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, Paros, and Naxos.
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.