If you are planning a trip with your loved one, you will have certain wishes and requirements. Instead of looking for a party town or a family resort, your focus will be on spots with gorgeous scenery, great restaurants, and a choice of romantic accommodation. And, of course, a climate isn’t a bad idea either.
Greece has all those ingredients and many more that combine to make it the perfect destination for couples. Specifically, the Greek islands are popular with lovebirds like yourselves. Let’s see which islands in particular are the breeding ground for romance.
Paxos is to the west of the Greek mainland, in the Ionian Sea. Since it has no airport, mass tourism has no place here. The best way of getting to this small island is by flying into Corfu and taking a ferry down to Paxos. With a laid-back vibe, crystal clear bays, and a great choice of private villas, Paxos is the perfect destination to relax and spend quality time together. And while you are there, take the water taxi across to sister island Antipaxos. Nowhere else in Europe will you see such white sand and such turquoise waters.
This lesser-visited Greek island lies opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. Kythira has some seriously romantic credentials, as this was the birthplace of the goddess of love – Aphrodite. In general, this is a quiet and laid-back island, with romantic luxury everywhere you go. This piece of Greece is perfect for older couples, or those who enjoy slow travel. There is local produce and handicraft everywhere you turn, and the island is a treasure trove of ruins and other historical monuments.
If you haven’t watched the film Mamma Mia, you should. This movie will get you in the holiday mood and have you craving a Greek escape with your loved one. In fact, you may want to go to the very island this romantic comedy was filmed at: Kalokairi. But don’t bother looking for it on a map, because Kalokairi is a fictional island. In reality, Mamma Mia was shot on Skopelos.
Skopelos is part of the Sporades archipelago, roughly 100 kilometres north of Athens. This green island, with forests and orchards, has a wide range of beaches (sandy and pebbly), some excellent tavernas, and manages to retain that authentic feel that only islands without airports have.
Oh, spectacular Santorini. It may be touristy, but it is so for a reason. From the town of Oia, with its whitewashed houses clinging to the vertigonous cliffs, you’ll have amazing views over the Aegean Sea with nearby islands Nea Kameni and Thirasia. Actually, these islands were once connected to Santorini, before this volcano collapsed and created the crater with Santorini’s steep cliffs. At the end of each day, hundreds of people gather in Oia to photograph, film, and applaud the sunset. The atmosphere is, frankly, magical.
With its boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants, Santorini attracts the rich and famous. This is a perfect destination to propose to your partner, or to celebrate your wedding anniversary. Whatever the occasion, Santorini is sure to leave an indelible impression upon you.
Relatively close to Athens, Hydra is an easy-to-reach little island for a romantic break. Hydra is famously vehicle-free, so you won’t be disturbed by noise or fumes. The island’s only town, eponymous Hydra, is a pretty collection of stately townhouses around a pretty harbour. Super yachts are testament to the island’s long history of famous visitors and residents, among which feature Leonard Cohen and Sophia Loren.
Crete is so big that it feels like a country. Its sheer variety, from fabulous Minoan ruins to wild beaches, and from rugged canyons to Venetian-style ports, ensures that Crete offers something for every type of couple.
Adventurous couples hike the Samaria Gorge or take sailing lessons, naughty couples bare it all in the aquamarine waters of Balos Beach, history buffs visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and bon vivants sip cocktails in some of the world’s best beach bars. Crete has it all, and it’s easy to get to thanks to its two international airports.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Mykonos, the epitome of the Cyclades archipelago. With its whitewashed streets, blue doors, and pink bougainvilleas, Mykonos is a picture-perfect island popular with Instagrammers. But even if you don’t live with a camera glued to your face, Mykonos will be a visual delight that conquers your heart. Art galleries, boutiques, quality restaurants, and lively beach bars combine to make this a perfect destination for young couples.
Famous for its party scene, Mykonos is a tolerant and open-minded island with an Ibiza kind of vibe. Romance and luxury go well together, and luxury is exactly what you will find on Mykonos. This island is notoriously more expensive than other Greek islands, but you get world-class entertainment, find dining, and charming little hotels in return.