8 Non-Touristy Cyclades Islands You Should Visit

Pano Koufonisi, Pori
Pano Koufonisi, Pori | © Yanni Haviaras / WikiCommons
Photo of Ethel Dilouambaka
9 February 2017

Greece is famous for its scenic islands like the world-renowned Paros, Santorini, and Mykonos. But there are more lesser-known hidden gems in the Cyclades waiting to be discovered. Whether you are looking for isolation, or you are simply a lover of nature, there is surely one island that will intrigue you. Read all about them in this little guide.


The islands of Koufonisia, consisting of Ano (Upper) Koufonisi and Kato (Lower) Koufonisi, are slowly gaining popularity but still manage to keep their authenticity. Quiet beaches with gold sand and turquoise waters plus small natural pools and sea caves are some of the many things that make this destination a treasure. Koufonisia is also excellent for hiking and small adventures. You can also visit the small island of Keros next door.

Koufonisia, Greece


Located at the edge of the Cyclades, Anafi has so far been protected from the mass tourism the other islands have known. According to Greek mythology, Anafi emerged from the bottom of the sea to give shelter to the Argonauts. You will fall in love with the island’s landscape, magnificent beaches, turquoise waters, and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants. It’s time for some exploration.

Anafi, Greece

#anafi #instalifo #athensvoice #wu_greece #ig_greece #beach

A photo posted by Laurentis F (@laurentisf) on


Called ‘Nios’ by the locals, Ios is, according to a legend, the birthplace of Homer’s mother and his final resting place. The small island is home to beautiful beaches such as Yialos, Mylopotas, Kalamos, and Agia Theodoti. The local cuisine is also excellent with exquisite watermelon confiture, tasty myzithra pie, and a killer pomegranate liqueur. If you love sacred places, you are in for a treat as the island boasts 365 churches, one for each day of the year. Hopefully, your holiday on Ios will be blessed.

Ios, Greece

#iosgreece #iosisland #greeksummer #beach #loveios #loveiosgreece #pathos #greece #summer2015

A photo posted by Ios Greece (@iosgreece) on


The tiny island of Kimolos lies next to Milos. This geological wonder combines spectacular sights and scenic landscapes with unspoiled beauty, such as the stone mushroom of Skiadi. Possessing a variety of minerals, Lilliputian Kimolos is famous for its beautiful sandy and pebbly beaches.

Kimolos, Greece

#skiadi #geo #ride

A photo posted by Angelos Krallis (@angeloskrallis) on


Another pocket-sized island located in the Small Eastern Cyclades archipelago, Iraklia is a well-kept secret. The island’s only two villages have managed to maintain the traditional architecture, inviting you to meander the narrow streets. With its lush and verdant vegetation, natural springs, and crystal-clear waters (perfect for snorkeling), this unspoiled paradise in the Cyclades is an ideal destination for a peaceful vacation far from the madding crowd.

Iraklia, Greece

Just arrived 🇬🇷☀️🚤❤️

A photo posted by Giorgio Gigli (@giorgio_gigli) on


The gorgeous island of Syros is the epitome of the elusive ‘real Greece.’ Merging traditional and modern Greece, the island has magnificent beaches, picturesque villages (Ermoupoli, the main town and capital of the Cyclades, is said to be a town museum), and excellent culinary traditions, such as the halva pie or the loukoumi, both of which you should try. Get ready to marvel at this little gem.

Syros, Greece


An island that has managed to preserve its architectural style, Folegandros lies near popular Santorini. Chora, the island’s main town, is built on a cliff and offers breathtaking views over the sea. Ano Mera is a picture-perfect village to visit, and you should also make sure to head to the Karavostassis and Vitzetzo beaches for the ultimate suntanning session. If you love nature and hiking, Folegandros is the island for you.

Folegandros, Greece