The best Greek islands for couples are the ones where you can dine on mezze by sparkling harbours, hike to mysterious monasteries in the hills, and clink local wines with majestic sunset shows. That hardly narrows it down, we know. There are tens and tens of destinations in Greece that fit that bill.
Cue this list. It’s our curated selection of the most loved-up and romantic places in Greece. It ranges from east to west in search of fantastic spots to travel with your other half, offering a little adventure, some couples’ party spots, and plenty of five-star luxury…
So, without further ado, here are the 10 best Greek islands for couples.
Best for: Luxury hotels with a view
Santorini is unquestionably one of the most romantic places in Greece. It rises from the Aegean Sea like a sleeping giant. In fact, the whole island is a massive volcano that blew its lid back in 1600 BC to create the dramatic landscapes you’ll encounter today – think serrated mountain tops and sheer-cut cliffs colored like rust and cinnamon.
Two villages really take the biscuit: Oia and Fira. They dance like glowing marbles on top of the high walls of rock that surround Santorini. Both have uber-luxurious cave B&Bs with private infinity pools and patios that gaze out to the west. Don’t expect them to come cheap. Do expect some of the most amazing sunsets planet Earth can muster!
Any guide to Greek islands will wax lyrical about the views and the geology of Santorini. However, there’s a lot more to it than that. Visit ancient Thera and you’ll discover half-ruined homes and temples that date all the way back to the 9th century BC! There are also upcoming vineyards with distinctive wine labels and hiking paths trodden by pack donkeys.
Best for: Couples who like to party
Who needs lazing on the beach when you can party all night? Who wants rustic tavernas in mountain towns when you can hit thrumming clubs until sunup? Yep, Mykonos is one of the best Greek islands for couples who like to party. It’s garnered a rep as the Aegean’s answer to Ibiza. Quite right, too, because there’s always something going on between May and August.
The action starts around the early afternoon on Super Paradise Beach. It’s a well-known LGBTQ nightlife zone, so expect pole dancers of all genders and a welcoming, liberal attitude. Later on, it’s possible to boogie until the early hours to iconic DJ sets in famous clubs like Scorpios, which is also a fantastic spot for watching the sun dip behind the horizon.
Of course, Mykonos isn’t just a party haven. To escape the crowds and cure the hangover, we’d recommend venturing across to the east coast. It’s remote and rather untouched. After the hedonism, it can offer couples charming cabins by the Aegean in lovely bays like Lia Beach and Fokos Beach.
Best for: Not your typical Greek trip
Crete isn’t only one of the best Greek islands for couples – it’s also the largest of all the Greek islands. The local folk are proudly different to the mainlanders. They’re tough and hardy and like to do things their own way, even if that means shooting road signs to pieces and driving smoke-spluttering pickup trucks around the mountain roads. Hey – it’s all part of the fun!
We’d say Western Crete, around the Province of Chania in particular, is the prime part of the island for loved-up duos. You could start in the charming Venetian town of Chania itself. That’s got a boat-filled harbour and little tavernas that spread out under the gaze of an old lighthouse. Head to Balos Lagoon from there to spend a day on a white-sand spit between pools of turquoise water. Or, drop down into Falasarna Bay for sunbathing, au naturel.
Basically, Crete’s so darn large it has something for all sorts of traveling pairs. Want adventure? Make for the Samaria Gorge and hike in the company of wild goats. Want food? Head to the White Mountains to find dakos breads and Cretan pies in the tavernas. Want to escape the crowds? Go south coast, where coves and little beaches face the warm Libyan Sea.
Best for: A touch of luxury
Hydra is known as one of the jet-setter favourites of Greece. It’s a long, narrow dash of an island that’s played host to the likes of Richard Branson and Leonard Cohen in its time. Its main town cascades down steep slopes to meet a marina where millionaire yachts jostle with racing catamarans in front of pastel-painted mansions. Up above, there are mystical Orthodox monasteries enfolded by pine forests.
As a couple, you’ll want to look for somewhere to stay in the main harbour or at Vlychos Beach just a little down the coast. Both of those are connected by a gorgeous sea path that offers sweeping views of the Saronic Gulf, occasionally dipping to a pebble beach or an impossibly romantic sunset bar along the way.
A word of warning: We’d steer clear of Hydra in the height of summer. There are a few reasons for that. First, it’s uber-busy and can be prohibitively pricy. It’s also very hot, and the sparse tree cover means you’re always in the sun. September and even October are better, when the sun is low and shadows are long and the golden hour is just about as romantic as Greece can get!
Best for: Sharing somewhere truly beautiful
Milos stands out from the Cyclades crowd thanks, mainly, to its unique geology. Chalk-white cliffs jut out from the island on one side. They create the beaches of Sarakiniko and Papafragas, where lunar-like rocks drop into seas of pure turquoise. Elsewhere, bays like Mitakas and Ayios Ioannis offer unspoiled runs of sand and sun-kissed water.
You might have already guessed it, but Milos is a haven for those who love good coastline. Lagoons, coves, pebbly bays, long strands of gold powder – it’s all here. You’ll even find grottoes and caves cut straight into the shoreline, where you can venture with the other half to see unusual underground light displays.
Charming villages dot Milos from head to toe. They’re another reason this is unquestionably one of the best Greek islands for couples. You’ll see what we mean when you spot the shimmering sunset shows across the Aegean from little Plaka, or get lost amid the narrow lanes, the bougainvillea blooms and creaking windmills of quaint Tripiti.
