Europe & Britain | Travel Tips & News

7 mind-blowing facts about the Greek Islands

Recently updated on July 11th, 2023 at 10:39 am

The azure waters and quaint white villages of the Greek Islands were renowned the world over even before envy-inducing photos started flooding your Instagram feed. But this bucket-list destination is so much more than pretty vistas. Here’s a few fun travel facts you probably never knew about this European holiday hot spot.

1. Greece has over 5,000 islands

Santorini Greece at sunset

It’s said that when God finished creating the Earth, he had a few rocks left. So he tossed them over his shoulder, and they landed in the Aegean Sea, thus creating the Greek Islands. From the barren, rocky shores of the picturesque Cyclades to the lush, wooded coastlines of the Sporades, the Greek Isles are as diverse as they are numerous. Although Greece has more than 5,000 islands, only about 200 are populated. Some of these lesser-known Greek islands include; Ikaria, Ammouliani, Meganisi, Antiparos and Kythnos.

2. Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands.

crete sunset greek islands

The largest and most populous island in Greece, Crete covers a whopping 8,336 square kilometres, with a population of over 630,000 people. Famous Cretans (not to be confused with cretins) include painter, sculptor and architect Domenico ‘El Greco’ Theotokopoulos and the Greek god Zeus himself!

3. Greece’s blue doors keep away evil spirits

greek houses blue doors

Ever wondered why so many of Greece’s islands are awash with beautiful blue and white houses? According to ancient beliefs, this particular shade of blue keeps evil away. The locals call the colour kyanos, which is where we derived the words ‘cyan’ and ‘cyanide’.

4. Rhodes is the most popular holiday spot in Greece

rhodes old town

It’s reported that the city of Rhodes (the capital of the island of Rhodes) is the most popular holiday spot in Greece. Famous for its perfectly-preserved medieval Old Town and too-good-to-be-true turquoise beaches, we can understand why.

5. Santorini is an active volcano

Santorina Greek islands

The island of Santorini actually remains an active volcano to this day (though in a dormant state). Scientists have found evidence of at least 12 large eruptions in the last 200,000 years, with the last one shaking its shores in 1950.

6. Pelicans are the mascots of Mykonos

The official mascot for the island of Mykonos is a charismatic pelican named, Petros, who decided to call Mykonos home after being rescued by a resident fisherman. Although Petros isn’t around anymore, his spirit lives on in the stories of the local islanders.

7. The Greek Islands are bathed in sunshine almost 300 days a year

greek islands mykonos drinks

It’s easy to understand why the locals are always smiling. With sunshine 85% of the year, pristine beaches, mouth-watering cuisine and a laid-back Mediterranean mentality, it’s hard not to live the good life. No wonder it’s one of Europe’s favourite holiday destinations!

Which Greek island would you most like to go to? To get more inspiration about the Greek islands and to book your Mediterranean holiday, visit our Greece destination page

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  • zach says:

    i feel bad for the Aussies, like no beer

  • CherryPop says:

    Thanks needed the info

  • Anonymous says:

    learned a lot, thanks!

    1. Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    I went March of last year sadly did not see the Northern lights, loved the country is beautiful

  • Anonymous says:

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  • Anonymous says:

    Great article, however, New Zealand is widely believed to be the world’s most recently settled landmass, with Polynesians travelling there only around 700 years ago circa the early 1300’s.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ummm…this article is about Iceland, not new zealand

      1. anonymous says:

        he is talking about the last settled landmass because the article
        claimed that iceland was the last settled landmass

  • Anonymous says:

    I would love to come. it told me little fact’s about Iceland. I can’t wait to go there. I know i’m going to the hot springs. I’m going next Friday I can’t wait to see them in person!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Very nice it told me little fact’s about Iceland. I can’t wait to go there I know i’m going to the hot springs

    1. Ginny Smith says:

      We’re glad you enjoyed the article!

      1. Anonymous says:

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  • Anonymous says:

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  • Anonymous says:

    Very nice and detailed helping me a lot for my trip to come

    1. Anonymous says:

      Cool I’m going there too maybe we can see each other

  • Anonymous says:

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    1. Anonymous says:

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  • It was an immense pleasure reading your blog as I got to know so many facts and figures from your post, Thank you so much for sharing such great content and taking out so many pains to come up with this amazing article, will surely share this with my friends and family as well for their future reference.

    1. Anonymous says:


      1. Anonymous says:

        Wow so cool

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