What is the Most Popular Greek Island?

Santorini from the Apanemo Hotel
••• Santorini from the Apanemo Hotel. Apanemo Hotel, used by permission

Lots of Greek Islands are popular - but which one is tops?:

Depending on how you calculate it, there are several "most popular" Greek islands. But travelers beware - the "most popular" Greek islands are usually the busiest and most expensive as well - but may not be the most beautiful. Check to see which one fits your own travel style.

What's the Most Visited Greek Island? - Santorini:

By most counts, Santorini is definitely the most-visited Greek island.

It's a regular stop on most of the cruise lines serving Greece, and can also be easily reached by plane, ferry, and hydrofoil from mainland Greece and many other Greek islands.

Coming in second is Crete, followed by Corfu, Rhodes and Mykonos. But Santorini is not the most popular island for local Greek travelers.

What's the Most Popular Greek Island for Weddings? - Santorini Again:

Santorini takes top honors in the wedding sweepstakes, with more foreign weddings taking place than any other Greek island. It's also the top honeymoon location - though launching married life on the top of a still-active volcano has never seemed to be the best idea to me.

What's the Most Popular Island for Greeks?:

Many Greeks find Santorini too expensive and too overrun with foreign tourists, though it still ranks highly for romantic getaways. (What is it about love and sulphur, anyway?) They flock to Paros, Skiathos, Aigina, and Evvia.

What's the Most Popular Island for Gay Travelers? Mykonos:

The international jet-setting island of Mykonos was first to become popular with gays, and it still holds this distinction. For gay women travelers, the Greek island of Lesvos or Lesbos is a kind of pilgrimage spot as the home of famed Greek poetess Sappho, who ran a school for girls on the island about 2500 years ago.

But history-minded gays may also want to give Santorini a look - excavations found ancient graffiti in what was once a popular cliff-side hang-out for young men, and some of the inscriptions read the ancient Greek equivalent of "Jake loves Jack!" Interestingly enough, these are among the very earliest Greek inscriptions found anywhere.

Most Popular Greek Islands by Nationality:

The rest of Europe loves Greece and certain islands seem to almost belong to tourists of one nationality or another. While everyone is welcome everywhere, if you are looking to spend your vacation in Greece with your fellow citizens, here is a list of some of the islands by tourist origin.

Why are some islands popular with one nationality, and not with another? Usually, it's one of three reasons - history (the island may have been owned or invaded by that nation in the past), literary (a native writer from that country wrote about that particular island) and cinematic (a movie about that island was popular in that nation).

Amorgos - French travelers visit this island, the filming location for the Luc Besson film "The Big Blue".

Crete - German, British, New Zealand/Aussie, American, former Soviet Bloc tourists. The Germans invaded and occupied Crete during the Second World War, displacing the British and New Zealand troops on the island.

Veterans and descendents of all of these nationalities still visit, and the current American base at Souda Bay assures a steady flow of travelers as well. Fans of "The Island" - a novel set on Spinalonga - also flock to Crete.

Corfu - Italian, British tourists. Corfu was under the control of both at different times.

Skiathos and Skopelos - British, Greek, and "Mamma Mia the Movie" fans of all nations.

Kefallonia - Italian, British, German

Rhodes - British, Italian.

Zakynthos - Zante - Popular with Brits and Irish travelers.

More on Travel in Greece:


Plan Your Own Trip to Greece

Flights To and Around Greece: Athens and Other Greece Flights - The airport code for Athens International Airport is ATH.

Find and Compare prices on: Hotels in Greece and the Greek Islands


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Book your Own Short Trips Around Greece and the Greek Islands