Guide to the Greek islands
Large and lively or small and sweet? Choose a sunshine island to suit you. By Jane Lovatt
Of the 6,000 islands and islets in the Aegean and Ionian seas, just 227 are inhabited. With 7,500km of coastline between them, they’re the perfect destination for a beach holiday. Expect to find everything from sheltered bays and coves, dunes, pebbles, caves and dark volcanic sand.
When to go
From April through to October. Temperatures reach around 30°C in July and August, but the best months to visit are May, June and September, when prices are lower and the climate is predictable.
The islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Crete, Rhodes, Lesvos, Corfu, Skiathos, Chios, Samos and Kos all have airports with good connections to the UK. From these, there is an extensive ferry network to the smaller islands (visit aferry.com or ferries.gr). Alternatively, fly to Athens (easyjet.com) and pick up internal flights (aegeanair.com) or ferries from there. For more information, see visitgreece.gr.
The Argo-Saronic islands – Poros, Idhra and Spetses – have good ferry connections to Athens.
The Cyclades lie in the Aegean Sea and Include Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Sifnos and Syros.
The Dodecanese in the Aegean Sea include Symi, Tilos, Kos, Karpathos, Lipsi and Rhodes.
The East and North Aegean islands include Samos, Ikaria and Limnos, Thasos, Ikaria, Lesbos, Chios and Psara.
The Sporades lie off the eastern coast of Greece and include Skyros, Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos.
The Ionian Islands are off the west coast in the Ionian Sea and include Corfu, Paxos, Kefallonia and Lefkada, Zakynthnos and Ithaca.
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