Planning a honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of getting married, but it can be stressful trying to narrow down your trip of a lifetime.
And with the average couple spending roughly £4,500/$5,000 on their honeymoon, it’s important to get it right.
The Greek islands are gaining popularity among newlyweds, thanks to more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions compared to destinations further afield and the high-class luxury and romantic resorts on offer.
In fact, searches for “Honeymoon in Greece” are up 33% in the past year alone.
But which Greek islands have the most to offer newlyweds? To help you avoid choosing the best-marketed location over the best honeymoon experience, the data analysts at travel company Stasher have done the hard work for you.
Stasher scored each Greek island out of 100 for key factors that make a honeymoon a trip to remember, including the quality of their local restaurants, luxury accommodation, couple-friendly attractions, beaches and weather conditions.
According to the study, Greece’s largest island Crete is the top honeymoon destination and was awarded a score of 78/100.
Crete is the driest Greek island (100/100) seeing just 28mm of rainfall a month on average. It also has warm sea temperatures (79/100) of 23.1 degrees Celsius on average, beautiful beaches (93/100) and vibrant food scene (77/100), with an average diner review score of 4.58 stars out of 5.
Crete has much to offer honeymooners, no matter what type of trip they’re looking for. It boasts bustling port towns, secluded mountain villages, rocky coastlines, and some of the oldest archaeological sites you can find in Europe. All the while being less touristy and more affordable than many other Greek islands.
The small island of Karpathos in the south-eastern Aegean Sea is named the second-best honeymoon destination. Known for its calm atmosphere and untouched natural beauty including green mountains and golden beaches, Karpathos earns an impressive 77/100.
The island has high-quality luxury accommodation according to travelers, scoring 85/100 for this category, with warm seas (average temperature 23.2 degrees Celsius) and romantic attractions worthy of a visit (68/100). From Karpathos, couples can also hop on a short boat trip to discover the pristine beaches of the tiny uninhabited island of Saria. It doesn’t get more romantic than that.
Milos comes in third place in the study (74/100), Conde Nast Traveller’s Greek Island of 2022 and a favorite among Greek couples. It’s also the original home of the Louvre’s romantic Venus de Milo statue, thought to depict the Greek Goddess of Love.
Honeymooners staying on Milos can enjoy their top-quality day spas (100/100 – the highest of all islands studied) and insta-worthy beaches (91/100) but be braced for slightly colder sea temperatures (21.9 degrees Celsius on average).
Sitting in the heart of the Aegean Sea, the volcanic island overlooks the famous Cyclades islands, including Santorini and Mykonos. It also boasts Sarakiniko beach, known for its lunar landscape of white rock formations set against crystal-clear blue waters. For couples wanting an authentic Greek experience away from the crowds, Milo’s quaint and colorful fishing villages are a must, offering cozy, romantic places to stay.
In fourth place is Kalymnos in the southeast (73/100), followed by Astypalea, Rhodes and Ios in joint-fifth place, all scoring 71/100 across the data points analyzed.
The supermodel of the Greek islands with its white-and-blue-washed buildings, Santorini, comes in joint-10th place in the rankings alongside Kos and Sifnos.
Travelers rate its beach quality (33/100) and romantic attractions (57/100) quite low, and while its standard of restaurants and luxury accommodation are higher than other islands in the top five (86 and 83/100 respectively), it comes at a premium price. Honeymooners can also expect to rub shoulder-to-shoulder with the millions of other tourists that flock to the island, particularly during the summer months.
Kos is the top honeymoon island for food lovers, according to diner reviews, scoring top marks. It also has the warmest average temperatures throughout the year (22.3 degrees Celsius), but its accommodation is lower on the luxury scale than many other Greek islands (49/100).
Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO of Stasher commented on the study:
“The Greek islands are renowned for their beauty and charm, and make the perfect honeymoon destination for couples around the globe.
“So whether you’re traveling short or long haul, we hope our study helps you narrow down your choice. You could even try and bag yourself a free upgrade on the way with these insider tips to start your trip of a lifetime.”