It is useful to know about Greek islands with airports if you are going to be visiting Greece. After all, not every Greek island has an airport and that includes popular islands like Paxos and Skopelos.
Some islands are definitely easier to get to than others. Many popular destinations like Corfu, Skiathos, and Zakynthos (Zante) are home to international airports that provide low-cost connections to Europe and the rest of the world.
Others have domestic airports only, meaning that it is necessary to first fly to another major airport in Greece and then transfer. Then, some islands don’t have an airport at all.
Travelling to them necessitates you flying somewhere in Greece and then taking a boat. It is important to keep all of this in mind when planning your trip.
If you only have a few days or a week to spend in Greece, you probably want to travel somewhere that you can reach easily. If you are planning on island hopping, you need to think carefully about how you are going to get from one island to another.
Greek Islands with Airports
If you are wondering how many islands there are in Greece, estimates are between 1,200 and 6,000! (It is a tricky question to answer as there is a lot of debate as to what size landmass constitutes being called an island, and what is an islet).
Of these, only approximately 220 islands are inhabited. Then, from those, only 13 Greek islands have international airports. (Crete has 3 airports!)
A further 13 Greek islands have domestic airports. The Greek islands that have international airports offer gateways to the country from other countries.
It is important to note that while people live on these islands year-round, a lot of the flight routes are very seasonal. The tourist season in Greece runs between May and September.
You will find more flights available during this time. Outside of that, some flight routes run on very limited schedules and others do not run at all.
The islands in Greece can be broken down into six different Greek island groups. Namely, these are the Sporades and the North Aegean islands – both of which can be found off the northeast coast of Greece.
Then, there are the Dodecanese islands, which sit southeast of Greece and are actually closer to mainland Turkey. The Saronic Gulf islands are immediately south of Attica, while the Cyclades are a little further south still.
The Ionian islands can be found off the western coast of Greece – across the sea from Igoumenitsa and not too far from the Peloponnese. The only archipelago that does not have at least one airport is the Saronic.
However, these islands are very close to Athens.
To reach them, your best option is to fly first to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport (ATH). Then, you can take a ferry from Piraeus, Lavrio, or Rafina ports.
Complete List of Greek Islands with International Airports
There are 16 international airports on the Greek islands and they are spread across 13 different islands. Planning a trip to Greece requires a little bit of strategy, especially if you intend to go island hopping.
Choose the Greek island with an airport closest to the region that you hope to explore and then work from there. You can find affordable flights to Greece using flight booking platforms like Skyscanner.
Keep in mind that most Greek international airports offer direct flight routes only from within Europe. So, if you are flying to Greece from the USA or elsewhere, you may have to transfer in Athens and take multiple flights.
If you cannot get a flight direct from your nearest airport to the Greek island of your choosing, one good trick to do is to type in the name of your hometown in the Skyscanner search field. Then, instead of specifying a Greek island as the destination, just type ¨Greece¨.
The results will show every island airport in Greece that you can fly to from your local airport. If you live in a country with multiple airports (e.g. the UK) and you are willing to travel to an alternative airport if needed, you can broaden your options by entering your country in the Skyscanner search field, instead of the specific departure point.
List of international airports on Greek islands
A complete list of Greek islands with airports that serve international routes is provided below, along with the IATA codes for each one.
- Crete – Chania Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport (CHQ)
- Crete – Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (HER)
- Sitia Vitsentzos Kornaros, Crete (JSH)
- Corfu – Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport (CFU)
- Karpathos – Karpathos Island National Airport (AOK)
- Kefalonia – Kefalonia International Airport Anna Pollatou (EFL)
- Kos – Kos International Airport (KGS)
- Lemnos – Lemnos International Airport “Hephaestus” (LXS)
- Lesbos – Mytilene International Airport “Odysseas Elytis” (MJT)
- Mykonos – Mykonos International Airport (JMK)
- Rhodes – Diagoras International Airport (RHO)
- Santorini – Santorini (Thira) International Airport (JTR)
- Samos – Samos Aristarchos International Airport (SMI)
- Skiathos – Skiathos Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport (JSI)
- Zakynthos – Zakynthos “Dionysios Solomos” Airport (ZTH)
There are three international airports to be found on the island of Crete. This is Greece’s largest island and so, it makes sense that there are multiple airports here.
The best Cretan airport for you to fly to depends on your schedule. If you plan on exploring the western city of Heraklion and the nearby fort of Knossos, it is logical to fly into Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (HER).
Alternatively, if you are heading to Chania and Eastern Crete, it is easier to fly into Chania Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport (CHQ). Sitia Vitsentzos Kornaros airport (JSH) is the third on the island. However, it is served by a lesser number of flight routes.
Gorgeous Corfu is a Mediterranean idyll in the heart of the Ionian islands. Its Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport is a major Greek international airport. This, in part, is on account of the sheer volume of tourists that Corfu sees, particularly in the summer.
