Sunny days, pristine beaches, affordable options and, of course, a wealth of ancient UNESCO-listed monuments are a few reasons why Greece is an attractive destination. Even better, a number of airlines companies have increased flight routes to several lesser-known destinations within Greece. Do a smart move and visit them before they get too expensive and become as famous as Santorini or Mykonos.
Lesvos, also called Mytilini, is a verdant green island in the northern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. Spared by mass tourism, the island has preserved its authentic charm and natural beauty. The island is the perfect playground for nature lovers, hikers, beachgoers and cycling enthusiasts. Add to the fantastic landscapes, welcoming locals and delicious cuisine, and you will definitely understand why the island is worth discovering before it turns into a summer hot spot.
Long under the shadow of neighboring Mykonos, Tinos is a charming island primarily known as a pilgrimage destination for the Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia). But ,lately, the island has been enjoying a bump in popularity. Once you explore its beautiful whitewashed villages and discover its splendid beaches, you will understand why. The island is home to several festivals worth discovering, such as the Tinos Festival, as well as two festivals dedicated to jazz and world music and even a fishing festival in August, where, all day long, the local people of Kionia, and visitors, gather at the beach to fish.
This popular seaside town near ancient Delphi was one of Greece’s best secrets a few years back, but the appeal of Galaxidi, with its neoclassical mansions, its quiet harbors and peaceful town atmosphere has reached the masses. Cut off from the world until 1963 when the only way to reach the town was by boat, Galaxidi has succeeded to maintain its authentic character and charm. Perfect for a long weekend away, Galaxidi is also conveniently located 20 minutes away from Delphi, making it a perfect base to explore the region.
An increase of flights from several European airports to Kavala will finally contribute to put this mainland town on the map. Kavala, with its several monuments, its resolute relaxed pace and the many nearby gems, is undeniably a diamond in the rough, which is why you should visit it now before it becomes mainstream. Awaiting you are the Sultan Suleiman’s aqueduct, the 16th century Byzantine and fortification, the ancient city of Philippi and the many neighboring beaches and small coves. Bonus point: The unspoiled island of Thassos is only a one-hour ferry ride away.
To be truly honest, we doubt Karpathos will ever be expensive, but we predict it will definitely become mainstream, with the increase of flights from Athens, Rhodes and even Germany this summer. Located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, between Rhodes and Crete, the island has been shielded from mass tourism thanks to its secluded location. And while the southern part of the island may boast beach resorts and hotels, the inland and northern coast are virtually untouched and offer a refreshing respite for those looking for relaxation away from the crowds. Blessed with fantastic crystal-clear waters, marvelous beaches and coves, picturesque villages and a wealth of hiking trails, Karpathos is undoubtedly a must-see. Bonus: Next-door Kasos island is equally beautiful and easily accessible for a day trip.
Located in the northwest Aegean Sea, Skiathos is the westernmost island of the Sporades, off the coast of Pilion (or Pelion). This verdant island is known for its relaxed vibe, its beautiful beaches and traditional villages. A popular destination of the Sporades, Skiathos boasts a dynamic nightlife and many sights to visit. Additionally, it is conveniently located a ferry ride away from its sister islands, Skopelos and Alonissos.
Located in the region of Epirus, off the Ionian Sea, Preveza is a beautiful mainland town that boasts kilometer-long beaches and a charming atmosphere. The picturesque old town, with its narrow streets and bougainvillea-covered houses, will instantly seduce you, but, on warm summer nights, nothing beats an evening walk on the harbor. Besides its relaxed rural vibe, Preveza is a convenient base to explore the region and even next-door Lefkada.
Famous for its thermal springs and its panigiria, the island that The New York Times calls the place where people forget to die has a promising future. Boasting a rich mythological past and splendid nature, Ikaria is gaining popularity among Greeks and foreigners as an alternative destination for summer. As its infamous panigiri (traditional feast) of August 15 attracts thousands of visitors to the island, causing massive traffic jams throughout the area, we recommend you visit it before or after, unless you enjoy crowded places.
Located where the Dodecanese meets the Cyclades, Astypalaia, with its Cycladic attitude, whitewashed houses and ancient fortresses, will foul even the most discerning visitor. Part of the Dodecanese cluster, this beautiful island known for its breathtaking beauty, is the favorite destination of those looking for a relaxing place to summer. With seductive beaches and bays, green and lush valleys and picturesque villages, if you enjoy hiking and rock climbing, you will certainly fall in love with Astypalaia.
The capital of Messinia, a region that was virtually unknown until recently, Kalamata is the second most populated city of Peloponnese. You probably know it, thanks to its delicious dark olives, but Kalamata has many other charms that deserves a look. Fantastic ruins dot the area — such as the castles of Methoni and Koroni. The city is very close to fine sand beaches (Voidokilia is a must-see), small villages and Costa Navarino, a luxurious beach resort with two five-star hotels.