Discover 10 lesser-known Greek islands to visit in 2024!

iles méconnues de Grèce

Are you too a lover of Greece, and looking for new travel destinations every year? Rest assured: with over 200 inhabited islands, Greece has more than enough to surprise you! Do you dream of spending your vacations in a little paradise at the end of the world, far off the beaten track? To whet your appetite, we’ve put together a selection of 10 lesser-known Greek islands to visit in 2024!

1 – The island of Psérimos in the Dodecanese archipelago

Nestled in the heart of the Dodecanese archipelago, between Kos and Kalimnos, the small island of Psérimos has just30 inhabitants a year and a single village: Avlaki. It’s the ideal retreat if you’re looking for peace, solitude and tranquillity.

The beaches of Psérimos are truly postcard-perfect. Isolated and often deserted, they alternate between soft sand and fine pebbles. Their turquoise waters are a little taste of paradise!

If you’re looking for a little entertainment, the pretty port of Avlaki offers rooms to rent, a few stores and several tavernas open all day. Here you’ll be able to sample delicious cuisine, and above all the local specialty: wild capers picked directly from the island’s cliffs!

We recommend the Manolas tavern and the Nikolas bar for a good beer!

2 – The Dodecanese island of Marathi

Still in the Dodecanese, the small island of Marathi lies close to the island of Patmos. This is Greece’s least inhabited island. If you dream of being stranded on a deserted beach to devour a good book, you won’t find anything better!

Marathi Island is part of the Natura 2000 network. With its total absence of light pollution, it’s an ideal refuge for local wildlife. Its sunsets and full moons are absolutely spectacular! For those who don’t have their own boat, daily excursions are organized throughout the summer season from Patmos. These boats offer tours to neighboring islands and Marathi.

The only village on the island of Marathi offers a few rooms for rent and several tavernas where you can enjoy tasty seafood.

3 – The Aegean island of Paleo Trikeri

Off the Pelion peninsula in mainland Greece, the island of Paleo Trikeri appears to be an oasis floating on the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Several tens of thousands of olive trees are concentrated on the island’s 2.5 km². It’s hard to find a prettier garden in which to spend your vacations!

There are no cars here: you’ll have to leave your vehicle on the mainland before taking the boat. Once in port, you can take a short footpath to one of the island’s many secluded coves. There are no supermarkets or noisy bars in the village, just a few tavernas serving delicious seafood.

The island’s main attraction is the impressive convent of Panagia Evangelistria. Built at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1821, it houses around 100 cells, some of which are available for low-cost accommodation. It’s the ultimate isolation experience!

4 – The Ionian island of Meganisi

In the Ionian Islands, beautiful Meganisi is separated from neighboring Lefkada by an 800 m strait. More densely populated than the previous islands, it is home to just over a thousand inhabitants and three pretty villages: Katomeri, Vathy and Spartochori. Its atmosphere is nonetheless deliciously serene!

Meganisi offers beautiful beaches with spectacular views of the neighboring islands. It is home to a number of sea caves that can be visited by boat. The most famous, Papanikoli, is the second largest sea cave in Greece. During the Second World War, it served as a hideout for the Greek submarine Papanikolis.

5 – The Dodecanese island of Halki

In the Dodecanese archipelago, the small island of Halki (or Chalki) is the antithesis of its famous neighbor Rhodes. Here, time passes in total tranquillity. Even the clock in the church of Agios Nikolaos was deliberately stopped at 4.20 a.m.: the locals thought the chimes were a little too noisy!

The island’s only village, Emporios or Niborio is made up of pretty, colorful 19thᵉ century hillside mansions with superb chochlakia (local pebble floors) adorned with unusual motifs. Only a handful of cars pass through, and traffic is totally banned from 6pm onwards. But don’t worry: it’s easy to get around the island. Halki’s main beaches can be reached by bus, boat or even on foot.

Don’t miss the Ai-Yiannis Alarga monastery (7.5 km to the west) during your visit. Dating from the 19ᵉ century, it houses a very pretty café. The monks serve a traditional spirit, souma, as well as local cheese and thyme honey.

