A List Of All The Greek Islands – A Complete Summary

A List Of All The Greek Islands – A Complete Summary

The Greek archipelago contains over 6000 individual islands. In terms of those that people actually live on, the number scales down drastically to just over 200. Naturally, there are the familiar islands that everyone knows and loves. But there’s also a huge number of unspoilt and unheard of islands. So next time you’re planning on which to visit, check out this list of all the Greek islands.

This list includes those with a population of at least 50 people. Broken down by island group and ordered by population and size

Whether you’re looking for two weeks on a small patch of paradise or putting together an island hopping itinerary, this summary of all the islands worth visiting will hopefully help you on your way.

List of all Cyclades Islands – 24 main islands

The Cyclades are located right in the heart of the Aegean sea. Arguably the most popular island group in Greece with renowned islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos featuring on the list.

There are 24 main islands in this group, 9 of which have a population of under 1,000 people.

Naxos is the largest in size closely followed by Andros. Check out the highlights of things to see and do in Naxos, dubbed the Queen of the Cyclades.

The island of Syros has the largest population and a number of large towns including Ermoupoli – considered the capital of the Cyclades.

Compared to the other island groups, the Cyclades are the smallest in size, giving them a unique atmosphere. The characteristic white washed towns, colourful accents and gorgeous beaches make this group one of the most appealing.

Naousa town Paros Cyclades

Santorini and Mykonos are the islands with the largest population density, in part due to their popularity and, hence, tourism they generate

Delos, the sacred archaelogical island at the heart of the Cyclades, makes the list. However, in reality, only a small number of people live there.  Visitors cannot stay overnight and can only visit on a day trip.

Main islands

Here is a list of all the main Greek islands in the Cyclades , ordered by size and population.

  • Syros – 21,507 population – 39.3 square miles
  • Naxos – 18,904 – 166
  • Santorini – 15,550 – 25
  • Paros – 13,715 – 75.8
  • Mykonos – 10,134 – 33
  • Tinos – 10,000 – 75
  • Andros – 9,221 – 150
  • Milos – 4,977 – 62
  • Sifnos – 2,625 – 28.6
  • Kea – 2,455 – 57.5
  • Ios – 2,024 – 42
  • Amorgos – 1,973 – 48.8
  • Kythnos – 1,456 – 38.7
  • Serifos – 1,420 – 29
  • Antiparos – 1,211 – 17.4
  • Kimolos – 910 – 20.6
  • Folegandros – 765 – 12.4
  • Koufonisia – 399 – 10
  • Therasia – 319 – 3.6
  • Sikinos – 273 – 16.4
  • Anafi – 271 – 15.6
  • Schoinoussa – 256 – 3.3
  • Donoussa – 167 – 5.3
  • Iraklia –  141 – 6.9
  • Delos – 14 – 1.3

List of all Dodecanese islands – 12 main islands, 7 minor islands

Literally translated into the “twelve islands”, there are no prizes for how many main islands the Dodecanese contains.

Rhodes is, of course, the heavy hitter. Hugely popular going back decades, lined with resorts, fantastic towns to explore and beaches to swim. The biggest by population and size by some way in the Dodecanese.

Aside from the tourist heavy islands of Rhodes and Kos, the smaller of the main islands are all getting increasingly popular. Symi, Patmos and Leros are all small in size but big in character.

It’s a similar story for the smaller inhabited islands too (outside of “the twelve”), albeit for more quiet and secluded holidys.

Leipsoi and Halki are both untouched by mass tourism, with a strong sense of local community and natural beauty. Unspoiled towns and beaches are the focal points of these laid back islands.

Symi Dodecanese

Main islands

Here is a list of all the main Greek islands in the Dodecanese, ordered by size and population.

