Are you searching for a destination that would actually feel like a paradise? Then look no further because the Greek Islands are exactly what one would describe heaven. This article will take you through some of the most beautiful small islands of Greece that you can’t miss out on your next trip.
With more than 6,000 islands dotting the Mediterranean Sea, there is something on these small Greek islands for everyone. Small islands of Greece consist of Symi, Ios, Ithaca, Koufonisia, Milos, Hydra, and Serifos.
Additionally, these smaller islands have unique characteristics that make them special within this magical small archipelago. So, whether you’re seeking a romantic hideaway or want peace, you must explore these amazing small islands of Greece.
Symi is a small Greek island belonging to the Dodecanese islands off the Turkish coast in northern Greece. It has an area of just over 18 square miles and is home to around 3,000 people. Moreover, the terrain consists mostly of hills and valleys with some flat areas near the coastline.
The highest point on the island is Mount Nimos, at 1,817 feet above sea level. Because the climate at Symi is typically Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters, it is suitable to visit any time of the year.
Symi Island was never this lively in the past. After World War II, tourism began to develop on the island of Symi. Also, this was the same time the island was liberated by British forces in 1945. As for now, Symi is a popular holiday destination for many visitors from all over Europe.
Things to Do
Symi has something wonderful to offer you if you are a beach lover. It has numerous gorgeous beaches dotted along the coastline. One prominent beach in Symi is Paradise Beach which provides crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
You can also take small boat trips out into deeper waters, where you may spot dolphins or even whales. If you are a history buff, you will surely enjoy exploring Kamiros – an ancient city dating back thousands of years.
Another beautiful ancient site includes Yialos. Briefly, you can describe Yialos as Symi’s picturesque harbor lined with colorful neoclassical mansions. These lively and scenic whitewashed houses have become iconic symbols of this beautiful Greek Island paradise.
All in all, Symi is a beautiful island with great beaches and crystal-clear water. It’s the perfect place for relaxation and exploration. Now, let’s take a look at Ios.
Key Takeaway: Symi is one of the small Greek islands in the Dodecanese island chain, with beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and ancient cities. Here you can explore Kamiros, take boat trips to spot dolphins and whales or admire Yialos’ colorful neoclassical mansions.
Ios is another small Greek island in the Cyclades islands, between Naxos and Santorini Island, with blue domed churches. This island is about 10 miles long and 6 miles wide, with an area of about 42 square kilometers.
If we talk about the terrain here, it is mostly hilly, with some mountains reaching up to 1,000 meters high. However, several beaches are on the island’s coastlines, including Mylopotas Beach and Maganari Beach.
Ios has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Additionally, the archaeological evidence suggests that the Minoans settled it around 2000 BC. During antiquity, it belonged to the Delian League under Athenian control until it was conquered by Sparta in 404 BC.
In modern times it became a popular tourist destination during the 1960s. Also, this was when hippies began flocking to its beaches for their summer holidays. And because of this reason, many tourists visit its beaches to have a fun time all year round.
Things to Do
Ios is one of those small islands of Greece that is famous for its prehistoric era. Because of this reason, the visitors here are more interested in exploring archaeological sites rather than doing recreational activities.
If you are interested in learning the interesting history of Ios, you can visit Homer’s Tomb near Plakotos village. Moreover, here you can also pay homage to one of Greece’s most famous poets.
Another archaeological site to explore is Skarkos Hill. It features ancient houses dating back thousands of years and is an ideal spot for archaeology enthusiasts.
Ios is an ideal destination for travelers exploring the Greek Islands and experiencing its unique culture, history, and activities. Now let’s take a look at Ithaca.
Key Takeaway: Ios is one of the small islands of Greece known for its culture and history. While staying there, you can enjoy your time at Mylopotas Beach and Maganari Beach. Or you can explore the rich history of Ios by visiting sites like Skarkos Hill or Homer’s Tomb.
