6 Alternative Greek Islands, Greece

Got tired of crowded Greek islands, crowded beaches, and noisy destinations?

If the answer is yes, then it is time to get familiar with a handful of alternative Greek islands where your mind and soul will welcome for their peace and tranquility, along with great food and spectacular beaches.

The island of Milos

Milos is the 5th biggest Greek island of Cyclades and has the shape of a horseshoe. You may have heard about the Aphrodite of Milos. This is the place.

Its (numerous) beaches and the coastline are rather impressive and its origin comes from volcanic formations.


If you love taking photos, make room on your camera. You will get thousands.

There are beaches with white and gold sand, while others are decorated with white, red, yellow and even black pebbles.

Milos Tsigrado
Milos Tsigrado

You definitely need to visit these villages: Adamantas, Plaka, Triovassaloi & Plakes, Pollonia, Tripiti, Zefyria.

Do not miss the traditional settlements of Areti, Patrikia, Klima, Firopotamos, Mantrakia, Agios Konstantinos, Empourios, Fourkovouni.


If you spend many days on the island visit the beaches of Agia Kyriaki, Alogomantra, Gerania, Kipos, Lagada, Mantrakia, Mitakas, Paliorema, Paliochori, Papafragka, Papikinou, Pachaina, Pollonia, Provata, Sarakiniko, Trachilas, Tsigrado, Firiplaka, Firopotamos, Chivadolimni.

The island has 5 Museums, Catacombs, Castles, Ancient Theater, Sulfur mines.

You will not get bored.

The island of Gavdos

The island is very close to Crete and belongs to the Prefecture of Chania. It is a very small island. Imagine those regular habitats are around 100 while in the summertime with tourists the population goes up to more than 3000.

Most of them are campers!

Island of Gavdos
The Island of Gavdos. Photo by Kostas Limitsios.

Have you ever heard of the legend of Calypso in Odyssey? This is the island where -allegedly- Calypso lived.

Island of Gavdos
The Island of Gavdos. Photo by Weidegruen.

Tourism services on the island are a bit elementary, but you can spend a few days there if you like simple living and then move to Chania, Crete.

The island of Ikaria

Ikaria is an island where time really moves slowly. You can read a lot about it in our article for Ikaria, right here. The island is very peaceful but with great scenery and a few nice beaches.

Ikaria-Seychelles beach

This Greek island is worldwide known for the longevity of its residents.

Ikaria-Arethousa village

Actually a big number of studies have been conducted! Read them here.

The island of Skyros

The island of Skyros belongs to the North Sporades complex and is east of Evoia.

You can spend some days on Evoia (actually an island attached to mainland) and then take a ferry and spend some more days on Skyros.

Skyros. Photo by Kostas Limitsios.

Skyros is a combination of a variety of views: secluded beaches, pine hills, rocky mountain plains, little gulfs, sea caves and much more.

It is widely known for its wood-carved furniture and the famous horses of Skyros. This horse breed is not met anywhere else in the world.

Horses of Skyros
Horses of Skyros. Photo by Archway Andres.

Reach the square of Eternal Poetry and admire an unparalleled view to the Aegean sea.

Visit the beaches of: Petritsa, Kalamitsa, Agios Petros, Kira Panagia, Agios Fokas, Aspous, Pefkos, Acherounes, Kareflou, Molos, Magazia, Girismata, Petritsa & Molos.

Skyros. Photo by Hiking Association.

If you like windsurfing go to Kalamitsa. There are a couple of Museums to visit and the Archaeological area of Palamari for the lovers of culture and archaeology.

The island is totally picturesque and very relaxing.

In summertime a number of running races are conducted, which nowadays is a rising phenomenon in many small Greek islands.

The island of Symi

The Greek island of Symi is located at the Northside of Rhodes. The first impression a visitor gets is one of the colors and great architecture. It is really enchanting.

On this island you can even stay at the Monastery of Panormitis (if you book early).

At Yialos don’t forget to visit: The Cathedral of Timios Prodromos, the Customs Office, the Fish Market, the stone bridge and the old shipyard at Charani district.

Island of Symi.
The Island of Symi. Photo by Charley1965.

Feeling like hiking? Take the 500 steps that lead to Ano Simi. A series of magnificent little coffee shops will wait for you there and just sit and admire a magnificent sunset.

At Chorio you will have the opportunity to visit the Folklore Museum.

Then simply take the stone-paved road up to the castle to have an even better view of the Aegean. If you like, visit the Nautical museum as well.

Island of Symi.
The Island of Symi. Photo by Charley1965.

Visit the beaches of Symi with a small boat. Go to: Ai Giorgis, Agia Marina, Nanou, Fokospilia. While you are heading there turn your head and look at the neoclassical houses of Yialos once more! Aren’t they great?

The island of Pano (upper) Koufonisi

It belongs to the Koufonisia complex along with Kato (lower) Koufonisi and Keros. The island is located at the southeast of Naxos and belongs to what is called as Small Cyclades.

The island occupies no more than 3.5 square kilometers of space.

Now, you go to Koufonisi for the peace and the exotic beaches and that is all.

Beach of Pori. Koufonissia. Photo by Yanni Haviaras.

If you spend a few days then you will visit all the emerald beaches anyway. These are Yialos, Finikas, Fanos, Pool, Platia Punta and Pori.

Pori is like a paradise on earth. A beach covered with fine golden sand.

While you stay there and make some new friends be sure that you will meet them every day as all roads lead to… Hora.

Keros, is close to Pano Koufonisi but you cannot stay there as it is characterized as an important archaeological place. If you’ve ever seen those 2 Cycladic figurines of Arpisti (harp player) and Avliti (flute player), then this is their origin.

Now that you have read for these six gems of Greece make a schedule to visit them all with an island hopping mentality or come to Greece again and again.

Yet, be warned! The beauty you will find is hypnotic and the peace you will feel will change you forever!

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