Are you planning a trip to Greece and wondering what are the best Greek islands for solo travel? You’re not alone!
I found myself wondering the exact same thing when I was planning my solo trip.
Sure solo female travel can be daunting, but fear not, the best Greek islands are waiting for you. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or a wild adventure, these islands have got it all.
From the party scene of Mykonos to the spectacular sunsets in Santorini, there’s something for every solo traveler out there. So grab your sunscreen and get ready for some island hopping!
Best Greek Islands for Solo Travel
My top picks for the best Greek Islands for solo travel are Mykonos, Santorini and Paros. If you want a party island then I’d probably through Ios in there too – let me tell you why!
Now Greece (or just Europe in general) is not cheap. Especially if you happen to be from NZ like me and the euro is nearly double our dollar ha ha… Anyway point is, have a bit of money to spend here cause your money definitely doesn’t go as far as it does in countries like Bali or Thailand.
I would’ve loved to just disappear for a month on one of the lesser-known islands and spend my days exploring hidden beaches but the one big problem with the smaller islands is… there are no hostels. So really you haven’t got a lot of choice but to book a hotel or Airbnb.
You could get lucky and find yourself a good deal if you book well in advance but was I this organised? No. Also I’m a solo female traveller so when I do book an Airbnb or hotel room, there is no second person for me to split the cost with.
Therefore I resorted to hostels, and let me tell you, some of these weren’t even that cheap! I spent one night in a hostel that cost me $120 NZD (I know crazy right?!). It was pretty great though, I mean this was the view from the pool:
Why should Mykonos be on your list? Well let’s be honest, it’s Mykonos. Can you really travel all the way to Greece and not go here? This is the island that I flew into and actually spent most of my time in Greece.
I will warn you though, this island is going to be the most expensive out of the lot. Also, it’s touristy, very touristy. But it does have a special feel to it, and it also has great nightlife, it gets some pretty big names playing at places like Cavo Paradiso.
Would I go back here? I’m not sure – probably only if I become rich and can afford to stay in an expensive hotel with a gorgeous view of the ocean (Cave Tagoo anyone?!). But am I glad I went here? 100% and it can be done on a budget, there are hostels you can stay in here but it is going to be pricier than the likes of Santorini, Paros and Ios due to the island’s popularity.
If you do decide to include Mykonos in your itinerary I would only stay here for a few nights, three is plenty. It gives you time to chill at the beach clubs, have an awesome night out, explore the beaches and see the dreamy Mykonos town.
Where to stay in Mykonos
- Paraga Beach Hostel
A bit out of the way, the hostel will pick you up from the ferry though. This is the cheaper option out of the two and right by Tropicana and Paradise which are some of the good beach clubs to hit. If you want to party, I would stay here.(Unfortunately it appears their website is no longer active so it’s possible this hostel didn’t make it through Covid times.)
- Mycocoon Hostel
More expensive but right in Mykonos town where all the action is. The hostel environment itself isn’t too social so not the best place if you are looking to meet other travellers.
- Studio Eleni
Not a hostel but a bed and breakfast that offers affordable private rooms and is in a great location
Similar story to Mykonos, you can’t travel to Greece for the first time and not go to Santorini, you just can’t. When I sat there, with thousands of other people (not exaggerating here) watching the sun go down behind the gorgeous white buildings, it took my breath away.
Also believe it or not, it’s actually cheaper than Mykonos! Food and drink are more reasonably priced and the buses are cheap making it fairly easy to get around. I would recommend hiring a quad for a day though if you can!
There are so many fun things to do on this island and exploring Oia town just feels like a dream. Would be even dreamier minus all the people but you just have to get up early in the morning for that! Or pay thousands for a crazy expensive hotel with a stunning view you’ll probably never forget…
The beaches such as Red Beach and Perissa Beach are also a must. There is also White Beach which you can only access by boat, although it’s not the most stunning white beach you’ll ever see so easy to give that a miss (yes New Zealand beaches, I’m thinking of you!).
Where to stay in Santorini
- Youth Hostel Anna
This is located down on Perissa beach which is the famous black sand beach on the island. This hostel is a great budget option, just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
- Fira backpackers
Personally I didn’t stay here but this is the place to be if you want to stay in Fira town. Honestly I would probably choose to stay somewhere on Perissa beach over this. The only benefit of staying in Fira is that it is easier to get to Oia (where you want to be for sunset). Instead of catching two buses from Perissa, you catch one.
An incredibly cute and aesthetically pleasing hostel, just take a look at the pics and you’ll see what I mean! The location is great too, right in the heart of Santorini.
Oh I’m so in love with Paros. It was my favourite island out of the lot! I’ll definitely write a more in-depth blog post about why you have to go here because it really is a place that should be on everyone’s list.
Why did I love it? Well it reminded me of Mykonos but without the craziness of all the people, plus it was way cheaper. It’s a win-win! There is talk about this island becoming the next Mykonos though so I would try to get there ASAP before this happens.
This island has so much to offer, from the gorgeous beaches to the cute towns and fun nightlife. If you don’t travel here on your next trip to Greece trust me, you are missing out!
Where to stay in Paros
I was lucky enough to stay with family friends while I was here so I didn’t have to worry about booking accommodation here but there is a hostel you can stay at called Paros Backpackers.
Ios is another great Greek island for solo travel. Why? Cause it’s a party island! And this means a great atmosphere, friendly people and an awesome time.
As mentioned earlier, unfortunately, I didn’t make it here. I hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of weeks and just wasn’t getting better so decided to extend my time on Santorini and cut out Ios for some much-needed chill time.
I was planning on staying at Far Out Beach Camping which is a well-known beach club there and I knew if I went, I certainly wasn’t going to get any better. As you can probably tell from the photos it certainly goes off!