6 – The Aegean island of Psara

Psara Island Chios Greece

One of the lesser-known Greek islands to visit in 2024 is also one of the most heroic: the beautiful island of Psara, west of Chios. During the Greek War of Independence, a terrible massacre took place on this little paradise in the northern Aegean: Ottoman troops decimated the island’s entire population in 1824.

During your stay, don’t miss the house of the great war hero Konstantinos Kanaris, as well as the Mavri Rahi memorial site on the Paleokastro peninsula. This is where the island’s proud warriors sacrificed themselves to avoid capture by the Ottomans.

Today, Psara is a peaceful island entirely devoted to fishing. Its name literally means “fisherman”. If you want to enjoy a plate of lobster during your vacation in Greece, this is the place to do it!

7 – Fourni, one of the lesser-known Greek islands to visit in 2024

The island of Fourni gives its name to the small archipelago in which it lies, between Samos and Ikaria. Its capital, Fournos, and the villages of Kambi and Chrisomilia or Chrysomelia, will enchant you with their calm and authentic beauty. Chrysomelia, located just 14 km from Chora, this tranquil retreat boasts numerous surrounding beaches and the most charming fishing port in the Aegean!

Fourni offers several archaeological sites of great interest. The ancient quarry at Petrokopeio, for example, shows that the island has been inhabited since ancient times. The seabed around the island is home to numerous shipwrecks and colorful fauna. Perfect for scuba divingenthusiasts!

Treat yourself to a boat trip to the nearby island of Thymaina to enjoy the splendid beach of Keramidou and visit the chapel of Agios Dimitrios. Enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the Fourni archipelago!

8 – The tiny Dodecanese island of Lipsi

Platis Ghialos beach in Lipsi

Lost between the islands of Patmos and Leros, the tiny island of Lipsi is a natural stopover for ferries in the Dodecanese. It’s easy to get there, so don’t miss out!

Surrounded bysome twenty heavenly islets, Lipsi is a haven for turtles, seals and sometimes even dolphins. It’s a magical place for snorkeling and scuba diving. But if you prefer to lie back and relax on the beach, no problem: between the secluded coves and sandy beaches of Lipsi, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

In the evening, enjoy a meal in one of the port’s many taverns. On the menu: grilled octopus, homemade eggplant salad, fried zucchini dumplings and fresh seafood. Don’t forget to try the local red wine made from Fokiano, a very rare grape variety that originated in Asia Minor in ancient times.

9 – Kasos, the most southerly of the Dodecanese islands

Located in the east of Crete, Kasos is the southernmost island of the Dodecanese. At first glance, it looks rather hostile: its rugged, bare landscapes are due to the island’s volcanic nature. But make no mistake! Kasos is particularly hospitable and eager to be discovered.

With its arid, mountainous terrain, Kasos is teeming with hiking trails and spectacular viewpoints. Its capital, Fry, is a charming little port town where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll. And the beaches of Kasos are as wild as they are beautiful!

Isolated from the rest of the world, Kasos has developed a unique traditional cuisine. Its gastronomy combines influences from all around the Mediterranean. Taste local specialties such as rice sheets with fresh meat, fakorizo (lentils with rice) and homemade pasta with sitaka, the island’s emblematic cheese!

10 – The Dodecanese island of Tilos

Tilos chora
The island of Tilos – Canva P Céline P.

Located between Kos and Rhodes in the Dodecanese, the small island of Tilos is home to a permanent population of around 500. According to mythology, its name comes from Tilos, nephew of the god Helios. Myth has it that when his mother fell ill, Tilos went to the island to gather wild herbs to cure her. After healing, he returned to the island to build a temple in honor of Apollo.

The island of Tilos is packed with amazing archaeological and religious sites. The most impressive is undoubtedly the monastery of Agios Panteleimonas, built in the 14ᵉ century on the hillside of Kriallos. Situated at an altitude of 270m, it offers spectacular views of the islands of Nisyros and Kos.

Tilos is also known for its many caves on land and in the sea. The Charkadio cave was even home to the remains of the last known population of dwarf elephants in Europe. The bones discovered show that some specimens date back some 4,000 years! You can admire these exceptional finds at the dwarf elephant museum in Megalo Horio, the island’s capital.

With this overview of lesser-known Greek islands to visit in 2024, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration for planning an atypical vacation in Greece!

Sandra B.

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