perivolos Beach, all serve as reminders of the island’s volcanic activity.
Keep in mind that Santorini experiences major overtourism during peak season. Therefore, one of our best travel tips is to consider visiting Santorini during the shoulder season, ideally in May or October.
The best places for couples to stay in Santorini:
Crete, Greece’s biggest island, is located south of the Cyclades and southwest of the Dodecanese. It was once the center of the Minoan civilization and nowadays offers an ideal mix of archaeological sites, beaches, and outdoor activities.
Notably more budget-friendly than Santorini or Mykonos, Crete stands out as the best Greek island for couples on a budget. In general, most towns and hotels are on the more developed north end of the island, including Heraklion and Chania.
For a quieter experience, the thriving seaside towns of Agios Nikolaos and Rethymnon provide a charming alternative.
Some couples opt to stay on the serene southern coast, home to stunning beaches like Elafonisi Beach. Other popular beaches on Crete are Balos Beach, Falasarna Beach, Vai Beach, and Matala Beach.
For couples with a penchant for ancient history, Crete boasts numerous Minoan ruins. The most visited is the Palace of Knossos near Heraklion, followed by the Minoan Palaces of Phaistos–near Matala Beach–and Malia–halfway between Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos.
Crete is also the best place to visit in Greece for couples who love the outdoors. For example, visit Samaria Gorge National Park, home to Europe’s scenic Samaria Gorge Trail, and Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony with captivating views and historic ruins.
The best places for couples to stay in Crete:
- Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa (Chania Old Town)
- Domes Noruz Chania (Kato Daratso)
- Rimondi Boutique Hotel (Rethymno)
Corfu, known as “Kerkyra” to the Greeks, ranks among our top choices for a romantic getaway. As the second-largest of the Ionian islands, Corfu boasts a rich history dating back to the 8th century BC, having witnessed the influences of the Venetians, French, and British.
Renowned for its picturesque beaches, secluded coves, and authentic culture, Corfu is a popular destination for romantic trips and Greece honeymoons. Notably, Corfu has more foreign residents than any other Greek island.
Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to historical attractions like the Old Venetian Fortress and Saint Spyridon Church.
While Corfu offers numerous medieval fortresses and monasteries, we recommend renting a scooter to visit the romantic Canal D’Amour. After all, local legend suggests that couples who swim here together will remain in love forever.
For history enthusiasts, the Achilleion Palace Museum, a short drive from Corfu town, is a must-visit. Originally built for Empress Elisabeth (“Sisi”) of Austria in the late 19th century, the palace now welcomes the public to admire its architecture and gardens.
We also suggest checking out Paleokastritsa, a traditional village in northwestern Corfu with various beaches nearby. Other must-see attractions on the island include the summit of Mount Pantokrator, Corfu Donkey Rescue, and Porto Timoni Beach.
The best places for couples to stay in Corfu:
Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese group. Nicknamed “the Island of the Knights,” it features various medieval castles, churches, and settlements, making it one of the most romantic islands in Greece.
The Order of St John occupied this island beginning in the 14th century. At present, Rhodes Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered “one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period.”
History enthusiasts will particularly enjoy wandering through this maze of cobblestone streets and medieval fortifications. In ancient times, Rhodes was actually the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
History lovers can also explore attractions like the Lindos Acropolis, the Archaeological Site of Kamiros, the old port of Mandraki, and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
For a romantic outing, visit the Valley of Butterflies. This butterfly sanctuary is about 30 minutes from Rhodes Town and is home to thousands of Jersey tiger moths beginning in late May each year.
Rhodes also features beautiful beaches, including Anthony Quinn Bay, Tsambika Beach, Agios Pavlos Beach, and Lindos Beach. We also suggest visiting the natural springs at Kallithea, once famous for their healing properties.
