You may have heard about the beauty, the traditional food and the magical blue and white of the Greek Islands but you only have in your mind the famous islands like Santorini and Mykonos. It’s time to discover 14 not so famous Greek islands and choose your next summer destination!
North Aegean Islands
An inexpensive holiday destination mostly preferred by Greeks that avoids being transformed into a bustling tourist destination is the island of Lemnos. By taking a walk in Myrina, the capital of Lemnos, you can see Greek fishermen using their nets by the harbor. Lemnos also offers a plenty of picturesque beaches to discover. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the 13th-century Venetian castle with its wild deer, where you can enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Athos, home of 20 Greek monasteries.
The island that derives its name from famous Icarus who fell into the sea near the island after his wings melted. The place that is also renowned for the longevity of its residents, where people forget to die, can offer unforgettable moments of a different Greek way of life. In Ikaria, you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes and nature at its best. If you visit the island, give yourself a gift and bath in radioactive hot springs that may be the reason for the islanders’ unusually long lives.
Ammouliani is a small island that is located between two prongs of the Halkidiki peninsula and still retains its authenticity. An excellent choice if you want to avoid massive crowds in Halkidiki. Greek travelers mostly visit Ammouliani. Don’t forget to take a boat trip around Mount Athos where you can admire the cliff-hanging monasteries.
The Ionian Islands
A tiny island with only 3 villages and just 1000 residents that is located just across famous Lefkada. It’s more common someone to visit Meganisi only for a day trip, but if you decide to stay there, you will have the chance to discover the hidden coves of the island. It’s difficult to decide which is the best beach on the island, but Limonari is one of the most preferred. Most of the beaches are accessible only by foot or boat.
The Cyclades Islands
You’ve probably heard of Paros, but few people know the relaxing island Antiparos that is just some minutes away. Antiparos is often visited by celebrities, and it’s an alternative solution if you want to avoid the noise and the parties of Paros. You can visit the large cave in the center of the island but be ready for many steps!
Sifnos Island BeachesKythnos Island is very close to Athens and offers astonishing beaches and natural thermal springs. It’s usually crowded in August, but if you choose to go off-season, you won’t regret it! While you’re in Kythnos, don’t forget to take a sea taxi to Kolona, a small strip of sand connecting to an island. There you can enjoy the sea and take a sunbath in both bays.
Hora, the main town of Serifos is one of the most scenic in Greece because of the small white houses clinging to the side of a mountain. This magnificent view is one reason why many artists decide to move to Serifos. If you visit Livadi, the port town, you can travel many years before and understand how the Greek island used to be.
Another island on our list that is not so famous among foreigners but many Greeks choose it every summer is Sifnos. If you’re a foodie, Sifnos is a must destination as you can try the delicious traditional Greek food. One of the most famous Greek chefs, Nikos Tselements, was from this island. If you also love hiking, Sifnos is for you as it offers a wide selection of well-maintained hiking trails.
If you are a nature lover, welcome to Folegandros! The cliffs and hillsides of Folegandros can be compared with those of Santorini, but this island is cheaper and far less visited. The main town of Folegandros is suggested for long walks in its pedestrianized center.
Amorgos is an island with many beautiful beaches, but it’s more famous for diving and hiking. It’s possible that you saw the picturesque landscape of Amorgos in the French film “The Big Blue.” The 11th-century Monastery of Hozoviotissa that clings to the cliffs is worth visiting, but be careful to wear appropriate clothes so the monks will allow you entrance.
Do you want to go back to 60s and enjoy camping and a fire on the beach? Explore Koufonisia! Koufonisia are actually three islands but only one is inhabited. Many of the 400 locals still fish for a living. Don’t miss a tour of the other two islands. Kato Koufonisi is famous for the best beaches and Keros for the Cycladic statuettes that were discovered there and inspired many renowned artists like Picasso and Brancusi.
Schinoussa can be described as a small paradise on Earth. With only 250 inhabitants, the island is appropriate for calm and relaxing holidays far from crowds. The only activity here is the beaches you can discover by walking.
The Dodecanese Islands
This is one very green island in contrast with the majority of the Greek islands. In Tilos, you can admire the wildlife, rare flowers, and birds. The island is also suggested for hiking tours, traditional villages, and unexploited beaches. Explore the medieval capital of the island, Mikro Horio, and hike from there to the port, Livadia.
You can fall in love with Halki in seconds! A historic fishing and merchant capital where you can see many 19th-century mansions in the main town, Emporio. You can spend your time exploring around while enjoying the calm and sleepy atmosphere. Don’t miss a visit to the castle built by the Knights of St John, located near the ruins of the old capital, Horio.