7 Choices For The Most Romantic Greek Island
Looking for a loved-up trip to Greece? Want to mark the big day with a honeymoon under the Aegean sun? You've come to the right place. This balmy southern end of Europe is a hotspot for couples looking for somewhere special to share together. From the deluxe cave hotels of Santorini to the idyllic coves of more untouched isles like Ikaria and Folegandros, there are plenty of options on the menu. Let's take a look at some of our favorites...
Santorini has a big claim to being the most romantic Greek island of all. Yes, there's a buzz about it these days with so many thousands of visitors dropping by. But you can dodge the crowds by choosing a five-star boutique hotel with cave rooms. You'll certainly want a stay with views of the famous Santorini caldera – the old top of a volcano that exploded a few thousand years back! Oia is the chicest town of all. The cave hotels there often come with private infinity pools perched on the cliffs.
During the day, you could whiz down to case out Red Beach or Kamari Beach, where thatched sunbeds bake under endless rays. More adventurous couples might prefer to pull on the walking boots and hike the trail to Fira, past Skaros Rock and the enchanting Cycladic town of Imerovigli. At night, don't miss a tasting session at the Αvantis winery, followed by sunset drinks at one of the cliffside cocktail bars.
The free love has been flowing on Crete since at least the 1960s. Mhmm…hippies came here in droves to escape the hubbub of city life. They went to the very ends of the island, to towns like Matala and Palaiochora. Lots chose to live in the caves in the cliffs above the Libyan Sea. Don't worry, there are now charming Cretan B&Bs by the water's edge that are perhaps a touch better for honeymooners, but the off-beat character of the region is still very much intact – think days of hiking Samaria Gorge followed by nights in a salt-washed family taverna.
North Crete isn't to be ignored, either. It's home to some of the most opulent five-star hotels on the island, especially in the resort corridor between Chania and Heraklion. It's also way easier to reach than more remote islands on this list (there are two airports on offer), and it's got the once-in-a-lifetime history site of Knossos for you to share together.
There just seems to be something about Hydra that plays to the romantic sensibilities. The island has enchanted the likes of Le Corbusier, Henry Miller, and Leonard Cohen in the past. Great works of literature and art have been written and created around its stone-dressed harbor town, where cars are replaced by groaning pack donkeys and yachts (some pretty slick yachts, at that) bob by the quaysides.
At just 20km at its longest length, Hydra is an eminently walkable isle. There's no need to hassle with car rentals in these parts. Just hoof it on the cobbled track that runs the entire north shore and you'll be rewarded with glimpses of centuries-old windmills and hidden black-pebble beaches where the water is said to be some of the clearest in the Saronic Gulf. At sunset, be sure to join the swimmers and drinkers at one of Hydra's cliffside bars – the Spilia Beach Bar is the most famous of all.
Folegandros is often touted as a fine alternative to Santorini. It's got the whitewashed Cycladic villages. It's got the dramatic geology. It's even got sunset shows that some say beat anywhere else in Greece (tall order, huh?). But still, somehow, it's managed to live just a smidgen out of the limelight, so it's great if you're keen on dodging the crowds but still want a proper hit of a real central-Aegean island.
The isle is a S-bend of dusty rock that lurches from the sky-blue sea like a sleeping giant. The two main towns are Chora and Ano Meria, which dot the main ridge like a wisp of cotton cloud. Below that come sleepy fishing villages with their own pebble beaches; the likes of Agkali and Karavostasis. You can get between the lot on foot, but an ATV or scooter helps a bunch. Oh, and don't miss the Church of Panagia at sunset – wow!
Skip Ikaria in August, when it's booming with revelers on a pilgrimage to the panigyria festival. At any other time of the year, this isle is a lesson in laid-back Aegean rusticity. It's probably most famous for being a so-called Blue Zone, which are parts of the world where the human population seems to live inexplicably long and beyond the average. A good omen for a newly ordained marriage, we're sure you'll agree!
Like many, this isle is split between the highlands and the coast. Inland, you'll drive on zigzagging roads that weave through aromatic pine woods to tavernas perched on a plinth with sweeping views of the eastern Aegean. Where the sea rolls in, there are beaches and coves aplenty. The best of them are Agios Giorgis and, the most famous of the lot, Seychelles Beach, which is where Greece does its best impression of the sub-tropical Indian Ocean.
Love is in the name of Amorgos, a place eulogized in Luc Besson's 1988 French flick The Big Blue. Off the beaten track and beautifully simple, this isle reduces Greek island hopping to the elementary basics: A flick of blue and white as the Aegean merges with the sleepy town of Chora; the haze of a summer sunset over creaking windmills on the hill.
It's a cliché, we know, but coming here is like going back in time. You're more likely to meet goat herders on the beach tracks than other tourists. The tavernas are still filled with tanned-faced men slapping dominoes and drinking pungent Greek coffees at all hours of the day. The good news for honeymooners is that the boutique hotel industry seems to have picked up on the unique charms of Amorgos in recent years and there is now just a smattering of uber-cool stays to be had if you've got the money.
For many, Mykonos is simply the most romantic Greek island of the lot. Uber-welcoming and unprejudiced, it's a haven for LGBTQ+ folk and newlyweds looking for a taste of luxury alike. It opens its arms to all who come its way, whether with bumping all-night parties on Paradise Beach or with an opulent villa on the hills behind jetsetter Psarrou.
Must-dos on a Mykonos honeymoon include watching the sunset from the Venetian windmills on the hill above the main town, clinking cold wines with a Greek mezze meal in the restaurants of Little Venice, and perhaps even a bit of sunbathing sans bathers at nudist Elia Beach. We'd also add to that a day trip across to next-door Delos, which hosts one of the most totemic archaeological sites in the whole Aegean.
Of course, there are plenty more places that could lay claim to being the most romantic Greek island of the whole lot. If you'd like some more travel inspo on where to hit for the honeymoon or about island hopping through this gorgeous part of the globe, don't hesitate to get in touch.