The limelight might shine on Mykonos, Santorini, and the famous names of the Greek Islands. Still, with more than 6,000 islands to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and seek a traditional way of life and untouched natural beauty on a Greek Island cruise. Here we take a peek at five spectacular secret islands which fly under the radar and why you should visit them.
The most remote of the Northern Sporades islands, Alonnisos encapsulates the spirit of the Greek Islands. The small isle is blanketed with pine forests, olive groves, and orchards grazed by bell-toting sheep in the picturesque harbor of Patitiri, a cobbled waterfront lined by pastel-colored buildings and quaint cafés. Hora (the Old Village) is dominated by a medieval castle with panoramic sea views, and its narrow lanes are home to ancient stone houses. Alonnisos is pure natural perfection, and its National Marine Park is home to seabirds, dolphins, and the endangered and rare Mediterranean monk seal.
Despite being part of a remote archipelago far off the tourist trail, Fourni has a thriving population and is home to the delightfully vibrant little fishing town of Kambos set around a natural harbor. Yet its true magic lies in its dramatic landscape, where fjord-like bays have been carved between towering sea cliffs, and islets stretch into the horizon like giant stepping stones. It is little wonder pirates from across the Mediterranean were drawn to its grottoes. From ancient windmills to mulberry trees and a freshwater spring, Fourni offers raw beauty and Greek hospitality in equal measures.
Tucked in between the well-known islands of Santorini and Paros, Folegandros manages to stay under the radar of most visitors, and that's precisely the way the 765 residents of the island like it. A delightfully unhurried way of life prevails here, and its unspoiled natural beauty and traditional charm make it an unforgettable stopover on a Greek cruise.
The clifftop village of Hora is a maze of Cycladic architecture, where whitewashed houses, narrow alleys, and colorful windows are a delight to explore. Climb to the island's highest point to visit the brilliant white church of Panagia for the most romantic sunsets.
Just 366 people live on the smallest of the Cyclades' inhabited islands, yet it is home to one of Greece's largest fishing fleets. This tiny, industrious little island is a true gem, the mostly car-free streets leading from one spectacular little beach to another. It is a place to enjoy the quiet life from golden sands to rocky coves and sea caves steeped in pirate lore. Eat home-cooked seafood and goat dishes in tiny tavernas, wallow in the turquoise waters, or nip over the shimmering 650 feet wide strait to explore neighboring Kato Koufonisi.
Answer the call of whitewashed houses adorned with vivid pink bougainvillea, dazzling azure seas, and golden beaches with a visit to the charming and undiscovered island of Amorgos. Nestled in between Naxos and Ios in the southern Cyclades, Amorgos promises lazy sun-soaked days, a maze of hiking trails, and one of its prettiest Hora (villages). Clamber 1,000 feet up the cliffs to the monastery of Hozoviotissa for far-reaching seascapes, discover the partially submerged wreck of The Olympia, or take to 'The Big Blue' and explore the pristine underwater world which featured in the 1988 Luc Besson film.
If these magical islands have got you talking, let's start planning your Greek Island adventure to some of the least discovered islands in Greece. Sshhh, it'll be our little secret!
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