The Greek Islands have long been known to be some of the most beautiful, tranquil and historically-rich destinations on earth. With warm temperatures, white-washed buildings, historic monuments and a seamless flow to living, the Greek Islands are one of the best holidays that you can take. Here are a selection of some of our favourites that often fly under the radar, hand-picked just for you…
Located in the Dodecanese group of islands and very close to the larger city of Rhodes you will find the gorgeous destination of Symi. The island boasts a huge harbour lined with boats and yachts and the backdrop of the dark orange rooftops of the surrounding villages only add to the awe of this place.
The island is the perfect getaway for couples and anyone else looking to enjoy a lazy, slow-paced holiday with the odd activity thrown in. Symi serves as an excellent base for exploring historic attractions including Roman mosaics, catacombs and the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis. Yialos harbour is the centre of activity of this island though, as you watch boats coming and going throughout the day in a traditional cafe and then sip on some wine in the evening at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Samos is another stunning Greek island that is perfectly catered for couples young and old. The island also enjoys a relaxing pace to life and you will balance your time here between hiking, wine-tasting and sunbathing on the beach – certainly nothing to complain about!
The slopes on the mountainous interior of the island are home to row upon row of vineyards, producing large and juicy grapes that are perfect for creating the sweet Muscat wines that Samos is famous for. A visit to the small, charming village of Vourliotes is the ideal way to wash down a glass or two and to enjoy the unparalleled peace of the island.
The beaches are arguably the main attraction to Samos as is the case with most of the Greek Islands. Some of our favourites include Potami, Psili Ammos, Kokari and Pythagorion.
Alonissos is the quieter neighbour of the more popular and well-known Skiathos and Skopelos, which have seen visitor numbers spike ever since the release of the hit movie Mamma Mia! The island offers much the same of what its two neighbours offer but with a fraction of the crowds.
The beaches on Alonissos provide an idyllic environment and you will find inviting turquoise waters and long stretches of pebbled beaches. Some of our favourites to set up camp include Agios Dimitrios, Leftos Gialos and Tzorti Gialo.
What also makes Alonissos so attractive to the modern day holidaymaker is that it is a superb retreat away from the stresses of modern day life and to reconnect completely with nature. The island has eco-conscious accommodation and Mediterranean Monk Seals which are currently thriving in the protected marine park.
Rounding off our hidden gems list of Greek Islands is the picture-perfect island of Halki. It will be love at first sight when you reach the island due to its small houses and buildings all being painted a wide variety of pastel colours; including pinks, yellows and even blues. Whether you are approaching Halki via boat or are intertwined in the charming village streets, make sure you have a camera ready at all times.
Halki is also known for its quiet and peaceful way of life and the beaches of Pondamos, Kania and Ftenagia are all within walking distance of the harbour-side settlement. With only one minibus and taxi to the island’s name, everything is within walking distance and the island retreat will be an experience that you will never forget.