Last year, suddenly Mykonos seemed to be THE destination. Don’t get me wrong, Mykonos is marvelous, I myself been there 4 times but Greece is much more than that. Sure places like Athens, Santorini and Mykonos have had their fair share of hype, and they represent Greek Islands with so much beauty, but there are so many other Greek Islands that are worth the visit, and some hidden treasures worth exploring. The thing about Greek islands is that they are so different and diverse, each of them has its own flavor, if you’re planning a vacation in Greece; don’t limit yourself to one island. Yes, you can spend an entire week in Santorini and you’ll enjoy it, but it will be an entirely different experience if you go out and hop to a few more islands and explore a different flavor to Greece, with one thing in common between them: Breathtaking shoreline and beaches. That being said, here is your guide to the 6 Less Touristic Greek Islands that you must see:
When you say Greek Island, the vision that comes to mind is almost always of stark white houses with contrasting bright blue doors that reflect the blue waters sparkling under the sun. Yes, sure, there is a bit of green here and there, but what if I told you that the first thing that runs through my mind when I think of Thasos is adventure. The standard Greek white house, sandy beach vision is still part of Thasos, lots of activities that can be done there. From water sports to yachting and sailing, these are all things you can spend your time enjoying in Thasos. However one of the most satisfying experiences, is exploring the hidden gems through the mule and goat trails up the mountains for breathtaking views of the sea, or visit the many villages to enjoy unparalleled walks and locally cooked food, or you can even hike if you’re up for a challenge. my personal favorite is Giola lagoon, a natural pool that is ranked in the top 10 worldwide and truly worth seeing if weather is good, if you dare to jump then do it, Thasos is for sure on the must see Less Touristic Greek Islands.
From Keramoti (mainland): 40 minutes.
From Kavala (mainland): 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Home to 40 traditional villages and many of those bright pure blue beaches, Tinos may not be one of the most popular touristic destinations in the world, but it packs plenty of culture and spiritual influences that makes it a bucket list destination. Tinos is known for several things, amongst them is marble carving, this is why the island served as a home to many artists, and art is visible in many of its scenic villages especially Pyrgos which is home to plenty of the marble work produced by these artists and sometimes live in front of you. It’s worth noting that Tinos is also known for its pilgrimage traditions, twice a year people come to visit Panagia Megalochari church, which is one of the most iconic buildings on the island, the island has a good night hype and the jazz clubs are popular there and they even have their own jazz festival.
From Rafina (mainland): 3 hours.
From Piraeus (mainland): 5 hours trip.
From Mykonos: 25 minutes.
You can also get there from: Andros and Syros.
Because of the white cliffs that surround it, the water in Lefkada appears to be of a beautiful turquoise shade and its really one of the best in Greece and in the world in my opinion, the Ionian sea is famous for the beautiful unique beaches and lefkada is the jewel of the Ionian sea, most of which are preserved by epic mountains that surround them. Egremni beach is well preserved and other beaches worth visiting are Kathisma, Porto Katsiki and Milos.
By Car: 5 hours.
By Bus: 6 hours.
From Meganisi: 20 minutes.
You can also get there from: thessaloniki, corfu, Kefalonia and Ithaka islands.
There is something destructively beautiful about Milos; maybe it’s the volcanic cliffs along the coastline that feels like you’re walking on the moon. Even though Milos doesn’t receive so many touristic attention, the island is by far one of the most beautiful places in Greece, the white cliffs against the blue cobalt water in Sarakíniko beach is definitely the highlight of Milos, and even though it is larger than Mykonos or Santorini, Milos receives far less visitors, that means beaches are clean and not very crowded. The island has a few villages and a main town, and you can go around in a buggy or a rental car. Worth a visit are also Catacombs of Milos and Paralia Firiplaka famous for the giant volcanic rock formation standing right on shore, this is why it is on my Less Touristic Greek Islands list.
By Plane from Athens: 40 minutes.
From Piraeus (mainland): 5 to 7 hours.
From Santorini: 2 hours.
From Mykonos: 4 hours.
You can also get there from: Ios, Naxos, Kythnos and Kasos.
The kind of architecture you see in Corfu Island will remind you of Italy, Even the shoreline in Corfu is different than most of the other Greek locations, it is packed with resorts, so if you’re just looking to settle somewhere and get a tan you can do that in Corfu, but the shoreline in Corfu is contrasted by an old town also worth the visit. If you love a destination that challenges you then Porto Timoni beach can be an exhilarating experience for you, the twin beach can only be reached by hiking or boat, but you’ll be rewarded when you arrive with scenic and breathtaking views of the beach from above. The most popular place to visit in Corfu is Paleokastritsa, which is famous for resorts, events and blue waters.
By Plane from Athens: 1 hour.
By Car from Athens: 6 – 7 hours.
From Igoumenitsa (mainland): 1 hour and 30 minutes.
From Patra (mainland): 7 hours
From Italy (Venice, Bari and Ancona): Up to 10 hours.
Last but by no means least on our list of Less Touristic Greek Islands is Naxos, which gets its unique flavor from ancient ruins, sacred and religious sites. The island is famous for the Portara, the ancient giant marble doorway that stands on shore on a little island that connects to Naxos with a bridge. Other main attractions are Naxos old town where you can see history through castles and old building just wandering on foot between all the traditional white houses. When it comes to beaches, Mikri Vigla Beach is one of the most scenic beaches on the island, again being surrounded by cliffs and rock formations preserves the purity of the beach, as well as Agios Prokopios Beach, which is famous for its crystal clear water.
By Plane from Athens: 35 minutes.
From Piraeus or Rafina (mainland): 4 -6 hours.
From Mykonos: 1 hour.
From Santorini: 2 hours.
You can also get there from: los, Paros, Koufonisia and Milos.