When summer hits and the wanderlust kicks in, there’s nothing quite like the dream of the Greek islands to stir the soul. But let’s be real: Places like Santorini, while stunning, can get as packed as a subway during rush hour.

Luckily for us, Greece is sprinkled with a bunch of other islands that are just as beautiful but won’t have you elbowing through crowds to catch a glimpse of that perfect sunset. Let’s dive into some of these less crowded yet utterly enchanting alternatives, where you can soak up all the sun, sea and history without the masses.



Picture this: emerald waters, lush landscapes and a history that’s a mosaic of cultures. Corfu is this hidden gem in the Ionian Sea with more layers than your favorite beach read.

The place is a mixtape of Venetian, French and British influences, all set against a backdrop of stunning beaches and olive groves. You can wander through Corfu Old Town with its narrow alleys and Venetian architecture, explore ancient ruins, or just chill on a secluded beach. It’s like stepping into a postcard without having to dodge selfie sticks.

Related: Dreaming of Greece? These points resorts are waiting for you



Crete is the big kahuna of the Greek islands, and with size comes the luxury of space. Here, you can find your own slice of paradise away from the crowds.

This island is a treasure chest of ancient myths, with ruins that tell tales as old as time, rugged mountains begging to be hiked, and beaches so clear you won’t believe your eyes.

Crete is where you go to have adventures by day and feast on fresh Mediterranean fare by night, all without bumping shoulders with every tourist in Greece.

Related: 8 things to know about Domes of Elounda, a Marriott Autograph Collection property on Crete

Daily Newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts



If you’re into the road less traveled, Naxos is your go-to. It’s like the island was made for those who love to blend beach time with a bit of exploration.

Think pristine beaches where you can actually hear the waves over the chatter and quaint villages that haven’t changed all that much over the centuries. Naxos is all about taking it easy, savoring the local cuisine and maybe, just maybe, pretending you’re a Greek god or goddess for a while. No judgment here.



Rhodes is a bit of a chameleon. It’s got a history that’ll make your head spin, beaches that look like they’ve been lifted straight from a travel magazine and an old town that’s basically a medieval time capsule.

You can dive into the past with a visit to the Palace of the Grand Master, catch some rays on a beach where the only footprints might just be your own, or explore the island’s interior.

Rhodes is for those who like their beach holidays with a side of knights and castles.



Ever heard of Paros? It’s like the chill cousin of the more famous Greek islands. This spot is all about laid-back vibes, beautiful beaches and villages so picturesque you’ll think you’ve stepped into a painting.

Paros offers a slice of island life without the tourist traps, perfect for anyone looking to slow down and live on Greek time for a bit. Plus, the island has some killer spots for windsurfing and kiting if you’re into that kind of thing.



Small but mighty, that’s Skiathos. This island packs a punch with its lush forests, golden beaches and crystal-clear waters.

It’s a bit of a paradise for nature lovers and anyone looking for a quiet spot to unwind. And when you’re not beach bumming, there’s plenty of history and culture to soak up in the island’s monasteries and museums.

Skiathos is where you go to disconnect, relax and maybe find that elusive beach that feels like it’s yours alone.

Related: The best family beach vacation destinations to kick off summer



Last but not least, Zakynthos is that wild card island that surprises you with its beauty and variety. Sure, it’s famous for the shipwreck beach, but there’s so much more to it.

The island is a haven for turtles, has caves that are a snorkeler’s dream and offers some of the clearest waters you’ll ever see. Zakynthos is for adventurers, animal lovers and anyone who wants to see nature’s artwork up close and personal.

Bottom line

So there you have it, a little nudge to explore the roads (or seas) less traveled in Greece. Each of these islands offers something unique, something serene and, best of all, something away from the throngs of tourists.

Whether you’re in it for the history, the hikes, the food or just the perfect beach day, these islands have got you covered.

Related reading:


Comments are closed.