With Joes starting to book trips for the summer, we thought it’s time to talk about one of our favourite summer escapes; Greece. There are around 6,000 islands in total in Greece, which means it can be hard to nail down a destination, particularly if you want to avoid the crowd and go somewhere you’ve never been.
While the likes of Crete and Rhodes are famed, and the secret is probably out about Mykonos, Santorini and even Patmos, there’s still plenty of beautiful islands dotted around with an abundance of good food, good culture and great beaches unspoilt by tourists. So we’re recommend some lesser known potential holiday destinations in the country. Read on for our Top 5 Hidden Gem Greek islands!
So while Zante has become synonymous with European teen party-goers, Zakynthos island itself still offers an incredible holiday that doesn’t involve copious amount of ouzo and glow-sticks. There are a large number of sandy beaches out of the tourist path and it’s also home to the caretta-caretta sea turtle. This means the snorkelling is some of the best in the world and while some might accuse the island of being commercial, we think it’s perfectly relaxing.
While a large number of Joes would know of the beauty of Santorini, its neighbour Milos has nothing to be jealous of. Like most Greek islands, there’s plenty of beaches – around 70 or so – some of which are the best you’ll find in the Mediterranean. As it’s part of the volcanic Cyclades, Milos is also has incredible landscape with hot springs and all the caves you can imagine. Milos’ most famous asset is the Venus de Milo, officially known as the statue of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.
While Evia (or Euboea) is the second biggest island in Greece, it’s still not populated by an influx of tourists. One of the closest to Athens, and therefore popular with locals to the capital, it stretches from the tip of the Pelion Peninsula down to the coast of Attika. The relaxing island can get busy during the summer months with Greeks on vacation, but it’s nowhere near Crete’s league in terms of numbers! There’s thermal spas, archaeological sites and the Trela Nera natural phenomenon (where water flows in one direction and then suddenly flows in the opposite direction) is something truly incredible. This really is for Joes who want to switch off.
Maxis is the largest of the Cyclades and is also the greenest one. Famed for its music history, Naxos features picturesque villages, forts and plenty of quant churches. While it naturally offers plenty of beach life and Greek history, the music is the real selling point here. There are free live shows nearly every night on the island and if you happen to stumble across a family event, you’ll almost certainly receive enough wine to give you a headache. Highlights on the island include the Portara (a massive 2,500-year-old marble doorway) and the impressive Kastro castle.
But our top spot for the most underrated Greek island has to go to the island of Limnos. This relatively remote island offers everything we’d want from Greece; stunning natural beauty, ancient sightseeing, beautiful beaches and top quality gastronomy. The landscape has everything with bays, coves, volcanic formations, green plains, hills and wildlife you won’t find anywhere else in Greece. Limnos isn’t touristy in the slightest and the best thing about the place is it isn’t expensive like Mykonos or Santorini either. Get booking!
If it’s purely food you’re after on your travels, from Berlin to Bangkok, here’s 7 of the best cities in the world for street food!