  • Rhodes – 115,490 population – 541 square miles
  • Kos – 33,387 – 112
  • Kalymnos – 16,179 – 52
  • Leros – 7,917 – 28.6
  • Karpathos – 6,226 – 125
  • Patmos – 3,047 – 17.4
  • Symi – 2,590 – 25.4
  • Astypalaia – 1,334 – 44
  • Kasos – 1,084 – 17
  • Nisyros – 1,008 – 19.3
  • Tilos – 780 – 25
  • Kastellorizo (Megisti) – 492 – 4.6

Inhabited islands

  • Lipsi – 790 – 6.7
  • Halki – 478 – 14.3
  • Agathonisi – 185 – 5.6
  • Telendos – 94 – 3.3
  • Pserimos- 80 – 2
  • Saria – 45 – 7.8
  • Arkoi – 44 – 2.6

List of all Ionian islands – 7 main islands, 9 minor islands

The Ionian islands on this side of Greece are known for their lush green landscapes. Shades of turquoise run through the seawater, noticeably different to the deep blues of the Aegean.

There are 7 main islands in the Ionian, including the ever popular Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Corfu – long time favourites for British holidaymakers.

Though Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands, with beautiful towns and villages spread from north to south, Corfu has the largest population. 

Lefkada is becoming more and more popular with vacationers outside of Greece. It’s gorgeous beaches, mountainous interior and pretty and plush towns and villages making it one of the best islands to visit in Greece.

Elafonissos is one of minor islands of the Ionian group, off the Peloponnesse coast. It’s powdery soft sands are popular amongst visitors and the main town becomes a hive of activity in the evenings.

Myrtos Kefalonia beach Ionian

Main islands

Here is a list of all the main Greek islands in the Ionian, ordered by size and population.

  • Corfu – 102,071 population – 236 square miles
  • Zakynthos – 40,759 – 157
  • Kefalonia – 35,801 – 298
  • Lefkada – 22,652 – 129
  • Kythira – 4,041 – 116
  • Ithaca – 3,231 – 45.5
  • Paxi – 2,300 – 11.6

Inhabited islands

  • Meganisi – 1,041 – 8.6
  • Elafonissos – 1,041 – 7.7
  • Kalamos – 496 – 9.6
  • Ereikoussa – 496 – 1.7
  • Othonoi – 392 – 3.9
  • Mathraki – 329 – 1.4
  • Kastos – 80 – 2.3
  • Antikythera – 68 – 7.9
  • Antipaxi – 20 – 2
  • Skorpios – Privately owned – 205 hectares

List of all Northern Aegean islands – 9 main islands, 3 minor islands

The Northern Aegean islands straddle the West coast of Turkey and Northern Greece. On average, they are much bigger and more populous than the other island groups.

That being said the islands do not draw in big tourism that the others do. In fact, none have international airports, only domestic ones with flights to and from Athens and Thessaloniki.

Lesvos is the largest of the Northern Aegean islands and third largest in Greece, behind Crete and Evia, and popular amongst families.

Ikaria is one of the truly great unspoilt islands of Greece. Pack your bags and head here to experience the ultimate laid back Greek island life. Something to do with the lifestyle and diet here means that the population regularly love into their 90’s.

Thasos Northern Aegean

Main islands

Here is a list of all the main Greek islands in the North Aegean, ordered by size and population.

  • Lesbos – 114,880 population – 630 square miles
  • Chios – 54,030 – 325
  • Samos – 45,050 – 184.3
  • Lemnos – 16,922 – 184.4
  • Thasos – 13,770 – 146.8
  • Ikaria – 8,423 – 98.6
  • Samothraki – 2,859 – 68.7
  • Fournoi – 1,459 – 17.5
  • Oinousses – 826 – 6.7

Inhabited islands

  • Psara – 458 – 17.2
  • Agios Efstratios – 270 – 16.7
  • Thymaina – 143 – 3.9

List of all Saronic islands – 6 main islands, 1 minor island

Salamina is the largest of the Saronic islands. Situated just off the coast of Athens and a stones throw from Piraeus. It’s ship building and industrial economy the reason for it being the most population dense of all the Greek islands.

The Saronic islands have the highest population density in general. So although the islands are small many people live there. Even more during the summer as they are a favourite for  Greek families and tourists from nearby Athens and Peloponesse.

Aegina and Hydra may be the highlights of the Saronic gulf. Small, quaint and packing bags of character.

