A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (2024)

Greece’s thousands of islands are spread over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. They are grouped into six main island groups; the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands, the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the Saronic Islands, and the North Aegean Islands. Evia and Crete are typically left out of the grouping and sit on their own due to their size. The entire map of the Greek Islands can be split out to show the detailed maps of the individual island groups, which you will see below.

The over-200 inhabited Greek islands are grouped geographically. Not surprisingly, each of the island groups have their own distinguishing features. From the lush green landscapes of the Ionian islands, to the minimalist whitewashed architecture of the Cyclades and the strong medieval influences of the Dodecanese.

The Cyclades

The Cyclades are what you might consider unmistakably characteristic and picturesque. The most well known Greek island group, comprising the wildly popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Paros.

The Cyclades are easily accessible via direct flights from the UK and Europe. Connecting flights via Athens are also popular, with the Cyclades having a number of islands with domestic airports.

Due to their location in the heart of the Aegean Sea, the islands are easily reached by ferry from Athens. Particularly convenient for those choosing to explore Greece’s capital as part of their vacation. And because they’re tightly packed together, the Cyclades are always popular among tourists venturing on island hopping holidays.

Apart from the famous Mykonos and Santorini, the Cyclades comprise a number of great alternatives that are well worth visiting. These include;

  • Naxos – the biggest island of the Cyclades
  • Milos – with it’s picturesque villages and unique coastline
  • Ios – a small yet lively and youthful island
  • Sifnos – an understated foodie’s paradise

The map below shows some of the more popular islands. Take a look at this list of all the Greek islands in the Cyclades for a complete view by size and population.

Map of the Cyclades Island Group

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (1)

The Ionian Islands

Separated from all the other island groups, located on the Western side of Greece, are the Ionian islands. Cut off from Ottoman rule, these islands are the sole occupants of the Ionian Sea. As such they have a distinct Venetian influence and strong connection with Italy.

As well as having their own identity and architecture, the Ionian islands are also known for their lush green landscapes. Many of the most well known beaches and coastlines are found here. The ship-wrecked Navaggio and Myrtos beach in Kefalonia are good examples. All made more distinct from the subtle shades of turquoise in the seawater. Unique when compared to the deep blue hues of the Aegean. These characteristics make the Ionian islands a real hotspot for some of the best resorts in Greece.

There are 7 main islands which make up this group, including the ever popular Corfu and Zakynthos. These large islands have been long time favourites for British and European holidaymakers. Corfu, Zakynthos and Kefalonia, have international airports and welcome visitors from all over during the busy summer periods. Increasingly popular nowadays, but still relatively quiet compared to others, is the island of Lefkada. With it’s white cliff backed beaches, mountainous interior and plush towns, it’s rightly becoming more visible on the map.

Map of the Greek Islands – Ionian Islands

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (2)

The Dodecanese

Named and literally translated to “12 islands”, but actually made up of much, much more. The main islands, of which there are 15, include the large and well liked Rhodes and Kos. Both of which have international airports. They are accompanied by some 150 smaller islands, some with domestic airports but most reachable only by the plethora of ferries sailing between them.

The Dodecanese island group straddles the south of the Aegean hugging the coastline of Turkey’s Antalya region. It’s location means that it is generally one of the hottest island groups, with islands such as Rhodes, enjoying long summers and warmer sea waters into fall. Also due to its geography, the archipelago spent hundreds of years under Byzantine and Ottoman rule and thus is reflected in its many landmarks. As such, Byzantine churches and impressive medieval fortresses are found around the islands today. Some ruined and some immaculately preserved and still functioning citadels.

Away from the busy holiday resorts found in Rhodes and Kos, the islands of Astypalea, Karpathos, Kalymnos and Symi are all getting increasingly popular with travellers visiting Greece. It’s a similar story for the smaller islands too, albeit generally for more quiet and secluded stays or day-trips.

