For Condé Nast Traveler, by Katherine LaGrave.
Greece has more than 6,000 islands and islets, making the choice for where to go on your next vacation to the Mediterranean a competitive one. Looking for love? Adventure? Nothing but beaches? We’ve got you covered.
Perfect for: digital detoxers; solo travelers
A mere two hours from Athens by hydrofoil, Hydra remains blissfully free of wheeled vehicles. That’s right—no cars or scooters here. Instead, you’ll find cobblestoned streets traversed by mules and donkeys, immaculate stone mansions, and picturesque, harbor-side cafes that have drawn everyone from actress Sophia Loren to Grammy winner Leonard Cohen, who owns a villa on the island.
Perfect for: beach-hoppers
Greece has more than 8,500 miles of coastline, so sand-and-surf fiends have no shortage of places to put their towel. Still, of the Greek islands, Kefalonia is one of its beach meccas, and Myrtos Beach, which sits between two mountains, is its most famous. Cinephiles will recognize the island from its onscreen time in 2001’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which was filmed here.
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Perfect for: night owls; culture vultures
Mykonos’ reputation precedes it—and for good reason. While most of the Greek islands are laid-back enclaves, this cosmopolitan Cycladic island can satisfy any and all of your nightlife needs, from surfside lounge bars to wild clubs. Mykonos also has a burgeoning art scene.
Perfect for: foodies
Off the coast of Turkey, Lesbos in recent months has been best known as a landing point for Syrian refugees. Yet among Greeks, Lesbos is considered one of the best places to eat in the country: Come for the seaside tavernas and mountain eateries; stay for the ouzo, Greece’s trademark alcoholic drink, of which Lesbos is one of the most famous producers.
Perfect for: adventure-seekers and the outdoorsy sort
Deriving its name from Icarus, who in Greek mythology fell into the sea nearby, Ikaria is primarily mountainous, which makes it an excellent island for walking and hiking. (The island’s network of paths, known as monopatia, will take hikers from coast to coast, through oak and pine forests, and from one mountaintop to another.) Post-hike, relax in the mineral bath houses at Therma, whose waters reputedly have curative properties.
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