The Greenest Greek Islands to Visit

Greece is known for its wonderful islands, endless blue waters, and distinct architecture. Each island complex has a unique landscape, such as the barren, wild landscape of the Cycladic islands. However, Greece also has some islands with lush vegetation and rich forests.

If you’re looking for green Greek islands to spend your summer holidays relaxing in the shade and the breeze, we have a list of the greenest Greek islands for you!

12 Green Islands to Visit in Greece

1. Corfu

Angelokastro In Corfu - Greenest Greek Islands
Angelokastro In Corfu

Corfu, also known as Kerkira is definitely on the list of the greenest islands in Greece, featuring endless hills of pine forests and lush vegetation providing shade. It is among the Ionian islands, known for its pristine waters and green surroundings, creating a strong contrast that remains unforgettable to the visitor’s eye.

Corfu has the perfect beach getaways with some hidden coves for the ones who wish for privacy and organized beaches with beach bars, sunbeds, and umbrellas for those who wish to relax. The island boasts more than 58 beaches!

Paleokastritsa Beach in Corfu
Paleokastritsa Beach in Corfu

Among the best beaches in Corfu is Paleokastritsa, located 23 km away from Corfu town, which is a stunning cove surrounded by green hills. For nature enthusiasts, Rovinia Beach is a gem hidden amongst pine trees with bright turquoise waters to dive into. You can only reach Rovinia Beach by boat.

For another scenic landscape on this green Greek island, head to Porto Timoni, a less-discovered sandy “tombolo” beach, which is a large strip of land that creates two different beaches facing each other!

Liapades Village in Corfu

If you wish to explore the island more, you can walk around Corfu town, which is predominantly known for the Venetian influence, prevalent in the Venetian fortresses, a French-style arcade, and the famous grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George. Head to the Liston, the main square, for a coffee and marvel at all the imposing buildings.

Liston in Corfu

If you wish to see more of Corfu:

  • Visit the Mon Repos Villa
  • Hike around Angelokastro 
  • Visit Agios Spyridon Church
  • Hike to Mount Pantokrator
  • Go on a day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos

2. Paxos

Lakka Village in Paxos

Paxos and Antipaxos are two neighboring islands in the Ionian, popular for perhaps the most beautiful turquoise waters in Greece. The islands are covered in vines and pine forests decorating the inland all the way to the shores.

On the west of the island, you can find Erimitis Beach, which was created in 2007 when part of the cliff collapsed, forming a small bay amidst the white rocky surroundings. It is the perfect pebbly beach for nature lovers, and you can get there by hiking down a somewhat rough trail.

Erimitis Beach on the green island of Paxos

The view is magnificent and really worth the effort. You will find some shade provided by the steep cliffs over the bay.

While in Paxos, visit Gaios to stroll around and see the tradition of the island, where you can also find the Paxos museum. If you like off-the-grid adventures, you can try hiking around Paxos since it’s a small island.

You can find trails leading to villages like Ozias and Boikatika which are picturesque. All of the island is green, with olive groves and pines.

Antipaxos island

Another thing not to miss while in Paxos is to head to Antipaxos. It is just ten minutes from Paxos and you can get there by water taxi from the harbor of Gaios.

There, you can find beaches that resemble the Caribbean. One of them is Vrika Beach with crystal-clear shallow waters. It is considered a family-friendly beach.

3. Kefalonia

Assos, Kefalonia - beautiful Greek Villages
Assos, Kefalonia

Right in the heart of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is Paradise on Earth, with amazing beaches of enchanting waters, and picturesque villages to visit. It has a breathtaking, green landscape and the distinct beauty that was featured in the famous film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Among the top beaches to swim in is Myrtos, internationally known as one of the best beaches in the whole world. It has the brightest turquoise, shallow waters that deepen into the purest blue one can find.

Myrtos Beach from above
Myrtos Beach

It has white pebbles and it is well organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, and a beach bar to grab drinks or something to eat. Another great spot is Antisamos Beach near Sami which was one of the settings for the film. It is surrounded by rich vegetation in green hills with great views.

It is well-organized with every amenity you could possibly need. Foki near Fiskardo is another photographed beach on the island. This small stony beach is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sun and crystal waters.