Ithaca is located in the Ionian Islands, off the west coast of mainland Greece. It has an area of 96 square kilometers and a population of approximately 3,000 people. Ithaca is one mountainous island among the other nearby small islands of Greece.
Two of the most famous mountains across Ithaca are Mount Neriton (1,158 meters) and Mount Niritos (914 meters). Besides peaks, Ithaca’s coastline also consists of many coves and bays with sandy beaches.
According to Greek mythology, Ithaca was home to Odysseus during his 10-year journey home from Troy. Archaeological evidence suggests that the island was inhabited as early as 2000 BC by Mycenaean Greeks. Moreover, this evidence was further confirmed by the battlements built on its highest peak.
Previously the island belonged to the kingdom of Kefalonia until it became part of the Roman Empire in 167 BC. Additionally, this was the same period when Ithaca prospered due to its strategic location at a crossroad between Italy and Asia Minor.
Things to Do
Ithaca is a beautiful island full of culture and history. It is the perfect destination for those looking to explore Greece. Additionally, the climate is favorable throughout the year, so you don’t have to worry about the right time to visit it.
While staying at Ithaca, you can spend time at some beautiful beaches. You can sunbathe or enjoy any fun water activity there. However, you can head towards ancient ruins if you like to explore history. In short, there’s something for everyone on this magical island. Now let’s take a look at Koufonisia.
Key Takeaway: Ithaca is among other small Greek islands in the Ionian Sea off the west coast of mainland Greece. It was once home to Odysseus and Mycenaean Greeks and part of the Roman Empire. While staying at Ithaca, you can explore its two main peaks – Mount Neriton & Niritos or coves & bays along with sandy beaches.
Koufonisia is a small Greek island located on the Cycladic Island between Naxos and Amorgos. It is usually remembered as central Greece Island. The island is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters that are rarely found on other small islands of Greece. Moreover, the Cycladic architecture is evident throughout the whole island.
Koufonisia has two parts, Kato (Lower) Koufonisi and Pano (Upper) Koufonisi, as well as several other smaller uninhabited islands. Moreover, the total land area of the entire complex is just 4 square kilometers.
Kato Koufonisi has a rugged coastline with many coves, while Pano Koufonisi features long sandy beaches. All of these locations are surrounded by rocky cliffs. Both islands are connected to each other via a causeway bridge built in 2004.
According to ancient mythology, the island was named after Poseidon’s son – “Kouphonios,” who lived there during antiquity. In later years it became an important trading center due to its strategic location at the crossroads of major sea routes.
Additionally, the in-between crossroad also connects Greece with Asia Minor and Egypt. It served as an Allied base for operations against German forces in Crete during World War II until 1945. This was also the time when it was liberated by British troops under General Bernard Montgomery’s command.
Things to Do
Koufonisia is known for its rich history. For those interested in exploring the city’s part, this small island of Greece has a lot to offer. There are archaeological sites such as Ancient Pano Koufonisi, where ruins date back to the 3rd century BC.
Additionally, visitors can explore the Ancient Kastri Island Fortress built by Venetians during their occupation of Greece. Boat trips can be accessed around Whole Island to Schinoussa or Iraklia. You can have help from local tour operators offering half-day excursions with lunch included.
Koufonisia is a tranquil and beautiful island, perfect for those looking to relax in the Mediterranean sun. For more adventurous travelers, Milos offers stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and a vibrant culture to explore.
Koufonisia has some amazing villages to explore. Among them, the three villages of Koufonisi, Fiskardo, Naxos, and Amorgos are the most popular. Especially don’t skip exploring Fiskardo village, the hometown of some of the most amazing beaches and coves.
Key Takeaway: Koufonisia is a small Greek island in the Cyclades archipelago. The island is remembered for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear water. It has an interesting history, featuring archaeological sites such as Ancient Pano Koufonisi and the Venetian fortress on Kastri Island. Boat trips around nearby islands can be arranged by local tour operators to explore the island.
Milos is located in the Aegean Sea, off the south coast of mainland Greece. It is a small island with an area of 151 square kilometers and a population of about 5,000.
