Sun-kissed, extraordinarily beautiful and effortlessly enchanting, it’s easy to see why Greece’s most famous islands, from Crete and Corfu to Santorini to Mykonos, have long been popular with travellers the world over.

But, as data shows, it seems they face increasing competition from their lesser known neighbours. We took a peek into search volumes for Greece’s islands and found that between 2018 and 2019, searches for lesser-known islands, such as Kythira, Halki and Tilos, noticeably increased – some rising as much as 340%.

If that’s piqued your interest and you’re curious to know more, read on for our guide to Greece’s top 10 up-and-coming islands.

1. Kythira +340%

To the south east of the Peloponnese peninsula you’ll find Kythira , an almost otherworldly Greek island time capsule. Home to gorgeous beaches like Diakofti and Kalami, pretty villages that feature throwback kafeneios (coffee shops) and stunning waterfalls and caves, it’s the perfect destination to get away from it all. Spend a lovely afternoon pottering about Kythira’s capital, Hora, and learn more about the island at the Archaeological Museum of Kythira.

Kythira, Greece Kythira, Greece

2. Samos +39%

Whether you’re after a classic beach break, a scenic hike or leaning more towards cultural and gastronomic endeavours, Samos , located in the Aegean Sea, has it all. Meaning, whatever you want from your Greek island adventure, you’ll find it here. For sun, sea and sand, head to Tsabou or Psili Ammos. For a picturesque trek, Mount Kerkis is unbeatable. Meanwhile, wine tasting at The Museum of Samian Wine will please wine connoisseurs.

Samos, Greece Samos, Greece

3. Lemnos +38%

Possessing old world charm, Lemnos is as quintessentially Greek as the Aegean islands come. Relatively remote, the pace of life here is delightfully relaxed and unhurried. So, if you’re in want of something a little more peaceful and laidback, this butterfly-shaped island is for you. Highlights in Lemnos include Myrina, the island’s captivating capital; Ifestia, an important archaeological site; and Keros Beach, brilliant for wind sports.

Myrina, Lemnos, Grece Myrina, Lemnos, Grece

4. Kythnos +32%

For an authentic and traditional Greek island experience, look to the pleasantly out-of-the-way Kythnos . Still a hidden gem among the Cyclades – the name given for a group of islands in the Aegean Sea – Kythnos will also tempt those looking for a true sense of escape. The main attractions here include the island’s many beaches and, of course, its famous thermal springs. For the latter, head to the picturesque village of Loutra in the north.

Loutra, Kythnos, Greece Loutra, Kythnos, Greece

5. Halki +30%

In stark contrast to its sizeable, vibrant and busy neighbour Rhodes, the small island of Halki offers a calmer, more intimate and fuss-free experience. There are very few distractions here, so, if your idea of bliss is to do very little – to relax, recharge and simply enjoy the moment – then make a beeline for Halki. Long lunches and coffee afternoons in the quaint tavernas and cafes come as standard.

Halki, Greece Halki, Greece

6. Koufonissi +25%

A rarity of sorts, Koufonissi is, strictly speaking, two islands – the upper Pano and the lower Kato. Ignore the latter – it’s uninhabited. Instead, focus your attention on Pano, which is mainly home to soft powdery white beaches and spectacular turquoise waters. Its best beaches include Loutro, Pori and Parianos. When you’ve topped up your tan and enjoyed a relaxing swim, head to Hora. Here you’ll find a nice mix of quality restaurants, cafes and shops.

Koufonissi, Greece Koufonissi, Greece

7. Milos +23%

Courtesy of its volcanic heritage, Milos is blessed with diverse landscapes that set it apart from other Cycladic islands. Along the marvellous coastlines you’ll find fascinating rock formations, while inland the island is characteristically hilly. Throw in some deep and intriguing history– the mining of obsidian can be traced back to the Bronze Age – and it becomes clear that Milos is made for exploring. Needless to say, its many, many beaches, spearheaded by the likes of Sarakiniko and Kléftiko, are a big draw.

Milos, Greece Milos, Greece

8. Meganissi +22%

Lying west of mainland Greece, the quietly confident, easy-going and decidedly non-touristy Meganissi is another under-the-radar gem that will please holidaymakers longing for a slice of unspoilt magnificence. The island has three main villages, which are all well worth a visit. First there’s Vathy, which is great for alfresco by the sea dining; Spartochori, fantastic for nonchalant ambling; and Katomeri, perfect for whiling away an afternoon.

Vathy, Meganissi, Greece Vathy, Meganissi, Greece

9. Tilos +21%

With a lush, verdant and picture perfect postcard craggy interior matched by a stunning coastline that plays host to a number of high-quality beaches – like Eristos and Agios Antonios –  Tilos is a very special Greek island. It’s also a very green one too. A leader in eco- tourism, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of nature and wildlife during your visit here. Go bird watching, enjoy a leisurely walk on one of its many trails and spend time in Livadia, the main port.

Tilos, Greece Tilos, Greece

10. Karpathos +14%

Located between Rhodes and Greece’s biggest island, Crete, Karpathos will transport you to another time and place, as you’ll discover exploring villages like Olympos, Volada and Diafani.

Deeply rooted to the past, time-honoured traditions are very much alive and well here. In the north, the island is markedly wilder, mountainous and secluded, while in the south, Karpathos features an array of dazzling beaches and lovely bays. The island’s capital, Pigadia, has plenty to see and do.

Karpathos, Greece Karpathos, Greece

 

Here's the full list of the top 20 Greek islands that have experienced a notable increase in search volume over the past 12 months.

 

  Greek Island   Percentage Increase
1  Kythira 340.11% 
2  Samos 39.35% 
3  Lemnos 38.20% 
4  Kythnos 31.72% 
5  Halki 29.72%
6  Koufonisia 24.73%
7  Milos 23.25%
8  Meganissi 22.29% 
9  Tilos 21.31%
10  Karpathos 14.29%
11  Folegandros 13.08% 
12  Ithaca 11.89% 
13  Naxos 11.86% 
14  Paros 11.19% 
15  Hydra 8.48% 
16  Andros 8.31% 
17  Agistri 8.30% 
18  Astypalea 7.03% 
19  Mykonos 6.51% 
20  Schinoussa 5.61% 
Dudley Der Parthog

By Dudley Der Parthog

7th May 2019



Talk to our Elafonissos expert

Dudley Der Parthog
Dudley Der Parthog

Having been at university and unsure as to what to do following some temporary jobs, Dudley joined the family firm as a brochure packer in 1979. In those days distribution was from the office premises and Sunvil was just beginning to grow again, following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the company’s major destination, in 1974. He was then made responsible for travel agency sales. In due course he took over the running and brochure writing for the Sunvil Greece programme and the contracting of accommodation. He is now a director of the company and is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of the Greek team. He mixes work in administering the programme with taking reservations and he particularly enjoys tackling complicated and well nigh impossible itineraries.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

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