Unsung heroes of the Greek islands

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The Greek islands are an ever-well-known summer season location and great for exploring by yacht. Although islands like Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu see substantial numbers of guests in peak months, do not let more than-crowding deter you – beyond the abundant and considerably-loved Greek islands, various hideaway retreats await, fairly unknown and untouched by tourism. Brimming with wild scenery and genuine hospitality, find out a wholly exceptional appeal supplied by island gems exactly where you can take a break from mainstream shores to unearth the colourful treasures of secret Greece.

Astypalaia

Exactly where the Dodecanese meets the Cyclades, far-flung Astypalaia is named the ‘Butterfly of the Aegean’ soon after the beauty and shape of its landscape. Boasting centuries of historical legacy, it is effortless to fall in enjoy with the heady mix of white-washed villages, welcoming locals and beautiful beaches bathed in sunlight. Constructed for protection from invading pirates, the imposing 13th century castle fortifications tower more than the tumbling hillside chora, exactly where sinuous alleyways bedecked with bougainvillea wind down to the Pera Gialos port. At Vastes, the impressive Negrou Cave is reached by boat and immersed in pirate myths of buried treasure, while adrenaline-seekers flock to Ftera for difficult limestone climbing routes of varying intensity. Oozing a tranquil vibe, relaxation at wonderful Kaminakia beach is effortless – soak up island seclusion and relish the exquisite translucent waters.

Arki

Delight in the remote yachting retreat of Arki, packed with incredible anchorages, equally fabulous beaches and only 40 permanent inhabitants. Sail amongst the network of surrounding atolls these clustered rugged islets produce an untouched ecosystem and nature-lovers paradise. Unwind at the unbelievable Tiganákia blue lagoon, see the Aspronisi caves, swim in the blue-white waters of Makronissi and stop by the beach at Marathi. Discover the lots of trekking paths, stop by Arki’s environmental investigation centre and take pleasure in scrumptious neighborhood specialities at a single of only 4 tavernas. This northernmost spot in the Dodecanese invites total relaxation amongst all-natural treasures while embracing rural Greek life.

Schinoussa

Inside the eastern Cyclades group, tiny Schinoussa is a sheltered sailing haven nestled amidst unspoiled all-natural scenery. Component of the Natura 2000 nature preservation network, a decision of 18 sun-kissed beaches dominate this paradise perfect to get away from it all and with a suitably chilled out atmosphere. Agriculture, farming and fishing help the little population of about 250 inhabiting two primary villages – notably the neighborhood make is of an exceptional common. Hill trails weave their way among vines and orchards, affording breath-taking views across to Santorini. The deserted cove of Sifneiko is an old pirate hideout and a great spot to drop ancho. An underwater paradise awaits snorkellers on the wealthy seabed of Avlaki tou Papa, while windsurfers will appreciate the feisty north eastern winds located at Almyros.

Kímolos

In the southwestern Cyclades, sleepy Kimolos exudes peaceful seclusion. The lengthy, deserted stretch of beach at Mavrospilia and golden sands of Aliki and Bonatsa are a draw, trekking paths snake across the gentle terrain, even though the anti-pirate castle on the foothills of Xaplovouni is a fascinating discovery. Head to the carved Pelekiti Cave at Kakopotamos, rejuvenate in the hot spring at Ayioklima beach or find out the cave at the Promontory of Gerakia. Close by, the biggest uninhabited isle in the Aegean, Polyaigos, is a great sailing location. Blessed with sheltered anchorages, emerald waters and immaculate beaches, take pleasure in an unbelievable sunset from the lighthouse or find out Mediterranean Monk Seals in the Cave of Galakteri.

Ithaca

Close to Kefalonia in the Ionian, Ithaca is a amazing island that has remained fairly undiscovered. Awesome sea views and hidden ruins are located in the hiking trails peppering the lush green valleys and rugged hills. Homeland to Odysseus, the archaeological websites are steeped in mythology. Head to the harbour towns of Frikes and Kioni, brimming with tavernas serving extraordinarily fresh seafood or discover the crumbling villages of Exogi and Anogi with views stretching across the archipelago. Secluded coves at Filiatro and Sarakiniko offer you fantastic swimming spots in the crystal waters and scuba divers will be enthralled by the seabed dubbed ‘Poseidon’s Meadow’.

Relaxed island-hopping, irrespective of whether you seek adventure or familiarity, is a Greek specialty. The myriad of differing islands strewn across the sapphire Aegean supply the great chance for a sunkissed escape to secluded shores.

Nicholas Dean is Managing Companion of Ocean Independence. Ocean Independence is a worldwide leader in luxury yachting, delivering a bespoke expertise across yacht charter, sales and management.

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