Explore 21 picture-perfect, unspoiled Greek islands (and 1 hidden gem you’ve probably never heard of)
People have been flocking to the islands of Greece for decades. With centuries of history and culture, breathtaking natural beauty and an ideal summer holiday climate, it’s not hard to see why.
Many islands are common destinations for holiday weddings, as can be seen from popular hashtags like #SantoriniWedding, #KefaloniaWedding and #SifnosWedding totalling 78,754 posts on the photo sharing site.
In more recent years, the Greek islands have become a hotspot for influencers looking to take that perfect photo. Swimwear-clad, bronzed twentysomethings knot their bodies in yoga poses on the beach in hashtags for almost every island on our list, but which island can claim the crown of most instagrammable?
Top of our list with the most pictures on a single hashtag (#Santorini with 4,906,519 posts) and the most pictures on Instagram at a staggering 5,641,586 is Santorini. Arguably one of the most Instagram-able destinations in the world, Santorini has everything from gorgeous sunsets, black sand beaches to the iconic blue and white Cycladic houses.
Largest of the Greek islands, Crete comes second on our list with an overall total of 3,998,421 posts on Instagram. Home to the palace of Knossos, the mythical birthplace of the Minotaur, Crete provides holidaymakers with a beautiful mixture of history, relaxation and exploration.
From the windmills in the Chora to the streets of Little Venice, Mykonos is filled with places to take that all-important Insta snap. The numbers prove this, with 3,769,924 images in total taken on the island. Well known for celebrity sightings, Mykonos also boasts a number of exclusive beach bars, restaurants and nightclubs in a stylish mix of the classic and the modern.
Fourth on the list is Rhodes with a total of 1,610,787 posts on Instagram. The Colossus of Rhodes, said to have been destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC, was the tallest statue of the ancient world and was as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Rhodes is home to many white sand beaches, such as the beautiful St Paul’s Bay which can be seen from the cliffs above.
Corfu makes top 5 most Instagram-able Greek islands and is the last island to have over 1 million posts (1,558,244 overall). Like many Greek islands, Corfu hosts thousands of British partygoers each year in the town of Kavos. If that’s not your thing, the island also features a number of beaches and is famous for its Easter celebrations.
Another island famous for its parties, Zakynthos or Zante has featured on Instagram 852,111 times. Laganas is the place for partying here but there’s also the legendary Navagio beach or shipwreck bay, only reachable by boat and without a doubt a once in a life time photo-op.
Capital of Odysseus’ kingdom from Homer’s Odyssey, Ithaca is another brilliant blend of history and modernity, search the medieval rock formations known as menhirs or visit the art hotels and stylish boutiques of capital Vathi. With everything to see, it’s no wonder this island features on Instagram 559,779 times.
More resistant to the commercialisation some travellers experience in the more popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos, Naxos has held onto its traditional island charm. Explore glittering beaches, mountain views and the tiny village streets of Naxos town without the huge throng of crowds. Coming in at number 8, Naxos has been featured on Instagram 554,032 times.
Beaches, boats and buildings abound on Kefalonia, making for a relaxing holiday experience in the Ionians. The island is also the setting of 2001’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, chosen for the classic Greek look you can find on Myrtos beach or in seaside village Assos. The island has been shared on Instagram 529,650 times. For the perfect snap, head to Melissani cave where light hitting the water makes for an incredible glimpse at the natural beauty on offer across the island.
A popular one with celebrities, Hydra is more of an off-the-beaten-path kind of island. While there aren’t many beaches to chill out on, you’ll find a number of stylish bars and restaurants and an abundance of hiking trails on which to take in the sights. The island also has no cars so this one is more for the adventurers than those with mobility issues or small children. The place to see or be seen, Hydra comes in 10th with 485,447 Insta posts.
Shared on Instagram 375,687 times, Milos comes in behind Hydra in 11th place. However, the island is naturally photogenic and the photo-sharing app is filled with unfiltered shots of the skyline at Sarakiniko and Mandrakia. The original home of the Venus de Milo, this island is a must-see in the Aegean.
Only 15 minutes away from Mykonos, Tinos has managed to avoid the swarm of tourists so far. With 50 beautiful villages, there is a lot to experience when holidaying here. Food festivals, sunsets and hand-crafted statues in Pyrgos are notable photo opportunities through the year.
Featuring much more vegetation than many of its neighbours, Andros is known as Hydroussa (watery) by the Greeks. Home to a great deal of the well to-do, glamorous pictures can be taken in the streets of capital Hora, or the Museum of Contemporary Art. Special mention must go to Tourlitis Lighthouse which is located on a rock spire separate from the island and makes for a breathtaking image.
161,070 features on Instagram put Sifnos in 14th. The island takes pride in its lesser-known Greek cuisine. #SifnosWedding also has 1,806 posts, a testament to the island’s natural beauty which makes for a perfect holiday, whether you’re tying the knot or just away with the family.
Symi is another island which avoids cars but for those happy to explore on foot, the acropolis sits 500 steps up from Little Symi port and the rest of the island features monasteries tucked away across the rocky expanse. The brightly coloured houses of the port have helped this island reach number 15 with 139,818 Insta posts.
Only reachable by a 9-hour ferry ride from Athens, Patmos is a great hidden gem for more diligent travellers. The island is popular with influencer-types, as can be seen from the 132,568 posts on Instagram, but for those not so interested in doing an upside down leopard pose on the beach, narrow streets, sunsets and windmills also make for super like-able images.
Another destination better suited to die-hard travellers, Amorgos is an 8-hour ferry ride in high winds from Athens. Very few rooms to rent on the island mean you’ll have to get in fast if you want to get the perfect snap from Agia Anna or Agios Pavlos beaches like the 112,382 posters before you.
Even though Kos only reached 18th on the list with 100,375 posts, there are a great many naturally photogenic sights for any avid traveller. Visit Palio Pyli, Antimachia Castle, or Agios Stefanos to find something picture perfect.
With fewer beaches and a much more barren landscape, there are fewer tourist sites on Folegandros, leading to it placing 19th with 88,755 photos shared. However, the beaches there still have the clear blue waters of the Aegean and the dramatic cliffs make for a breathtaking view.
Very little nightlife and fewer places to stay mean Serifos goes largely unvisited and brings it to 20th with 84,908 images. Boasting 72 (or so they say) beaches which, out of season, you might be lucky to have all to yourself, Serifos is a holiday opportunity that you won’t want to let pass you by.
With a drastic drop in photographic footfall, Astypalea is our last island with 10,234 Insta posts. Somewhat of an unknown, a visit to Astypalea is still sure to be filled with sights from the sand bar beach at Kounoupoi to the piles of block houses in Chora.