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How to Choose Which Greek Island to Visit

With over 6,000 islands and islets, 227 of which are inhabited, choosing which Greek island to visit can be somewhat daunting. Obviously it’s subjective, based upon your personal preferences and what you’re seeking from your holidays.

If you’ve found your way to the Nissia Holidays website, we assume you’re looking for an authentic Greek island offering peace and tranquillity. Each of our three islands – Halki, Tilos and Nisyros – has that in abundance. But each has its unique attractions, too.

To help you decide which Greek island to visit, here’s an overview of Halki, Tilos and Nisyros.

Halki: Architecture, Photogenic Beauty & a Slow Pace of Life

Of our three islands, Halki is perhaps the one with the most devoted guests, drawn back year after year (although Tilos comes a close second). This little island really steals your heart. Perhaps the best explanation for this is its pace of life.

From the moment you step off the ferry, you’re on Halki time! It’s so laid-back that the harbour clock was intentionally stopped (OK, that was officially because it was too loud, but it sums Halki up perfectly!). This is an island for ambling through bougainvillaea-strewn alleyways, people watching in the harbour, and lazing on peaceful beaches.

If you’re drawn to architectural beauty, Halki could be the island for you. The main (and only) town of Emborio is bursting with elegantly restored Italianate houses, making it one of the most photogenic places on the island. If you prefer to capture the island on canvas, we run painting holidays here every spring. 

Of course, there’s room for a little action if you prefer. Halki has a number of walking routes, including one that takes you through the abandoned village of Chorio to the medieval castle, which has spectacular views. Alternatively, a day trip to Alimia offers an insight to the region’s history.  

Tilos: Nature, Walking & Dwarf Elephants

Blessed with an abundance of natural springs, Tilos is a surprisingly green island (at least in springtime). And thanks to a hunting ban it’s brimming with wildlife, with birdwatchers drawn here to see bee-eaters, golden orioles, and rare and endangered species such as Bonelli’s eagle, Eleonora’s falcon and Andouin’s gull.

With numerous walking paths criss-crossing the island, hikers and walkers love Tilos, especially during spring and autumn. If you like to explore on foot seeking hidden beaches, tumbledown castles and an abandoned village, this could be your dream destination.

If green credentials are important, Tilos is renowned for being the most eco-friendly island in the Mediterranean. Thanks to a Horizon 2020 programme, it’s on track to be entirely powered by wind and solar energy, with many other fantastic initiatives underway thanks to their forward-thinking mayor.

Tilos also has a little surprise up its sleeve that you may not expect to find on a tiny Greek island. Excavated in 1971, the Harkadio Cave housed bones belonging to dwarf elephants that lived here 4,000 years ago. A new museum has recently opened dedicated to this fascinating find.

Nisyros: Volcanic Energy, Black Beaches & Dramatic Vistas

Santorini may get the plaudits for being the most famous volcanic island in Greece, but Nisyros offers something even more unique. This magical island is one of the only places in the world where you can walk in a potentially active volcanic crater. So if you fancy exploring an otherworldly landscape amongst smoking fumaroles and a sulphuric whiff, a trip to Nisyros could be in your future.

The magnetic volcanic energy of the smoking heart of Nisyros permeates the island and makes for a truly unique holiday. Natural hot springs bubble in various locations around the island, while many of its beaches feature black sand and rocks, offering a striking contrast to the whitewashed houses and clear turquoise waters.

The island’s explosive beginnings certainly make for dramatic landscapes. The quaint villages of Nikia and Emborio cling to the rim of the volcanic crater offering mesmerising views. Nisyros is also popular with walkers and hikers, with many of the island’s trails circling the caldera or crossing through the crater floor.

Which Greek island to visit out of Halki, Tilos and Nisyros?

We may be a little biased, but we believe each of our islands to be equally wonderful in their own unique way. And whichever island you choose, you can be sure of a welcome as warm as the Greek sunshine.

If you’d like to discuss which Greek island is best for you, contact the friendly team at Nissia Holidays on 01455 289421 or email us: info@nissiaholidays.com. We’ll be happy to help you decide.

If you’ve already decided, pop over to our accommodation page to choose where to stay. We can’t wait to welcome you to our Dodecanese gems.


Jo worked on Tilos in 2006, as the last Island Manager for Laskarina. She now runs a travel writing business and travel blog, The Wandering Wordsmith, and spends much of her year travelling. But Greece, especially Tilos, will always hold a special place in her heart.

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