Largest Islands In Greece Guide: Must-Visit Biggest Greek Islands

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Here is your guide to the 10 largest islands in Greece that we recommend you visit. These biggest Greek islands are guaranteed not to disappoint you. 

Greece Travel Blog_The Largest Islands In Greece That You Must Visit

Greece is a beautiful place to visit in your lifetime. It’s the ideal vacation destination because of the weather, the cuisine, and the welcoming locals.

Even though Greece is so large, it can take time to decide exactly where to go, especially concerning the most remarkable Greek islands to visit. Greece is home to various groups of islands, most of which are located in the Aegean, Ionian, or Saronic Gulf. 

We have gathered a goldmine of information on the biggest Greek islands. So, let’s dive in! 

Largest Greek Island Guide

The biggest islands in Greece are the best for an epic getaway.

1. Crete – The Largest Island In Greece

Guide To Where To Stay In Crete, Greece

Size: 3,219 square miles – 8,336 km2 – Population: 634,930

Crete is the largest island in Greece, with a unique culture of its own. It epitomizes ancient ruins, bustling cities, and stunning beaches. Although many visitors come for the sun, sea, and sand, the best things to do in Crete go far beyond the standard vacation package.

From palm-fringed beauty to the shadow of the White Mountains, it is a magnet for culture enthusiasts and fun seekers. The activities here range from some of the best trekking in Europe to top-notch museums, just like the surroundings. 

Things to do:

  • See the palace of Knossos
  • Hike the Samaria Gorge
  • Visit the Flintstone beach of Matala
  • Evia (Euboea)

2. Evia (Euboea) – Second Largest Island Of Greece 

Evia Island - Sunset boats at Eretria Euboea Greece

Size: 1,417 square miles – 3,655 km2 – Population: 191,206

Evia, the second-largest after Crete, is a jumping-off point for smaller, more overtly enchanting neighboring islands. But as you discover, it unveils beautiful mountain roads, worthwhile hikes, flowing vineyards, significant archaeological discoveries, and a tonne of empty beaches, all of which make it a popular getaway for Athenians and people from other parts of the mainland. The island experiences beautiful, moderate winters and sweltering summers, typically lasting from June to October. Check out a detailed guide to the second-largest island of Greece. 

Things to do:

  • Explore Karababa Castle
  • Discover Drimona Waterfall
  • Visit Drakospita (Dragon Houses)

3. Lesbos – Big In Size & A Rich History

Lesbos Island Greece

Size: 630 square miles – 1,630 km2 – Population: 114,880

Lesbos is situated about 6 miles west of Turkey in the North Aegean Sea. The third-largest Greek island is frequently described as a lovely island with almost 11 million olive trees, ancient castles, monasteries, mosques, a Roman aqueduct, temples, and hot springs.

Since Turkey and Greece have alternated in governmental power for centuries, you see the culture of both countries. Lesbos is said to be the birthplace of many famous poets. A visit to pristine and family-friendly beaches like Eresos, Vatera, and Anaxos is a must. 

Things to do:

  • Explore the Castle of Molyvos
  • Drive out to Monasteries
  • Visit the Petrified Forest of Lesbos

4. Rhodes – Fourth Largest Greek Island

How To Visit The Greek Islands From Turkey In One Day - Rhodes, Lindos bay

Size: 541 Square miles – 1,398 km2 – Population: 115,490

Rhodes is one of the popular destinations and Greece’s ancient island. The Dodecanese archipelago’s island is famous for the Colossus of Rhodes. Due to its many stunning beaches, it is a great summer vacation destination. The island’s traditional cuisine, stunning natural surroundings, medieval towns, archaeological sites, museums, and other attractions go well together. 

The medieval old town of Rhodes has been designated a World Heritage Site for history buffs. Visitors travel back in time as they traverse its cobbled alleys.

Things to do:

  • Discover the ancient Acropolis of Lindos
  • Explore the Palace of the Grand Master
  • See the historic Rhodes Old Town

5. Chios – Fifth Largest Greek Island

Quiet Islands In Greece - Windmills in Chios

Size: 325 Square miles – 842 km2 – Population: 54,030

The fifth-largest Greek island, Chios, is renowned for its fabled mastic trees, ancient towns, a UNESCO-recognized monastery, and a long history that dates back to the Neolithic era, some 8,000 years ago. The ‘fragrant’ island is home to beautiful beaches like the soft sand of Komi Beach and the darkly pebbled Mavros Gialos. 