If we talk about its terrain, it is mostly volcanic, with several mountains rising from the sea. It is among the small islands of Greece with numerous beaches, coves, and bays. Additionally, Kleftiko Bay is particularly stunning at sunset when its red cliffs turn pink against the setting sun.
Milos has been inhabited since ancient times, first by Minoans, then later by Mycenaeans and Dorians. In classical antiquity, it was known for its rich deposits of obsidian which were mined extensively during this period.
It became part of Naxos’s theme (administrative division) during Byzantine rule before being conquered by Venice in 1207 AD. This control lasted until 1566, when they lost to Ottoman forces under Suleiman I.
After Greek independence in 1829, it became part of modern-day Greece. Still, it remained relatively isolated until the Greek national tourism organization started working. The Venetian castle here also belongs to history and is as beautiful as a paradise.
Things to Do
In recent decades the island has received a lot of visitors to explore its natural beauty and cultural heritage sites. Some amazing sites to explore are Ancient Phylakopi and the Catacombs of Milos Island Fortress.
Milos is an island that offers stunning landscapes and fascinating history. You can enjoy your time at sandy beaches getting a sunbath. Or you can go for some fun water activities.
If you are not a fan of doing any sports and want to relax, then there are more fun things to do here as well. All in all, you can rest on a bench or beach and contemplate the scenery around you while thanking Mother Nature.
Now let’s take a look at the picturesque island of Hydra.
Key Takeaway: Milos is a small, volcanic island in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece. It has been inhabited since ancient times and is known for its stunning beaches, coves, bays, and red cliffs at sunset. Furthermore, it also has many historical sites, such as Ancient Phylakopi or the Catacombs of Milos Island Fortress.
Hydra is a small Greek island located near Athens in the Saronic Islands region of Greece. It is about 1 hour away from Piraeus port by ferry. The island has an area of 54 square kilometers.
The highest peak at Hydra Island is also 767 meters above sea level. Moreover, the terrain here consists mostly of rocky cliffs with some sandy beaches scattered around the shoreline.
Hydra was first inhabited during the Neolithic period. However, in the 16th century, this island gathered a lot of attention. During the 16th century, Hydra Island became a major trading center for ships sailing between Europe and Asia Minor.
Additionally, many wealthy merchants built large mansions on the island, which can still be seen today. In 1821, Hydra joined forces with other islands to fight against Ottoman rule, also known as The War of Independence. Ultimately, this war ended in 1829 when Greece declared independence from Turkey and became independent.
Things to Do
Visitors to Hydra can explore its many beaches, such as Agios Nikolaos Beach or Spilia Beach. Moreover, these spots are popular for swimming and sunbathing during summer.
You can also arrange a boat trip from ports around the island. Furthermore, you can also have a boat ride if you are interested in visiting nearby islands like Poros or Aegina. For those of you looking for more cultural activities, several historical sites are worth visiting.
Some renowned archeological sites are the Monastery of Profitis Ilias, Hydra Town Hall, and Hydra Museum. Additionally, there are plenty of shops selling handmade goods from local artisans. You can handpick unique souvenirs to take home with you.
Hydra is a picturesque and tranquil island, perfect for those looking to relax and enjoy the beauty of Greece. However, the small islands of Greece continued; we have another gem for you, Serifos Island. The island is one of the best islands among the Greek Islands, offering visitors stunning views and plenty of activities.
Key Takeaway: Hydra is a small Greek island located in the Saronic Gulf Islands region, 1 hour away from Piraeus port. It was first inhabited during the Neolithic period and later became a major trading center for sailing ships. You can explore its many beaches, boat trips, and historical sites such as the Monastery of Profitis Ilias and Hydra Museum. Or you can shop for unique souvenirs from local artisans.
Serifos is a small island located in the Aegean Sea, just off the coast of mainland Greece. It is part of the Cyclades group of islands known for its picturesque beaches and stunning sunsets.