The accommodation itself was very cheap (by Greece standards) and I heard great things about it from other travellers I met while in Greece so if you have the time to add this place to your itinerary, do it!
This island will definitely be on the top of my list to visit when I’m next back in Greece.
Greek Island Travel Tips to Help Save You Money
- Probably the most important to save money while travelling solo in Greece is to avoid travelling in high season. Especially August. You’ve probably heard it a million times but prices are so. much. higher.
- Don’t forget to look at flying directly into Mykonos or Santorini. It could be the same price or maybe even a little bit cheaper, but even if it is that little bit more expensive it could be worth booking the flight and not having to spend money on booking a ferry.
Ferries from Athens out to the islands are not cheap, expect to pay about 50 euros. Also they take foreeeever. One of the ferries I was on was supposed to take 4 hours, it took 6…fun times. There are fast boats but expect to pay more.
- BE ORGANISED. This one you definitely want to take note of, especially when travelling in the summer. If you’re on a budget and you want to stay in hostels make sure you book these in advance.
I got caught out in Mykonos where all the hostels sold out and I had to end up paying a looot more than if I’d been more organised. One of the instances where ‘winging it’ came back and bit me in the bum.
- The bakeries are your new best friend for when your hostel doesn’t have any cooking facilities – spinach pie for 2 euros, hello!
- If you want to save money on accommodation you could try couchsurfing for a few nights. I did this while in Mykonos and it was an interesting experience that’s for sure, but a great way to see the island from a local’s point of view.
FAQ: Best Greek Islands for Solo Travel
Is Greece safe for solo female travellers?
I felt safe during my time in Greece and didn’t have any issues but whenever travelling alone, especially as a female, it’s important to stay vigilant.
When venturing out alone, it’s important to stay connected and share your itinerary with a friend or family member. Embrace the local customs and dress respectfully, especially when visiting religious sites.
I always made sure I had a local SIM card with access to data whenever I was travelling alone, it helped give me a sense of security and anyone who knows me, knows that my sense of direction isn’t the best.
Engaging in conversation with fellow travellers and seeking guidance from locals will further enhance your experience and ensure a smoother journey. While petty crime may exist in tourist hotspots like Athens or crowded areas, exercising common sense and vigilance will help mitigate any risks.
Is Greece good for solo travel?
Yes! I think Greece is a perfect destination for solo travel because there is plenty of opportunity to meet other travellers and it’s just an all round a beautiful place so everyone seems to be in a great mood.
With its diverse landscapes, warm Mediterranean climate, and hospitable locals, Greece offers a plethora of experiences that make it ideal for solo travellers.
As a solo traveller in Greece, you’ll have the freedom to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, indulge in delectable cuisine, and forge meaningful connections with fellow travellers and locals alike.
Whether you’re seeking tranquillity on a secluded beach or craving the buzz of a lively taverna, Greece certainly caters to all tastes and preferences, you won’t be bored!
How many Greek Islands should I visit?
With over 6,000 islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, the options seem endless. While each island possesses its own unique allure, the number of islands to explore ultimately depends on your travel preferences and the duration of your trip.
For a taste of the Greek island experience, visiting two to three islands is a good starting point. Begin with iconic destinations such as Santorini, where whitewashed cliffside villages and stunning sunsets create a captivating ambience. Then, hop over to Mykonos, known for its vibrant nightlife and picturesque beaches. If time allows, include Paros or Ios.
For a more immersive island-hopping adventure, consider exploring five to seven islands but only do so if you’re staying for at least 2 weeks otherwise your trip will feel too rushed!
Add destinations like Rhodes, with its medieval charm, or Naxos, boasting serene beaches and ancient ruins. Discover lesser-known gems like Milos, renowned for its striking volcanic landscapes and hidden coves. Don’t forget to venture off the beaten path to experience the authentic island lifestyle and encounter the warm hospitality of the locals.
Ultimately, the number of Greek islands you visit is a personal choice. Whether you opt for a few or decide to explore a multitude, each island offers its own distinctive character, enchanting vistas, and unforgettable experiences.
When is the best time to travel to the Greek Islands?
In my opinion, summer is the best time to visit the Greek Islands because who wouldn’t want to swim in that beautiful blue water?!
For those seeking warm weather and vibrant island life, the summer months from June to August are ideal. Bask in the Mediterranean sunshine, dive into crystal-clear waters, and indulge in the lively beach parties and festivals that epitomize the Greek summer.
If you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October). During these months, you can enjoy pleasant weather, explore the islands at a relaxed pace, and take advantage of discounted rates.
Winter, from November to March, offers a different experience, with a quieter atmosphere and a chance to delve into the local culture.
While some tourist services may be limited, you can still enjoy the natural beauty of the islands and immerse yourself in authentic Greek traditions. You will need to do your research though as some islands completely shut down during the winter season so bear that in mind.
Conclusion: Best Greek Islands for Solo Travel
There are still soo many islands I want to visit in Greece (have you seen pics of Milos?!) but next time I go back, I want to be able to afford to stay on the islands that don’t have hostels. So whether that’s in a couple of years or for my 30th birthday who knows!
Or I could do as the locals do (if I’m brave enough) and just show up at one of the islands, go and grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the nearest restaurants and start talking to the owners asking if they have any rooms or villas available.
I’m not joking…this is actually a thing – as I was told by my walking tour guide in Athens.
A lot of accommodation owners don’t have their properties listed on places like Airbnb because they just go off word of mouth. You can bet they’ll be a lot cheaper than anything else you’ll find on Airbnb too!
If do decide to try this one day, I’ll definitely report back!