Everyone knows about the legendary sunsets of Santorini, or the vibrant parties on Ios and Mykonos, but what about the hundreds of other Greek islands? Greece has over 220 islands, and most of them are rarely talked about or featured in travel articles.
With beautiful beaches, authentic Greek culture and food, fewer tourists and lower prices, these islands are the perfect getaway. So pack your bags and head beyond Crete, Rhodes, and Kos to these eleven beautiful islands you’ve probably never heard of but are definitely worth visiting.
Part of the Cyclades group, Milos has over 70 beaches tucked away in coves or between cliffs. It is perfect for beach lovers. Sarakiniko beach is especially well known for its volcanic rockscapes that have been likened to moonscapes.
The waters surrounding this idyllic island in the Sporades are home to a marine park full of protected seals. With pine and olive trees tumbling into waters, and hawks and butterflies flying around, it is a nature lover’s dream.
This isolated island in northern Greece features both diverse ecosystems and important archaeological sites. It was home to the celebrated Sanctuary of the Great Gods, along with later Christian churches. It is also packed with fresh-water springs and waterfalls, making it the perfect place for trekking.
Part of the Dodecanese islands, Symi is located near the Turkish border. It is known for its colorful Neoclassical houses, excellent cafés, and taverns, and for the lively festival it hosts between July and September.
The easternmost of the Greek Cyclades, it is home to the 11th-century Monastery of Hozoviotissa. Built into a cliff overlooking the sea it has breathtaking views of the rugged green landscape and the lush vineyards.
This island is a bohemian paradise. Only 4 miles long, cars and vehicles are banned inside the town. It was most popular in the 1960s when even Marilyn Monroe paid a visit.
Famous for being the home of Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s epic The Odyssey, it is said to have been inhabited since the 2nd millennium BC.
The unspoiled tranquility of Gavdos is home to only 50 inhabitants. Set below Crete, this is the southernmost part of Europe, and it is good to keep in mind that the accommodation here can be quite basic.
This tiny island is said to be where Calypso detained Odysseus on his journey back to Ithaca. Today it is known for it’s delicious locally produced food, from thyme to honey, cheese, and wine.
This island is home to Pyrgi, a unique village with medieval buildings covered in geometric motifs and patterns. These are created using cement, lime, and volcanic ash in a method called xysta.
Set where the Cyclades meet the Dodecanese, it is full of exotic beaches and crystal clear waters. Don’t miss the Baths of Talara with their mosaics from the Hellenistic period.