Dreaming of your own Greek Odyssey but want to avoid the crowds and doof-doof music of Santorini and Mykonos? Well fortunately of the 7000 Greek Islands there are still some less travelled and less touristy options for you – here are six little known islands that are surprisingly easy to get to, and will be sure to fulfill your Greek Island idyllic fantasy.
The award-winning Italian film Mediterraneo was filmed here and no wonder – Kastellorizio is the smallest and the prettiest of the inhabited islands in the Dodecanese. Getting to the island is by ferry from Rhodes, and then if you want to go to the quiet beaches and neighbouring islets, small local boats will run you there. The island boasts of the Blue Grotto, which rivals the world famous one in Capri.
Also in the Dodacanese is Halki, which is a tiny island very close to Rhodes. For true privacy and peace, this is the place as there is very little developed tourism. The island is known for its traditional architecture and the secluded beaches. Nimporio is the only village and main port, with the rest of the island being uninhabited – this includes an abandoned village in the island’s centre which was abandoned after pirates raided in Medieval times.
Another breath-taking Greek Island that was perfect as the location for a film, is the island of Salina. Right in the heart of the Aeolian Islands, Salina was one of the settings for the Oscar-winning film Il Postino. The Aeolian Islands are reached by ferry from Naples, and Messina on Sicily. Outside of taking in the scenery, Salina provides the opportunity to experience fine cooking, antique furniture and spa treatments.
Anafi is a small island in the south-east of the Cyclades. Despite being close to Santorini, its small size and few inhabitants, keeps Anafi Island relatively untouched by tourism. There is only one village with few tourist facilities and most beaches are accessible only on foot. Chora, the capital village, sits on the mountain slopes and offers breathtaking views to the Aegean Sea. For a real slice of Greek Island life, this island truly delivers a relaxing option.
Another peaceful location in the Cyclades is Sikinos – this secluded island is in the southern part of the Cyclades, between the islands of Ios and Folegandros. Little tourist development ensures Sikinos is the ideal place for relaxing breaks that really recharge the system. This is one of the prettiest islands in the Cyclades, with its one village full of characteristic Cycladic architecture. The beaches are secluded and can be reached on foot or by bus. The most interesting attraction on the island is the Monastery of Episkopi - well worth a visit.
Hydra is considered one of the most impressive islands in the Argo Saronic Gulf. We have included it in this list of quieter Greek Island destinations because despite its popularity in summer (due to its close distance to Athens) – it is a great location to consider if travelling in the cooler months. The reason for this is that on Hydra, cars and other motor vehicles are prohibited, so all transport is done on foot, by boat or by donkey. The main town is constructed on the slopes surrounding the key port and provides a great first impression for visitors with its elegant stone mansions that surround the beautiful area of the port. Beaches on the island consist of tiny tree-lined coves with blue, blue water - very, very pretty. Hydra’s picturesque charm and accessibility to Athens has made it a big draw card for both music and film celebrities like Leonard Cohen and Kate Moss – so the warmer months are prime for celeb spotting and add to the summer crowds – another reason to wait for cooler climes before heading to this rustic but very chic Greek getaway.
For more Greek Islands insights go to Aegina: Greek Island Life Without The Crowds
Or for some more truly divine places to explore go to The Most Beautiful Islands Closest To Athens
Here are just six Greek Islands secrets to give you some sense that there are still plenty of Mediterranean pristine idylls out there for you to explore to deliver your own unique Greek Island experience.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to the Greek Islands.