The Hidden Gems Of Greece
Some destinations in Greece are among the most popular holiday destinations worldwide. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Rhodes come to mind. Apart from these popular Greek islands, there are a number of other destinations which are not as popular, yet extremely beautiful and worth a visit.
The following islands are ideal for those who prefer less crowded places to enjoy their vacations with their family or their other half, or for those who feel adventurous and want to discover destinations off the beaten path.
Located in the eastern Aegean Sea, to the west of Samos, Ikaria is known for its relaxed lifestyle, which even the Greeks find a bit too relaxed! Given the local population’s extremely high life expectancy rate, Ikarians are obviously on to something.
The shops aren’t open till midday and the locals are extremely friendly and hospitable to visitors.
The island is also famous for its local festivals called panygiria, where locals and visitors gather at the village square and celebrate all night long, eating traditional food, drinking plenty of wine and, of course, dancing to various Greek folk music.
Anafi is a small island in the Cyclades, which is often overlooked and overshadowed by its popular neighboring island, Santorini. For those who are familiar with Anafi, its proximity to Santorini is more of a blessing than a curse.
The center of the island, called Chora, is full of white, cubic houses and chapels, and is built on top of a mountain, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea. Visit the few beaches of the island on foot, by bike or by boat, the most famous being Roukounas.
There are also some nice restaurants and cafeterias where visitors can relax, have a drink and admire the view.
Located in the Ionian Sea, next to Kefalonia, the famous home town of Odysseus, is a peaceful island, unaffected by mass tourism. Secluded beaches with crystal-clear waters, picturesque villages and ancient monasteries all co-exist harmoniously under the hot summer sun of the Ionian.
Its capital, Vathy, one of the largest natural harbors worldwide, has many traditional taverns, bars, local shops and archaeological sites. For sea lovers, Ithaca has both sandy and pebble beaches, along with great water sports facilities. Additionally, boat trips to the surrounding islands are an excellent way to relax and discover the area’s breathtaking natural beauty.
Koufonisia consists of two islands, Ano (Upper) Koufonisi and Kato (Lower) Koufonisi. Part of the eastern Cyclades, Koufonisisa have recently become popular among Greek and foreign tourists, without losing its charm and authenticity. Koufonisia are popular due to their calm beaches, golden sand and turquoise waters; the small natural pools and the magnificent sea caves, along with the island’s excellent cuisine, full of fresh fish and seafood.
The Chora of Koufonisi is a typical Cycladic village with picturesque streets, white houses and a white windmill. Koufonisia also offer excellent opportunities for hiking and discovering, since they are quite small and all distances can be covered by foot within two or three hours.
This small Cycladic island is full of pebbly beaches covered with tamarisk trees. The scenic harbour of Karavostassis with its beautiful beach is the perfect starting point for an exploration of the magnificent beaches.
Make sure you hire a boat from Karavostassis and head out to Katergo, the most beautiful beach, with thin pebbles and crystal-clear waters. For a more scenic beach, visit Agali to the west of the island, with sheer cliff drops and brilliant azure waters.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a trail from Agali will take you to the clothing-optional beach of Agios Nikolaos, where a small taverna with delicious food and a marvelous view awaits you. In the northeastern part of the island lie the beaches of Vorina, with green stones peculiar-to-Folegandros, Agios Georgios and Serfiotiko, accessible only by boat or on foot.
Taking the road less traveled in Greece can lead to hidden treasures, true gems that will build memories that last a lifetime. Let Hellenic Holidays create the perfect package for your next adventure in Greece.