The island itself is quite hilly, with only a couple of peaks. Some of them reach up to 400 meters above sea level. Additionally, its coastline features numerous bays and coves, making it an ideal destination for sailing enthusiasts.
Serifos has been inhabited since ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests that it was first settled by Mycenaeans around 2000 BC. In classical antiquity, Athens ruled it until it was captured by Sparta during the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.
After this period, control over the island changed multiple times before becoming part of modern-day Greece. This was exactly in the year 1832, following independence from Ottoman rule.
Things to Do
While staying in Serifos, you can enjoy various activities such as swimming or snorkeling at one of its many beautiful beaches. Moreover, you can also go exploring its rugged terrain on foot or by bicycle.
There are also plenty of cultural attractions, including byzantine churches and monasteries. Additionally, you can also find buildings dating back centuries ago, as well as traditional villages.
Furthermore, the restaurants here will provide you with local cuisine and authentic Greek hospitality firsthand. If you are an adventurous person, then Serifos has a lot of adventurous activities for you. You can try a variety of water sports available such as kayaking or windsurfing.
FAQs in Relation to Small Islands in Greece
What is the least touristy island in Greece?
The least touristy island in Greece is Kastellorizo, located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. This is one of the small Greek islands and is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and picturesque villages.
Additionally, Kastellorizo is a great destination for peace lovers. It is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle found in more popular Greek islands like Santorini or Mykonos. Due to its calm environment, you can enjoy peace and tranquility while exploring this beautiful corner of Greece.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Kastellorizo. You can try sports like snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, or hiking. One thing to explore here is the island’s sight, an attractive blue cave. Moreover, all the local restaurants here will serve you delicious seafood dishes. To summarize, Kastellorizo is the perfect place to relax and unwind from the crowds.
What are the 7 islands in Greece?
The seven main islands of Greece are Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Kos, Lesbos, Samos, and Chios. Crete is the largest island in Greece and has a rich history with plenty of archaeological sites to explore. It’s also home to some stunning beaches and resorts.
Rhodes is known for its beautiful old main town, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Corfu is a part of the Ionian Islands with picturesque villages and great nightlife options.
Kos offers plenty of activities, such as water sports or exploring the nearby ancient ruins. Lesbos has become popular for its vibrant culture and traditional cuisine. At the same time, Samos boasts lush forests and secluded coves, perfect for relaxation. Even though you can’t find pine forests here, the ones found here are breathtakingly beautiful.
Finally, Chios is known for its production of mastic gum as well as being home to many historical monuments from various periods throughout Greek history.
What is the smallest inhabited island in Greece?
The smallest inhabited island in Greece is Kastellorizo, located in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It has a population of just over 500 people and covers an area of only 2.5 square kilometers.
Despite its small size, it offers visitors plenty to do, including exploring ancient ruins, swimming in crystal clear waters, and sampling the local cuisine. The island also boasts stunning views of nearby Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its scenic views, it is a popular destination for those looking for an idyllic Greek getaway.
Which is a quiet Greek island?
The Greek islands are all unique and offer a variety of experiences. The island of Kythira is an ideal choice for those looking for a peaceful getaway. Its stunning beaches, lush forests, and quaint villages make it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Moreover, the island also has some great hiking trails and plenty of opportunities for swimming in crystal clear waters. There are no big cities or nightlife in Kythira; instead, you can enjoy a few days’ holidays here while exploring the countryside or lounging on one of its many beaches.
Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet or adventure, Kythira is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for everyone.
Visiting the small islands of Greece is a great way to experience some of Europe’s most beautiful and unique places. From Symi to Serifos, these islands offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to relax on a secluded beach, the small islands of Greece have something special waiting for you. So take advantage of your chance to explore this incredible part of the world.
With its diverse culture and vibrant atmosphere, discovering Greece’s hidden gems will be an unforgettable experience. Don’t wait – start planning your trip today and find out why the Greek Islands are so beloved by travelers around the world.
Visit one or more of these amazing small islands in Greece today.