Spetses is another small island off the Peloponesse peninsula, a favourite for a convenient getaway. The island is car-free, has an elegant main town and vibrant atmosphere.

Hydra island Saronic

Here is a list of all the main Greek Saronic islands, ordered by size and population.

  • Salamina – 39,283 population – 37.1 square miles
  • Aegina – 8,924 – 33.8
  • Spetses – 4,027 – 10.5
  • Poros – 3,993 – 19.1
  • Hydra – 1,966 – 25
  • Agistri – 1,142 – 5.2

Inhabited islands

  • Dokos – 18 – 5.2

List of all Sporades islands – 4 main islands, 1 minor island

The Sporades have the fewest inhabited islands – only 4 having people living on them year round.

Skiathos is the smallest of the main islands, yet has the highest population. This little beauty is one of the best islands Greece has to offer. Beaches of superb beauty, quality nature and a buzzing cosmopolitan vibe.

The other islands are a calm alternative to Skiathos. Skopelos, the Mamma Mia island, is of course well known from the movie. Yet still calm and easygoing and a must visit if ever in the Sporades.

Famous Church Skopelos Sporades

Main islands

  • Skiathos – 6,610 population – 19.3 square miles
  • Skopelos – 4,960 – 37.2
  • Skyros – 2,994 – 86.1
  • Alonnisos – 2,750 – 50

Minor islands

  • Peristera – 30 – 2

Crete – 634,930 population – 3,260 square miles

The biggest island in Greece by far and easily the most populous. Crete is the 12th largest island in Europe, so huge it takes about 5 hours to drive from end to end. World class beaches, delicious cuisine, ancient sites and citadels and old towns await!

There are plenty of islets surrounding Crete. Pretty much all are uninhabited and some are regularly visited during day trips from certain ports. Crete is usually referred to on its own and never really as a “group”.

Evia – 191,206 population – 1,422 square miles

One of the most ignored Greek islands when it comes to international visitors. Running the entire length of Attica to central Greece, yet still half the size of Crete.

Evia is the second largest Greek island and linked to the mainland by two bridges.

Though not often mentioned, nor thought of, when recommending newcomers to Greece it does make a great place to visit.

As long as you get the ‘typical” Greek island images out of your head, Evia has plenty of things to see and do and some great holiday vibes to offer.

Evia island lichada

The most populated Greek islands

If you’re familiar with Greece you’ll have certainly heard of these before. These are typically big islands with large economies in their own right.

Many have of course benefited from mass tourism, yet some may still be going under the radar of those travelling internationally.

  1. Crete – 634,930 population – Crete
  2. Evia – 191,206 population – Evia
  3. Rhodes – 115,490 population – Dodecanese
  4. Lesbos – 114,880 population – Northern Aegean
  5. Corfu – 102,071 population – Ionian
  6. Chios – 54,030 population – Northern Aegean
  7. Samos – 45,050 population – Northern Aegean
  8. Zakynthos – 40,759 population – Ionian
  9. Kefalonia – 35,801 population – Ionian
  10. Salamina – 39,283 population – Saronic

The biggest Greek islands by land area

Crete is the biggest island in Greece by far. So big you could visit a different part every year and not get bored one bit. However, the Northern Aegean islands dominate by land area – but not by holiday packages.

Lemnos is a prime example of a large and well developed island that many people will have simply skipped over when considering holiday options.

  1. Crete – 3,260 square miles – Crete
  2. Evia – 1,422 square miles – Evia
  3. Lesbos – 630 square miles – Northern Aegean
  4. Rhodes – 541 square miles – Dodecanese
  5. Chios – 325 square miles – Northern Aegean
  6. Kefalonia – 298 square miles – Ionian
  7. Corfu – 236 square miles – Ionian
  8. Lemnos – 184.4 square miles – Northern Aegean
  9. Samos – 184.3 square miles – Northern Aegean
  10. Naxos – 166 square miles – Cyclades

The most unspoilt Greek islands

Greece’s natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, and vibrant towns and villages extend to these lesser known gems. Some are simply overlooked by foreigners yet popular amongst Greeks.

