15 Best Quiet Greek Islands to Visit on Holiday

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Greek Island

Greece has become increasingly popular with tourists looking for cheap vacations and authentic experiences. Here are the best quiet Greek islands you can visit on your next holiday!

When you think about Greece, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the islands or the cuisine? Whether it’s the Parthenon or Mount Olympus, this beautiful country has many incredible places to explore. 

But sometimes you need some peace, too, so I’ve compiled a list of some quiet Greek islands to visit on your next vacation.  Most people have heard of Santorini or Mykonos, but there are many more quiet Greek islands for travelers to enjoy.

People don’t appreciate the fact that Greece has so many islands. However, you can’t visit each of them, can you? One thing you can do is avoid the touristy islands but still enjoy the stunning beaches, untouched nature, and the rich history that Greece has to offer.

To make it a little easier for you to decide, I will discuss some chill Greek islands you can visit on holiday. 

Quiet Greek Islands

Best Quiet Greek Islands to Visit

These hidden islands in Greece offer a variety of attractions and activities for tourists, including beaches, hiking trails, archaeological sites, nightlife, and much more of unspoiled Greece. 

1. Santorini

Sunny coastline in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is one of the most popular islands and tourist destinations in Greece. It’s known for its traditional buildings and cliffs that rise from the sea.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a quiet island to log off to and enjoy the incredible views.

With its unique blue hues from ancient volcanic activity combined with white limestone rock formations, this gorgeous spot has been voted one of the most picturesque places in Greece

So what can you enjoy on Santorini Island? A lot, including sunbathing, swimming, wine tasting, or even visiting archaeological sites to learn more about the ancient history of Santorini.

The views will stay with you for a lifetime, and it’s not hard to see why. Santorini has some of the best sunsets in all of Europe. It would be an unforgettable experience, especially traveling with someone special.

The island also features monasteries, villages, gorgeous beaches, and more. This Greek island should definitely be on your travel bucket list if you’re looking for somewhere quieter than Crete or Mykonos, which can get pretty crowded sometimes.

Overall, picturesque landscapes, stunning sunsets, beautiful beaches, ancient architecture, and exceptional outdoor activities, like hiking or horseback riding alongside herds of goats, make this Island a must-visit.

While you’re there, use Skyscanner to find the best deals on hotels, tours, and flights to nearby islands. 

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2. Naxos

Oceana and Cityscape in Naxos, Greece

If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing island with plenty of sunshine and beautiful beaches where you can unwind from the stresses of everyday life, Naxos is perfect. 

Being among the underrated islands in Greece, Naxos offers hiking trails as well as mountain walking to explore. You might also want to spend your time in Naxos visiting archaeological sites or even taking an excursion boat tour. Speaking of archeology, the Temple of Apollo is the most popular landmark on the island. 

If you come to the island by ferry, it’s the first thing you’ll spot nearby Chora. Made in 530BC, Portara – the name of the Temple of Apollo – is a huge door to an incomplete temple. On the other side of the door is Delos Island. 

While some believe the temple was to be built for Apollo, others think it’s in honor of Dionysus, whom the Naxos worshiped. Once you’re done absorbing the beauty and magnificence of this place, head over to the Greek village.  Some particular ones most people enjoy are Myli, Ano Potamia, and Melanes. 

Since there’s a beautiful trail connecting the villages, you can walk from one village to another and enjoy the natural views. If you’re in a rush, take a car to save time. You can find amazing car rental deals on Skyscanner

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3. Sifnos

Ocean with boats and cityscape

Sifnos is a small but charmingly picturesque Island with much more going for it than just its natural beauty. You’ll find great food throughout the year in this area – the fantastic fresh seafood!

If you’re not into seafood, try the two-day chickpea soup, a traditional dish on this quiet Greek island. The chickpeas are soaked in water on Friday. Then, the next day, they are put in a pot with onions, olive oil, and water. 

After being baked overnight, the chickpeas are ready for savoring on Sunday morning. You can try this local cuisine at the Narlis Farm, where the owners also offer cooking lessons for Sifnian delicacies. 

The port town of Sifnos was built in the Middle Ages and offers a beautiful array of Venetian Gothic architecture. For those who are more into relaxing and peaceful surroundings, Sifnos is a good option as it isn’t too touristy. 

You can experience the local culture and Greek life as long as you stay away from the main seaside resorts. More so, there are plenty of quiet corners to explore on this Island. 

One is Vathi Beach, a gorgeous retreat away from crowded spots. You’ll only be accompanied by a few yachts and some other swimmers. 

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4. Kalymnos

Clear Ocean Water and Mountains

If you’re looking for a little adventure and don’t mind roughing it, Kalymnos is a great choice. There are plenty of beaches on this quiet Greek island, but the mainland also has a ton of attractions. 

