Top 5 Greek islands for vegan and vegetarian friendly travel
Planning a getaway to the Greek islands doesn’t only revolve around how close you can get to the water, but also what you’ll eat. After all, Greece is a culinary heaven. We are all familiar with the fact that the Mediterranean cuisine puts a lot of emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables.
Cool, but, will you be able to find vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants during your vacation in the Greek islands? Will your hotel offer such options? Definitely! Read Ferryhopper’s list with some of the top Greek islands for vegans and vegetarians and tell for yourself.
A delicious Cretan dish of dolmadakia gialatzi, perfect for vegans
Crete is a vegetarian's paradise. There are a number of healthy and very nutritious traditional dishes to choose from, including Cretan wild greens, gemista (peppers or tomatoes stuffed with a rice mixture and baked) and dolmadakia gialatzi (boiled vine leaves stuffed with rice, parsley and spices).
If you’re looking for a fully vegan restaurant in Chania, Crete, we would recommend visiting To Stachi Bio Slow Food. This is one of Crete’s most popular vegan restaurants and offers a daily changing set of lunch menu courses. The vegan moussaka with soy minced meat is a must-have!
Bonus points: the restaurant has outdoor seating and is located at the old town of Chania near a beautiful park with sea view.
A dish of vegan moussaka, the specialty of one of Crete’s most popular vegan restaurants
Santorini does not require much of an introduction. Its jaw-dropping sunsets and picturesque whitewashed villages overlooking the sea are well-known around the world.
In regards to the food scene in Santorini, no vacation would be complete without trying their special tomatoes or ntomatokeftedes (tomato fritters), original fava (a hummus-like puree of split peas), capers, and white eggplant. These are all locally produced and grown on the island's volcanic soil. Moreover, most local wines are vegan-friendly as they are natural/unfiltered (check with the producer).
If you're looking for vegan restaurants in Santorini, look no further than 5 Senses. It’s a Mediterranean restaurant located in Thira that focuses on plant-based cuisine. Many of their meals are influenced by Greek cuisine, although the menu offers a wide range of choices. Don’t forget to try their vegan shrimps (made of rice protein) and their incredible baklava.
Tip: during your trip to Santoniri, Ferryhopper suggests visiting MOD - the very first vegan boutique hotel on the island.
Traditional fava with capers from Santorini, Greece
With stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Mykonos is regarded as Greece's party island. Mykonos also has a fantastic culinary scene, with everything from traditional tavernes to modern fusion dining.
Make sure to visit Koukoumi Hotel, the first and only vegan hotel in Mykonos, where you will also find the only exclusively vegan restaurant on the island, serving vegan, ethnic, Mediterranean, and Greek-inspired food.
Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that Koukoumi restaurant collaborated with oenologist Chrysa Yatra Batzi and created the first and only Certified Vegan Wine List in Europe with organic selections mainly from Greek and foreign producers.
If you’re looking for a spicy change from Greek and Mediterranean restaurants, Ferryhopper recommends going to Paradise beach and trying the vegetarian chana masala and dal makhani at Indian Palace.
Tip: during your stay in Mykonos you should try the kremidopita (onion pie), the most famous traditional pie of the island.
A delicious freshly baked kremidopita, the traditional onion pie of Mykonos
Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands in the Ionian group. Since it has been under Venetian, French and British rule, Corfu has developed a distinctive culinary culture.
During your trip in Corfu, Ferryhopper suggests trying the island’s own version of pancakes. Gialetia are basically corn pancakes and are served with sugar, cinnamon and honey! Another vegetarian (and spicy) option is tsigareli, which are basically boiled leafy greens cooked with chopped onion, garlic and red hot pepper.
Overall, the majority of restaurants in Corfu will be able to accommodate a vegetarian and vegan diet. Bizou Vegan Cafe should definitely be on your list when visiting Corfu. Breakfast, brunch and lunch are served at this fair-trade, organic cafe. All dining options are exclusively vegan! Bio-organic wines, a vegan cheese platter, coffee with soy and almond milk, and vegan desserts are all available.
Tip: for the best vegetarian and vegan pastries on the island, it’s definitely worth visiting Rosy’s bakery, a small pastry shop in the old Jewish quarter of Corfu Town. Her vegan baklava is unforgettable!
A mouth-watering tray of baklava, a must-try while visiting Corfu in Greece
Apart from its stunning scenery, fascinating attractions and sandy beaches, Rhodes will amaze you with its rich culinary tradition. The largest Dodecanese island has always managed to combine its warm Mediterranean environment with influences from Asia, Africa and Europe.
In fact, many of Rhode’s traditional dishes are vegetarian. Look out for pitaroudia, which are basically fritters made with a combination of chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, mint, cumin, and seasonings.
If you decide to visit Rhodes, we suggest booking a table in this family-run restaurant. By Marouli is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant which can be found in two locations across Rhodes Town. The first, Τo Marouli, is situated in the Old Town and has a cozy ambience.
The second place is Ono By Marouli. The restaurant is located on a little street and has a more local and intimate atmosphere than the one in the old town. The most unforgettable dish at this restaurant is the Italian pinsa. Pinsa is a style of hand-pressed dough that has been used in Roman artisan baking and cooking for more than a century. You have an option of many different toppings such as vegan feta and sausage. Moreover, if you are a cheese lover, the vegan cheese balls will blow your mind.
A few crunchy and juicy pitaroudia, a must-try vegetarian dish while visiting Rhodes
More tips for vegans visiting Greece
- The best time for vegans to visit Greece is during the Great Lent season. Because meat, dairy and eggs are a no-no during the fasting period, vegan and vegetarian foods are readily available.
- The most important word you need to know if you are a vegan traveling in the Greek islands is: nistisimo. Even though the fasting periods are free of meat, dairy and eggs, they are not free of shellfish. Therefore, before you order make sure you also ask if the dish contains any type of fish product (which is unlikely).
- Ferryhopper recommends visiting the laiki (popular farmer’s market) to stock up on the freshest, farm-grown fruits and vegetables. Remember to leave luggage room for pickled goods, dried fruit, and high-quality nuts and legumes for the trip back home!
- On the menus of some Greek restaurants, there isn't always a thorough list of ingredients. If you're unsure about a meal, we recommend asking your waiter for assistance.
- Honey is commonly used in Greek desserts such as baklava, ravani, kataifi, and melomakarona. Make sure to double-check the ingredients with the bakery or restaurant.
- Visit our blog to discover more delicious vegan dishes in the Greek islands!
Seasonal vegetables at a Greek farmers’ market
Did you expect to find so many vegetarian and vegan-friendly islands in Greece? On Ferryhopper, you can find useful info about your favorite Greek islands, compare schedules, ferry companies, and book your ferry tickets online with just a few clicks!
Tip: check the latest ferry timetables for Greece and explore the delicious vegetarian cuisine of your favorite Greek islands!