You want to visit these Greek islands this summer
One of the most exotic destination that isn’t too far away from home is Greece. Adorable white villages, stunning beaches and amazing food are some of the features that make Greece so popular. But we get you when you say that you don’t want to go to some all-inclusive resort or on a boat trip where you run into one of your mom’s friends.
Greece has over 6,000 islands, so why go for the most obvious ones? We discovered some of the most beautiful Greek islands, still unknown to mass tourism. Take a look yourself and start planning your trip for the summer.
1. Milos, Cyclades
Milos is the most western island of the Cyclades. It is shaped like a horseshoe, which results in a coastline of 120 km! It is a volcanic island with rich soil and lots of minerals, which is why tourism isn’t the main activity on the island. You can still find some active mines on the island where they extract some of the minerals. Milos is also called the Island of Colours because of the bright colours of the sea and the white, pink and red rocks.
Wondering what to do on this island? With its 70 beaches you can visit a different one (or more!) each day of your stay. When you are done lying on the beach you can visit one of the interesting museums located on Milos, enjoy a nice Greek meal in one of the restaurants or you can attend one of the cultural festivals in the summer (look out for the flyers in the local shops).
How to get there: take the ferry from Piraeus, Crete or other Cycladic islands.
2. Karpathos, Dodecanese
Greek history, culture and nature come together on the island of Karpathos in the Dodecanese island group. This mountainous island has many picturesque villages where you can get a taste of the Greek culture and cuisine. Try the local dish makarounes, a pasta often served with fried onions, or the local fish skaros. Karpathos is already an upcoming island among some tourists and travel agencies, so you better get there before the crowds discover this island as well.
There are multiple places in Karpathos to stay while you explore the island, such as Karpathos city (also called Pigadia), Amopi, Arkassa and Lefkos. There is plenty to do on this island. Hike one of the routes that takes you to secret caves and churches on steep rocks or visit the village of Olympos, which is on the UNESCO list and where people still wear traditional clothing. Apello beach is even an award-winning beach on the island. Do you want to have a beach all to yourself? Then go to the southern part of the island and visit Afiartis en Diakofit beach.
How to get there: go by plane or take the ferry from Crete, Rhodes or Kassos.
3. Amorgos, Cyclades
Amorgos isn’t your typical Cycladic island, but has quite some steep rocks and mountains. This makes the islands ideal for hiking. There are seven hikes mapped out on the island, which provide beautiful views and nature along the way. Definitely worth a visit is the Panagia Chozoviotissa monastery, also called the monastery of steps.
The city of Chora is a great place to stay when you want to explore Amorgos. Stroll through the small streets and enjoy the vibrant city in the evening. Other places to consider are Aegiali and Katapola. These cities both have a port and touristic attractions such as a boulevard with restaurants and shops.
How to get there: take a ferry from Pireaus, Naxos or the other Cycladic islands.
4. Lipsi, Dodecanese
Go slow is the motto of Lipsi Island. Nobody here is in a hurry. The inhabitants enjoy sunny days with a coffee in the port and start the evening with a glass of ouzo. Within a few days’ time you will get to know the island and its friendly inhabitants. The locals live in Lipsi town. This is the only inhabited centre on the island and it is where you will find all the tourist facilities.
Enjoy the simplicity of everyday life on this island, while you stay in one of the small hotels. The best way to explore Lipsi is by walking. Hike to the church Kimisi tis Theotokou or the temple Ano Kimisi. There are plenty of beautiful beaches on the island, but two that are definitely worth a visit are Platys Gialos and Tiganakia beach. Enjoy the white sand and crystal-clear waters and relax. An alternative is to walk over to the other side of the island and visit one of the isolated beaches, surrounded by nature. You can also taste the local wines in the Lipsi winery that opened in 2013.
How to get there: take the ferry from Kos or Samos. Take a look at the schedule of the ferry pass to see more options.
5. Alonissos, Sporades
When you go island-hopping around the Sporades, don’t miss this island! This is the nature destination of the Greek islands. It has one of the best diving spots in Greece and you can also spot wildlife such as dolphins, seals and rare birds while you’re on the island. Places to go diving are at the bay of Steni Vala or guided by instructors at the “Marine Park”.
The old capital of this island has become a historic monument after the earthquake that hit the island in 1965 and is definitely worth a visit. Agios Dimitrios and Chrysi Milia are two beautiful beaches on the island, perfect for a relaxed afternoon. If you have some spare time, make sure to visit the islands Gioura and Psathoura. On Gioura you can find a special type of wild goat and a cave with stalactites and stalagmites. Near the island Psathoura you will have a chance to spot the Mediterranean monk seal.
How to get there: take the ferry from Volos, Skiathos or Skopelos.