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14 Most Romantic Greek Islands for Couples

Greece is a top honeymoon destination, but it calls romance-seekers of all types, with countless beautiful islands that provide an ideal place to spend quality time together or kick off the love of a lifetime. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to explore many of them over multiple trips. Whether you’re the type of couple who wants to enjoy all sorts of outdoor adventures from ATV tours and hiking to sailing and snorkeling, explore ancient historic sites, sample the best of Greek food and wine, or something else, there’s likely to be the perfect island for you with over 200 inhabited isles to choose from. These include some of the most quintessential to lesser-known gems, perfect for couples of all sorts.

Santorini Santorini, Greece
Credit: Santorini, Greece by © Maglara | Dreamstime.com

Santorini

Santorini has long been among Europe’s top destinations for honeymooners and romance-seeking couples of all types. It’s one of the most popular Greek islands, with a wealth of luxurious hotels and resorts boasting endless views of the sapphire Aegean Sea. Many head to hilltop Oia, where its blue-domed churches and whitewashed homes spill down the ancient caldera, providing the perfect spot to watch the island’s famously breathtaking sunsets. There are black volcanic sand beaches, a red beach, and a few white sand beaches too. Wine enthusiasts will love touring and tasting at the wineries and vineyards, and there are a wide range of fine dining restaurants, too. That said, while it’s not the place to escape the tourist crowds, it won’t be as busy if you come early or late in the tourist season, such as April through early May or October.

Corfu Corfu, Greece
Credit: Corfu, Greece by © Sorin Colac | Dreamstime.com

Corfu

One of the lushest Greek Islands, Corfu is part of the Ionians, located off the northwest coast of the mainland. It’s a nature lover’s paradise with a multitude of greens that have led to its nickname, the “Green Island.” You’ll also find picture-perfect sandy beaches, waterfalls, and bird-filled lagoons, providing plenty of opportunities for romantic moments while surrounded by stunning scenery. There are also whitewashed fishing villages to explore, magnificent Venetian buildings, plenty of mouthwatering cuisine, and luxury resorts.

Symi Symi Harbour, Symi Island, Greece
Credit: Symi Harbour, Symi Island, Greece by K.C. Dermody

Symi

While it may be a lesser-known island, Symi can rival even Santorini when it comes to the “wow” factor and at budget-friendly prices, too. Your first glimpse is likely to be when you cruise into the harbor, which is surrounded by steep hillsides that are dotted with colorful neoclassical mansions. Along the waterfront, you’ll find traditional tavernas and all sorts of eateries, many of which include Symi shrimps on the menu, the local delicacy. There are shops selling handmade leather items and the island’s famous sponges, revealing its past, as it once had the world’s largest sponge fleet. There are many beaches, with both sandy and pebbly stretches, edged by crystal-clear water ranging in hues from brilliant turquoise and electric blue to emerald. A boat tour can bring you to some of the most secluded, which can only be reached by water.

Milos Kleftiko, Milos Island, Cyclades, Greece
Credit: Kleftiko, Milos Island, Cyclades, Greece by © Lefteris Papaulakis | Dreamstime.com

Milos

Milos is the southernmost island in the Cyclades, and while it may not be as much of a hidden gem anymore, it sees significantly fewer visitors than others in the archipelago, like Santorini and Mykonos. This is where the Venus de Milo was discovered, but these days, it might be more well known for Sarakiniko, made up of smooth, white volcanic rock that looks as if it’s part of a moonscape and one of Greece’s best beaches. Contrasted against the deep blue of the sea, it’s quite a sight and a great place to swim and sunbathe. There are also natural hot springs strewn along the shore, whitewashed villages, and a rich history that includes the ruins of an ancient Roman theater. Plaka is especially delightful, with its hilltop perch providing spectacular gulf and sunset views.

Crete Chania promenade, Crete, Greece
Credit: Chania promenade, Crete, Greece by © Aleksandrs Kosarevs | Dreamstime.com

Crete

The largest island in Greece, Crete boasts diverse landscapes that include everything from soaring mountain ranges and rugged canyons to beaches with swirling white and pink sands. Plus, there’s a ton of history to explore, including archaeological sites like Knossos Palace, built around 1700 BC. If you’re looking for an island that offers a little of everything, this is it. There are beach resorts for those who just want to soak up the sun and the sand, but you can also enjoy some fabulous hikes with the most popular trail running through the famous Samaria Gorge. Chania is one of the most romantic towns with lots of Venetian architecture and even castle accommodation, but it also tends to attract quite a few tourists. If you’re looking for something more authentic, consider spending a night there and then head to one of the smaller villages, perhaps near dreamy Balos Beach.

Paros Island Paros, Greece
Credit: Paros, Greece by © Aetherial | Dreamstime.com

Paros Island

Paros is in the Cyclades archipelago with Milos, Santorini, and Mykonos. Like Milos, it’s less expensive and less crowded while offering plenty of gorgeous beaches like Monastiri with its crystal-clear blue water for swimming. You’ll find stretches that are ideal for watersports like kite surfing and windsurfing, activities the island has become renowned for thanks to the seasonal meltemi winds. There are also calmer stretches for snorkeling and diving. There’s a vibrant nightlife and outstanding restaurants throughout, along with historic sites. In the capital, Paros Town, one of the most charming small towns in Greece, there is a 13th-century Venetian castle and the famous Church of 100 Doors, which dates back to the 4th century and is Paros’ most important historical landmark. The legend goes that the 99 doors were found, but the hundredth won’t be discovered until Constantinople (Therstanbul) is returned to Greece.

