Greece is getting set to welcome back tourists. While that means the likes of Crete, Corfu and Rhodes will likely see thousands of excited visitors return to its shores, for more adventurous travelers it offers the chance to check out some of the country’s best unexplored islands. Check unexplored Greece as SkyUp Airlines announces new routes from Kyiv to the Greek islands.
Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, separated from Turkey by narrow Mycale Strait. There are daily ferries to Kusadasi in Turkey. It was the birthplace of mathematician Pythagoras and philosopher Epicurus and is known for producing sweet Muscat wine.
For those who love exploration, there are even more places to discover in Samos. One of them is the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani above Pythagorion. There, you’ll find a mysterious cave church, where the holy icon of the Virgin Mary was allegedly found. Holidays in Samos is a great opportunity for island hopping to the nearby islands of Ikaria and Fourni.
Just 2km from the coast of Turkey, but some 125km east of Rhodes, Kastellorizo is Greece’s most remote island. The main town’s picturesque harbor is worth lingering over, before checking out its impressive Archaeological Museum and the Castello Rosso, which gave the island its name. Best of all, the quiet beaches and azure waters are perfect for snorkeling, with fascinating shipwrecks beneath the lapping waves.
Just a few hundred meters off the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, Elafonisos’s emerald seas and spectacular beaches have made it the go to for tourists looking for some Greek summer sun without the crowds. Connecting the Fragko and Sarakiniko peninsulas, Simos beach is the best on the island, a sweep of sand that’s perfect for a long day spent sunbathing, swimming and eating local seafood. The island has a long history and was at the heart of the wars between the Athenians and Spartans. If you want to feel steeped in Greece’s past while enjoying its renowned hospitality, then Elafonisos is the place to be.
In the northern Dodecanese, Patmos has long been a stop-off for smaller cruise liners, its passengers drawn in by the Cave of the Apocalypse, where St John is believed to have written the Book of Revelation. The towering, fortress-like 11th-century monastery is also a big attraction, its high walls overlooking the main town of Hora. The pretty backstreets of the town are perfect for a quiet stroll, while the nearby beaches make Patmos the perfect destination for a laidback break. The main stretch of sand in the town of Skala is backed with small tavernas serving up squid and other local delicacies, perfect after a long swim in the warm waters of the bay.
Lipsi, just a short boat ride east of Patmos, will also satisfy any history buffs looking to head to this corner of the Mediterranean. Crisscrossed by hiking trails and blessed with beautiful, unspoiled beaches, it’s an island full of rustic charm. For a chance to experience Greek island life like it used to be, Lipsi should be top of your list.
Close to Rhodes, Symi is known for the neoclassical buildings which seem to tumble down the hill of Gialos harbor, greeting arriving ferry passengers. Once ruled by the Italians, Symi has a very different look to other classically Greek islands. A visit here is all about exploring the streets of Gialos, sailing between beaches, swimming in the Aegean Sea and eating some of the best food in Greece.