Looking for a great destination in Greece, without having to handle the hustle-and-bustle of tourism? Ever wanted to have a piece of Greece to yourself, without having to compete with hundreds of other tourists for a nice spot on a beach? If this sounds like you, then you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of hidden gems in the Greek islands where you can truly call your own piece of paradise.
So, want to avoid the usual stampede of tourism in Greece? Here are seven hidden gems to consider traveling to in Greece.
1. Andros Island
Just a few hours from Athens in the Cyclades islands – just fly to Athens, then take a 30-minute drive to Rafina, and then catch a two-hour ferry – the little-known island of Andros is one of the best crowd-free places to visit in Greece. When you stay at Onar – a secluded collection of cottages (for 2-5 guests) on Andros with a stunning beach just a walk away – you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty and calming atmosphere that the island has to offer.
The island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea is, according to Greek locals, the island that time forgot. Mostly known for being one of the six Blue Zones (where inhabitants can supposedly live a really long life), it’s quite an attractive draw, enticing a few more travelers to come and visit. In addition, this place is known for its dance and festive culture, along with a healthy traditional lifestyle and rugged landscape.
3. Milos Island
A Cyclades paradise, the island of Milos is home to many treasures and over 72 beaches (i.e. Sarakiniko beach, made famous on Instagram). Just fly to either Athens or Santorini, and then catch another flight or a ferry to Milos. And then, you can rent room and board at the Skinopi Lodge, with its three sea-facing villas (for 2-4 guests) set on the untrodden shores of Milos Bay, offering the best views and mesmerizing sunsets.
The island of Chios is considered the fifth largest island in Greece. Since most tourists only visit the beautiful villages of Chios (the most famous being Pyrgi, with its buildings covered in unique black and white sgraffito – a pattern brought by Genoese invaders), you’ll have the privilege of having most of the untrodden island to yourself. You can even enjoy the food that it has to offer, like its produce – mainly citrus.
5. Lefkas Island
Lefkas (or Lefkada) is a beautiful and peaceful place to go to in Greece, especially in July and August. Just fly to Preveza on the Greek mainland, and then drive 40 minutes (or take a taxi) to Lefkas. When you stay at the Gecko – a romantic adults-only villa (for 2-4) on the west coast – you’ll take comfort in the huge open-plan rooms, a sleek pool, and spectacular views of the sea.
Leros is another island in Greece that doesn’t get a lot of visitors – which should be good news for you, if you want to escape the regular crowded tour sites in the country. History-wise, Leros holds modern history, with Italian forces being based here during the occupation in the early 20th century, along with Mussolini’s vision for the island (to which you’ll still find remains of his “vision” at the slowly-restoring town of Lakki).
Located in the north in the Aegean, Lemnos, despite its seclusion, is known to locals for its military and agricultural background. But nowadays, it has attracted some visitors with fun opportunities like windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can also take comfort in the quiet beaches, where you can enjoy a unique heritage of food. You can even look around and see the strange landscapes that include Greece’s only desert, along with the bizarre array of volcanic rocks.
Now, these are only seven hidden gems to visit in Greece, with many more that weren’t mentioned on this list. However, this goes to show that you don’t have to be a slave to the usual hustle-and-bustle that normal tourism can bring. You don’t have to be bummed out whenever a popular tourist site is crowded, when you can visit unexplored wonders that are still waiting to be explored.
So, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits in Greece!