Antisamos Beach

The island also has all the villages that are worth exploring such as  Sami, Fiscardo, Argostoli, and Assos. Fiscardo is a picturesque village with old buildings and a quaint little port, great for an evening stroll.

Melissani Cave
Melissani Cave

While in Kefalonia, you can’t miss Melissani Cave, an underground open-air cave you can tour and explore by boat! There are also some important findings there from the 3rd Century BC.

What else to do in Kefalonia:

  • Visit Drogarati Cave
  • Go to the Archaeological Museum
  • Discover the Lighthouse of Saint Theodoroi
  • Hike to Mount Ainos
  • Visit the castles of Assos and Saint George

4. Ithaca

Vathi Ithaca

Ithaca, also known as Ithaki, is the homeland of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. This island is also among the greenest islands in Greece, with many parts covered in forests. Just like the other Ionian islands, it is largely vegetated and has stunning beaches.

It is generally a more laid-back destination without a party atmosphere. Ithaca is separated into two islands by a huge gulf, linked by an isthmus.

Gidaki Beach Ithaca beaches
Gidaki Beach in Ithaca

Unlike other Ionian islands, Ithaca doesn’t have many beaches due to the rugged shoreline, however, the existing beaches are wonderful. Filiatro is a white pebbly beach with crystal waters, which is organized with some sunbeds and umbrellas.

For peace and quiet, head to Skinos Beach or Sarakiniko. On the northern part of the island, you will find Afales Bay, a great pebbly beach with cobalt blue waters.

Vathy is a perfect place to eat and drink at the seafront bars and restaurants. While in Ithaca, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the School of Homer near the lovely village of Stavros, where you will see the archaeological site with the walls and the ruins of Odysseus’ island!

Mprosta Aetos Beach Ithaca
Mprosta Aetos Beach Ithaca

There is also an Archeological museum there with findings from 5,000 years ago found in a sea cave. Near Vathy, you can find the Cave of the Nymphs, which was mentioned in the Odyssey. In Vathy, there is also the Marine and Folklore Museum of Ithaca with traditional costumes and more.

5. Zante

Gerakas beach -The best Zante beaches
Gerakas beach Zante

Similarly, one of the greenest islands in Greece is Zakynthos, also known as Zante, located in the Ionian Sea. It is among the most popular and photographed Greek islands, having received international acclaim for the famous Navagio Beach of Zakynthos.

Navagio is a virgin beach with an iconic rusty shipwreck, which is normally accessible only by boat. To get to this out-of-this-world beach, you have to take a boat taxi there. The waters are crystal-clear and bright blue, in strong contrast with the green but rocky cliffs. The view of the shipwreck is extraordinary in the background.

Navagio Beach Zante
Navagio Beach Zante

If you wish to explore Zante more, head to the Blue Caves in Agios Nikolaos Schinari. This is a complex of arch-shaped caves, ideal for adventurers who like snorkeling and exploring the seabed.

There are daily trips to the Blue Caves. At Limni Keriou beach, with the exotic islet of Marathonisi as its view, you can dive into mirror-like waters. Marathonisi is also the place where the rare caretta-caretta turtles lay their eggs thanks to the shallow waters.

Zante's Blue Caves - Famous Blue caves in Greece
Zante’s Blue Caves

Apart from the green scenery and mesmerizing waters, you can explore Zante’s rich history by walking around the town. Stroll through the Venetian Castle in Town to find remnants of the past and go to Solomos Museum to learn about the national poet. Alternatively, you can also visit the Venetian Bridge in Argassi, which is very picture-worthy.

What else see while in Zante:

  • Enjoy nature in Askos Stone Park
  • Tour the Monasteries
  • Go to Marathonisi islet

6. Lefkada

Egremni Beach
Egremni Beach

One of the most beautiful islands in Greece is Lefkada, the jewel of the Ionian Sea with deep azure seas and bright green pine forests. Lefkada is a popular spot because it is conveniently accessed via a bridge. It has a lively atmosphere, many things to see, and great food.

Lefkada is mostly known for its stunning beaches, raw landscapes, and deep refreshing waters. One of the most remarkable beaches to visit is Egkremnoi, a long secluded beach that was formed after the cliff collapsed and created a pebbly beach.

It is not easily accessible as you have to walk down quite a few steps to get there but the view is totally worth it. You won’t find amenities on this beach but there’s a beach bar on the top of the cliff at the parking spot where you can grab something.