Naxos Naxos, Greece
Credit: Naxos, Greece by Bigstock.com

Naxos

Naxos is a Cyclades gem, far less developed than Mykonos, Santorini, and even Paros, although an increasing number of travelers have been discovering its treasures, thanks in part to the late Anthony Bourdain, who showcased some of the best of its cuisine, which is nearly all sea- or farm-to-table. Naxos also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece, with long, white, powdery sands, ancient ruins, and many opportunities for hiking, with Mount Zeus being one of the top spots. There are lots of authentic Greek villages scattered throughout the mountains while Naxos Town, the island’s capital, boasts narrow, marble-paved streets, bougainvillea-draped Venetian architecture, and a castle at the top, along with a picturesque waterfront and many fantastic eateries.

Kefalonia

Kefalonia

One of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia boasts green mountains that dip down to chalk-white sandy beaches framed by pine forests and edged by pale turquoise water. There are towns and villages with gorgeous Venetian-style buildings, Roman ruins, and fantastic food that can be paired with some of the region’s best wines. You might hike through the forest and climb Mount Enos to soak up the panoramic view from the island’s highest point at over 5,340 feet. A boat trip into the uniquely floodlit lake that sits inside of the Cave of Melissani, where artifacts dating to the 3rd and 4th century BC have been uncovered, is a must.

Hydra Hydra, Greece
Credit: Hydra, Greece by © Anton Petrus | Dreamstime.com

Hydra

Hydra is a romantic island that can be reached in just two hours via a high-speed ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens. It famously drew bohemian celebrities like Sophia Loren and Leonard Cohen, yet it’s managed to remain the most unspoiled of the Saronic Gulf Islands. There’s a ban on motor vehicles here, including motorcycles, that makes exploring the narrow, cobbled streets, serene squares, and lavish stone mansions a treat. Transport in this car-free destination is on foot, by water taxi, horse, or donkey. It’s easy to get to the main attractions as they’re relatively close together, with Hydra Port being the main town and filled with markets, galleries, souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants. Most of the mansions house museums these days and are spread amphitheatrically around the historic horseshoe-shaped harbor.

Rhodes Lindos Bay, Rhodes, Greece
Credit: Lindos Bay, Rhodes, Greece by © Freesurf69 | Dreamstime.com

Rhodes

The largest island in the Dodecanese, Rhodes has a rich past that can be seen in the historical center of medieval Rhodes Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts some of Europe’s most well-preserved Venetian architecture. The castle complex is massive and romantic, with a maze of cobbled streets. The Palace of the Grand Masters now serves as a history museum, and there are a number of historic treasures to explore throughout the island, including a Minoan settlement and an ancient monastery. One of the most beautiful Greek Islands to visit in the summertime, nature lovers can stroll the trails in the Valley of the Butterflies among countless colorful butterflies during the summer months, as well as enjoy mountains, waterfalls, and sandy beaches.

Folegandros Folegandros, Greece
Credit: Folegandros, Greece by © Milan Gonda | Dreamstime.com

Folegandros

Folegandros is Santorini’s neighbor, but it offers an entirely different experience. Picturesque, quiet, authentic, and romantic, there are no buildings taller than two stories, and there aren’t any big cruise ships pulling up or even any fancy restaurants. It’s an off-the-beaten-track Greek Island to get away from it all, with pebble beaches lapped by azure waves, goats that scurry up the hills, and historic windmills that spin in the sea breeze. Couples will find plenty of hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints and family-run eateries to fuel activities, with menus featuring homemade dishes like matsata and local specialties such as goat cheese with rakomelo, a liquor with honey that’s the region’s signature beverage. There are no motorized vehicles in the whitewashed Chora, providing a tranquil atmosphere for aimless wandering with gorgeous sea views.

Skopelos Skopelos Island, Greece
Credit: Skopelos Island, Greece by © Helena Bilkova | Dreamstime.com

Skopelos

Skopelos is part of the Sporades, nestled between Mount Pelion and the island of Evia. It offers a blissful retreat just off the east coast of the mainland as one of the few inhabited islands in the archipelago. The landscapes include pine tree-covered hills and idyllic beaches framed by turquoise water. Skopelos Town is one of the country’s most magnificent ports, with whitewashed walls topped with terracotta tiles spilling down the hillside, while the ruins of a Venetian fortress overlook it. The town also has a number of churches and monasteries worth visiting, including Agios Ioannis Chapel, which gained fame after being spotlighted in the movie “Mamma Mia.” It’s a place to get lost in and connect with authentic Greek life.

Kythira Kythira Island, Greece
Credit: Kythira Island, Greece by © Nancy Pauwels | Dreamstime.com

Kythira

Tucked between the Ionian and the Aegean seas off the southern tip of the Lakonian Peninsula in the Peloponnese, remote Kythria is home to around 40 villages but has a population of less than 4,000. One of the world’s best wellness destinations, it offers a serene atmosphere for secluded romance and laid-back luxuries ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy life at a slower pace. It was the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, with romance written right into its history. The island is dotted with the ruins of medieval castles and boasts remarkable natural beauty that includes vibrant green valleys and dramatic cliffs that dip down to an aquamarine sea. In the ancient Chora, there are whitewashed streets to wander and a 16th-century Venetian castle to discover, along with authentic tavernas for Greek dining with a sea view.

Tinos Tinos, Greece
Credit: Tinos, Greece by © Smoxx78 | Dreamstime.com

Tinos

Tinos is an enchanting island next door to Mykonos that offers all the charms one would expect from a Cyclades island but without the massive crowds. It’s managed to retain its unspoiled natural beauty and authentic Greek delights, including a landscape where many pigeon houses are scattered about, a type of construction dating to Venetian times. There are beautiful beaches for sunbathing and watersports and 40 traditional villages with cobbled paths, whitewashed homes, lovely chapels, and elegant archways.     

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