Map of the Dodecanese Islands

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (3)

The Sporades

Onto the Sporades. Of which, the most famous island from this group is Skopelos where the movie Mamma Mia was filmed. However, the most popular is undoubtedly Skiathos. An island buzzing with excitement, popular with young people from Greece as well as families from overseas.

The Sporades are located off the East Coast of mainland Greece. The majority of people choose to fly directly into Skiathos from countries across Europe. The only other island with an airport is Skyros, which operates domestic flights to and from Athens. The Sporades location above the large island of Evia, which sits on its own, means ferries from Athens do not sail here. Instead, the port of Volos has frequent ferries charting routes to and in between each of its main islands.

Map of the Greek Islands – Sporades Islands

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (4)

The North Aegean Islands

As the name suggests, this island group is located in the North of the Aegean Sea, above the Dodecanese and east of the Sporades. Many of its islands hang just off the coast of Turkey. The island group starts out from Thassos in the north, a short ferry hop from Kavala, through to Lesvos. And finally down to Ikaria and Samos, south of the chain.

The North Aegean islands are nowhere near as well known or popular among international travellers. In the main, tourism is not as developed on the North Aegean islands. This is hardly a bad thing at all. The atmosphere and environment is relaxing and the beaches no less enticing, with much fewer crowds even in the peak of summer.

The islands of Lesvos and Samos draw in the most visitors with domestic airports and flights from Athens and Thessaloniki. Ikaria and Limnos are both great options to get away from the mainland and experience truly traditional Greek island life.

Map of the North Aegean Islands

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (5)

The Saronic Islands

This cluster of islands, named after the Saronic gulf within which they are located, are very popular vacation spots amongst the Greeks. Particularly convenient, within a short ferry ride from Athens’ Piraeus port and various towns along the Peloponesse coast. Many Greeks have holiday homes on these islands and frequently visit for short breaks and weekends.

The main islands include;

  • Aegina – an important island of ancient Greece
  • Hydra – car-free and unspoiled
  • Poros – with its lush greenery, and
  • Spetses – the place to be seen

All differ in their character, yet all are popular with various crowds. From creative types, the rich and famous and families alike. The seafront promenades and main Chora’s are lively on the weekends and particularly throughout the summer months.

The proximity to Athens makes this island group a solid alternative to the Cyclades for those visiting the main highlights of Greece. Particularly suitable for those wanting to partake in some island hopping away from the large crowds.

Map of the Greek Islands – Saronic Island Group

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (6)


The largest island in all of Greece is Crete, with its elongated shape stretching East to West. The island demarcates the end of the Aegean Sea and the start of the Libyan Sea.

Hugely popular with the package holiday-makers as well as those seeking to explore a little more independently. The island, being one of Greece’s largest municipalities and one of it’s most popular tourist destinations, has three airports. Of which two are international and served by various cities throughout Europe.

Crete has World famous beaches dotted around the island and remains of the earliest advanced civilisations in Europe. Not to be overlooked, the Cretan cuisine is recognised to be some of the best in Greece.

Map of Crete Island

A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (7)
A Map Of The Greek Islands - Travel Maps - The Island Voyager (2024)


What are the 12 islands in Greece? ›

What is the best Greek island to visit for the first time? ›

Most first-timers choose the Cyclades, homing in on Santorini for its cliffs dripping with whitewashed cubic buildings, and Mykonos for its charismatic appeal. Once you've had your fill of Mykonos, take the ferry to nearby Tinos.

What is the best way to travel between Greek islands? ›

Ferry. The best way to island-hop around Greece is by ferry. High-speed ferries cover most popular routes, with local journeys ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

What are the best Greek islands to go island hopping? ›

They include Rhodes in the east, Crete (which has two airports, one in Chania and the other in Heraklion), Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Kos, Corfu, and Skiathos. Many of the flights to those will be seasonal, so don't expect an overload of choices past November time.

