Greece is a safe holiday destination. Picture by Karel Macalik

Safety has become an important tick box for travellers as people are more conscious than ever of where they plant their feet. 

In the 29th annual MMGY Travel Intelligence report: The 2019 Portrait of American Travelers survey, safety was found to be the deciding factor for people -in particular, millennials - ahead of them choosing which destination to visit. 

Greece is a safest bet, according to the findings of IPK International - which through its World Travel Monitor - has the world’s most comprehensive  tourism database on European, Arabian, Asian and North and South American outbound travel behaviour.  

Here we list the Top 4 Greek islands to visit

Crete

This is the Mediterranean’s fifth largest island and a feast for the senses. If history piques your interest, Knossos is worth a visit. This palace was built around 3 000 years ago and suffered repeat catastrophes from invasions to earthquakes. 

Also check out the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which has the biggest collection of Minoan artefacts. For the adrenalin junkie, Samaria  Gorge will blow you away.The 16 km hike starts at a viewing  platform at the bottom of a meandering path with wooden steps. 

“Unforgettable” is how most have described the experience. 

The best time to visit

  • If you’re on a budget, April, May and October are the months you should look at. 
  • Hotels are cheaper and the weather is good, although temperatures in October can vary. 
  • Peak season is from July to early September.      

Santorini

This is one of its most famous and beautiful islands, and it’s the perfect romantic getaway with its whitewashed buildings, blue-dome rooftops and cobbled lanes. Take a boat to Nea Kameni, in the centre of the famous Caldera, where you can walk around the volcano or dive into the warm springs. 

Or you can hire a helicopter and get an aerial view of the volcanoes, which became active 1.5 million years ago. The sunsets from Oia, a coastal town on the  north-western tip of Santorini, is recommended. There are plenty of visitor-friendly wineries and ancient ruins to explore.  

The best time to visit

Between late April and early November is when the weather is warm and there is little rain. 

If you don’t mind the heat and you’re in the mood to party and chill  at the beach, then be sure to book between June to September.   

Zakynthos

This is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea and a popular summer resort with several beaches: Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas and Tsilivi. Navagio beach aka Shipwrecked beach is accessible by boat. 

Zakynthos Marine Park is worth exploring. If you have an adventurous palate, be sure to try the Zakynthosinspired stuffed rabbit, papatoli (veal shank) and sofigadoura (a Zakynthos take on beef stew in tomato sauce). 

The best time to visit

  • Either from March to May or September to early December. The weather is perfect for sightseeing.  

Naxos  

This is the biggest and the greenest island in the Cyclades.

Blessed with imposing mountains, lush greenery and stunning sea views, Naxos is home to the the most striking old churches, monasteries and Venetian castles harmoniously nestled into the Cycladic architecture of the place. 

For the wandering traveller, the Old Town Naxos is the perfect maze of distraction with its confusing stairways and passages. 

The best time to visit

  • Given the humidity, temperatures are enjoyable throughout the year. 
  • The warmest months are from June to August. 
  • A more budget-friendly time to visit would be in October