Nydri Waterfalls in Lefkada Greece
Nydri Waterfalls

Porto Katsiki is also nearby, with lovely azure waters and a pebbly shore. You will also find a parking lot with a canteen there. Again, you have to descend some stairs and reach the beach.

Kathisma Beach is a great destination for those who wish to relax at the beach bar and lounge at the sunbeds. It is a very lengthy, open beach that attracts thousands of visitors during the high season.

As regards its life, Lefkada has many bars and clubs to party or enjoy a drink. Nydri is a top place to go out at night or have your evening stroll. Sunsets in Lefkada are beautiful, and you can take advantage of that by heading to the best sunset spot in Akrotiri, a lighthouse promontory located on the southwesternmost part of the island.

7. Skopelos

Skopelos, Sporades Islands - Greek Island Hopping
Panormos Beach in Skopelos

Located in the western Aegean Sea, Skopelos is a gem of the Sporades. It is a very popular destination for couples or families who wish to have laid-back holidays. It gained its fame as the filming location for the successful musical Mamma Mia.

It is among the greenest Greek islands and an ideal location for those who love thick vegetation and pine forests that offer shade. The waters of Skopelos are breathtakingly blue and the beaches are little tropical paradises.

Skopelos island Mamma mIa movie - films set in Greece

Among the top things to do in Skopelos is visit all the stunning places where Mamma Mia was filmed. Kastani Beach is a white sandy beach with some small pebbles, nestled in a small bay amidst the thick shade of a pine forest

It is an organized beach with sunbeds and umbrellas provided by Kastani Beach Bar. Glysteri Beach is also a  small but beautiful beach in Skopelos. It is pebbly with turquoise waters. You will find a  beach bar there to relax with parasols, sunbeds, and showers as well. It is generally a peaceful beach.

While in Skopelos, you should visit the wonderful monasteries built with great panoramic views over the Aegean Blue. The Monastery of Agia Varvara has amazing frescoes from the 15th century and the Monastery of Taxiarches is a stunning place in the mountains and you have to trek to get there.

Skopelos also has a Folklore Museum and a Museum of Cultural Heritage for those who wish to discover the past of this place.

Other beaches to swim in Skopelos:

  • Panormos beach
  • Hovolo beach
  • Stafilos beach
  • Agios Ioannis
  • Velanio beach
  • Milia beach

8. Skiathos

skiathos port
skiathos port

Another green Greek island in the Sporades is neighboring Skiathos. It is an island of immense natural beauty but with a more cosmopolitan lifestyle than Skopelos. That’s why young visitors come to the island to enjoy the lovely beaches and vibrant nightlife.

The beaches of Skiathos are like heaven on earth, with the pines almost reaching the shoreline. Koukounaries is a sandy family-friendly beach on the western side. It is organized and also offers water sports facilities.

On the northern side, you can find Lalaria Beach with the brightest turquoise and blue waters and small pebbles. It is a wild, rocky landscape with sea caves to explore. It is unorganized and quite serene.

Skiathos is the one of the best greek islands for beaches
Koukounaries Beach in Skiathos

Stroll through Chora of Skiathos to explore more of its character. There, you will find the Old Port, a picturesque location ideal for romantic evenings. It has a small promenade with many bars with a view of the port and its boats, where you can grab a drink or eat deliciously.

Other beaches to swim in Skiathos:

  • Kanapitsa beach
  • Banana beach
  • Vromolimnos beach
  • Achladies beach
  • Troulos beach
  • Agia Paraskevi beach

9. Thassos

Glifoneri Beach - best beaches in Thassos
Glifoneri Beach

In the northeastern Aegean, you can find Thassos, a hidden gem of an island that is relatively unpopular compared to other destinations in Greece. This majestic island has breathtaking green landscapes, rugged parts, and mountainous terrain that make it so exceptional.

In Thassos, you should head to Alyki Beach, one of the best on the island, with soft white sand and beautiful waters. Pine and olive trees are the surroundings of this bay, which is organized and offers all comfort to the visitors.

Aliki Beach Thassos
Aliki Beach Thassos

Psili Ammos is a long sandy beach on the southern side of Thassos, where you can enjoy shallow clear waters. It is also organized and quite popular. Last but not least, the highlight of the island is Giola Lagoon, a distinctive rock formation that creates a small saltwater natural pool overlooking the sea. You can swim in it and take great photos.

