With their stunning beaches, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, these islands are sure to pique your interest for a Greek getaway, without breaking the bank.
Not many people know that the Cyclades comprises of more than just Mykonos or Santorini. Kythnos is a hidden gem, providing a peaceful and budget-friendly alternative to its more popular sister islands. With over 70 stunning beaches to choose from, Kythnos embodies the unique Cycladic characteristics that make this group of islands so special. Stroll through the picturesque streets of Messaria village, with its charming white-washed houses, cobblestone streets, and cosy cafes. Experience understated charm in Drypodia village with its traditional red-roofed houses. For a tranquil seaside retreat, book a stay at the stylish Kythnos Bay hotel, featuring a sand and white colour scheme, and indulge in a rejuvenating massage. Don’t forget to take a dip in the nearby thermal springs of Loutra for an added touch of relaxation.
They say that Ikaria is home to some of the world’s longest-living locals. It’s not hard to understand why, when you can swim in crystal clear waters or hike through stunning landscapes filled with plane trees, stone bridges and rivers, all for free. Follow the Halari Gorge trail to the ancient temple of Artemis and the secluded Nas beach, which is like a slice of paradise. Spend your days exploring charming villages and your nights dancing and drinking at the local fiestas. You can immerse yourself in Ikaria’s simple way of life by staying at Kerame Studios, which may look unassuming but boasts an outdoor pool overlooking the green hillside.
Looking for a quick getaway from Athens? Agistri is a great option. This small island is much more affordable than neighbouring Aegina and just an hour ferry ride from Piraeus port. Take a leisurely walk through Skala village, where the main road is lined with cafes and adorned with vibrant fuchsia bougainvillaea. Explore the hiking trails that wind through the island’s forests and visit its many dreamy beaches. Be sure to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Aponisos, surrounded by fragrant pine trees. Experience the laid-back island lifestyle with a stay at Saronis, where you can enjoy homemade jams and pastries for breakfast in the tranquil garden.
For a more affordable option than nearby Spetses, look no further than Hydra, an island that combines luxurious mansions, crystal-clear waters, and a bohemian atmosphere. This charming island has long been a source of inspiration for artists and writers, including Leonard Cohen who resided here in the 1960s. With no cars on the island, it’s the perfect place for peaceful relaxation and creative endeavours. The traditional stone mansion of Angelica could provide the ideal sanctuary, and make sure to indulge in Anna Tsagkaris’s famous amygdalota, a delicious sweet made from local almonds.