Europe

Greek Islands

A Guide to Running in Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, and Panos/Antipanos

The Greek Islands are a collection of 6,000 land masses scattered across the European coast of the Aegean and Ionian seas. The 227 populated islands fall into one of several groups: the Ionian Islands, the Northeastern Aegean Islands, The Sporades, Evia, the Islands of Argosaronic, The Cyclades, The Dodecanese, and the large standalone island of Crete. While each island has something unique to offer, most have in common picturesque crescents of beach, storied architectural and cultural heritage, and at least some element of resort leisure. Since we haven’t run all 6,000 islands (yet!) we’ve confined our Greek Islands running guide to the most visited destinations, including Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and Paros.

In most of the main towns, including Mykonos, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, and Parikia Bay, runners will find some form of promenade along the waterfront. Other fun runs include a tour of the Old Town Moat in Rhodes, and trail running on Crete’s E4 Path and the Corfu Trail.  While the Greek Island beaches are spectacular for swimming, watersports, and lounging, they tend to be short distances with soft sand — not ideal for running. We also provide recommendations on some of the more attractive interior roads for running, although many are narrow and lack sidewalks/shoulder.

Greece has an extensive ferry system that allows for some island hopping between groups. Mykonos and Santorini both have airports. Once on each island, taxi is usually the best way to travel. If you’re sticking to a single city, or a smaller island, you may find most distances are walkable/runnable. Note also that summers are very sunny and hot, and most of the islands are exposed.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Greek Islands

Santorini

Perhaps the most popular island for tourists in Greece, picturesque Santorini has great running along the Kamari... more...

Mykonos

The best running on the lively, well-known island of Mykonos is right along the waterfront of Mykonos... more...

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Santorini

Greek Islands, Greece

Perhaps the most popular island for tourists in Greece, picturesque Santorini has great running along the Kamari and Perissa Beach boardwalks, but the crown jewel is the path between Fira and Oia, which is more of a trail run.
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Mykonos

Greek Islands, Greece

The best running on the lively, well-known island of Mykonos is right along the waterfront of Mykonos town. End at the Windmills of Kato Milli for a scenic treat. Also some good running on some scenic coastal and interior roads.
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Rhodes

Greek Islands, Greece

In addition to some great waterfront sidewalks, the island of Rhodes has some of the most unique historic running in the Greek Islands, with the trail along the former Old Town moat.
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Corfu

Greek Islands, Greece

The popular Ionian Islands destination of Corfu offers plenty of running along its waterfront as well as a great cross-island path for trail running.
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Santorini

Greek Islands, Greece

Perhaps the most popular island for tourists in Greece, picturesque Santorini has great running along the Kamari and Perissa Beach boardwalks, but the crown jewel is the path between Fira and Oia, which is more of a trail run.
Explore

Mykonos

Greek Islands, Greece

The best running on the lively, well-known island of Mykonos is right along the waterfront of Mykonos town. End at the Windmills of Kato Milli for a scenic treat. Also some good running on some scenic coastal and interior roads.
Explore

The Greek Islands have a Mediterranean type climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters with some rain. Runners should be aware that the islands are exposed and summers are very hot and sunny, with high temperatures approaching 32C (90F) or more. Winters are mild or occasionally cool, with high temperatures in the 15C (60F) range and average lows of 10C (50F).

The major Greek islands in our running guide are all popular visitor destinations, with a wide range of accommodations.

 

Running Stores

See our overview map to find the islands that have running stores or outlets of major running shoe and apparel companies. There are stores on Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, and Corfu.

Group Runs

There are not many running groups across the Greek Islands, but there are lots of cool running tour companies that are worth checking out.

Some of the most prominent are Go! Running Tours on Crete, Trail Travellers, and Sole of Corfu.

Running Greece is a great resource for events and meetups around the country.

See the calendar at Running Greece for upcoming races and running events in the Greek Islands