You can also find good hiking opportunities to explore with your family here. For a quiet experience, you should visit in May or June since the island is less crowded during these months. 

Since the island hasn’t been developed for tourist activities, you cannot do many organized things. Instead, it’s an attraction for rock climbers, owing to the granite mountains north of the island. 

Every fall, this Greek island hosts a climbing festival where people come from around the globe.  It’s also a great place for hiking since you’ll come across old castles, tiny chapels, mountainous villages, and secluded beaches during your hike. 

Among all other medieval castles, the Chora Castle is pretty popular, looming over Pothia. Built in the 14th century, the castle offers stunning views of Kalymnos. A seven-minute drive from Chora Castle is the Chrysocheria Castle, also called Pera Castle. 

It’s an iconic landmark on the island and offers a bird’s eye view of the region below – perfect for your social media pictures and videos. 

Since it’s one of the hidden islands in Greece, getting to Kalymnos might be tricky. You can search for a cheap flight on Going.com to Athens and then fly to Kalymnos, or you can book a flight to Kos and take a ferry to Kalymnos from there. But this island must be on your Athens itinerary if you want to slow down time and relax.

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5. Tinos

Tinos

Anyone searching for quiet Greek islands for a chill vacation should put Tinos on their itinerary. You’ll enjoy some of the best views on this island in two ways – either by hiking or taking a boat (or both!). 

The locals are welcoming, so you won’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable here. If peace, relaxation, and excellent food sound like your idea of heaven, Tinos is where you should come next year for a holiday.

Among all the other sights, the villages of Tinos stand out the most. Featuring chapels, white houses, and cobbled paths, these villages are something out of a fairy tale.  While some are Roman Catholic, others are Greek Orthodox, blending the two faiths. 

If you visit the village of Loutra, you can spend the day at the Ursuline or the Jesuit monastery. People who garner a love for abandoned places will love Monastiria, which is a stone-built region that exudes an age-old charm. 

While in Koumaros, you can enjoy a meal at the local self-service eatery, where you make your coffee. If you run a travel Instagram account, Tinos has everything worthy of being photographed. 

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6. Lefkada

Ocean and Skyline

Lefkada is among the most visually stunning, quiet Greek islands for holidays. Boasting the most beautiful beaches in Europe, the island is a must-visit for people who prefer quiet holidays in Greece. 

Since it’s a cheaper island than most others, you can save some money to buy souvenirs or add more experiences to your itinerary. 

In terms of beaches, the island is naturally gifted, but they’re surprisingly not what draws people to the island, which makes it a great spot for empty beaches that you can explore without the tourists. Rather the excellent hiking trails and awe-inspiring Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns attract travelers from all over the world. 

You’ll have many choices when deciding how you spend your days, so pick wisely.  If you want to be blown away by nature, don’t miss a trip to the Nydri Waterfalls. You can get here by hiking in the scenic town of Nydri.

Walking along the olive groves and citrus fruits, you’ll come to this beautiful waterfall after climbing some slippery rocks.  If you’re tired after all that walking, couple the view of the waterfall with a drink or snack from the nearby café. 

Moreover, you can go to the Castle of Agia Mavra. It’s on the mainland and was built in the 14th century. If you go during the summer season, you’ll be greeted by a number of festivals. 

In addition to being filled with picture-worthy landscapes all around, there are plenty of activities for people who want something more than just sunbathing.

You can also go fishing or hiking on this island if you’re looking for an active vacation experience. Besides the gorgeous views, the locals are also quite welcoming, making this quaint little region one of the best quiet Greek islands for holidays.

As for booking local experiences or hotels, search them up on Skyscanner or other similar sites

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7. Crete 

Crete 

Crete is arguably the quietest Greek island with a large airport – the second busiest in the country after Athens International Airport – to spend your next vacation. 

While that may sound like it’s a spot of mass tourism, you can visit the hidden gem of Balos Beach or visit the Asterousia Mountains to find the perfect quiet location to spend your holiday on this gorgeous island.

If you want to learn about the region’s history, head to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.  The museum houses the largest collection of Minoan artifacts. Furthermore, you can tour twenty rooms chronologically, showcasing the armory, jewelry, and figurines from different eras. 

While you’re in Crete, you must visit Elafonisi Beach, which is often rated among the best beaches in the world. With pink sands and turquoise waters, the beach is a sight for sore eyes – something right out of Pinterest.  You’ll have heaven there, surrounded by turquoise water, white and pink sand, azure sky, and the island’s mountains. 

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8. Kimolos

Kimolos Island in Greece

The island of Kimolos is located southeast of the Cyclades near Milos, with its name derived from the meaning of Chalk and the Aegean Sea’s effect on it.