Corfu international airport is also a logical entry point to Greece if you are visiting the nearby Ionian islands of Paxos and Anti Paxos. These smaller islands do not have an airport of their own.
It is possible to reach Paxos, Antipaxos, and Igoumenitsa, on the western Greek mainland via a short ferry from Corfu. You can also fly into Corfu if you are heading towards Lefkada or parts of Epirus.
Karpathos is one of the most naturally beautiful islands in the Dodecanese. It is nestled on the southern edge of the Aegean Sea, between Rhodes and Crete.
Despite being close to some of Greece’s most touristic places to visit, Karpathos has largely retained its authentic charm as a sleepy Greek island idyll. It is characterised by its pristine beaches and translucent turquoise waters that have you thinking you’re in the Caribbean.
The quaint villages of Olympos, Menetes, and Othos, with their pastel-coloured houses, should not be missed. Karpathos is located a little farther south than most of the islands in the Dodecanese.
If you want to island-hop, it may make more sense to fly into Kos. However, there are ferry links that connect Karpathos with Rhodes, and other islands in the region.
Kefalonia is home to Anna Pollatou international airport. This beautiful island is the largest in the Ionian and is well deserved for several weeks’ worth of exploration in itself.
Kefalonia also makes a good jump-off point for visiting the little island of Ithaca. Ferries depart from Sami to the port of Pisaetos in Ithaca.
The frequency of ferry services varies depending on the season. Similarly, it is possible to take a ferry from Kefalonia to Zakynthos. The journey takes approximately an hour and twenty minutes.
The island of Kos awaits in the Dodecanese where it actually sits closer to Turkey than to mainland Greece. Kos is a major summer travel destination among both international and domestic tourists.
Its international airport is located close to Andimachia Village. The airport predominantly serves charter flights. However, it is also possible to book independent flights to Kos.
From Kos, you can easily sail around the islands of Pserimos, Kalimnos, and Leros, among others. During the summer months, you can also take a boat to the Turkish Riviera town of Bodrum.
Lemnos is home to “Hephaestus” international airport. The island sits within the North Aegean group, however, it is located a fair distance away from its sister islands.
Lemnos is also, confusingly, known locally as “Limnos”. It is known for its white sandy beaches, well-preserved archaeological sites, and local cheese.
Lesbos’ “Odysseas Elytis” airport can be found within the island’s capital of Mytilene. It is unfortunate that the island of Lesbos has become so well known for the migrant crisis.
You can work as a volunteer at one of the many camps on the island if you are interested in volunteering and assisting refugees in Greece. However, aside from the humanitarian issues affecting the region, Lesvos has its charm as an island destination.
There are some notable archaeological sites and museums in and around Mytilene. It is also easy to visit Chios from here.
Mykonos International Airport is located just 2km out of the island’s main town (“Chora”). The island is a renowned party destination, particularly known for its upscale bars, nightclubs, and luxe hotels.
There are more low-key attractions in Mykonos that appeal to a wider crowd. The Kato Mili windmills sit on a hilltop above the Chora and make a perfect place to watch the sunset.
“Little Venice” is a colourful neighbourhood of old fishing houses built on stilts above the water. Centuries ago, it was the coastal hangout spot of choice for pirates.
Mykonos is a great jump-off point for the islands of Naxos, Tinos, Andros, and others. Travelling out of season provides the opportunity to escape the crowds, even if more businesses are closed.
The Dodecanese island of Rhodes is brimming with history and culture. Its UNESCO-protected old town provides one of the very best examples of medieval architecture in Europe.
Rhodes international airport “Diagoras” can be found on the island’s west side. It sits about 14km southwest of the capital, and just north of Paradeisi village.
A number of different civilisations have conquered and occupied the island over the years. This is evidenced in the old town by the fascinating mishmash of architectural styles that you see within the city streets.
Here, Ottoman mosques sit beside Byzantine and Gothic churches. The old town is essentially a labyrinth consisting of more than 200 narrow streets and passageways.
You could easily spend the entirety of your Greece vacation in Rhodes. Similarly, the island boasts excellent ferry links to the remainder of the Dodecanese.
Santorini (Thira) International Airport is located on the popular Cyclades island of Santorini. It sits just north of Kamari village.
Santorini is arguably the most popular island destination in Santorini and perhaps the entirety of Greece. Owing to its popularity, the airport serves a diverse range of international flight routes from across Europe and beyond.
While in Santorini, you can marvel at the world-famous Santorini sunsets, conquer the Fira to Oia hike, and have lunch in the gorgeous Ammoudi Bay.
From here, you can easily hop to other islands in the vicinity. Naxos, Delos, Paros, and Mykonos are all worth visiting.
Samos international airport provides a convenient entryway to the North Aegean islands. It takes its name from Aristarchos – an ancient Greek Mathematician and Astronomer.
If you enjoy quiet Greek islands, Samos may well just be the perfect place for you. Outside of the vibrant, lively capital of Vathy, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path places to explore.