The best places for couples to stay in Rhodes:
- Lindos Blu Luxury Hotel-Adults only (Lindos)
- Medieval Inn (Rhodes Town)
- Atrium Prestige Thalasso Spa Resort & Villas (Lachania)
Often likened to Ibiza, Mykonos is a famous party island and one of the best Greek holidays for couples looking for a bustling nightlife. With countless restaurants, bars, and beach clubs, the island offers endless entertainment throughout the day.
Mykonos Town, with its charming whitewashed buildings and Little Venice neighborhood, features top-notch shopping and dining options. Or, if you’d like to experience Mykonos’ party scene, don’t miss the famous Jackie O’s and Super Paradise Beach Club along the south coast.
If you prefer sun-soaked relaxation, Platis Gialos, Ornos Beach, and Psarou Beach are perfect sandy retreats. More active couples can try windsurfing or kitesurfing, embracing the island’s moniker, “The Island of the Winds.”
For those considering Greek island hopping, a day trip to Delos is a must from Mykonos. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features impressive ruins like the House of Dionysus and the Temple of Apollo.
Generally speaking, Mykonos is easy to reach, thanks to its international airport. However, it’s important to note that a vacation on this island can be pricey, ranking among the most expensive Greek destinations alongside Santorini.
The best places for couples to stay in Mykonos:
Paros, part of the Cyclades island group, offers a serene and affordable alternative to crowded destinations like Santorini and Mykonos. Perfect for romantic getaways, it features golden sand beaches, historical sites, and vibrant nightlife.
Monastiri Beach is the best beach in Paros, known for its upscale beach bar and crystal-clear waters. Other notable beaches include Kolymbithres Beach with unique granite rock formations and the expansive Santa Maria Beach.
Take advantage of Paros’ seasonal meltemi winds by trying windsurfing or kitesurfing at Golden Beach (Chrissi Akti) or New Golden Beach (Nea Chrissi Akti).
Paros is one of the best places in Greece for couples because it’s incredibly well-rounded. The island’s appeal extends beyond beaches, offering diverse experiences in towns like Parikia and Naoussa, each with traditional tavernas and lively nightlife.
The island’s mountain villages are a big draw for history lovers visiting Greece. Other can’t-miss sites include Panagia Ekatontapiliani Church and the Archaeological Museum of Paros.
While in Paros, we also recommend taking a day trip to the island of Antiparos. This small island is less than a nautical mile (1.9 km) from Paros. Plus, it has attractions like a 15th-century Venetian castle, Antiparos Cave, and the adorable town of Chora.
The best places for couples to stay in Paros:
Milos, a hidden gem in the Cyclades, stands out as one of our top Greek islands for a romantic getaway. The “Island of Lovers” features gorgeous beaches, charming fishing villages, and hidden coves.
Despite a surge in tourism in recent decades, this picture-perfect island remains one of the best places to go in Greece for couples seeking a slower-paced retreat. Just be aware that the island is relatively small, so accommodations get booked up quickly.
The capital, Plaka, embodies a traditional Cycladic village with whitewashed homes and Green souvenir shops, while fishing villages like Klima showcase colorful traditional “syrmata” (fishermen’s homes).
Thanks to its volcanic background, Milos is often compared to Santorini as a less crowded alternative. Sarakiniko Beach–known for its unique lunar landscape– Tsigrado Beach, Firiplaka Beach, and Provatas Beach are must-visit destinations.
While in Milos, we highly suggest booking a guided sailing cruise to Kleftiko. Swim through the caves of Milos and enjoy crystal-clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling. Many of these areas are only accessible by boat!
The best places for couples to stay in Milos:
- White Coast Pool Suites, Adults Only – Small Luxury Hotels of the World (Mytakas)
- Cave Suites Milos (Adamantas)
- Lithos Luxury Rooms (Adults Only) (Adamantas)
Once known as “Hydrea” due to its natural springs, Hydra is a charming Saronic island accessible exclusively by sea. A quick 2-hour high-speed ferry ride from Athens’ Piraeus port, it sits a mere 37 nautical miles (69 km) from mainland Greece.
