Are There Any Genuine Hidden Gems Left In Greece? Of Course. Here Are 7 Of Them…

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Greece, with its sun-drenched islands, ancient ruins, and azure waters, has long been a magnet for travellers. While the likes of Santorini, Mykonos and Athens draw the dolphin’s share of visitors, there are still plenty of lesser-known spots that offer a more tranquil and traditional experience. Here are 7 hidden gems in Greece that are well worth exploring.

Kastellorizo

Nestled just a stone’s throw from the Turkish coast, Kastellorizo is a tiny island that feels worlds away from the bustling tourist hubs. With its colourful harbour, charming neoclassical houses, and crystal-clear waters, this island is a haven for those seeking peace and quiet. Don’t miss the Blue Cave, a mesmerising sea grotto that’s best visited by boat.

Getting There

Kastellorizo can be reached by ferry from Rhodes, which has regular connections to the island. Alternatively, there are occasional flights from Athens to Kastellorizo’s small airport, though these are less frequent.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Katoumari is a traditional sweet pastry unique to Kastellorizo. Made from thin layers of dough, butter, and sugar, it’s rolled into a spiral and baked until golden. The result is a crispy, sweet treat that’s perfect with a cup of Greek coffee.

Insider’s Tip

For a truly magical experience, visit the Blue Cave early in the morning when the light is just right, and the cave is bathed in an ethereal blue glow. Also, take a walk up to the Castle of the Knights for stunning panoramic views of the island and the surrounding sea.

Read: The best restaurants in Rhodes

Zagori

In the north-western region of Epirus lies Zagori, a land of rugged mountains, deep gorges, and picturesque stone villages. The Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the world, offers breathtaking hiking opportunities. The traditional villages, such as Papingo and Monodendri, with their stone-built houses and arched bridges, provide a glimpse into a bygone era.

Getting There

The nearest airport to Zagori is Ioannina Airport, which has flights from Athens. From Ioannina, it’s about an hour’s drive to the Zagori villages. Car hire is recommended to explore the region fully.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

The traditional pie batzina from the Zagori region is made with a simple mixture of flour, eggs, feta cheese, and zucchini. A distant cousin of a frittata, it’s baked until golden and crispy, and it’s a perfect example of the region’s rustic, hearty cuisine.

Insider’s Tip

Stay in one of the traditional stone guesthouses for an authentic experience. Also, make sure to visit the lesser-known villages like Dilofo and Kapesovo, where you can enjoy the tranquillity and charm without the crowds.

Kythira

Often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, Kythira is an island of unspoilt beauty. Located off the southern tip of the Peloponnese, it boasts secluded beaches, charming villages, and a rich history. 

Visit the mediaeval castle in Chora, explore the cave of Agia Sophia, and relax on the pristine sands of Kaladi Beach.

Getting There

Kythira has an airport with flights from Athens. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Neapolis in the Peloponnese or from Piraeus, the port of Athens. The ferry journey from Neapolis is shorter and more frequent.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Anthotyro is a fresh, soft cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk that’s particularly good in and around Kythira. It has a mild, creamy flavour and is often enjoyed with honey or used in various local dishes.

Insider’s Tip

Rent a car to explore the island’s hidden beaches and remote villages. Don’t miss the sunset at Kapsali, where you can enjoy a drink with a view of St John of the Cliff church and the sea.

Nisyros

This small volcanic island in the Dodecanese is a geological wonder. The active volcano, with its steaming craters and sulphuric landscape, is a sight to behold. The island’s main village, Mandraki, is a maze of narrow streets and whitewashed houses. Don’t miss the ancient acropolis of Paleokastro and the thermal springs at Loutra.

Getting There

Nisyros is accessible by ferry from Kos, which has an international airport. Ferries from Kos to Nisyros run regularly and the journey takes about an hour. There are also occasional ferries from Rhodes and other nearby islands.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Kapamas is a traditional dish of Nisyros, consisting of goat stuffed with rice, liver, and a variety of herbs and spices. It’s slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in tender, flavourful meat that’s a true taste of the island.

