Instagram favourites Santorini and Mykonos are famous because they can be amazing destinations.
But you can sidestep crowded islands for their equally beautiful and more idyllic sister islands.
These six enchanting Greek islands are perfect for an island hopping summer holiday, especially with a private yacht.
Or perhaps you simply want to be there first. Most of these islands still feel undiscovered. Can you imagine being one of the people exploring Santorini before it was “discovered?”
Traditional whitewashed houses in a cobblestone town. Exclusive boutiques and inviting tavernas. Windmills, caves, coves and beaches. Sound familiar?
Antiparos is about 50 kilometres across the Aegean from Mykonos. It’s an elegant and exclusive island destination, with two crucial differences to Mykonos.
Firstly, there are hardly any places to stay and very few tourists. Secondly, Antiparos is an incredibly laid-back island. You don’t come here to be seen, you come here because nobody sees you.
Stay at The Rooster, a wellness resort that embraces slow living on this unspoiled island. It offers just 17 individual houses, each with a private garden and pool.
The Rooster featured in Edition II of Explorer magazine, as one of the hot new properties to visit in summer 2022. It’s a resort matching the beauty and atmosphere of Antiparos island.
One of the smallest Cyclades islands, Syros is often overlooked because it doesn’t look like the Greece we all know. It doesn’t have the whitewashed sugar-cubed sunset-adoring aesthetic we’ve come to love on islands like Santorini.
Neoclassical architecture and Venetian-style mansions in a thousands hues make Syros a refreshing contrast to the rest of Greece.
You’ll discover some delightfully quiet beaches of both sand and pebbles, like Galissas and Armeos. Then the vibrant art and music scene of port town Hermoupolis. We recommend an adventure on the island’s north, where the dirt roads are best accessed by jeep.
Aristide Hotel is the best place to stay, an intimate hotel with just nine suites, an art gallery, and artist residence program. It’s a striking mix of neoclassical architecture, art deco design and contemporary art.
While most of Greece is about small coves and pebbled beaches, Naxos is all about sand, sand and more sand.
The west coast of the island is wild and windswept, one long beach with a few properties dotted around.
Visit Naxos to explore. First the sand, then hikes through fertile valleys, to villages teeming with history and local produce.
The eastern coast is home to traditional slow-paced fishing villages, like Lionas and Moutsouna.
Naxian Collection is a family-owned and operated cluster of white cubist villas, where old cedar trees meet contemporary marble sculptures. Sit back and sip wine made at the family vineyard. Taste olive oil while overlooking the onsite olive groves. This property offers the slow-paced authenticity that Naxos is all about.
50 years ago, most Greek islands must have felt like Paros.
Loads of charm without any glitz or glamour. Traditional seaside tavernas without an English menu. Golden sand with only the footprints of fishermen going to hang their octopi to dry. Wooden fishing boats, bougainvillaea covering the walls of polygonal townhouses, and tangled streets of stalls and bars.
If you’ve ever visited a Greek island and wondered what it was like before the tourism boom, Paros should be your next destination.
Not that tourism is completely absent here. It is developing and there are good hotels too. Summer Senses has a great location overlooking Naxos town and the Aegean Sea. Get a Sea View Suite with a private pool.
Ios is quickly gaining fame for its mix of vibrant nightlife and laid-back beach vibes.
Mylopotas Beach is the popular spot, thanks to its soft sand and proximity to Chora, where most of Ios’s hotels are located.
We’d rather explore the wave-lapped eastern side of Ios, where the Calilo hotel has really captured our imagination.
Carved from natural rock, this 30-suite hotel is a short boat ride from the party scenes of Mykonos and Santorini, but is a real escape from the clamour and clouds.
Eastern Ios remains quiet even in high season, but we don’t expect this to be the case for long.
Of course you know Crete. Or do you? Crete isn’t an unknown island but most of Crete is unknown to almost everyone.
Crete is 80 times bigger than Mykonos, almost 100 times larger than Santorini. It holds so many secrets, so many beautiful destinations that are yet to be discovered.
New private villas and high-end resorts are also helping to change the image of Crete. This is the largest Greek island and probably it’s most authentic too.
Many people are desperately searching the small Greek islands for somewhere that’s less touristy. And yet here there is Crete, an island many people discount because there’s one strip of mass tourism resorts and bars.
Is this the summer you rethink Crete? These are the best hotels in Crete, just note that on such a large island you will benefit from personal advice.
Your Greek Summer Holiday?
Of course, if you want to holiday in Mykonos or Santorini we’re here for you too. Especially to secure a landing spot for your private jet or a room at one of the highly popular beachfront hotels.
Or maybe your idea of a Greek summer holiday is hopping between the best beach hotels in Greece?
From off the beaten path adventures to private villa holidays for your family, we will personalise a Greek summer holiday for you.