Quiet Greek islands are not always the easiest to come by. Greece really does have it all, and tourists flock here in their masses to find the perfect beach, watch the most beautiful sunsets and dine out on delicious food.
But if it’s a quiet Greek island you’re looking for that’s away from the crowds and a little more ‘off the beaten track’ then you’re going to have to do a little searching, and hopefully this article will make that searching a whole lot easier!
After 2 years of island hopping in Greece I am pleased to inform you that it is possible to find quiet Greek islands, and that the extra hassle will be well worth it.
I’ve split the islands into three categories – the Ionian, the Peloponnese and the Cyclades. It’s hard to find quiet Greek islands in the Sporadic gulf due to their proximity to Athens. Because there are fewer inhabited islands in the Peloponnese I’ve included a few beautiful but quiet mainland spots with all the feels of Greek island life.
How To Get To The Quiet Greek Islands
The reason a lot of these Greek islands are quiet is because they don’t usually have airports, making them a little harder to visit. Don’t let that put you off though. Greece has some of the best ferries in the world, with links all over the country.
Book through Direct Ferries to get the best times and prices – and it’s a really fun way to travel too!
Quiet Greek Islands In The Ionian
The Ionian is one of the busiest places in Greece and it’s easy to see why. This glorious Greek holiday destination is dotted with the most beautiful islands, all within a stones throw (or at least a short ferry ride) of one another. If it’s crystal clear waters, good predictable weather and impressive scenery you’re after then this is the place to head. It’s tricky to find quiet, unspoiled islands here but it is possible.
Probably our top Ionian island for it’s tranquillity, this place can only be reached by a twice daily ferry from the mainland or private boat. That makes it a pretty untouched island with only a handful of tourists, most that have arrived via sailboat. The main (only) town is small but pretty, with a tiny harbour for the fishing boats that supply the few restaurants with the daily catch. One of the main attractions here is the windmill bar with fantastic views out to sea and of course the incredible little bays that you’re likely to have all to yourself.
To find out more about Kastos, how to get there and where to stay head here!
Meganisi Island In Greece
Meganisi is still a pretty popular island in the Ionian, but it is very possible to find quiet spots if it’s peace you’re after. The great thing about this option is that you can have the best of both worlds, as most of Meganisi is walkable. You can have a quiet day relaxing on an unspoiled beach and then head into town for evening drinks with a little more going on. It’s also really easy to get there by ferry from Nidri or Ithaki.
Meganisi has some great walking routes either inland to pretty Greek villages rarely visited by tourists or along coastal paths with views out to sea. For real peace and quiet consider staying near the village of Katomeri. It is the definition of a Greek village, with men sat out watching the world go by and women laughing with each other in doorways. There is a small convenience store with all the basic essentials.
Where To Stay In Meganisi
Melissa Stone Houses is situated just outside this village the perfect place for a secluded retreat that still has access to the main town of Vathy and numerous secluded bays and pretty beaches. It also has views to die for!
If you’re keen on staying closer to the action (and by action we mean a choice of restaurants and a bustling harbour – we’re hardly talking city life here!) then stay in Villa Lydia set back a little from the harbour so that you have fantastic views, a little peace and easy access to all the fun of Vathy Bay town.
Alternatively head to Meganisi’s other main town, Spartokhórion, and stay in Teacher’s House. Book the room with a balcony for awesome views.
When heading to this area most people book to stay on popular Kephalonia, one of our favourite holiday destinations in Greece and with the crowds to go with. However, if you’re prepared to put in a little more effort to get there (in the form of a short ferry ride) you’ll find you can beat a lot of the crowds on the Greek island of Ithaka.
We visited both Vathy and Kioni and fell in love with Kioni the most, though both are beautiful Greek towns full of tempting restaurants and artisan shops. In Kioni you’ll find a lovely walk up to three abandoned windmills, and lots of other walking trails listed on the large map in the town centre.
Where To Stay On Ithaka
Val di Compare is ideal for those seeking tranquillity amongst nature. Situation up in the hills and away from it all but with all the modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.
