The following Greek Islands packing list was submitted by Chrysoula Manika. See all packing list posts here.
I consider myself very lucky to be living in Greece and having the chance each summer to visit one or more Greek islands. I usually spend a minimum of seven days on an island for my holidays. The climate in the summer is very warm so you need to pack light. Also you should consider that the atmosphere in the islands is laid back so casual clothing is a must.
Most of the day you will be wearing your swimsuit.
So here is a list of what I usually pack for 7 days. Since life is simple when you’re visiting the islands, so is this packing list.
2-3 pairs of shorts – you can wear it over your swimsuit when you go to the beach, or to stroll around the streets of the island, or if you go hiking.
3 tank tops or t-shirts – you will match them with your shorts.
1 casual dress – for your day activities if you don’t want to wear shorts. (Try a maxi dress for airy versatility.)
1 formal/party dresses – for your nights out. (Your LBD should do the trick.)
1 pair of trousers – in case it gets really windy at night
1 light jacket – Although it can be really hot in Greece in the summer months, at night especially in the islands, there is a sea breeze and a light jacket is a must.
2 bras – You don’t need many since you will be wearing your swimsuit all day
7 pairs of underwear – I usually take 1 for each day. If you need more you can wash them in the sink.
2 pair of socks – To wear with your trainers if you go hiking
1 pajamas – or you can sleep with a T-shirt but it has to be light
1 pair flip flops – I use them at the beach since the sand can be very hot
1 pair leather sandals – They are good for all day use and at night if you don’t won’t to wear heels
1 pair non slippery trainers – They are ideal for hiking
1 pair platforms (optional) – I don’t recommend wearing high heels in the Greek islands since many of the roads are cobbled. But if you want to take with you something that has heels I recommend platforms.
For the beach:
1 bag for the beach – it can be either a shoulder bag or a backpack. If you are planning to go hiking as well, a backpack is better.
2 swimsuits – Since you will be spending most of your days on the beach. You wear the one and let the other dry. I usually have 3 swimsuits with me but 2 will do.
1 Sarong – I usually use it over my swimsuit, to cover up my legs or shoulders when visiting a monastery, or as a shawl at night over your dress.
1 Beach Towel – to lay it out on the sand. (Consider a Turkish Travel Towel to save space.)
1 Sunscreen – for your face and body. I think this is the most important thing to carry with you since the sun burns a lot.
1 Hat – not only for the beach but for your walks around the island since you don’t want to have a sunstroke or get burned. (Check out these packable sun hats.)
Shampoo & Conditioner – Travel size is enough for a week
Body Wash – I prefer the 250ml bottles (You’ll need to pack 100ml or less if you plan on traveling carry-on only.)
Body Lotion – It is vital since your skin will get dehydrated from the sea and sun.
Razor – 1 razor is enough
Deodorant – it is very hot so you will need one to keep smelling nice
Toothbrush – select one with a case to keep it clean
Toothpaste – 1 travel tube is fine
Hair Brush – I use travel size
Hair Ties – to keep your hair up on the hot days
Face and Eye Cream – it’s good to hydrate after so much salt and sun.
Make up – If you want to use make-up on your nights out.
Mosquito repellent for your body – I usually spray myself at night to avoid being bitten. They usually smell of citronella.
Mosquito repellent for your room – If you want to sleep at night you should use them. You can also find them in supermarkets across Greece.
Prescriptions – take whatever pills you use at home. I always take painkillers, something for the bites (mosquito etc), digestion pills (if you eat more one day) etc.
Motion sickness pills – for the ship if it is windy and for boat trips around the island. (Read about how to prevent motion sickness.)
Birth Control & Condoms – It’s good to be prepared.
Camera – In order to take the most amazing photos of your holiday.
Memory Card – I always take a second one with me just in case.
Mobile Phone – To get in touch with your friends and family, to connect online, to listen to music etc.
Necessary chargers – For your mobile phone, camera etc.
European Adapter – If you need one.
Laptop or Tablet – I usually take my tablet with me
Small shoulder bag – For your walks around the island. Big enough for your wallet and camera.
Passport and visa – Check if you need a visa with the Greek embassy in your country.
Books – To read on the beach, on the boat etc
Now that you know what to pack, you are left with the hard choice to decide which of the 227 inhabited islands of Greece to visit.
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About the Author: My name is Chrysoula Manika. I live in Athens, Greece and work in the marketing department of a newspaper. I am also the author of Travel Passionate, a blog about my travels in my country Greece and beyond, where you will find travel advice through the eyes of a local. Apart from travelling, I am passionate about crime novels, cooking and my dog Charlie. Follow also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
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Many thanks for the valuable hints! Very well written post.
I greatly enjoyed reading your post. I have lived in (Northern) Europe for 10 years but am only now making my way to the Greek isles. Your write your lists like I do mine (adding toiletries, electronics etc) so it was very helpful reading everything you had listed, the bags to carry it in, and also linking extra stuff I wouldn’t have thought of (like the packable sunhats, bug repellent, and Turkish towels!) Very informative and well written! Many thanks!
Thank you. I’m going to Athens end of May. Will it be cold there still?
Fantastic, clear sensible packing suggestions. I’ve unpacked a lot of the stuff I previously intended to take with me. it’s really helpful and I’m now actually looking forward to my holiday instead of stressing about what to or not to take with me.
Brilliant many thanks.
Thanks for this post! I’ve looked at other packing list suggestions and they don’t seem very realistic for a Greek summer! This is exactly what I was looking for.
great idea about the bug repellent at night – i’ll try that. leaving for greece in less than a week.
So glad I found your site. I’m going to Greece mid May on a 10 day tour. Thanks for mentioning the need for mosquito repellent, I would never have given it a thought. Will it be shorts wearing weather mid May? I will be referring to your packing list will whittle down my anxiety over packing.i would like to be able to limit my packing to just a carry-on..