Top 10 Best Unknown Islands in Greece


Greece is a country with many beautiful islands. Some of these islands are more famous than others, but there are also some less-known islands that are just as beautiful. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to explore 10 of the best unknown islands in Greece. Each of these islands has its own unique charm and allure, so be sure to pack your bags and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime!

Thankfully most of the 227 inhabited Greek islands fit the bill and it was really tough to chose just 10. Those we have picked (the order is not very important in this list) share some common characteristics, namely:

• They’re all unspoilt by tourism and have been discovered by wider crowds only during the last few years
• They offer quiet and tranquil holidays – so if you’re looking for serious nightlife, pick up our previous issue
• For that same reason they’re more suitable to couples or families as opposed to large groups of lads or girls
• The likelihood of hooking up on them is much lower than in massive charter ridden islands too (but then again you never know)
• They are less easily accessible than the popular holiday destinations and it can take many hours on a slow lousy ferry to reach them
• They mostly attract upmarket tourism and travellers who love to discover new places, so if the lager consuming crowds are more up your street, again pick up our previous issue.

This second part of our summer island special is finally over. We hope you enjoyed learning about the different places on the island and getting a few hints about what to do next year. In the meantime, we recommend heading to Piraeus and boarding the first ferry leaving for the beautiful blue Aegean Sea.

1. Symi

Smyrna is one of the ten islands in this group, and it’s a favourite among people who like to cruise and jet-set. It’s close to the Turkish coast, and there are a lot of beautiful places to stay on the island, like the Guest House of the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis. If you’re coming to Symi during peak season, it can be hard to find accommodation, but there are boats that connect it to Rhodes all the time.

Photo by Dimitris Kiriakakis on Unsplash

2. Paxoi

Paxoi is one of the Ionian Islands. It’s shaped like an olive grove, and it has clear blue water around it. Paxoi is a smaller island than some of the others, but it’s still a place where people can enjoy a good time. There are many beaches on Paxoi, mostly on the eastern coast. If you want to get to a really isolated beach, you can hire a motorboat to take you there. The western part of the island is more rocky, with caves. Gaios is the main town on Paxoi, and Lakka is a smaller town with pretty streets and traditional houses. If you want to find even more peace and tranquility, you can visit Antipaxoi, a small island that’s connected to Paxoi by a local ferry.

Paxoi Island, Greece © Petar Lazarevic / Unsplash

3. Kastelorizo

Kastelorizo is a small Greek island that is east of the mainland. It is mostly surrounded by water, with the exception of a few rocky islets. Many houses on the island have wooden balconies that overlook the water. The island was almost destroyed in a fire during World War II, but the mosque and building that housed the Italian administration remind visitors of its former importance. There are only about four hundred people living on the island now, and the coastline is steep and rocky. Olympic airlines operate daily flights from Rhodes.

Photo by Yannis Cotsonis on Unsplash

4. Patmos

The island of Patmos is home to many churches and a monastery. It’s an especially holy place because the author of The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, John, saw and wrote about it there. Hora is a village at the top of a rocky mountain, and the streets are narrow and quiet. Skala is the harbour, and the beaches here are considered to be above average. There is no airport on the island, so you’ll need to fly to Kos and take a ferry to get there.

Photo by Anastasia Dimitriadi on Unsplash

5. Ikaria

Ikaria is an island that is different from the rest of the world in terms of how time is managed. This means that there are different hours during the day when shops are open, and people generally don’t have to worry about going to a shop and getting what they need because the shopkeepers aren’t there. Ikaria is also famous for its Panigiria, or huge village parties, where people eat, drink, and dance all night long. Because Ikaria is a relaxing place to live, its average life expectancy is higher than in most other countries.

Photo by ilias Tsapaliaris (ilias_fly_zen) on Unsplash

6. Anafi

If you want to spend a relaxing holiday on an isolated island, you’ll have to go through a lot of effort to get there. First, you’ll have to take a ferry from Athens. Then, you’ll have to wait 18 hours for the next ferry. Finally, you’ll have to take a slow ferry to the island. Once you arrive, you’ll have the whole island to yourself. Hora is always bright white and it’s located on a mountain with a breathtaking view of the Aegean. The beaches on the island are also very good. You and your friend will have your own beach to themselves.

Photo by Kostas Christodoulias on Unsplash

7. Samothraki

The northeastern Aegean island of Samothraki has many different types of natural beauty. On the south side, it looks like a typical Greek island with olive groves and sandy beaches. But on the north side, there are forests of chestnut trees and ancient oaks, and there are hundreds of fresh water springs, rivers, small waterfalls and “vathres” (small lakes of fresh water) where you can swim. You can also enjoy a mountain break on the island, with excellent mountaineering and trekking opportunities. Forget about sea food! Here you’ll enjoy delicious goat and kid meat cooked in many different ways. The most popular of the island’s beaches are Pachia Ammos and Kipi, and the best way to get to them is to fly to Alexandroupolis or Kavala from Athens, take a local ferry, and then arrive on the beach.

Photo by Marianna Stylianou on Unsplash

8. Elafonisos

You’re going to love spending your time in the water here – the beach is said to be one of the best in Greece. In addition, the small village near the beach is full of shops, restaurants and camping sites. If you want to explore more of the Peloponese, we highly recommend hiring a car and touring around the southern part of the island.

Photo by Kostas Morfiris on Unsplash

9. Koufonisia

Until a few decades ago, very few tourists (foreign or Greek) visited the two islands. But then, around the turn of the century, they started to become popular and the only inhabited island, Ano Koufonisi, got so crowded in August that you might as well have gone to Mykonos instead. However, if you come to the islands during the off-season, you’ll be able to enjoy the beaches and fresh seafood that the locals rely on for their livelihood. There are no proper hotels on the islands, but you can find cheap accommodation if you’re prepared to camp or take a boat trip to the other island. The ferry from Piraeus takes about 8 hours.

Photo by Rania Samara on Unsplash

10. Gavdos

Gavdos is a small island just below Crete, and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a unique European experience. Every summer, hundreds of people come to stay on the island, and most of the residents rely on tourism and fishing for their income. There are a few tavernas, a small nightlife, and no ATMs on the island, so be sure to bring enough money with you when you arrive. The beaches on Gavdos are great, and Agios Ioannis Beach is probably the best. However, you’ll have to walk a long way to get there – through dunes and cedar trees – so it may not be for everyone. There is a ferry service from Palaiohora, south Crete, but it only runs during the high season.


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