Islands of Greece: 5 Largest Island, 8 Least Crowded Greek Island and 14 Most Visited Greek Island (2023)
Greece is a part of Europe and located in the southeastern section of European continent. The southern west European countries are recognized as Balkans countries. Balkan countries are Greece, Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Greece is part of the Balkans country. Greece shares the borders with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The southwest, south, and southeast border of Greece is surrounded by sea. The sea on the east side border of Greece is known as the Aegean Sea. Aegean sea separates Greece from Turkey. The sea in the south of Greece is known as the Mediterranean Sea, and the sea on the west side is known as the Ionian Sea. The ionic sea separates Greece from Italy.
There are close to 6000 islands in Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean seas that are considered part of Greece. Aegean and Ionian sea are a continuation of the Mediterranean sea. The history and Archeological findings suggest most western civilizations either originated or practiced during the ancient period at one of the Island of Greece. Present time, only 227 islands of Greece are inhabited, while remaining Greek islands are small and not inhabited. Most tourists travel by ferry or airplane to reach the preferred island from Athens. Most small islands do not have an airport and the only possible way to reach the island is to take a ferry. The average speed ferry travels 40 to 50 km per hour.
The 227 islands of Greece are divided into the following five groups that are spread over different sections of the surrounding sea.
- The Ionian Islands located in Ionian sea
- Sporades Islands located in the Aegean Sea
- The Saronic Islands located in the Mediterranean sea.
- Cyclades Islands located in the Mediterranean sea.
- Dodecanese Islands located in the Mediterranean sea.
The Top 5 Largest Greek Islands
The largest Greek islands are inhabited from over 5,000 BC and some of the western civilization was practiced in these islands during the Bronze and Iron period. The following five largest islands are popular among the tourist visiting Greece.
- Crete Island – Crete island is the largest island of Greece and the most populated island. The island is 394 km from Athens, travel time from Athens to Crete by Ferry is 7 hours. Tourists can take a flight from Athens that takes about 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the island. The population of Crete is 634,930 and the area of island is 3,219 square miles.
- Euboea – Euboea is the second-largest island of Greece. The island occupies 1,417 square miles. The island is 109 km from Athens, travel time from Athens to Euboea by Ferry is 2 to 3 hours. The population of Euboea is 198,130.
- Lesbos – Lesbos Island of Greece is much smaller than Crete island. The island occupies an area of 630 square miles. The island is very close to the western border of Turkey at the Aegean sea. Lesbos is the third-largest island of Greece. The island is 460 km from Athens, travel time from Athens to Euboea by Ferry is about 11 to 12 hours. The population of Lesbos is 86,436.
- Rhodes – Rhodes is the smaller than Lesbos and occupies 541 square miles. The island is 435 km from Athens, travel time from Athens to Rhodes by Ferry is 11 to 15 hours. The population of Rhodes is 50,600.
- Chios – The Chios island occupies 325 square miles. The Chios island in Greece is 310 km from Athens, travel time from Athens to Chios by Ferry is 10 to 12 hours. Alternatively, tourists can drive to the nearest port or take a flight to the island. The population of Chios is 32,400.
8 Least Crowded Greek Islands-
Over 225 inhabited Island of Greece is less crowded and receive less annual tourists. The following beautiful Greek islands with attractive beaches are often visited by the fewer tourists to Greece:
The Skiathos island is 252 km from Athens, travel time 3 hours by ferry, population 6, 200, and area of island 19.3 square miles.
The Donoussa island is about 270 km from Athens and it could take 7 to 8 hours to reach the island from Athens. The area of the island is 5,271 square mile and the population on this Greek island is about 200 to 300 families.
The Amorgos island is about 310 km from Athens and ferry takes about 8 to 9 hours to reach the island from Athens. The island occupies 48 square miles and the population of this Greek island is 2000 people.
Distance from Athens 360 km. There is only one ferry that leaves Athens per week and takes a couple of stops on the way to the Lemnos island, travel time by ferry is over 20 hours. The population of the island is 17,000 and the area is 184 square miles.
The Anafi island of Greece is about 380 km from Athens and travels time by ferry to reach the island is about 10 hours. The Anafi island occupies 14.9 square miles and the population of the island is between 270 and 300 families.
6. Ikaria (Icaria)-
The Ikaria island has airports and tourists can either take a flight or ferry to reach the island. The distance from Athens to the island is 480 km. The time taken by ferry to reach the island is about 11 to 12 hours and flight may take 1 hour. The island occupies an area of 98.2 square miles. The population of the Ikaria island is 8,500 people.
The Karpathos island of Greece is 610 km from Athens and the ferry takes 16 to 18 hours to reach the island. Tourists can take a domestic flight that takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. The island occupies 116.7 square miles and 6510 people live on the Karpathos island in Greece.
The island is on the west side of Athens, the easiest route is to take a bus or train to a coastal town, Patras. Patras is about 210 km from Athens and the time needed to reach Patras from Athens by bus or train is 3 hours. Most tourists take Ferry from Patras to island Ithaca. The distance is about 130 km and the ferry takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the island. The island occupies the area of 45.5 square miles and 3230 people live on the island.
4 Closest Greek Island from Athens:
The 277 inhabited islands are spread on the west, south, and east side of Greece. The nearest islands are also spread around Greece and can be reached by ferry. The following few islands are the closest to Athens.
The distance between Aegina and Athens is about 44 km and the ferry takes about 1.5 hours to reach the island. The island occupies 34 square miles. The island is inhabited by 13,000 people.
The distance to Spetses island from Athens is about 95 km. The time needed to reach the island by ferry is about 2 hours. The island occupies an area of 8.57 square miles. The island is inhabited by 4,027 people.
The distance to Poros island from Athens is about 178 km. The time needed to reach the island by ferry is about 3 hours. The island occupies an area of 8.57 square miles. The island is inhabited by 3,650 people.
The distance to Kea island from Athens is about 100 km. The time needed to reach the island by ferry is about 1.5 to 2 hours. The island occupies an area of 49.8 square miles. The island is inhabited by 2,455 people.
Most Visited Greek Island by Tourist
- Crete Island
- Santorini Island
- Myconos Island
- Naxos Island
- Paros Island
- Rhodes Island
- Corfu Island
- Milos Island
- Palmos Island
- Zante island
- Delos Island
- Skiathos Island