What is the secret island in Greece? ›

Andros. A hidden treasure, Andros is the northernmost of the Cyclades islands, located between Tinos and Euboia. Its Chora is one of the most enchanting in the Greek isles, built on a small peninsula sandwiched between two long sandy beaches.

Which is the safest Greek island to visit? ›

Safest Places in Greece for Solo Female Travel
  • 1, Santorini. Santorini, an idyllic Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea, is renowned for its hypnotizing beauty, lush history, and the striking contrast of its white cubic houses against the deep blue sea. ...
  • 2, Corfu. ...
  • 3, Milos.

What is the most beautiful town in the Greek islands? ›

Most Beautiful Villages in Greece
  • Ano Symi, Symi.
  • Agni Bay, Corfu.
  • Oia, Santorini.
  • Assos, Kefalonia.
  • Katapola, Amorgos.
  • Apollonia, Sifnos.
  • Kastro, Sifnos.
  • Kilma, Milos.

Which Greek island is cheapest? ›

The most affordable Greek Islands to visit include Crete, Andros, Tinos, Corfu and Naxos. These cheap Greek Islands don't get nearly as many visitors as others, making everything from transportation to food and accommodations more affordable.

Is it safe to go to Greece right now? ›

There is currently a heightened risk of demonstrations, particularly in central Athens, related to events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nationwide strikes and protests can occur at any time and may disrupt road, air, sea travel and cause delays or diversions at border crossings.

Is Greek island hopping worth it? ›

It really is a hassle-free experience and is great for first-time visitors to Greece who feel overwhelmed at trying to figure out ferry schedules and decide where to stay on each island. If you book an island-hopping trip on your own, you'll have to make your own transfer arrangements.

Can you do day trips between Greek islands? ›

Book your ferry tickets

If you're visiting this summer, you can try out island hopping from Athens! Whether you're interested in a one-day island cruise from Athens or you're looking forward to the ultimate Athens island-hopping adventure, the capital city of Greece is a great starting point for your tour.

How expensive is island hopping Greece? ›

Is island hopping in Greece expensive? It depends on the duration of your trip and how much you're willing to spend, but generally it will be around 140-150 Euros per day for accommodation, food, transportation, and various activities included.

How to island hop cheaply in Greece? ›

Departing from one of Athens' three ports on the Greek mainland, Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion, you can hop on a ferry to the nearby islands. Depending on how long the ferry ride is and what kind of seat or accommodation you opt for, ferry tickets range from around $20 to $100.

What is the cheapest way to travel around the Greek islands? ›

Quick tips for budget backpackers in Greece

Take an overnight ferry to other islands and save almost half the price of a speedy ferry ticket. Rent a moped as cheap transportation and see the beautiful surrounding area. Visit less traveled to islands such as Corfu and Milos to save money.

Why are they called the Dodecanese Islands? ›

The group of Dodecanese islands is a Greek island group geographically located on the southeastern side of the Aegean Sea, close to the borders with Turkey. The name Dodecanese means "the twelve islands" in Greek, as this is the number of the largest islands of the complex.

Which island was Mamma Mia filmed on? ›

The movie is set on a fictional Greek island called Kalokairi. However, the main filming location of Mamma Mia the Movie was Skopelos, giving it an idyllic feel. It's a beautiful island between Skiathos and Alonissos and is considered Greece's greenest island.

What is the most unique Greek island? ›

7 very secret Greek islands (and how to get there)
  1. 1 Folegandros – The magical island. ...
  2. 2 Milos – The Venus de Milo island. ...
  3. 3 Lefkas – The island you can drive to. ...
  4. 4 Symi – The colourful island. ...
  5. 5 Ithaka – The mythical island. ...
  6. 6 Andros – The island with 70 beaches. ...
  7. 7 Alonissos – the island for wildlife.
Jan 23, 2024

How many islands does Greece have in total? ›

The islands are the main characteristic of Greece's morphology and an integral part of the country's culture across the ages. The country includes 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Greek Seas, of which only 227 islands are inhabited.


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