With its whitewashed hilltop villages, endless sunshine, turquoise waters and heartwarming hospitality, Greece is a firm favorite for a Mediterranean sailing holiday - yet, most visitors seem to be heading to the same old islands, filling idyllic places like Santorini and Mykonos with sweaty selfie-stick-brandishing crowds. 

Yet, have you ever wondered how many islands are there in Greece? About 6000. With so many to choose from, there's absolutely no need to always head back to the same old places - just pack your adventurous spirit, and follow us on this journey to our favorite off the beaten track islands in Greece, ideal places to be discovered on a yacht charter or boat rental adventure, led by our trusted local operators!

 

1) Ikaria - one of Greece's Quirkiest Islands

This island is only a short sail away from Mykonos, perfect for a day yacht charter, but it feels on another planet. It's one of Greece's quirkiest islands, with a past as a microstate - locals expelled the Ottoman rulers in 1912, and declared the Free State of Icaria including the nearby islands of Fournoi and Korseon, which survived for five months before being annexed by Greece.

The island takes its name from Icarus, the mythical son of Dedalus that drowned after his wax wings melted in the sun - there are beautiful white sand beaches, some of which have great surfing conditions, a rarity in Greece. One of the main sights on the islands are its hot radioactive springs, which may be the secret behind the islanders' exceptionally long life.  


2) Schinoussa - Rocks and Remote Beaches

This small island just opposite Naxos is one of the least explored in the popular Cyclades archipelago, and it's perfect to explore on a boat rental, guided by a local operator. The landscape is prevalently rocky and there are just three villages, with a full-time population that doesn't reach 250. One of the claims to fame of this island are its beautiful, remote beaches - there are 15 in total and many of them can only be reached by foot or boat. 

Every local in Schinoussa will have their own favorite beach - we recommend checking out Psili Ammos, located just north-east of Chora, the largest settlement. The beach is very secluded and surrounded by beautiful sand dunes, and you're likely to be sharing the beach with few others, even in August!


3) Telendos - One of the Best Greek Islands off the Beaten Track

This Dodecanese island is a popular day yacht charter trip from Kos - it looks spectacular as you sail towards it, like a huge mountain soaring from the sea. No cars are allowed, and its tranquil atmosphere is its main drawcard. Yet, with a day trip you'll only scratch the surface of what Telendos has to offer - so why not stop for a few days, to enjoy the peace and quiet of the island after the day trippers have gone?

Telendos may be small, but there's a lot to see and do - including ruins of a Roman town, a castle, and an early Christian basilica. You can also try your hand at rock climbing, or simply relax on the beach!


4) Sifnos - Ideal for History Lovers

This Cyclades island is one of the closest to Athens, less than three hours sail away - making it a perfect day cruise, by yacht or catamaran. It's famous for its wonderful network of hiking trails, making it a great destination for those who want to combine relax and adventure - after all, there's nothing better than an idyllic Greek beach like deserted Fichiada bay, to chill after a day spent discovering the island!

Sifnos is also a great destination for history lovers - there are monasteries, Mycenean ruins and medieval towns to explore. Don't miss hiking to Profiti Ilias, the most scenic spot in the whole island, with a spectacular view over the Aegean Sea. 


5) Amorgos - Great for Diving and Snorkeling

This island not far from Ios and Naxos is famous for one thing - it's the best diving location in Greece, with underwater caves and the famous Olympia shipwreck located just off the shore, and it is where the famous diving movie Big Blue was filmed. There are also some secluded beaches, some with golden sand some rocky, where it's possible to enjoy great snorkeling just off the shore. 

One of the best things to do in Amorgos is visiting the spectacular monastery of Hozoviotissa, hanging from the cliffs on the island's southern coast - or just arrange a yacht charter with one of our local operators and get them to show you their hidden secret spots. 


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