Another secluded villa to consider is Ithaki Houses. Only half an hours downhill walk from Vathy town, this is a great option for those wanting to dine out in the evenings.
Quiet Greek Islands In The Peloponnese
At the tip of the Peloponnese, Kythira is far enough from the main airports to make it inconvenient for the masses. Instead it draws just a few Greek holiday makers and some private boat owners, making it even more beautiful and special.
It’s white washed houses and streets that tumble down the hillside are dotted with pretty little cafes and restaurants, and the views from the mountains are incredible. We stayed near Kalamos village and loved the hilltop castle and the views out to Anti Kythira.
To get here, you can take a domestic flight, but the easiest way is by ferry. The normal ferry to Kythira departs from Neapolis in southern Peloponnese 2-3 times per day. The trip takes about 2 hours and arrives at the port of Diakofti in Kythira. There is also a ferry to Kythira from Gythio in Peloponnese and Kissamos in western Crete in summer.
Recently there has also been a direct ferry to Kythira from Piraeus port, the main port of Athens, once per week. This ferry follows the route from Piraeus to Monemvasia, Kythira and Kissamos in Crete. Although this hasn’t bought the crowds in yet, you’d be wise to get in a visit before it does!
Where To Stay On Kythira
If you’re looking for places to stay then Vilana Studios in Kalamos village is perfect for anyone seeking some peace and quiet in Greece. Kalamos village itself is just beautiful. When we visited in August there were barely any tourists and it had a very quiet and remote feel. The views here are incredible and the castle is well worth a visit.
Stella’s Houses is a great option if you want to be close to the town but still have to quiet you’ve come to find! It’s set up the hill a little way, giving it both excellent views and refreshing breeze during those hot Greek summers.
Technically not an island but with all the feels of one. Koroni is one of Greece’s ‘castle towns’, with a fort on top of the hill that overlooks the sea. It’s stunning here, and seemingly unvisited by the mobs that usually descend upon Greece in the summer months.
We got the impression it was a popular holiday destination for Greeks. The town was more like a village, with just one main street selling a few pretty bits of pottery and artwork and a scattering of Greek restaurants along the waterfront.
To find out more about Koroni check out this detailed guide.
Quiet Greek Islands In The Cyclades
Serifos was a real surprise for us. We stopped there on a sail over to Milos to shelter from some high winds and ended up staying way longer than we’d planned. Serifos isn’t the quietest Greek island we’ve included on this list but it’s certainly somewhere you can escape the crowds and find a little peace and quiet!
Life in Serifos mostly concentrates in Chora, a picturesque town with Cycladic style of traditional whitewashed houses. It’s pretty impressive to see them sprawled up the hillside, and the view form the top is incredible! The beaches are remote and uncrowded, with some of the bays pretty hard to scramble to but well worth it to have them all to yourself for the day. We also thought it was a great spot for snorkelling, with some of the clearest waters we’ve ever seen. We spotted rays and eels during our time here.
Where To Stay On Serifos
Stay at Ammos Serifos for luxury accommodation with views over the Chora and out to sea or Alisachni to be closer to the beach and the seaside amenities (the owner will even pick you up form the port).
Milos is a famed Greek island in the Cyclades, and rightly so. But why more people don’t take the short ferry ride over to the quiet Greek island of Kimolos we have no idea. It is just as beautiful as Milos but far, far quieter.
The ferry will take you to the main port on Kimolos. Follow the road up the hill and you’ll find the cutest little town full of such charming bars and restaurants that you’ll want to try them all.
If you turn right instead of heading up the hill you’ll come across a tiny pebbled beach with crystal clear waters, fascinating rock formations to swim out to and sunbathe on and colourful doorways in the cliffs. It’s just magical.
Where To Stay On Kimolos
Stay here in Alexandra House for a taste of real Greek village life in the town of Kimolos.
Stay at The Elephant Goupa Beach to be right in the middle of this other worldly scene by the beach houses cut into the cliffs.
Hopefully that’s given you some inspiration for quiet Greek islands you can head to this summer. If you’re planning a trip then let us know, we’d love to hear from you and help in any way we can!