CN Traveller Lists the Best Secret Beaches in Greece

From secluded coves to discreet urban hideaways, upmarket Condé Nast Traveller goes off the beaten path with its list of the top 7 lesser-known Greek beaches.


As Greek Easter gradually fades away in the rear-view mirror, our thoughts now turn to the summer and that much-needed vacation by the sea. But with lingering memories of last summer’s pent-up demand for travel, it’s fair to say that many in Europe are thinking long and hard about where they want to go this year to avoid the crowds.

Thanks to meticulous planning and preparation, Greece did exceptionally well to avoid much of last year’s travel chaos, but many here are wincing at the thought of hordes of tourists descending in the coming months, in numbers that may well exceed pre-pandemic levels.

 

If you’re looking to avoid packed beaches, over-priced sunbeds, and noisy beach bars, fret not. Condé Nast Traveller has produced a helpful list of Greece’s best under-the-radar beaches for inspiration, “all united by beautiful waters and a hefty dose of soul.” If you plan accordingly, there are still plenty of places in Greece where you can beat the crowds and enjoy a dose of secluded bliss.

Some in the list below are well and truly off the beaten track, reachable via boat, 4×4 and/or a short hike, while others are more easily reached and have simple tavernas nearby, more suitable for families with young children.

The Blue Waters, Polyegos

Famed for its “otherworldy, lunar-style rock formations,” the Cycladic island of Milos was once the beating heart of the earliest maritime trade routes in the Aegean, dating back more than 15,000 years. It was here that seafaring hunter-gatherers sourced obsidian, a glassy volcanic rock used to make sharp cutting tools. According to CN Traveller, the tiny uninhabited island of Polyegos, located immediately northeast of Milos, boasts the most brilliant blue waters in this quiet, unspoiled corner of the Cyclades. Accessible by boat from Milos, the article recommends setting sail in the late morning for “some serious boat lounging and swimming,” and stopping off on the adjacent island of Kimolos for a late fish lunch or supper.

Check out our guide to Milos here.

Chrissopigi, Sifnos

Next up on the list is a beach that partly inspired artist Christian Brechneff to write “The Greek House” (2013), a touching memoir about his love affair with the island of Sifnos. The pebble beach at Chrissopigi sits just below the whitewashed Monastery of Panagia Chrissopigi, built in the 16th century. According to the article, the beach here is one of the island’s “most charming spots to swim.” Options for a relaxed taverna lunch can be found at nearby Apokoftos Beach.

Click here for our family-friendly guide to Sifnos. 

Kalo Ampeli, Serifos

 

“Powder-soft white sand and brilliant turquoise water” await you at the “wild beach” of Kalo Ampeli on Serifos, an island that, for the large part, remains mercifully underdeveloped. The beach at Kalo Ampeli requires a bit of gentle hiking (about 20 minutes from the church car park), and you will need to bring snacks, plenty of water, and other supplies with you, but it’s well worth the effort. Several delightful fish tavernas can be found in the village.

For more info on this beautiful little Cycladic island, click here.

Kioni Beach, Ithaca

Switching over to the “pine-strewn” Ionian islands off Greece’s west coast, CN Traveller recommends a visit to Kioni Beach on Ithaca, located in the “wilder north of the island.” Here you will find a picturesque harbor and “top notch restaurants,” and a nearby secluded pebbled bay with “glass-like waters … like nectar from the gods” The best time to enjoy a swim here is early morning, in the shade of the trees, followed by a lazy lunch at nearby Cantina Beach.

Ithaca, the island of Odysseus, is the perfect place for those seeking a quiet, laid-back summer vacation. Click here for our essential guide.

Asteria Beach, Syros

 

Discreetly tucked away in the elegant Vaporia neighborhood of Ermoupoli, the capital of Syros, the urban beach of Asteria is one of the Cycladic island’s best kept secrets. With its backdrop of pastel-colored neoclassical mansions and waterfront Venetian palazzos, it’s the perfect place to join locals for an early evening swim before heading into town for dinner.

One of the many great things about Syros, aside from its stunning architecture, is that it’s easily reached by ferry from Athens.

Click here for our guide to Syros.

Achla, Andros

Returning to the Cyclades, Achla Beach on the east coast of Andros is a good choice for sunseekers with a taste for adventure. Reachable overland by 4×4 – “and nerves of steel,” according to the article – or by boat from Chora, this “wide sweep of pebbled bay with gin-clear waters” is the ideal place to while away the afternoon hours, says the article.

Andros is fast becoming a popular haven for vacationers looking for something out of the ordinary. Blessed with an incredible network of hiking routes, fabulous beaches, great food, and plenty of opportunities for watersports (notably windsurfing), the island is tipped as a good and affordable alternative to its more popular (and overcrowded) neighbors Mykonos and Santorini.

 

Go here for our comprehensive family guide. 

Bisti, Hydra

Even closer to Athens, the Argosaronic island of Hydra has played muse to a long and distinguished list of artists, writers, poets, and musicians over the years, including the likes of Leonard Cohen and, more recently, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and his novelist wife Polly Samson. This tiny island boasts no sandy beaches but is home to “endless coves and rocky inlets,” says CN Traveller, which can be reached “by foot, boat or donkey” (no cars allowed on the island). Bisti is within 10-minutes walking distance from Avlaki, just west of Hydra harbor and the main town.

Due to its enormous popularity in August, it’s best to visit Hydra in the off-season. Check out our guide here.



Read More

Destinations

Swiss Tourists’ Top Greek Island Beaches Revealed

Famed for their enchanting beaches, Greece's islands remain a top...


Destinations

The Times Lists 16 of the Best Quiet Greek Islands

The UK newspaper explores 16 serene Greek islands offering tranquility,...


Statistics

Record Overtourism Strikes Mykonos and Santorini

Mykonos and Santorini experience a European “record” of 110 overnight...


Destinations

Greece Shines Again in Blue Flag Beach Rankings

Greece maintains second place globally at this year’s Blue Flag...