Lefkaditos has always been a popular destination for visitors. People flock here to see the traditional Cycladic village as well as stunning nature. It makes for a great spot if you are planning an island-hopping trip.

There is a boat journey around Polyaigos Island. Believe it or not, there are many goats on this remote island. There are some great hiking possibilities, including some excellent sandy beaches.

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9. Kos

Church at Top of Mountain in Kos Greece

Kos is the third largest island in the Dodecanese and offers some of the finest beaches in the area. Kos is a great holiday location if you enjoy peaceful, quiet beaches and snorkeling, as well as scuba diving.

Thassos and Karfre are two impressive sites in Kos. Thasso is located on the island’s southern coast, while Karfre is on the island’s northern coast.

The Aegean Sea and the surrounding seashore of Karfre boast a strange-looking desert constructed of sand next to a pebble-filled beach. This quiet Greek island attracts many hikers who enjoy exploring the surrounding region.

You can also visit a traditional windmill in Pyli, a charming little seaside resort where you have clear views of the sea and Kos island. There are many other impressive sites and hidden gems to see during your stay in Kos.

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10. Donousa

Donousa Island, Greece

Donousa is a tiny island that is part of the chain of Cycladic Islands. The small traditional villages within the Cyclade Islands offer similar attractions to the more popular destinations without the crowds.

The main city, Kythnos Town, is on the island’s south coast and surrounded by a small but picturesque harbor. Meanwhile, the island’s capital lies on its southern shore and is served by flights from Athens, Naxos, and Amorgos.

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11. Thassos

Thassos Island Sunset

In Greece’s north, the islands are a sea of greenery that seems to have been devoured by the people. The green slopes and golden beaches are enticing enough, but staying there is due to the pleasant welcome offered by the locals.

Thassos is rich in heritage, with some ancient settlements and traditional customs such as beekeeping and marble mining. As a result, there are several activities to participate in.

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12. Diaporos

Aerial View of Diaporos Island, Greece

Diaporos is the closest island to Sithonia on the Greek mainland, roughly 150 meters east of the settlement. It is about 90 minutes south of Thessaloniki and 150 meters east of Sithonia. The clear blue water around the island provides unrestricted views of the diverse marine community.

The blue lagoon and white beach, which have a variety of animals, are the finest places for snorkeling. You may go to the nearby islands of Peristeri, Aimpelitsis, and Elia Agiou if you want to explore by boat. There are many secluded beaches where you can unwind.

If you have never been to Paxos Island, prepare for a real holiday from your “holidays.” This small green dot in the Ionian Sea is an unexplored treasure that can still be discovered while visiting.

13. Folegandros

Mountain in Folegandros, Greece

The Greek island of Folegandros is located along the Naxos-Milos Ferry route, but there are no obvious connections. The entire side of the main town called Chora, which comprises a large part of the island’s shoreline, consists of sheer rocks.

Chora’s Church of Panagia, with its distinctive pink domes, is another major draw. This beautiful island features picturesque twists from town, providing commanding views of the whole island while experiencing classic white elegance.

All restaurants in Chora close for the afternoon at 3 p.m., and Chora has a variety of excellent fresh dishes.

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14. Kea

Aerial View of Kos Island, Greece

The Kea tribe is known for its vibrant, elegant colors. The Doric temple of goddess Athena (6th century BC), as well as the Archaic Temple of Pythion Apollo (530 BC), are among the landmarks of the Ancient City of Karthea. According to legend, the Lion of Ke was a hundred feet long.

15. Sikinos

Harbor of Sikinos Island

The Greek island of Sikinos is in the Cyclades Island group in Greece. It’s the closest island to Ios, with three beaches with a few visitors. However, visitors to Sikinos will find it difficult to argue against such claims!

One suggestion is to go for a sunset wine tasting and a dinner at the only winery on the island – Manalis Winery. A magical backdrop to rival everything Santorini has to offer! The island can be reached either with a ferry from Athens or another Cycladic island, making it a great option for island hopping.

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FAQ

Which is the most peaceful Greek island?

We all know that Greece is one of the most ancient civilizations in human history. It’s also known for its incredible food and delicious ice cream, but if you’re looking for something more serene, these are some of the best quiet Greek islands with great options. The most peaceful Greek islands are Kato Zakros, Gaidaro, and Matala.

Which are the best quiet Greek islands to visit in the summer holidays?

The most popular and quiet Greek islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Ithaki, Zante, and Kefalonia. Although more people visit these quiet islands in the summer than in winter, they are still less visited than Crete or Rhodes. They’re inaccessible for large portions of the year due to weather conditions.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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