With more than 70 beaches available, choose from an organized or quiet beachfront. Explore the meandering trails of the inland settlements of Pyrgi and Mesta, famous for their distinctive medieval architecture.

Things to do:

6. Kefalonia – On The Ionian Sea

Size: 302 Square miles – 781 km2 – Population: 35,801 

This lush island’s stunning beaches and emerald-blue, greenish-blue waters will take your breath away. Kefalonia is indeed a treasure in the Ionian Sea. It has a long history and strong cultural traditions. Being among the largest Ionian Islands, it is incredibly distinctive and a lovely travel destination because the green of its mountains blends with the blue of the water. 

The seafloor surrounding the island will undoubtedly satisfy you if you enjoy diving or snorkeling. The rare Caretta Caretta sea turtle and monk seal are found here. Kefalonia is worth a visit and is a fantastic, family-friendly island because of its rich culinary history, historic villages, lively nightlife, and stunning beaches.

Things to do:

  • Explore the Petani Beach
  • Discover Melissani Cave
  • Visit Makris Gialos Beach

7. Corfu

Ideas For Things To Do In Corfu In Winter For Everyone - Old Byzantine fortress
Byzantine Fortress

Size: 229 square miles – 593 km2 – Population: 102,071

Although the island has changed over the years, you can still sense the spirit of a long-gone golden past. Corfu is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations, casting a powerful hold on its tourists with its rich multi-cultural heritage, historical landmarks, breathtaking natural scenery, crystal-clear seas, and excellent weather all year round. Contrary to the rest of Greece, Corfu was never subject to Ottoman rule. 

Things to do: 

  • Admire the architecture at Achilleion Palace
  • Take a day trip to Paxos island
  • Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon

8. Lemnos

Stunning view to Myrina village, Lemnos island, Greece - Quiet Islands In Greece

Size: 184 square miles – 476 km2 – Population: 16,992

Lemnos is a location for a leisurely vacation where you can be close to nature. Long, sandy beaches, protected bays, and landscapes made of volcanic rocks can all be found there. Traditional stone-built villages are scattered among the small plains and hills where durum wheat is grown. The beaches are fantastic and mostly uncrowded.

Things to do:

  • Check out the cave of Philoctetes
  • Hike to Panagia Kakaviotissa
  • Visit the fishing village of Moudros

9. Samos

The Largest Islands in Greece - Samos Island

Size: 184 Square miles – 477 km2 – Population: 32,977

Samos boasts a stunning, peaceful environment, lovely beaches, top-notch wine, and significant cultural landmarks. Since the shrines and philosophical organizations on this island were regarded as the spiritual hub of the Mediterranean region, Kings, Priests, and writers held the utmost reverence for it. Hera the Mythical, Epicurus the Philosopher, Aristarchus the Astronomer, and Pythagoras the Great were all natives of Samos. 

Take advantage of the enjoyable summertime cultural activities and music festivals; while you’re there, explore the ancient Vathy town to learn more about the island’s past.

Things to do: 

  • Visit Heraion of Samos
  • Explore Tunnel of Eupalinos
  • Discover the beautiful Kokkari

10. Naxos

Lesser-Known Greek Islands - Naxos
Naxos, Greece

Size: 166 Square miles – 428 km2 – Population: 18,904

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group and is renowned for its many beaches and picturesque landscapes. It also has many intriguing historic ruins, not to mention delicious food, much of which is sourced locally. Naxos offers a variety of activities, like scuba diving, windsurfing, cycling to the villages, or simply exploring a secret beach to yourself. 

If you prefer a less active vacation, there is no better Greek island for unwinding at a stunning spa resort with a cocktail in your hand.

Things to do:

  • Swim at the best beaches
  • Explore the Castle Kastro
  • Wander around Halki village

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Final Word On The Biggest Greek Islands

Ready for an adventure? If yes, Greece has top-notch and family-friendly islands for your holiday mood. Check out our top picks from the largest Greek Islands to make your trip extraordinary.

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