Greece is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Why? Because it’s a country of immense history, natural beauty, and excellent food. The country boasts an average of 33 million tourists per year worldwide. And these visitors flock to Athens, the islands, and the mountains all over the country.
Greece is full of incredible islands. There are over 6,000 islands in this majestic country, and each one has unique characteristics. You’ve likely seen them splashed over social media daily. But in this article, we will look at the Biggest Greek Islands and what makes these islands worth visiting!
The Biggest Greek Islands to Visit
(8,336 km2 – 3,219 sq. miles)
Let’s start with the biggest island in Greece – the stunning island of Crete. Visitors love the gorgeous weather on this island, situated in the far south of the country, and the weather is consistently beautiful. The island is over 3,219 square miles and more than double the size of all the other Largest Greek Islands.
And because it’s so large, there is so much to see and do. One of the island’s highlights is the Rethymnon Old Town, which is an insight into Greece’s heritage. Visitors love Rethymnon Old Town’s epic restaurants, architecture, and vibrant atmosphere.
Crete is home to some stunning beaches, with Elafonisi and Balos being a few of the most famous. And if you want good nightlife, visit the town of Malia during the summer months for some of the most vibrant nightlife you’ll ever see.
You might also want to check out: Greek Islands with airports.
(3,670 km2 – 1,417 sq. miles)
Euboea is the second largest Greek island, and it has an area of 1,417 square miles. Therefore, the island has loads to offer. Remaining relatively untouched by tourism, you’ll miss a lot of the big crowds.
Visitors love seeing Dirfi, the tallest mountain in the Euboea that offers impressive views of the surrounding seas. The island also has some excellent beaches, including Thapsa Beach, Korasida Beach, and Kalamos Beach, and all of these offer ideal blue waters in which to swim.
And if you like history, check out the Karababa Castle in Khalkis – it’s a great hike and has epic views. Because it’s one of the Largest Greek Islands, there are many hidden gems to find all over!
(1,633 km2 – 630 sq. miles)
Lesbos is a grand island and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole of Greece. The island is in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea and has a long history and over 200 miles of beautiful coastline, making it one of the Biggest Greek Islands.
Visitors visit Lesbos for countless reasons, but many will head to the Castle of Molyvos. This castle dates back to the 11th century and withstood attacks from Smyrna. The Venetians built the castle because they expected an invasion from the Ottomans.
You should also check out Agios Isidoros Beach, one of the island’s best beaches, with crystal clear waters and excellent swimming conditions.
(1,401 km2 – 541 sq. miles)
Rhodes is one of the most visited Greek islands, attracting over 2 million visitors in 2019, and is part of the Dodecanese Greek Island groups. The island is home to some of Greece’s best history, and it has scenery that will blow you away. It is one of the biggest Greek Islands, with an area of 541 square miles.
If you love beaches, you’ll love Rhodes. One of the island’s most famous beaches is Tsambika Beach, which has some of the most stunning blue sea and sand in Greece. Anthony Quinn Bay is another excellent option, a secluded gem on the island. But if you come to Rhodes, you’ll have to explore the heritage, which means visiting the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. This castle is a medieval structure on the island that dates back to 1309.
Check out: What to do in Rhodes island, Greece.
(842.3 km2 – 325 sq. miles)
Chios isn’t an island that you hear a great deal about, but that doesn’t mean it’s without excellent attractions. The island is 842 square miles and one of the Biggest Greek Islands. It’s home to classic Greek beaches, UNESCO world heritage sites, and medieval villages.
Visitors love the Nea Moni, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The site is an 11th-century monastery situated 15km from Chios town. It’s notorious for its mosaics, known as some of the best Macedonian Renaissance art in the country. You should also pay a visit to Mavra Volia, a stunning beach that overlooks an array of black volcanic pebbles.
(781 km2 – 302 sq. miles)
Kefalonia is a trendy island in Greece, and travelers regularly recommend it for its superb beaches, restaurants, and small villages. The island is over 302 square miles, making it one of the Biggest Greek Islands.
Kefalonia is home to Myrtos Beach, which is one of the most incredible beaches in the whole of Greece, if not the whole of Europe. It offers marvelous blue seas and pristine white sand. And this isn’t the only great beach around – be sure to check out Petani Beach and Antisamos Beach. Furthermore, Mount Ainos National Park is an epic spot to visit and hike around.
Check out: The best things to do in Kefalonia, Greece.
(592.9 km2 – 229 sq. miles)
Corfu is very popular among travelers, and it’s rare not to hear the island mentioned when travelers discuss Greek Isles. It is one of the Largest Greek Islands, officially the 7th biggest in the country. You will find everything from beaches, old architecture, and excellent restaurants.
If you visit Corfu, you have to visit the Paleokastritsa Monastery – it is a stunning building and offers amazing views of Corfu. You can see the Monastery with a short walk up the hill, taking in some of the majestic views as you get up to the top.
But you just can’t visit Corfu without exploring the coast and the beautiful beaches. Visitors love a wide range of beaches, including Mirtiotissa Beach, Arillas Beach, and Pelekas Beach. Corfu has so many beaches that it’s a premier beach destination in the Greek islands.
Check out: What to do in Corfu island, Greece.
(477.6 km2 – 184 sq. miles)
Lemnos is a hidden gem in the Greek Islands and remains far less visited than the other Greek islands. This is one of the Biggest Greek Islands, and at a size of 477 square miles, it’s the 8th Largest Greek Island.
A popular attraction in Lemnos is Thanos Beach. It is an excellent spot to relax and take a refreshing swim in the calm sea. The island is also home to the Panagia Kakaviotissa Church, which is in an open lava cave, a stunning place to visit in the morning. You’ll also get amazing views of the mountains that surround the church.
(477.4 km2 – 184 sq. miles)
Samos, only a few kilometers from Turkey, is a gorgeous Greek island in the Eastern Aegean Sea. Samos is home to some excellent beaches, history, and hiking spots.
One of Samos’s top attractions is Livadaki Beach, a great spot to take your family. It has a safe, crystal blue sea and a secluded feeling. Samos Town remains the most popular place to stay on the island, and visitors love its excellent restaurants and bars. You should also check out the Heraion of Samos, which was a large sanctuary to the goddess Hera.
(429.8 km2 – 166 sq. miles)
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and was the center of archaic Cycladic culture. Despite not being one of Greece’s most visited islands, it has a lot of great things to see, and you’ll skip a lot of the tourist crowds. Naxos has an area of 166 square miles, and is, therefore, one of the Largest Greek Islands.
Visitors who come to Naxos won’t miss Plaka Beach. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the region and immensely popular for anyone looking for a good swim and relaxation. But the island is full of excellent hikes and national parks, including Zas Mountain and Cedar Forest of Alyko. You should also visit the Temple of Apollon, historic Greek ruins with superb city views.
Check out: What to do in Naxos Island, Greece.