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Avoid the Crowds on These Sparsely Inhabited Greek Islands

scuba diving greece
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

Despite their reputation as top tourism destinations, there are some secluded Greek islands with populations that number under 200 people for those looking for a peaceful vacation.

In fact, some of the islands mentioned below are so small and secluded that the main mode of transportation is still the donkey, just like over a century ago.

The most secluded of all the Greek islands has a population of five

Greece Islands
Marathi. Credit: anya Dedyukhina, CC BY 3.0

This is the island to visit when you want to return to the natural beauty of unspoiled Greece in total seclusion from the rest of the world.

Incredibly, Marathi has only five year-round inhabitants, making it one of the most secluded Greek islands.

Marathi Greek Island
Marathi Shoreline. Credit: Tanya Dedyukhina, CC BY 3.0

This enchanting island is only a few hundred square kilometers. Located east of Patmos, this isle has a completely untouched coastline.

It was inhabited by the Emilianos family back in 1977, who created a small hotel and restaurant for visitors who stop by the island during the summer months.

Irakleia is inhabited by less than 150 people

Greek Island Irakleia

Irakleia. Credit: XristinaMnp07 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0Irakleia is an island with a population of only 141 inhabitants and is perfect for tourists wishing to explore nature and history.

The island is located between the islands of Naxos and Ios and can be reached by ferries from Athens, Naxos and Paros.

Kythnos, a secluded Greek island with ancient roots

Secluded greek islands
Kolona Beach, Kythnos. Credit: Roman Klementschitz/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

This small, secluded Greek island may have only just over 100 inhabitants, but it has a real draw for spelunkers, with the biggest caves anywhere in the Cyclades!

Besides this, the island has a rich history and has been inhabited from early antiquity.

The secluded Greek island is home to many mysterious rock paintings that date back some 5,000 years.

Donousa is one of the smallest islands in the Cyclades

Donoussa Greece
Port of the island of Donoussa from ferry Leros Credit: Zde – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Feeling the need to really get away from it all after all the difficulties of the past few months? Check out the island of Donousa, which has only 167 fortunate inhabitants.

Donousa is located between Naxos and Amorgos and is one of the smallest islands in the Cyclades.

But it is large enough that it can be reached by ferry from Piraeus or by taking a local boat from Naxos or Amorgos.

Donousa Greek Island
Donousa. Credit: By Av-fuzzy – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 2.0

Donousa remains unspoiled by tourists and there isn’t much in the way of transportation — which means that when you are there you can simply meander where you will, and enjoy sampling all the beaches — most of which are accessible by foot.

Just pack a sun umbrella since the beaches on this island are not organized and have no facilities.

Agathonisi, an unspoiled Greek island paradise

Agathonisi Island
Agathonhsi. Credit: Thanasis Christodoulou- Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Relax on a secluded beach and escape all the tourists this summer by visiting the secluded, jewel-like Greek island of Agathonisi, which rises up like a chimera from the sea.

This tiny, mountainous island is located at the very the northernmost point of the Dodecanese archipelago in Greece.

Agathonisi. Credit: Turhan Akman, CC BY 3.0

A 1920s census showed that the island had only 80 inhabitants at that time, most of whom were farmers and shepherds. Nowadays, there are 185 inhabitants on the unspoiled, rugged slopes of Agathonisi.

Many people come here for the secluded beaches, and to visit the two quaint villages on the island called Megalo Chorio, or “Big Village,” and Mikro Chorio, meaning “Small Village.” The Municipality of Agathonisi also includes a lovely archipelago of completely uninhabited offshore islets including Glaros, Kouneli, Nera, and Psathonisio.

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