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A Guide to Greece’s Most Overlooked Islands


The most popular Greek islands offer some of the wildest parties, best organized activities, and most luxurious resorts in the world. But sometimes you just want to relax. The best party can include as few as two people; the best activity can be spear fishing without another boat in sight; the most luxurious resort can be a stucco hut on an absolutely private beach. With over 6,000 islands and islets, Greece’s islands provide enough options to be almost paralyzing. This guide is designed to connect you with the best private Greek Islands. Each island has its own charms, and each is described by its primary attractions in order to connect you to the unique Greek island that suits you.


This island is for the traveler looking to step back in time. The island is nearly untouched by tourism, particularly the northern half, yet its pristine villages offer modern amenities. Stepping into the town of Olympos is to enter a unique world that has been preserved with devotion. The local women wear traditional attire and shrines are built right into the walls of most homes. Many beaches are completely without buildings of any kind. The island is located between Crete and Rhodes.


This island is for the alternative-minded traveler who also loves hiking. The island is often described as having “amazing energy,” and this is greatly the result of a counter-cultural vibe cultivated by an alternative community. People are more than friendly here and happily welcome visitors to The annual Samothrace Dance Festival that takes place each August. One of the best hikes is up the mountain Fonia (which means murderer in Greek), and there’s a great little restaurant at the trailhead. Waterfalls and glistening, natural pools abound, and camping is very popular.


Part of the Cyclades, this island is ideal for travelers looking to find the most private beaches in the Greek islands. The Hozoviotissa monastery, which stands on a 900 foot precipice, is the island’s most important landmark. The Agia Anna pebble beach is a quiet beach just a 20-minute walk away the monastery. Most sunbathers bath nude here. If you’re into spear-gun fishing, it is a popular leisure activity among the locals, and small boats will take you to the nearby, often uninhabited islands. Don’t miss the Psimeno Raki drink. It is similar to basic raki (an aniseed liquor) only it is infused with honey and cinnamon.


This island is for travelers who want to surf, and especially for travelers who also like camping. Camping is particularly popular in the Halaris Canyon. A difficult hike takes you through the canyon, offering unparalleled views of the river that runs through it. The hike takes you along the river for some time, ultimately providing many rock points from which to view the rivers gentle, rock-bottomed pools. The hike ends at Nas beach. Here, there are big waves and great, challenging surfing. The island is famous for its slow service, so be prepared. However, stores stay open into the wee mornings, and the town of Rahes has a bustling nightlife. Ikaria was named after Icarus, who is said to have fallen to his death nearby.

Written by Mattie Bamman for

Ruth Kozak

Thursday 19th of May 2011

I've always wanted to visti Karpathos. There's so many others as well as these. Every time I'm in Greece I try to check out a new one.


Friday 24th of February 2012

I would like to visit this island sometime this year. have you been ? liz

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