The readers of Condé Nast Traveller were asked to pick their favorite islands for holiday in 2020 and, according to the results, 4 Greek Islands are in the Top Five in Europe.
Here is the Top 5 in Europe as posted on Conde Nast Traveller
5. Mykonos, Greece
Said to have been where Hercules killed the giants, Mykonos is steeped in mythological history. A popular cruise ship stop, the island hasn’t quite outgrown its raucous party reputation that would impress even Dionysus, but is on the path to attracting a more sophisticated and upscale type of traveler.
Pro tip: Avoid July and August to miss the major crowds and get a better sense of local life. Head to Little Venice in Mykonos Town, an uncrowded neighborhood full of tavernas. While in the area, stop by Kounelas, close to the harbor, to eat what locals say is the best fish.
Getting there: Daily flights from Athens take about 35 minutes. Ferry trips, the less expensive option, last between three and five hours on high-speed or slow ferries.
4. Hvar, Croatia
With warm summers and mild winters, the island of Hvar is the sunniest spot in Croatia—there are over 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. It may be known for its beaches and turquoise water, but there’s another side to this resort island. From the town of Hvar on the island’s southern shore, make the slow, uphill climb to Tvrđava Fortica, a 13th century fortress with the best views around.
Pro tip: To see Hvar’s spectacular fields of lavender in full bloom, visit in early summer. The harvest takes place in late July, but you can buy all sorts of scented souvenirs in the local markets year-round.
Getting there: The Split Airport is just a 2.5 hour flight from London. From there, take a cab 20 minutes to the ferry station and board a catamaran or ferry to the town of Stari Grad. The entire journey takes about 90 minutes.
3. Crete, Greece
The largest Greek isle, Crete is also one of the most distinctive, with its own unmistakable culture, landscape, cuisine, and mythological history. If you make it beyond the beach, make sure to visit the Minoan Palace in Knossos.
Pro tip: Skip the bumpy drive or three-hour hike to one of the most photographed spots in Crete. Balos Beach is most easily accessed by ferries from Kissamos port.
Getting there: Most flights to Crete connect in Athens, but visitors can also take the year-round ferry from Piraeus or the seasonal, summer ferry from Santorini.
2. Zakynthos, Greece
It seems as if all the Greek islands are framed by that killer shade of emerald blue, but there’s something about the waters at Navagio Bay on the tiny island of Zakynthos that will make your heart skip a beat. Perhaps it’s the sheer seclusion and protected location (it’s sheltered on either side by soaring cliffs) that keeps its aquamarine waters so perfect and pure.
Pro tip: For the ultimate vantage point of Navagio Bay, follow the signs to the Agios Gergio Kremnao monastery, which has a viewing platform overlooking the entire length of the beach.
Getting there: Zakynthos is reachable via direct flight from many major European cities, or from Athens with Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines.
1. Folegandros, Greece
Craving Santorini’s famous whitewashed houses and cobblestoned streets, but without all of the crowds? Look no further than Folegandros, Santorini’s smaller neighbor to the northwest by some 40 miles, which has all that and more. During the day, visit the island’s most famous monument, Chrysospiliá (“Golden Cave”); if it’s remote beaches you’re after, try Agios Georgios or Ambeli.
Pro tip: Come evening, tuck into a bowl of traditional matsáta (handmade noodles with rabbit or rooster) in Chora, the island’s center, which rests atop a 650-foot cliff.
Getting there: Folegandros can only be reached by ferry. It takes about 8-10 hours to reach the island from Piraeus (located outside of Athens), with ferries leaving about three times per week.