The Greek Islands are located off the coast of mainland Europe. They consist of thousands of islands and islets, some of which are inhabited and some uninhabited.
Often, we can find ourselves wondering, just how many islands are there in Greece?
These thoughts can disrupt our sleep, and leave us spending our days fantasizing about disappearing to a Greek island to start a new life and live out our wildest Mamma Mia dreams.
But to do that, we really should know how many islands there are in Greece.
So today, let us tell you how many islands there are and plenty of other interesting facts you will want to know about Greece and its islands.
How Many Islands Are There In Greece?
Let’s dive straight into it and get you the answer that you came here for!
There are roughly 227 inhabited islands and an estimated 1200 – 6000 uninhabited islands and islets. That’s a lot of islands!
Currently, there are 11 main islands in Greece, along with several smaller ones. These main islands are the more popular ones, like Corfu and Santorini, that are hugely popular with tourists.
There are also numerous uninhabited islands scattered throughout the Mediterranean Sea.
Now that we have established how many islands there are in Greece, let’s move on and look at some interesting facts about Greece and its islands!
The History of Greece
The Greek Islands have a rich history as they were among the first areas visited by ancient Greeks.
It was around 600 BCE when the Greeks began their exploration into the eastern Mediterranean region that led them to visit the island of Crete.
This area is now considered part of modern Greece (although it wasn’t until 1912 that it became officially recognized).
Many of the Greek Islands are still inhabited today and even though many are small, there are quite a few islands that offer tourists an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful seaside vacation.
These islands provide visitors with unique experiences and a taste of authentic Greek culture.
Types Of Greek Islands
There are three basic types of Greek Islands: those that are inhabited, those that are uninhabited, and those that are both inhabited and uninhabited.
In general, the larger islands in the northern hemisphere are uninhabited while the smaller ones located near the southern hemisphere are populated by humans.
Sometimes, the names of Greek Islands aren’t based on either geography or history, but rather on mythology and literature.
Some of these mythical islands include Ogygia, Naxos, Ithaca, Calypso, Sirens, and Tenedos.
In addition to being named after mythological characters, several Greek Islands have become home to new cultures as well.
These islands are usually inhabited because they boast beautiful beaches and other natural features that make them attractive to tourists.
Some examples of islands that are home to new cultures include Rhodes, Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, and Corfu.
Getting Around The Islands
There are many islands which are served by international flights. (Going from Athens to Mykonos, for example.) You can also travel from one island to another by ferry boat. Renting a car is also an option for getting around the larger islands, such as crete.
With over 100 islands, visiting each of them isn’t easy unless you plan to spend weeks at a time on your vacation.
The best way to get there is to hire a boat and head out for a day trip or week-long excursion.
Some popular destinations include Athens, Athens, Aegina, Chios, Kos, Kythira, Lesbos, Naxos, Paros, Piraeus, Samos, Syros, Skiathos, Thassos, and Volos.
You will need to pay a fee depending on how long you stay.
Places To Visit
It would be impossible to list every single place to see in the Greek Islands so here are just a handful of places that you should consider seeing during your visit.
This picturesque volcanic island of Santorini boasts white sandy beaches, numerous caves, turquoise waters, rugged mountains, and lush green forests.
Its position offers a spectacular view of the Aegean Sea and the volcano that is responsible for creating it.
Attica is home to Athens and the Acropolis site which ranks among the world’s finest historical sites and provides a glimpse into what life might have been like back in Ancient Greece.
Also, check out some of the museums such as the Byzantine Church of Saint John Outside the Walls, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Benaki Museum.
It is said that no two days are alike when you are in Athens so do yourself a favor and take advantage of all the activities the city has to offer.
Crete is known for its beaches, mountainous terrain, and ancient ruins. This Mediterranean island is home to several historical sites including Gortys, Heraklion, Knossos, Marathi, and Phaestus.
From the top of Mount Psilou, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the rest of the island.
Another great spot for travelers is the beach town of Hersonissos where you can find pristine beaches, secluded coves, crystal clear water, and fresh seafood.
The Cyclades cover nearly 20% of Greece’s total area and are where much of Greek mythology originated.
They are made up of 8 main islands (Mycenae, Serifos, Antiparos, Kea, Melos, Syros, Aegina, and Ikaria) and a total of 778 smaller islands.
Although some may argue that these islands serve little purpose today, their beauty is undeniable.
Whether you prefer the whitewashed villages or the gorgeous coastal areas, they are sure to impress. If you decide to visit Mykonos, take note that the entire island is completely smoke-free.
Many visitors have trouble finding accommodation due to overcrowding.
Dodecaneso is located off of the coast of Euboea, about 40 minutes south of Athens.
There are many unspoiled beautiful beaches nearby and the area itself feels very rural and authentic.
The small island hosts a plethora of beautiful old churches and monasteries, some of which date back hundreds of years.
The Peloponnese Peninsula
A long peninsula extending from the southern tip of mainland Greece towards Cape Maleas in the north.
Because of its shape, the Peloponnese Peninsula is bordered by three seas: the Saronic Gulf to the southwest, the Ionian Sea to the east, and the Aegean Sea to the southeast.
Its largest cities include Sparta, Corinth, Tripoli, Elis, Kalamata, Olympia, Volos, Patras, Pyrgos, Nafplio, Korinth, Argos, Orestiada, Kastoria, Loutraki, Larissa, Toliara, Trikala, and Lamia.
It is one of the few regions in Europe that have escaped any significant development, giving it an unusual charm and character that differs significantly from the heavily urbanized areas around the country.
How many Greek Islands are there? There are many different islands to visit in Greece, so make sure to have a few on your list if you are vacationing there.
Greece has become somewhat synonymous with tourism, so if you’re planning on visiting Greece then consider booking your air tickets well in advance.
Remember, while the summer months make for better weather and more tourist attractions (such as ferry services) if you travel during the winter months, the less likely you’ll encounter crowds—and therefore cheaper prices—at all of those must-see attractions.
Traveling during the low season will probably give you more time to see more of the islands too!