The best Greek islands for couples
Fancy a Grecian getaway with your loved one? Discover the best islands for intimate spots and romantic scenery
If romance is a top priority for your next holiday, the Greek islands are guaranteed to deliver. With an abundance of secluded, sandy bays lapped by turquoise water; rooftop restaurants and bars with dazzling ocean views; and sunsets good enough to write home about, places like Santorini, Crete and Mykonos are perfect for an intimate and picturesque escape.
So, ready for an island-hopping adventure for two? Discover the best Greek islands for couples below…
The seafront bars in Mykonos' Little Venice area offer the perfect spot for two © Princess
The winding streets of Mykonos Town (called Chora by locals) are a labyrinth of cobbled pathways, whitewashed buildings and historic churches, and perfect for a romantic amble. Ditch the crowds of summer by ducking in and out of the boutique shops, where you can bag artisan clothing, wide-brim sunhats, handmade jewellery and other local wares. Afterwards, head to the area of Little Venice (a string of traditional houses and venues that face onto the sea) and grab a snug table for two at Cerise Bar, where the cocktails are good and the sunset views even better.
The largest of the Ionian Islands, Cephalonia boasts numerous must-see towns, sights and landscapes. One of the most intriguing attractions is Melissani Lake near the village of Sami. Up to 30 metres deep in places, the lake, situated in a roofless cave, is accessed via boat through an underground tunnel, and is famed for its crystalline waters that shine bright blue in the midday sun. Sami itself offers plenty of waterfront restaurants, and postcard-perfect Antisamos beach, just a short drive away, is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic. Nestled between two verdant hills, the white-pebble beach is one of the prettiest in all of Cephalonia, so grab some slices of fresh spanakopita (spinach and cheese pie made with flaky pastry) from one of the bakeries in Sami and make an afternoon of it.
Make a toast on one of the sun-drenched terraces at Venetsanos Winery © Venetsanos Winery
While the pretty old town of Fira is renowned for its sunsets, blue-domed buildings and rooftop eateries, it’s a tourist hotspot and can get rather busy. Somewhere that offers much more alone time in Santorini is the peaceful village of Megalochori, in the south of the island. One of Santorini’s oldest villages, it’s home to a pretty square, historic mansions, hideouts once used by pirates, and a handful of traditional Greek tavernas serving the likes of souvlaki and grilled fish on bougainvillea-clad patios. On its outskirts lies Venetsanos Winery, which produces delicious whites, reds and rosés, as well as Vinsanto, a sweet dessert wine that’s native to Santorini. Book onto a tasting and you can sample six wines with a platter of local cheese, cured meat and fruit on one of Venetsanos’ terraces, all of which overlook the dazzling Caldera of Santorini.
Meet the locals on a romantic nature walk in Crete © Botanical Gardens of Crete
Crete, the largest of all the Greek islands, boasts spectacular beaches, vibrant towns such as Chania and Heraklion, and myriad opportunities for enjoying watersports. If you’re after some more serene moments with your loved one, head to the picturesque Botanical Gardens of Crete, located 30 minutes from the city of Chania at the foot of the island’s White Mountains. Open every day from March to November, and spanning almost 20 hectares, the gardens are home to rare examples of local flora and fauna, along with tropical and subtropical species from across the globe. You’ll find fruit trees laden with cherries, lemons and Cretan oranges; an aromatic herb garden filled with lavender and sage; vineyards; and wildlife such as porcupines, peacocks, frogs, green lizards and badgers. After a peaceful stroll through all this nature, sit down for a lunch date in the restaurant, which has sweeping views of the gardens, and serves up superlative Cretan cooking made using produce grown onsite.
If you’re a pair of history nuts, then ancient ruins of Rhodes should be top of your to-do list. The Acropolis of Rhodes dates back to the 5th century BC and is located only a few miles from the centre of Rhodes Town. An hour's drive south is Lindos Acropolis, thought to have been built in the 10th century BC and features the remains of a Roman temple among other ancient monuments. If visiting those is nothing like your idea of a romantic activity, then beeline to the beach for a scenic horse ride. Saddle up and head off together on a guided adventure, taking in stunning coastal views and, in some cases, forest paths as well. If timings align, many companies offer rides at sunset, too.