Greek Islands You Can Fly to Directly

An outdoor cafe in the Little Venice neighbourhood of Mykonos Town
An outdoor cafe in the Little Venice neighbourhood of Mykonos Town | © Michele Falzone / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Ethel Dilouambaka
1 April 2021

Island hopping in Greece is an idyllic way to spend a holiday, but when you’re short on time, flying is the fastest option. Here is a list of Greek islands you can jet to from abroad during the summer months.

Santorini

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The tower of Anastasi church in Imerovigli
© jozef sedmak / Alamy Stock Photo

Being as famous as it is, the idyllic, picture-perfect island of Santorini is well connected, whether from Athens (Ryanair, Aegean Airlines) or abroad. Unlike many other Greek islands, Santorini is ideal for a warm winter break, so why not combine it with a few days in Athens before flying off to the Cyclades. This way, you save time without missing an opportunity to see Athens in winter. Book one of these hotels with pools to really make the most of your stay.

Mykonos

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Mykonos, Greece
Hedonistic Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands | © Joana Kruse / Alamy Stock Photo

Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Mykonos welcomes year-round flights from Athens with Aegean Air, while it is also served by foreign airlines. The party island – with its spectacular beaches and incredible restaurants, bars and cultural offerings (including the magnificent and glorious island of Delos) – is literally a flight away. You have no excuse not to visit, and these resorts will have you well catered for.

Corfu

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Paleokastritsa bay, Corfu Island, Greece
© Iosif Lucian Bolca / Alamy Stock Photo

The little queen of the Ionian Islands, Corfu is a delightful verdant isle ideal for year-round visits. The island’s airport is connected to Athens and connected with the rest of Europe during the warm months of summer. Once you’re there, explore Corfu Town with its meandering streets and small inland villages. Enjoy the beaches and green landscapes, which will surely seduce you as well. Book one of these luxury hotels to experience the island in style.

Kefalonia

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Assos village, Kefalonia Island, Greece
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
Kefalonia (or Cephalonia) boasts service from Athens all year round, while seasonal connections with several European cities are available as well – perfect, as this magnificent island doesn’t get enough credit. Home to wonders such as the Melissani Lake, Myrtos Beach and the picturesque village of Fiskardo, and blessed with natural beauty, Kefalonia is another easily accessible paradise in the Ionian Sea. There are plenty of great hotels here too.

Lefkada

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Porto Katsiki beach, Lefkada Island, Greece
© Bart Pro / Alamy Stock Photo

Welcome to Lefkada, the land of rugged coastline and fantastic landscapes. Surprisingly, Lefkada’s airport, named the Aktion National Airport (PVK), gets year-round flights from Athens and is well served to the rest of Europe during the high season. And since you’ve saved time by flying here directly, why not take advantage and do some island hopping, or take part in a swimming holiday? Find your dream island home with our selection of Lefkada hotels.

Zakynthos

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max-van-den-oetelaar-F3rDBnQQbQU-unsplash
© Max van den Oetelaa / Unsplash
Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is another little gem located in the Ionian Sea. Probably most famous around the world for its Blue Caves and the Navagio Beach, where a rusty shipwreck rests, perched among the white pebbles. The island boasts stunning green valleys and the glorious, kilometre-long beach of Gerakas, where caretta caretta turtles come to lay eggs. Looking to do Greece on a budget? The wallet-friendly hotels here offer incredible value for money.

Rhodes

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View over Prasonisi Beach, Prasonisi, Rhodes, Greece
© Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

The largest island of the Dodecanese group is home to long, sandy beaches; green, mountainous inland; century-old churches and one of the finest medieval towns in the Mediterranean. Add to this eight months of sunshine a year and you get why Rhodes is the perfect holiday destination for the whole family. With such ancient history, Rhodes is a great place to take a trip back in time. Book one of these stylish hotels to keep you energised for some exploring.

Kos

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ORKOS BEACH, NAXOS
© NAXOS BEACHES / Alamy Stock Photo

Located close to the Turkish coast, Kos, the third-largest island in the Dodecanese group, boasts an interesting blend of Venetian and Ottoman architecture with sights such as the famous Asclepeion (an ancient healing centre, close to Kos Town) and a fantastic medieval castle, as well as an ancient agora and a Roman odeon. Homeland of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, the island counts sparkling waters, idyllic beaches and a dynamic water-sports scene among its selling points. If you’re sold on Kos then why not book of these Culture Trip-approved hotels?

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  • Crete

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    Morning view of Agios Nikolaos and its harbor, Crete, Greece.
    © Milan Gonda / Alamy Stock Photo

    With two main airports, one in Heraklion and one in Chania, Crete is connected with Athens year-round but also boasts an array of options for international flights. The Great Island, once the cradle of Minoan civilization, is a small country in itself. Thanks to its southerly location, it offers sunshine well into the winter and is therefore a great destination during the colder months. With its many beaches, diverse gastronomy and spectacular scenery, you are bound to have the time of your life. Live the life of luxury with one of these stunning Crete hotels.

    Lesbos

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    mountains on Lesbos, Greece, Lesbos
    © blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo
    Lesbos, located in the North Aegean Sea, is a beautiful island blessed with unspoiled landscapes, vast wildlife and a diverse gastronomic culture. It also boasts castles, churches and ancient sites, as well as delightful little villages worth visiting to get a taste of authentic Greece. The hotels aren’t bad either – check out our pick of the bunch.

    Lemnos

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    Greece, beach and black rocks on Lemnos island
    © Fotofritz / Alamy Stock Photo

    Located in the Northern Aegean, Lemnos is totally underrated. Completely off the radar compared to the more popular, in-your-face islands, it has an easy-going vibe that charms any visitor looking for a glimpse of authentic Greece. Unspoiled by mass tourism, the island features a mountainous landscape that contrasts sharply with its large, sandy beaches along the coastline.

    Samos

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    Beautiful Tsabou beach on samos, Greece
    © Milos Vucicevic / Alamy Stock Photo

    As the mythical birthplace of Hera, Samos is located in the East Aegean, off the coast of Turkey. The island presents an unspoiled interior landscape, with pristine beaches and verdant forests perfect for hiking, walking or sunbathing. Marvel at the rich ecosystems of Mount Kerkis, visit the church of Panagia Sarandaskaliotissa – located by the entrance of Pythagoras’s Cave – or refresh yourself at the Karlovasi Waterfalls. Your holidays in Samos won’t be complete without a tasting session of all the varieties of the Samos muscat – you won’t regret it, especially since you can wake up in comfort at one of these gorgeous hotels.

    These recommendations were updated on April 1, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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