Unparalleled in beauty and dotted with some of the most scenic beaches in the world, Greece is undoubtedly one of the top destinations for exploration and adventure. You’ll never get bored of seeing those incredible Greek landmarks. You will often hear about the exorbitant prices and luxurious resorts, discouraging you from even considering a holiday in Greece.
In reality, it’s quite the opposite. Though this captivating country might seem like a holiday that will break the bank, wait until you discover the top Greeks islands that don’t cost an arm and a leg but are breath-taking nonetheless.
This picturesque little island situated in the Saronic Gulf is just an hour’s ride by ferry from Greece capital Athens and also one of the best greek party islands. The secluded gem of the Aegean Sea is a true paradise of quietude and peace, offering affordable hotels and villas accompanied by an array of great seafood restaurants and taverns. The beaches on Poros are aplenty and they all have a unique charm to them.
From white sandy beaches to pebbled and stony ones, Poros really is something special. The beaches are surrounded by lush greenery made of pine forests that seem to stretch into the water. On top of that, this island a perfect base for island hopping as it’s very close to Aegina, Agistri, and Hydra comprising the Saronic Islands. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check the map of the best Greek islands and plan your itinerary accordingly.
As one of the Saronic Islands, Hydra is a perfect getaway to be combined with Poros. Not only is it one of the most serene islands in Greece (no cars allowed) but it’s also one of the most beautiful Greek islands. Steeped in history, this island is home to several museums such as The Byzantine Museum, the National Historical Museum, and many other cultural facilities that exhibit the rich history of Greece.
The beaches on Hydra are predominantly pebbled and nestled between rolling hills and steep cliffs. Being home to so many beaches, Hydra offers great opportunities to visit a different beach every day – Kaminia, Bisti, Vlichos, and Molos being the most notable ones.
As one of the tiniest islands in the Saronic Gulf, Agistri has a surprisingly high number of beaches and attractions. As it’s only an hour’s ferry ride from Athens, it’s one of the favorite getaways for Athenians and Athens-based vacationers. The most popular beach of the island, Skala, is a great family-friendly beach with lots of hotels and other lodging options at hand, accompanied by extraordinary seafood restaurants and taverns.
If your aim is to fully immerse in nature far away from the crowds, then you should head out to Aponissos and Dragonera. These two beaches are famous for their splendid natural beauty and crystalline water. There are a few more beaches along the Agistri coast which are smaller in size and are predominantly pebbled or rocky, making them ideal for snorkeling.
Though quite close to its famous sister-island of Paros, Antiparos has been staying off the tourist radar and fewer tourists translate to lower prices. However, affordable rates on Antiparos are not the only perk of this island. The beaches are mostly sandy with greenish turquoise water and the majority of them are close to the island’s capital Chora, the only village on Antiparos.
The highlight of the island is undoubtedly the Antiparos Cave which is just 8 kilometers from Chora. It’s one of the most unique geological features of the island, showcasing some impressive stalactites and stalagmites estimated to be over 40 million years old.
It all becomes perfectly clear as soon as you lay eyes on this outstanding island – spectacular beaches, scenic nature, and easy access to the mainland make Lefkada an ultimate dream destination even when you’re looking for a low-budget vacay. Not only can you find great accommodation at low rates but you can also enjoy great Greek cuisine in restaurants in two of the biggest cities on the island – Lefkas and Nidri.
The ultimate showstoppers on Lefkada are Egremni and Porto Katsiki, possibly the most beautiful beaches in the world. Though almost all beaches on Lefkada are well worth the visit, the most spectacular ones are found along the west coastline where water is as turquoise as it gets.
In addition to the fact that it’s rather affordable, this silver gem of the Aegean is one of the most colorful and serene islands of the Cyclades group. Regardless of its proximity to the ever so popular Milos, this island somehow managed to stay out of the way of the major tourist itineraries. It’s characterized by crystal-clear water, peculiar rock formations, and pristine sandy beaches.
The island’s capital village of Chorio is where the most beautiful beaches are located although there are a few more near the island’s port Psathi. The best thing about this island is that all the best beaches are within a walking distance from Chorio so you can easily incorporate a hiking tour from one beach to another. Agios Georgios and Dekas, two of the most scenic beaches on Kimolos, are only 5 kilometers from Chorio.
After seeing how abundant your choice of affordable Greek islands is, it becomes perfectly clear that you can enjoy this mesmerizing country without the fear of paying through your nose. Whether you’re looking for a cheap romantic getaway or an affordable family-friendly destination, you won’t make a mistake by traveling to any of these islands.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.