An abundance of hiking trails weaves through the scenery here. Samos is also famous for its sweet local wine that can be sampled at the many vineyards on the island.
From here, you can sail out to Ikaria – a tiny, lesser-known island where people have a longer-than-average life expectancy. You can also visit Fournoi, Patmos, Leros, and Chios.
Skiathos’ Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport is a gateway to the Sporades. The little airport is tiny, yet is conveniently located right outside of charming Skiathos town. From here, you can be at the port in less than five minutes.
The airport is often affectionately referred to as the European St Maarten on account of the dramatic plane landings and takeoffs that you can witness from beside the runway. It is mostly charter flights that service this airport and airlines such as Jet2.
From Skiathos, you can easily travel onwards to other islands in the Sporades. Skopelos island can be reached in less than an hour.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to get from Skiathos to the town of Glossa. This is the perfect starting point for visiting the “Mamma Mia” church.
Similarly, Skopelos town can be reached in just 55 minutes. Skiathos also boasts great ferry links to Volos, Alonissos, Skyros, and Evia island.
The Greek island of Zante (Zakynthos) is one of the country’s most popular island getaways. Unfortunately, it has become somewhat synonymous with raucous nightlife and drunken tourists but that should not define Zante.
The southern part of the island is occupied by an abundance of resorts, gentrified touristic areas, and nightlife strips. However, the northern part of the island is a different place entirely.
Here, you will still find traditional rural villages and forested wilderness. Looking for one of the best places to visit in Zakynthos?
Don’t miss the spectacular Navagio beach. This coastal region often referred to as “Smugglers Cove” is home to the famous 1980s shipwreck.
The waters here are so clear that you can see to the bottom – perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is encompassed by dramatic cliffs and dense pine forests.
Renting a car in Zante allows you to discover all the secret places that the locals have been keeping to themselves.
A complete list of Greek islands with domestic airports
There are 13 Greek islands with domestic airports. This makes it easy for you to travel from Greek cities like Athens and Thessaloniki to the various islands, or to fly between island groups.
Sky Express, Olympic and Aegean are the main airlines that service domestic flight routes in Greece. If you plan on flying straight from your home country to a Greek island that only has a domestic airport and not an international one, there are several airports on mainland Greece.
The country’s main and largest airport is Athens international Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH). Another one worth noting is Thessalonikis Airport Makedonia (SKG). You will find a lot of connections to Thessaloniki from within Europe, and it can be a particularly convenient place to fly into for the islands in the North Aegean and the Sporades.
List of domestic airports on Greek islands
A complete list of Greek islands with airports that serve domestic routes is provided below, along with the IATA codes for each one.
It should be noted that although the airports detailed here are currently domestic, there is a view for Paros to become international. Work has already started on transforming the airport into an international hub. In the meantime, Santorini and Mykonos link international destinations to the Cyclades.
- Astypalaia – Astypalaia Island National Airport (JTY)
- Chios – Chios Island National Airport (JKH)
- Ikaria – Ikaria Island National Airport (JIK)
- Kalymnos – Kalymnos Island National Airport (JKL)
- Kasos – Kasos Island Public Airport (KSJ)
- Kastellorizo: Kastellorizo Island Public Airport (KZS)
- Leros – Leros Municipal Airport (LRS)
- Kythira – Kithira Island National Airport (KIT)
- Milos – Milos Island National Airport (MLO)
- Naxos – Naxos Island National Airport (JNX)
- Paros – New Paros Airport (PAS)
- Skyros – Skyros Island National Airport (SKU)
- Syros – Syros Island National Airport (JSY)
FAQs about Greek islands with airports
Do you have any additional questions or concerns about which Greek islands you can fly to? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are searching for below.
Otherwise, you are more than welcome to reach out!
How many Greek islands have an international airport?
13 Greek islands have international airports, and there are 16 Greek island airports in total. (Crete has 3!)
What is the cheapest island to fly into Greece?
You can find affordable flights to most Greek islands, especially if you book your flights in advance or you are willing to travel outside of July and August. Corfu’s Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport (CFU) and Crete’s Heraklion Nikos Kazantzakis Airport (HER) are the largest gateways into the country, with the highest frequency of flights.
If you fly to these destinations, you may be able to secure cheaper flight tickets. However, on the whole, you can find decent-priced tickets to a lot of Greek island airports.
Which Greek island is easiest to get to?
It is easy to get to any Greek island that has an international or domestic airport. This includes Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Crete, Zante, and Skiathos.
Which Greek islands can you fly to directly?
There are 13 Greek islands you can fly to directly. Namely, these are Crete, Corfu, Karpathos, Kefalonia, Kos, Lemnos, Lesbos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Samos, Skiathos, and Zakynthos.
Final thoughts on visiting Greek islands with airports
Do you have any additional questions about Greek islands with airports or drawing up a Greece itinerary?
I have been living in Greece since 2017. I am happy to assist with any questions and queries you may have.
Feel free to reach out and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Safe travels!
Geia sou! Melissa xo