Popular with tourists from all over Europe, North America and many other parts of the world, many well-known Greek Islands are crowded with tourists (or even over-crowded) during the summer months. This over-tourism of popular destinations is not sustainable.
A great way to travel more sustainably, to reduce over-crowding during the summer season and for a more laid-back authentic experience, is to travel during the shoulder season (spring or autumn) and to visit lesser-known destinations.
So, if you’re looking for a more laid-back authentic Greek Island experience, and want to travel more sustainably, then you need to discover these 3 understated Greek Islands for yourself, and September is a wonderful month to do so.
Chios is a magical, yet comparatively undiscovered (by tourists), Greek island, with a long and turbulent history dating back to the 12th century.
Due to its geographical location in the Aegean Sea and its abundance of mastic, Chios was continuously invaded by pirates. The crossroad between two continents as well as the east and west, it became the junction for traders navigating the Mediterranean.
Its medieval villages, such as Mesta in the south of the island, reflect its location and history. Structural features are evidence of architectural design influences from both Midde Age Europe, especially Itay, and the East.
Did you know… Mastic is a natural and aromatic resin historically used for its aroma and therapeutic benefits is now used for chewing gum.
Picture yourself strolling through narrow lanes and pebbled walkways, past white whitewashed stone houses, cozy tavernas and welcoming squares, punctuated with stunning views of the crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea and a submerged active volcano.
Nisyros is an ideal spot for holidaymakers looking for a laid back experience. Here you can enjoy swimming, diving, and feasting. Plus, when you visit one of its main attractions, Stefanos Crater, you’ll have the opportunity for experience the healing powers of its volcanic springs.
Although there has been an uptick in travellers recently, Nisyros has retained its rugged and authentic charm. With a rich biodiversity and 23 unique geotopes with an elaborate network of trails, this underrated Greek island is also a nature-lovers paradise in the heart of the Greek Islands.
One of the most extraordinary Dodecanese islands, Symi is located 12 miles northwest of Rhodes. Resembling the Italian Riviera, the island’s stunning architecture is very striking with 2,500 neoclassical houses in a multitude of colours.
Symri’s distinctive character protected the island from rampant, often unregulated, construction as witnessed by other Aegean Sea islands during the tourism boom. Relatively unknown during that period, Symri was mainly visited by Greek pilgrims and enlightened Europeans who were eager to visit the island’s Panormitis monastery.
More recently, it is being discovered by an uptick in discerning travellers from abroad, but it is still relatively undiscovered.
So, if you’re looking for a relaxed, more authentic Greek Island experience, and a more sustainable way to travel, then add these 3 understated Greek Islands to your bucket list.