Explore the Old Port in the quaint location of Limenaria by strolling around the promenade and dining at one of the fine restaurants with traditional food.

Thassos also has a rich history and tradition. You can marvel at the Ancient Agora and Ancient Theater in Limenas and visit the Archaeological Site of Alyki for a taste. There is also an ancient Marble Quarry of historical interest. To see findings from the local excavations, head to the Archaeological Museum in Limenas.

What else is there to do in Thassos:

  • Visit the Cave of Pan
  • Go to the Monastery of the Archangel Michael
  • Swim at Golden Beach
  • Head to Aspas Beach
  • Enjoy the quiet at Astris Beach

10. Samothrace

One of the greenest Greek islands is Samothrace, located in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, in the region of Evros. The lovely island resembles a jungle, untouched by mass tourism and mystical in its atmosphere.

Although it also has some noteworthy beaches, Samothrace is the spot for extreme adventurers, campers, and naturalists who want to dive into the cold waters of its rivers and small natural pools. The imposing mountain of Saos is wild and largely unexplored, forming canyons with crystal water springs making natural pools called “vathres.”

While in Samothrace, one should definitely visit Gria Vathra Canyon, with 3 big pools right on the hiking trails and countless others if you are adventurous enough to ascend the canyon.

Another canyon to explore is Fonias Canyon, which requires some walking along a well-trodden path that leads to a big pool with a waterfall. If you explore further you can also find Fonias Waterfalls, a mesmerizing spot with tall waterfalls which are difficult to access.

Gria Vathra waterfall - best waterfalls in Greece
Gria Vathra waterfall

As regards its beaches, you can visit Saoki Beach and its beach bar to lounge by and enjoy a drink or snack or head to the camping beach to sunbathe. Kipoi is also a remarkable rocky beach with imposing cliffs and great waters to dive into.

There’s a canteen there to grab something too. During the evenings, you can explore Therma, the hottest hub on the island, and drink beer or a drink. You can also find nice bars and restaurants in Chora, which is built high on a hill with breathtaking views.

Don’t miss the opportunity to go to the ancient ruins where they have a replica of the statue of Nice of Samothrace, an imposing iconic monument in Greek culture.

11. Alonissos

Blue Cave Alonissos Greece
Blue Cave of Alonissos

On the list of the greenest islands in Greece is Alonissos located on the island complex of Sporades. The whole complex is known for the almost tropical scenery with turquoise waters and lush forests, so thick and almost touching the sea. Alonissos is found just 3 km from Skopelos and it features outstanding beauty.

Alonissos retains its authenticity and distinct character. It has a very picturesque capital which is built in a way that offers breathtaking sea views of the Aegean. Its other villages are also worth a visit, especially Patitiri, Votsi, Roussoum Gialos, and Steni Vala, which are peaceful and beautiful.

While in Alonissos, you shouldn’t miss a tour of its wonderful beaches. Agios Petros is among the top beaches of the island, pebbly and unorganized for the lovers of secluded coves. The surroundings are stunningly green and the waters are mirror-like.

Kokkinokastro Beach is another place to go for a swim, organized with sunbeds and umbrellas by a beach bar. Other beaches you should visit include Tzortzi Gialos, Glyfa Beach, Megali Ammos, Milia Beach, and magnificent Spartines with pine trees.

12. Poros

Poros island sailing in Greece
Poros Island

Last but not least, Poros is yet another green Greek island, filled with lush pine forests and virgin landscapes. It may be a relatively small Saronic island, but it definitely has the charm to make travelers wish to explore more it.  You can take a ferry from the port of Galatas. It is right opposite the island and the crossing lasts only 10 minutes. 

While in Poros, you should head to Love Bay, a beautiful organized beach amidst the thick pines. There, you can marvel at the endless sunsets of Poros. For some peace and quiet, head to Monastiri Beach instead. If you’re the adventurous type, go to Askeli Beach and try water sports.

Poros island - Island day trips from athens

During the evenings, you can explore more of the island and its tradition. Visit the famous Clock of Poros which takes you back in time or simply stroll around the picturesque ‘sokakia’ alleyways for some window shopping at the boutique shops.

If you wish to learn more about the history of the island, pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Poros and the Folklore Museum, both rich in findings and of great interest!

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