This romantic Greek island is famous as a getaway for bohemian celebrities, most notably Leonard Cohen and Sophia Loren. However, Hydra is likely best known because of its ban on cars and motorcycles.
With this in mind, your options for transportation include donkeys, horses, water taxis, or walking! Despite this limitation, the best things to do in Hydra, concentrated around the port, are easily accessible.
To explore beyond the harbor, consider a horseback riding excursion. Trek to notable sites like Agios Konstantinos, Aghia Matrona, Agios Nikolaos Monastery, Profitis Ilias, or even reach scenic beaches like Vlychos Beach and Kaminia Beach on horseback.
Given its small size, a stay of two to four days on Hydra is best. If you have a week or more, we suggest pairing Hydra with a visit to Athens. In my opinion, Hydra is one of the best destinations in Greece for couples looking to get off the beaten path.
The best places for couples to stay in Hydra:
- Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites (Plakes Vlichos)
- Hotel Sophia (Hydra Port)
- Hotel Leto Hydra (Hydra Port)
Zakynthos, or “Zante,” is part of the Ionian islands just west of the Greek mainland. It’s well-known for its natural beauty, pristine sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and romantic atmosphere, making this island one of the best places to visit in Greece for couples.
The island’s most iconic spot, Navagio Beach, featuring a famous shipwreck, is certifiably Instagram famous. Accessible only by boat, a tour is a must for an unforgettable experience.
Apart from Shipwreck Beach, this beautiful Greek island has many other attractions. History lovers can explore the Bóchali Venetian Castle, offering breathtaking views–conveniently located a 5-minute drive from town.
A glass-bottom boat trip to the Blue Caves is another highlight. Launching from Skinari or Agios Nikolaos Port, these tours often combine visits to both Shipwreck Beach and the caves in one trip.
If you enjoy wildlife, you’ll appreciate “Turtle Island,” home to the first national park in the Mediterranean dedicated to protecting sea turtles: The National Marine Park of Zakynthos. Here, you may spot loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in their natural nesting habitat.
For those who prefer to relax on a beach, Zakynthos has everything from long, sandy beaches to secluded coves. Makris Gialos Beach stands out as a favorite, along with contenders like Xigia Sulfur Beach and Gerakas Beach.
The best places for couples to stay in Zakynthos:
- Tsamis Zante Suites (Kipseli)
- Contessina Suites & Spa – Adults Only (Tsilivi)
- Olea All Suite Hotel (Tsilivi)
Naxos is actually the largest island in the Cyclades. However, it’s far less developed than Santorini or Mykonos, making it perfect for Greek island holidays for couples. Experience authentic Greek villages, stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and many hiking opportunities.
The main town, Chora (or “Naxos Town”), serves as an excellent base for exploration, with the Old Town neighborhood featuring narrow stone streets and traditional tavernas along the port. Don’t miss the Old Market for local souvenirs.
For beach lovers, Plaka Beach, known for its soft sand, crystal clear water, and a variety of restaurants and bars, is a favorite. Other top beaches include Agios Prokopios Beach and Mikri Vilga Beach, all a short drive from town.
If you and your partner want to see ancient ruins, Naxos is home to the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Demeter. The Temple of Apollo, a short walk from Naxos Town, provides a romantic sunset spot.
In our opinion, Naxos is also one of the best islands in Greece for couples who enjoy hiking. In particular, the most famous hike leads to the top of Mount Zas (Zeus)–the highest point in the Cyclades and the mythological childhood home of Zeus.
While in Naxos, we also highly recommend visiting the traditional Cycladic towns nestled in the mountains. Our top three are Chalkio (also called Chalki or Halki), Filoti, and Apeiranthos.
The best places for couples to stay in Naxos:
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This article was first published in February 2023 and has since been updated.