For many in Western Europe, heading to the islands of Greece on summer holiday is something of a tradition. The names of these places evoke a different aesthetic depending on which isle is mentioned; Corfu for parties, Santorini for romance amid white-washed houses, Crete for culture-seeking bliss, and so on. All of these have dreamlike beaches to go along with them, but their popularity also means that most of the sand strips on these popular rocks in the Aegean tend to get quite crowded in the peak of high season.
For those that dread having their personal space violated, this presents something of an impossible conundrum, as you get more restless with every passing year that you put off exploring these fabled islands. However, there are less trafficked ones out there, with beaches that have unimagined amounts of free space even in the busier parts of the summer.
When you plan your Holidays to Greece this year, check out the following three islands, which will get you out into the legendary islets of Greece without having to deal with the worst of the crowds that descend upon this region during the hot months of the year.
Located in the Ionian Sea, Lefkada is a dream come true for those that love hidden beaches, but is loath to share them with the unwashed masses. In this regard, Porto Katsiki beach evokes shades of Shipwreck Beach in Zante, but without the overwhelming crowds that spoil the magic. The winds here are stiff and consistent, making this beach a good place to pick up windsurfing, as well as other water sports.
The mountainous nature of this island also makes Lefkada one of the best locales for mountain biking in all of Europe. While there is plenty to challenge the technical rider here, chances are you’ll be too busy enjoying the views to push yourself too hard!
Culturally-attuned travelers that fear the chaotic crowds present on Crete and other places on the Greek mainland can find a quieter alternative on Lesvos, without losing the galleries and historical sights present on the former. Ceramic and pottery makers continue to produce highly unique pieces in the many villages throughout the island, while castles, mansions and museums abound in the bigger towns.
Those that have families seeking to get away from the hedonistic and loud party crowds will love making Lemnos their base during their holiday in the Greek islands. Here, you get a sense of the real Greece, as mass tourism really hasn’t changed traditional ways of life here. As such, try to catch some of the local festivals that go on through the summer, and walk amongst bucolic vineyards and stone cottages in the rural areas, before proceeding to Keros Beach for an amazing sunset, a perfect way to end a simple day in this unheralded paradise.
With 3,000 islands, there’s plenty more of Greece to discover
While the major islands mentioned in the introduction are seared into the consciousness of the holidaying public, it’s easy to forget about the vast number of additional ones just waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers such as yourself. By trying out these new to you isles, you’ll begin to expand your horizons beyond the usual, which is ultimately what travel is all about!