Which 5 amazing Greek islands did your radar miss this summer?

You probably believe you know what the Greek islands are all about. Rocky scenery and white houses with blue shutters dominate almost every Instagram summer post coming from Greece. But if your thoughts are formed solely from the posh-y images of Mykonos and Santorini, you’re definitely missing out.

There are plenty of Greek islands where authenticity exists in its purest form; they only lack in accessibility, as they don’t feature their own airport, making it practically impossible for large numbers of foreign tourists to flock there.

So, what about these “other” islands? Well, most have a population of just a few thousands, in total. You’ll eat seafood and every honey-drenched pastry imaginable. Myself, for the most part, I have spent early afternoons swimming out on remote beaches that can usually be reached after a quite bumpy car ride. And people around me would act, in most cases, as if they’d never seen a person before. If that’s the sort of adventure you are chasing too, read on.

Kythnos

Fishermen on Kythnos Photo Credit: Chris Brooks

A quiet and lovely getaway-island, Kythnos is very easy to get to. Less than 2 hours by ferry from the port of Lavrio, the magic starts soon after one’s departure from Athens. Real move? Just rent a scooter to see the remote beaches on your own; notably the Kolona beach that features two idyllic beachfronts, one right next to the other.

Kea

Lighthouse near Kea harbor Photo Credit: Konstantinos Koukopoulos

Actually even closer to the mainland than Kythnos, Kea is a safe haven for licensed scuba-divers or whoever is interested in snorkeling, due to some truly fantastic sunken shipwrecks and underwater caverns. The island also stands out for its very rich marine life. Its small size allows for a quick and full exploration in the span of 2-3 days.

Folegandros

Folegandros Photo Credit: elias filis

With well under 1,000 residents during the off-season, one could wonder why this is the case on such a beautiful island. It’s mainly because it’s so small and overlooked by most of the ship routes. That certainly doesn’t mean it lacks resources or lies far behind its peers in terms of beauty. Aim for a swim at Livadaki Beach and you won’t regret it. Folegandros is definitely a hidden gem which you can discover by chartering a fishing boat to take you around the island, from the port.

Sifnos

Eftamartyres – Sifnos Photo Credit: David Abercrombie

I first visited this place this very summer and it certainly places itself among my pure favorites! The high-speed ferry will take you there in less than 3 hours from Piraeus. All the action takes place in Apollonia (the island’s Capital) where you can taste some amazing food and cocktails (especially at Cosi bar) but the beachside taverns in Kamares and in Platis Yialos are also a must-visit experience.

Serifos

Serifos Photo Credit: Polina Fatourou

One of the most relaxed moods you’ll ever experience on a Greek island, Serifos finds itself only a few miles north of Sifnos. It offers some of the greatest views thanks to the steep positioning of some of its villages. Set in a dramatically rocky landscape and amphitheatrically built, the Chora (the capital) is the place to be at night.