Island hopping in Greece consists of fun in the, sun, relaxing in the sand and swimming in the crystal clear ocean waters. Others enjoy the exciting nightlife, historical monuments, or authentic Greek cuisine. However, the popular places like Santorini and Mykonos tend to get crowded from the large cruise ships and other tourists traveling through. Instead, head to a few lesser known Greek Islands to beat the crowds and stress.
If you’re looking to relax on the beach and indulge in some peace and quiet, and swim around in clear waters, head for Hydra. It is a popular place for locals and summer cottages. You still get to see the Mediterranean houses surrounding a gorgeous bay, though without the blue domed rooves. However, do not expect to zip around in a car- this village can only be traversed by foot or via donkey. Several smaller cruise ships dock here, but don’t expect large crowds.
The famous island where the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelations, Patmos is a perfect place for history buffs to tour historical sites. The Medieval town of Chora, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, and the Cave of the Apocalypse are all a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Those looking to relax in the sun will have a wide array of beaches to choose from while those wishing to partake of fresh cuisine have an excellent choice of seafood restaurants.
Not too far from Santorini, this place is a favorite of photographers and nature lovers. The main town of Hora is perched on a hill and offers panoramic views of the sea and have some of the most beautiful sunsets. Those wishing for something more active will find an extensive network of hiking trails on the island, and several beaches do necessitate a trek on foot. Don’t skip out on sampling the traditional local dish of “matsata”, a thick pasta dish usually served with tomato sauce and grated Greek cheese.
The biggest island in the Ionian Sea, it is a very diverse place, offering a little something for everyone and a great place for families. Mountains rise above beaches so those who love the picturesque views definitely won’t miss out. The island is home to vineyards that produce the local vintage of Robola wine, so make sure and book a tour. For those who need a more social scene, head to the town of Argostoli for a lively but laid back night life. This is also the island on which you’ll find the quintessential Greek ingredients like feta cheese, olive oil, and honey in local dishes.
Whatever Greek islands you decide to visit, every traveler will find something to tickle their fancy. You can enjoy hiking trails, fresh culinary fare, historical sites, plentiful pristine beaches, and perfect photo opportunities, along with peace and quiet and a more immersive cultural experience. Visiting these other lesser known islands means that you don’t have to wade amongst a sea of people to experience all that the Greek islands has to offer.