Best for: Escaping the crowds of Corfu
We’d say Lefkada is possibly the best Greek island for older couples and those who like a get-away-from-it-all vibe on their Mediterranean holidays. For starters, it’s downright beautiful. Sculpted by hulking mountains, it rises like a phalanx against the Ionian Sea. Secondly, it’s nowhere near as popular as its near neighbours – Corfu, Kefalonia.
Don’t miss a pitstop in little Lefkada town as you pass over on the bridge from the mainland. It’s a sleepy place of flagstone streets and crooked cafés, where locals sip gritty Greek coffees beneath the flapping blue-and-white flag. The east coast is the most built-up, with Nydri port the place to head when you want to rent a boat to explore the gulf together.
For real romance, don’t miss an expedition inland. Lefkada is riddled with old chestnut forests and hardy mountain villages like Egklouvi and Karya. They excel in handicrafts and have rustic tavernas under gnarled plane trees. It’s real Greece.
Best for: Eye-wateringly wonderful beaches
Skiathos does beaches like Socrates did philosophy. AKA: Well. Yep, it’s one of the most beach-heavy on the whole map of the Aegean Sea. There are 26 individual strands in total. The south coast is sand territory. It’s home to wide, golden Koukounaries Bay and the taverna-backed swimming spots of Achladies Beach. However, couples might prefer the privacy of Little Banana Beach, where bikinis and board shorts aren’t required, if you catch our drift…
Skiathos town is in the south-east direction. It’s what makes this one probably not the best Greek island for older couples. Yes, there are whitewashed Orthodox chapels and winding alleys and small piazzas. But the place gets pumping during the summer, with multi-story clubs and sports bars that buzz with life until late at night.
To see an altogether different side of Skiathos, we’d recommend coming in spring or autumn. The forests are either awash with butterflies and wild herbs then, or sun-scorched in rich auburn shades. They invite traveling couples to their remote reaches, up to peaks dotted with monasteries, and valleys where streams trickle through the olive groves.
Best for: Hot springs and spas
When it comes to Greek islands for couples, where else but the home of the legendary Greek poet and love symbol Sappho? Cue Lesbos (or Lesvos). Tucked into the top end of the Aegean Sea just a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast, it’s a land of rolling scrub hills and vast olive oil farms (some of the best oil in the world is made here, so be sure to try some!).
Honeymooners and loved-up travelers can spend their time soaking up the rays on Agios Isidoros Beach. They can climb to the lookouts of Panagia Glykofilousa to see romantic churches clinging to the rock stacks like limpets. Or they can dine in tavernas in the main town, which apply liberal amounts of that aforementioned olive oil.
Perhaps the best part of Lesbos for couples is the array of hot springs. There’s enough geothermal activity here to give Iceland a run for its money. The most famous are at the Gulf of Gera, where you’ll also find massage rooms and all sorts of thalassotherapy treatments in the offing, and the traditional, al fresco Polichnitos Hot Springs in the north.
Best for: Chasing the summer
Rhodes is surely up there with the best Greek islands for couples on the merit of its climate alone. More than 300 days of sunshine and a whopping 13 hours of sun each day mean that this is the place to go to top up the tan. You could start the honeymoon looking as pale as a feta cheese and finish it sun-kissed and glowing bronze.
It’s probably worth avoiding the town of Faliraki. It’s a byword for 18-30s partying and isn’t Rhodes’s most romantic corner by a long shot. Better options are strung out along the south coast, in the form of Lindos and Afantou. And it gets even more secluded up north with pebbly Theologos Beach, where charming little B&Bs lurk between the plane trees and olive groves.
Rhodes could also be a cracking Greek island for older couples. That’s mainly down to the accessibility – it has its own airport and plenty of ferry links to the rest of the Aegean. But you also have to factor in the rich heritage of Rhodes town. With medieval citadels, Templar castles and ancient ruins, it’s enough to keep any history buff going for days!
Best for: Food and relaxation
Symi was once an unknown speck on the map. Its star has now firmly risen and it’s often the crescendo for island hoppers making their way from Ionian to Turkish coast. Still, no crowds can dim its gorgeous appearance, which hits a zenith at Gialos marina where the boats come in. That’s a horseshoe harbour of daffodil-yellow and azure-blue mansions, all clustered around tavernas where the scents of fresh fish and lemon twist and turn through the air.
The most romantic hotels and aparthotels are right there, gazing across the see-through water of the main harbour town. It’s also the stomping ground of the island’s best restaurants – Tholos taverna is perfect for a honeymoon evening. You’ll be dining so close to the Aegean you could dip your toe in!
Head for the hills behind Symi’s main centre and you’ll join a network of donkey paths that weave around the island. They connect up myriad coves and little beaches, along with the occasional windmill and lookout point.
So, where are the best Greek islands for couples?
They’re all over.
Seriously, from the Ionian Sea to the edges of Turkey, the islands of Greece are pure romance. We think there are just a few that stand out from the crowd, though.
Whether that’s Symi, with its pastel-painted marina, Lesbos, with its bubbling hot-spring baths, or Lefkada, land of the remote villages and hidden coves, it really makes little difference – they’re all tug-at-the-heart-strings sort of stuff!
If you can think of any to add to this list, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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