10 Greek Islands The Locals Don’t Want You To Know About
September 8, 2015
Every country has plenty of hidden spots that prove well worth a visit, none more so than Greece, with over 6000 Greek islands and islets! Whilst only 227 of these are inhabited, it could still take you years to visit all of them…
With the more popular islands becoming increasingly overcrowded with tourists, where should you head for a quiet Greek oasis? How do you know which small islands are worth the boat ride to visit?
Well read on to find out!
The tiny island of Folegandros is so small that it doesn’t have an ATM, but what it lacks in technology it makes up for in beautiful volcanic scenery. It’s frequently been nicknamed “the new Mykonos” due to its summer parties and relaxed atmosphere. See the best of the greek island by exploring coast in a water taxi or dining in one of the local restaurants that serve anything from goat to grilled octopus or pasta.
Spetses Island has a cool, bohemian feel with plenty of posh hotels, mansions and boutiques, and is quaintly served by horse drawn carriages. The island feels like somewhat of a 19th century time warp, despite the luxury yachts and designer stores dotted around!
Did you know? The island was famously home to Bouboulina (the heroine of the Greek war of Independence) and streets all over Greece are named after her.
This island has long been famed as the home of the ancient Greek hero Odysseus who took ten long years to return to his homeland. However, those of you that don’t know your Homer may never have heard of it! The island itself is two islands joined by a thin strip of land and is full of olive groves, fishing villages, Byzantine churches and quiet beaches. Even if you aren’t in search of the islands history, the local savoro fish or tserepato chicken is reason alone to visit!
There are no cars present on Hydra, leaving the island free from pollution – instead providing horse and carts to get locals and guests alike around the island. The tranquil atmosphere in this rural corner of Greece is complemented by the small street of restaurants and shops near the harbour.
Did you know? Hydra’s locals are called “Hydriots.”
Alonissos makes it to the list due to its abundance of natural wildlife. The crystal clear waters boast seals and dolphins and its dense forest provide great hiking opportunities. The fishing harbour or the small village of Votsi are great to explore whilst the once abandoned village of Old Alonissos now boasts a range of newly restores cafes, markets and bars.
Keen travellers should visit Syros for its architecture, as its Venetian built town is packed with 13th century churches, town halls and mansions. Walking around the town via its many sets of marble steps will help you understand how the island has become known as a “walker’s paradise” and you’ll come across a variety of good restaurants and scenic beaches.
Also known as a diver’s paradise, Amorgos is surrounded by clear waters, sea caves and even shipwrecks that are great for even beginner divers. For the active hikers and walkers amongst you, head to the mountains and hills for panoramic views of the surroundings or take a walk to the islands 11th century monastery (Panayia Hozorviotissa) carved into the side of a cliff.
This remote island near Crete is the most Southern Island in Greece and has only 50 permanent residents. The beautiful beaches and ancient lighthouse are worth a visit and you can even camp here should you wish… Just bear in mind that this island is so remote that if bad weather hits, it could take you days to get the next boat to take you back!
This island is a beach lover’s paradise, with over 80 beaches to choose from! The sands vary from white to jet black and are surrounded by the rugged mountain scenery and Greece’s famous white washed villages.
Anafi is an island with under 300 inhabitants, located nearby the popular island of Santorini. So if you’ve been to Santorini already, why not give Anafi a visit? (Alternatively – read our guide to Santorini here!) It’s a chance to see un-spoilt Greek Islands life, without the hordes of tourist eager to beat you to café tables or the best beach spots. You can visit Zoodochos Pigi Monastery, venture into the picturesque Chora village or take a dip in the sea at Megalos Roukounas beach. The island is easily accessible by ferry, and why not have one last meal in the creatively named “Margarita’s” whilst you wait in port for your transport home?
Would you consider a trip to these Greek Islands?
Have you been to any of these islands before?
Let us know in the comments below!
If you want to read our guide to navigating the Greek financial crisis whilst on holiday, click here.
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