The Best Greek Islands to Explore This Summer
Master the Mamma Mia summer trend with our travel guide on where to go, stay and eat in the Greek islands
There’s much to love about Greece during summer, which might be why you’re seeing everyone on TikTok channelling their inner Donna Sheridan and living out their Mamma Mia! dreams on a Mediterranean Island at the moment. Whether you’re setting out solo this summer or island hopping with friends, venture on your own Mamma Mia-inspired escape with a Greek island holiday like no other. But in order to do so, first you’ll need to avoid the mainstream, and find yourself a hidden gem. Here are the best Greek island holidays to go on this summer...
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Best for: Romantic Retreats and Watersports
If you’ve always wanted to go see the famed white-painted, blue-roofed buildings of Santorini or Mykonos, may we suggest visiting Paros instead? With the same picturesque coastal views and iconic white marble, Paros offers the same energy as its more visited neighbours but with a rustic, laid-back setting. With a mix of scenic beaches, vibrant nightlife and an array of watersports, Paros is an all-rounder islander that could be the perfect sweet spot for your honeymoon or
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Where to Stay in Paros
1. Cosme for an achingly cool aesthetic
2. Yria Boutique Hotel & Spa for a calm boutique stay
3. Seesoo Paros for an eco-friendly escape
What to Do in Paros
Get in the water! Head to the south-east coast and find Golden Beach – considered one of the best beaches in Greece by many – where you can enjoy a day lounging on the bronze sands or get your body moving with an array of watersports, like windsurfing and snorkelling. If you’re seeking a new adventure, take a boat trip to Despotiko where you can swim in quiet coves.
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Where to Eat in Paros
Breakfast: Sousouro (Old Town)
Visit here for an organic menu that offers creative combinations of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy smoothies, as well as imaginative dishes.
Lunch: Zazala Beach Bar and Restaurant (Parasporos Beach)
Whether you’re looking for an afternoon bite or a hearty lunch, Zazala Beach Bar and Restaurant is the place to go with its sea views and delicious menu.
Dinner: Mario's (Naoussa)
Homemade dishes? Check. An extensive wine list? Check. Romantic ambience. Check? Enjoy harbour views at Mario’s Mediterranean restaurant.
What to Wear in Paros
Best for: Incredible Landscapes and Hidden Coves
A true hidden gem, Kimolos flies pretty under the radar compared to its neighbouring island, Milos, and is secluded and scenic making it a great secret gem for those looking for a quieter retreat with ultimate relaxation spots. The volcanic island has a charming little town with beautiful beaches and clear waters that guarantee a calm and serene ambience to its habitants and visitors.
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Where to Stay in Kimolos
1. The Windmill for a sea-view bar
2. Mina's Place for cosy AirBnb with great views
3. Alikaki Kimolos for a sun-terraced apartment
What to Do in Kimolos
Kimolos is full of adventures, from hiking trails to hidden coves. Start your day with breakfast on the balcony, before heading to Chorio, the picturesque traditional town centre (don't forget your SPF). Enjoy walking through its cobbled streets like with whitewashed stone houses and browsing the local shops. Next, explore the island’s castle and two museums for a bit of culture, before finishing your day with a refreshing swim in the turquoise waters of Prassa Beach.
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Where to Eat in Kimolos
Breakfast: Postali (Psathi Beach)
A stunning seaview coffee shop and restaurant for your early morning coffee fix before a day lounging in the sun.
Lunch: Kyma (Psathi Beach)
Enjoy lunch by the ‘waves’ with Kyma’s vast variety of foods, from fresh fish, seafood and traditional Greek specialities in a causal, friendly setting
Dinner: Meltemi (Chorio)
With a Mediterranean menu full of the island’s traditional dishes, specialities at Meltemi Restaurant include various stews and grilled meats
What to Wear in Kimolos
Best for: Families and Luxury Resorts
While not quite as hidden as the other gems on our list, Corfu is having a resurgence this year, with its picture-perfect views, luxurious resorts and lively town centres. Corfu is the perfect destination for families requiring a little more entertainment on holiday. Apart from its natural beauty – think blankets of olive groves, postcard seascapes and rugged mountain trails – Corfu is full of trendy bars, restaurants and attractions.
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Where to Stay in Corfu
1. Domes of Corfu for a bohemian luxury resort
2. La Grotta Verde for an adult only retreat
3. Villa Artemis for a infinity-pool and view
What to do in Corfu
If you’re hoping to spend your holiday lying back on the beaches and getting some much-needed vitamin D, we suggest heading to Agios Georgios where you’ll find a charming stretch of golden sands and gentle waters, perfect for paddling the day away. If you're feeling brave and want some wind and waves, Acharavi in the north of the island is a prime spot for surfing, sailing, and windsurfing.
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Where to Eat in Corfu
Breakfast: Aktaion Cafe (Corfu Town)
Enjoy your morning coffee and breakfast in a charming cafe-bar situated right opposite the Old Fortress of Corfu.
Lunch: Sebastian's Tavern (Agios Gordios)
Located in Sebastian Hotel, this lovely garden restaurant offers family dining on an outside terrace beneath idyllic grape vines that are harvested every autumn to make white wine.
Dinner: Venetian Well (Corfu Town)
Nestled in the heart of Corfu Town, Venetian Well is undeniably one of the most scenic restaurants in town which overlooks the beautiful Kremasti Square.
What to Wear in Corfu
Best for: Exquisite Beaches and Boutiques
Milos offers the full Mamma Mia! experience: turquoise waters, rocky hills, cobbled streets and quaint market towns. Up until recently, the luminous Cycladic island of Milos was a secret destination surreptitiously shared among locals but even as popularity rises, Milos is still relatively serene and is the perfect holiday if you’re looking for a balance of peace and adventure. As more waterfront restaurants and exciting bars open, Milos is evolving into one of Greece’s most sought-after destinations.
Where to Stay in Milos
1. Milos Cove for peace and privacy
2. White Pebble Suites for a bohemian boutique
3. Cave Suites Milos for a private pool stay
What to do in Milos
As a volcanic island, Milos offers a wide range of exceptional landscapes with a mix of white rock coves and gold sand beaches. And while you might wish to swerve the tourist hotspots, do make a trip to Sarakiniko beach, with its white rock formations and crystal-clear water. Cruise the coast at your own speed with a private hire, or get your fins on and scuba dive to discover seascapes and local species.
Where to Eat in Milos
Breakfast: Kivotos ton Gefseon (Pollonia)
After a long lie-in, head down to Kivotos ton Gefseon to indulge in fresh pastries and baked goods made by local bakers in this picturesque village
Lunch: Mostra (Adamantas)
Perfect for a late lunch and sundowners, Mostra gives guests a front-row seat to yachts and boats with its enchanting seafront terrace in front of the port
Dinner: Ta Glaronisia (Tripiti)
With fabulous views all over Milos, Glaronissia invites you to sit in the courtyard in the typical Cycladic environment of white and blue colour