Insider’s Tip

Visit the volcano early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat and the crowds. Also, take a walk to the village of Nikia, perched on the edge of the volcanic crater, for stunning views and a taste of local life.

Pelion

Located in central Greece, Pelion is a lush, green paradise of a peninsula that’s often overlooked by international tourists. With its dense forests, traditional villages, and stunning beaches, it’s a perfect destination for nature lovers. The village of Makrinitsa, perched on the mountainside, offers panoramic views of the Pagasetic Gulf, while the beaches of Mylopotamos and Fakistra are ideal for a refreshing dip.

Getting There

The nearest airport to Pelion is Volos Airport, which has flights from Athens and some European cities. From Volos, you can drive or take a bus to the various villages in Pelion. Car hire is recommended for exploring the peninsula.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Spetzofai is a hearty dish from Pelion that’s made with local sausages and peppers, cooked in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a warming, comforting meal that’s perfect after a day of exploring the region’s natural beauty.

Insider’s Tip

Take the scenic train ride from Ano Lechonia to Milies, known as the ‘Moutzouris’ or ‘Pelion Train’. It’s a delightful way to see the stunning landscapes of Pelion. Also, visit the village of Tsagarada to see the 1,000-year-old plane tree in the central square.

Samothrace

Samothrace, an island in the northern Aegean, is a haven for adventurers. Its rugged terrain is dotted with waterfalls, hot springs, and ancient ruins. The Sanctuary of the Great Gods, an important archaeological site, is steeped in mystery and history. Hike to the top of Mount Saos for stunning views, and take a dip in the natural pools of Fonias Gorge.

Getting There

Samothrace is accessible by ferry from Alexandroupoli, which has an airport with flights from Athens. The ferry journey takes about two hours. There are also bus connections from Thessaloniki to Alexandroupoli.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Samothracian wild goat is exquisite. Usually slow-cooked with local herbs and spices, the meat is incredibly tender and just the right side of gamey, often served with potatoes or rice. It’s a must-try for meat lovers visiting the island.

Insider’s Tip

For a unique experience, visit the island’s thermal springs at Therma. The hot springs are located in a beautiful natural setting and are perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking. Also, try to visit the island during the summer festival of the Great Gods for a taste of local culture and traditions.

Read: 10 places to explore the ancient history of Athens on a budget

Metsovo

Tucked away in the Pindus Mountains, Metsovo is a charming mountain town that offers a taste of traditional Greek life. Known for its local cheese and wine, it’s a great place to indulge in some culinary delights. The town’s stone houses, cobbled streets, and vibrant cultural scene make it a delightful destination. In winter, the nearby ski resort of Anilio offers excellent skiing opportunities.

Getting There

The nearest airport to Metsovo is Ioannina Airport, which has flights from Athens. From Ioannina, it’s about a 45-minute drive to Metsovo. There are also bus services from major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki to Ioannina, from where you can take a local bus or taxi to Metsovo.

Local Delicacy You Simply Shouldn’t Miss

Smoked cheese is a speciality of Metsovo, made from cow’s milk and sometimes mixed with sheep or goat milk. It has a distinctive smoky flavour and is often enjoyed grilled or as part of a cheese platter.

Insider’s Tip

Visit the Averoff Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Greek art. Also, take a tour of the Katogi Averoff Winery to sample some of the region’s best wines. In winter, don’t miss the chance to ski at the nearby Anilio Ski Resort, which offers stunning views and well-maintained slopes.

The Bottom Line

While the country’s popular destinations are undoubtedly beautiful, if you’re after a truly luxurious trip to Greece then these hidden gems offer a more intimate and authentic experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquillity, or a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture, these lesser-known spots are sure to captivate and inspire. 

So, if you’re planning a holiday to Greece, why not venture off the beaten path and discover the magic of these hidden treasures? You won’t regret it!

Travel Team
Travel Team
Just like you, we love to get out there and discover the world. To help inspire your next adventure, we create travel guides and share tips so you can dream up your ideal getaway.

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