Suppose you’re looking for an escape from the mass tourism of famous Greek islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, and Ios. Why not consider visiting some of the lesser-known gems? You can find some absolute beauties further east towards Turkey or on the west coast of Greece. These neighbouring islands are less touristy, have stunningly lush vegetation, and offer beautiful secluded beaches that are far from tourist traps.
They make excellent destinations when cruising around the world and for sailing enthusiasts who want to drop anchor in a quiet cove for a while. Without further adieu, here are the five best quiet Greek islands.
Five best quiet Greek Islands
While Crete is probably the most known Greek island on this list, it still needs to be explored compared to Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos. It is located to the south out in the Mediterranean and serves as a border for the rest of the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea. While it is the most populated Greek island and has resort areas, you can still find small unspoiled seaside villages with very few tourists.
One of our favorites is the tiny fishing village of Loutro. Firstly, you can only get here by boat, meaning there are no cars in this idyllic village. And coming into the natural harbor, you will notice clear the aqua-marine waters. The quintessential white-washed Greek buildings line the harbor with cafes, taverns and accommodations. The atmosphere here is just so peaceful. You also have the benefits of gorgeous beaches and mountain hiking trails in the surrounding nature of Loutro.
If you’re looking for an even more remote island experience, consider visiting Antipaxos. This tiny island is just a short sea taxi away from the port town of Gaios on Paxos. Anti-Paxos is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. These quiet Greek islands are known as the Mediterranean version of the Caribbean. You can reach Antipaxos by boat from Corfu.
Unlike the Greek Isles in the Agean, Paxos and Anti-Paxos receive significantly more rainfall making for more lush landscapes. And in the summer, the colors of the rolling green hills combined with the white sand beaches and clear azure waters are an artist’s dream. In fact, Paxos and Anti-Paxos are famous artists’ escapes. Although it’s one of the quietest Greek islands, avoid peak season.
Part of the Ionian islands, the island of Zante is one of the most popular touristy islands in Greece, which goes against the objective of this quiet island’s post. However, if you want seclusion, head to the north coast of the island; you’ll find some stunningly remote beaches that are far from any tourist traps. These beaches are also only accessible by boat, so they tend to be much quieter than those on the south coast.
Zante is home to the famous Navagio Beach, or Shipwreck Beach, only accessible by boat because of the sheer cliffs surrounding the cove. You’ve most likely seen photos of this incredible beach, such as the one above. Other must-see spots only accessible by boats are the blue sea caves, Caretta Marine National Park, and the forbidden island of Polouzo.
Ikaria is a large Greek island located in the North Aegean Sea, to the west of Turkey. The island has a population of just over 13,000 people and is best known for its healing hot springs, which have been used since antiquity. Several thermal springs on the island are said to have therapeutic properties. If it’s wellness you are after, then Okaria could be for you. It is one of the world’s five blue zones meaning its people have some of the best health and longevity in the world.
As a result, Ikaria is attracting people worldwide who wish to know the island people’s secrets. Even entire residential cruises focused on wellness have Ikaria on their itinerary. Aim to visit Ikaria during the Panigiri season in the summer, when you can dance like nobody’s watching with complete strangers on their amazing beaches.
Karpathos is a small but stunningly beautiful quiet island located in the Dodecanese chain. It’s best known for its dramatic landscapes, which range from mountains and forests to magnificent beaches and coves, and its ancient ruins, including a medieval castle. One of the most popular things to do on the island is hike or bike through the stunning scenery.
While the island’s southern side is developed for tourism, the rest remains unspoiled with magnificent secluded beaches. One must-see is Saria Inlet, which has a spectacular landscape, white sand beach, and crystal clear waters. Also, explore the picturesque villages alive with the local traditions.
These are just a few of the best unspoilt Greek islands to visit. If you’re looking for a more authentic and secluded experience, add one of these quiet Greek islands to your list. And, as always, remember to respect the local culture and customs when you travel. Happy island hopping!