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Six Traditional, Unspoiled Islands in Greece

A cruise in the port of kastellorizo Greece
A cruise in the port of Kastellorizo. Credit: markbradleygregory/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Want to experience the authentic spirit of Greece and the Greek people? When you are looking for the perfect place to vacation in Greece, consider some of the charming and less traveled islands that offer unique experiences for your unforgettable Grecian vacation.

The most traditional and least spoiled islands in Greece

Koufonisia, Cyclades

Koufonisia Greek islands
Koufonisia Islands, Greece. Credit: Carlo Pelagalli / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0

The Koufonisia islands have been described as Greece’s “hidden paradise,” and they have recently become a favorite vacation spot for both Greek and foreign tourists.

Koufonisia is a group of islands belonging to the East Cyclades archipelago consisting of Pano Koufonisi (Upper Koufonisi) and Kato Koufonisi (Lower Koufonisi).

These idyllic isles are known for their calm beaches with golden sand and turquoise waters, their many natural pools, and magnificent sea caves.

Milos, Cyclades

Greece Vacation Islands
Sarakiniko Beach on Milos Island. Crédit: dronepicr/CCBY2.0

When you want amazing selfies and unforgettable memories, travel to the Greek island of Milos.

The volcanic island has an incredible moonscape-like terrain in various colors of red, brown, and white rock formations that spill into the deep, turquoise sea.

There are also traditional fishing villages and mountain villages to explore around the island and some must-see places include the ancient theater, catacombs, and windmills in Tripiti.

You will also want to explore the island’s endless coves, which are accessible by a fishing boat tour.

Alonissos, Sporades

Alonissos Family Holidays in Greece
Alonissos. Credit: Giuliagi/CC BY-SA 3.0

Alonissos is a charming Greek island and is the quietest of the Sporades islands, which includes the more well-known islands of Skopelos and Skiathos.

The island has quaint villages filled with stone-roofed cottages, green lush slopes with fragrant pine forests, and beautiful beaches.

Another great asset to going to this island, besides avoiding overcrowded tourist destinations, is that you can take a boat trip from Patitiri harbor to Greece’s first National Marine Park, where you can see dolphins and seals in their natural habitat.

Of course, you can always take a ferry to visit Skopelos which is a 90-minute trip from Alonissos.

Kastellorizo, Dodecanese

A cruise in the port of kastellorizo
A cruise in the port of Kastellorizo. Credit: markbradleygregory/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This tiny treasure is so quaint and inviting you might never want to leave! Kastellorizo is Greece’s smallest inhabited island and is only 2 kilometers off the coast of Turkey.
The houses are Anatolian-style architecture, and the island has hilltop castles and beautiful seas.

Even though the island is small, there is a lot to do on the island and in the surrounding sea. You can take a boat to tour the Blue Grotto cave where the water glows and dazzles, or visit the small rock-isle to scuba dive and enjoy a private beach.

The island of Kastellorizo also hosts a monastery and castle high above the harbor. From there you can see Kas, Turkey in the near distance. It’s a small, quiet, and charming island that is unforgettable!

Paxos and Antipaxos, Ionian

Longos Beach Paxos
Longos Beach on the Greek island of Paxos. Credit: photolupi/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Paxos is located only 15 kilometers south of the more popular island of Corfu. It is small, quaint, and cozy with picturesque fishing villages and extensive olive groves divided by stone walls.

Antipaxos is a small island located about 3 kilometers to the south of Paxos.

When you want to experience a laid-back Greek village experience, go to Paxos and Antipaxos. Here, you can take a donkey to trek across the island, visit some beautiful, blue caves, lay on the quiet sand beaches, such as Mongonisi in the south, and enjoy some great seafood fresh from the sea at a local taverna.

Symi, Dodecanese

Longos Beach, Paxos.
The harbor of Symi, Greece. Credit: BIG ALBERT/CC0 1.0

This mountainous island has colorful homes dotting the hillsides and it’s located some 41 kilometers north-west of Rhodes.

The island has many beaches and coves and a famous monastery in the town of Panormitis that attracts international tourists each year.

There are just over 2,500 inhabitants on the island, making it the perfect, unspoiled destination. You can even take an all-day boat tour around the island to view all of its natural wonders.

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