Greece’s 10 Most Popular – And Quieter Islands You Should Visit Instead

We all have an idea in mind of the perfect vacation on a Greek island. For many, it will basically come down to having fun in a bustling resort town, with plenty of lively bars, tavernas, entertainment and day trips. The most popular holiday islands in the country are all well equipped for this.

But if Greece does one thing exceptionally well – better in fact than anywhere else in Europe that I can think of – it is to offer the exact opposite: peace, quiet and a sense of escape – both physical and mental – of everyday life.

So if you want to relax and rejuvenate away from the tourist hotspots, lay on a beach with no bars, stay in a town where there are as many locals as tourists in the tavernas, where you can watch the sunset sun in glorious isolation and forget about pandemics and the demands of your iPhone, you’ll find wonderful options among the myriad islands of the Aegean and Adriatic. The only problem is choosing which one.

We had fun swapping 10 of Greece’s most well-known destinations with a nearby alternative that will give you complete contrast. It’s amazing the difference a short ferry ride can make.

Who needs Mykonos when there is Tinos?

Mykonos is a place to pose and pout, an island of infinity pools, hen-dos and hashtags. There are designer shops. There’s even a Starbucks, for heaven’s sake. It’s fast, it’s fun, but it’s not traditional Greece. Board the ferry, however, and in less than 20 minutes you’ll enter a world of empty landscapes and timeless villages untouched by mass tourism – in fact, barely touched by tourism. It offers everything that makes Greece a perennial favorite of British holidaymakers. Laid-back lifestyle, fresh and simple cuisine (its artichokes are a highlight), gorgeous beaches and rugged scenery, but without the crowds. A week there and you’ll wonder why anyone cares about Mykonos.

Will stay: Xinara House (xinarahouse.com). A week in one of the coolest new holiday apartments on the island, located in a former bishop’s house in the rural heart of Tinos, costs around £800 in the apartment for two or three people.

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