Venture beyond the beaten path and you won’t be disappointed. This list, many of which are islands gaining in popularity, are not to be missed.

  1. Ikaria – 8,423 population – 98.6 square miles – Northern Aegean
  2. Amorgos – 1,973 population – 48.8 square miles – Cyclades
  3. Meganisi – 1,041 population – 8.6 square miles – Ionian
  4. Serifos – 1,420 population – 29 square miles – Cyclades
  5. Antiparos – 1,211 population – 17.4 square miles – Cyclades
  6. Sifnos – 2,625 population – 28.6 square miles – Cyclades
  7. Astypalaia – 1,334 population – 44 square miles – Dodecanese
  8. Kythira – 4,041 population – 116 square miles – Ionian
  9. Folegandros – 765 population – 12.4 square miles – Cyclades
  10. Koufonisia – 399 population – 10 square miles – Cyclades
  11. Lipsi – 790 population – 6.7 square miles – Dodecanese
  12. Skopelos – 4,960 population – 37.2 square miles – Sporades
Unspoilt Sifnos island Cyclades

The least populated Greek islands

With over 200 inhabited Greek islands, there are many with small populations (some even in single digits!). These are the smallest of the “main” Greek islands with at least a population of 100.

Offering a true slice of seclusion. Not just a consideration for day trips, but also for longer stays to really recharge those batteries.

  1. Thymaina – 143 population – 3.9 square miles – Northern Aegean
  2. Agios Efstratios – 270 population – 16.7 square miles  – Northern Aegean
  3. Psara – 458 population – 17.2 square miles – Northern Aegean
  4. Kastellorizo (Megisti) – 492 population – 4.6 square miles – Dodecanese
  5. Tilos – 789 population – 25 square miles – Dodecanese
  6. Oinousses – 826 population – 6.7 square miles – Northern Aegean
  7. Nisyros – 1,008 population – 19.3 square miles – Dodecanese
  8. Kasos – 1,084population – 17 square miles – Dodecanese
  9. Agistri – 1,142 population – 5.2 square miles – Saronic
  10. Antiparos  – 1,211population – 17.4 square miles – Cyclades

The smallest Greek islands by land area

Out of the 6,000 Greek islands, there are countless ones with a tiny land mass. Some are simply large rocks jutting out of the sea. These are the smallest of the “main” Greek islands with at least a population of 100.

  1. Thymaina – 3.9 square miles – 143 population – Northern Aegean
  2. Kastellorizo (Megisti) – 4.6 square miles – 492 population – Dodecanese
  3. Agistri – 5.2 square miles – 1,142 population – Saronic
  4. Oinousses – 6.7 square miles – 826 population – Northern Aegean
  5. Spetses – 10.5 square miles – 4,027 population – Saronic
  6. Paxi – 11.6 square miles – 2,300 population – Ionian
  7. Agios Efstratios – 16.7 square miles – 270 population – Northern Aegean
  8. Kasos – 17 square miles  – 1,084 population – Dodecanese
  9. Psara- 17.2 square miles  – 458 population – Northern Aegean
  10. Antiparos – 17.4 square miles  – 1,211 population – Cyclades

The most densely populated Greek islands

Apart from Salamina, owing to its industrial port, the most densely populated islands in Greece come as no surprise.

These ones are typically the most touristy. Not to worry, travelling a little earlier or later in the season is a great way to visit Greece without the crowds and take in the beauty.

  1. Salamina – 1,059 population per square mile – Saronic
  2. Santorini – 622 population per square mile – Cyclades
  3. Syros – 547 population per square mile – Cyclades
  4. Corfu – 433 population per square mile – Ionian
  5. Spetses – 384 population per square mile – Saronic
  6. Skiathos – 342 population per square mile – Sporades
  7. Kalymnos – 311 population per square mile – Dodecanese
  8. Mykonos – 307 population per square mile – Cyclades
  9. Kos – 298 population per square mile – Dodecanese
  10. Leros – 277 population per square mile – Dodecanese

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